The word Chiva literally translates into a female goat. Still, with that out of the way, when I talk about touring Villa de Leyva on a Chiva, I don’t mean riding goats through this charming city. 

Colombian Chiva

What is a Chiva?

In Colombia, a Chiva is a rustic bus traditionally used in rural areas to transport people, livestock, and merchandise. Although Chivas are still used in parts of rural Colombia, some have been upgraded as a vehicle to transport visitors on different activities and tours. 

What does a Colombian Chiva look like?

The Colombian Chivas are buses painted colorfully (usually with the colors of the Colombian flag: yellow, blue, and red) and decorated with figures and decorations representative of the region. You can generally spot one coming towards you not only because of the bright colors but also because they typically play traditional Colombian music. Sometimes you can hear them before you see them. 

Can I book a Chiva tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia?

Yes! You can book a Chiva tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia. We booked our tour with “La Gran Dinastía,” and you can find them in the Plaza Mayor of Villa de Leyva, Colombia. 

No. All Chiva tours are different. In big cities like Cartagena and Medellín, you may find a Chiva experience more like a party on a bus. It will include lots of music and entertainment. In small cities like Villa de Leyva, it was more like a fun way to see the city and learn about the history and important places. We still enjoyed traditional Colombian music between each stop; we met fellow travelers and enjoyed a beverage at the end of the tour. 

Where does the Chiva tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, take you?

The chiva tour in Villa de Leyva will take you around the city and stop at the most important places, such as museums, sculptures, etc. At each stop, you will learn more about the city’s history and importance. In addition, they also took us out of Villa de Leyva to a nearby mountain to be able to see Villa de Leyva at night. It was a lovely view.  

What is included in the Chiva Tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia?

Most tours include a tour of the city and either one alcoholic beverage or a non-alcoholic beverage. Having said that, depending on the company, you may have more options for the tours offered. For example, some companies may offer a tour through the desert while others focus on the city. 

What drinks are offered on the Chiva tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia?

During our Chiva tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, we were offered a Canelazo (for the adults) or an Agua de Panela at the end of the tour. After a tour in the open-air vehicle, la Chiva, both drinks will warm you up.

What is Agua de Panela?

In Colombia, Agua de Panela is a hot or cold drink made by adding pieces of panela (solid sugar cane) to water until all the pieces fully dissolve. Some people like to add a squirt of lime, while others add a splash of milk. 

What is a Canelazo?

In Colombia, a Canelazo is a hot, strong alcoholic spiced drink made from agua de panela, cinnamon, and aguardiente. Canela means cinnamon in Spanish, and that is where the name comes from. Aguardiente is a strong alcoholic beverage that is popular in Colombia. The word stems from Agua = water and Ardiente = burning, fiery. 

Are all Chiva Tours the same?

What should I wear for a Chiva tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia?

For a Chiva tour in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, you should wear something that will keep you warm. I recommend long pants, a warm and cozy jacket, and close-toed shoes. Keep in mind the Chiva is an open-air vehicle that is constantly moving; therefore, you want to try to stay as warm as possible. 

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