Boyacá Department

Boyacá is the cultural and historical heart of Colombia. This department of green valleys and colonial villages was the centre of the Muisca empire, with whom the Spanish fought so vigorously to prize away their gold. The empire's capital was at Tunja, which at the time rivalled Bogotá in size and importance. Today, tourists flock to Villa de Leiva, which with its whitewashed colonial mansions and cobbled streets is becoming a popular weekend retreat for affluent bogotanos. But there are many more undiscovered gems. Villages such as Iza and Paipa with their thermal springs, and Monguí with its rich history and fresh mountain air, are therapy for both body and soul. Best of all, you'll have these places to yourself; many of them are rarely visited. In the northeast of the department is the Sierra Nevada de Cocuy, a mountain range of jagged ice peaks and breathtaking lakes to rival any in South America.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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