Zipaquirá Travel Guide

  • Zipaquirá
    Zipaquirá
    by mircaskirca
  • Catedral de Sal
    Catedral de Sal
    by mircaskirca
  • Catedral de Sal
    Catedral de Sal
    by mircaskirca

Zipaquirá Things to Do

  • The Salt Cathedral

    The main reason anyone comes to Zipaquira is to visit its famed salt cathedral. The original dates back to the mid-1950s but it closed when it became too dangerous. Fret not, its replacement is equally impressive and seems to be drawing hordes of tourist on a daily basis. In fact, it is these very tourists that make a visit so interesting. Most are...

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  • Zipaquira's "other" attractions

    Though easily over-looked by those flocking to the more renowned salt cathedral, Zipaquira's “other church” is a classic Spanish Colonial Catedral Diocesana de San Antonio de Padua from the 1800s. It sits in the city's pretty main square which in itself could be a reason to stop in Zipaquira briefly en route to points north of Bogota. The Palacio...

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  • Catedral de la Sal

    You should not miss this. Very impressive. Souvenir is not that expensive from 5 USD to 15 USD (Please see pic). The photo will cost you about 6 USD.The tour inside the Cateral will take about 1.5 km. For me it takes almost 2 hr. I took the most basic one (17000 COP - Aug 2010).

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  • See the Salt Cathedral and then escape...

    Touring the famous cathedral was perfectly nice and in all honesty there are some charming simple places if you want to have a beer and a meal in town. But in my experience there's not enough to justify staying in Zipaquirá, and even if you try, the hotels are extremely low-end and strangely sometimes it's a nightmare to find parking if you drive.

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  • Impressive Catedral de Sal

    The huge underground Catedral de Sal (Salt Cathedral) in Zipaquirá is unlikely any other you will have come across since it is made entirely of salt. If you are in Bogotá you can't miss this impressive piece of architecture, magic and spiritual place. The old cathedral had to be closed for safety reasons and the new one was inaugurated in 1995 (I...

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  • Typical Streets

    I've always enjoyed getting lost in a new town, just walking the streets without any particular plan. You can learn a lot about a new place through architecture and observing life of the local people. Zipaquirá was very nice for such exploring. The town has recently transformed streets in the centre to pedestrian walkways with the intention to...

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  • Plaza de los Comuneros

    Plaza de los Comuneros is the main square and the center of Zipaquirá, surrounded by beautiful buildings that have conserved their colonial style, and are considered to be national monuments. Notable buildings are Catedral Diocesana, built between 1760 and 1870 with its interesting stone facade, as well as beautiful Palacio Municipal (City Hall),...

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  • Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá

    The salt cathedral of Zipaquirá is considered by many the first man-made wonder of Colombia... the one that you can visit is actually the second cathedral - and it is located under the first and older cathedral, which had to be closed because it was being damaged by water infiltration in the terrain.This new cathedral is located deeper and lower...

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  • Museo de la Salmuera

    After having visited the Salt Cathedral it makes sense to visit the adjoining Museo de la Salmuera, the salt museum in English. it tells you all about salt, how it came into existence, how it is extracted and worked, and what it is used for.You'll also learn that the salt mined in zipaquira was of poor quality and could not be used as kitchen salt...

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  • Monument to the Miners

    There are two monuments to the miners (mineros) in and around the catedral the sal. the one outside the cathedral (in the photo) is dedicated to all the miners that have worked here, and depicts a minero while working.The second monument is inside the salt cathedral, and it's a bit like a memorial grave surrounded by miner helmets. Appropriately it...

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  • Museo Arqueológico

    Zipaquira's archaeological museum, although small, is quite interesting to visit. it's just down the road rfom the Salt cathedral and it's located in a beautiful setting, the park Ignacio Villaveces López. On a sunny day you'll see plenty of people hanging about on the grass, there.Inside the museum you can see over 1000 archaeological artefacts...

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  • Catedral Diocesana de San Antonio de...

    The main church on the principal square of Zipaquira is called Catedral Diocesana de San Antonio de Padua and it's a beautiful building. It was designed by a Spanish friar who also happened to be an architect: Domingo Pérez de Petrés.Domingo Pérez de Petrés started building it in 1805 and nevere saw it finished, as its construction took 111 years....

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  • Palacio Municipal

    The town hall, or else Palacio Municipal, is - after the cathedral - the second stunning building located on Zipaquira's main square, the Plaza de los Comuneros where local martyrs were shot to death 3 August 1816.It is built in classic French style with some gothic elements and apparently (but I did not visit it) there's a lovely room inside with...

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  • Catedral de Sal - un underground...

    To visit the Salt Cathedral you have to join a group. Most of the tours are in Spanish and so were mine. But when we inside the cathedral encountered a group with an English speaking guide I changed group. You enter the mountain by a descending tunnel. On the way to the cathedral there are 14 stations, places with a cross and place for prayer, all...

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  • Museum of Archaeology

    Down the hill from the salt cathedral is the Museum of Archaeology. There had been a lot of visitors at the Salt Cathedral but at this museum I was the only visitor. The exhibitions consist mostly of pottery , not only of the Muisca Indians which lived in the area but from different areas around in Colombia. And on the walls there are texts where...

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  • Catedral de Sal

    It's supposed to be one of the main Bogota's tourist attraction. I found it a big disappointment ...Salt mines ... where everything's black (!?). A supposed to be cathedral inside ... it's okay, but nothing great. It's still interesting ... but if you're short of time, no need to go all the way to Zipaquira.

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  • Salt Cathedral

    The Salt Cathedral, up in the hills overlooking the town, that you visit today is not the original salt cathedral that was built. The original was dug out and opened to the public in 1954, however this one was closed in 1992 due to public safety reasons. In the following few years, 60m below the original, was dug out a new salt cathedral 75m long...

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  • The Town

    Most people will just head up to the Salt Cathedral and head back to Bogota never giving the town itself a second look. Granted there are are much more beautiful towns in Colombia, but Zipaquira does have a certain charm as well. Mainly around the main square there is some nice architecture as well as a pedestrianized shopping road that is quite...

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Zipaquirá Restaurants

  • Delicacies Made from Tropical Fruits

    After my arrival to Zipaquirá I wanted to visit the Salt Cathedral first. I followed the main street and soon came across this wonderful place. I thought I needed a morning portion of vitamins so I came in. Was happy to find one empty table left. Santillana is a nice little place in bright colours: one orange and one green wall. It only has three...

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  • Café Plaza

    Café Plaza is a nice café in the corner of the plaza in Zipaquira. It is situated in one of the colonial buildings that are surrounding the plaza. I had a good tamale and a coke for 3800 pesos. The tamales consist of a steamed-cooked meal wrapped inside a banana leave. On the menu it said they had hamburgers, but at the moment they didn’t have it....

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  • On the way back from The Salt Cathedral

    Just down the hill from the Salt Cathedral, and across from the Anthropology Museam is the Green Moon, A spralling place with Salt and Mining themes, they play local music and have some great Local food, A very good Ajiaco a local Potato and Chicken soup.

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Zipaquirá Transportation

  • BRT & bus to Zipaquira

    Getting to Zipaquira is easy enough but time consuming. Buses depart from the Portal del North TransMilenio station up to four times an hour. It will take you about forty-five minutes just to get there but it will only set you back about 75 cents. A cab probably wouldn't be much faster and would cost certainly considerably more money. It also gives...

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  • To Zipaquira from Bogota by bus

    I'm updating the last tip:To get to Zipaquirá from the center of Bogotá, take one of the TransMilenio buses to Portal del Norte. http://transmilenio.surumbo.com/ --> Make your own plan using this website. Ticket is 1600 COP (less than 1 USD - Jul 2010). Once at Portal del Norte just ask for a bus heading to Zipaquirá; they are very frequent. One...

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  • From Bogota to Zipaquirá by Bus

    To get to Zipaquirá from the center of Bogotá, take one of the TransMilenio buses to Portal del Norte. The closest station for me was Las Aguas on Av. Jimenez (alternatively Museo del Oro) and I had to take no. B 62 or B 74. The return ticket was $ 3.000 (December 2008) and it took about half an hour. Once at Portal del Norte just ask for a bus...

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Zipaquirá Local Customs

  • the tripod factor

    Getting good shots inside the salt cathedral is tricky. Thankfully, even simple digital cameras can give you fair shots but to get truly good ones, you'll need a tripod, something that is not allowed in the mine. That said, I found that as long as I waited for each wave of a tour to pass, I could set up my tripod easily enough and there were no...

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  • architecture

    Zipaquirá is a beautiful little town with some fine examples of interesting architecture. There are four main styles that you will recognise when walking around town: the one before the invasion, the colonial era, the revolution time and the time of Independance.You can see some beautiful ones in Spanish Colonial style around the main square, but...

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  • Zipaquirá Hotels

    0 Hotels in Zipaquirá

Zipaquirá Tourist Traps

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    even The Creation gets a salty interpretation

    by richiecdisc Written Aug 6, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The food stands that are just outside the entrance to the mine seem fairly priced at first but the portions are much smaller than what you would get for similar prices in even a big city like Bogota. We split something and it was not enough to get either of us remotely full which would not be the case in town.

    Fun Alternatives: There are picnic areas and many Colombian families take full advantage of them. Bring your own food to not only save money but join in the Colombian fun.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

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Zipaquirá What to Pack

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    have D & tripod will travel

    by richiecdisc Written Aug 6, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: If doing Zipaquira en route to Villa de Leyva you would be best served by a backpack if you are going directly to the next town after your tour. Lugging anything else around would be crazy.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable shoes are a must as the mine is pretty large and you'll do a fair amount of walking inside it. Bring a sweater or jacket as it's quite cool in the mine especially compared to outside.

    Photo Equipment: A tripod is a must in low light situations like this even if you are not supposed to use them.

    Miscellaneous: Thanks to D for doing the "extra" bus trip with me. At least it wasn't like the one the next day which took about 15 hours on mostly winding mountain roads.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Zipaquirá Favorites

  • Colombians as tourists in their own...

    It would have been a hot and mostly uphill walk up there and with no real signage for their most famed attraction, we opted for a short taxi ride which in the midday sun was probably not a bad idea. The mine offered cool relief from the heat. It was a lot more ornate than either of us had anticipated with many of the salt sculptures illuminated...

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  • on getting worked up over salt

    The town is a sleepy Colonial charmer and it's "famed" salt mine is admittedly stunning but for me it was the chance to see Colombians enjoying what is obviously a treasure to them that was the true icing on this cake. There are places you just have to go to and then there are places that you kind of should go to but for some reason you have a...

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  • Zipaquira

    Zipaquira is an easy day trip from Bogota - it is about 50 kilometres north of the city, which means rougly 50 minutes by car. Zuipaquira means the Land of the Zipa and in the past Zipa was the king of this territory of Curdinamarca.It is a beautiful colonial town of about 70000 inhabitants, it is surrounded by lush valleys and green fields and...

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