Villa de Leyva might not be a name familiar to those outside Colombia who have only heard of Medellin or Bogotá, but this tiny town high in the Colombian altiplano, or highland plain, is actually one of the most visited places in the entire country. A trip to Villa de Leyva is a journey back in time. Walking into the town you will be transported back four centuries, as this charming enclave has changed little over the last 400 years. Due to its location in the high plains of a mountain valley and the absence of important minerals, Villa de Leyva was not impacted by the region’s trade routes or exploited by mining and has remained virtually untouched, offering visitors a glimpse into olden-day Colombia. The town was declared a national monument in 1954, and its essence has been impressively preserved. Be charmed by Villa de Leyva’s cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings and colonial atmosphere. Given it’s laid-back character and old world feel, it is no wonder that it is a popular holiday destination for Bogotanos who are are looking for a break from the city, which is just a three hour drive away. Admire the Spanish-style villas and take a stroll around the enormous main town square, one of the biggest in the Americas, which is flanked by the Iglesia Parroquial De Villa de Leyva dating from 1604.
Villa de Leyva Bucket List - What not to miss!