Villa de Leiva Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by mircaskirca
  • Local Customs
    by mircaskirca
  • Local Customs
    by mircaskirca

Most Recent Local Customs in Villa de Leiva

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    Cobblestone Streets

    by mircaskirca Updated Apr 11, 2010

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    Villa de Leyva is a leisurely place made for walking. You can stroll around charming cobblestone streets and plazas lined by quaint colonial buildings, listen to the sound of church bells and enjoy the lazy rythm of the day gone by. The streets around Plaza Mayor are filled with restaurants, bars and shops with local handicrafts. All the houses and buildings are whitewashed, many with charming wooden balconies, shutters and doors, and some with lovely courtyards.

    The town is small and you can actually see it in a few hours. But you'll want to hang out longer. Villa de Leyva is a real gem, each turn of the corner brings another picturesque view. During the week the town is calm and tranquil and it's easy to spend hours ambling along the narrow streets, visit some of the town's museums, most of which are in old colonial mansions, and sip a coffee on the main square.

    And don't forget to wear comfortable walking shoes to navigate those narrow stone streets. Your feet will be thankful.

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    Almojábanas and Arepas Boyacenses

    by mircaskirca Updated Nov 15, 2009

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    Pan de yuca - my favourite bakery

    Colombia is known for its breads and bakery products made of corn or corn flour. The recipes vary, depending on the region. Boyacá is especially famous for its almojábanas and arepas Boyacenses. I was recommended by my Colombian friends to try them in Villa de Leyva. To my surprise, it was not so easy to find them. I asked in several shops selling breads and bakery products and finally a local woman told me about the bakery Pan de yuca where they make almojábanas as well the delicious pan de yuca (yuca bread).

    Almojábana is a type of bread made of corn flour and cheese. It is said to have originated in the department of Boyaca but might be also in Mexico or Venezuela. Its name comes from the Arabic almugábbana which means a 'mix made with cheese'. These cheese bread balls can be eaten as snack. They are best when they are still warm, so soft, and oh, yummy! I never made them at home. But if you want to give it a try, here is the recipe.

    Arepa is a bread made of corn originating from the Andes. Depending on the region, they differ in colour, size and flavour. Some are sweet, especially those prepared with fresh ground corn, while others are salty. Arepa Boyacense comes from the department of Boyacá. They are very hard and dense, and are typically about 10 cm across and filled with a sweet cheese. Arepas are sold on the street all over Colombia and are usually eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with chocolate, cheese, butter or hogao. Love them!

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    Doors

    by mircaskirca Updated Nov 13, 2009

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    Another characteristic of colonial houses of Villa de Leyva are their wooden doors and shutters. Many of the front doors are massive, with carvings related to the original owner's occupation or status. The town has a regulation that all the buildings have to have similar appearance, white walls and dark green or natural colour of the doors. But still, there is a wide variety. It's quite unlikely that you find two exactly the same ones.

    I liked the doors with striking frames made of stone. It looks very nice on a white house.

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    Lovely Wooden Balconies

    by mircaskirca Updated Nov 13, 2009

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    Villa de Leyva is a charming town filled with history and architecture which give it a bohemian atmosphere. The town is famed for its intact colonial appearance and it is one of the few in Colombia that conserved all its colonial architecture. Strolling the cobblestone streets of Villa de Leyva gives you the opportunity to admire the little details on the whitewashed houses, many two levels, featuring balconies decorated with flower pots overflowing with bougainvilleas and geraniums.

    These carved wooden balconies are lovely and worth studying. They have a Moorish influence and are the characteristic accents of the Hispanic tradition of the town. There are differences between them, but they share the characteristics of wood, usually painted green or a dark colour, or just natural. Decorated with plants and hanging pots and flowers, they make for some excellent photographic opportunities.

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    Courtyards

    by mircaskirca Updated Nov 13, 2009

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    Alcaldia Especial Villa de Leyva
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    From the plaza simply walk off in any direction and allow yourself to be enchanted by the historic, charming feel of the town and its friendly people. As you pass along the quiet, cobblestone streets keep an eye out for entrances to small courtyards of some old houses and mansions. Built in true Spanish tradition, they are surrounded by variety of plants and flowers, have lovely stone fountains and shady nooks to escape the heat.

    Many of Villa de Leyva's charming little hotels and museums have courtyards, as well private homes. They will let you inside to have a look, if you ask. Some of these courtyards contain handicraft shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafés. What a nice place to take some rest, have a drink and enjoy the atmosphere. I just love them. They are so inviting and restful.

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    Relax, chat, enjoy the town

    by MrRandMcnally Written Feb 28, 2005

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    Enjoy the Colonial life

    Maybe it's living in a town that hasen't changed much over the last few centuries but the locals here don't seem to be in much of a hurry. Take your lead from them, relax, find some good conversation and enjoy the views.

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Villa de Leiva Local Customs

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