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From USD 136
*** TOUR NOT AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH ***
The ritual center and sacred lake of the Muisca Indians, Lake of Guatavita, is where the myth of Eldorado took place before the Spaniards arrived. It was here that the Muisca Cacique, coated with gold dust, would throw precious offerings into the lake from his ceremonial raft and then plunge himself in the waters to obtain god-like power. To get the lake, is necessary to hike along a path about five km. on a very scenic landscape. Afterwards, we will visit the town New Guatavita, built in 1960 when the old colonial town of Guatavita was flooded by the waters of a hydroelectric reservoir, the Dam of Tominé. The New Guatavita is a very interesting mixture because of the combination of modern and Spanish styles of architecture.
Zipaquirá, 50 km north of Bogota, takes pride in having the richest salt mines in Colombia. Although the mines date back to the Muisca period and have been intensively exploited, they still contain vast reserves; it is virtually a huge mountain of rock salt. In the heart of the mountain a unique underground salt cathedral has been carved out of the solid salt; a monumental work of engineering. The huge interior is some 25 meters high and is capable of holding 10,000 people.
Zipaquirá was founded in 1606 and still has some colonial style, especially in the main square, where is located the church, and some old buildings with its wooden balconies, that contrasts with the French style of the city hall building.
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