The Catedral de Sal is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters underground. It’s an hour or two outside the city of Bogotá in Cundinamarca, Colombia which is near the town of Zipaquirá, Colombia.
How to get to Catedral de Sal from Bogotá without paying for a tour from the city:
Step 1: get to the Portal Norte bus station. There are a lot of buses leading here no matter what part of the city you’re leaving from, or of course you can Uber / taxi there. If you take the bus, it will cost you 3,000 Colombian pesos (about $1 US) to buy a card, and then 2,200 Colombian pesos (less than $1 US) for each ride on the bus. Once you have a card, you can hold on to that, and you don’t need to buy another.
Step 2: Get a bus to Zipaquirá. Once you’re at Portal Norte bus station, cross to the other side of the platform (there’s a passage under the road that you can take to the other side). Look for the signs for Zipaquirá, and board the bus. You pay for a ticket once you are already on the bus, and it’s 5,100 Colombian pesos per person (less than $2 US). This bus has comfy seats, so it’s not a bad ride.
Step 3: Tell the bus driver that you want to stop at Zipaquirá / Catedral de Sal ("Voy (singular) / Vamos (plural) al Catedral de Sal."). He / She will let you know when it’s time to get off. They drop you off at what seems like a random corner located here:
Step 4: Walk to the cathedral (or taxi). It’s about a 30 minute walk (1.2 miles), and there are a bunch of little shops you can look at along the way. When you get to the yellow entrance gate follow the white line up the steps.
Step 5: Buy a ticket. It’s 50,000 Colombian pesos ($17 US) for an English guide of the cathedral. There are other options if you speak Spanish that include a little bit more, but only the one option for English speakers.
Getting back to Bogotá:
Reverse, reverse! You will catch the bus going back to Bogotá from directly across the street of the place you got dropped off coming from Bogotá. From there, you just reverse what you did to get to the cathedral.
Sara & Colin
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