The Best Day Trips from Bogota, Colombia

Hiking to La Chorrera waterfall
Hiking to La Chorrera waterfall | © Chris Bell
Chris Bell

Colombia’s capital city of Bogota is a vast, sprawling place with a population of over 8 million people, and concrete as far as the eye can see. It’s a great city to visit, but even the most hardcore urbanites will soon find themselves needing a break from the city. Luckily there are some diverse and wonderful day trips to be taken from the city. Here are the very best ones.

Zipaquira and Nemocon Salt Mines

These two huge salt mines to the north of the city are very similar but distinct at the same time. While both are cavernous, underground salt mines, Zipaquira is far more well known and contains giant religious figures, which has given it the name of Salt Cathedral. It is closer to Bogota and easier to visit, but a touch pricier than nearby Nemocon, which is stunningly illuminated and much less popular with crowds of tourists. Either trip can be arranged easily through any Bogota tour company.

Zipaquira, Cundinamarca, Colombia

Nemocon, Cundinamarca, Colombia

The entrance to Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

1. Chicaque Park


A sleepy sloth in Chicaque Park
© Chris Bell
This fantastically biodiverse natural park lies just a couple of hours to the south of the city and offers some of the best wildlife watching in the region. Bird-lovers will be particularly enamoured of Chicaque, as it is home to several endemic and semi-endemic bird species, including the breathtakingly beautiful black inca and golden-bellied starfrontlet hummingbirds. Patient and observant visitors might also be lucky enough to spot a lazy sloth hanging in the tree branches above. With myriad hiking trails and a comfortable lodge and restaurant – not to mention tree houses and a huge zipline – Chicaque can also be an excellent long-weekend trip. However, for nature lovers with only a few days in Bogota, it’s probably also the best day trip available.

2. Chingaza National Park


A beautiful lake in Chingaza National Park
© Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero/Flickr
This beautiful national park to the northeast of the city is a paradise for nature-lovers and hikers. It is a paramoecosystem – a type of high Andean tundra-like environment found only in northern South America – and is also one of the region’s most biodiverse spots. Hikers in the high moorland of the park might be lucky enough to observe wild spectacled bears or Andean condors, and hardcore bird-lovers will be delighted by the chance to spot the rare and endemic green-bearded helmetcrest hummingbird. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the excellent hiking opportunities that Chingaza offers, particularly the lovely trek to the beautiful Siecha Lakes.

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