Lake Guatavita Tours

38 Reviews
The Legend of El Dorado, the “Golden Man,” once inspired the Spanish conquistadors to historic acts of bravery, blunder, and bloodshed. Those stories of outrageous wealth and waste almost certainly started here, with the glittering pre-Columbian ceremonies that once took place at this small crater lake. (Which is really the lake’s first mystery; though geologists speculate that a meteor made this scenic spot, no one knows for sure.)

The rumors that captivated the cold-hearted conquistadors told of Muisca shamans and chiefs completely covered in gold and draped with every sort of gem and precious metal. These gleaming and godlike figures would then be carried out on ceremonial rafts to the center of pretty little Lake Guatavita, where they would pour their riches into the water to appease some monster, perhaps a serpent god, hiding below its deceptively serene surface.

While there was apparently some truth to this story and new political figures were indeed painted with gold dust as some sort of initiation, thus far the truth hasn't justified so many fool’s errands into the feverish jungles.

The conquistadors were but the first to try draining and dredging Lake Guatavita for its bounty; but all they found were a few gold pieces. In 1580 enterprising businessman Antonio de Sepulveda cut a wedge deep into the lake rim, deepened in 1912 by British engineer Harley Knowles. They, like their forebears, found only a few glittering artifacts worth far less than their investments. As if to taunt future prospectors, the lake finally gave up its famed Muisca Raft in 1968, a tiny, beautiful, cast-gold depiction of Ceremony of El Dorado.

The tour of the tiny lake located 55km (34mi) northeast of Bogota, takes less than an hour and swimming is strictly off limits. Plan to spend some time in the pretty whitewashed town of Guatavita, a charming colonial gem worth a stroll for its souvenir shops and attractive little eateries.
Location
Address: Guatavita, Cundinamarca, Colombia
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8 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita from Bogota

Escape the city and experience two of Colombia’s top attractions on a 10-hour tour of the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita from Bogota. Descend to the otherworldly Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral; enjoy a Colombian lunch in Zipaquirá, known as the City of Salt; and discover the legend of El Dorado during a visit to Lake Guatavita, a crater lake famed for its vivid green color. Entrance fees and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
  • Duration: 10 hours
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US$85.00
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  • Duration: 10 hours
From
US$85.00

Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral and Laguna de Guatavita Day Trip from Bogotá

Experience the natural wonders of Colombia on this combined 8-hour day trip to the subterranean Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita (Laguna de Guatavita). This fun-filled day of outdoor activity offers an opportunity to discover an amazing cathedral built into the walls of a former mine before checking out a lake considered by many to be the source of the famous “El Dorado” legend, plus a visit to the nearby Tominé Reservoir. Your tour includes round-trip transportation from your Bogotá hotel plus a guide, lunch and all entrance fees.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$101.34
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$101.34

Private Tour of Lake Guatavitá from Bogotá

Explore Guatavitá Lake on this guided walking tour from Bogotá. Learn about the culture of the Muisca Indians, the legend of El Dorado, and the biological importance of the area. Then, visit the town of Guatavita, taking in its architecture and buildings, including the city’s bullring. Since it’s a private tour, you’ll be able to stop for photos where desired.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$50.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$50.00

El Dorado Legend Tour from Bogotà

Uncover the mysteries behind one of Colombia’s most fascinating legends on a full-day trip to the secreted Guatavita Lagoon from Bogotà. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to travel deep into the Andean mountains, through spectacular landscapes of dense jungle and snow-capped mountains. Visit an indigenous town beside the lagoon and hear of how locals used to give gold to the gods as a tribute and sacrifice. Capture photographs of the iridescent lagoon surrounded by lush greenery, and then enrich your knowledge of gold at the glimmering Gold Museum in downtown Bogota.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$79.99
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$79.99

Laguna de Guatavita Half-Day Tour from Bogotá

Explore the mysteries of the scenic Laguna de Guatavita, a sacred lake used by the indigenous peoples of Colombia for ritual purposes, on this 6-hour excursion from Bogotá. Discover the intriguing history of this unique body of water, once believed by explorers to be the origins for the legendary story of ‘El Dorado,’ as your meander its picturesque shoreline. Your tour also includes round-trip transportation from your Bogotá hotel, a guide and all entrance fees.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$93.50
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$93.50

Bogota Combo Tour: Lake Guatavita and Gold Museum

Explore the unsolved mysteries and secret treasure of Colombia’s ancient people during this 7-hour trip to Guatavita Lake and Bogotá’s Gold Museum. Journey one hour from Bogotá to Guatavita Lake, a natural reservoir used as a sacred site by the indigenous Muiscas and famed for the numerous gold artifacts recovered from its deep. Then travel back to Bogotá to explore the ‘Museo del Oro’ (Gold Museum) housing thousands of gold objects collected at the lake and nearby. Your gold-themed trip also covers entrance fees, snacks, a driver-guide and round-trip hotel transport.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$60.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$60.00

Half-Day Private Guatavita Tour from Bogotá

Uncover the ancient legends of Guatavita on a half-day tour of the beautiful landscape from Bogotá. After travelling through the spectacular scenery of the region, you’ll arrive at the New Guatavita, a traditional town famed for its distinctive architecture. Delve into the legend of El Dorado as you visit the beautiful Lake Guatavita, and choose to pay an additional visit to indigenous towns, Zipaquirá or Nemocón, to observe local handicrafts. Round-trip transport from your Bogotá hotel is included.
  • Duration: 5 hours
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US$132.00
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
US$132.00

Guatavita Private Tour from Bogotá

Have an adventure in search of the legendary ‘City of Gold’ during this 7-hour private tour to Colombia’s Guatavita region. Explore the architectural treasures of New Guatavita before heading to Guatavita Lagoon, a nearby lake famous for its recovered gold artifacts (and connection to the story of ‘El Dorado’). Before you finish your day you’ll make an optional visit to nearby Zipaquirá or Nemocón, where you can shop for local handicrafts. A private guide, entrance fees, lunch and round-trip hotel transport are included.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$172.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$172.00


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