A quiet town in the heart of the Andes' mountain range filled with unique colonial architecture
Visiting Villa de Leyva, a town located in Boyacá, Colombia, is the best option for those who do not want to contemplate the sea and the beaches full of bathers but rather prefer the silence of the mountains. With colonial architecture, beautiful natural landscapes, crafts, and varied gastronomic offers, the Villa has a history to tell the visitor who knows how to listen.
Just three hours away from Bogotá, the town is surprisingly colonial and this type of architecture is evident since one’s arrival; the great Plaza Mayor, the church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, and an abundance of houses painted white with their typical doors and windows made of wood are all too common.
It is a delight to visit Villa de Leyva and admire the beautiful handicrafts sold to the visitors; there are “ruanas” made from handmade looms, as well as sweaters, scarves and gloves woven in virgin wool. The “ruana” is a smart purchase, not only because of the beauty and the color of the garment, but because the nights in Villa are quite cold. There are also leather handicrafts such as handbags, wallets, book separators, and belts.
At lunch time, the town offers a wide variety of restaurants ranging from international gastronomy to the typical Colombian foods, like baked lamb -cordero al horno-, the “sobrebarriga desmechada ”, and mashed potatoes with “Paipa” cheese. If you have a sweet tooth, carrot cakes, crunchy “milhojas bañadas con arequipe”, and “postres de maracuyá” are famous delicacies.
Villa de Leyva celebrates many festivals throughout the year, such as an Astromic Event during late January, or the Wind and Comets congregation in August; The celebration of the Christmas season begins on December 7 - night of the candles – to celebrate the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.
This town is an ecotourism lovers’ delight. There are many natural places around the Villa, such as the Blue Wells, the Gondava Park, the Ostrich Farm, the Guananí Vineyard; The Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora of Iguaque is a natural park of indescribable beauty where camping is allowed.
Latin American Post | Aura L. Acevedo M.
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto