Colonial Town of Villa de Leyva


villadeleyva_23 A charming, picturesque town called Villa de Leyva lies 150 km north of Bogota. It is an easy 4 hour bus ride away. There are a couple direct buses daily from Bogota. Otherwise, there a slew of buses per day to a town called Tunja, around 3 hours away and then countless buses offered from there to Villa de Leyva, another hour. Villa de Leyva is located at 2 143 meters above sea level, with an appealing climate of dry warm days and cool nights. It has a population of 12 000 inhabitants. In 1954 Villa de Leyva was declared a national monument and is one of the few towns in Colombia that conserved all of its colonial buildings; it is like going back in time with its endless cobblestone streets and ancient architecture. All of the buildings are whitewashed, and incorporate a Spanish style as you can observe with their enchanting balconies, arcs and main doors. villadeleyva_18villadeleyva_9villadeleyva_4 Villa de Leyva is notorious for its tremendous square, Plaza Mayor; it is the largest of its kind in Colombia. It is the heart of the town.  It is superb for people watching, conversing, sitting, grabbing a drink or food at one of the surrounding chic cafes or restaurants. villa de leyva villadeleyva_8villadeleyva_1 Villa de Leyva  is crammed on weekends as it is a popular weekend getaway for Colombians. If you find yourself there during the week, it is much less crowded, as well as less expensive as the hostel and hotels drop their prices. The surrounding area of Villa de Leyva offers many excursions to choose from including los pozos azules (group of blue lakes), a fossil museum, an old astronomic observatory made of phallic stones, as well as a group of seven waterfalls named “La Piriquera” 15 km away from the town.  I choose to do nothing aforementioned. I wandered, people watched, enjoyed the cuisine and a few Colombian beers. I spent two nights at a basic hostel in town right near the square to grab the energy of this delightful town. villadeleyva_11villadeleyva_10villadeleyva_21villadeleyva_15villadeleyva_13villadeleyva_14 The next two nights I splurged somewhat and stayed at a glorious guesthouse called Renacer with top-notch accommodation and a lovely feel. I bargained for a midweek price of 60 000 Colombian pesos ($30 Canadian) per night for an impressive room with a balcony and a splendid view. It is 1 km out of town, a 15 min walk up the hill from town, and has great amenities including a guest kitchen, common space with fireplace, camping, hammocks, and a restaurant. Villa de Leyva is definitely a must see area in Colombia, even for a couple of nights.

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10 comments for “Colonial Town of Villa de Leyva

  1. Mum
    January 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

    What a great place to visit. Loved the originality of the buildings and roads, etc.
    According to your pictures, your ‘splurge’ was well worth it. What a view!
    Take care
    Love Mum

    • the curious rambler
      January 22, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks. Yes the place I stayed was gorgeous, not to mention the town itself. Thanks for the love!

  2. Leigh
    January 19, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    What a beauty of a place! Great pics as always 🙂 xo

  3. laura
    January 19, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Trace
    Great post. That town is so clean and beautiful. The beer looks, of course, perfect. I love that you take us there!

    • the curious rambler
      January 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      The beer and view was perfect…thanks for the support as always!

  4. Sherrill Miller
    January 19, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Trace…your pictures are spectacular…..beautiful scenery and I love all the cobblestone.Be safe my dear and happy travelling

  5. Deana
    January 19, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Once again marvelous photography and with your descriptions it would certainly make anyone that is travelling in that area want to visit for sure.

    • the curious rambler
      January 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks. I adore taking photos and trying to sharing my experience to try to encourage other people to ‘roam’. Life is short 😉

  6. David Tomlinson
    January 18, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks Trace for the great pics. It is truly amazing what you are doing. Good luck and stay safe and healthy. Have a Poker on me! lol Uncle Dave

    • the curious rambler
      January 22, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks so much, appreciate it. I love traveling and experiencing new places and cultures firsthand! And yes beer on you – done!