Colonial Town Of Guatavita
We head off early this morning from our noisy hotel in Zipaquira and head a short distance by bus to the colonial town of Guatavita. Time for some peace and quiet.
Finding Where To Go In Colombia
I did have a brochure of places to visit in the area too, but I left it behind at dinner last night.
It is hard to research places in Colombia. There are not nearly as many tourists or backpackers in the country. There are definitely hardly any English-speaking folk – just us ‘Gringos’ as they call us.
Locals Come To Our Aid
As we step out of the hotel to get a taxi to the bus we try to get a cab. I show him my paper of where we want to go. I have worked out two towns to change buses at – or at least head to. After 15 minutes, and two failed taxis, we find ourselves surrounded by Colombians. One Colombian man speaks a little English, the rest of the men speak none.
All the men huddle around working out our buses for us. The man with a little English scribbles some notes for me. He rattles off to the taxi driver where to drop us. In Colombia, you stand on a corner and get a bus but there is no bus stop. So we are dropped off.
Taxi Driver Assists Us Too
The taxi driver then tells the crowd in Spanish which bus we need to the colonial town of Guatavita. And a lady signals she is going there so it is quite a team effort. Instantly the little bus rolls up and she helps us on with our bags.
We sit back as the driver tears along a dirt road that is getting hacked up for improvements. This man jumps on and starts selling all sorts of things. Each item has its own ‘speech’ with the quality of the items – this much I can tell. He is good – a great little business I notice as he works his way along the aisle to all the passengers. He has a hoarse throat from yelling over the bus motor, but he has made his money.
Does An Angel Help Us?
Suddenly, the bus stops and we get off with the lady. She signals us to watch our bags carefully. Next, she stops 2 buses, helps us on, then disappears as she is like an angel sent to guide us. We sit in awe as to how anyone can just disappear. Over the coming months, this actually happens several times in Ecuador and Brazil also.
A lovely lady named Miriam signals us over to see if we need help on arrival. We tell her our needs for accommodation but how we discovered the accommodation we planned to stay at is closed. Being the start of the week many abodes are closed. This is important when noting country travel in Colombia. Do not expect many hostels or hotels to be open when it is their days off.
Miriam says she knows a man in town with a place and gets a man to help us. He races up the hill with our bags. I can barely keep up – give up – I can’t keep up. I tell my son to tell him to stop “Pare”. They wait for me. He takes us to the only hotel that is open and frankly, is horrid.
I beat him down on price but in hindsight, I wish I had beat him down more. So we head to town and find a better place and make a deal for the next few nights that open from tomorrow.
But first, we endure the first night and it’s so horrible that my son and I end up having a whopping fight. We padlock ourselves in the ‘jail’ of a room. Interestingly in Colombia, we must gove out passport details and the police always come and check, but here, this man took no passport details.
Who Know About Us?
No one apart from the lady and the man at the bus stop knows we are here so I start to get nervous. There are no light bulbs in the passage which makes me feel very nervous indeed. There is a kitchen, so I did make us an early dinner. There is no Internet, so we get out the Tb drive and watch two movies.
I am up at 6:00 am getting ready to get out of here and I sneak out in fear the man might want us to stay longer.
At Least We Have A Good View
This is the view opposite the first hotel. It is all terracotta tiles and white-washed walls. Lovely covered bridge – streets completely empty Monday to Friday.
As the week moves on, we discover that this old man is here every day standing by the wall – It is so Colombian as a scene – I love it.
Free Live Entertainment
The next day the Colombian Ballet is making a movie here in Guatavita. We watch incredible dancing in the streets. It is a treat to sit at a cafe and drink expensive coffee and Milo and watch this.
Lakeside at Guatavita
We have left our bags at the new accommodation because they are not ready for us, but that’s OK. This town is so quiet, we just know we will get some good rest here! We wander down the lake with my son’s new bow and arrow and is a 2 km walk there and back. My son is practicing his bow and arrow skills and it is much more difficult than we think. It is $75 an hour to take a boat out on the lake so we discover, so we give it a miss.
Our new Hospedaje
We moved here to an upstairs suite that overlooks the lake. We have a balcony on the other side. The ensuite is huge. The room has a flatscreen TV. There is no Internet but this is the best because it is ‘us’ time.
I would say this accommodation has been renovated about a year ago. The rooms are cleaned daily. It is at the edge of town, up the hill but easy to get to. I highly recommend staying here. In fact, we will spend a few nights here. We need to relax and it is very quiet, and it is so lovely in this colonial town.
Sunset From Our Balcony
Night two and the sun sets over the lake in this colonial town of Guatavita. The cows are ‘moo-ing’, the sheep are ‘baa-ing’. There is not a rooster in sight – so hopefully no crowing in the morning.
I think we have made the right choice. We really love this relaxing place – it is just what I need.
Questions and Comments
- Have you toured Columbia before?
- Did you get to visit the colonial town of Guatavita?
- What amazed you most?
- Do share your comments with us below.