Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Guatavita Tour | Bogota Tours | Uncover Colombia
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Visit 2 exciting destinations during this Bogota day tour!

During this unique Bogota day tour, we will visit the beautiful Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita. There are lots of things to do in Bogota, Colombia, but not many experiences in the area can compete with the stunning architecture of the Salt Cathedral and the fascinating history of Lake Guatavita.

First, we will explore Lake Guatavita and you will learn about the rituals performed by the ancient Muisca people that gave rise to the legend of El Dorado. Immerse yourself in the lake's mystic atmosphere while soaking in the beautiful surroundings of majestic mountains and bright-green pastures. Then, we will go to Zipaquira to visit the spectacular Salt Cathedral built inside the extensive caves of an old salt mine. This cathedral is a true testimony to the miners' faith in a higher power and one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture. Your expert guide will explain the symbolism found around every corner.

Departure Time: 8 am Tuesday - Sunday  


EXPERIENCE TYPE History & Culture

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral Tour

Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavita Tour Details

Guatavita Lake Tour

Lake Guatavita

We will start this Bogota day tour by heading to Lake Guatavita. The peaceful lake, located about 2 hours by car from Bogota, is in the form of a perfect circle and is the site of a centuries-old treasure hunt. There are different opinions about the origins of the lake as well as the reason for its rare circular shape. Some say it is a volcanic crater whereas others believe it is the result of a meteorite impact. What is known for sure is that the lake was once an important ceremonial site for the ancient Muisca civilization. In one ritual, the chief of the Muisca tribe used to coat himself in gold dust and then bathe in the lake while throwing offerings of gold and precious stones into the water. It was this ritual that gave rise to the legend of El Dorado.

Guatavita Tour

Guatavita La Nueva

This small town lies only 15 minutes away from Lake Guatavita. It is called Guatavita La Nueva, as it was constructed in the 1960s as a way to relocate the inhabitants of the original Guatavita, which was flooded during the construction of the Tomine Reservoir (the Tomine Reservoir was created to generate electric power for the nearby localities and to increase the water supply to Bogota). The "New Guatavita" was constructed to be a perfect replica of a Spanish colonial town with houses exhibiting white façades, rustic stucco exteriors, traditional roofs made of clay tiles, and simple wooden doors and windows. You will have some time to explore this little town before we head to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. 

Ziapaquira Salt Cathedral Tour

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira

Zipaquira is located about 50 km north of Bogota. It will take us approximately 1 hour to reach our destination. We will spend about 1.5 or 2 hours inside the Salt Cathedral. During our time in the cathedral, an expert guide will take you through the Stations of the Cross. At each station you will see a symbolic representation of events from Jesus' last journey before his crucifixion. At the end of this walk, we will come to the main dome and the three naves of the cathedral that are interconnected by a gigantic crack, which symbolises the birth and death of Christ. You will learn about Colombian culture, religion and architecture during this day tour. Once we finish our visit to the cathedral, we will head back to Bogota and drop you off at your hotel. 

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