Last updated on May 4th, 2021 at 03:23 pm
My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!
The 7 wonders of Colombia
The 7 wonders of Colombia are high on the list of places to visit in Colombia. However, not all of them are readily available. Why does Colombia have its own 7 wonders when there are already 7 wonders of the world? It all started with a survey by the newspaper “El Tiempo”. They wanted to select the most impressive buildings in the country and involved the readers in a survey.
The newspaper defined a number of criteria for the election:
- The miracle had to be man-made.
- The structure had to be on Colombian territory.
- There must be a cultural and patrimonial interest.
- The building must have excellent architectural qualities.
- The structure must be completely finished.
Then there was a 3 step process:
In the first stage, all readers of the newspaper were asked to submit their selection or recommendation. In the second phase, specialists then selected 21 of the most emblematic buildings in the country, which were given a score based on the votes.
In the third and final phase, the readers of the newspaper voted and voilà, the 7 wonders of Colombia were born. All of this happened in 2007, when international tourism was still a foreign concept in Colombia.
These are the 7 wonders of Colombia that Colombians think should be visited.
- The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
- The sanctuary of Las Lajas
- San Agustin Archaeological Park
- Fortification of San Felipe de Cartagena
- The Lost City
- Tierradentro Archaeological Park
- Theater Colon
Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral is the first miracle of Colombia. It’s not surprising that in a Catholic country like Colombia, a cathedral comes first. However, I have to admit that the construction is really impressive and definitely worth a visit.
This site is one of the few salt mines in the world that can be visited. Its history goes back to 1801 when the mine was already in operation. Apart from its function as a salt mine, this place has also distinguished itself through the faith of the miners. For this reason, the first chapel was built (in an improvised way) in 1932, giving workers the opportunity to pray.
Years later, in 1954, the mine’s first cathedral was built. This was dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, the patron saint of miners. This building had four levels and the cathedral was on the second level. Unfortunately, this building had to be closed in the 90s due to construction defects. That is why the current Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral was inaugurated in 1995, which is located 60 meters from the first cathedral.
How do I get to the Salt Cathedral?
The underground church is located in Zipaquira, a city northeast of Bogota. You can use public transport to get to the cathedral. In the Transmilenio station “Portal Norte” you can find buses that go to Zipaquira.
A very interesting way to get into the city is to take the Tren Turístico de la Sabana. Food, drinks, and live music shows are usually offered during the trip. You can buy train tickets on the website or at the train stations in Bogotá located on Calle 13 # 18-24 and Carrera 9 # 110-08.
The current prices for a trip in 2021 are:
– Adults: $ 63,000
– Seniors Over 60 Years Old: $ 57,000
– Children 12 and under: $ 57,000
Remember that these prices include round-trip transportation. The journey takes around 50 minutes from Bogota. The cathedral can be reached either by bus, train, helicopter, or a private car. For my customers, I often combine a visit to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira with a visit to the Guatavita lagoon, which makes a perfect day tour.
What can you expect from Zipaquira?
The most famous tourist attraction in Zipaquirá are the salt mines. The “González Forero” square, however, is the epicenter of the city and is surrounded by buildings that have retained their colonial style, such as the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Zipaquirá also has its typical restaurants, almost 300 year old colonial houses, museums like the Casa Museo Quevedo Zornoza, etc.
What is there to discover in the cathedral?
The salt mines are not only a destination for religious tourism, because the whole area belongs to the so-called “Parque de la Sal”, so it is ideal for an entertaining time with the family or other travel companions. In the mines you will find religious sites such as the Way of the Cross and the domes of the cathedral, but there are also cultural and fun activities such as the Miner’s Route or the Tutankhamun Museum or beauty treatments with a spa.
The corridors inside the cathedral are well lit, but at the same time dark enough to keep the tension going during the pilgrimage. The cathedral offers a fascinating optical effect that gives the impression of looking into an underground cavity with a light at each end.
Some specific offers are:
- Tour with specialized guides.
- Tour of the church with audio guides.
- Souvenir shops
- Access to shops selling salt products.
- Access to the photo service.
- Access to typical Colombian candy shops.
- Access to the Esensal, a spa 200 meters underground.
During one visit one can enjoy the following attractions:
The stations of the cross
It is a tour with 14 stations where you can see several crosses carved out of blocks of salt to represent the Passion of Jesus. The length of the route is 386 meters.
A nice dome
As you leave the Way of the Cross, you will see the imposing dome of the cathedral. This construction is carved in salt and has a height of 11 meters. The ceiling is illuminated in blue. The dome symbolizes the world and the cosmos.
The naves of the cathedral
In the center of the cathedral are three chambers that represent the most important moments in the life of Jesus: his life, his death and finally his resurrection.
The largest underground cross in the world
The supposedly largest underground cross in the world is only 145 meters away from the dome. The dimensions of this construction are 16 meters high and 10 meters wide.
The miner’s way
You will feel like a real miner on this experience, which lasts between 35 minutes and 1 hour. You will be given a helmet and appropriate equipment to go through some of the geological formations that can be found in the mine. During this activity a guide who will explain everything to you will accompany you.
Having fun on the climbing wall
This attraction is located in the forecourt of the mine. It is considered to be the largest open pit-climbing wall in Colombia. Try your luck and ring the bell at the top of the climbing wall.
Here is explained how the production of brine works. There are also several tanks that are used in this process.
It is one of the youngest attractions of the place and was only inaugurated in 2020. There are 65 scale relics in this room that will help you learn about the life of the most famous Egyptian pharaoh: Tutankhamun.
When and why should you visit the Salt Cathedral?
The Salt Cathedral is the first architectural wonder of Colombia that has finally reopened its doors since October 1st, 2020. Today there are biosecurity measures in place and the salty area surrounding the mine is well worth exploring.
Both local and foreign visitors can experience an experience of tranquility and meditation. Get to know the different crosses in the mine and the imposing cathedral. Outside the salt mine there is also a canopy, city tour, miner’s route, climbing wall, the brine museum and the Tutankhamun museum. Avoid visits at Easter, on holiday weekends or at Christmas, otherwise you will encounter unimagined crowds.
- There is no age limit. Children of all ages can enter the cathedral.
- If you need an English-speaking guide, you should send an e-mail to [email protected] at least 2 days in advance.
- The site has ramps for people with physical disabilities.
- Pets are NOT allowed in the cathedral.
When entering the park you have the option to choose different plans (prices 2021):
Price: Adults (13 to 59 years old) pay $ 60,500, Children and seniors (over 60 years old) pay $ 50,500
This plan includes:
- Entrance to the Salt Cathedral
- audio guide
- 3D short film
- water level
- light show
- art exhibition
Price: Adults (13 to 59 years old) pay $ 78,000, Children and seniors (over 60 years old) pay $ 68,000
This plan includes:
- Everything from the basic plan
- City tour
- Salmera Museum
- Tutankhamun Museum
Price: $ 93,000
This plan includes:
- Everything from the basic plan
- City tour
- Salmera Museum
- Tutankhamun Museum
- Mine route
- Adventure package
Would you like to visit the Salt Cathedral? We are a travel agency based in Bogota Colombia, contact us.
Opening times: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Las Lajas is certainly one of the most impressive buildings in Colombia and when combined with its location in a canyon, this cathedral is simply breathtaking. I have visited the South Cathedral several times and it always impresses me.
The British newspaper “The Telegraph” compiled a list of the most beautiful churches in the world, from which the Santuario de las Lajas even emerged as the winner. This is no surprise, because the beautiful Gothic architecture, the imposing 100 meter high tower, the elegant bridge you have to cross to get to the cathedral and the beautiful surrounding landscape make it one of the most incredible structures in the world.
This incredible church was built between 1916 and 1949. Their building material was the stone known as Laja, hence the name of the church. Inside this site is the image of Nuestra Señora de las Lajas and by order of the Vatican, the canonical coronation of this religious figure took place in 1951. In 1954 the sanctuary was declared a basilica.
Wonderful story of Las Lajas
There are many wonderful stories about the Señora del Rosario de las Lajas. For example the case of the Colombian soldier Gonzalo Suarez, who is said to have received seven bullets in the face during the Thousand Day War. This man was on the verge of being burned alive because he was believed dead. He allegedly confided in the virgin and it was at that moment that a woman realized that he was still alive.
The most important story about the cathedral is the one that tells how the canonized image of the Lady of the Rosary was found in Las Lajas. The story goes that in 1754 an indigenous woman named María Mueses de Quiñones and her baby daughter Rosa, who was deaf and dumb from birth, were walking between the town of Ipiales and her home. At that moment the little girl was surprisingly able to speak and said: “Mamita, Mamita, the Mestiza is calling me”.
It is said that Rosa started hallucinating about the Virgin and after giving people some pointers, they were able to find the image of Our Lady of Las Lajas. The story does not end here, as it is said that Rosa died some time later. Her mother painfully asked the Virgin to return her little girl and it is said that the other miracle this woman experienced was then the resurrection of her little girl. There are so many more stories that this place is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world today.
How do I get to the Las Lajas Sanctuary?
The church is located in Ipiales, a border town in southern Colombia, about 2 hours’ drive from Pasto. Pasto is the capital of the department of Nariño and is located in southern Colombia and borders with Ecuador. Pasto can be reached by plane from Bogotá and there are buses from Pasto.
Better yet, book a tour with a private guide. In Ipiales you can park nearby and then walk through the village to the church. Or you can take the gondola and reach the station about 100 meters from the church. Ipiales is about 2,900 meters above sea level.
What to expect in Ipiales
The small town of Ipiales is hilly and the streets are sometimes steep. The entire city is tourist-oriented and interspersed with restaurants and souvenir shops. Travelers in no hurry to get to the sanctuary can take a walk from one of the parking lots to Las Lajas, which takes about 15 minutes.
Another activity is the 20 de Julio Park, in the main square of Ipiales. In the center of the park is the “Efigie de la Libertad”. You can also find the cathedral “San Pedro Mártir” there. In the city you can find shopping centers like “El Gran Plaza”. Ipiales is known as the “City of Green Clouds” because of the greenish color of the sky at sunset. A great way to photograph the landscape is to hike from the parking lots to the church.
What is there to discover in the sanctuary?
One of the most incredible aspects of this church is that the monument was bulged on a bridge over the Guáitara River canyon. This makes the sight of this wonder breathtaking. That is why the sanctuary is also called the “miracle of God in the abyss”.
On the outskirts of Las Lajas there are several places where you can take great photos. You can also go down the stairs behind the church. There are several food stalls nearby. The interior of the church is very impressive. You will find beautiful stained glass windows, several oratorios and on some walls there are panels with thanksgiving to the Señora del Rosario de las Lajas. You can also visit the Museo Santuario Nuestra Señora de las Lajas.
The Las Lajas Museum is not to be missed. Here you can learn about the story of the Virgin, admire beautiful and incredible stained glass windows, pre-Columbian art of the indigenous pastos culture and of course a wide variety of religious works and paintings. If you have some time, we recommend waiting until dusk. Then the church is illuminated in different colors, which is a spectacle worth seeing.
When and why to go to church?
The department of Nariño may not be the first choice when visiting Colombia. However, we can warmly recommend a visit to the church and the department.
Note, however, that you should not travel on Sundays, public holidays, Holy Week, or Christmas. The crowds in this beautiful place would unfortunately spoil the experience. You can find more details in my text about the most spectacular basilica in Colombia.
Opening times: every day except Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (don’t forget to double-check the opening times before visiting the website)
Prizes (2021): Colombian Citizens $ 27,000, Students $ 12,000, Foreigners $ 38,000
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995, the San Agustin Archaeological Park is one of the most important archaeological sites in South America. Located in the Huila department, this park was opened to the public in 1935. Inside you can see the largest necropolis (cemeteries) in Latin America.
It is said that this burial site contains the remains of an indigenous culture that dates back to 3000 BC. Was created. By the time the conquest began and the Spaniards landed on American soil, that culture was already gone. Because of this, this group was renamed the Augustine Culture, in honor of Fray Agustin de la Coruña, who was a bitter defender of the indigenous people.
The San Agustin Archaeological Park is really amazing. There is not just a single park, but the park is spread over different locations. For Colombian standards, the infrastructure is excellent and everything is very well organized.
How to get to the park
The main park is located very close to San Agustín, a Colombian municipality in the south of the Huila department. The journey takes place via Pitalito, as this is the fastest route. From Pitalito (Huila) airport there are various terrestrial transports to San Agustín and the journey takes around an hour. A visit to San Agustin can also be combined well with a visit to Popayán.
San Agustin is 1,730 meters above sea level. Remember to plan your visit in advance as the park is not always open.
What can you expect from San Agustin?
As well as being a great cultural heritage site, San Agustín is an excellent tourist destination for both locals and foreigners. Visitors tend to be amazed by the archaeological landscapes, statues, and ancestral culture.
The municipality has several attractions and places for hiking, such as the pre-Columbian Museum Villa Real, the Church of San Agustín, the waterfall of the 3 Chorros (with bike or walking tours) and the Magdalena Street (bike route). When you come to San Agustín you will find a city that is “frozen” in time. Different types of tours are offered to visit all parks, as well as activities such as horse riding and jeep tours.
What is there to discover in the Archaeological Park?
In the park you will find various museum rooms, guides and maps of the places. The highlight, however, are the excavations. The Archaeological Park is a living example of the pre-Hispanic cultures that inhabited this region of Colombia for more than fifteen centuries. In other times it was a place of pilgrimage and constant worship.
Today, however, the San Agustín Archaeological Park consists of the following parts:
The Luis Duque Gómez House Museum
This museum opened in 2013 and shows in its nine rooms various objects belonging to the cultures that lived in the area, as well as objects representative of the region. The museum displays ceramic pieces, statues that make up the culture of San Agustin, historical photographs of the first excavations on this site and other interesting objects.
Mesita A was the first square in the park opened to the public at the beginning of the 20th century. Investigations have shown that this place served as a settlement around 2000 years ago. The most remarkable thing you will find are two burial mounds that are 4 meters high and 30 meters in diameter.
Several members of the San Agustin culture lived here 3,000 years ago. Mesita B has more than 60 statues, several burial mounds and some simple graves. This area was also explored at the beginning of the 20th century.
Mesita C has a burial mound, around 15 statues and more than 40 graves.
The forest of statues
At a distance of about 600 m we find the forest of statues. This place gathers more than 30 funerary statues collected in different parts of the park.
The high of the Lavapatas
It is considered to be one of the biggest attractions in the park. El Alto del Lavapatas is located on a hill, it was excavated in 1974 and what was discovered were the remains of a house. A fireplace was found that, according to studies, dates back to 3300 BC. Goes back. This is the oldest evidence of human activity in the Alto Magdalena.
When and why to visit the park?
The San Agustin Archaeological Park is a fantastic place. It is also one of the most important archaeological sites in Colombia and around the world, having been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
This park is perfect for those looking for a cultural experience surrounded by nature. While the ecological trails are in very good condition and make it easier to visit different parts of the park, there are also more challenging trails, such as B. the ascent to the Alto del Lavapatas. Both Colombians and foreigners should visit San Agustín to learn about one of the most advanced cultures of the pre-Hispanic era.
Some recommendations for visiting the park
The park will reopen on October 2nd, 2020, but there are some guidelines in place due to COVID-19.
- Only 120 visitors per day are allowed. It is recommended to buy tickets in advance.
- People over 60 must provide a medical certificate.
- An accompanying guide is currently required and tours depart every 30 minutes.
- Remember that these measures can change at the time of your visit. We recommend visiting the website beforehand.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Prices (2021): General Admission $ 20,000 / Reduced Price $ 10,500 for children ages 6-13 and students.
What else can we say about Cartagena?
This city is a Caribbean dream come true and a visit is almost a must. It is incredible that such a beautiful and touristic place was the target of pirates, English and French centuries ago. This was due to the geographical location and the great treasures that were in the city.
Just remember when the infamous pirate Francis Drake arrived off the coast of Cartagena in 1586 with a fleet of allegedly more than 23 warships and a crew of more than 3,000 men. This group burned more than 200 houses, ransacked the city and managed to get city authorities to give him 107,000 escudos in gold to help him leave Cartagena.
So the Spaniards decided to build an impregnable fortress that would give them an advantage against pirates and rival kingdoms. The Spaniards began building the imposing Fort of San Felipe de Barajas, which was then built by the Spanish military and African slaves. It took more than a century to complete this construction, namely from 1536 to 1657.
This fortress is located on a hill called San Lazaro and several historical battles also took place here. One of the most famous is that of the French army, commanded by Baron de Pointis in 1697. This group managed to defeat the Spanish army and take the castle of San Felipe, which they used to bomb one of the entrances to Cartagena. These men then also managed to pillage the city.
The most important battle and victory that took place in this place ended against the English under the command of Edward Vernon. This attack took place in 1741 and after almost the entire Spanish army had been defeated, the only point of defense that remained was the castle of San Felipe. Vernon, confident and thinking it would be an easy victory, sent his men to break into the fortress.
What the English did not know: The Spanish military Blas de Lezo had a huge trench dug, which the attackers found when breaking through the walls, so that thousands of English soldiers died and the rest had to retreat. According to history, the English and French rebuilt the military fortification several times because of the constant attacks. Today it is part of the historical and cultural heritage of Colombia.
How to get to San Felipe Castle
San Felipe de Barajas Castle is located in the northeast of the historic center of Cartagena de Indias. It is located on the hill of San Lazaro, 10 minutes from the clock tower.
The castle is very easy to get to because of its proximity to the historic center. The fortress can be reached on foot within 15 minutes from the historic center. However, due to the heat, we always recommend a taxi. Always ask about the price of the ride before leaving.
What to expect in Cartagena
Cartagena is the capital of the Bolivar department and thanks to its beaches, historical sites and structures such as the walled old town, Cartagena is visited by a large number of foreign and domestic tourists all year round. If you want to know a little more about this wonderful city, we recommend our travel guide to Cartagena. https://www.pelecanus.com.co/es/guia-viaje-cartagena/
What is there to discover in the castle?
The huge fortifications that can be found here already tell a clear story. The attackers at the time were eager to enrich themselves with the treasures of the pearl of the Caribbean. The fortress is a huge monument with lots of rooms to explore. Once inside, you can explore the fortress on your own. However, a guided tour is recommended.
Some of the most distinctive rooms inside the castle are:
- The labyrinthine tunnel system designed as a trap for enemies who should enter the fort and get lost.
- The underground barracks, in which they could accommodate up to 350 men, along with the weapons and food they would need to survive in the event of an invasion.
The walls have a very wide base that narrows towards the top. The stone blocks, it is said, were found on the surrounding coasts.
When and why visit the castle?
The Castillo de San Felipe is the largest military fortress built on the American continent. Its virtually impregnable construction has maintained it over the years, and UNESCO has declared the huge fortress a World Heritage Site.
In the Magdalena department, more precisely in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, we find one of the most incredible and oldest indigenous buildings in all of Latin America.
The lost city was originally a settlement that housed between 4,000 and 10,000 people. These people belonged to the Taironas, an extinct indigenous community who inhabited the departments of Magdalena, Guajira and Cesar. This site was founded around AD 700, making it an estimated 600 years older than the most iconic indigenous structure, Machu Picchu.
The Taironas originally called this place Teyuna. There you can find incredible indigenous constructions that have remained almost intact despite the centuries. The beautiful cobblestone walkways, stone terraces, ceremonial centers, houses, and other incredible sights stand out from everything.
After the arrival of the Spaniards in America, Teyuna was abandoned. This place remained hidden until the 1970s. In 1976 the lost city was finally discovered and renamed Ciudad Perdida.
How do I get to Ciudad Perdida?
At Ciudad Perdida you can say that the journey is the goal. Almost from the coast of Santa Marta you can climb the highest coastal mountains in the world and visit the lost city on a 4-, 5- or 6-day hike.
For travelers who lack time, motivation or stamina, there are alternatives such as booking a helicopter overflight. However, if you are interested in visiting, be sure to check out my Lost City review for all the necessary details.
The Ciudad Perdida is located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Usually the tours start in Santa Marta and you drive to “el Mamey”. After arriving in “el Mamey”, the trek begins and you hike around 50 km there and back. There are 7 licensed tour operators for this.
What to expect in Santa Marta
Santa Marta offers many activities to tourists. You can visit one of the numerous beaches such as Taganga, Playa Blanca, Playa Grande or Rodadero, drive to Minca, visit the Tayrona Park and much more.
Near the city is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in which about 30 thousand indigenous people of the ethnic groups Kogi, Arhuaco, Kankuamo and Wiwa live. In fact, UNESCO has declared the area a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. Another interesting place is the “ambientazo en la carrera 3”, known as the best place to end the day with a good dose of Colombian gastronomy and live music.
Another place not to be missed is the hacienda “Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino”, which is the final resting place of Simón Bolívar and is considered one of the most important national monuments.
What is there to discover in Ciudad Perdida?
The Teyuna Ciudad Perdida Archaeological Park can be visited as part of a multi-day guided tour lasting between 4 and 6 days. In my opinion, 4 days is enough. The tour to Ciudad Perdida takes place on a path that consists mainly of tropical rainforest.
The climate is hot and humid, it can be rainy and in some places there are slippery spots. Insects like mosquitoes, midges, bed bugs and others will plague you. During the hike you will also cross several rivers and streams.
The 4-Day Lost City Tour is the tour of choice for most travelers. Here is the route:
Day 1: The Lost City tour starts at 8:00 a.m. and each participant is picked up at their accommodation. The departure is at 9:30 am and a two-and-a-half hour drive begins until you arrive at the starting point “Mamey”.
Day 2: All travelers should be ready at 6:00 am, the hike begins along the trail to leave the rural region and reach the indigenous reserve where a 30 minute ascent is due.
Day 3: Day vigil at 5 a.m. so that you can leave for the Lost City at 6 a.m. You don’t take luggage with you for this part, just a camera, insect repellent, sunscreen and money.
Day 4: The hike starts at 6:15 a.m. After the march, a one-hour ascent begins and at the end of the mountain range, on which you walk for about 40 minutes, you walk down for 30 minutes and straight on for about 10 minutes. After lunch, a snack, fruit and some more hiking time, you finally return to Santa Marta.
In summary, I can say that two days are uphill and two days are downhill. On the third day you will arrive in the Lost City, where you will be given a guided tour of the archaeological site and will likely have a meeting with the mamo (top leader of the Kogui community).
You’ll see suspension bridges, traditional native houses, large green spaces for photography, rivers, and many other natural attractions.
When and why to visit the Lost City?
This is an iconic place, part of one of the more than 250 ancient settlements of the four indigenous groups in northern Colombia. It is important to know that the temperature on the way to Ciudad Perdida is usually constant (over 25 degrees Celsius) but during the year there are often times when it rains more.
We do not recommend visiting the lost city during peak travel times.
Recommendations: The hike is moderately demanding, so a good physical condition and enjoyment of hiking and nature is recommended.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Prizes (2021): Colombian citizens $ 35,000, Students $ 15,000, Foreigners $ 50,000
Children under the age of 12 and adults over the age of 62 do not have to pay admission. The same goes for indigenous communities and people from the region. Tierradentro is the only wonder I haven’t been able to visit yet. I planned it multiple times and failed each time. Interested travelers can find the information they need here.
Located in the Huila department, the Tierradentro Archaeological Park is one of the most incredible places to learn about pre-Hispanic cultures. Because of its importance, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. This place is an archaeological reserve where it is possible to find remains of the burial rites of some pre-Hispanic cultures. There are underground tombs or hypogea, which are a kind of burial temple.
These buildings were built between the IV. And IX. Century erected. The graves are said to belong to indigenous farming communities. Over the years a still existing indigenous community settled in this area, the Paeces, who have always been in the department of Cauca and also in some sectors of Putumayo, Tolima, Huila, Caquetá and Meta. They are the ones currently responsible for protecting and honoring this space.
How to get to the park
The Tierradentro Park is located in the municipality of Inza, in the department of Cauca, in the south-west of the country. A good option is to take an all-inclusive tour to Tierradentro. Another alternative is to take a Jeep Colectivo outside the terminal that will take you to El Crucero (a small town) and from there take a Bus Colectivo to Tierradentro.
Tierradentro is about 3 hours by car from Popayán and 5 hours from San Agustín. From Popayán you can also take a direct bus to Tierradentro, which leaves every day at 10:30 a.m.
What is there to discover in the Archaeological Park?
Without a doubt, the Tierradentro Archaeological Park is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the country. It is a travel destination where we can learn to understand a unique culture that built the resting place of its dead in the mountains.
Tierradentro is a park where tourists can find a variety of activities, such as hiking through the hills where the hypogea (underground burial structures) are located. You can also visit the local archaeological museum.
This was opened to the public in 2014 and renamed the Luis-Duque-Gómez Museum. You can find various tools, goldsmiths’ objects, funerary urns and other items that belonged to the indigenous culture that lived in the park centuries ago.
Another attraction of the place are the hypogea, up to nine meters deep collective graves, which are among the most important archaeological relics of Colombian history. The park is a magnificent showpiece of tomb architecture. Several monumental statues of human figures can be seen in the park, where there are also many hypogea from the sixth (VI) to the tenth (X) centuries.
These huge underground graves (some burial chambers are up to 12 meters wide) are decorated with motifs that reflect the interior decoration of the houses of that time.
When and why to visit this park?
The park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List in Colombia and its fascinating finds give a unique and extraordinary testimony to a vanished civilization. As a traveler, visiting tourist destinations like Tierradentro is the best way to learn about a large part of Colombian history and to learn about who used to inhabit this land and what is left of them.
Some recommendations for visiting the place
- Please follow the local rules.
- You should always have a rain cover with you. The temperature of the place is between 16 and 18 ° C.
- Protect yourself from the sun.
Página web: https://teatrocolon.gov.co/
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Italian architect Pietro Cantini built the Teatro Colón between 1885 and 1895. The construction was not easy, because the idea Cantini had in mind was so sophisticated that it required the establishment of a vocational school to give the workers the knowledge they need to work on the site.
At the end of the 19th century, the Maldonado Theater was on the spot where the Miracle of Colombia now stands. In 1895, then President Rafael Núñez expropriated the owners to transform it into one of the most iconic buildings in the country: the Teatro Colón.
Today the Teatro Colón is a space for all arts where you can find dance, theater, circus, urban music, traditional, classical, opera and many other genres. A curiosity is that the Teatro Colon is only on the list for a few travelers. However, it is an impressive theater, located in the old town of Bogota, and offers organized tours in Spanish. If you are not fluent in Spanish, don’t worry, you can book a tour in another language with a little lead time.
How do I get to the theatre?
The theater is located in the center of the city of Bogota. The exact address is: Calle 10 # 5-32, La Candelaria.
What to expect in Bogota
The capital is characterized by a large number of museums, historical sites such as La Candelaria and various sights that Bogota never gets boring. If you want to know a little more about Bogota, I recommend reading my travel guide for Bogota.
What is there to discover in the theater?
The theater has three levels and has a capacity of approx. 900 spectators. On the first level is the main hall of the Teatro Colón, where great artists have performed and national and international presentations of a high artistic level have taken place.
This hall has a capacity of 785 seats. The foyer is on the second level of the Cristobal Colon Theater. Music concerts with small orchestras, chamber groups and recitals take place in this hall. This hall has a capacity for 120 people.
The Victor Mallarino Hall is located on the third level of the theater, where the first actors trained in Colombia appeared, many of whom shaped the history of the National Theater. The “de Gatti” curtain of the theater was made in Florence (Italy). This is 8.75 meters high and 11.35 wide. The theater also has a publicly accessible documentation center that contains approximately 15,000 texts and references about the museum and its interventions over time.
When and why should you visit the Teatro Colón?
The Teatro Colon in Bogota is the national theater of Colombia, built on an area of 2,400 square meters. Its style is neoclassical and its facade is made of stone. The theater was declared a national monument and voted the seventh wonder of the world in Colombia.
Colombia Travel Guides
If you are meanwhile convinced that you should head for Colombia, I will offer you some navigation aids below.
- Colombia Travel Guide
- Bogotá Travel Guide
- Medellin Travel Guide
- Santa Marta Travel Guide
- Cartagena Travel Guide
- La Guajira Travel Guide
- Llanos Travel Guide
- Providencia Travel Guide
- Coffee Triangle Travel Guide
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