dummy_img

IMPULSE TRAVEL TEAM

Somos un equipo de narradores y les traemos lo mejor que Colombia tiene por ofrecer. En nuestro blog, respondemos a las preguntas más frequentes y revelamos los místerios, la cultura y lo mejor para hacer en nuestro país para ustedes.

If you have already seen the urban features and sights of Bogotá or if you just want to spend a day outside of the city, this guide is for you! We gathered some information including prices and transportation for the best day trips from the Colombian capital.

Table of contents:

1. Guatavita

2. Zipaquirá

3. La Chorrera

4. Natural Park Chicaque

5. Salt Mine in Nemocón

6. Villa de Leyva

7. Suesca

8. Chingaza

1. Guatavita

Description:
The Guatavita Lagoon is located in the northeast of Bogota in the municipality of Sesquile in a beautifully reserved area. The Lagoon is famous for the “El Dorado” legend, which inspired gold digger and treasure hunters: The native Muisca people who once inhabited the region performed rituals and ceremonies at the lake. The “El Dorado” or golden one in English was the name for a priest during a special worship for the Muisca’s water goddess. He would be covered in gold dust, sail out on the Guatavita Lagoon and wash himself clean. The indigenous people would throw golden figures into the water as offerings. Some of the golden statues found in the Lagoon are now displayed at the Gold Museum in Bogotá.

The Guatavita Lagoon

Activities and attractions:
You can join a great guided tour at the entrance of the Lagoon, however, they are in Spanish, guided tours in English should be booked in advance or with a travel agency. It is possible to explore the reserve by yourself as well, there are informative signs about flora, fauna and the history of the area. The hike around the lagoon is around 40 min without stops, and generally very easy. However, there are some steep ascents and steps, that if you aren't used to the altitude yet (3100 m a.s.l.) can be challenging.

If you travel to the Lagoon you should include the visit to the cute town of Guatavita. The town moved its location in the 1970s due to a man-made water reservoir, so it is very well planned out and worth the visit. White houses and stone-paved streets! You can reach the town relatively easy by taking transport from the Lagoon entrance (Bus around 2.000 COP).

How to get there:
To get to the Lagoon it takes around 2 hours. With public transportation, you cannot get to the Lagoon directly. You can take a public bus from Portal Norte in Bogotá with direction to the town of Guatavita (this trip costs around 9.000 COP) and ask the driver to let you get off at the entrance way for the Guatavita Lagoon. From there you can decide to walk 7km to the entrance or take a small taxi or a bus. On the weekends, there are buses that take you up to the Lagoon for 3.500 COP. The taxis are cheaper if you share them with more people, your group or other travelers (around 60.000 COP). The walking way isn’t too challenging and the entrance is easy to find, just follow the road, it only takes some time. To get back to Bogotá, get back to the drop-off point on the main street (by walking or by bus) and wait on the other side of the road for a bus to Bogotá. You can also take a bus in the other direction and spend some time in the town of Guatavita (2.000 COP) before taking a bus from there directly to Bogotá.
If you want to get there more easily and comfortable, we would recommend to book a tour or rent a car.

Price and Opening Hours:
The reserve Guatavita Lagoon has an entrance fee of 17.000 COP for foreigners. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays).

More information:

(Spanish) https://lagunadelcaciqueguatavita.blogspot.com/

(Spanish) https://www.facebook.com/lagunadeguatavita/

Up to table of contents

2. Zipaquirá

Description:
Zipaquirá is a small town north of Bogota. It is known for its marvelous Salt Cathedral 180 meters underground. The Salt Cathedral and the town can easily be visited in four hours that is why often the visit of Zipaquirá is planned together with the trip to the Guatavita Lagoon as they are quite close.

Main Chamber of the Cathedral


Activities and attractions:
The Salt Cathedral offers guided tours, but you can also go by yourself or with audio guide. Near the entrance the visit begins with the stations of the cross, later you can see the dome and the three main chambers of the cathedral. There is also a great light installation, an impressive water mirror and the tree of life artwork.

The town of Zipaquirá is also worth strolling through. The historic center with the Plaza de Los Comuneros, the Catedral Diocesana, and the town hall, reflect a colonial architecture and give the town a certain charm.

How to get there:
With public transport, it takes around 45 minutes from the Portal Norte to get to the town of Zipaquirá. There are buses leaving every 15 minutes with direction to Zipaquirá (the buses indicate “Zipa”). The trip costs around 5.400 COP. From the bus station, it is a 10-minute walk passing the town center to the salt cathedral (the way is signed).

Another option is to go with the steam train from Bogotá to Zipaquirá. This offers a romantic and comfortable alternative. The train runs from the Sabana Station (Calle 13 No. 18 – 24) via Usaquen (Avenida 9 No. 110 – 08) and costs around 58.000 COP for an adult. On their website, you can check out prices, schedules, and ticket offices:  http://www.turistren.com.co/en/

Price:
The entrance fee for the Salt Cathedral is 55.000 COP for foreigners, there are reduced prices for Colombians, elderly people, and children.

More information:

(Spanish and English) http://www.catedraldesal.gov.co/

Up to table of contents

3. La Chorrera

Description:
With a height of over 590 m (1935 ft.) this waterfall is the biggest in Colombia. It is located 45 minutes south of Bogotá, near the town of Choachí, surrounded by a lush green landscape. The park is pretty well organized and equipped with a station at the entrance where you are able to camp, educate yourself about the park and little souvenir and snack shops. Inside the park, there is also a restaurant where you can order lunch. A trip to this waterfall is the ideal trip to escape the loud city and enjoy nature at its best.

View of (part of) la Chorrera from the Monkey Cave

Activities and attractions:
There is a hiking trail of around 3 to 4 hours with seven stations that include la Chorrera waterfall and El Chiflón, another smaller waterfall (55 m or 180 ft.). At the stations are guides that will offer information (not all are able to communicate in English) about the park, its history, and the flora and fauna. 15 minutes into the park you will see el Chiflón. This site is known for the amazing path behind the water curtain of the waterfall. There is also La Cueva de los Monos or “Monkey cave” with stalagmites in peculiar forms and an incredible view of the landscape. In the park, other activities like horse riding and rappelling are also offered.

Tips:
The walking way can get very muddy (especially if it had rained), so we recommend wearing hiking boots or rubber boots that can get dirty. You should also bring a rain jacket as the area is pretty humid and it can rain - or for if you want to get really close to the waterfalls without getting drenched. On Sundays and holidays, many Colombians will take the chance to visit, if you are a fan of tranquil hikes you should avoid these days.

How to get there:
By public transport, you can take a bus by the companies Transoriente and Cootransfómeque in the direction of Choachí. The buses leave at Calle 6 and Av. Caracas (near the Transmilenio station Tercer Milenio. The ticket price is around 9.500 COP. Tell the bus driver or the ayudante that you want to go to the Chorrera waterfall, so they drop you off at the entrance for ‘La Chorrera’. From there it is a one hour walk to the entrance of the park. You can also skip this distance and take a local taxi for 5.000 COP per person. To get back to Bogotá just walk back to the drop-off point and wait on the other side of the road for a bus to Bogotá. You might have to stand during the ride back as the buses start at Choachí and already have passengers.

Price:
The park entrance fee depends on what you want to see, ranging from 5.000 COP for only El Chiflón (the smaller waterfall), to 12.000 COP for la Chorrera and the Cave (25.000 COP extra for a personal guide).

More information:

(Spanish and English) http://www.lachorrera.com.co/site/index

Up to table of contents

4. Natural Park Chicaque

Description:
The Natural Park Chicaque is located 45 min from Bogota. It is special for its marvelous flora and fauna. A trip to Chicaque is ideal for nature-lovers who want to see the Andes nature and Colombian wildlife. Ecological trails in a stunning cloud forest invite to long hikes. For more detailed information have a look at our blog post about Chicaque.

Ecological trail

Activities and attractions:
The park offers different hiking trails that you can explore on your own or with a guide. Amongst other things, you can visit a waterfall, different creeks, the ‘eagle’s peak’ (a viewpoint), rocks and an oak forest.

Apart from enjoying the park through hikes, you can also do zip lining, horse riding and canopying. The nature in the park is amazing. You will be able to observe plants and animals (especially birds but you can also see sloths if you are lucky). It is also possible to spend the night there in different accommodations (camping, tree houses..).

Entrance Fee:
Depending on the season you pay between 15.000 COP and 16.500 COP for a day in the park.

How to get there:
On the weekend, the park offers transportation from the Transmilenio station “Terreros/Hospital” directly to the park entrance. Their buses leave at 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, and 11:00 am and have a cost of 6.000 COP. If you are a group, you can also rent the park’s express service at another time. To go during the week gets a little more complicated (by public transport) - we recommend hiring the express service of the park. Have a look here: http://www.chicaque.com/en/location/expreso-chicaque/

More Information:

(English) https://impulsetravel.co/tour-operator/en/blog/24/parque-natural-chicaque-how-to-go-and-what-to-see

(English) http://www.chicaque.com/en/home/


Up to table of contents
 

5. Salt Mine in Nemocón

Description:
Nemocón is a little peaceful town one hour north of Bogotá. It is famous for its old Salt Mines. It is very closely located to Zipaquirá and might be combined with a trip to the Salt Cathedral or the Guatavita Lagoon. Nemocón is not as known as Zipaquirá, that’s why it is a little less touristy and more authentic. The Salt Mines aren’t used anymore and now an attraction to visit.

Salt Mine

Activities and attractions:
At the entrance of the Salt Mine there is a museum with information on the history of the place. The tour through the mine takes about 1.5 hours and is with a guide so you’ll learn about the history and geology of the place. The scenes like the Salt Waterfall and the Natural Mirrors are beautifully lit and make the trip through the tunnels a spectacular experience. Apart from the Salt Mine, you should take advantage of visiting the little center of the town, the Parque Principal with its Church San Francisco de Asís and the monument Sacrificio de Los Comuneros Nemoconenses.

How to get there:
There are direct buses going from the Portal Norte to Nemocón. Just flag them when they drive up to get in. The trip costs 7.000 COP. You can also go to Zipaquirá first and take a minibus from there to Nemocón.

Price:
The entrance fee for the Salt Mine is 26.000 COP for adults with discounts for elderly and children.

More information:

(Spanish) https://www.minadesal.com/


Up to table of contents  

6. Villa de Leyva

Description:
Villa de Leyva is a small town, located in the department of Boyaca, approximately 3 hours from Bogotá. This colonial town seems frozen in time with its cobbled streets and whitewashed buildings. If you want to escape the fast-paced city of Bogotá this is the ideal place to go.

Main Square


Activities and attractions:
Villa de Leyva has a beautiful center, especially the vast Plaza Mayor is a sight for itself. Stroll through the small streets and enjoy the facades! In the surroundings of Villa de Leyva you can find the Archaeological Park Monquirá, also dubbed “El Infiernito” or Little Hell in English, Los Pozos Azules, little blue pools that contrast against the arid landscape, and the Terracotta House, the biggest pottery work of the world: all of them worth visiting.

Tip:
As the drive to Villa de Leyva is quite long, we actually recommend staying there longer than one day. This way you won’t have to stress about time and get the best experience of the town and its surroundings.

How to get there:
You can go there directly by bus from Portal Norte or Terminal de Salitre e.g. with the company Flota Valle de Tenza. The bus ride takes three hours and costs around 25.000 COP.

Price:
For the bus ride, you’ll pay around 25.000 COP one way - less if you haggle for the price! The entry to the Terracotta house costs 10.000 COP per person and to Infiernito 5.000 COP for adults.

Up to table of contents

7. Suesca

Description:
Suesca is a small town an hour in bus from Bogotá. It is famous for its natural rock cliffs that are 4 km long and the Suesca lake at 3.000 m a.s.l.. This trip is for active travelers, who want to do some adventure sports or nature-lovers who want to enjoy a day out of the city. The rocks and the landscape really is one-of-a-kind and one of the best places to visit outside of Bogotá.

Railway and rocks
 

Activities and attractions:
Suesca and its surroundings are ideal for hikes, be it around the rock cliffs along the railroad or visiting the Suesca Lake. At the rocks, you’ll find a lot of agencies that offer rock climbing at different skill levels. Horse riding is also possible. Another wonder of nature is the natural monoliths you can explore on a hike there. The town has a cute center with a church that is worth visiting if you have enough time. Near the cliffs, you can find a pretty well-equipped camping site if you want to spend the night there.

How to get there:
You can go to Suesca relatively easy by bus. Take an Alianza bus (red buses) from Terminal Norte in the direction of Suesca. The drive costs around 7.000 COP. If you want to get off at the rocks directly, tell the bus driver to drop you off there, the entrance pathway is a little before the town. From there you only have to walk along the railroad less than 10 minutes and you are there!

Price:
Depending on the rock climbing you want to do (time and level) the prices vary, but you can get a guide and equipment from 50.000 COP. Camping at the site there costs 15.000 COP per person for one night.

Up to table of contents

8. Chingaza

Description:
Only an hour away from Bogotá you can find the stunning National Park Chingaza. It is famous for its beautiful Páramo landscape, the lagoons, and its wildlife.

Vegetation in Chingaza


 

Activities and attractions:
The main activity at the Chingaza National Park is hiking. There are different trails which you can take by yourself and others with which you need to book a guide. It is ideal to learn about this unique ecosystem. The area is very well protected and other forms of transport such as horse riding or mountain biking are not allowed. The landscape and vegetation are incredible and if you are lucky you will spot different animals like bears, deer, and condors. You can also camp at the park or stay at a simple shelter for an overnight trip.

Tip:
To enter the park you have to make a reservation 15 days prior to your visit! The number of people who can visit the park daily is restricted, so you’ll want to inform the park about your visit in advance. You can do it here: ecoturismo@parquesnacionales.gov.co 

The weather can be changing very quickly, so bring clothes and equipment for rain and sun!

How to get there:
By public transport, it is very difficult to get there. You can go from Bogotá to a small town nearby called Guasca. Take a bus by TransGuasca or Flota Valle de Tenza on Carrera 13 with Calle 72 in direction to Guasca. Tell the bus driver to drop you off at the entrance to the Chingaza National Park (“Paso Hondo”). From there, however, you’d still have to walk 6km to get to the Siecha control post. We definitely recommend to go there by private vehicle or book a tour.

Price:
The entrance fee for the park is 42.000 COP for foreign adults. There are discounts for children.

More information:

(English)  http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co/portal/en/ecotourism/orinoco-region/chingaza-national-natural-park/


Up to table of contents  

Go back to Blogs home

Últimos artículos

Oct 01, 2021 | Últimas noticias sobre Covid-19 en Colombia

Jul 16, 2021 | 5 reasons to visit Colombia after COVID-19

Mar 29, 2021 | Como estamos manejando COVID-19

Productos relacionados

Bogotá City tour y Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá

A Zipaquirá en tren clásico

Tour de un día a Villa de Leyva

Want to travel to Colombia?

Request your quote with us

Español (ES)

$USD

0

Te faltan 3 experiencias para recibir nuestro IMPULSE Welcome Package al final de tu orden.