Bogota is a maze made of steels, paved roads, and parks. To discover its hidden treasure, you must book some cultural tours or plan stunning day trips from Bogota. Let’s see together where to plan your best Bogota vacations.
Day trips from Bogota: What you must know
Weather in Bogota: Bogota is at 2600m above sea level. It’s cold when the sun doesn’t show up.
Best time for hiking: Bogota is surrounded by the Andean mountains. There are many excellent treks through the Paramo. The driest months are December to March, July to August.
Best time for waterfalls: During the dry seasons (months listed above), waterfall watching is less impressive.
For waterfall lovers: The most famous are Cascada de Cucuruchos (Sueva), La Chorrera, and Salto de Tenquendama. We recommend this excellent tour.
Best hikes around Bogota: There are 3 famous national parks which are Chicaque, Sumapaz, and Chingaza. Use our premium service to plan this experience.
The lovely colonial towns nearby Bogota: Ideal for a romantic 3-day trip, head to Mongui, Villa de Leyva or Guaduas.
Coffee tour: Many travel agencies offer you to visit a coffee farm in Hacienda Coloma. It’s a bit too touristic for our taste. We recommend this tour instead.
Salt Cathedrals: It’s one of the Bogota’s tourist attractions. You can visit Zipaquira or Nemocon (less known). I’m personally not a big fan.
Laguna Guatavita: Famous lake that gave birth to the Eldorado Myth. It can be worth it if you pair it with Zipaquira. All the information here.
More information about Bogota: Read our Bogota travel guide.
Lay back while we do your job: Use our premium service.
Take a look at our table of contents to get more in-depth information about the places aforementioned.
Where to travel after Bogota
Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers for more than 45 Colombian destinations.
Table of contents: Day trips from Bogota
- Stunning waterfalls
- Mysterious salt cathedrals
- Outstanding national parks
- Kick-ass outdoor activities
- Lovely colonial towns
- Start creating your itinerary
- Lay back and let us do the hard job
Day trips from Bogota: Waterfalls
The Andean mountains cover an important proportion of the country. Hence, torrents of water run down the peaks before falling from high cliffs. Some are unbelievable. And I bet my last Kinder Bueno that you won’t dare to get wet. Grab this opportunity to chase waterfalls during mind-blowing day trips from Bogota.
1. Day trip from Bogota: La Chorrera
La Chorrera is the highest interrupted waterfall in Colombia. 590 m! Do you imagine? It’s like if a dude from Dubai was watering people from the last Burj Khalifa’s floor. After a short drive with a local bus, travelers have to cross an eerie cloud forest – take your rain jacket – to appreciate the show. Follow muddy trails and explore a place off the beaten path! Don’t worry; it’s well indicated.
How to travel to La Chorerra from Bogota (+)
- Take the bus direction Choachi around the corner of Calle 6 con Carrera 14 (Near the Police Station). Tell the driver you want to go to La Chorerra.
- Bus Bogota – La Chorerra: 1 hour / 12 500 COP – 1 Way
- You have to walk the 5 km to the entrance: 1h30
- Hike from the entrance to La Chorrera: 1 hour
- Entrance fee:
- 15 000 COP
- + 10 000 COP for a guide (Not mandatory)
- It’s a long day trip from Bogota, you should leave early
- More information
How long to visit la Chorera from Bogota (+)
You need 7-8 hours for this day trip from Bogota
2. Day trip from Bogota: Salto de Tequendama
Salto de Tequendama is easier to access. You just have to walk a few meters after the bus stop. A massive and mysterious scary hotel reconverted into a museum faces the cursed waterfall. Indeed, the story says that hundreds of people came to jump and disappear forever, the dead bodies carried by the strong currents. Plus, the water is extremely polluted, and a strong rotten-egg odor spread around the visitors. Ok, it’s maybe no the best day trip from Bogota. But it could be loads of fun ^^ – I haven’t been yet.
Ready for a damp day trip from Bogota?
How to travel to Salto de Tequendama from Bogota (+)
- Take the bus direction Mesitas near the Transmilenio station San Mateo. Tell the driver you want to go to Salto de Tequendama
- Bus Bogota – Salto de Tequendama: 30 min / 5 000 COP
- More information about the mystery around this waterfall
In both cases, you just have to wave the driver to take the bus back to Bogota. Welcome to Colombia 😉
How long to visit Salto de Tequendama from Bogota (+)
You need at least 3-4 hours for this day trip from Bogota
3. Cascada de Sueva
The Sueva waterfalls ( or Nemusten) are the ideal pick if you plan to camp one day outside of Bogota. You won’t any shops. Take with you everything you need. It’s a bit far for a day trip from Bogota if you don’t have a private vehicle.
How to get the Sueva Waterfall from Bogota (+)
- Take a bus at the Salitre bus terminal in the direction of Junin and ask the driver to stop at the hydroelectric plant of Sueva. | 3h
- Walk the 3 km left and pay the entrance fee – 2 $. You can camp for 3-4 $.
- For the way back, the last bus pass before 5 pm. Don’t miss it.
How long to visit Sueva from Bogota (+)
You need at least an 8h round trip to visit Sueva from Bogota. It’s not worth it for one day.
Day trips from Bogota: Salt Cathedrals
As far as I know, there are only two countries where you can visit Salt Cathedrals: Colombia and Poland. Be a miner was an insanely dangerous and difficult job. To increase their chance of survival, they use to give offerings to deities or saints – Did you hear about El Tio in Potosi, Bolivia?
More information (+)
Back in the 5th century BCE, the Muiscas – Famous indigenous – were already working in the mines of Zapaquira. Salt isn’t only a taste enhancer. It was the best method to preserve the meats from bacteria proliferation. Muiscas became wealthy and powerful thanks to the salt mines.
Around 1930, the Colombian government built the first underground church, dedicated to the Saint Lady of Rosary – The Miner’s big boss. Since the first inauguration improvements have been made.
1. Day trip to Zipaquira
The travelers can quickly get to Zipaquira with public transportation. The salt mine is 5 min away from the center. There are tours in Spanish or English starting every 20-30 min. Inside, naves, marble sculptures and huge crosses are enlightened by mysterious dark blue lights.
The site is impressive. Unfortunately, the ambiance can be spoiled by hundreds of visitors. Then, it looks more like Disneyland.
How to travel to Zipaquira from Bogota (+)
- Take the Transmilenio (Bus) or a taxi to Portal del Norte (Bus station)
- From Portal del Norte, take the bus in the direction of Zipaquira: 45 min / 5000 COP – 1 way
- Follow the signs and walk 10 mins to arrive at the entrance
It’s the full day if you organize this day trip to Bogota by yourself.
2. The less-known Nemocon
There is another Salt Cathedral which is less visited and cheaper. Nemocon is not as glam than Zipaquira, so you won’t get the same “Whaou” effect. However, you’ll get a better authentic experience.
If you are a crazy salt mine lover, you can do both during the same day trip from Bogota. But you should start early!
In Nemocon, tours are only in Spanish.
Stingy Nomads helps you to choose between Zipaquira and Nemocon
How to travel to Nemocon from Bogota (+)
- Take the bus from the main terminal (Salitre) in the direction of Nemocon
- Counter 3 | Every 30 min
- Bus Salitre terminal to Nemocon: 2h
Or you can take the bus from Portal del Norte – Direct bus or a change in Zipaquira
- Bus from Portal del Norte (Bogota) to Zipaquira: 45 min – 1 way
- Bus Zipaquira – Nemocon: 25 min
- In case you don’t have a direct bus to Nemocon, tell the driver that you want to go to Nemocon. He should drop you near the bus stop.
Day trips from Bogota: Paramos & National parks
The 58 National parks of Colombia cover more than 11% of the territory. These protected areas are a paradise for nature lovers.
Around Bogota, travelers can wander into a surprising new environment, called Los Paramos. It is a specific biome that occurs mainly in the Colombian Andes. To put it in simple terms, it’s the tundra/tussock grass/wetland between the timberline and the snowline. The view and landscapes are astonishing.
The Paramos are usually above 3 000 meters sea levels. You should be in a good fit and already acclimated if you plan to hike for days in the Andean mountains. Also, because of a high humidity rate, paramos are an important reserve of freshwater for the country. The weather can suddenly change, so don’t forget your raincoat and sunscreen. Also, rubber boots are the best.
1. Hiking trip from Bogota: Chingaza
Chingaza is located Northeast of Bogota. It’s the principal natural reservoir water of the capital. There are 5 trails authorized for the visitors, and a guide is not obligatory. However, there is no public transport going to the 3 access points, and you should fill an entrance request 15 days before the intended visit day. Moreover, the paths are unclear => It’s better to book a tour.
This day trip from Bogota takes 8 to 10 hours.
How to get to travel to Chingaza from Bogota (+)
2. Hiking trip from Bogota: Sumapaz
Sumapaz is the largest Paramo in the world, located 2 hours south of Bogota. The national park is closed to the public, but tours are leaving from the capital. They bring the visitors to different lagoons as Laguna Los Tunjos. It’s an important reserve for Colombia’s wildlife and an excellent playground for bird lovers.
This day trip from Bogota lasts at least 8 hours.
How to travel to Sumapaz from Bogota (+)
- Take the Transmilenio to Usme then a public transport to the access point. However, It seems the park has been closed to the public since a few years ago.
- Include it in your itinerary thanks to our premium service.
- A 2-hour drive from Bogota with a private car – 1 way
3. Hiking trip from Bogota: Chicaque
The Chicaque Nature Reserve hosts a beautiful cloud forest that you can explore on your own thanks to well-marked trails (Eagle’s peak) or with a local guide. It’s an ideal day trip for birdwatching and observing the Colombian wildlife. Inside the park, visitors can even decide to stay overnight if they’re interested in exploring Chicaque by night. It’s a cool attraction for families, with its canopy and zipline activities.
Visitors can enter until 3 pm.
How to get to Chicaque from Bogota (+)
4. The mysterious Guatavita lake
Guatativa lake was sacred for the Muiscas – Indigenous – and they used to bury some golden artifacts all around during the ceremonies. The Spaniards heard about it during the colonization, and they tried for hundreds of years to empty the lake. Without success. Without gold. With tears and blood.
Do you know the legend of El Eldorado? It all begins with the Guatavita lake!
How to get to Guatavita lake from Bogota (+)
Many tours offer the possibility to visit the Guatavita Lake. You can book it from Bogota or Suesca. But, you also can get there on public transport:
- Take the Transmilenio (Bus) or a taxi to Portal del Norte (Bus station)
- Take the bus to Guatavita but tell the driver you want to stop at Laguna Guatavita: 1h30 / 9000 COP
- Then you have to walk the 7 km to arrive at the entrance or take a private transport for 60 000 COP (in total). Or you can smile and hitchhike.
- Entrance fee: 17 000 COP – With a tour guide
- Schedule time: Tuesday to Sunday – 8h30 am to 4h00 pm
More information about Laguna Guativita (In Spanish)
Day trips from Bogota: Extreme sports
Bogotanos love to exit the capital on the weekend to practice outdoor activities. Many local agencies located in Suesca & Tobia offer interesting group package on Saturday and Sunday. It might be a bit more problematic to plan this type of day trip from Bogota during a weekday.
1. Outdoor Climbing In Suesca
Travelers don’t stop in Suesca for visiting the colonial streets or the church. No, they come here because it’s a paradise for outdoor rock climbing.
A cliff of 4 km long offers more than 400 routes with different levels of difficulties. Las Rocas de Suesca is situated 1 km before the entrance of the village. Along the road, the visitors stop at the climbing agency to rent the pieces of equipment or book a tour. Then, they have to follow the railway on the left to arrive at the foot of the cliffs. On their way back, the survivors can savor a delicious pizza before going back to Bogota.
Even if a day trip from Bogota is doable, I would recommend staying 1 or 2 nights in one of the hostels around. And if you travel on a shoestring budget, there is also a large campsite just in front Las Rocas de Suesca.
Use our premium service to include Suesca in your Colombia itinerary.
How to travel to Suesca from Bogota (+)
- Take the Transmilenio (Bus) or a taxi to Portal del Norte (Bus station)
- Take the bus to Suesca but tell the driver you want to stop at Las Rocas de Suesca: 1 hour / 6700 COP
Or you can take the bus from the main terminal (Salitre)
- Bus Bogota – Suesca: 2 hours / 6700 COP
- Counter 3
Where to stay in Suesca (+)
2. Extreme activities in Tobia
Tobia is where you must travel if you’re an addict to extreme sports. This little town at 3 hours from Bogota offers many activities like rafting, canyoning, and zipline.
Usually, the local agencies only open on the weekend. You can book a day trip from Bogota, although I recommend staying overnight in town to plan several tours. If you want to get there during a weekday, you will have to privatize a tour in advance.
We love working with Kunturmarqa.
How to get to Tobia from Bogota (+)
- Take a bus with the company Santa Fe from Terminal Salitre | 4h
- Or, you can grab this bus at Portal 80. | 2.5h
- It should take 2.5h with a private vehicle from Bogota.
Where to stay in Tobia (+)
- La Gaitana is an affordable option with a pool and access to the river
- Casa de la Estacion is an upscale hotel on the outskirts of Tobia.
Day trips from Bogota: colonial towns
There are many appealing colonial towns in Boyaca and Tolima. The following places are worth staying for 3 days.
1. Mongui and hiking the Paramo de Oceta
Mongui another place to visit near Bogota. It’s a lovely colonial town with the classic combo cobblestone streets, a vast main square, and churches. The village isn’t on the Gringo highway, so you won’t meet many foreigners.
Fun fact, Mongui is the best place to find homemade traditional soccer balls. Shops sell them everywhere in the center.
Paramo de Oceta (+)
From the center, nature lovers can follow the trail going beyond the first mountains. The hike leads the adventurers above 4000 m sea level to admire the breathtaking sceneries of Paramo de Oceta. Moreover, there are petroglyphs and a lagoon on the way up.
Be careful, it’s not an easy hike (more than 1000 m of difference in level), and locals recommend taking a guide. Here is an explanation to do it without a guide.
It takes 7 – 8 hours.
How to get to Mongui from Bogota (+)
- Take the bus from the main terminal (Salitre) to Sogamoso: 3-4 hours / 25 000 COP
- Bus Sogamoso – Mongui: 1 hour / 3 800 COP
How long you should stay in Mongui (+)
Mongui has been elected the Most beautiful village in Boyaca. Visit the different historical sites, the ballon factories and hike to the Paramo de Oceta. It’s a perfect weekend trip from Bogota
Besides, during your trip to Mongui, you can add a stop in Sogamoso to visit the Tota lagoon.
I recommend staying for 3 days
where to stay in Mongui (+)
2. Romantic getaway to Villa De Leyva
Villa de Leyva is a perfect getaway to escape from the big city of Bogota. Among the uneven cobblestone streets, the flourish parks offer ideal places to rest during the afternoon. People sit on benches or on the grass, beneath shady trees to savor a fresh-baked bread. At night, locals meet on the large main square to share a Pola – Bogota’s slang for beer.
Things to do in Villa de Leyva (+)
Many trails are starting from town to explore the surroundings and admire the city from above. And for the bravest, they can hike to El Paramo de Iguaque.
There also is an archaeological museum, somewhat disappointing and weird house made of clay that you can visit. It’s called Terracotta house. Don’t hesitate to rent a bike to move around.
Villa de Leyva is well-known in Colombia. Many lovely hotel and delicious restaurants have opened their door to welcome tourists. Expect to see many visitors in the streets during the weekend.
How to get to Villa de Leyva from Bogota (+)
- Take the bus from Terminal Satelite del Norte– It’s outside the city, a few minutes away from Portal del Norte
- Bus Bogota – Villa de Leyva
- There are a few direct ones (Reina or Valle de Tenza): 3 hours / 25 000 COP
- If you can’t have them, you have to first go to Tunja then take another bus: 4 hours / 27 000 COP
How long you should stay in Villa de Leyva (+)
Villa de Leyva is a town where it’s delightful to rest and explore the surrounding at his own pace. You won’t feel the essence of the place if you rush.
3. Weekend trip to Guaduas
Guadas is a charming colonial town that can be an interesting stop to add to your Colombia itinerary if you decide to travel from Bogota to Medellin.
By stoping in Guaduas, you can visit several colonial buildings steeped in history or plan easy hikes to the Versalle Waterfall or Piedra Capira. There is also a fun Eco-park, Loma Aventura, that opens every weekend.
How to get to Guaduas from Bogota (+)
- Take a direct bus from the bus terminal Salitre | 3h
- Then you can head to Medellin | 6h
Where to stay in Guaduas (+)
So, which day trips from Bogota will you pick?
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