What to do?
In Villa de Leyva and around …… There is a lot but here are the special ones that we have selected for you…….Please note that this list is made by volunteers who spend a couple of weeks here and from their personal opinions. There is lot of other museums and spots around the area but as long term travelers we thought some of them are not worth seeing. Thanks for your understanding.
Parque Nacional Iguaque:
How to get there; take the bus to Arcobuco at 7am in the morning and tell the driver to drop you off at the entrance of the park. The hike is around 5-6 hours depends on your condition, please note that the altitude is higher than villa de Leyva. It is recommended to have, sunscreen, snacks, water, a hat and a rain coat. The entrance fee is 45.000 COP for foreigners.
El Santo: it’s a 40 min hike to the viewpoint of Villa de Leyva. From hostel turn left then right. Follow all the way of Calle 12 to up (go through the gate at the end of the street). And enjoy the view. FREE
Farmers market: only on Saturdays, there is some fresh vegetable and fruits plus a lot of street food. It is just a block away from hostel. Follow Calle 12 like you are heading to El Santo it will be on your left hand side. Impossible to miss.
Local food to try:
- (Sopa de) Mondongo: a soup made from diced tripe (the stomach of a cow or pig) slow-cooked with vegetables
- Caldo de Rostro: a clear soup with potatoes and meat from the face of a cow
- Caldo de Costilla: a soup made with beef ribs, potatoes and vegetables
- Cuchuco de Trigo con Espinazo: a soup with pork spine, wheat and vegetables
Casa Museo Antonio Ricaurte: Ricaurte, one of Colombia’s heroes who fought under Bolívar was born here. You’ll find some information about him here and relax afterwards in the garden of the house. FREE
Casa Terracota: It’s an adobe house inspired by Gaudi style just 1.5 km away from the hostel. Nice little walk and you can enjoy the scenery. If you would like to see inside its 10 000 COP but you can just see it from outside (for Free).
Cascada La periquera (Waterfalls): Either take the bus to Arcobuco and ask driver to drop you to the closest location of the waterfall and walk and enjoy or you can go by bike. Its around 10-15km 40min to 1 hour bicycle ride. Officially it is not possible to access the area at this time. But you can ask for Carlos at the entrance, he will accompany you for 8.000 COP but swimming is not allowed.
(PS: You can rent a bike please ask to reception)
Infiernito: Archeological ruins from the indigenous Muisca. It is interesting but not fully worth it. Not so much information, just the statues and maybe 3 min walk around. You can combine this with casa terracota and make a nice walk on the countryside. The entrance fee is 8.000 COP.
Ráquira: Famous for its colony of artisans, who produce traditional northern Andean pottery & hand-woven goods. The Sunday market is especially a popular time to visit. You can find cheap souvenirs here.
Take a bus to Santa Sofia (4.000 COP).
Then you can combine the following three activities (Cueva de la Romera, Paso del Angel and Cascada El Hayal). You should get the bus at 8am, take a taxi in Santa Sofia or just do one or two of them. Bring sunscreen, snacks, water, a hat and a rain coat.
Cueva de la Romera: From the main plaza in Santa Sofia either take a taxi or walk ~40 minutes. Here you can rapel down for 30.000 COP – 40.000 COP.
Paso del Angel: From the main plaza in Santa Sofia either take a taxi or walk ~50 minutes. Go through a gate ignoring the warning “Propiedad privada. No pase.” Probably you will meet the owners, they will charge 3.000 COP per person to enter. At the end of the path you can go down to the river and refresh yourself in the cold water.
Cascada del Hayal: From the main plaza in Santa Sofia either take a taxi or walk ~70 minutes. Follow the path after the sign down the hill and refresh yourself in the ice cold water and have a rest. (FREE)