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“Decent tourist attraction.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Salt Cathedral

Salt Cathedral
Carrera 7 No 3-63 of 206, Zipaquira, Colombia
+57 1 8529890
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Round-trip Independent Rail Tour to Zipaquirá...
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Zipaquira
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: A contender for the eighth wonder of the world, this underground cathedral is being chiseled out of a former salt mine.
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Decent tourist attraction.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

The salt cathedral was a nice excursion, but its not a must see attraction like some people say. The first part of the tour is very repetitive, but it gets better. There are lots of carved crosses and several very large tunnels made to look like a European church. Honestly the walk up to the Cathedral was almost as nice. If you have the chance, it is probably something you will never be able to do again, but don't feel to bad if you miss it.

Visited February 2013
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Summit, New Jersey
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“How Did They Find The Time?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We had a private car drive us from the center of Bogota to Zipaquira to see the Cathedral of Salt. This attraction was built buy the miners who worked in the salt mine in past century. Miners, being devout Catholics, carved out the Stations of the Cross on the side of the mine walls as they worked down through the mine. Our tour guide, speaking English, explained each station and was quite knowledgeable about the mining process. After you pass the Stations of the Cross you reach the Cathedral which is quite an amazing sight. Recently installed LED lighting throughout this attraction adds a new dimension. If it's been years since you've visited the Cathedral you might want to revisit, the new lighting is awesome. There is an option to go in to the deep mine via miners shaft hoist/elevator, we took one look at the other visitors putting on hard hats with lamps preparing to enter hoist cage; we backed away from this part of the attraction and I'm glad we did.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Unique Cathedral”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Visiting the cathedral as part of a city combo tour makes the arrival and getting around extemely easy. The salt mine is huge and leaves a deep impression about the hard work it takes to get this mineral. The cathedral and the way leading to it are a unique mining and carving work. Regardless of one's religion the place worth a visit. Don't miss the 180 meters under ground coffee, the water mirror and the tree carved on the wall. The underground shop is also a place to stop and look at the items, even if nothing is purchased.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“How to get there and back - a non spanish speaker´s perspective.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

This post will deal with practicalities about getting there, what happens there and coming from there.

I went on Feb 6th 2013. I decided to take the cheaper route by bus. In retrospect, a mistake (from my perspective).The cathedral itself is quite impressive & others have mentioned a lot about it. It is definitely worth the visit. I will focus on logistics. Here we go,

- Take the transmilineo to Portal De Norte station. Bear in mind, this is not the last stop as advertised, there is one more called C.c SanteFe after it. So pay attention. There are buses you can catch towards the city from this stop(CC-SanteFe) or double back by walking back one stop to Portal.

- At Portal De norte on the right side of the autopiste(heading north), there are a number of private buses. Find out that says Zipa on the front. I got into one and was quoted 3200. When i handed over 4000 i got back only 100 pesos. I couldnt argue as my spanish is poor.

- After a journey of 45 mins, i was dropped at the side of the road(Ave 15) as i found out later. I was told i could go to the cathedral from there. I saw a sign at this intersection that pointed out a direction to the Salt Cathedral. So, i got off. There was no clear bus stop &that was the ONLY sign i ever saw. Now, i walked(stumbled) through the town center and up a very very steep hill to find myself in a lower middle class part of town. Got chased by a dog, luckily not bit. Nuff zed. I turned back to the town center and took a cab(cost 3500) to the cathedral.

- At the Cathedral - Tickets were 20,000 pesos. They are grouped with other attractions but no english speaker at the ticket kiosk, so went with the flow. I didnt know there was an english speaking guide when i went. Please enquire becuase there seems to be one as other Trip reports suggest. Now, you can't just go into the mine. You have be shown the mine by an official guide who leaves at pre-set times.I got lucky, there was a tourist who spoke both english & spanish in our group(15 people). He translated. It would be very awkward if you as a non spanish speaker were stuck with a spanish speaking guide. I saw a such a group consisting of two people after i finished my tour on my way out. It was awkward to say the least.

- Return from the cathedral - At the end of the tour, there is a gem store. Incidentally, if you want an emerald, this might be a good place. They are govt. certified. you get an actual stamped certificate. I bought a pendant for 300 USDs. 0.85 carat in 18k gold. Bargain away, i was quoted 571 intially. One of the sales rep spoke english and asked an official tourist information agent for directions to get back. He drew a map for me. Its doable but not easy if you are walking, make your way back to ave 15. There are bus stops there, look for a bus with Bogota on the front and the 'conductor' usually shouts out "portal" ot "terminal". Names of Transmilineo in bogota. Pick accordingly. On the bus journey back, i paid 4000 pesos. I got dropped off at CC santeFe but the guy shouted out the following "proximos Paradas - portal". Even said yes when i asked him if it was portal. It wasnt it was CC- Sante Fe.

So, In summary, i should have just taken a taxi. It would be expensive, but if you are going in a group it can be affordale. Why did i got the bus route ? I wanted the adventure, but in retrospect, the trip to and from left me drained and very tired.

If i absolutely had to do the bus route, as soon as i get off the bus, i would have hailed a taxi and gone to the cathedral. I would bring small change with me as i dont like being gipped. It is part of the 'tourist' experience but it doesnt help. Good luck & the cathedral is worth a visit.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South America
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

This was a neat Cathedral to see. We had to wait quite a while for a tour in English, but it was an interesting tour.

Visited September 2012
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