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The Best 7 Day Trips From Bogota, Colombia


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Mari Barba



Colombia is a country of vibrant culture, rich history, and stunning natural landscapes. From the bustling streets of Bogota to the tranquil coffee plantations of the countryside, there is no shortage of amazing places to explore. If you find yourself in Bogota, the capital city, you’re in luck – there are several incredible day trips that will allow you to experience the beauty and diversity of Colombia within just a few hours’ drive.


These day trips offer a chance to escape the city and immerse yourself in the country’s natural wonders and historical sites. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking some relaxation, there is something for everyone. From visiting a mesmerizing underground cathedral to exploring ancient ruins and stunning deserts, here are the best day trips from Bogota.


So, if you’re ready for an adventure beyond the city limits, pack your bags and get ready to discover the hidden gems of Colombia. In this article, we will take you through seven exceptional day trips that will provide an unforgettable experience and allow you to create lasting memories in this beautiful country.


Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

Located just an hour outside of Bogota, the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral is a mesmerizing architectural wonder. This underground cathedral, carved into the depths of a salt mine, is a unique blend of religion and engineering. It is not only a popular tourist attraction but also an active place of worship.


The journey to the Salt Cathedral begins with a descent into the mine, where you’ll navigate through a series of beautifully lit tunnels. As you make your way deeper, you’ll encounter stunning sculptures, impressive architectural elements, and breathtaking natural formations made entirely of salt. The cathedral itself is a masterpiece, with towering columns, a magnificent nave, and a large cross at its center.


One of the highlights of the Salt Cathedral is the Stations of the Cross, a series of fourteen chapels representing Jesus Christ’s journey to the crucifixion. Each chapel is beautifully crafted and adorned with salt sculptures, creating a truly spiritual and awe-inspiring experience.


In addition to exploring the cathedral, visitors can also venture out into the surrounding Salt Park. Here, you can take a scenic hike through the salt mines, learn about the history and significance of salt mining in the region, and enjoy panoramic views of the lush landscape.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a religious pilgrim, or simply someone seeking an unforgettable experience, the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral is a must-visit destination. It offers a unique combination of cultural, architectural, and natural beauty that will leave you in awe.


Villa de Leyva

Nestled amidst the picturesque Colombian countryside, Villa de Leyva is a charming and well-preserved colonial town located approximately three hours north of Bogota. Known for its cobblestone streets, white-washed buildings, and historic architecture, Villa de Leyva is a place frozen in time.


As you stroll through the town’s main square, Plaza Mayor, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back to the colonial era. The plaza, one of the largest in South America, is surrounded by beautiful colonial-style buildings and is the perfect place to relax and soak in the laid-back atmosphere. It’s also home to several restaurants, cafes, and artisanal shops, making it a hub of activity.


Villa de Leyva is not just about its colonial charm – it is also surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and exploring the nearby countryside. One of the must-see attractions is El Fósil, a museum showcasing the remains of a giant marine reptile that lived millions of years ago.


If you’re interested in history, a visit to the Casa Terracota is a must. This unique house, entirely made of clay, is a true architectural wonder. You can take a guided tour to learn about the construction techniques and the artist’s vision behind this remarkable structure.


Whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in the town’s historical ambiance, exploring the natural surroundings, or simply indulging in the local cuisine, Villa de Leyva is a destination that offers a little something for everyone. It is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, and a place where you can truly unwind and connect with Colombia’s cultural heritage.


Guatavita Lake

Located just a short drive from Bogota, Guatavita Lake is a place of legendary beauty and historical significance. This stunning natural wonder has captured the imagination of explorers and historians for centuries, as it is believed to be the site of the legendary El Dorado.


The lake itself is a sight to behold, surrounded by lush greenery and nestled in a crater. Its calm and tranquil waters reflect the beauty of the surrounding landscape, creating a mesmerizing and serene atmosphere. The area is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a paradise for nature lovers.


But it’s not just the natural beauty that makes Guatavita Lake special. It is also steeped in history and myth. The Muisca people, indigenous to the area, considered the lake sacred and believed that it was the dwelling place of the gods. They performed elaborate rituals and ceremonies on the lake, including the famous “El Dorado” ceremony, where a chief covered in gold dust would adorn a raft and offer precious treasures to the gods.


Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the lake, where they will learn about the history and significance of the Muisca people and their traditions. A hike up to the viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.


For those seeking adventure, there are also opportunities for water activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding on the lake. It’s a great way to experience the beauty of the lake up close and create unforgettable memories.


Whether you’re interested in the history and culture of the Muisca people or simply want to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty, Guatavita Lake is a day trip from Bogota that should not be missed. It offers a unique blend of history, mythology, and natural splendor that will leave you in awe.


Coffee Region

If you’re a coffee lover, then a day trip to the Coffee Region from Bogota is an absolute must. Located in the central part of the country, this region is famous for producing some of the world’s finest coffee beans. It is a paradise for coffee enthusiasts and offers a unique opportunity to learn about the coffee-making process and indulge in the rich flavors of Colombian coffee.


One of the best places to visit in the Coffee Region is the town of Manizales. Here, you can take a tour of a coffee plantation and see firsthand how the beans are grown, harvested, and processed. Experienced guides will walk you through the whole coffee-making process, from the cultivation of the coffee plants to the roasting and grinding of the beans. You can even try your hand at picking coffee cherries and learn the art of making the perfect cup of coffee.


Aside from coffee-related activities, the Coffee Region is also known for its stunning landscapes. Rolling green hills, picturesque valleys, and charming colonial towns dot the area, creating a scenic backdrop for your adventure. Take a hike through the lush coffee plantations, visit the Cocora Valley with its towering wax palm trees, or explore the vibrant town of Salento with its colorful houses and handicraft markets.


For adrenaline junkies, the Coffee Region also offers plenty of thrilling outdoor activities. You can go white-water rafting in the swirling rivers, zip-lining through the dense forests, or hiking up the towering peaks of Los Nevados National Natural Park.


To complete your coffee experience, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine. The region is known for its delicious traditional dishes, such as bandeja paisa, a hearty platter of beans, rice, meat, and plantains. Pair it with a freshly brewed cup of Colombian coffee for a truly authentic experience.


For coffee enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, the Coffee Region is a day trip from Bogota that offers a unique and unforgettable experience. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the world of coffee, explore breathtaking landscapes, and indulge in the flavors of Colombia’s beloved beverage.


Chingaza National Park

If you’re in search of unspoiled natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes, a day trip to Chingaza National Park from Bogota is a must-visit. Located just a short drive away from the city, this protected area is a true haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Chingaza National Park boasts an incredible variety of ecosystems, including high-altitude moorlands, cloud forests, and pristine lakes. The park is known for its vast array of wildlife, including endangered species such as the spectacled bear and the Andean condor, making it a prime spot for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers.


One of the most popular activities in Chingaza National Park is hiking. The park offers a network of well-marked trails that take you through stunning landscapes, offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Whether you’re a casual hiker or an avid trekker, there are trails of varying difficulty levels to suit every fitness level.


A highlight of the park is Laguna de Chingaza, a beautiful glacial lake nestled amidst the mountains. This serene body of water is a sight to behold and a perfect spot for a picnic or a moment of tranquility amidst nature’s splendor.


As you explore the park, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the unique ecosystems and the importance of conservation. Guided tours are available, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of the park’s flora, fauna, and cultural heritage.


It’s important to note that Chingaza National Park is a protected area, and access is restricted. Therefore, it is advisable to check the park’s regulations and book your visit in advance. Additionally, due to its high altitude, the weather in the park can be unpredictable, so be prepared with appropriate clothing and equipment.


A day trip to Chingaza National Park offers a chance to reconnect with nature, breathe in fresh mountain air, and marvel at the beauty of Colombia’s wilderness. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the city, this national park will not disappoint.


Tatacoa Desert

If you’re looking to explore a unique and otherworldly landscape, a day trip to the Tatacoa Desert from Bogota is an adventure you won’t want to miss. Located in the Huila department of Colombia, this arid region is often referred to as a “mini desert” and offers a fascinating contrast to the lush greenery found in other parts of the country.


The Tatacoa Desert is a haven for geology enthusiasts and stargazers alike. The desert is divided into two distinct areas: the Red Zone and the Gray Zone. The Red Zone is characterized by its brick-red soil and towering cliffs, creating a dramatic and surreal landscape. On the other hand, the Gray Zone features unique rock formations and a more lunar-like appearance.


Exploring the Tatacoa Desert feels like stepping onto an alien planet. As you wander through the barren landscape, you’ll come across intricate rock formations, canyons, and even hidden oases. The sheer vastness of the desert is awe-inspiring, and it offers countless opportunities for photography and exploration.


The desert is also known for its clear skies, making it a prime location for stargazing. Due to its remote location and lack of light pollution, the Tatacoa Desert provides a perfect environment to observe the night sky. Visitors can take guided astronomy tours and marvel at the breathtaking constellations, planets, and even the Milky Way.


While the desert may seem inhospitable, it is home to a surprising amount of diverse flora and fauna. Over 120 species of birds have been recorded in the area, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Additionally, reptiles, mammals, and unique desert plants add to the biodiversity of the region.


Whether you’re interested in exploring a unique desert landscape, stargazing under a shimmering night sky, or discovering the hidden wonders of nature, a day trip to the Tatacoa Desert should be high on your list. It offers a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories of Colombia’s diverse landscapes.



From the underground wonders of the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral to the colonial charm of Villa de Leyva, the diverse day trips from Bogota offer a truly remarkable experience. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, culture, or simply seeking an escape from the city, there is something for everyone.


The close proximity of these day trip destinations allows you to explore the beauty and diversity of Colombia without spending too much time on the road. Each destination offers a unique experience, showcasing the rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture of the country.


Whether you’re descending into the depths of an underground cathedral, exploring the cobblestone streets of a colonial town, hiking through a national park, or wandering through a desert landscape, these day trips will immerse you in the beauty and charm of Colombia.


The Colombian people are known for their warmth and hospitality, and you’re sure to encounter friendly locals who are eager to share their culture and stories with you. Don’t forget to sample the local cuisine, try traditional dishes, and, of course, savor the world-renowned Colombian coffee.


So, if you find yourself in Bogota with some free time, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on these incredible day trips. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a chance to connect with nature, these destinations will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for all that Colombia has to offer.