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.
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
More than 3000 travelers have already used our Colombia travel guide
I’ve been exploring Colombia since 2015 and put all my knowledge into one Ebook. It’s free and accessible now. 👇
Is the day trip from Villa De Leyva To 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.
- I love Villa De Leyva, but you will miss half the fun if you only spend the afternoon in town. You go there for the atmosphere. Therefore, you have to find a lovely colonial building and spend the night in Villa de Leyva.
- There are better activities to do around Bogota than spending 7 hours in a car
- You will waste your money and time.
To convince you to stay longer, I wrote a kick-ass list of the things to do in town.
Now, let’s 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
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 35 000 COP (2022)
Tip: Always ask at the counter if the bus is a direct one.
As you can see, Rapido El Caarmen 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 can take the bus Transmilenio or an Uber or Taxis.
There are two options to get to Villa De Leyva:
Direct buses with Expreso Gaviota or Valle de Tenza: Around 3.5 hours / 30 000 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
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 $
3. The Comfortable Way – Book a tour
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.
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 for 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.
Don’t choose your hotel randomly anymore
the most practical website about Villa de Leyva trip, no unnecessary info, thank you
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.
Unlike in the US, uber drivers want cash and don’t accept the credit card payment from your uber app.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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…
It’s indeed complicated always to be right about the Bus schedule as they might change regularly. I’ve made the update. Thanks!
Gracias! I’m from Colombia and I had no idea about all this information!
You’re welcome Catalina! I hope the schedules didn’t change too much because of the COVID situation.
35.000 fare from Bogotá Salitre to Villa de Leyva on Omega Bus in May 2022 (a Monday). Scheduled at 1:15pm and left 1:27pm. I was the only passenger on the bus when it left but he picked up several more passengers on the way through Bogota.
Note that he stopped at the Terminal del Norte on the way (2:15pm arrival there and we were stopped for 15 minutes). He charged those passengers 30,000 pesos instead of the 35,000 I had paid at Salitre. I definitely would have been better off taking the Transmilenio up to the northern terminal to save time and money. I could have just started the trip there instead of at Salitre. This may be considered direct, but it isn’t non-stop.
I thought once the bus was completely full he would then go nonstop to Villa de Leyva. But he didn’t …. some people only got on the bus to go about 5 miles and then got off. So there was always at least one empty seat. This bus drove through Tunja, which made the trip longer. We finally arrived about 5:45 p.m.
The windows open. Only 4 passengers were wearing face masks; the driver wasn’t, but at least he was friendly. Comfortable small bus with two seats on the left, an aisle, and one seat on the right except for the first and last row. No Wi-Fi, no plugs or USB to charge cell phones.
Whaou, thanks for taking the time to write this detailed report 🙂