Villa de Leyva | Colombia

What a fantastic town Villa de Leyva is. Sander says, “I could live here.” And this is special to hear from his mouth, because Sander really only wants to live in Rotterdam. Don’t ask me why. The drive to Villa de Leyva was a little less, but that’s part of it. After a long sit (kind of nice for my sore muscles from Chicaque National Park) with the Transmilenio, we had the bus to Tunja pretty soon. Several guidebooks say there is a direct bus to Villa de Leyva; there is not. So you have to take the bus to Tunja first and transfer there. After only 15 minutes, the bus stopped at a gas station. Breakdown. After 30 minutes, we set off again in good spirits. After an hour of driving, we drove back into the driveway of a gas station. This time we had to get off the bus and change buses. Once we arrived in Tunja, we were fortunately able to quickly head for Villa de Leyva in a smaller mini-bus. We immediately got the travel feeling. Sitting in the back, hair blowing, watching nature whiz by and fast talking Colombians.villa-de-leyva

Guesthouse in Villa de Leyva

After our exhilarating trip, we were delighted when we arrived at Renancer Guesthouse. On the recommendation of Leana from Kozii Hostels. She had called and reserved a room for us. It’s a guesthouse where you also have dorms. But definitely not a party hostel. It is about a 15 to 20 minute walk (with a good bit of uphill walk at the end) from the center of Villa de Leyva. But this is well worth it, as it is a beautiful green and relaxing place. We had a fantastic large room with a nice view. A place muy tranqilo. A habication privado there costs 80,000 COP without breakfast. Room number 5 is a very good room in our opinion. There is also a communal kitchen. This does come in handy for making your breakfast. Although you can also order breakfast. In addition to breakfast, you can: have dinner there, build a campfire and go hiking from the guesthouse. After unpacking our bags and brief refresher session, we hit the road!

Walking around Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is an old colonial town. With many white houses, old boulders and about four thousand people live there. It was even declared a national monument on Dec. 17, 1954, to preserve its typical architecture. Villa de Leyva is named after the first regent of New Granada, Andres Diaz Venero de Leyva. The founder of the city is someone else. Herman Suares de Villabos founded the city on June 12, 1572.

Villa de Leyva has a very pleasant atmosphere, especially when it is not packed with hordes of tourists. Want to avoid the tourist swarm? Then don’t go on weekends. Many Colombians from the area therefore go to Villa de Leyva. The Grand Square (Plaza Mayor) is the most famous. Here you will find the church and also lots of restaurants. The Savia restaurant where we had delicious vegetarian food is also close by. In addition, there is much to do in the area. From horseback riding to hiking and wine tasting.

Vegetarian food in Villa de Leyva


After Bogota, we were curious to see what the first next city had in store for us in terms of vegetarian food. We were not disappointed! We ate a delicious vegetarian lunch at Savia Restaurante. I had a tortilla with avocado, tomato and flavorful salad. Sander had rice with lots of herbs, lime and lentils. The smoothie with raspberries and strawberry was also very tasty. In total (including 3 beers) we were out 60,000 COP. We didn’t need to eat any more that night, that’s how full we were. So we had lots of time to take it easy. Bit of a bellyful of vegetarian meals.

The next evening we ate at Renancer Guesthouse. Again, they had vegetarian dishes. I had a wrap and Sander wanted the sushi but unfortunately ran out. So also Sander to the wrap. Not very special, but tasty.

Wine tour in Spanish “Eeeh que?”

The guesthouse recommended to us-as wine lovers-the wine tasting. Wine tasting I hear you thinking? Indeed, Colombia is not known for wine, but more for coffee. That’s why we thought it would be fun to check out a Colombian wine tasting. So in Villa de Leyva is the (I think the only) real vineyard in Colombia. This is why the wine is called Villa de Leyva. It is a fairly strong and full-bodied wine, the guy behind the guesthouse reception desk told us. So on to the winery. We asked a cab driver to take us and wait. This cost us 30,000 COP. Mochvilla-de-leyva t you want to bring real Villa de Leyva wine, by the way, buy it in Villa de Leyva. Outside of Villa de Leyva, we could not find this wine anywhere.

Maybe I am too optimistic at times. But one thing is for sure, my Spanish is improving rapido. Although a Spanish-language wine tour might have been a little too much of a good thing. I was probably looking very interested out of my eyes because our guide continued to tell us enthusiastically. Sander followed it a bit. Especially when the word vino was mentioned, of course. All in all, a fun morning, with a tasting, of course! Fortunately, we were by cab…