How to get from Bogota to Villa de Leyva (2021)?

How to get from Bogota to Villa de Leyva (2021)?

Is there an easy way to travel to Villa de Leyva from Bogota?

Many bus companies serve Villa de Leyva. Therefore it’s a bit complicated to find the best options.

After the reading of this post, you should be able to find the ideal Villa De Leyva – Bogota’s bus for your itinerary.

Bogota – Villa de Leyva: What you must know

Where is Villa de Leyva: It’s a small colonial town in the region of Boyaca, 3.5h up north from Bogota. Find more colonial towns here.

Where to take the bus in Bogota: Terminal Salitre or Terminal del Norte.

Can you do a round trip from Bogota: Yes, but I don’t recommend it. Check out this tour if you absolutely want to do it in 1 day.

Private transportation trip to Villa de Leyva: Around 110$ | 3h

Fastest bus Bogota – Villa de Leyva: Flota Valle de Tenza & Reina, from 6 am to 5 pm (Terminal Norte). 3.5h

How long should you stay in Villa de Leyva: 3 days

Villa de Leyva travel guide

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

Travel easier between destinations: If you don’t speak Spanish and worry about taking public transportation, we have the solution.

We have a partnership with the company Colombian Buddy. They organize private transportation throughout Colombia. They speak good English and answer quickly.

Use our online form to contact them and get 5% discount on all their services.

T. Contents: How to travel to Villa de Leyva

Is the day trip Villa de Leyva – Bogota worth it?

The answer is NO. You should sleep at least one night in Villa De Leyva.

You need at least 3h30 to travel from Bogota to Villa de Leyva.

Wanna spend 7h00 in a car? It would be silly.

To convince you to stay longer, I wrote a kick-ass list of the things to do in town.

Now, let see the different options to travel to Villa de Leyva

How to get from Bogota to Villa de Leyva

There are different options to get to Villa de Leyva in Colombia.

1. The Backpacker way | Cheaper but longer

From Bogota to Villa de Leyva

There are two terminals in Bogota where you can catch a bus to Villa de Leyva:

  • The main Terminal: Salitre
  • Terminal Satelite Del Norte

The Terminal Salitre is located in the center of Bogota. Hence, it takes more time to get to Villa De Leyva. However, there are more bus options and it’s closer to Chapinero and La Candelaria.

I don’t book these buses in advance when traveling to Colombia. I just show up at the bus terminals as they leave frequently.

  • The direct buses from Bogota to Villa de Leyva that pass through Chiquinquira or Arcabuco can take up to 6 hours. Avoid them.
  • The two fastest bus companies are Valle de Tenza and Reina

Main Terminal Salitre in Bogota (+)

7 bus companies are going to Villa de Leyva from Bogota. They don’t pass through the same cities. Let’s rank them by duration:

  • 3h47, via Samaca: Aguila, Transporte Alianza Ltda, Cundinamarca, Tisquesusa
  • 3h47 via Tunja: Flota Valle De Tenza
  • 4h23 via Raquira: Rapido El Carmen
  • 4h36: Via Zipaquira: La Verde

Prices: Around 25 000 COP

Tip: Always ask at the counter if the bus is a direct one.

As you can see, Rapido El Carmen is perfect if you want to visit Raquira – Lovely handicrafts – on your way to Villa De Leyva.

Or La Verde, if you prefer to explore the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira.

Terminal Del Norte in Bogota (+)

It’s a bit complicated to get to the terminal Del Norte by using public transport. You have to walk alongside the road. Therefore I always take an Uber or Taxis.

Taxi to Terminal Del Norte: 30 – 50 min / 25 000 COP

There are two options to get to Villa De Leyva:

Direct buses with Expreso Gaviota or Valle de Tenza: Around 3.5 hours / 25 000 COP.

Or take a bus in the direction of Tunja then another one to Villa de Leyva – Departures are more frequent:

  • Bogota – Tunja | 3.5 hours – Around 20 000 COP
  • Tunja – Villa De Leyva | 1 hour – Around 7 000 COP

The last buses leaving from Tunja to Villa de Leyva are at 6h30 pm. 

2. The Fastest Way – Take a private vehicle

From Bogota to Villa de Leyva

A taxi or an Uber will accept to drive you to Villa de Leyva, but he won’t wait for you all day – Except if you pay him.

It could be a good option if you land in Bogota but you don’t want to stay in the capital. Order a private vehicle from the airport El Dorado to Villa de Leyva.

Uber or Taxi Bogota – Villa de Leyva: 3 hours / Around 140 $

Travel easier between destinations: If you don’t speak Spanish and worry about taking public transportation, we have the solution.

We have a partnership with the company Colombian Buddy. They organize private transportation throughout Colombia. They speak good English and answer quickly.

Use our online form to contact them and get 5% discount on all their services.

3. The Comfortable Way – Book a tour

From Bogota to Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is one of the most well-known colonial towns. Colombians love to get there for the weekends, especially if Mondays or Fridays are a public holiday.

Hence, there are many tours organizing expeditions from Bogota.

Don’t make a day trip to Villa De Leyva from Bogota. You will wast your time.

Prices & Durations with a tour (+)

But if you’re in a rush, you can leave early and come back late the next day. Some tours offer the possibility to stop at the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira or/and in Raquira for buying Handicrafts.

There are some insane prices on the internet. Don’t pay 500$ per pers for a 2-day trip to Villa De Leyva. It’s a rip-off.

4. From the Bogota Airport to Villa de Leyva

The easiest way is to take a taxi or private transport. Around 350 000 COP /1hour

If you decide to use public transportation, it will be cheaper but longer.

Prices and durations (+)

  • Taxi from the Main Terminal – Salitre: 20 min / Around 10 000 COP
  • Bus Bogota – Villa De Leyva: 4 hours / 25 000 COP

If you don’t get a direct bus Bogota – Villa De Leyva, you will have to stop in Tunja. Don’t leave too late from Bogota – Avoid after 3 pm -. Otherwise, you could be stuck in Tunja.

Read more: Our Bogota travel guide

From Zipaquira To Villa De Leyva

On your way to Villa de Leyva from Bogota, you can visit the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira. You have to take the bus via Chiquinquira / Zipaquira.

Then, you have to catch another bus to Villa De Leyva.

There are two options:

  • You pray to get a direct bus to Villa De Leyva: 2 hours / Around 15 000 COP
  • Bus to Chiquinquira then bus to Villa de Leyva: 2 buses / 2h30 / Around 15 000 COP

Just pick the first one coming on the main road.

How To Get From Tunja To Villa De Leyva

Some buses leaving from Bogota to Villa De Leyva stop in Tunja.  Then, you will have to take a bus from Tunja to Villa de Leyva.

Don’t worry, it’s super easy. They almost take you by the hand to put you on the next bus.

Bus Tunja – Villa De Leyva: Around 1 hour / 7 000 COP

How to Get From Raquira to Villa De Leyva

Many buses leave from Raquira to Villa De Leyva. Ask at the counter desk the bus schedules to Villa de Leyva.

Bus Raquira – Villa De Leyva: 45 min / 5 000 COP

From Villa de Leyva to Barichara and San Gil

First, you have to travel back to Tunja. Once there, grab any buses in the direction of San Gil.

When you will arrive in San Gil, you must leave the main bus terminal – outside the city – and take a taxi for another terminal called Terminalito.

Then, catch a bus in the direction of Barichara.

Prices and durations (+)

  • Bus Villa de Leyva – Tunja | Every 15 min | 1 hour | 7 000 COP
  • Bus Tunja – San Gil | Every hour till 6 pm | 5 hours | Around 25 000 COP
  • Taxi Bus terminal to Terminalito (San Gil) | 10 min | Around 6 000 COP
  • Bus San Gil – Barichara | Every hour, till 7 pm | 1 hour | Around 7 000 COP

Another alternative is to travel by private vehicle from Villa de Leyva:

  • Villa de Leyva – San Gil: 4 hours | 350 000 COP
  • Villa de Leyva – Barichara: 5 hours | 380 000 COP

From Medellin to Villa De Leyva

There is no direct bus Medellin – Villa De Leyva. You have to go back to Bogota or San Gil first.

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  1. Rudy says:

    Excellent article! Here is our experience on Sunday, December 30, 2018 – sorry with a lot more words:
    We asked our hotel to call a taxi and bring us to Terminal del Norte. The hotel said it is Sunday and the downtown terminal will be crazy crowded and all busses to Villa de Leyva will go from downtown to Terminal Norte anyway.
    At Terminal Norte, there were long lines for all the bus companies. We saw 2 ticket counters from Reina and stood in line for those. I confirmed with the person in front of me that this was indeed the Reina line and he said yes. He then asked where we go and I said Villa de Leyva. He was a little skeptical as the writing on the Reina ticket booth said nothing about Villa de Leyva. After a few minutes and talking to his wife, he pointed us to the Valle de Tenza booth which clearly said “Villa de Leiva”, so we got in their line. One of the 2 ticket agents saw me and pointed to the “Villa de Leiva” sign and after I nodded he signaled me to jump the line line and buy my tickes immediately. I paid 25,000 pesos per person. After I asked, he confirmed that this is a direct bus and he said that we should rush to bus stop 4 (the Valle de Tenza stop) in the departure area. My ticket said bus 534 departs at 10:00am and ticket sold at 10:10am. The bus arrived at 10:40am and we left at 10:50am.
    BTW, during the time we waited for our bus besides us, in bus stop 3, were 2 buses that arrived and left from Alianza (another bus company) that had Villa de Leyva signs on them.
    Our bus had 20 seats, 19 for passengers and 1 for the driver and all were sold. We may have bought the last 2 seats on this bus. I think the bus probably had A/C, but it was never turned on and the windows could not be opened, so it got warm. The only air flow came from the open driver’s window. The seats were very soft and comfortable and I had enough leg room and I am 6’4″.
    Because another passenger asked, there was a brief bathroom break a few minutes after Samaca.
    We arrived at the Villa de Leyva bus terminal at 1:30pm.
    There were at least 10 buses. The bus station is about 3 blocks away from Plaza Mayor.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for your Inputs, Rudy!

      Yes, I heard some Uber drivers won’t accept the credit card payment. But I think it’s rare or it’s maybe when the distances are very long (Like Bogota – Villa de Leyva). Personally, I’ve never had problems 🙂

      • Rudy says:

        We had planned to take the bus and changed our mind at the last minute to try uber. That was the only uber ride we tried. Yes, as you suspected, our plan was to go from Bogota to Villa de Leyva by uber.

  2. Rudy says:

    On the way back to Bogota, we used Reina. The bus was very similar with 19 passenger and 1 driver seat.
    Many of the side windows could be opened, but it seems that the legroom was smaller. The seats were only half sold, so the bus stopped 4 times to pick up additional passengers on the way to Tunja They all left in Tunja.
    We left Villa de Leyva at noon, arrived at the Tunja bus terminal at 1:10pm and departed at 1:15pm.
    On the way to Bogota, the bus stopped many times to pick up and drop off more passengers. Some even had to stand.
    The bus did not stop at Terminal Norte, but a little North as some people wanted to get off.
    We arrived at the downtown bus terminal at 4pm. There are supermarkets and restaurants nearby. It was only an 8km or 10,000 Peso taxi ride from there to our hotel near the airport.

  3. Andrzej says:

    I am at terminal salitre now at 12 30 (Monday) and the next direct bus from any company is at 14 15 so you dont have the updated schedule…

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