Things To Do In Villa De Leyva (2020): The Complete List

Things To Do In Villa De Leyva (2020): The Complete List
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Would you like to know the best thing to do in Villa de Leyva to be able to decide how long you should stay?

I stayed over 2 weeks in Villa De Leyva, Boyaca. And I have to admit, there are a lot more activities than I was thinking.

Let see together the best Villa de Leyva’s highlights

Things to do in Villa de Leyva: What you must know

Where is Villa de Leyva: It’s a small and lovely colonial town, in the department of Boyaca, situated at a 4-hour drive from Bogota.

How to get to Villa de Leyva: Read our Villa de Leyva travel guide for all the transportation options.

Romantic getaway: The peaceful vibe, the cobblestone streets, delicious restaurants, and SPA hotels are perfect for ending a trip.

Rest in beautiful hotels: My favorites are this one and this one.

Biking tour: Rent a bike and go on your own (or with a guide) to visit the various highlights around Villa de Leyva.

National Park: From Villa de Leyva, you can hike the Paramo of Iguaque.

Extreme sports: Go down a 40-m deep hole thanks to a rope.

Boyaca Colonial towns: There are several lovely colonial towns around Villa de Leyva, Raquira being the most famous one. We recommend you book this great tour with Xplora!

Dinosaurs: There are 2 Dinosaur museums with impressive fossils.

How long should you stay: I recommend 3 days.

If you’re in a rush: You will love these guys.

Discover our guide on Villa de Leyva to access, in a few clicks, all the practical information to visit this colonial town.

Read our Villa de Leyva travel guide

Where to travel after Villa de Leyva

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers HERE

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Table of Contents: Things to do in Villa de Leyva

  1. Things to do In Villa de Leyva
  2. Activities around Villa de Leyva
  3. Where are the best hikes?
  4. How long should you stay
  5. Start creating your itinerary
  6. Lay back while we do the hard job

Best Things To Do in the city of Villa De Leyva

My first piece of advice is: don’t rush if you want to appreciate a Colombian colonial town.

1. Grab a cup of coffee on the plaza mayor

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

One of my favorite things to do in Colombia is to chill in lovely colonial towns.

I wake up early in the morning when the air is still fresh, and I wander between the colorful alleyways. Then, I choose a cafe where I can sit. It’s usually around the main square.

And, with my hot tinto – coffee – between my hands, I observe the passerby. It’s a parade of proud men wearing cowboy’s hats, smiling old grandma with their fruit basket and young kids in uniforms going to school.

It’s a joyful and precious moment.

Then I start planning my day.

My point is that you should take the time to enjoy where you are. You’re not Joe Dalton. You don’t have to rush because of Lucky Luke.

Plaza Mayor Villa de Leyva
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2. Chill out in the various parks

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Park Antonio Nariño is 2 street away from the main square. Young students use to seat on the grass and play guitars.

My favorite thing to do was to buy a chocolate bread from a Panaderia Francesa. There are two of them in Villa de Leyva. I prefer Astral Bakery around the corner.

3. Casa Museo Antonio Nariño

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Antonio Nariño was an intellectual who fought for the independence of his country during the nineteenth century. He also translated from French to Spanish the Declaration of the Rights of Man to spread the document all over the country. Antonio is one of the National Hero Of Colombia.

The museum is a reproduction of his house during his lifetime. The explanations are in English.

  • Price: Free
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Location: Near the Park Antonio Nariño

4. Cool off inside beautiful churches

Churches are interesting, and it’s always impressive to admire the sculptures on the buildings. But what I like the most about it is that I can escape the heat for a few minutes 🙂

  • Church of Our Lady of Rosary – Plaza Mayor
  • Iglesia del Carmen – 2 min from Plaza Mayor
Main Plaza Villa de Leyva
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We recommend: Visit Villa de Leyva with a local guide

5. Shop during the Saturday Market

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Every Saturday, there is a market selling many fruits, clothes, and street food. It’s noisy and colorful. I love it. It’s from 5 am to 4 pm.

I recommend you to order some foods – Chorizo, potatoes, Yuka – and sit at the table with the other locals for breakfast. Be part of the scenery.

Go up the Calle 12 or 13 in the direction of El Santo –

colourful vendor stand at night during the annual fiesta of the colonial town Villa - Barna Tanko
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Credit: Shutterstock – Barna Tanko[/caption]

6. Eat delicious meals

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Because Villa de Leyva is highly visited by Bogotanos on weekends, there are many delicious restaurants. We tell you how to come from Bogota.

Some are tourist traps. Fortunately for you, we spent our evenings to try most of them – What a terrible job ^^.

Our favorite restaurants (+)

  • Mercado Municipal is an upscale – but affordable – restaurant in Villa de Leyva. The food is fantastic, like the service.
  • Cocina de la Gata serves delicious lunch for 14 000 COP
  • Cafe Los Gallos is perfect for breakfast or a quick meal
  • La Feria is my favorite restaurant. Delicious specialties from Boyaca and a fantastic atmosphere. Open Thu – Sat
  • Italia is ideal if you’re starving for an excellent pizza

7. Get an soothing massage

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

As I told you before, Villa de Leyva is perfect for travelers looking for a romantic stay.

Therefore, it’s super easy to book a massage.

Check with the following SPA hotels :

Read our Villa de Leyva travel guide

Map of the things to do in Villa De Leyva

Activities Villa de leyva
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It’s Saturday Market and not Sunday Market

What To Do on the outskirt of Villa De Leyva

There are many activities you can do by yourself around the colonial town. Don’t hesitate to combine them into 1 or 2-day excursion.

First, decide if you want to walk or rent a bicycle. Ciclotrip offers rental bike services with a perfect map or guided tours.

When it’s done, decide the places you would like to visit.

For me, none of them is unmistakable. But I really enjoyed bicycling in the countryside of Colombia.

List of the things do around Villa De Leyva:

  • Casa Terracota | House made of Clay
  • Pozo Azules | Artificial tiny lakes
  • Museo Paleontológico | Fossil Collection
  • El Fosil Museum for the Kronosaurus
  • Vineyard Ain Karim | Villa de Marques
  • Santa Ecce Homo | Convent with stones and fossils
  • Hoyo de la Romera | Rappelling

1. Visit Casa Terracota

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Casa Terracotta is a big house made of clay that travelers can visit. The architecture – that reminds Gaudi’ style – is interesting and it’s fun to get “lost” inside.

Price and duration (+)

  • Where: 20 min walk away from Plaza Mayor
  • Duration: 30 min
  • Price: 15 000 COP (Adult) & 8 000 COP (Child).
Terracota house Villa De Leyva
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2. Admire Pozo Azules

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Pozo Azules are artificial pools with blue-green water. It’s not worth it to plan a trip to get there only, but you could stop if it’s on your way. Don’t expect to observe pretty water-colors if the sky is cloudy.

Price and duration (+)

  • Where: 40 min walk away from Plaza Mayor
  • Duration: 45 min
  • Price: 7 000 COP
Pozo Azul near Villa de leyva
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3. Visit the Museo Paleontogico

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Museo Paleontogico is a small museum with well-preserved fossils and a few explanations. 50 million years ago, there was an ocean instead of Villa De Leyva. Thus, the surroundings are a paradise for the Paleontologists. It’s a cool place for kids too.

There are some tours but you need to speak Spanish.

Price and duration (+)

  • Where: 1 hour walk away from Plaza Mayor
  • Duration: 3o min
  • Price: 6 000 COP
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Credit: Shutterstock – Matyas Rehak

4. Visit the museo El Fosil

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Near the Museo Paleontogico, travelers can enjoy an impressive fossil of a Kronosaurus – an Old-huge-ugly-dangerous crocodile – at the fossil Museum.

Price and duration (+)

  • Where: 5 min walk away from Museo Paleontogico
  • Duration: 30 min
  • Price: 8 000 COP

5. Drink wines at the Winery Villa de Marques

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Boyaca is one of the only regions in Colombia that makes wine. I tried a couple of them. There is room for improvement ^^

In Villa De Marques, you can visit the wine-growing holding and taste two of their wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc & Merlot). They were actually correct!

It’s a lovely place to stop by if you like to wander barefoot between the vines with a glass of wine in your hand.

They also offer a quick talk to explain to the visitors how they make wine.

Price and duration (+)

  • Where: 10 Km from Villa de Leyva – Before Santa Ecce Homo
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Price: From 22 000 to 49 000 COP per pers.
Vineyard Villa de Marques
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Credit: @Karen_the_adicts

6. Visit the convent Santa Ecce Homo

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Santa Ecce Homo is a massive convent made of stone-and-adobe coming from the valley. Thus, travelers can admire many fossils and ammonites stuck in the rocks. 

Inside, there is a representation of the Christ with his eyes open and a pleasant courtyard. 

Price and duration (+)

  • Where: 13 Km from Villa De Leyva
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Price: 5 000 COP
Courtyard of a convent Santo Ecce Homo Villa de Leyva
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7. Hoyo de la Romera: Rappelling and tree climbing

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Hoyo de la Romera is an impressive deep hole based near Santa Sofia, 1 hour away from Villa de Leyva.

Once on-site, you have to rappel 40m down to arrive at the base of the cave. Then the guide speaks about stalactites and stalagmites while you wander around. The view from the bottom is quite awesome.

But what comes down must go up. To this end, you have to use ropes and tree roots to reach the top!

We did this activity with 90 Grados and it was a lot of fun. They took care of everything from transport to the snacks.

Price and duration (+)

  • Where: 20 km from Villa de Leyva
  • Duration: 5 – 7 hours
  • Price: 160 000 COP/ Pers
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All-focus

Hiking around Villa De Leyva

From lagunes to short walks, there are many possibilities for hiking lovers:

  • Mirador El Santo | 30 min
  • La Periquera | 2-3 hours
  • Laguna & Paramo de Iguaque | Day trip

1. Mirador El Santo

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

It’s an easy hike from town. Walk in the direction of the Marketplace and the Stadium. Then, follow the path to El Santo

From there, there is a beautiful viewpoint of Villa De Leyva and the surroundings. I love to do it early in the morning before breakfast. 

Price and duration (+)

  • How to get there: Go up the Calle 12 or 13 then follow the path
  • Duration: 30 min – 1 way
  • Difficulty: Easy
View Point from El Santo things to do in Villa de Leyva
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2. The waterfalls in La Periquera 

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

La Periquera is an ecological park with two lovely waterfalls where you can swim. It’s a calm and pleasant place surrounded by the vegetation. Moreover, the park also offers some adventure activities for the kids. 

The place is also famous for its magic mushrooms.

Tips, Price, and duration (+)

  • How to get there:
    • Take the shuttle at the bus terminal in Villa de Leyva in the direction of Gachantivá
    • The shuttle usually leaves when it’s full – Around 5 000 COP
    • Tell the driver you want to stop at la Periquera – 40 min bus drive
    • Then 25 min walk – Follow the signs
  • Entrance: 20 000 COP
  • Duration: 2-3 hours – Including the stops at the waterfalls
  • Difficulty: Easy

Since 2019, it seems you can’t hike alone in la Periquera. You must wait for a tour at the entrance.

Waterfall in La Periquera
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Credit: @Luisgalvisa

3. Laguna & Paramo Iguaque

Things to do in Villa de Leyva

Paramo de Iguaque is a hike for mountain lovers. The sceneries are astonishing, and it’s a great place to discover typical Colombian nature. Once at the top, you are rewarded with a beautiful lagoon – If no pouring rain.

The climate is always humid in Los Paramos. Expect walking on muddy paths and always carry with you a rain jacket, water, a hat, and sunscreen. 

Also, you have to start hiking between 8 – 10 am. The sooner is the better 😉

You don’t need to hire a guide for the Laguna Iguaque hike, but you can book a tour from an agency in town if you don’t want to bother with public transport. 

You can also organize private transport with the vehicles staying at the bus terminal. It should cost 100 000 COP – round trip.

Tips, price, and duration (+)

How to get there:

  • From the bus terminal take the bus to Casa De Piedra at 7 am: 5 000 COP
  • Walk to the entrance Santuario de Flora y Fauna Iguaque – 4 km
  • ChipViejero explains you everything – In Spanish

Entrance: 49 000 COP

Duration: 5-7 hours for the hike

Difficulty: Moderate

How long should you stay in Villa De Leyva?

As you can see, there are lots of activities and tours around Villa De Leyva. Moreover, it’s essential to stay at least 1 night to enjoy the colonial town’s vibe.

Otherwise, it will only be another tick on your to-do list. 

Silly.

An ideal itinerary for visiting Villa de Leyva would be:

  • Day 1 – Early in the morning: Departure from Bogota to Villa De Leyva
  • Day 1 – Afternoon: Wandering in the alleyways, lovely cafe, churches, hike to El Santo. 
  • Day 2: Activity outside Villa de Leyva
  • Day 3: Departure in the afternoon

And you, what would you do in Villa de Leyva?

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

All you need to create your itinerary

Why bother if we do it better?

Have fun while we do the hard job

Pinterest & Affiliation (+)

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Things to do in Villa de Leyva
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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It’s a nice gesture to thanks us for the many hours we put in Tomplanmytrip 🙂 
Things to do Villa De Leyva
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I fell in love with Colombia 5 years ago. Through this website, we help every month thousands of travelers to plan their trip to this beautiful country. Use our Premium service on the site www.Colombia-insider.com if you want us to take care of everything for the organization of your trip to Colombia.

One comment

  1. Nice article! One of my favorite cities in Colombia is Villa de Leyva. It has a great history, culture and landscapes. I loved to walk through its main square and market, and also I loved to try its delicious food. I also liked a lot the Casa terracota, it is a really impressive architecture piece of art. If you want to save some money, you can travel by bus from Bogota to Villa de Leyva, I bought my bus ticket here: https://www.redbus.co/en/city/villa-de-leyva-bus-tickets

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