If you are planning on traveling to Bogotá and have a few extra days available to take an overnight trip, visit Zipaquirá & Villa de Leyva.
Your first stop will be the incredible underground Salt Cathedral at Zipaquirá (Zee-pa-key-ra). Followed by a little break and snack at Ubaté, the dairy capital of Colombia. Villa de Leyva, with its cobblestone lanes, whitewashed colonial buildings, and the largest square in Colombia, Plaza Mayor, will be your final destination.
Planning your trip to Zipaquirá – The Salt Cathedral
Located about two hours from Bogotá, you will find the stunning underground salt cathedral of Zipaquirá. Both a religious monument and marvel of engineering, the Cathedral was built deep underground in a salt mine. As you make your way into the mine, you’ll come across the Fourteen Stations of the Cross, each located in its own little chamber. The Stations were created by artists from across Colombia and each has its own unique style. At last, you will find yourself at the chapel and largest chamber. It is located around 600 feet underground and is just over 70 feet high. Here you will find a 50 feet tall illuminated cross that appears to be miraculously floating in the air.
Where to Eat
Next, it is time to eat! After the tour of the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, we headed to a nearby restaurant for lunch, Restaurante Sal Gallina. Here you can enjoy a traditional Colombian meal for this part of the country. You’ll find lots of meats, yucca, and plantains – it’s a hearty and filling meal.
Taking a break in Ubaté
After you’ve been back on the road for a bit, you’ll come across Villa de San Diego de Ubaté. It is the dairy capital of Colombia. Now, it’s time for a stop at Villa de Ubaté. It’s the perfect place for a short break and to grab a snack. I know, I know, we just ate, but this place has all kinds of delicious candies and cheeses. Try the caramel-like candies mixed with guayaba (guava candy) or queso for a traditional Colombia treat!
Planning your trip to Villa de Leyva
At last, we arrive at historic Villa de Leyva! Here, you will find cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings, a reminder of Spanish Colonial times set to a backdrop of lush green mountains. It almost looks like a movie set its so picturesque!
Located in the center of the town is Plaza Mayor, the largest square in Colombia at 14,000 square meters. In Villa de Leyva, you can easily wander the streets for hours taking it all in.
Where to Stay
We stayed at El Hotel La Posada de San Antonio located by Parque Anotonio Nariño and it was very comfortable. We were even greeted with a glass of delicious canela.
Are you planning yet?
Now that you are ready to start planning a wonderful trip to Zipaquirá & Villa de Leyva, you’ll want to think about the rest of your adventure in Colombia. Check out our highlights to traveling around Colombia to get all the details you need to put together an incredible Colombian itinerary.
And of course, if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the TravelHive team and Contact us.