7 Outdoor Adventures Outside Bogotá’s City Walls

Beyond the hills of the huge, fast-paced city of Bogotá awaits several adventures that’ll bring you much closer to the culture and rolling hills of the Andean countryside.


Photo © Gregg Bleakney


Every Sunday between 7am and 2pm, certain streets of Bogota are transformed into carless roads. Millions of people take the opportunity to hit the streets walking, jogging, cycling, rollerblading, or skateboarding.

Don't be shy! Put on some sneakers, grab a bike, and go discover the city, one pedal at a time.


For rock climbers, the 4km (2.5 miles) long cliffs at Suesca’s Rock, provide over 400 different routes for beginners up to elites.

The natural cliffs are close to the town of Suesca, and even if you aren’t a fan of precariously dangling midair, set up a tent and go for a cool walk along the railway tracks that are shaded by the boulders.

Hike to La Chorrera Waterfall

A mere 40min from Bogota lies Colombia’s highest waterfall, La Chorrera at 590m (1,935 ft). The hike takes you past picturesque villages, friendly farmers, and breathtaking views of the green mountainous countryside. Rappelling is also available.

Páramo Matarredonda

Just outside Bogota lies the Matarredonda Ecological Park, with altitudes ranging from 3,290-3,560m (10,800-12,000 ft).  

After walking 2hrs along a pre-Colombian path through gorgeous landscapes, passing flora and fauna unique to a páramo ecosystem – a distinct alpine ecosystem found between the forest and snow line in the northern Andes – you’ll reach Lake Teusaca.

Relax on the grassy banks and enjoy the crisp air and peaceful energy that this once-sacred lake emanates.

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

50km (31 miles) north of Bogota in Zipaquirá, lies an underground Salt Cathedral that was constructed 180m (590 ft) below the surface within an operational salt mine. It's been in use since 5th-century BCE by the Muisca Indigenous people.

Described as a “Jewel of Modern Architecture”, the underground sanctuary includes crosses and ornaments that have been hand-carved into the rock salt.

Walking through the salt tunnels illuminated with different colored lights will leave you feeling as if you've stepped into a fantasy world.

Santuario de Flora y Fauna Iguaque

Hiking up to Lake Iguaque is a vigorous adventure that takes you to where the Muisca Indigenous people believed was the birthplace of mankind.

The hike begins at an altitude of 2,850m (9,350 ft). From here, the 4.6 km (2.9 miles) hike takes you up to an altitude of 3,650m (11,975 ft). A round trip takes around 6-7h.

The weather can be very unpredictable, with temperatures ranging between 8 and 14 °C (46 and 57 ℉); so be prepared.

A fun plan – and to give you time to acclimatize – is to sleep over at the basecamp lodging and wake up early the next day to hike.

Laguna de Guatavita

Colombia is full of myths, so it’s not surprising to discover that the Legend of El Dorado originates just 60km (37 miles) from Bogota.

Guatavita Lake was sacred to the Muisca tribe. It was used to perform royal initiation ceremonies, including throwing offerings of gold and treasures into the water.

The 2h tour through the forests up to the lake may inspire you to believe that there really are tons of shiny treasures lying at the bottom of the lake.

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