Backpacking in Colombia: Gorgeous Guatavita

Backpacking in Colombia: Gorgeous Guatavita

Guatavita – a popular tourist town north east of Bogota is famous for its colonial buildings and its lake which may well have been a former volcano crater – and a big one at that. I went there with Julio Felipe, his Mum Claudia and his sister Paula. It was a hot day. I wore a typical Colombian style hat for the day, and hadn’t shaved in months…

A Colombian juggernaut on route.

We filled up with petrol on the way.

First glimpse of the town of Guatavita.

First glimpse of the massive Laguna Guatavita.

Paula drove us there and we parked on the main street, which leads down to the entrance to the Old City, which is pedestrians only and inside walls. It’s not just ancient Colonial history that Guatavita is steeped in.

You enter through these city walls.

The square featured this clock as its tallest monument.

The relevance of this dude, or the need for a head statue of him passed me by.



A hat trick of photos from inside the pretty colonial walls of Guatavita. What a great name for a town or city.

Local Colombian band filled the hot air with their graceful tunes.

The church which meets the central clock.

“Seeing me and Julio down by the courtyard.” Makes a change from selling cheeseburgers by the beach – my original meeting point with the dynamic Julio Felipe.

Children friendly sign or company? Anyway I liked the writing style and the groovy mention of guatavita in lower case.

Pretty little side streets. Just being in places like this for me is the essence of travelling.


The Guatavita kids train – you pay and can get a tour of the city!

The Guatavita express – you pay and can get a lift down to the Lake – Laguna Guatavita. But despite the hot sun, we walked it. This type of vehicle I have also seen in Manila (Philippines) and Panama City (Panama) on my travels.

A postcard from Guatavita. They are hardly the most popular postcard you can buy, making them all the most unique (I wrote the card for my brother Danny who gets a postcard from almost everywhere I go, but didn’t find a trustable post office or box to send it from – he got it later in the year.)
The postcard and the background!

A car with a wooden bumper – Fred Flinstones-esque.


Typical Colombian gifts on sale in the many market style shops in the city.

The kids play in a quiet square away from the main centre of Guatavita.

 Flying the Northern Ireland flag in the quieter square in Guatavita. The buildings around are so pretty and idyllic.


A few photos of my excellent hosts and friends, Paula, Julio and Claudia.

 The walk down to the lake was excellent. Nice housing, a wide quiet main street and a tractor option to add to the randomness of Guatavita. As tempting as it was to take the tractor, we felt much better to walk it! The tractor reminded me of Sark, one of the Channel Islands which has no motorised transport other than tractors!

A walk through some nice woods on a downward slant and we arrived at the gorgeous Laguna Guatavita. A feast for your eyes!

Relaxing by Laguna Guatavita. I had no idea it would be this beautiful.

The flag again, it would be a shame to visit such places and not fly it.
More photos of and with the family!
Laguna Guatavita. A great day for it.
The walk up was a wee bit steep and got us hot and sweaty. Julio was on hand to piggyback his Mum through the woods on the walk back into town. The sheer tenacity and desire of the Colombians to just enjoy life never fails to amaze me.
This was just some art in the courtyard I noticed on my way back up. 
At the entrance gates to the town of Guatavita. 

We stopped for a drink on the way out of town, the cafe had this excellent mural of the Laguna de Guatavita, as viewed from above. It was another of those amazing, random travel adventures.

Details on Lake Guatavita/Laguna de Guatavita: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Guatavita
 
Key Song:
(I just googled a random Colombian song, this one will do…)
My videos:
MAIN SQUARE IN GUATAVITA:

IN GUATAVITA:

DRIVING BETWEEN GUATAVITA AND GUASCA:

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