Zipaquirá
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Zipaquirá Nature & Adventure

Bogota: Legend of El Dorado and Salt Cathedral Tour

1. Bogota: Legend of El Dorado and Salt Cathedral Tour

After gathering at either of the meeting points or being collected from your accommodation, your combination experience in Bogota will begin. You'll first visit the Guatavita Lagoon, which was a source of inspiration for the Legend of El Dorado and the movie with the same name. The beauty of this place is sure to overwhelm you, and after some time there you will cross the Savannah. In the afternoon you will reach the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, which was the First Wonder of Colombia due to its imposing architecture. In a single day you will enjoy the indigenous spiritual cosmogony, Christian spirituality, the beauty of nature, and the grandeur of architecture. At the end of your experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin.

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Bogotá: Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavitá Tour with Lunch

2. Bogotá: Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavitá Tour with Lunch

Head to the countryside from Bogotá on a 10-hour excursion to Zipaquirá. Discover the architectural achievements of architect Roswell Garavito Pearl and learn about history of salt exploitation in Colombia on a tour of the Salt Cathedral. Enjoy a typical Colombian meal at a local restaurant. See Independence Square, lovely colonial houses and the old church before continuing on to Lake Guatavitá. Take a short guided hike, admire the scenic landscape and discover the birthplace of the El Dorado legend. Take in views of the Tomine Reservoir before visiting the colonial town of Guatavitá. On the return trip to Bogotá stop at La Calera viewpoint for panoramic views of the city.

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From Bogotá: Nemocón Mine and Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral Tour

3. From Bogotá: Nemocón Mine and Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral Tour

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Bogotá, and then travel to the salt mines of Nemocón 65 kilometers from the city center. Get stunning views of the beautiful landscape before arrival. Then, take a tour of the salt mine tunnels and discover what is felt like to work 60 meters below ground. Learn about the history of salt and how it is extracted as you marvel at the optical effects of the mirrors of brine. See where the movie Los 33 was filmed before lunch in the colonial city of Zipaquirá. Next, visit one of the most artistic achievements of Colombian architecture on a tour of the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral, built within the tunnels of a salt mine.

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From Bogota: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Villa de Leyva Tour

4. From Bogota: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Villa de Leyva Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pick-up in the morning and a scenic drive out to Villa de Leyva. On the way, enjoy the delicious staple of arepas, corn cakes that are often grilled or fried. Upon arrival in Villa de Leyva, step out and walk through the ancient streets lined with colonial-style houses that have remained mostly untouched since their construction. Founded in 1572, Villa de Leyva is famous for its cobblestone square Plaza Mayor, which at 150,695 square feet is the largest in Colombia. Learn about the history of the charming town from your guide before moving on. Head next to Zipaquira, where you will wander below ground into an enormous salt mine. Your guide will teach you about the history of salt and salt mining as you explore the beautifully lit cavern, eventually reaching the salt cathedral. The church was originally built in 1932 as a place for miners to offer daily prayers and was inaugurated in 1954. Today it is a fully functional church with a weekly service held on Sundays. Spend time in the unique cathedral before returning to the surface and heading back to Bogota.

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Bogotá: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

5. Bogotá: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

A staff member from the company will meet you at the hotel at your choice of either in the morning or the afternoon. From here you will be taken on a tour through La Sabana de Bogota to the town of Zipaquira, whose name means "City of our Father" in the language of the Chibcha. Back in pre-Columbian times, salt around the area was the most important commodity and the "salt cakes" were the only currency for trading. Throughout time, technology improved and the "Muiscas" began to extract larger amounts of salt. As a result, an underground salt deposit was formed and it is where the Salt Cathedral was built, 180 meters below the surface. Inside you will discover a chapel titled “capilla de los mineros”, which was built as a tribute to the Virgin “Our Lady of the Rosary of Guasá”. At the conclusion of your tour, you will return safely back to Bogotá.

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Bogota: Zipaquira, Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavita Tour

6. Bogota: Zipaquira, Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavita Tour

The day begins with pickup from your hotel in Bogota and travels north into the savanna. Arrive at Zipaquira, a vibrant town with a history dating back to the 1600s. Visit Zipaquia's famous Salt Cathedral, an impressive subterranean building that stands on an old salt mine. Wander through the halls and marvel at the cathedral's stunning architecture while you learn about its rich-history. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, enjoy lunch overlooking the Tomine Reservoir, before continuing onto the spectacular Guatavita National Park. Upon arrival, learn about the cultural significance of Lake Guatavita, as well as the characteristics of this peculiar ecosystem. After the park, make one final stop at a nearby village, and soak up the quaint and charming atmosphere of this traditional location. At the end of an unforgettable day, sit back and relax on the return journey to Bogota.

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From Bogotá: Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita Day Tour

7. From Bogotá: Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita Day Tour

Learn about Colombia's salt trade dating back to the pre-Hispanic period. Take a tour of some villages outside of Bogotá, and explore the subterranean Salt Cathedral. Try a traditional Colombian lunch followed by a visit to Lake Guatavita, a sacred place for the native Muisca people.   A staff member will pick you up at your hotel in Bogotá. Your tour begins by traveling in an air-conditioned van or bus through some of the villages from the pre-Hispanic period. Learn the history of the exploitation and trade of salt and gold manufacturing in the area.   Travel north along the Bogotá savanna to the city of Zipaquirá. There you will visit the renowned Salt Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church built in the ancient hollows of a salt mine, 180 meters below ground. Marvel at the cathedral’s architecture built within the mine’s remaining caverns and tunnels.     After touring the cathedral, enjoy a typical Colombian lunch with boiled potatoes soaked in brine (salt water from the mine) and ajiaco (chicken soup). Then head to Lake Guatavita, a small crater lake surrounded by forest. Learn about this sacred site of the indigenous Muisca people, where the legend of El Dorado was born.   Relax on the ride back to Bogotá where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Zipaquirá

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What people are saying about Zipaquirá

We were e group of five family members on this tour. Our driver Jairo picked us up at our hotel at 8am and took us first to Guatavita and then to lunch in Zipaquirá at Brasos del Llano. The food was great and the attendant was very attentive and welcomed us with the flag of our island. After that we went to the Salt Cathedral. It's a long day trip but definitely worth it. I absolutely recommend this tour and the driver Jairo is very polite and nice man. He gave us tips for other places to visit during our stay in Bogota.

It was an easy process. Booking was easy, communicating with the team the night prior was easy and meeting up and enjoying the experience was easy. If I travel to Bogota again, I would definitely book another experience with this team. Also, the lunch spot was fantastic.

At this point I would like to mention Cindy Bibiana. She was a great tour guide and provided us with a lot of background information about Bogota and Colombia. Her good English also contributed to the fact that it was an all-round successful, very nice day.

We really enjoyed the tour. Our driver "Carlos" was also outstanding. He instructed us very well at the stations on site and always accompanied us to the entrance.

The guide was amazing and for sure the landscape worth it!