5 star rating: Highly Recommended 35 Reviews

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  • Address: Guatavita, Cundinamarca, Colombia

Bogotá ATTRACTIONS See all

Lake Guatavita Tours

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.

Tours & Tickets

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Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral and Laguna de Guatavita Day Trip from Bogotá, Bogotá, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral and Laguna de Guatavita Day Trip from Bogotá

4.5 star rating: Recommended 21 Reviews

Visit one of South America’s wonders, the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral, and see the beautiful Lake Guatavita (Laguna de Guatavita) on this day trip from ...  Read more

Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $96.27
$166.70 Save $70.43
El Dorado Legend Tour from Bogotà, Bogotá, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

El Dorado Legend Tour from Bogotà

Meet one of the most unbelievable legends in Colombian history. Hidden in a spectacular landscape high in the Andean mountains is the Guatavita lagoon, whose ...  Read more

Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Duration: Flexible

From USD $79.99
Private Tour of Lake Guatavitá from Bogotá, Bogotá, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Tour of Lake Guatavitá from Bogotá

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Escape the bustle of Bogotá and explore the legendary and sacred Guatavitá lagoon during a tour of two hours walking in the reserve listening to the ...  Read more

Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $72.00
Half-Day Private Guatavita Tour from Bogotá, Bogotá, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Half-Day Private Guatavita Tour from Bogotá

Let’s explore the mysteries of this place where all the magic from the natives live. Join this tour and learn about The Legend of El Dorado which comes to life ...  Read more

Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $130.00
Guatavita Private Tour from Bogotá, Bogotá, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Guatavita Private Tour from Bogotá

Join this tour and learn about The Legend of El Dorado which comes to life at Guatavita Lagoon, an ancient place that fascinates whoever visits it. Let’s ...  Read more

Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $172.00
Laguna de Guatavita Half-Day Tour from Bogotá, Bogotá, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Laguna de Guatavita Half-Day Tour from Bogotá

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Discover the beauty of Colombia’s Laguna de Guatavita (Lake Guatavita) on this half-day trip from Bogotá! Learn the history of the El Dorado legend, which ...  Read more

Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $93.50
Bogota Combo Tour: Lake Guatavita and Gold Museum, Bogotá, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Bogota Combo Tour: Lake Guatavita and Gold Museum

Embark on a trip to ancient times and unveil the miseries that motivated the Spanish colonizers to explore the American Continent in search of gold.

Location: Bogota, Colombia
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $60.00
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita from Bogota, Bogotá, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral and Lake Guatavita from Bogota

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Get to know the first wonder of Colombia, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá and the birthplace of the Legend of "El Dorado, the Sacred Lagoon of ...  Read more

Location: Bogota, Colombia
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $120.00

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