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Terra Barichara Hotel

HopHost since 03 December 2015

Address Km 16 Vía San Gil
Town : Barichara
Country : Colombia
Facility : Hotels & guest houses
Welcoming swaps : all year long

Go to the website


Telephone number : 0057 311 452 61 68

Barichara was declared a National Monument for its charming, historical and colonial-style architecture and is known as the most beautiful village of Colombia. The 20 rooms of the Hotel Boutique & Spa Terra Barichara are located at just 4 km from the village in the middle of the dry lands and hills of the Santander Region.

Terra Barichara is a brand new hotel imagined and built 2 years ago by Italo and Marta, an italian-colombian couple originally from Genova and Bogota. Terra Barichara is a classy boutique hotel, spa, trattoria (Italian restaurant)… but as well their own home! It has the spirit of a bed and breakfast with all the space and comfort of an upscale hotel: a sweet blend of sincere generosity and refinement. They chose the name of “Terra” to illustrate three important elements of the project:

  • Terra means “earth” in Italian, the mother tongue of Italo, the co-founder and owner.
  • Earth, as the land and nature in the middle of which the hotel was built and that they aim to respect managing the hotel the most sustainably possible, included using rammed earth material for the majority of the hotel walls (the famous local “tapia pisada” technique).
  • Earth, as the globe around which Italo and Marta used to travel a lot before to settle down in Barichara, and from which they brought back a collection of pieces of art which are forming quite a unique hotel decoration.

Italo, the co-owner, is a true “Mac Giver”! From his experience staying in hotels all around the world, he brought back a bench of good ideas, included many sustainable practices. He adapts them to the specific conditions of running a hotel in such a remote and dry climate area (cf for example the system that he built himself to collect and treat rainwater).

They plan to build 20 additional rooms in the coming year. This hotel adventure is quite a challenge for Italo and Marta who never worked in the tourism sector before. However, you can tell that they enjoy it a lot from the contagious enthusiasm that they share naturally with people around them: employees, guests… and also with Florie and her friend Isabel during the HopTour Latin America !

Good practices for a better tourism implemented by Hotel Terra Barichara :


  • Solar water heater system.
  • Passive architecture principles: no air-conditioning.
  • Use a maximum of daylight.
  • LEDs lighting.
  • Energy Efficient Appliances (such as a rational selfcooking oven).

Water Management

Water is a very critical point at Barichara because of the very dry climate.

Reducing consumption:

  • 80% of the water used at the hotel comes from a rainwater collection system.
  • Water is treated through a silica sand filter, activated carbon and small quantities of chlorine and sulfate.
  • Jacuzzi water is reused to water the garden.
  • Long-stay guests’ sheets are changed only every 2 or 3 days.

Water treatment:

  • Black water: filtered through a wastewater treatment plant,
  • Gray Water: directly to the ground or reused to water the garden.

Waste Management


  • Offer free potable water to guests to avoid plastic bottles.


  • Organic waste from the kitchen feed the animals of an employee’s farm.
  • Organic waste from the garden are composted.


  • Recyclable waste are sorted out and collected by the municipal waste collector.

Agriculture and Catering


  • Try to buy produces cultivated in the area but there are unfortunately no much because of the dry climate, only: beans, pineapples, café and grapefruits.
  • Serve and sell organic and semi-organic local coffee.


  • Make their own bread and cook delicious fresh food.
  • Use a cooling unit in order to freeze food and avoid waste.



  • Passive principles to take advantage of sun and wind natural conditions.
  • Works exclusively with local labor and techniques.
  • Enhance natural elements of decoration and vegetation integration.


  • Walls in rammed earth (tapia pisada): for high acoustic and thermal isolation.
  • Try to use local and renewable material when possible: rammed earth walls, local tiles, canas bravas, responsible construction wood from plantations or fallen trees.
  • Waste from construction material were almost all reused.

Social Responsability

  • Respect of national legislations and all extra hours of employees are paid.
  • Sex trafficking prevention.
  • Collect bottle tops for charity.
  • The hotel building is almost all horizontal and with no more than one floor to make it easier for employees and accessible to disable guests..
  • Trainings are provided to the staff.

Local Development

  • Bought examples of furniture (like seats) to give them to reproduce and be made by local craftsmans.
  • Take part to COTELCO tourism association, the chamber of commerce trainings and Pro-Colombia wedding program.

Travelers’ Awareness

  • Information in the hotel welcome guide about the hotel sustainable policy.
  • Promote eco-tourism activities to travelers such as typical handcraft workshops and outdoor activities.

Local Heritage & Biodiversity

  • No commercialization or use of prohibited fauna & flora or cultural artifacts.
  • 1 hectare out of the 3 hectares is occupied by the eco-hotel project.

Welcome to Colombia,

We look forward to welcoming you !

4 good practices:

Name Tags Category
La Borderie de la Marchaizière Solar panels solar energy Energy
Active Solar Water Heater Terra Barichara Colombia Solar water heater chauffage, eau, énergie solaire, heating, solar, water Construction and Lay out, Energy
Construction murs en pisé (terre crue) Rammed earth / adobe construction adobe, EARTH, insulation, isolation, pisé Construction and Lay out
Collection and treatment of rainwater in Terra Barichara,Colombia Collection and treatment of rainwater eau de pluie, rainwater Construction and Lay out, Water Management

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