Tunja

Panoramic View of Tunja

Tunja may not be first on everyone’s itinerary, but it’s the kind of place that benefits from the lack of bustle and drive that energizes Medellìn and Bogotà. Instead it´s a quiet, relaxing city that´s full of character and laid-back charm. City-dwellers in Bogotá are, of course, privy to the secrets of the city and since it´s only 3 hours in bus, can often be found escaping the dizzying buzz of Colombia´s capital in the streets of Tunja.
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This history can be traced back to 1539 when the city was founded. Archeologically the city is rich in colonial treasures, and is a must visit for budding historians since it is home to buildings that predate the colonial era. Highlights include the main plaza (Plaza Bolivar) which is dotted with historical buildings, including the city´s impressive main church.

=> As a little heads up, Tunja is the wettest, coldest capital of Colombia’s departments (yup, worse than Bogotá), so be prepared.

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Visits and Activities
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You should be sure to visit the Casa Del Fundador Suárez Rendón, which is a large, impressive colonial mansion dating back to the 16th Century. Your mainTunja Colonial Street plan, however, should be to visit as many of the buildings as possible just by wandering around. The Iglesia de Santo Domingo is pretty plain from the outside, but boasts a stunning interior that’s well worth checking out.
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Another draw of Tunja is its rich cultural scene.
Since it´s a University City (one in every five person in Tunja is a student) you can expect to enjoy museums and galleries, as well as a great cafe scene and, of course, a great night life.

Tunja is also famous for its festivals, of which there are 3 main ones during the year. These are: The International Festival of Culture, Semana Santa and Aguinaldo Boyacense. Aguinaldo Boyacense is a religious and cultural festival celebrated annually in December and lasts up to a week. Various events are held but, as with many festivals around the world, the main focus invariably ends up being drinking and dancing. In Colombia, of course, that includes Aguardiente, salsa and vallenato.

...=> Tunja Travel Guide Part 2: Accommodation, Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Nightlife, Getting There

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