Top Sights in Villa De Leyva Colombia

Villa de Lleyva town square

An absolutely beautiful town, Villa de Leyva is just a couple hours from Bogota. After enjoying the best of Bogota, make the drive north and spend a few days enjoying the top sights in Villa de Leyva.

Villa de LLeyva region views
Villa de Lleyva region views

About Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is a heritage town in Colombia with cobblestone streets leading to its massive square. With churches and government buildings dating back to the 17th century, the town is a National Monument of Colombia.

A popular weekend destination from Bogota, the top sights in Villa de Leyva draw tourists from outside the country too.

TIP: A top weekend getaway from Bogota, arrive in Villa de Leyva on Sunday or a weekday. You will have the place almost to yourself!

The Plaza Mayor

One of the most majestic town squares we’ve seen is in Villa de Leyva. It’s huge, especially for a small town. The buildings surrounding the square are impressive colonial style buildings dating back a few centuries. The square is a place where locals gather, children play, and everyone relaxes.

The square is home to numerous restaurants, bars, and a couple of breweries. Sometimes musicians play to the patrons of a cafe while everyone nearby can enjoy.

A local musician playing a popular Colombian song which we didn’t know but everyone else did!

We returned a few times to one local brewery where they shared samples and let us wander the square with our craft beers.

Villa de Leyva plaza mayor at dusk
The plaza mayor at dusk

We were so impressed with Villa De Leyva’s square that we brought the drone there to film it from above. And in Colombia small-town fashion, we were approached by a man and his son who wanted to check out the drone. Turns out he was a Canadian who had recently moved there and he offered us advice on places to go on our visit.

We took drone videos in the impressive Plaza Mayor in Villa de Lleyva

Plaza Mayor is so big that they hold an annual kite flying festival there. When we visited, a few people were flying kites, and it must look cool when there are hundreds of them. No wonder the Plaza Mayor is one of the top sights in Villa de Leyva, Colombia.

Villa de Leyva is more than its town. The entire region is full of sights and attractions for visitors. We were glad to have a rental car, because so many of the top sights and activities are a few or several kilometers out of town.

Top Sights in Villa De Leyva: The Fossil

A few kilometers outside of town is the museum dedicated to a fossil found here. A farmer found a marine dinosaur fossil in the 1970s and the locals banded together to keep the government from moving it to a big city. The dinosaur is massive and the fact it was found so far from an existing ocean is intriguing. We were impressed, both with the museum they built around the fossil, and the local residents’ passion for preserving and maintaining their discovery.

Amazing marine dinosaur fossil located outside Villa de Lleyva Colombia
The marine dinosaur fossil outside Villa de Lleyva

Pozos Azules

We visited the pozos azules (blue pools) on the same day as the fossil, as these are also a few kilometers outside of town. They are beautiful colors of blue-green, which supposedly change with the temperature, and it’s a nice walk to all five of the lakes among rolling hills.

pozos azules Villa de Lleyva
One of the beautiful pozos azules near Villa de Leyva


Villa de Leyva is a small but growing wine region in Colombia. If you’ve been to one winery, you know the experience: walking among the grapes growing on the vines, and of course, sampling the finished product. For us it’s been awhile, as you don’t see a lot of wineries in the Caribbean! After years of rum distilleries, and Blue Curacao, we welcomed a winery! It’s not South Africa wine, but who cares?

Marques vineyard in Colombia
The vineyard at Villa de Lleyva

We visited the winery Marques Villa de Leyva, but there are a few in the area to choose from. We made the most of the visit, went on the tour, and enjoyed the tasting with cheese and chocolate pairings at the end.

Outdoor winery seating
Outdoor seating at Marques Winery


The area around Villa de Leyva is abundant with waterfalls. We drove a little north of town until we found one, did a short hike and took lots of photos. The weather in this region is cooler than we are used to, in the mid 60sF/15C, so we didn’t consider swimming.

Waterfall Boyaca Colombia
Waterfall seen on a hike near Villa de Leyva
Hiking trail in Boyaca Colombia
Part of the hike to one of the waterfalls near Villa de Leyva

Neighboring Towns: Santa Sofia and Tinjaca

The entire region around Villa de Leyva, called Boyacá, is full of beautiful towns with amazing architecture and lovely Andes mountain views. Our rental car got a workout on the local roads, as we stopped and wandered around these towns.

We loved Santa Sofia’s main square and very funky church. This is not a tourist town by any means, and when we took out the drone we attracted attention, but everyone was really nice, they just wanted to see the videos!

Santa Sofia in Boyaca Colombia
Santa Sofia is a very pretty town
Santa Sofia church
Close up of Santa Sofia’s cool church

Tinjaca, while maybe not as impressive, was quirky and cute, gave us a chance to stretch our legs, and again had very friendly people.

Tinjaca sign
Even tiny Tinjaca Colombia has a sign!
An interesting sculpture in the town square of Tinjaca

Sausage in Sutamarchan

We had to visit Sutamarchan for its famous sausage! The town makes its own style of chorizo, called longaniza. Once we heard this we knew we had to try it.

Longanzina menu
Longanzina menu in Sutamarchan

Once you get into town, you start to see signs for the competing sausage restaurants. There are even employees standing on the sidewalks waving cars into their parking lots. We knew we would have a hard time deciding where to eat, so we stopped at the busiest looking spot, called La Fogota. It was a good choice.

Sausage plate in Sutamarchan Colombia
Traditional sausage in Sutamarchan, Boyaca, Colombia

Eating and Drinking in Villa de Leyva

We got our fill on Colombian food and craft beer in Villa de Leyva. For such a small town, it is loaded with great restaurants and three breweries!


Just a few blocks from the main square beer bar lies a craft brewery/beer garden. Cerveceria Hisca is a microbrewery with a great backyard garden and a small rotating selection of beers. We visited Bruder in the square more often, but also recommend a visit to Hisca.

Hisca Brewery beer garden
The beer garden at Hisca Brewery in Villa de Leyva

Mercado Municipal

A butcher shop cum restaurant, Mercado Municipal served us a delicious dinner in a lovely outdoor setting. Being a butcher shop, their meat was stellar but the veg options are great too. In fact, their artichoke was a standout from our meal.

The artichoke dish at Mercado Municipal in Villa de Leyva
The artichoke dish at Mercado Municipal in Villa de Leyva

El ÁTico

In what looks like a mall are several different bars and restaurants offering choices from a variety of ethnic menus. It’s a good idea: you get one server, but lots of restaurants. We went there for dinner on our last night in town and shared a yummy Middle Eastern plate and a few cocktails.

El Atico restaurant Villa de Leyva
Inside El Atico in Villa de Leyva

As is typical at restaurants in Colombia, even when eating in Cartagena, all the meals we mention are high-quality at lower prices than in North America.

Top Sights in Villa de Leyva and Surroundings

As you can see, there’s no shortage of activities in the region. We think it’s one of the best towns in Colombia. We spent 3 nights there and felt like it was a good amount of time to see the sights. Hope you can visit! Here’s a map to give you a sense of where the top sights in Villa de Leyva are.

Top Sights VIlla de Leyva Map
Top Sights VIlla de Leyva Map

Have you been to Villa de Leyva? Let me know by commenting with your favorite things to see and do there.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

9 thoughts on “Top Sights in Villa De Leyva Colombia”

    1. Susan, it looks like we’ve just missed each other on some of our respective trips. Would have loved to run into you in a small Colombian town!

  1. What a fab post Mel! I love the sound of everything you did, from the waterfalls, blue pools, wine and even the sausage! The dinosaur fossil is really cool too. Villa de Leyva itself looks fabulous and I love that you took the drone shot so we can all see it from above.

    1. Thanks, Josy! I need to start incorporating the drone more into posts. I love the way the shots look, but have to , and get in the habit of retrieving them to the phone, and copying them over so thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Villa de Leyva looks like a great town to visit while in Colombia, I would love to see the marine dinosaur fossil. So fascinating! Thanks for this awesome guide, keeping it in mind for when I finally travel to Colombia.

  3. What a lovely part of Columbia! I would love to explore the waterfalls, breweries, and wineries, and of course the charming little towns.

    1. Yes, Wendy, for a small town there’s a lot to do. We could have spent a day visiting the different wineries, if we’d planned ahead and had more time.

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