October 4, 2018, 7:00 pm
So, you're in Bogota and you want to visit some other places around the city. Where should you go? Here we have three options for a great day trip from Bogota, Colombia:
1. Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
Zipaquira, located just one hour away from Bogota, is a historic town very famous for its salt mines and the cathedral carved inside the extensive caves of an old salt mine. The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is ranked as one of the most visited tourist and religious sites in all of Colombia. Serving as a functioning church on Sundays to thousands of Catholics, the cathedral also receives an incredible amount of visitors from Monday to Saturday who come to marvel at the architecture and ingenuity of its existence.
Although a relatively modern structure—reopened in 1995 after substantial alterations and renovations were made to an older structure—the present day cathedral has its roots in a small prayer altar constructed several decades ago by miners in the salt mines. It is also purported that some of the original carvings in the "caves" of the salt mines were left behind by the ancient Muisca civilization. Today, the small prayer altar created by the miners has been converted into an underground cathedral that boasts three naves as well as the Stations of the Cross, many carved completely out of the salt found in the mines, and an impressive salt dome. The Cathedral represents an eclectic mix of religion, architecture and engineering built with the purpose of soliciting God's protection from the ever-present risk of working in a mine.
This is a well worth day trip to appreciate the unique and impressive architectural design of this remarkable site!
2. Lake Guatavita
Located just 2 hours away from Bogotá, Guatavita is one of the most popular destinations for a day tour out of the city. This small town is also called "Guatativa la Nueva" ("The New Guatavita"), as it was built in the 1960s to relocate the inhabitants of the original Guatavita that was flooded during the construction of the Tomine reservoir. This reservoir was created to generate electric power for the nearby localities and to increase the water supply for Bogota. Guatavita was re-built as a perfect replica of a Spanish colonial town with its houses exhibiting white facades, rustic stucco, clay tiles and simple wooden doors and windows.
Near the town of Guatavita is the ancient and sacred Lake Guatavita. The lake is famous for the Legend of El Dorado, which refers to the treasures held deep inside the waters of the lake.According to the legend, the ceremony to appoint the new Muisca Chief (The Muiscas were the native inhabitants of Bogota and other parts of Cundinamarca and Boyaca) used to happen at the centre of this lake. It is said that the new Muisca chief was covered in gold dust and then sailed to the centre of the lake in a wooden raft from which he would subsequently jumped into the water. The raft was loaded with precious treasures that were later thrown into the water as a symbol of adoration to their gods.
When the Spaniards came to this territory and heard about the legend of El Dorado, they organised many expeditions to find the gold submerged in the lake, they even attempted to drain the lake but nothing was never found.
A trip to Guatavita offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the splendid landscapes of the Bogota savannah and learn about the famous legend of El Dorado
3. Fusagasuga - Coffee Farm Day Trip
The coffee triangle region in Colombia is where most of our famous coffee is cultivated and processed. This region is located in the foothills of the The Andes in the departments of Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda. It is one of the most beautiful regions in Colombia due to its amazing and vast green landscapes provided by the coffee plantations, its pleasant warm weather and the picturesque towns still conserving theirs traditions and culture. There are many working coffee farms that you can visit to learn about the coffee process.
However, if you are in Bogota and you don't have enough time to travel to the coffee region but you still want to visit a coffee farm, the good news is that you still can do it, by visiting a small working coffee in Fusagasuga, located just 2 hours driving from Bogota.
At the farm you will learn firsthand about the coffee-making process, from planting coffee beans to the final steps of harvesting and roasting. You will learn about the different types of crops, variety of colours and sizes of coffee beans, and how to pick coffee cherries from the coffee plants. This coffee farm day trip from Bogota will be a great experience to learn about the coffee-making process but also to enjoy the great weather of Fusagasuga.
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