Villa de Leyva
3 hotels in this place
Villa de Leyva is a charming old colonial city in Boyacá in Colombia. Calm and tranquil on weekdays, it gets flooded by tourists from Bogotá on the weekends. Villa de Leyva is one of the few towns in Colombia that conserved all its colonial architecture. It is located 150 km north from Bogotá and has a nice dry and warm weather, although it gets windy and cold in the evening.
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Points of Interest in Villa de Leyva
There are a handful of museums in town. Not all of them are impressive.
- Museo Paleontológica. Open : Tu-Sa 9am-12am & 2pm-5pm / Su and holidays 9am-3pm. A collection of fossils. Entrance : COP$ 2,000.
- Luis Alberto Acuña, Carrera 10 No. 12-83 (Located in a corner of the central square), ☎ 732 0422. Open : M-Su 9am-6pm. Pictures and sculptures collected by this painter. Entrance : COP $4000.
- Prehistorical garden, ☎ 732 0214. Open : M-Su 9am-6pm.
- Museo del Carmen, Plazuela del Carmen. Open : Sa, Su and holidays 10am-1pm & 2pm-5pm. Impressive collection of religious art.
- Antonio Ricaurte, Calle 15 No. 8-17, ☎ 732 0252. Open: W-F 9am-12am & 2pm-5pm / Sa, Su and holidays 9am-12pm & 2pm-6pm. Military museum in the former house of Antonio Ricaurte
- Casa Museo Antonio Nariño, Carrera 9 No. 10-39, ☎ 732 0342. Open : Th-Tu 9am-12am & 2pm-4pm. Last house of this independence hero. Displays some of his possessions. Adult : COP$ 1,000 / Student : COP$ 700 / Kids : COP$ 500.
Popular events in Villa de Leyva in the near future
About Villa de Leyva
Villa de Leyva was founded on June 12th 1572, by Captain Hernan Suárez de Villalobos, as instructed by the first president of the New Kingdom of Granada Sr. Andres Díaz Venero de Leyva. Initially Villa de Leyva was established close to the Indian Astronomic Observatory in a place called Zaquencipá Valley, and then twelve years later was moved to its actual location. During the colonisation, Villa de Leyva was a principal producer of oil olive and some cereals, especially wheat and barley. It was chosen as a favorite place for Spanish families and especially as place to rest for viceroys.
Villa de Leyva was home of the Captain Antonio Ricaurte, a hero in the San Mateo battle during the war of independence. The General and President of the New Republic Antonio Nariño spent his last days in this town. In 1812 there was the meeting of the first congress of the United Provinces. In 1830 the construction of the road to connect Villa de Leyva with Tunja which passed by Arcabuco began. The construction of this road started the development of this beautiful village. In 1954 Villa de Leyva was declared a National Monument.
The architecture of Villa de Leyva has a Spanish style. You can see in the construction of most of the houses in the village, their wonderful balconies, arcs and main doors (it is possible to appreciate this in the old buildings such as Casa del Primer Congreso, Casa de Don Antonio Narioño, Casa de La Real Fabrica de Licores, Claustro de San Agustín). Villa de Leyva is a place of inspiration to poets and writers. They can find peace in its stone paved streets or just contemplating the majestic main square, unique in Latin-America.
Villa de Leyva is located at 2.143 meters above sea level, with a lovely temperature of 18oC and a population of 12.000 inhabitants.
- Climb up to the mirador named "sagrado corazon". It's east of the town on the hillside. To find the path, first head towards the mountain on Calle 12 until you reach the white gateway. Go around it and cross the football pitch. Start climbing through the forest and follow the white arrows. The climb to the top is steep with some portions on rocks and lasts around one hour.
- Taxis offer trips to some of the surrounding attractions.
- Tourism agencies offer day trips to the surrounding attractions, bike and horses rentals as well as extreme sports activities (canyoning, paragliding, speleology, rappeling..). Most are located on Carrera 9 between the terminal and the main plaza :
- Gallina criolla
- Panaderia Francesa, Calle 10 No 9-41. Closed : Tu and W. Tasty french bread and postres.
- Portales, Northwest Corner of the Plaza. Italian food w/ wifi hotspot.
- Tartas y Tortas de la Villa, Cr 10 #11-39 (Two blocks from the main plaza, walking along the street opposite to the church.). Closed : Wednesday. Offers coffee and desserts.
- Some almuerzo place, Calle 10, 9-41 (just 3 blocks from the plaza mayor). daily. Daily set meals for lunch and dinner (soup, main dish and juice), with choice of chicken and meat. They supposedly do breakfasts too. COP 7000.
- La Galleta, Carrera 9, between calle 12 & 13 (one block from the main square). 11:00-20:00. They have good tea and coffee and great cakes.
- Café de la Barra, Plaza Mayor, Cra 9 No. 12- 52, ☎ 3142217226. All of their coffee is 100% Colombian and prepared with a smile; the owners are a charming Colombian couple who love to chat with their customers. The location is ideal (right on the main plaza next to the bell tower), so you can sit inside the cute little coffee shop and watch people pass by on the plaza, or you can sit out back on their patio and enjoy a great view of the bell tower. They also serve tasty desserts and little sandwiches.
- Supermarkets SCOOMEXAOC and Don Manuel are both located on Cra 9 between Calle 9 and 10.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Villa de Leyva on Wikivoyage.