Villa de Leyva is one of Colombia‘s colonial treasures. Declared a national monument in 1954, its cobblestone streets are lined with original whitewashed mansions and pretty squares and hidden gardens are waiting to be discovered.
This striking town is steeped in history, starting when the Muiscas people built their astronomical observatory here. It is home to one of the largest plaza mayors (main squares) in Latin America, a wonderful place to simply watch the world go by. Ask many Colombians their favourite place to visit, and Villa de Leyva will come up again and again.
Some may recognise the town from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, as the main character, Florentino Ariza, spends part of his life in Villa de Leyva.
The town is small enough to cover on foot, so step back in time to the days of Bolivar and independence at the houses of Antonio Ricuarte and Antonio Narino, discover the art of the Chibcha ancestors at the Maestro Acuna Museum, and enjoy some time to just soak in the atmosphere of this very special place.
What to do
- Discover the various historical houses of once important political and independence figures
- Stroll around one of the largest Plaza Mayors in all Latin America
- Visit the Fossil Museum, Dominican Convent (nearby), Colonial Art Museum, Carmen Monastery & Convent, or the Ecological Park & Garden Desert of Fibas