April 20

The Catedral de Sal in Zipaquira, Colombia


Sure, there are many cathedrals around the world, some big, others small… but had you ever heard of a cathedral made of salt?

About an hour north of Bogota, in the outskirts of Zipaquira, sits the Catedral de Sal, a unique construction open to tourists and available for official religious ceremonies alike. Considered one of the seven wonders of Colombia, the cathedral was initially only a salt mine but was transformed (partly) into such by the mine workers as a symbol of thankfulness to their safety and guaranteed future jobs when the real size of the mine was discovered- about 50% of the salt consumed by Colombians is from here.

The cathedral is only part of the Parque de la Sal (salt park) which also offers tourists the possibility of learning important lessons in geology and experiencing what the life of a mine-worker is for an hour, with hands-on experiences that include dressing up and digging through a gallery.

During my visit I was only interesed in the cathedral, and followed the guides explanations which last about an hour. I am not a big fan of listening to what guides have to say, but he was amusing and to the point. I found the cathedral (or mine) much more interesting than the initial Viacrucis represented, with huge galleries and beautiful statues decorating the mine in several places. Some nice pictures can be taken, but for your info tripods are not allowed, so don’t bother carrying one all the way to the entrance.

The Catedral de Sal can be easily visited in less than two hours (if you are not visiting the park as well) and transportation along the main road going to/ from Bogota is frequent. I visited the cathedral on my way to Villa de Leyva, and it was a nice way of spliting the trip. Alternatively you can also visit it as a day trip from Bogota- it’s what most people do. Tickets to the cathedral cost about 8.5 USD for adults, 5USD for children.

So, is it worth paying the slightly expensive ticket and visiting it? I would say it is, particulalrly if you have the time while in Bogota or, like me, if you are traveling anywhere near Zipaquira as you move along the country. It might not be as spectacular as other world attractions but it is one of a kind that I recommend. Buen viaje!

Do you know of any other similar similar constructions somewhere in the world? Have you visited it? Where ? Please don’t forget to share this post if you think others might find it useful!


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  1. Really cool! I’m thinking of making my next trip in Africa but if that turns out to be too expensive, my second place of choice is Colombia. Heard awesome things about that country!

    1. Hi Tanya! Where in Africa? If you end up not going there, Colombia and its neighbours will gie you plenty of entertainment as well!

  2. As for similar constructions I’d say Wieliczka in Poland – biggest underground chapel in the world, cut directly in a rock of salt.

  3. I thought it was overpriced. Like you said, I would only recommend it if you have plenty of time or are already passing through. I only had 5 days in Bogota, and I would have much rather spent all of them there than taking this day trip.

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