Villa de Leyva, Colombia

January 22, 2016

After a frantic pace running around Bogota, I really loved my days in quiet, colonial Villa de Leyva. The town was founded in 1572. Obviously I am pre-disposed to love quiet, colonial towns; see here, here, here, here, here  and here for example. Colonial architecture in Latin America comes in a few different forms and flavors. Perhaps Colombia’s most famous colonial city; Cartagena is bright and colorful. By contrast, Villa de Leyva is simple, white masonry structures.

A view of Plaza Mayor

A view of Plaza Mayor

My favorite thing about Villa de Leyva is that it gave me a chance to relax; to simply hang-around the Plaza Mayor. Colombian claim that Villa de Leyva has the largest cobbled square in South America. While I am not sure if that is true, the Plaza is very impressive.

But the one thing that the Plaza Mayor is lacking is shade; the midday sun so near to the equator is intense, even as the air temperatures are pleasant. Perhaps for this reason, the quiet Villa de Leyva springs to life after the sun goes down. There are three times as many people out and about in the evening.

I was planning to visit some local hot springs, but the drought has caused them to close. So instead of relaxing in hot springs, I went on a bit of adventure. I jumped off a cliff (zip lining), reppelled down the face of a waterfall, and went caving (spelunking). Much more of an adrenaline rush than hot springs.

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