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Tunja is a city in northeast Colombia and the capital of the Boyacá department.

Tunja is a VERY beautiful city with a GREAT number of historical hispanic sites and nice people. There are also multiple options for day trips around Tunja, like Paipa (45 min.), Villa de Leyva (45 min.) or the Valle de Tenza.

As one of the first established cities in southamerica, Tunja still allows the visitor to fell some of the taste of the first spanish settlers all melted up with the native american people originally located on this land. It's uncertain when the Chibcha moved in what it's nowdays known as Hunza in history books, perhaps long before spaniards arrived with their weaponary, Chibchas and other escential aborigean families were developing their our culture. With the encounter of the two worlds a thouroughly multicultural environment has developed in Tunja's surroundings. In spite of having been mixing culture and flocklore, it's astonishing how Tunjans think of theirselves as never spoilt people or perhaps, forgotten people in the history.

If you get rid of prejudices about Colombia, let yourself get envolved in one of those andean towns with "dead stink" as the nobel prize Garcia Marquez, describes with caribean point of view those old and ancient inland towns on the mighty Andes mountains.


The chroniclers tell us that the Chibcha nation, whose capital was called Hunza, was considered to be one of the oldest in the continent. Its population, wealth, civilizations and armies were victorious, recognized by the other peoples of the region. Sutagaos Los Panchos and had to double its worship and pay tribute to the unskilful Thomagata children.

The city name originated because Fonzaque, nephew of the chief of Ramiriquí, was to find a place to establish the new capital of the chiefdom, and one day from the hill north Guachaneque a landscape spotted with emotion exclanando "There will be Hunza ", the name of Tunja, is linked to first Zaque Hunzahúa Ramiriquí native who lead a government characterized by strong and sharp with his subjects.

The town of Hunza occupied the same place where she later founded the present capital of Boyaca, the whole mess huts stretched along the plaza or site of convergence that existed in the famous fencing quimuinza, Zaque headquarters located on the site that the Spanish built the Convent of St. Augustine and named Finch Park. The best huts found in the territory of Hunza were Muisca.

His Hispanic foundation started in fencing Quimuinza site, on the evening of 20 August 1537, when he first arrived in the Spanish Hunza, led by Captain Don Gonzalo Suárez Rendón Jiménez, a native of Malaga (Spain) Quesada received the authorization to establish the city. This was the only case that put a city on a native Hispanic and so it was that on August 6, 1539 drafted the charter, which was read by the notary public Domingo de Aguirre, and everyone cheered the accepted.

The foundation took on with great solemnity usual ceremonies. It was the stroke of the population, distributing solar for some of the founders, saying the site for the cathedral, the house's founder, the plaza should be square, as instructed by the King. The aldermen were appointed to the council and the regular mayors also shared the major solar neighbors.

Following the order, housing was built as a permanent architectural elements. At first a temporary and usually based on resources and simple techniques, producing a phenomenon of "accommodation", which means even a first expression of cultural mixing. Within the Rancheria appearance common to the first cities in the sixteenth century, several leading citizens began building homes of greater scope. The biggest place that has the country to recognize the quality and characteristics of these houses, is without a doubt the city of Tunja, despite the destructive vandalism of some architects, still carries the only examples that remain from the sixteenth century, thanks to its strong economic base, high social status of its neighbors and relative ease of technical and material resources.

Tunjan houses retain certain characteristics, height generous organization around a courtyard, on which offers 2 or 3 floors usually columns with galleries, home of some magnitude of a hallway that connects the street with the interior dimensions allow easy passage of a horse, open courtyard and a garden corral, which shows the relationship of the townhouse with the field.

Besides their transplants building techniques, such as the use of rammed earth, adobe, brick and stone walls, wattle and daub was used, known by the indigenous "areas of easements" posterior divisions, etc., often alternated the tile "Spanish clay with straw.

On March 29, 1541 Emperor Charles V granted the title of Tunja and received the coat of arms, Castile and Leon and prominent city of the New Kingdom of Granada.

Along with the great buildings, we can find simpler ones built by 1 or 2 rooms, big, now subdivided, and having a front portion of the lot, "Description of Tunja in 1613, where the 300 residents who have estimated the city, 76 were encomenderos (1 in 4) of the 313 houses in the urban high, 88 were 2 floors and the other of one, to be covered with straw 82.

In the twentieth century, there have been very significant stage in the development of Tunja, which relate directly to the progress of the city. One impetus for the advancement of the city was the decade of the ten, when he commemorated the centennial of independence, and especially the years 1910, 1916 and 1.9919. In these centenary events important works emerged as the Forest of the Republic, the preservation of walls of the Martyrs, now Market Square Plaza Real, remodeling of the Plaza de Bolivar and numerous statues.

Other important for the development of Tunja, was the conclusion of four years of foundation, to prepare for the commemoration, were built including the following buildings: The Normal male Battalion The building of Bolivar, the palace Archbishop of Tunja The modern environment in the construction led to destroying numerous homes in Hispanic Tunja. In several circles, I mean the demolition of Tunja, colonial. Santander Park was built and inaugurated the statue of the Man of the laws "to mark the centenary of his death. Likewise there was an under the bridge of Boyaca.

An important aspect in the progress of Tunja, was the collaboration of the President of the Republic, General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla with their homeland. This illustrious son of Tunja was concerned about the widening and paving of the road Tunja, Bogota, the transmitter creates independence of Tunja, he built the City Hall and Justice to the Superior Court of the city.

- This is really beautiful to see and touch, you can not imagine how good it feels to be transported to the past and know the roots of a culture product of a great American civilization as the Chibcha, and mixing it with Andalusian culture, and Extremadura and Castile in Spain, is noted in the culture of its people, the great respect shown by the other, the great hospitality that makes one feel very good and the beauty of its countryside and peasant farms, like the presence of many young professionals and college intellectuals and highly educated in each of its attractions, is a welcoming small town, but that found in everything from ancient to modern, with a Bogota autoctono more flavor and original, this is where you actually live in the personality of Colombians and where you feel the cultural strength of a nation.

- For all the above and have come to perfect my Spanish in this city, you will have more news of this relaxed city of good living


Get in

The bus terminal is located at the bottom of the hill where the main plaza is. Collectivos to the surrounding cities leave from upstairs.

  • From Bogotá : 18,000 COP / 2h30. Buses leave from the terminal, but it may be faster and more convenient to catch one at Portal del Norte.
  • From Cocuy National Park : 25,000 COP / 9h
  • From San Gil : 20,000 COP / 4 h
  • From Sogamoso : 7,000 COP / 1h30
  • From Villa de Leyva : 6,000 COP / 1 h / 39 km

Get around

Taxis are plentiful, with a minimum fare of $3.000. Most trips within the city won't cost more than $4.000. tel: 3102183305

Minibuses are usually $1.200, and go pretty much everywhere.





  • Unicentro, Av Universitaria #39-77. The largest mall in Tunja.


  • La Buona Vita, Carrera 9 #23-45, 7422198. Mon-Sat 12:00-21:30, Sun 12:00-16:00. Italian restaurant with great handmade pastas. $20.000 per plate.
  • Piqueteadeoro La Novena, Carrera 9 - Calle 22. Cheap traditional Colombian food and fruit salad.
  • El Maizal, Carrera 9 #20-30 (Just off the plaza's NE corner). Possibly the cheapest breakfast in town: Hot chocolate and roll with cheese, 1500 COP. Also set lunch and dinner.


All nightlife closes at 1:30 AM, Sundays being rather dead.

  • Bruder Pub, Kra 9 #21-89, 7443444, [1]. Microbrewery and pub, good beer and good food at very affordable prices. $8.000 per Liter.
  • Berlin, Carrera 10 - Calle 21A; 5th floor. Cocktail bar with roof-top terrace. Nice view over the city.
  • Pussini, Plaza de Bolivar. Cosy cafe.


Dozens of options between the bus terminal and Plaza Bolivar, and somewhat beyond.

  • Hosteria San Carlos, Carrera 11 #20-12 (One block NW of Plaza de Bolivar), 0387423716. Old colonial house, a bit run down. No breakfast. Single 35000.

Get out

Bogotá is 2 to 3 hours away, $17.000.

Villa de Leyva, one of the nicest colonial towns in Colombia, is 45 minutes to an hour away, take a minibus from the terminal, $6.000.

Paipa has a natural hot springs, with waterpark and spa. 45 minutes by bus, $4.000.

San Gil is the capital of extreme sports in Colombia, and is 4 hours away.

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