Colombia’s capital city has more than enough to keep travelers busy for weeks, but sometimes the combination of high altitude and other big city trappings can be exhausting. The great new is, there are some amazing day trips that can be done from Bogota. Examples of truly unique experiences to be had nearby include Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, the waterfalls at La Chorrera, and the pretty provincial town of Villa de Leyva.
Whether you are spending a few weeks in the area or looking for your next stop after Bogota, a good day trip is a great way to test the waters and experience something a little different. Therefore, here are some of the best day tours from Bogota, taking into account a number of important considerations such as the itinerary, value for money, previous traveler reviews and the quality of your guides.
FROM $57/per person
This hugely popular coach tour to the remarkable subterranean salt mine of Zipaquira is one of the best day trips you can take from Bogota. After a two-hour journey, you’ll head 180m below ground to learn all about how the mines were crafted in the first place and why salt here was particularly prized. Then see the Roman Catholic cathedral that was built by utilizing the mine’s network of tunnels and open caverns. It is certainly one of the more unique holy places open to visitors. This tour allows around two hours in Zipaquira before the return to Bogota.
From $71/ per person
With cascades of nearly 600m in total, La Chorrera is the tallest waterfall in Colombia and quite the natural spectacle, situated in the Andean jungle. This tour stops at a paramo – high tundra spot above the treeline – along the way before heading into the rainforest. There’s a 90-minute hike then to La Chorrera that is mostly along dirt tracks. The hike leads right up to the falls, with a chance to get right behind the cascades. There’s also time for a stop at a local dairy farm to taste homemade cheese.
From $127/ per person
The Guatavita region is steeped in local pre-Columbian folklore that is so potent, it is known the world over. The legend of El Dorado is believed to emanate from Lake Guatavita, which is held to be sacred by the Muisca people. Many believe that there is a treasure trove of gold and silver jewelry beneath the water, thrown in there during countless ceremonies by local people over time. During the eight-hour tour, you’ll learn all about these legends, explore the nature of Guatavita Natural Park, and discover why the original town of Guatavita was flooded and replaced by New Guatavita.
From $130/ per person
Colombian coffee: it’s one of the finest natural products of the country and grown in stunning mountain settings. On an eight-hour tour from Bogota, you can visit Hacienda Coloma, where coffee is still grown, and learn all about the process from plant to cup. You’ll see plenty of bird and plant life as you explore the estate, visit a colonial house for a traditional sit-down lunch, then get down to the best bit: the tastings. Learn how to recognize the differing qualities of coffee, while also sampling some coffee liqueurs before the (hopefully not too over-caffeinated) trip home.
From $179/ per person
Three hours northeast of Bogota, you’ll find a pretty colonial town with whitewashed buildings and wide cobbled squares. In order to maximize your appreciation for Villa de Leyva, this tour allots 11 hours, so that you’ll have at least four of those to spend exploring the town’s many attractions, spanning both sides of Colombian history: the Spanish-built Leyva Cathedral, and the Muisca Observatory, built in El Infiernito for celestial calculations to plan harvests. The return journey is broken up with a trip to Raquira, a cheerful, colorful village known for its pottery work.