When you arrive in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, you may feel that you have stepped back in time. You are not alone. Many people think this way when they visit this charming little town for the first time. Villa de Leyva is famous for its cobblestoned streets and magnificent Plaza.
The Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva has mostly stayed the same in the last 400 years. From an architectural point of view, this part of the town has been frozen in time for many centuries. This Plaza is not only the biggest in Colombia, but it is also one of the biggest in all of Latin America. The Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva is about 150,000 square feet.
The Plaza is the place where everyone meets!
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What can you find at the Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva?
You can find a fountain in the middle of the Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva. Around the Plaza, you can locate City Hall offices, museums, hotels, lovely little boutiques, cafes, and unique restaurants to grab a bite. Moreover, in the back of the Plaza, with the mountains as a background, you can see the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. This church was built in 1604, and people still attend mass and other events in this magnificent building.
What can you do at the Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva?
You can do many things at the Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva. You can find incredible Instagrammable spots; you can grab a bite, enjoy a morning or afternoon coffee, run after the birds, fly a kite, or people-watch.
During the day, locals like to get together on the steps in front of the church or around the Plaza to drink tinto (Colombian Coffee), have a quick bite, or admire the landscape.
Something else to keep in mind is that Villa de Leyva is famous for its festivals. Check out the Calendar of Events that the City of Villa de Leyva compiles on their website. Some festivals include The Festival of the Kites, the Astronomy Festival, the Festival of the Lights, The Festival of the Cinema, the Cultural Festival of Boyacá, the Festival of the Trees, Holy Week Festivities, and more.
As a child, I always visited during the Festival of the Kites. I will never forget those memories of flying a kite with my dad in the Plaza of Villa de Leyva. It was also lovely to see all the kites people make and fly for everyone to enjoy during this festival.
I recently visited during July, and although the Festival of the Kites wasn’t happening that month, I bought a kite in one of the stores surrounding the Plaza and spent hours and hours flying it with my husband and my son. Interestingly, this was one of my son’s favorite memories from Villa de Leyva.
If you have kids, or even if it’s just adults, I recommend buying a kite and having that experience. The summer winds in Villa de Leyva are perfect for that activity.
The Festival of the Kites has a special meaning to me. Therefore I wanted to somehow freeze those memories into something tangible. I was thrilled to connect with Caterine Parra from Chaquetas Magenta, an adorable boutique store in Villa de Leyva. Caterine is a magnificent artist. She listened to my memories and drew beautiful scenery on a jacket that reminds me of the times I flew kits with my dad and now with my son.
In the evening, especially on the weekends, you may find bands playing in the Plaza of Villa de Leyva. You may also find individuals or groups of people performing different shows. I highly recommend you head to the Plaza as it starts getting dark. You never know what fun and entertaining evening you may find.
Are there activities in the Plaza of Villa de Leyva?
Aside from the activities mentioned above, you can find plenty of tour companies in the offices surrounding the Plaza. This is where we booked our horseback riding tour through the desert and is also where we booked and started our tour in a traditional Colombian truck called La Chiva.
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