Zipaquirá & Nemecón Salt Mines Day-Trip


A mere 50 minutes north of Bogotá lies the town of Zipaquirá, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. While certainly a charming colonial town, Zipaquirá is a must-visit Colombian destination for one single landmark: the Salt Cathedral, located just outside of town. This is indeed a church made out of salt, as it was constructed in the tunnels of a salt mine in the 1930s so the working miners had a place to worship. The salt mine has been shut down since 1992 and has been a tourist site ever since. 

A tour of the mine takes visitors some 200 meters (656 feet) into a rock-salt mountain. Here there are 14 "stations of the cross"—small chapels carved out of walls that signifies Christ's last journey. The cathedral also boasts a dome and three naves.

This day trip also includes a visit to the Nemocón Salt Mine, 30 minutes outside of Zipaquirá. There, 80 meters (262 feet) underground, are a collection of immaculately preserved tunnels where eight million tons of salt were extracted between 1816 and 1968. Atmospheric lighting effects with the help of mirrors turn these tunnels into an exciting subterranean excursion.

Itineraries with Zipaquirá & Nemecón Salt Mines Day-Trip

Colombia's Urban Walking Tour: Bogotá & Medellín - 7 Days

City slickers who like to hoof it will love this weeklong itinerary in Colombia spotlighting two of Latin America’s most exciting (and mountainous) hubs. The trip starts in the sophisticated capital of Bogotá where you'll have time to soak in the culture, restaurants and nightlife. From here, take a day-trip to the highlands to visit the region's salt mines. Next, it's a flight to Medellín, the scenic metropolis in the midst of a transformation after a turbulent past. With year-round spring temps and a free metrocable, there's plenty to see and do. Take a hike in lakeside Guatapé to round out this fun adventure.

Bogotá, Caño Cristales, & Highlands Tour - 8 Days

This itinerary highlights one of Colombia's beloved ecological gems: the Caño Cristales. During certain months, the Guayabero River turns shades of rainbow colors in a vibrant natural display. Enjoy swimming holes and waterfalls before flying back to Bogotá, checking out a salt mine cathedral, and visiting Villa de Leyva, one of Colombia's most charming Spanish colonial villages.

Colombia's Quintessential Highlights - 14 Days

Perfect for first-timers, this classic Colombia itinerary starts in cosmopolitan Bogotá, ending in charming Cartagena. Visit the salt mines and colonial towns of Barichara and Villa de Leyva, hike the Iguaque Sanctuary, and bike in the Suarez Canal. Once you reach the coast, spend a few days exploring Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, where you'll encounter white sand beaches, rainforests, and one of the few coral reefs in Colombia.

Colombian Highlands & the Los Nevados Trek - 9 Days

This active South American adventure spotlights trekking in the high, snowy mountains of Los Nevados National Park. A good portion of this 9-day journey will take place in the rugged outdoors before you head towards the charming colonial town of Villa de Leyva in the Colombian Highlands. Start and finish the trip with time to explore the cosmopolitan capital of Bogotá for colorful street art, museums, dining, and nightlife.

Bogotá & the Colombian Highlands - 8 Days

With this outdoorsy, yet culturally rich 8-day tour, you'll explore the historic and cosmopolitan side of Bogotá before heading north through the scenic Colombian highlands towards two of the country's most photogenic cobblestoned towns. Here, you’ll visit the underground salt mines, hike the Iguaque Lagoon, bike the Suarez Canyon, and finally explore the Spanish Colonial wonder that is Barichara — oozing with charm — before flying back to the capital's buzzing restaurants and nightlife.