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Zipaquirá

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Stations of the Cross in the Catedral de Sal

Zipaquirá is a a cute colonial town of some 70,000 people about an hour north of Bogotá in the Cundinamarca province. It is Colombia's salt mining capital and most famous for its Salt Cathedral, constructed almost entirely of salt within a now defunct mine.

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

By Tren Turistico de la Sabana[edit]

On Sa/Su and public holidays a tourist train, a few times per year equipped with a steam engine, goes to Zipaquirá. Its route is

  • 1 Estación de la Sabana in Bogotá
  • 2 Estación de Usaquén in Bogotá
  • 3 Estación de Zipaquirá
  • 4 Estación de Cajicá
  • 5 Estación de Usaquén in Bogotá
  • 6 Estación de Sabana in Bogotá

Train tickets are available from the stations only. Usually, the train is full, so it's wise to arrive some 75 minutes prior to departure.

On the train, food and beverages are available, plus entertainment from local music bands. Also offered is a well organised "Catedral Package", inclucing entrance and transport to the Catedral de Sal and back to Cajirá, where you can have a typical local lunch before boarding the train back to Bogotá.

By bus[edit]

From Bogota, take any "Transmilenio" bus bound for 7 Portal Norte, the interchange between intra-city and inter-city buses. Once off the Transmilenio bus and onto the platform, look for turnstyle exit with the overhead label "Zipaquirá". Across turnstyle on other side of the same platform will be buses with signs "Zipa - Chía" on the wind shield (Chía being the mid way town). Buses depart about every 15 minutes, costing between 5'100 COP and 5'750 COP; the journey takes 45 minutes without traffic, but more typically two hours. Bus will drop you off 8 near Carrera 15 and Calle 4 just south of 9 La Esperanza Park.

To return to Bogota, find the bus station across the street from your drop off point. The return journey can take significantly longer due to afternoon traffic jam on the National Route 45A south of Chía.

Get around[edit]

Map of Zipaquirá

If arriving by bus, get off on Carrera 15 then turn left at 10 Calle 4. Walking up Calle 4, at first you will see a large green pasture to your right this is the Parque La Esperanza. Once past the park, you will walk through a pedestrian-only lines with tons of shops and cafes. Where the pedestrian street ends, you will see the town's main historical plaza called 11 Plaza de la Independencia. Enjoy the nice views, then turn left, walking up 12 Carrera 6 to get to the 13 main entrance of Parque de Sal. After the entrance, follow the painted white line as it winds up the hill.

If you mind this 20-minute uphill walk, a taxi (4'000 COP) is an alternative.

See[edit]

  • 1 Catedral de Sal (Salt Cathedral). An impressive cathedral hewn out of a salt mine. 50'000 COP for foreigners, including an hourly guided tour in Spanish or English..
  • 2 Salt Museum.
  • 3 Town Cathedral, on the Main square. Admire the church interior with red bricks and white lime stone laid out in checkerboard pattern.
  • 4 Archaeological Museum.

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