NATIONAL PARKS TOURS COLOMBIA

ALL CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS COMBINED WITH FABULOUS NATURE

 
 

15 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]

  1. Villa de Leyva, Colombia

  2. Carmelitas Monastery and Museum

  3. Antonio Nariño House

  4. Antonio Ricaurte Museum

  5. El Fossil Museum

  6. Centro de Investigaciones Paleontologicas Museum

  7. Bocaya Monument

  8. Infiernito Archaeological Site

  9. Pozos Azules

  10. Monastery Eccehomo

  11. Flora and Fauna Reserve Iguaque

  12. Hoyo de la Romera | Rappelling

  13. Raquira

  14. Terrracota House (One of the many tourist traps surrounding Villa de Leiva)

  15. Vineyard Ain Karim (There is no decent wine north of Argentina and Chile wine)

Villa de Leyva, Colombia

Villa de Leyva, Colombia, is a touristy colonial town at about 3,5 hours from Bogotá. The town was founded in 1572 by the first president of the New Kingdom of Granada, Andrés Díaz Venero de Leyva. Together with Bogotá, Cartagena and Santa Cruz de Mompox, Villa de Leyva is one of the few remaining a traditional colonial towns in Colombia with much of its original colonial style and architecture preserved. The streets and large Plaza Central are still paved with cobblestones, and most buildings in the colonial center date from the 16th century. A such, the town was declared a National Monument. The surrounding countryside contains several sites of interest.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva, with 14,000 m2, is the largest plaza in Colombia10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Colonial balconies charaterize the houses of Villa de Leyva.

The Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva, with 14,000 m2, is the largest plaza in Colombia and among largest squares in Latin America covered with cobbled stones.

Colonial balconies characterize the houses of Villa de Leyva.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Parroquial Church of Our Lady of the Rosary exterior10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The interior of the Parroquial church.

The centerpiece of the Plaza Central is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The interior of the Parroquial Church of Our Lady of the Rosary.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The village square is always visited by Colombians who love to spend their weekends.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: A gallery decorates the square and is home to many little shops and restaurants.

The village square is always visited by Colombians who love to spend their weekends.

A gallery decorates the square and is home to many little shops and restaurants.

 

Carmelitas Monastery and Museum

Museum of religious art and monastery of the Carmelitas Descalzas (barefoot) and the most beautiful church in the village.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Carmelitas monastery.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Carmelitas Church facade.

The Carmelitas monastery.

The Carmelitas Church facade.

 

Antonio Nariño House

Colombian Independence hero Antonio Narino was born in this house, which now houses an museum with historical artifacts & art.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Antonio Narino House.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Carmelitas Church Interior.

The Antonio Narino House and museum.

The Carmelitas Church Interior.

 

Antonio Ricaurte Museum

Antonio Ricaurte – who blew up himself up in what is now Venezulea, taking a group of Spanish soldiers with him to protect an important munitions store. This is a museum in his honor.

 

El Fossil Museum

The town is located in a valley rich in fossils from the Paja Formation (Cretaceous era), where a near-complete Kronosaurus boyacensis was discovered in 1977. Known as El Fósil, a museum was built around it. Another - smaller- Kronosaurus fossil was discovered later and brought to the museum along with a variety of other good-sized fossils of different species. Other fossils include ichthyosaurs like Platypterygius sachicarum and Muiscasaurus catheti and the brachiosaur Padillasaurus leivaensis and pliosaur, Stenorhynchosaurus.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The entrance of the Fossil Museum.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Fossil Museum highlights a fossil of an enormous prehistoric crocodile.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Fossil Museum. Fossil wall at the parking lot.

The entrance of the Fossil Museum.

The Fossil Museum highlights a fossil of an enormous prehistoric crocodile.

 

 

Centro de Investigaciones Paleontologicas

As a private research institution it promotes both research and education about the paleontology of the region. It is one of the best museums of its kind in Colombia.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Paleontological Research Center combines research with Education.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Fossil preparation in the laboratory.

The Paleontological Research Center combines research with Education.

Fossil preparation in the laboratory.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: A class visiting the beautiful modern museum.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Children at the Paleontological Research Center

A class visiting the beautiful modern museum.

Bocaya Monument

The Battle of Boyacá (1819), was the decisive battle of Bolívar's campaign to liberate the Andes from the Spanish crown and is considered important because it led to the victories of the battle of Carabobo in Venezuela, Pichincha in Ecuador, and Junín and Ayacucho in Peru. New Granada became independent from Spain, although fighting with would continue for years. Brigadier Generals Francisco de Paula Santander and José Antonio Anzoátegui led a combined republican army of to defeat in two hours the Royalist forces led by Spanish Colonels José María Barreiro and Francisco Jiménez. The battle took place at about 150 km from Bogotá at what is now the Bocaya Monument, close to a bridge over the Teatinos River. The current bridge has been built in memory of the battle, as well as several memorial monuments and statues. When traveling from Bogotá, one passes along the monument.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Statue of General Francisco Paulo de Santander.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Bocaya Battlefield Memorial.

Statue of General Francisco Paulo de Santander.

The Bocaya Battlefield Memorial.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Boyaca Memorial Bridge.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Bocaya Bridge sign.

The Boyaca Memorial Bridge.

The Bocaya Bridge sign.

 

Infiernito Archaeological Site

The earliest archaeological evidence has been surfaced around El Infiernito, an archeoastronomical site dating back to pre-Herrera times, usually defined as ranging from 800 BCE to 800 CE and named after Lake Herrera. El Infiernito is an archaeological site located in the rolling hills outside Villa de Leyva and was probably a solar observatory. These people predates the age of the Muisca, who inhabited the Altiplano Cundiboyacense before the Spanish conquest. The statues representing fertility symbols resembling giant penises.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Infiernito archaeological site.

Infiernito archaeological site.

 

Pozos Azules

The Pozos Azules are man-made tanks in calcareous soil which show up clear blue.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The Pozos Azules or Blue Lakes.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Ecco Homo Monastery.

The Pozos Azules or Blue Lakes.

Ecco Homo Monastery.

 

Ecco Homo Monastery

The Ecco Homo Monastery, a bit outside of the village, has been built with thousands of fossils, varying in size from 1 cm to almost a meter in some cases.

 

Flora and Fauna Sanctuary Iguaque

The Iguaque Flora and Fauna Sanctuary rises above Villa de Leyva, north of town and is home of Lake Iguaque and a group of 7 waterfalls and sacred to the Muisca Indigenous people who once lived in the region, prior to the colonization. Acording to the legend, the mother of the Muisca people, Bachué, emerged from the lake, while a visit is supposed to purify the spirit.

 

10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: The entrance sign of the Fauna and Flora Sactuary Iguaque.10 THINGS TO DO IN VILLA DE LEIVA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Frailejones in the Fauna and Flora Sanctuary Iguaque.

The entrance sign of the Fauna and Flora Sactuary Iguaque.

Frailejones in the Fauna and Flora Sanctuary Iguaque.

 

Hoyo de la Romera | Rappelling

A fun activity near Villa de Leyva is rappeling.

 

Raquira

Raquira is a village that specializes in pottery varying from small touristy artifacts to enormous vases for gardens and patios. You will pass alongside this wonderful village when you book our Colombia Nationa Parks Tour.

 

THINGS TO DO AT RAQUIRA POTTERY, COLOMBIA: The streets of Raquira have hundreds of  souvenir shops with products from all over the country.THINGS TO DO AT RAQUIRA POTTERY, COLOMBIA: The prime product of Raquira is pottery varying in size from several cm to several meters tall.

The streets of Raquira have hundreds of  souvenir shops with products from all over the country.

The prime product of Raquira is pottery varying in size from several cm to several meters tall.

 

Why consider booking our Colombia National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places for which Colombia is famous, and on top of that, you get to see 7 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Colombia can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Bogota and surrounding Andes, Caribbean Coast and the Amazon of Ecuador; the latter for the Colombian Amazon still not being recommended for foreign visitors. Colombia is a very large country, so you need to fly. To do so at hardly any additional costs, you need to book both Bogota and Cartagena - and Quito if you want to include the Amazon module - in your international ticket.

Destinations Overview:  Bogota old town, Cartagena, Villa de Leyva Zipaguira Salt Mine Church, Chingaza Reserve, Iguaque National Park, Flamencos Reserve, Cienega Mangroves Reserve, Lake Fuquene, Tayrona National Park, Manaure Salt Flats.

 

What makes us different from so many other tour operators?

Just look at the quality of our high resolution pictures. We took them all ourselves. We have thousands of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. These pictures show that we have been everywhere in the country of your interest and really know the details. We are professional explorers and biologists with MSc and PhD.

 

National Parks Tours Worldwide, a social responsibility and conservation company, is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA.

 

Phone USA:

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Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil is author of this website. He dedicated his life to the conservation of nature. https://www.facebook.com/DrDaanVreugdenhil, https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdaanvreugdenhil/. He was part of the team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador in the 1970s and he initiated the Cuyabeno Lodge in Ecuador's Amazon in 1985, making him one of the world's eco tourism pioneers. A speaker of 8 languages and having traveled to 80+ countries, Dr Daan Vreugdenhil has is one of the world's greatest connoisseurs of nature and national parks in the world. 

This website and its programs have been created by the renowned conservation biologist "Parks Man" Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil