Practical Information in Villa de Leyva

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Here is some Villa de Leyva Practical Information. A declared National Monument of Columbia, the Villa de Leyva is considered widely to be one of the finest colonial villages in Columbia. The rich colonial vibe found here is thanks in large part the the quaint downtown which features stone streets. In fact, the town is home to one of the largest cobblestoned squares in South America. The downtown also features shops, restaurants, a church and the Plaza Mayor. The town was declared a National Monument in 1957 as a way of preserving ancient architecture.

Location


Villa de Leyva is located outside of Bogata. Villa de Leyva is part of the Andean Region. It has a land are of about 49.4 square miles at an elevation of 2,000 meters. It is about a 3-hour ride by car from Bogata to get here.

Languages

Spanish is the official language of Columbia and is the primary spoken word in Villa de Leyva, as well.

Currency

The Colombian peso is the official currency used in Villa de Leyva.

Fossil Discovery


Fossils from the Mesozoic and Cretaceous periods have been found here. Villa de Leyva is located in a high altitude valley, making conditions ideal for fossil recovery. The El Fosil Museum is found about 30 minutes outside of the city. It boasts a near-complete skeletal rendering of a kronosaurus on display. The animal remains were found in this spot in 1977. Other significant discoveries in the region include the Plesiosaurus and the Ichtyosaurus. The Ichtyosaurus is a marine species that suggests this area was once covered by water before the formation of the Andes Mountains.

Dining and Festivals

Residents here take great pride in gastronomical festivals and eating. Restaurants featuring a variety of food types can be found around the square year round. The Villa also takes part in several themed festivals throughout the year with major ones including the gastronomical festival, the Tree Festival, and the Water Festival.

Nearby Attractions

Some of the best kept secrets are found just outside of the city walls. An ostrich farm, the El Fosil Museum and an astronomic observatory are found about 30 minutes outside of the city. The observatory is made up of phallic stones and is referred to by the locals as "El Infernito" meaning "little hell." About 15 km outside of Villa de Leyva you can also find a beautiful grouping of 7 waterfalls. They are known locally as "La Periquerea."

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April 14, 2010 change by palm tree mandy

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