Cascada El Hayal


This impressive narrow waterfall plunges 60m from a limestone canyon down a multicolored rock face. When there's a lot of water a shallow pool suitable for bathing forms at the base. From the base a path leads behind the falls to a large open cave, which was once used by local indigenous groups for important ceremonies. Take care on the path, as there are a lot of loose rocks.

Note that in extended dry periods the waterfall can lose most of its volume and may even disappear.

El Hayal is accessed from the village of Santa Sofía. From the bus stop, cross the main plaza and take the road to Moniquira. Continue for 1.5km until you reach the signed turnoff by the orange house. Walk for another 5km, passing the entrance to Paso de Angel, until you get to a grassy parking area on the right-hand side. From the trailhead here it's a 30-minute walk down to the falls. To make things easier, it's possible to hire a guide in Villa de Leyva.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Boyacá attractions

1. Paso de Angel

1.16 MILES

This vertigo-inducing mountain path running along a ridge on the way to the Guatoque waterfall is a popular attraction in its own right. At its narrowest…

2. Cascada Guatoque


Accessible by the nerve-racking Paso de Angel path outside the small town of Santa Sofía, this pretty 80m waterfall empties into a fine pool. The final…

3. Convento del Santo Ecce Homo

3.96 MILES

Founded by the Dominican fathers in 1620, this convent is a large stone-and-adobe construction with a huge, faintly regal courtyard. The floors are paved…

4. Estación Astronómica Muisca

5.57 MILES

The Estación Astronómica Muisca dates from the early centuries AD and was used by the Muiscas to determine the seasons. This Stonehenge-like site contains…

6. El Fósil


This impressive 120-million-year-old baby-kronosaurus fossil is the world’s most complete specimen of this prehistoric marine reptile. The fossil is 7m…

7. Casa de Barro

7.42 MILES

One of Villa de Leyva's most magnificent buildings is the Gaudí-esque Casa de Barro, an artistic house made from entirely handworked clay fired in stages…

8. Museo del Carmen


Apparently one of best museums of religious art in the country, the Museo del Carmen is housed in the convent of the same name. The fairly average…