Welcome to Villa de Leyva


Villa's physical beauty and mild, dry climate have long attracted outsiders. The town was founded in 1572 by Hernán Suárez de Villalobos, and early on it was mainly a retreat for military officers, clergy and the nobility.

In recent years an influx of wealthy visitors and expats has slowly transformed this once-hidden gem. Boutique hotels, gourmet restaurants and tacky tourist shops are replacing many of the old family hosterías and cafes, and the authenticity. On weekends the narrow alleys can get downright crammed with day-trippers from Bogotá. But, thankfully, on weekdays it reverts to a peaceful, bucolic village.


Top experiences in Villa de Leyva

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Villa de Leyva activities

$54 Day Trips & Excursions

Villa de Leyva Day Trip from Bogotá

You will hardly find a place in Colombia that takes architectonic preservation as serious as Villa de Leyva. This small village located in the department of Boyacá and it’s a 3-hour drive from Bogotá. Spanish colonizers founded the village in 1572, visiting it gives the sensation of going back in time and in 1954 it was declared a national monument.  Get a closer look at the colonial history of Colombia’s and the fascinating towns outside of Bogotá on an 11-hour daytrip to Villa de Leyva. This mellow area’s exceptional architecture, great artisan craft shopping and historical richness offer the perfect combination. Get started with a 7 am pickup at the hotel, proceeding north towards Villa de Leyva. Enjoy of a historical stop at the Boyacá Bridge, where the battle of Boyacá took place in the 19th century which helped secure Colombia’s independence from the Spaniards. Afterwards you’ll arrive to Villa de Leyva where you can take your time to admire the striking architecture of this area and learn the history around it thanks to a professional guide. Go to El Infiernito (Little Hell) and marvel in an ancient Muisca observatory and how they used to calculate the optimal time for harvest and then visit the blue pond, a water reservoir created by farmers. The water’s color has turned into a surprisingly vivid blue that contrasts beautifully with the arid vegetation. Finish your visit to Villa de Leyva with an authentic Colombian lunch and (at your own expense) before proceeding to Raquirá, a small village nearby, famous for its amazing craftsmanship of woodworking, pottery, basketry and more. Have the opportunity to do some souvenir shopping and the then proceed to go back to Bogotá where you’ll be taken back to your hotel. Optional: Change any of the activities above for the Casa de Terracota, which is a house made of clay measuring 500 m², considered the largest piece of pottery in the world. Designed and built by architect Octavio Mendoza, this house is baked in the same manner as pottery makers when they produce vases, dishes and other decorative objects.

$251 Day Trips & Excursions

Bogota to Villa de Leyva Private Full-Day Trip Including Lunch

This full-day trip will start at 7am in the morning, departing from your hotel in Bogotá. The number of attractions in this little town are uncountable—from shopping around the handicraft markets to drinking a glass of wine in one of the wineries near the town, this day tour will be unforgettable for you.Villa de Leyva won’t stop surprising us. The blue wells, located in the middle of a nearby desert, are a mandatory destination. Let’s see the Kronosaurus at the Fossil Museum (Museo el Fosil) and let the beauty of the town architecture blow your mind. With this tour you have plenty of options and places that we can visit.The tour can travel through the unique towns of Ubaté, Chiquinquirá and Raquira, where the landscapes and little warehouses of handcrafts will astonish you. The tour can also pass along the highway going north, where you can witness the greatness of the Sisga lagoon, a reserve that looks like it's appeared straight out of a fairy tale.

$324 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Trip to Villa de Leyva from Bogotá

You will hardly find a place in Colombia that takes architectonic preservation as serious as Villa de Leyva. This small village located in the department of Boyacá and it’s a 3-hout drive from Bogotá. Spanish colonizers founded the village in 1572, visiting it gives the sensation of going back in time and in 1954 it was declared a national monument.  Get a closer look at the colonial history of Colombia’s and the fascinating towns outside of Bogotá on an 11-hour daytrip to Villa de Leyva. This mellow area’s exceptional architecture, great artisan craft shopping and historical richness offer the perfect combination.

$65 Day Trips & Excursions

Villa de Leyva Day Tour

This full day tour is made for those who love the villages that have maintained that particular colonial air over the centuries, Villa de Leyva will surely give you one of the best options in your visit to the Andean territories of the country. After a trip of approximately three hours through the beautiful savannah, you reach the Plaza Mayor of the village, famous for its large size and cobbled floor. From there one leaves towards 'El Infiernito', an incredible place of more than two millennia of antiquity, that presumed served as an indigenous astronomical observatory. From that point we then move to the Blue Wells, a quiet and relaxing space whose waters have a beautiful and very characteristic blue color, and on our way back to Bogotá, we cross the town of Ráquira, a picturesque and charming place world famous for its long tradition of working in ceramics.

$100 Cultural & Theme Tours

Zipaquirá and Villa de Leyva Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pickup 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 (14,000 sq m) 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 wander below ground into an enormous salt mine. Your guide teaches 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 weekly service held on Sundays. Spend time in the unique cathedral before returning to the surface and heading back to Bogotá.

$120 Day Trips & Excursions

Bogota to Villa de Leyva Full-Day Tour with Muisca Observatory

Get picked up at 6am from your hotel and leave Bogotá in direction to Villa de Leyva. The drive takes approximately 4 hours. Upon arriving in this historic village, start by discovering the town’s colonial center by foot, including its large main square paved with cobblestones. After taking a break for lunch (own expense), visit attractions in the area surrounding Villa de Leyva. Depending on your interests and your time, you’ll enjoy the silence of the Convent Santo Ecce Homo, constructed in the early 17th century, and taste Colombian wine at "Viñedo Ain Karim" vineyard. You will also have the opportunity to visit the House of Terracotta, along with the "Pozos Azules", artificial pools that get their unique color from the minerals found in the local soil. You might even stop by an ostrich farm. Two more itinerary stops are the Muisca Observatory, located in the desert near Villa de Leyva, and the city museum, where you can learn about the prehistoric environment of the region and admire the center’s collection of fossils. At 6pm you'll return to Bogotá, where you will receive a drop-off at your hotel.