Zipaquirá’s Salt Cathedral: Just Another Overrated Tourist Attraction?

The Catedral de Sal in Zipaquirá is one of the most popular destinations in Colombia. And after nine months in country, I’d never been there until Sunday.

salt cathedral zipaquira

ode to the miners

I was itching to get out of Bogotá like always and so I headed to Zipaquirá, land of the famous salt mine late afternoon to check it out.

Though in my personal opinion the entry fee is a little steep at 20,000 pesos, I did fork over the cash to check out what is dubbed “Colombia’s first touristic marvel”, a phrase that translates poorly into English. The setup is pretty nice and the entrance fee comes with a free 3D movie showing (there are seven packages in total.)

A local tour guide takes you through the humongous mine in small groups, which takes about an hour. For those planning to visit who don’t speak Spanish, don’t take photos until the end because the salt mine is full of negative energy that sucks the life from your batteries.

salt cathedral Colombia

a giant cross

It’s crazy to think about how much time and effort goes into building something so expansive and ginormous. There are tons of crosses throughout the mine, some weighing over three tons. Wikipedia has a good rundown of the facts and figure.

salt cathedral Colombia

another giant cross

My favorite part might have been the 3D movie – I was really feeling the red and blue glasses.

3D glasses

oh, your glasses are still 2D?

So was the salt cathedral trip worth it? If you’re a claustrophobic, satanic fan of pepper, you might want to stay away. Otherwise, the mine is pretty awesome.

plaza Zipaquira Cundinamarca Colombia

the first plaza, in a style typical of the region

The town of Zipaquirá itself is cute and is worth the trip just to soak up the small town atmosphere and watch farmers get drunk in the morning. The pueblo has not just one, but two central plazas, which is unusual for a Latin American town.

Garfield

most famous cat ever

It’s also worth the trip to see Garfield live in person :)

Have you been to the salt cathedral? Was it worth the trip?

  • Sounds like a good day trip (or overnighter?).

    This is off topic, but I’m thrilled you used the word ginormous. Two brits were giving me crap just last week for using a “nonsense word.” 

  • Well I didn’t get the red squiggly line in Word, so I think it works :)

  • Ed

    Yep definitely thought the cathedral was worth the trip and Zipa is a great little town.

  • Hahaha, I love that cat. Definitely Garfield :) I’ve been thinking about going to the Salt Cathedral. Now I’ll have to plan to just to see if I can find the cat….

  • He may be hard to find, he lives in a cheap hotel several blocks from the cool part of town :)