Streets of Villa de Leyva

Plaza Mayor

Hey globetrotters,

View on Plaza MayorI’m back on the road and I’d love you to join me again.
This time we’re going to Villa de Leyva.

Yes, you name it, a second Colombia story. Since I brought it up the last time, I really didn’t wanna leave you there, with only one place to visit in Colombia.

Villa de Leyva is a glorious colonial village and was declared a national monument in 1954.
I want to be honest with you.
I had never heard of the lovely and idyllic place before our trip. But since it really thrilled me, I want you to explore it, too.

Choose your path

The day after our drive to Chicaque we took off early again in Bogota.
And the easiest way is definitely to take a bus, as the driving on those mountain roads might be challenging.
Proven companies are Expreso Gaviota or Gacela, which we chose. The ride takes 3 hours, depending on traffic.

Whitewashed wallsIf you need a recommendation on where to stay, I liked our Hospederia Calle Real a lot.
It’s a simple, yet cozy place in a very central location.
Thanks to the hosts, somehow this place was filled with warm-heartedness.

Generally, there are such nice places over town. So I’m not concerned there.

Selecting the best time

Actually you can choose whether you want the trip to turn out tranquil or rather lively.
If you want something contrasting to Chicaque go on a weekend.
Lots of tourists, mostly from all over Colombia, will be drawn to this magnificent place. And on Saturdays locals will sell their vegetables, exotic fruits and coffee on the farmer’s market.

Street view Villa de LeyvaIf you prefer to take up the peace of the cloud forest, rather choose a weekday.
That’s when you will feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the colonial era.

You’ll wander through the cobblestone streets of this charming old town, as daily life takes place. It will be mostly calm as you walk past whitewashed houses with big wooden doors painted in green.

Typical events in town

If you wanna see a colorful sky, visit in August. That’s when the Wind and Kite Festival takes place. In the windy month a considerable number of competitors try to win. There are several categories turning those three days into a major social event.

And also there is the Festival of lights.
Many Colombians are drawn to Villa de Leyva as they feel attracted by the magic of the celebration.
The city has its special glow as the locals decorate their terraces and balconies with candles.

You see the light shine everywhere in the city; you find lanterns on the sides of the streets.
Make sure not to miss the firework contest in this marvelous scene.

Almost a special flair

Houses Villa de LeyvaTalking of wind and light…
Due to the movements of the clouds, the influence of the sun and the mountains the picture changes constantly. Especially photographers love those radiant light conditions.

The dry and mild climate makes a walk around the valley very pleasant. In fact the average temperature here on the foot of a mountain is only 18°Celsius.

What to do in Villa de Leyva

You couldn’t possibly miss Plaza Mayor, as it’s the heart of the town. It is actually the largest one in Latin America.
Many actors have stood on the massive cobblestoned ground. The recognizable square is a popular set for movies and film productions.

A white stunning cathedral stands out immediately.Street life Villa de Leyva
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario is a beautiful yet simple church. Instead of getting distracted by icons and pictures you can enjoy the peacefulness.

Infact you might get lucky and see a wedding couple, as they leave the church. Probably they have to catch one of the carriages drawn by horses.

You can choose from several museums exhibiting fossils, art and history. And especially architects are fascinated by the Casa Terracota, which is really made from baked clay. You could do a bike trip or ride a horse.

I wanna make you feel this place

In case you’re looking for me, you’ll find me strolling around the charming streets.
I’ll be taking in local life.
Maybe I’ll be watching a man with a cowboy hat walk down the streets.
I’ll be sitting on that bench in the sun in front of Dorfkneipe; right next to locals drinking their pick of draft beer.

That’s what I wanna do.

I wanna sit in a cute café over a hearty soup, while the afternoon rain falls down.
I wanna come across an old lady in a poncho. Maybe just because I wanna see her feeding chicken under her red tiled roof.
I wanna bump into cute little stores hidden in inner courtyards.
Finally I wanna find a special piece; something woven, so I can keep it forever.

I still hold on to the scarf made of wool that I bought the last time;
somewhere in the streets of Villa de Leyva.



  1. Vilmi
    2017-09-05 / 10:31 AM

    Sweety, this is so nice!
    I haven’t heard about this place before , now I do. There are a lot of Stuff that you can obviously do there and I’m happy that you share all of it with us.
    Keep going, I love your posts everyday more!

    Hugs Vilmi

    • JS
      2017-09-05 / 12:08 PM

      Thank you so much Vilmi,
      I can’t find the words to describe the joy of reading a feedback like this. It really motivates me to keep going and to be picky with my content. I hope you get see this beautiful place sometime.

  2. Ricardo Melo Martínez
    2018-10-10 / 11:32 PM

    JS, I am Colombian and I must say that your article is very complete and considered with the Colombian people. You describe with special attention every place and use great photos for recreate it. I think you are a great writer I would like your visit again and invite you to a Colombian coffee. Thanks for your post

  3. Ricardo Melo Martínez
    2018-10-10 / 11:36 PM

    I am Colombian and I must say that your article is very complete and considered with the Colombian people. You describe with special attention every place and use great photos for recreate it. I think you are a great writer I would like your visit again and invite you to a Colombian coffee. Thanks for your post

    • JS
      2018-10-10 / 11:53 PM

      Thank you Ricardo,

      having these words come from a local mean the world to me. Colombia is so special to me. And so I put in lots of effort to capture the feelings I had in both places, Chicaque and Villa de Leyva.

      Glad to hear that it pays off.
      Cheers to you and your beautiful county,

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