My Travels: Villa De Leyva - Colombia


I was so happy to take a weekend away during my recent trip to Colombia to visit beautiful Villa de Leyva, a quaint little colonial town northeast of Bogota.

Similar to my trip to Cartagena de Indias a few years ago, this place is filled with rich history. Setting foot in Villa de Leyva was like stepping back in time with its charming whitewash colonial buildings, those gorgeous balconies, the cobblestone streets and that huge Plaza Mayor where people love to congregate.
Plaza Mayor - Villa de Leyva

We stayed in the beautiful Hotel Plaza Mayor which is situated right in front of the church. I might do another post just about the hotel, because from the outside it looks small, but once you get past those front doors it's a completely different story. There were many favorites about this hotels, being able to climb onto the roof top was perhaps one of my favorite activities. It's from there that I captured the best pictures and video of the entire plaza.
Plaza Mayor

The entire town was declared a National monument in 1954, which has preserved it. No modern buildings or architecture are allowed.

Villa de Leyva is the perfect place to escape to enjoy a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and that's exactly why we came here.

Even though there are lots of activities going on at any given time in this charming little town, we preferred to stay put, walking around town and enjoying its magic.

Here's a little video of this pretty town:


As soon as we arrived we went all around the Plaza. This gorgeous house was on the left side of our hotel. Every time I got in or out of the hotel I had no snap a picture of that gorgeous balcony.
Gorgeous balcony with hanging planters

Most houses are turned into businesses, hotels, restaurants or little shops.

This pretty building houses the Banco Agrario de Colombia. 
Banco Agrario de Colombia

As the sun began to set, Plaza Mayor got busier. It's the town hub where people love to get together for a little chat or to have a drink all along the steps in front of the church or by the fountain in the middle of the plaza.
Church

However, Covid restrictions were in place and that's why you see a police car in the far right of the picture below. The town was under a strict 8 p.m. curfew. 
curfew

The following morning I got up bright and early to explore some more and take pictures. Love this view taken from the hotel's roof top.
Plaza Mayor

It was Sunday and the church bells had already rung.

I walked fast, but nope. Too late.
church service

I said goodbye to Mr. Andres Diaz, there by the church door and continued exploring the area!
Andres Dias Venero de Leyva - Primer presidente del nuevo reyno de granada

And by exploring I mean taking pictures of the beautiful architecture I found on my path. 

The gorgeous bougainvillea cascading over the white stucco fence.
gorgeous Bougainvillea over white stucco fence

Another darling hotel there in the plaza.
Hotel La Roca - Hospederia

My oh my, this gorgeous courtyard. šŸ¤©
Courtyard with terracotta planters

Beautiful balconies.
Beautiful balcony - Colonial architecture

Beautiful balcony - colonial architecture

And more balconies and little shops!
Colonial architecture

Later in the day we got to enter to this pretty house with my sister and little nieces. This is the Casa Museo Antonio NariƱo - a Colombian ideological precursor of the independence movement that lived and died here. I will share some pictures of the inside in a coming post.

UPDATE: Take a tour of the Antonio NariƱo Museum right HERE.
Museo Antonio NariƱo


Colonial architecture


Colonial architecture

Here with my daughter in one of the few pictures I have, given that I was the official photographer. :)
Cristina and Samantha Garay

Courtyard with wall of terracotta planters and blue door

Once again, we ended up in La Plaza Mayor blowing bubbles!
Plaza Mayor - Girls playing-making bubbles

My guess is that the beautiful weather is the reason for the gorgeous blooms seen all around town. 
Lion's tail - orange

Lion's tail - orange

So magnificent!
Balcony with flowering hanging planters

Well my friends, I hope you've enjoyed this little tour around beautiful Villa de Leyva. Oh, we also visited The Fossil Museum, as Villa de Leyva is also famous for its paleontological discoveries. A huge skeleton of a Kronosaurus was found here and the museum was built around that fossil, it lies in the same location where it was found. And yes, another post about the museum is also coming if I ever find the time to upload and edit all those pictures! 



XOXO
Cristina










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3 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Deb! Villa de Leyva is indeed a beautiful town!

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  2. What a beautiful post...love all the details in the architecture and all the gorgeous flowers. what a wonderful trip! And, the brilliant Sunshine sure is a perk-me-up for winter! Thanks, Sandi

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