Buga is primarily a destination for religious pilgrims. It typically attracts over three million Catholic pilgrims a year to the Basílica del Señor de los Milagros. The huge basilica was built in 1907 to house an image of Christ. The image was found by a local woman in the Río Guadalajara which flows through the city. Over time, it is purported to have grown many times in size while performing many miracles. The image is held in a small room behind the altar where visitors file past it. Near the basilica is a religious museum.
There is a long wide open pedestrian space stretching for about five blocks facing the front of the basilica. Along both sides are several shops selling religious goods, restaurants, and some hotels. My first visit to the town was to see the basilica on a Sunday morning during mass. The crowd stretched outside of the church into the plaza out front.
Catedral de San Pedro Apóstol
There are a few other historic churches in Buga. They’re much older than the basilica. The most important is Catedral de San Pedro Apóstol, which is located on Parque José María Cabal. This church was built in 1773 and has a beautiful gold altar.
Templo de San Francisco
Next, we went to the Templo de San Francisco one block to the east and south. It’s the oldest church in Buga and was built in 1746.
Templo de Santo Domingo
Templo de Santo Domingo is another historic church in the city. It’s two blocks east of Catedral de San Pedro.