Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, is an exciting and bustling metropolis that is filled with cultural landmarks, a vibrant food scene, and a thriving nightlife. However, after a few days in the city, many visitors feel the urge to escape the hustle and bustle and explore the surrounding region. Fortunately, Bogota is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and charming towns that make for excellent day trips.
Here are 8 options for day trips from Bogota that offer a diverse range of experiences:
Best day trips from Bogota
1. Zipaquira Salt Cathedral
Located just an hour outside of Bogota, the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral is an engineering marvel and one of the most impressive attractions in Colombia. This underground church was built within the tunnels of a salt mine and features an awe-inspiring design with towering columns and intricate sculptures made of salt. The cathedral’s architecture and religious iconography are designed to evoke a sense of reverence, making it a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Visitors can take a guided tour of the salt mine to learn about the history of salt mining in the region, explore the cathedral’s many chapels, and appreciate the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
2. Villa de Leyva
Located approximately three hours from Bogota, Villa de Leyva is a beautifully preserved colonial town that offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The town is known for its immaculately preserved whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets, and lush gardens. Visitors can explore the town’s many museums, churches, and historical landmarks, such as the Antonio Narino Museum and the Casa de la Cultura. The town’s central plaza is one of the largest in South America and offers a picturesque setting for a stroll or a cup of coffee. Beyond the town, visitors can hike to the Iguaque National Park, which features stunning mountain vistas and a diverse array of flora and fauna.
3. La Chorrera Waterfall
One of the tallest waterfalls in Colombia, La Chorrera is a breathtaking natural wonder located just a short drive from Bogota. Visitors can take a scenic hike through the lush Andean forest to reach the waterfall, which drops from a height of 590 feet into a refreshing pool. Along the way, hikers can spot a variety of birds and wildlife, such as the spectacled bear and the Andean condor. Once at the waterfall, visitors can take a dip in the cool waters, bask in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, and snap photos of the stunning views.
4. Guatavita Lake
Located about two hours from Bogota, Guatavita Lake is a tranquil and scenic spot that holds a significant place in Colombian history and legend. According to local folklore, the Muisca people used to conduct rituals on the lake’s shores to appease the gods and offer them precious offerings, such as gold. Visitors can take a guided boat tour of the lake to learn more about the lake’s cultural significance, admire the natural beauty of the surrounding hills, and spot a variety of bird species, such as the Andean duck and the black-crowned night heron.
5. Suesca Rocks
Suesca is a popular destination for rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, located about an hour from Bogota. The town’s stunning cliffs and boulders offer a variety of routes and challenges for climbers of all skill levels. Even if you’re not an experienced climber, you can enjoy the stunning views from the top and take a leisurely hike through the surrounding landscape. The area is also popular for camping, hiking, and birdwatching.
6. Fusagasuga hot springs
Located about two hours from Bogota, the Fusagasuga Hot Springs offer a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway. Visitors can soak in the natural hot springs and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. The springs are rich in minerals and believed to have therapeutic properties that can help soothe tired muscles and alleviate stress. The area around the springs is also known for its stunning natural beauty, featuring lush forests, rivers, and mountains.
7. Nemocon Salt Mine
The Nemocon Salt Mine is another underground attraction located within an hour’s drive from Bogota. The salt mine was originally used by the indigenous people and later by the Spanish colonizers to extract salt from the earth. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the mine to learn about the history of salt mining in Colombia and appreciate the fascinating underground architecture. The mine features a variety of tunnels and chambers, including an impressive chamber that was carved entirely out of salt.
8. Hacienda Coloma Coffee Plantation
Located about an hour outside of Bogota, the Hacienda Coloma Coffee Plantation offers a unique opportunity to learn about Colombia’s world-renowned coffee industry. Visitors can take a guided tour of the plantation to see how coffee is grown, harvested, and processed. The tour includes a visit to the roasting facilities and a tasting of the plantation’s delicious coffee. The hacienda is also set in a beautiful natural setting, with stunning views of the surrounding hills and countryside.