Tunja combines the charm of a historic city with the buzz of a university town. The city is set in the foothills of the Colombian Andes and is filled with beautiful colonial architecture. Stroll around the atmospheric historic district, visit museums housed in centuries-old mansions and fill up on delicious Colombian cuisine.
Things to do in Tunja
Casa del Fundador Suárez Rendón towers over Plaza de Bolívar and is one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the city. It was once home to Spanish leader Gonzalo Suárez Rendón, who founded Tunja in the 16th century. Tour the stately home to see lavish rooms decorated with antiques, suits of armour and colourful ceiling murals featuring exotic animals from around the world.
Visit Casa Cultural Gustavo Rojas Pinilla and learn about the life and legacy of the beloved Colombian president. It’s located in the charming colonial home where Pinilla was born and filled with photographs, books and personal items related to the Colombian leader. Don’t miss the small but engaging art gallery on the ground floor.
Puente Boyaca stretches across the Teatinos River and marks the site where Colombia defeated Spanish forces in 1819. The victory marked the beginning of Colombian independence and made the bridge an important patriotic site. Emerald-green lawns and larger-than-life statues depicting heroes like Simón Bolívar surround the historic battle site.
From casual cafes serving Colombian-style sandwiches stuffed with “pernil” roasted pig to international restaurants specialising in cuisine from Mexico, Italy and China, you’ll find a good mix of dining options in Tunja. Sample craft beer at the local brewery and fill up on street food snacks like “arepas” deep-fried cornmeal cakes and sugar-dusted “churros” donuts.
Getting around Tunja
Tunja is compact and easy to get around on foot, while taxis are a fast and affordable way to cover longer distances and visit surrounding sights and attractions. The town is in the Boyacá Department, a 2.5-hour drive from Bogotá. El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport is a three-hour drive away.