Boyaca and Santander
Located to the north-east of Bogota, the departments of Boyaca and Santander are rich in both pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial history, and are, in many ways, the heartland of Colombia’s soul
The region is home to numerous quaint colonial towns and rolling agricultural countryside, while magnificent lakes and rivers, snow-capped mountains and gorges offer dramatic landscapes and a range of adventure sport activities.
Villa de Leyva, founded in 1572, is a gorgeous colonial town frozen in time – and was declared a National Monument in 1954. Its enormous cobbled ‘Plaza Mayor’ (the largest in Colombia) is dramatically overlooked by brooding, barren hills which lend a special atmosphere and unique character to this white-walled historic gem.
The town is an ideal base from which to explore the neighbouring region – either by car, on horseback or by bike. The area is renowned for the abundance of fossils including an impressive (almost) complete Kronosaurus fossil, and is also home to vineyards and two fascinating working monasteries and villages that excel in specific arts and crafts.
For the more adventurous, the Sierra Nevada de Cucuy mountain range beckons with peaks well over 5,000m, while San Gil is well known as the ‘adventure capital’ of Colombia offering fantastic white-water river rafting, paragliding and other more-or-less extreme sports.
Santander’s answer to Villa de Leyva is the perfectly preserved sleepy colonial town of Barichara – a cinematic, cobblestone village undulating on the hills with an over-sized main church and an air of calm and tranquillity. And don’t forget to try the local delicacy here: ‘hormigas culonas’ or toasted queen ants…
To discover more about the Boyacá and Santander region give us a call or send us a message.
Places we love to stay
La Nube Posada
Stylish Boutique Hotel renowned for Colombian cuisine in Barichara, a picturesque, 300-year old Colonial Town.View details about La Nube Posada
La Posada de San Antonio
Colonial houses converted into a small hotel in historic Villa de Leyva where the reception area doubles as an art gallery.View details about La Posada de San Antonio
Hotel Terra Barichara
Staying here offers a dichotomy of tranquil relaxation and access to adventure sportsView details about Hotel Terra Barichara
Hotel Casa Real
Cosy boutique hotel with lots of colonial charm in the picturesque town of Villa de LeyvaView details about Hotel Casa Real