7 Great Day Trips From Bogota

Bogota is a fun enough city to explore, but it can honestly get to you – it’s incredibly crowded, traffic is insane, and it is sadly terribly polluted. The good news is that getting out of town is actually quite easy, and there are many great day trips from Bogota. 

Although most places mentioned in this post can be visited independently, the easiest and most hassle free way to enjoy them is on guided day tours that include transportation, with a pick up and drop off, as well as lunch and other fees, and most importantly which include an English speaking guide which will shower you with information. 

Ready? Check out the best day trips from Bogota.

Day trips from Bogota
The interior of Zipaquira Cathedral

The Best Day Trips From Bogota

Chicaque Natural Park

Chicaque Natural Park is a great place for day trips from Bogota. It’s located at just 30 minutes south west of the city and home to a beautiful cloud forest. There are plenty of good hiking trails so it’s a great place to hike. You will even find tree houses in case you feel like spending the night there.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: There is a $4 USD admission fee to enter the National Park. You can get there by bus or on a guided group tour such as this one.

Zipaquira and the Salt Cathedral  

Easily the most popular day trip from Bogota, Zipaquira is a lovely small colonial town home to a salt cathedral which was actually created out of an old salt mine and it’s located 200 meters below ground. it’s honestly an incredible place to visit. The Cathedral was first opened in 1995 and can fit up to 8400 visitors. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Zipaquira is located 50 km north of Bogota. To get there, you will need to hop on a combination of buses. For a more hassle free way, join a guided tour such as this one.

Guatavita

Guatavita Lagoon

Another cool place to visit which is not far from Bogota is La Laguna de Guatavita, 18 km out of Guatavita. This lake is actually sacred for the Muisca indigenous people, and thought to be the place where the El Dorado legend originated from. Most tours that go to La Guavita also include a stop at the Museo del Oro in Bogota – which has lots of artefacts coming from this region.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can reach Guatavita by bus but you will have to make several changes. Alternatively, go on a guided tour such as this Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita tour from Bogota.

Chingaza National Park

Another great place to visit on a day trip if you are keen on hiking is Chingaza National Park. It’s where 80% of the water that Bogota consumes come from, and the landscape will remind you little of South America and the Andes and more of northern England – though come to think of it, Bogota reminded me a lot of British cities!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Chingaza National Park is located at about 2 hours from Bogota so I recommend going there on a guided tour such as this one, which also includes a guided hike to Laguna de Butrago. 

Villa de Leyva building
A typical colonial building as found in Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva

At about 3 hours drive from Bogota, Villa de Leyva is a pleasant, small colonial town which you can easily explore in just a day. You will find a massive town square (Plaza Mayor) surrounded by well kept colonial buildings, cobbled alleys galore, colorful doors and lots of small cafés and restaurants, not to mention many good shopping opportunities and a couple of good museums (the Museo Paleontologico is the best, if you ask me!) and art galleries. It’s not by chance that it was declared a National Monument in 1954!

I honestly think Villa de Leyva deserves a bit more as its surroundings are gorgeous and there is lots to do, but if a day is all you have you may as well go. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: There are plenty of buses connecting Bogota to Villa de Leyva, but if you are going there for just a day, you may be better off joining a guided tour such as this one.

La Chorrera Waterfall

Quite possibly the most fun place to escape the city for a day, La Chorrera Waterfall is actually the highest one in Colombia. Getting there is in and of itself an experience – you will need to walk through the cloud forest – but it’s truly rewarding. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: La Chorrera is at about 2 hours drive from Bogota. You are definitely better off joining a guided tour to get there. I recommend this one.

Termales Santa Monica

If you aren’t interested in hiking but just want to relax for a day, you may want to go to Choachí and visit Termales Santa Monica. A day pass is in the range of $12 USD during the week, and around $15 USD during the weekend, so it won’t blow your budget. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Choachí is at an easy 1-hour bus ride from Bogota.

Further readings about Colombia

Are you planning a trip to Colombia? Make sure to read my other posts!

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Discover the best day trips from Bogota - via @clautavani

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