Zipaquira is an unassuming small town about 50 kilometers north of Bogota and would most likely not be visited by anyone aside from its star attraction, a salt mine of all things. But this is no ordinary salt mine, this one has a series of carvings depicting the last days of Christ. This should come as no surprise in very Catholic Colombia and in fact as interesting as many of the depictions are, the Colombian tourists are the true attraction. They love this place and if you want to see Colombians enjoying themselves, this is a great place to do it. Would I go again, probably not but if you have time it is worth the effort to get here and a half a day of your valuable vacation time.
More details on how to reach Zipaquira in my upcoming page.
Zipaquirá is an attractive mountain town with more than 70.000 people, located 49 km north of Bogotá. Its main square, Plaza de los Comuneros, is surrounded by beautiful old Spanish colonial style buildings with their typical balconies, Palacio Municpial, Catedral Diocesana and Casa de Gobierno. The town has great bakeries. But Zipaquirá is mostly known for its enormous underground Salt Cathedral, a church built out of a salt mine, which is certainly one of the must-see sights around Bogotá and makes a nice day trip from the metropolis.
To get to Zipaquirá you can take one of the TransMilenio buses to Portal del Norte from where are frequent buses to Zipaquirá. The bus will drop you off on the main street. To get back to Bogotá take a bus on the other side of the road; just make sure it is going to Portal del Norte.
Zipaquirá is a town with a population of 70 000, situated about 50 km north of Bogotá. Zipaquirá is known for its salt mines and the Salt Cathedral, which attracts many visitor every day. By making tunnels in to the hills west of Zipaquirá the salt has been mined here already since the Muisca period.
If you came to Zipaquirá to visit the Salt Cathedral it is also worth taking a walk in the town. Around the central square there are some colonial buildings and the church looks very nice. There is also an archaeological museum in the town.
Zipaquira is a charming little colonial style town about 50km north of Bogota. However, the reason to visit Zipaquira is for what is in the hills above town, well, that should be UNDER the hills above town.
The hills around the city are rich in salt and have been mined and/or exploited for hundreds of years. More recently carved into the mountain, in 1954, is an underground church. This original church was closed in 1992, but a new one was carved out 60m below the original one. The new one was opened to the public in 1995. It is 75m long and 18m high.
As you enter you will go around in a hallway with the 14 stations of the cross, represented by various crosses and such carved out of the salt. The hallway goes in a sort of semi circle, often you are able to see the main chamber of the church below. Once you have gone through the 14 stages, you go down a set of stairs and into the main church area. There is one big room as well as a few small adjoining rooms on either side.
You are only able to go in with a guided tour and they do have english speaking guides.
There is also a 'Salt Museum' at the same site as the church, which has displays on the history of the mining of salt here. Same hours as church.
Check out my Zipaquira page for more
Hop on the Transmilenio (from any station on Jimenez take B74) going north up Caracas (Carrera 14) up to Portal de Norte station. Get of there and on the other side of the platform hop on the bus labelled 'Zipaquira'.
Outside Bogota there are some villages with typical food. On the road to cajica there are some places with 'argentinian stake', nice places nice food but I still wonder about the argentinian stake, some of them play loud music at night...
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