Laguna de Guatavita

The LagLaguna de Guatavita, the real place of the legenduna de Guatavita and the Muisca people, indigenous to her surrounds are apparently the source of the El Dorado legend that originally had nothing to do with a city of gold.

After telling us that there are many nonsense legends and the one true story, our guide recounted unto us how, as part of his inauguration, the new Cacique (chief-type thing), would strip naked, be covered in honey and then have gold dust blown over him. On a raft in the middle of the lake, the new Cacique would be struck by the first rays of the sun and in luminescent glory, throw offerings of gold alloy and gemstones into the laguna. He never though made it clear as to whether this was the ‘one true story’ or rubbish.
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Various peoples have over the years gone to great lengths to take the treasures from the lake
, including (apparently) enslaving thousands of Muisca to empty water from the lake with pots, and cutting a great cleft in the side of the lake.
Stunning view over the Laguna
=> We were told that the lake now contains only 30% of the water that is once did, 10 million cubic meters having been drained… Many of the artifacts taken from there lake can been seen in Bogotá’s Gold Museum.

This day trip involves a few hours of countryside walking through very picturesque landscape and a guided tour of the lake.

The park is opened everyday from 9am to 6pm and it cost 13.000 pesos for foreigns and 8.000 for nationals.

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ACCOMMODATION, HOTELS AND HOSTELS
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La Juanita Finca Verde

This eco-friendly rural hostel also promotes interesting projects with the community. They have an itinerant films cycle, personal development workshops for rural children, TEDxGuatavita the first TEDx in Colombia adressing rural ideas, and many more... If you have the opportunity, stay here for a couple of nights and get to know deeply this initiative.

Prices:
night per person at 55.000 pesos, breakfast at 10.000 pesos
Tel: (57) 310 213 5793
http://www.lajuanitaguatavita.com/ / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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GETTING THERE
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From Portal Norte, take a bus towards Guatavita, tell the driver that you want to get of at the turning for Guatavita, you come to this after passing through Sesquilé. From here it’s about a 2 hour walk to the entrance of the park, the route is signed. Alternatively, you can get off the bus in Sesquilé and take a colectivo (bus) to the park entrance.

On leaving the park (the exit is different to the entrance), walk down the hill a little to a little eating place for snackage. After that you can either get a colectivo or walk back to the main road from where you can catch a bus back to Portal Norte.

If asking for directions, make sure that you specify that you want the Laguna de Guatavita as many locals might think you are looking for the Embalse de Tominé, a reservoir near to the village of Guatavita la Nueva

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