We know that Bogota can be a bit chaotic, with its constant traffic and rush. But the advantage of being such a big city is that there are endless things to do. Architecture, history, art, adventure, fun. From museums and cultural centers to parks and cafes, you’ll always find something new to see.

But the best of this city is also outside of it, closer than you think. If you want to have a more complete experience, or if you want a weekend getaway. You will always find places near Bogota that you should definitely visit.

And as in this blog we like to think about the different preferences of each traveler, we selected some places to visit near Bogota. Each one of them with a particular charm and with something different to do. These are the best places near Bogota:

A church that everyone should see (even if you are not religious).

A couple of hours from Bogota is one of the wonders of Colombia: The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. Decades ago this place was a salt production point. Today it is the only subway religious sanctuary in the world and an architectural jewel of modernity.

To visit it you must go down to 180 meters deep, walking through corridors and galleries. It is a place that takes your breath away because absolutely everything is carved in salt. You will also find other pieces of religious symbolism such as the largest subway cross in the world.

And not only that, in this place you will have other attractions. You can be a miner for a day, visit museums and, of course, tour the town of Zipaquirá.

Take advantage of the proximity and visit Guatavita

If you leave early in the morning, you can spend some time in Zipaquirá and then visit the Guatavita Lagoon. A natural space where it is said that the Legend of El Dorado took place. Here you can take a one-hour tour with the guide while learning the story behind the legend. As well as learning about the cultural, historical and environmental value of the place.

Two destinations to connect with nature

Closer to Bogotá than you might think, there are natural parks that will surprise you. They are perfect destinations to escape the chaos of the city and connect with nature. Also to get to know another side of the region.

The first is the Chicaque Natural Park

It is a nature reserve and a sanctuary for flora and fauna, ecotourism and conservation. It is in a cloud forest ecosystem, so it can be a cool place and has many activities for everyone. Here you can go hiking, horseback riding and bird watching. You can stay in their hotels, campsites and even tree houses!

The second place is home to the highest waterfall in the country: the Chorrera de Choachí.

Choachi is a small town also in a cloud forest ecosystem. This park is 40 minutes from downtown Bogota. This is a somewhat demanding hike, but well worth the effort. You will be able to see two waterfalls up close: El Chiflon and La Chorrera, with a height of 590 meters.

In any of these places you can have the most adventurous side of Bogota and its surroundings.

How about a place that brings it all together?

If you want to go a little further afield, our best recommendation is a small and charming village. Although it takes longer to get there, you can take advantage of your stay in the city and take a day trip here.

We are talking about Villa de Leyva. A place frozen in time, because its architecture preserves its colonial past. This town belongs to the department of Boyacá. Its main square is a National Monument and the largest in Colombia.

History, culture, architecture and more

As you can see, no matter what you like, in Bogotá you will always find something to discover.

Around Villa de Leyva you can learn about history and prehistory. On the one hand, there are the Prehistoric Museum, the Fossil Museum and the Palenteological Museum. Fossils from different periods are found in the three museums. On the other hand, if you like architecture, here you will also find gems to admire.

Besides Plaza Mayor, there are houses, churches and cloisters that recall the colonial era and mud. And you can visit the Terracotta House. The largest pottery in the world. A habitable house, made entirely of clay.

And if that’s not enough, if you are looking for a nature plan, you can visit Pozos Azules. Water wells with a vivid blue color, contrasting with the desert area.