Guasca: Escape from the big city Bogotá - Colombia
I needed an escape from the bustle of the capital in Colombia and was looking for complete tranquility, nature and adventure. I took the bus in Bogotá in Cra 13 # 72-73 and 1 hour later I arrived in Guasca, a small village in the mountains with a beautiful church and several statues of the Muisca culture were spread in the center of the village. It made me think a bit of San Agustín because of similar monuments. The locals wore traditional costumes and there were very little people.
From the hostel there was a pick-up (taxi) arranged (15.000 cop / taxi) and the trip went smoothly and very relaxed. 10 Minutes later I arrived and was very warmly received by the family that consisted of a nice English woman, who has been living in Bogotá for years and is also an English (Nicky is her name) teacher, her Colombian man who comes from this region and their two adorable children. I was surrounded by pure nature in the middle of green mountains and a great view at the Tomine lake. At their place there were ceveral animals (dogs, ducks, cats, ducks, chickens, birds) and a large vegetable garden which gave a cozy stew of a nice atmosphere.
My cabaña was super cute and consisted of two floors with a view on the mountains and even had a fireplace inside. Really nice and necessary because the evenings cooled off here. Nicky cooked always very good food for me; always with fresh vegetables from the garden and even homemade bread: delicious.
The next day I pulled foot to the mountains which an altitude of 400 meters (1 hour) until I came out at a restaurant with a full glass front, a fantastic view of the valley, the lake Tomine and small lakes around it. This was THE place to paraglide. My tandem jump took 100.000 cop for 10 to 15 minutes flying (1-7persons = 100.000 pp, 8-11 persons = 95.000pp, > 12 persons = 90.000 pp). What a unique experience and no I didn’t pee in my pants but thruly enjoyed this beautiful landscape. If you do not want to fly, then go there anyhow to have lunch or a drink because the view is breathtaking. During this stunning view at this valley and fully sun presence, I had a rest and sat close to the fire place in the restaurant. Excellent east to west winds drops going at speeds from 15 to 20 kilometers per hour. An place to fly year-round with pilots reaching average altitudes of 500 meters during flights. Buy a ticket when you arrive and enter data into the computer so you are in the running and fast enough to go flying. On weekends it can sometimes take a bit longer before it is your turn. The lake Tomine is the best scenery in the region so you can fly as well as delight in watching the birds, the tranquility of nature, clean air and the exceptional view of the dam and the valley. On this mountain you can also play paintball (20.000 pp (incl. 50 first ball); refill is 6.000 cop).
The Muisca people are an ethic group who lived in the eastern highlands of Colombia sharing the same language (Chibcha) and culture (related to the Quimbaya culture). They built stone monuments and are famous for their gold work (see more of their treasures at the Goldmuseum in Bogota). With the arrive of the Spanish in the 16th century this culture went down. The Muiscas used sacred lagoons and forests for sacrifices and the burial of offerings of emeralds and gold artifacts. The natives bureid and threw the artifacts directly into Gods hands at the bottom of those lagoons. Lagoon Guatavita (about 3000 m above sea level) was one of those sacred lagoons and situated in this region. For that lots of people drained the lake to gain access to the incalculable treasures lying beneath the waters. The number of gold what was find was always smaller than previously thought (read more about it: The legend „El Dorado“ (the golden one)).
I explored the area, walked around in the mountains, could not stop taking pictures and had nice chats with the locals who did not got too many tourists arround before. Unfortunately I had no time for the trip to the laguna in Chingaza National Park.
My stay in those cozy cabins at this family runned hostel with lots of cheerful liven was in perfect harmony with the tranquility of the nature, and just a very short trip outside the city of Bogota. Need to go back for sure.
Bogotá - Guasca:
Take a bus from Cra 13 # 72-73 in Bogotá to Guasca (1 hr, 5pp). From there take a taxi to the finca (15 min, 15/tr).
Hike to the laguna in Chingaza National Park: Full day tour to laguna including transportation, entrance, guide and picnic lunch: 60pp/tour (min 4 people), 95pp/tour (min 2 pers). More information at your hostel.
1: Approximate temperatures between 12 and 15 °C.
2: Do an English or Spanish course at the hostel.
Written by Inge Swinnen from Colombia Fácil | 2012