Villa de Leyva

Here you’ll find travel reports about Villa de Leyva. Discover travel destinations in Colombia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

26 travelers at this place:

  • Day429

    Villa de Leyva, Columbia

    July 9, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ 🌧 61 °F

    Our middle-of-the-night flight out of Bolivia landed before 7am in Bogota. We hopped in a cab to the bus station and ~4 hours later arrived in the ridiculously charming colonial town of Villa de Leyva.
    We were immediately struck by how clean, well-developed, and vibrantly green Columbia appears. And this little village was a wonderful soft landing as it’s one of the most picturesque parts of the country and we were staying at a beautifully restored villa-hotel. Luxury!
    We love South America’s colonial cities. We recognize they were (sadly) mostly built on pillage and oppression and they can feel a little Disney-ish because they are just that perfect. Still, we can’t resist their charm.
    Apart from wandering through the cobblestone streets and enjoying some delicious juices, coffee (for John) and good food, we had to deal with a few annoyances. First, John threw his back out while playing with the adorable resident boxer (dog) and ended up in bed for a couple of days, unable to walk without discomfort. Luckily, it only cost ~$40 for a doctor to visit our hotel and give him a shot so he could get back on his feet. We also got attacked one morning by small biting insects that managed to bite Christy at least 40 times, and John a bit less. The bites are the worse we’ve experienced in terms of itchiness and swelling. We still don’t know what they were, but yuck. Otherwise, we loved this town!
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  • Day66

    Villa de Leyva, direction le Nord

    July 18, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    On quitte Bogota vers 14h... oui on a pris notre temps ce matin car un jus de fruit amazonien nous a détraqué l'estomac. Le bus conduit à une vitesse folle (mais pas trop mal) et nous sommes donc comme annoncé arrivés à destination en 3h30 malgré 3 pauses techniques avec ouverture du capot.

    Petit stop dans cette ville classée au patrimoine mondial de l'Unesco pour 1 jour et 2 nuits. Cela est suffisant.

    On visite les alentours (maison de Terracota et les petits lacs colorés Pozos Azules qui ne sont pas non plus extraordinaires). Petite marche de 3h tout de même pour faire ce petit tour qu'on a même écourté en levant le pouce.

    On flâne dans le centre de la ville qui est très typique. Tout les murs des casa sont blancs et les rues en pierre.

    On a découvert 2 restos où on se régale (un au centre "en la villa arepa y parrilla" pas cher et un autre un peu en retrait qui s'appelle "Savia" un peu plus cher mais bio et très original ).

    Avant de repartir on craque pour 2 hamacs à 10 euros. Autant dire qu'on ne s'est pas ruinés.
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  • Day327

    Villa de Leyva

    August 14, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Van het echte koloniale dorpje gaan we naar het volgende, iets wat meer toeristische, Villa de Leyva toe. Robert's verjaardag begint dan ook met ruim 7 uur reizen om hier te komen en we hebben al besloten om op Aruba nog maar eens te doen alsof Robert jarig is, gewoon omdat het kan.

    Villa de Leyva is bekend om het grote centrale plein welke het grootste is van Colombia, en wellicht wel Zuid Amerika. Het lijkt in ieder geval erg groot omdat er niets op het hele plein staat behalve 1 fontein in het midden. Verder wordt het plein gebruikt om te vliegeren en om heerlijk mensen te kijken. Na een powernap is het toch echt tijd om op Robert's verjaardag te proosten en zoeken we een leuke plek op! Eerst een lekkere cocktail bij een restaurant met een binnentuin maar aangezien we weer op hoogte zitten en het hier wat afkoelt, gaan we toch verhuizen naar een iets wat warmer, Italiaans restaurantje waar we van een lekker verjaardagsmaal genieten.

    De volgende dag gaan we de omgeving van Villa de Leyva ontdekken op de mountainbike! Eerst stoppen we bij Poco Azul waar meerdere blauwe/groene waterbronnen zijn te zien. Helaas voor ons schijnt de zon hier nog niet en is er vrij weinig van de kleuren te zien. Nog een beetje brakkig van de hoogte en wellicht de wijn, lopen we de route maar stappen snel weer op de fiets. De volgende stop is een fossiel museum waar een enorm fossiel ligt van een Kronosaurus! Dit was een onderwater dinosaurus en blijkbaar heeft dit deel van Colombia ook lang onder water gestaan. Na deze stop krijgen we al wat trek en we hopen te kunnen lunchen bij onze volgende stop, namelijk een wijnhuis! In Colombia is niet bepaald een wijncultuur en er zijn weinig streken waar wijn wordt geproduceerd. Hier noemt men de wijn dan ook de tropische wijn wat verder niet direct terug te leiden is in de smaak. We mogen 1 wijn proeven en aan de uitleg van de gids blijkt ook wel dat de andere bezoekers nog weinig kennis hebben van het wijnproeven en de echte basis wordt uitgelegd. Ach, wij kunnen in ieder geval weer eens een goede rode wijn drinken. De lunch moeten we helaas nog even uitstellen tot de we in het dorp terug zijn want meer dan stukjes kaas en ijsjes verkopen ze hier niet. Wat ze hier wél verkopen zijn flessen wijn die in 2016 gebotteld zijn maar al in 2014 (!) een prijs hebben gewonnen. Een enorm knappe prestatie!

    We springen weer op de fiets en moeten even door zetten om over de bergen heen te komen. Ondertussen is de zon ook flink gaan schijnen en we kunnen niet wachten om te gaan lunchen! We zagen eerder al een restaurant in de trend van een festival locatie en daar hebben we 's middags dan nog even lekker gegeten. Backpackers als we zijn, hebben we dat 's avonds nog nog een keer lekker overgedaan. Maar dan met tosti's...Alles om het dagbudget niet te overschrijden. De volgende ochtend zitten we alweer vroeg in de bus op weg naar onze laatste bestemming in Colombia, nl. de hoofdstad Bogota!
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  • Day562

    Villa de Leyva

    November 29, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    We left the San Gil area & headed off the beaten track on a windy, occasionally paved road to a great little spot that some earlier overlanders had discovered. A short walk from the road is a river that runs over smooth rock bed but has sudden & deep round holes - a bit like Swiss Cheese! Maya discovered this the hard way by happily trotting along in the very shallow water until suddenly there was no hard ground beneath her & she had an unexpected swim!

    We spent a fun afternoon here and found a lovely camp spot at a local swimming hole, although we did have to drive through a river crossing to get there. The next morning we visited the nearby town of Guadeloupe, which had a nice hustle & bustle about it along with some incredible BBQ (basically half a cow on a fire) that the chef took great pride in letting us taste - we of course bought some for our lunch.

    We continued on to the colonial town of Villa de Leyva, an incredible town of white-washed houses, cobbled streets and the biggest town square in Latin America. The scenery here is stunning, with glorious rolling fields and the high peaks create a lovely microclimate.

    This was also to be where Phil would start a new decade!

    On his birthday after an early round of Bucks Fizz we rode our bikes to look at the worlds most complete example of a kronosaurus (marine dinosaur). At 110 million years old it made Phil feel less ancient and I managed to find him another big fish as he’s become accustomed to on his birthday! We cycled on to see the calendar of the Muisca people who were the inhabitants here before the Spanish came along and massacred them. The calendar consisted of precisely placed phalic stones arranged so that the first light of the day would cast a shadow over other stones so they could follow the equinoxes for planting and harvesting. We had a wonderfully enthusiastic guide that really gave us an insight into the Muisca society and science behind the calendar. We finished off the ride with the obligatory tea & cakes.

    The previous evening we had a lovely meal in a fancy restaurant, where the owner tickled the ivories in the background, but I'd spotted a fondue restaurant and didn't see why I couldn't have two birthday meals. Unfortunately when we arrived ravenous after our long ride and wanting to ease the aches with a massive cheese overdose, they were shut despite earlier telling us they would be open.

    The drive out of town up through a high pass was even more spectacular, with landscape reminiscent of the states albeit it on a smaller scale.
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  • Day16

    Half of the country in one day

    May 29, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    A day of pure travelling: I started in the morning with a flight from Pasto to Bogotá, where I went to fetch some stuff at Daniel's house. From there, I took the transmilenio to the bus station, so I could go to Villa de Leyva, changing buses in Tunja. Even though it was a really tiring day, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful landscapes on my way. Also, in Pasto I launched from the smallest airport I have seen in all my life: it offers solely flights from and to Bogotá, has two waiting rooms and security opens only before boarding.
    In the afternoon I finally arrived in the amazing colonial city of Villa de Leyva, and in the equally beautiful hostel. It is a little far to walk and not really cheap, but worth going, because it has an awesome ambient.
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  • Day17

    Villa de Leyva

    May 30, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Today was reeeeaaaaally relaxed. In the morning I went to a farmer's market in town with Alicia from England. The food was by far not as cheap as we expected, but really good, so we bought fruits and vegetables for the whole stay in Villa de Leyva.
    After lunch and chilling for some time in the hammocks, we did a little hike right next to the hostel. What we didn't expect was the spectacular countryside that was waiting for us within a distance of only 1h of walking!Read more

  • Day19

    Horseback riding

    June 1, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We had a nice four-hour ride to pozo de la vieja. There is also a story to it, which locals claim is true: from 1910 to 1986, once in a while people would see a woman in that part of the river, which was only covered by her golden hair. We were told the story by a woman who has a little shop over there, and according to her even her grandpa had seen the “vieja“.
    It was a really nice ride through an absolutely beautiful landscape with a lot of cattle with their babies. Also, the horses were amazing and really well trained. I had one that loved galloping, but equal to the others would stop at the end of every galloping part it knows.
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  • Day5

    Villa de Leyva

    April 4, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    Spent one day in this lovely village, where the film Zorro was filmed. Our room was beautiful, with a balcony overlooking our garden with hammocks we could enjoy. All this for the equivalent of a tenner a night. During the day we hired bikes and cycled round the main tourist attractions - the clay house, the fossil museum, the ostrich farm and the 'blue pools'. The square was lovely and the locals were very friendly.Read more

  • Day6

    Casa Terracotta

    November 28, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    Extraordinary house built of terracotta. The clay was placed by hand the fire in place, if I understood the Spanish description. The also said that the conical design had seismic benefits. In pic 3 you can see a built in barbeque and table with seats. Lots of other interesting details, like the handrails at the stairs are wrought iron snakes.Read more

  • Day6


    November 28, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    The fossil museum is on the site where a Pliosaurus was found. It is left in situ with the museum built around it. This area was an inland sea at the time, so finding a marine dinosaur is not that big a surprise. I liked seeing it in place.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Villa de Leyva, ვილია-დე-ლეივა, Vilja de Lejva, 萊瓦鎮

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