The road to Villa de Leyva winds downhill 39 kilometers (23.5 miles) from Tunja through sparsely greened hills of spellbinding rock. Those incredibly folded strata tilt almost vertical, revealing a fascinating geological history. The road is good blacktop, with some parts subject to flooding and rockslides. Along the way you will pass Cucaita, a village with a 450-year tradition of art and culture.
Villa de Leyva is big on the destination list for Colombian and foreign vacationers alike. The town, a national historic monument, beautifully preserves colonial buildings built with the tapia pisada (rammed earth) technique. White washed buildings hugging cobblestone lanes, the many shops and cultural attractions arenâ€™t the only things drawing many here. The entire region is steeped in history, from fossils of Mesozoic sea denizens to the museum-homes of important independence leaders. Villa de Leyva has excellent services and fine restaurants for the holidaymaker. Some visitors might find it a bit too touristy. Attractions outside the village, though, are definitely worth several days of exploration with a bit of everything for any type of explorer, including indigenous and colonial ruins, vineyards and horseracing, desert and pĂˇramo landscapes.
(Altitude: 2149 m / 7149 ft, Population: 12,000, City Code: 8)