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Zipaquirá

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Bogota: Daily Group Tour of the Salt Cathedral Zipaquira

1. Bogota: Daily Group Tour of the Salt Cathedral Zipaquira

Travel for 2 hours north of Bogotá to the city of Zipaquirá, where you will visit the renowned Salt Cathedral. Known as a must-visit in Colombia, it is a monument of faith that has become an architectural piece like no other.  Explore the Roman Catholic church built in the ancient hollows of a salt mine, 180 meters below ground. Marvel at the cathedral’s architecture built within the mine’s remaining caverns and tunnels.  You will have 2 hours inside the Cathedral to visit all the sights as the audio guide explains about the process of salt formation, the architecture, and the mining process within every detail. Inside the mine, there are different pieces of stonework and sculpture that, due to their size and illumination, make this spectacular wonder an engineering jewel, famous around the world. You may also visit the light show at the very end of the tunnels before returning to Bogotá.

Bogota: Guatavita and Salt Cathedral Daily Group Tour

2. Bogota: Guatavita and Salt Cathedral Daily Group Tour

After gathering at either of the meeting points or being collected from your accommodation, your combination experience in Bogota will begin. First visit the Guatavita Lagoon, which was a source of inspiration for the Legend of El Dorado and the movie with the same name. The beauty of this place is sure to overwhelm you, and after some time there cross the savannah. In the afternoon, reach the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, which was the First Wonder of Colombia due to its imposing architecture. In a single day, enjoy the indigenous spiritual cosmogony, Christian spirituality, the beauty of nature, and the grandeur of the architecture. At the end of your experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin.

Bogotá: Private Salt Cathedral Tour with Entrance Tickets

3. Bogotá: Private Salt Cathedral Tour with Entrance Tickets

Begin your day with convenient hotel pickup to comfortably start your journey toward the town of Zipaquirá. This will be a somewhat long drive of about 2 hours, so feel free to take a nap, watch the Bogotá savanna through the window, or make small talk to your driver about anything in Colombia. Upon arrival, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá will be the first stop. Skip the ticket lines and go directly to the entrance to pick up an audio guide. Then, begin discovering an incredible monument of faith that’s a unique architectural marvel. When booking, you can choose a personal live guide instead of an audio guide, if you prefer.  Once inside, you’ll be guided through the stations that represent the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross). Understand the details in each corner of the works of art, and visit famous sights inside the halls such as the water mirrors, the virtual reality theater with its 3D movie, the dome, and a balcony where you can observe the world's largest underground cross. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Miner's Route and take part in a salt workshop if you select the option. The route is a 45-minute tour where you become a salt miner for a day, whereas the workshop consists of an explanation about salt mining and carving. To top off your experience, carve your own piece of salt to take home as a souvenir. After your visit, your driver will be waiting outside to take you back to Zipaquirá village. Here, enjoy some time to take a look around and have lunch in one of the local restaurants. From there, you will be taken back to Bogotá and dropped off at your hotel.

Bogotá: Private Zipaquirá and Salt Cathedral Tour

4. Bogotá: Private Zipaquirá and Salt Cathedral Tour

Private Zipaquirá and Salt Cathedral Tour Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Bogotá at 09:00 AM or a time to suit you, and then journey to the colonial town of Zipaquirá, famous for its Salt Cathedral. Relax on the 60 to 90-minute trip to the cathedral, where on arrival you will be accompanied to the entrance of the mine for a 2-hour guided tour in English or Spanish.  Located inside the depths of the world's biggest salt rock reserve, Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral was adapted from an old salt mine to function as a place of worship. Marvel at the icons, ornaments and architectural details hand-carved in the halite rock. Surface the mine to enjoy a typical Colombian lunch in one of Zipaquirá's best restaurants. Choose from fish or vegetarian options, or savor different plates of meat prepared in the traditional way on fire. Then, explore the main sights of the town, including Independence Square and the colonial center. Admire one of the oldest churches in Colombia. Drive back to Bogotá for drop-off at your accommodation, or book one of the following options to continue exploring. Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavitá Tour with Lunch After visiting the Salt Cathedral and enjoying a typical Colombian meal, go to the colonial town of Guatavitá. Take a short guided hike, admire the scenic landscape and discover the birthplace of the El Dorado legend. On the return trip to Bogotá stop at La Calera viewpoint for panoramic views of the city. Salt Cathedral and Nemocón Mine Tour with Lunch Once you have visited the Salt Cathedral and enjoyed a traditional Colombian lunch, discover the salt mine tunnels of Nemocón. Experience what it felt like to work 60 meters below ground. Be dropped off back in Bogotá at the end of the tour. Salt Cathedral & Villa de Levya Tour without Lunch Go from the Salt Cathedral to Villa de Leyva, famous for its cobblestone square Plaza Mayor, which at 150,695 square feet is the largest in Colombia. Learn about the history of this charming town before returning to your accommodation in Bogotá.

Bogotá: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

5. Bogotá: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

A staff member from the company will meet you at the hotel at your choice of either in the morning or the afternoon. From here you will be taken on a tour through La Sabana de Bogota to the town of Zipaquira, whose name means "City of our Father" in the language of the Chibcha. Back in pre-Columbian times, salt around the area was the most important commodity and the "salt cakes" were the only currency for trading. Throughout time, technology improved and the "Muiscas" began to extract larger amounts of salt. As a result, an underground salt deposit was formed and it is where the Salt Cathedral was built, 180 meters below the surface. Inside you will discover a chapel titled “capilla de los mineros”, which was built as a tribute to the Virgin “Our Lady of the Rosary of Guasá”. At the conclusion of your tour, you will return safely back to Bogotá.

From Bogotá: Nemocón Mine and Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral Tour

6. From Bogotá: Nemocón Mine and Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral Tour

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Bogotá, and then travel to the salt mines of Nemocón 65 kilometers from the city center. Get stunning views of the beautiful landscape before arrival. Then, take a tour of the salt mine tunnels and discover what is felt like to work 60 meters below ground. Learn about the history of salt and how it is extracted as you marvel at the optical effects of the mirrors of brine. See where the movie Los 33 was filmed before lunch in the colonial city of Zipaquirá. Next, visit one of the most artistic achievements of Colombian architecture on a tour of the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral, built within the tunnels of a salt mine.

From Bogotá: Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita Day Tour

7. From Bogotá: Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita Day Tour

Learn about Colombia's salt trade dating back to the pre-Hispanic period. Take a tour of some villages outside of Bogotá, and explore the subterranean Salt Cathedral. Try a traditional Colombian lunch followed by a visit to Lake Guatavita, a sacred place for the native Muisca people.   A staff member will pick you up at your hotel in Bogotá. Your tour begins by traveling in an air-conditioned van or bus through some of the villages from the pre-Hispanic period. Learn the history of the exploitation and trade of salt and gold manufacturing in the area.   Travel north along the Bogotá savanna to the city of Zipaquirá. There you will visit the renowned Salt Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church built in the ancient hollows of a salt mine, 180 meters below ground. Marvel at the cathedral’s architecture built within the mine’s remaining caverns and tunnels.     After touring the cathedral, enjoy a typical Colombian lunch with boiled potatoes soaked in brine (salt water from the mine) and ajiaco (chicken soup). Then head to Lake Guatavita, a small crater lake surrounded by forest. Learn about this sacred site of the indigenous Muisca people, where the legend of El Dorado was born.   Relax on the ride back to Bogotá where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

From Bogota: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Villa de Leyva Tour

8. From Bogota: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Villa de Leyva Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pick-up in the morning and a scenic drive out to Villa de Leyva. On the way, enjoy the delicious staple of arepas, corn cakes that are often grilled or fried. Upon arrival in Villa de Leyva, step out and walk through the ancient streets lined with colonial-style houses that have remained mostly untouched since their construction. Founded in 1572, Villa de Leyva is famous for its cobblestone square Plaza Mayor, which at 150,695 square feet is the largest in Colombia. Learn about the history of the charming town from your guide before moving on. Head next to Zipaquira, where you will wander below ground into an enormous salt mine. Your guide will teach you about the history of salt and salt mining as you explore the beautifully lit cavern, eventually reaching the salt cathedral. The church was originally built in 1932 as a place for miners to offer daily prayers and was inaugurated in 1954. Today it is a fully functional church with a weekly service held on Sundays. Spend time in the unique cathedral before returning to the surface and heading back to Bogota.

Bogotá: Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavitá Tour with Lunch

9. Bogotá: Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavitá Tour with Lunch

Head to the countryside from Bogotá on a 10-hour excursion to Zipaquirá. Discover the architectural achievements of architect Roswell Garavito Pearl and learn about history of salt exploitation in Colombia on a tour of the Salt Cathedral. Enjoy a typical Colombian meal at a local restaurant. See Independence Square, lovely colonial houses and the old church before continuing on to Lake Guatavitá. Take a short guided hike, admire the scenic landscape and discover the birthplace of the El Dorado legend. Take in views of the Tomine Reservoir before visiting the colonial town of Guatavitá. On the return trip to Bogotá stop at La Calera viewpoint for panoramic views of the city.

Bogota: Zipaquira, Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavita Tour

10. Bogota: Zipaquira, Salt Cathedral & Lake Guatavita Tour

The day begins with pickup from your hotel in Bogota and travels north into the savanna. Arrive at Zipaquira, a vibrant town with a history dating back to the 1600s. Visit Zipaquia's famous Salt Cathedral, an impressive subterranean building that stands on an old salt mine. Wander through the halls and marvel at the cathedral's stunning architecture while you learn about its rich-history. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, enjoy lunch overlooking the Tomine Reservoir, before continuing onto the spectacular Guatavita National Park. Upon arrival, learn about the cultural significance of Lake Guatavita, as well as the characteristics of this peculiar ecosystem. After the park, make one final stop at a nearby village, and soak up the quaint and charming atmosphere of this traditional location. At the end of an unforgettable day, sit back and relax on the return journey to Bogota.

Other Sightseeing Options in Zipaquirá

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What people are saying about Zipaquirá

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 393 reviews

Very nice trip with Carlos who was very informative. Well paced easy going tour. Carlos only speaks Spanish but the audio guide for the salt cathedral is in English. Fun lunch in the village afterwards where we could talk about the experience as a group. Breathtaking views ! We learned a lot about the history and the region. Thanks Carlos !

This is a must visit location in Bogotá. Just need to be prepared for the road journey, and do read up about its history and the history of the old town (for those who do not understand Spanish). Overall, a great experience.

Our driver was very attentive and very polite. The experience in the cathedral was amazing. Loved the trip and the attention of our driver. The place where he took us to lunch was AMAZING!

Excelente experiencia de inicio y al final mas o menos ya que los domingos se hace tráfico a la entrada de Bogota, pero el resto todo bien, recomendable totalmente.

It was an amazing experience. Our guide Hector was the best. He was always looking after us and very puntual. Loved the cathedral and the food was great.