Zipaquirá & Nemocón: Best Bogotá Tours to the Salt Cathedral

Zipaquirá & Nemocón: Best Bogotá Tours to the Salt Cathedral

You are in Bogotá and would like to visit the salt cathedral of Zipaquirá? Or the salt mine of Nemocón?

There are many different ways to organize this experience from the Colombian capital.

For example, you may decide to go by train. Or to add a stop at the Guatavita lake.

Should you go by yourself? Or use the services of a local agency?

All in all, we will give you all the information you need to make the right decisions.

Based on the quality of their services, we have decided to partner with Bogotá Pass. Use our online form to contact them easily and get a 5% discount on all their tours! Find out about their tours here.

T. content: Zipaquirá & Nemocón

How to get to Zipaquirá from Bogotá

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

The salt cathedral of Zipaquirá is one of the most famous day trips around Bogotá.

At the same time, it is not every day that one hears the term “Salt Cathedral.”

It’s intriguing and that’ attracts a lot of people.

Beware, don’t imagine that Zipaquirá is literally a cathedral built of salt – Yes, I plead guilty.

Some of the cavities of this (very) old salt mine have been transformed to look like the inside of a church. For more than 3 years, the architect Garavito worked with many craftsmen and sculptors to recreate biblical scenes (including the Way of the Cross).

Trip from Bogotá to Zipaquirá


Click on the filters below to find out how to get to Zipaquirá from Bogotá ⬇⬇

The bus
The train
The car
Best tours

Bus from Bogotá to Zipaquirá

It’s very easy to get to Zipaquirá from Bogotá (even if your Spanish is limited).

I give you my favorite way:

  1. Take a cab (or Transmilenio) to get to the station.Portal del Norte“. It is in the north of Bogotá. Try to get there a bit after 9 am to avoid the morning traffic jams. | 30 – 45 min from Chapinero.
  2. Portal del Norte is a bus station of the Transmilenio. You have to buy a transport card to be able to get in | Approx. 5 000 COP / Pers
  3. Find a bus to Zipaquirá. There are departures every 20 minutes. It’s a bit complicated to find the bus departure because there are a lot of people and no indication. Ask for directions as you go along. 🙂 | 1h trip / 5 000 COP.
  4. Once in Zipaquirá, go through the city center and walk 10 min to get to the entrance of the salt cathedral.

On the way back from Zipaquirá to Bogotá:

  • I advise you to leave around 3 pm to avoid traffic jams in Bogotá.
  • Don’t lose your Transmilenio bus card. You will need it to get out of Portal del Norte.

The train from Bogotá to Zipaquirá

Yes, there is a train that goes to Zipaquirá. Besides, it’s not just any train.

These are steam locomotives that have been restored especially for the occasion.

However, departures are only on weekends and Public holidays.

  1. Buy your ticket online or directly at the station of La Sabana or Usaquén.
  2. The ticket office hours are from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Check the schedules here.
  3. There is one fixed departure time. See the following picture. Sale = Departure time; Llega = Arrival time.
Horarios tren Zipaquira
Credit: turistren.com

You will then have 4 hours to visit the salt cathedral and the town of Zipaquirá.

Our tips for this day trip Bogotá – Zipaquirá:

  • If you want to take the train to visit Zipaquirá from Bogotá, I advise you to buy their “Paquete Adicional“. You will get an entrance to the cathedral (at no extra charge) and the bus to commute to the train stations.
  • Round-trip train fare for 2020: 63,000 COP/pers.
  • Cathedral entrance for 2020 for foreigners: 60,500 COP/Pers.
  • Shuttle: 8,000 COP/pers
  • Journey by train: 1h30 from Usaquén.

Bogotá to Zipaquirá by car

Do you have your own vehicle?

It will be even easier.

Take the Autopista Norte (highway) and continue in the direction of Cajicá and then Zipaquirá. Do not hesitate to use Waze or Google Map.

However, avoid peak hours (7 – 9 am; 4h30 – 7 pm) otherwise it will be very loooooong.

Once out of Bogotá, it takes 45 minutes to get to Zipaquirá.

Best tours from Bogotá to Zipaquirá

You don’t have a car and you are not inclined to take the bus alone from Portal del Norte?

No worries.

There are many tours to visit Zipaquirá from Bogotá.

It’s up to you to choose whether you want a group visit or a 100% private experience.

We work regularly with the local agency Bogota Pass. They do an excellent job.

Our favorite tours to visit Zipaquirá from Bogotá:

  • Visit Zipaquirá and the Guatavita lake in small groups.
  • Private tour to visit Zipaquirá and then have a bite to eat in the most famous restaurant in Bogotá: Andrés Carne de Res.

When booking an organized tour, you can add a stop at another Colombian highlight.

It saves you time and money. In short, we are fans!

Would you like to know more about the tours to Zipaquirá? Click here to jump directly to this section of the article.


How to get to Nemocón from Bogotá

The salt mine of Nemocón

If you are not too interested in religion and want to get off the beaten track, then I advise you to take a look at Nemocón’s salt mine.

During this one-hour tour, you will leap into the past, through tunnels that are more than 200 years old!

The atmosphere in the Nemocón salt mine is enthralling, with its water mirrors and salt stalactites.

However, tours are only in Spanish (unless you book a private tour from Bogotá).

Take a look at this page if you would like to see more pictures of the Nemocón salt mine.

Trip Bogotá to Nemocón


Click on the filters below to find out how to get to Nemocón from Bogotá ⬇⬇

The bus
The train
The car
Best tours

The bus from Bogotá to Nemocón

This time, you must go to the Salitre Bus terminal or to the Terminal del Norte.

Choose your bus terminal depending on the neighborhood where you stay in Bogotá.

  • Once you arrive at the terminal, take the bus in the direction of Nemocón.
  • Duration: 1h30 | Approx 8 000 COP.

On the way back from Nemocón to Bogotá:

  • I advise you to leave around 3 pm to avoid traffic jams in Bogotá.

The train from Bogotá to Nemocón

The Sabana train also goes to Nemocón! However, departures are only on Sundays and Public holidays.

  1. Buy your ticket online or directly at the station of La Sabana or Usaquén.
  2. The ticket office hours are from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Check the schedules here.
  3. There is one fixed departure time. See the following picture. Sale = Departure time; Llega = Arrival time..
Horarios tren Zipaquira
Credit: turistren.com

You will then have 3 hours to visit the salt mine of Nemocón.

Our tips for this day trip Bogotá – Nemocón:

  • If you want to take the train to visit Nemocón from Bogotá, I advise you to buy their “Paquete Adicional“. You will get an entrance to the salt mine (at no extra charge).
  • Round-trip train fare for 2020: 73,000 COP/pers.
  • Salt mine entrance for 2020: 31,000 COP/Pers.
  • Journey by train: 2h10 from Usaquén (better not to be in a hurry).

Bogotá to Nemocón by car

Take the Autopista Norte (highway) and continue in the direction of Cajicá, then Zipaquirá, and then Nemocón. Do not hesitate to use Waze or Google Map.

However, avoid peak hours (7 – 9 am; 4h30 – 7 pm) otherwise it will be very loooooong.

Once out of Bogotá, it takes 1h15 to get to Nemocón.

Best Tours from Bogotá to Nemocón

The salt mine of Nemocón being much less visited than the one of Zipaquirá, we do not know of any local agency that organizes excursions in small groups.

However, it is possible to book a private tour from Bogotá!

We work regularly with the local agency Bogota Pass. They do an excellent job.

It is even possible to add a stop at Andrés Carne de Res.

Would you like to know more about the tours to visit Nemocón from Bogotá? Click here to jump directly to this section of the article.


How to choose between Zipaquirá and Nemocón

Tours from Bogotá

This is the greatest difficulty when creating your travel itinerary.

You have to make choices.

Let me give you a little help.

  • The easiest tour from Bogotá: Zipaquirá.
  • The most economical tour: Nemocón.
  • The most spectacular salt mine: Zipaquirá.
  • The least touristy salt mine: Nemocón.
  • The tour with explanations in English: Zipaquirá (Nemocón too if it’s a private tour).
  • The tour with more information about the life of the miners: Nemocón.

Tours to visit Zipaquirá and Nemocón from Bogotá

Day Trips from Bogotá

As you can see, it is not very difficult to visit Nemocón or Zipaquirá by yourself from Bogotá.

Although it can be a little stressful/draining to use public transportation (especially if you don’t speak Spanish).

There is an undeniable advantage when you go on a tour to Zipaquirá or Nemocón: You can add a stop at the Guatavita lake or Andrés Carne de Res.

With our travel agency Colombia Insider, we work regularly with the local agency Bogotá Pass.

They are organized, efficient, and adorable. They are 100% recommended.

Note:

  • Bogota Pass has implemented the best biosecurity protocols to deal with COVID 19.
  • All tours include insurance, biosecurity kit, and skip-the-line entries.

Tip: Remember to bring a jacket (it’s cool in the salt mines) and comfortable shoes.

1# The tour to Zipaquirá from Bogotá (small group)

inside Zipaquira Salt Cathedral (1)

It’s always a bit stressful to use public transportation in a big city. This is especially true in Bogotá!

There are always traffic jams, lots of people. It can sometimes be complicated if you are not used to this kind of situation.

That’s why this tour to Zipaquirá is the one most requested by travelers.

Information about the tour to Zipaquirá from Bogotá

What day: Every day!

Departure from Bogotá: At 8:00 am at La Candelaria and at 9:00 am at Parque de la 93.

Duration: 7 hours

Price: 190 000 COP (- 15 000 COP discount if you use our reservation form – Book Now).

Price includes: Private transportation for the group, entrance fees to Zipaquirá & audio-guide in English.

2# The tour Zipaquirá + Guatavita Lake (in small group)

Laguna Guatavita
credit: Bogotá Pass

Do you know the famous legend of Eldorado?

You know, that famous lake filled with gold that the conquistadors searched for hundreds of years.

Well, the legend was born because of the Guatavita lake. Do you want to know why? You have to book the tour in order to find out 😀

Besides, It is only a small detour to make before reaching Zipaquirá.

Information about the tour Guatavita Lake + Zipaquirá from Bogotá

Physical condition: There is a 30 – 45 min hike to reach Guatavita lake. It is not complicated but you will be at an altitude of 3000 m.

Tip: Don’t forget your cap and sunscreen!

What day: Tuesday to Sunday. The laguna Guatavita is closed on Mondays.

Departure from Bogotá: At 7:00 am at La Candelaria and at 8:00 am at Parque de la 93.

Duration: 10 hours

Price: 285 000 COP (- 15 000 COP discount if you use our reservation form – Book Now).

Price includes: Private transportation for the group, entrance fees to Zipaquirá and Laguna Guatavita, audio-guides in English.

3# Zipaquirá + Guatavita Lake Private Tour

Zipaquira Salt cathedrale
Zipaquirá | Credit: Bogota Pass

Would you like a more personalized experience?

You can!

The prices are necessarily higher, but it is a very good option if you travel with your family.

Information about the private tour Guatavita Lake + Zipaquirá from Bogotá

Physical condition: There is a 30 – 45 min hike to reach Guatavita lake. It is not complicated but you will be at an altitude of 3000 m.

Tip: Don’t forget your cap and sunscreen!

What day: Tuesday to Sunday. The laguna Guatavita is closed on Mondays.

Departure from Bogotá: A 8h00 am in front of your hotel.

Duration: 10 hours.

Price: The price varies according to the size of the group. 140 USD/Pers for a group of 4 (- 5% discount if you use our reservation form – Book now).

Price includes: Private transportation, entrance fees to Zipaquirá and Laguna Guatavita, professional guide in English.

4# The private tour Zipaquirá + Andrés Carne de Res

Andres Carne de RES Chía
Andres Carne de RES | Credit: Reg Natarajan

Andrés Carne de Res is one of the best-known restaurants in Bogotá and it is a 100% authentic experience. There are shows, music, people dancing. You won’t get bored.

The problem is that the restaurant is outside the capital, in Chía.

The good news is that it is on the way to Zipaquirá.

Information about the private tour Zipaquirá + Andrés Carne de Res from Bogotá

What day: From Wednesday to Sunday.

Departure from Bogotá: Until 1.00 PM in front of your hotel. It is better to leave late to enjoy the early evening at Andrés Carne de Res.

Duration: 8 hours.

Price: The price varies according to the size of the group. 150 USD/Pers. for a group of 4 (- 5% discount if you use our reservation form – Book Now).

The price includes: Private transportation, entrances Zipaquirá, professional guide in English, one dish to share + 1 beverage/person in Andrés Carne de Res.

5# Nemocón + Andrés Carne de Res private tour

Mine sel Nemocon
Nemocón

If you are more passionate about history than religion, then I advise you to choose Nemocón instead of Zipaquirá.

Thanks to your guide, you will have the explanations in English).

On the way back, make a stop at Andrés Carne de Res!

Information private tour Nemocón + Andrés Carne de Res from Bogotá

What day: From Wednesday to Sunday.

Departure from Bogotá: Until 2.00 PM in front of your hotel. It is better to leave late to enjoy the early evening at Andrés Carne de Res.

Duration: 9 hours.

Price: The price varies according to the size of the group. 130 USD/Pers. for a group of 4 (- 5% discount if you use our reservation form – Book Now).

The price includes: Private transportation, entrance fees to Nemocón, a professional guide in English, one dish to share + 1 beverage/person in Andrés Carne de Res.

6# More tours available!

I just listed my 5 favorite options. However, Bogota Pass offers more tours to Zipaquirá and Nemocón from Bogotá.

  • A private tour to Zipaquirá | -5% discount
  • A private tour to Nemocón | -5% discount
  • A private tour Zipaquirá + Nemocón (for those who can’t decide) | -5% discount

Find all information about group visits here and all information about private tours here.

Book your salt cathedral tour and get 5% off

réserver booking

We have a partnership with the agency Bogota Pass. By using our online form, you get directly:

  • 5% discount on their private tours.
  • 15 000 COP of discount/pers on their group tours.

Note: Bogotá Pass has all the bio-security protocols to operate during this complicated period of COVID-19. Bogota Pass has got the Check-in Certificado certification (biosecurity protocols at the national level) and Safe Travels which is at the international level.

Cancellation conditions:
For a refund of your deposit, you must cancel with a minimum of
+ 24 hours in advance for group tours
+ 4 days in advance for private tours

1# Steps to book your tour to Zipaquirá or Nemocón

  1. Click on the “start” button of our form (this is point 2#🔽).
  2. Answer a few questions (first name, last name, dates, telephone, etc.). It takes 2 minutes.
  3. Choose the tour you want to do.
  4. You will receive an email from us to confirm that your request has been taken into account.
  5. Wait for Bogotá Pass to contact you within 24 hours.
  6. You will then have to pay a deposit to reserve your spot. Payments by credit card and Paypal are allowed.
    • 35,000 COP/pers. for group tours.
    • 50% of the total amount for private tours.
  7. Payment of the remaining balance in cash or credit card once on site.

2# Our online form

Why Book a Tour to Zipaquirá or Nemocón

Questions (1)

Tours from Bogotá

We always advise our clients to use Colombian buses to get around the surrounding villages.

There are regular departures and the prices are very affordable.

On the other hand, journeys take longer and it is necessary to communicate in Spanish (or with your hands).

If it is only public transportation that is a problem for you, then a group visit to Zipaquirá + Guatavita lake is the perfect solution.

In the end, the price difference is less than 20$ if you go by yourself.

And you would never have had the time to visit these two places in a single day.

As for private tours, this is the ideal option to have more flexibility and get off the beaten track – like visiting Nemocón in English and making a stop at the restaurant Andrés Carne de Res.

Don’t hesitate if your budget allows it!

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Tour Zipaquira Nemocon from Bogota

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