Duitama, Colombia

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Duitama, Colombia

Region: Boyacá


Geographic Coordinates: 5.833300, -73.016700
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 25.0°C (50°F to 77°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 126670
Language: Spanish

Duitama is a small city located in the department of Boyacá, Colombia, Known for its rich history and cultural heritage. It was one of the most important cities during the pre-Columbian era and has a population of around 120, 000 people situated at an altitude of 2, 590 meters above sea level. One significant landmark in Duitama is its main square called Plaza de los Libertadores. This square has been an essential gathering place for locals since colonial times and has several historical buildings surrounding it.

The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Rosary is one such building built-in 1574 with beautiful Baroque architecture. Another notable attraction in Duitama is Pueblito Boyacense, Which translates to Little Boyaca Village. This open-air museum showcases typical architecture from different regions throughout Boyacá department. Visitors can explore replicas of traditional houses, Churches, Shops and even a bullfighting ring. The region surrounding Duitama offers many natural attractions worth exploring too. The nearby Iguaque National Park boasts stunning landscapes with mountains covered by dense vegetation and waterfalls cascading down rocky cliffsides.

Visitors can also hike to Laguna de Tota – Colombia’s largest lake – where they can enjoy swimming or boating while taking in breathtaking views. One exciting event that takes place annually in Duitama is La Vuelta a Colombia cycling race that attracts top cyclists from all over South America each year. This race passes through various parts of Colombia but always ends with a thrilling finish line on Duitama’s main square.

Duitama also celebrates several cultural events throughout the year such as La Feria de la Oca (Goose Fair) held every January where locals gather to celebrate their agricultural heritage by showcasing livestock competitions and traditional crafts displays. Duitama is renowned for its gastronomy, Particularly its local dish called ajiaco – made with chicken, Potatoes, Corn, And a variety of spices. It’s the perfect meal to warm up on a chilly day in the Andean highlands. Duitama offers visitors an opportunity to explore Colombia’s rich history and culture while enjoying natural wonders and delicious cuisine.

Whether you’re interested in exploring pre-Columbian ruins or hiking through stunning landscapes or indulging in traditional dishes – Duitama has something for everyone.



Important Landmarks

  1. Plaza de los Libertadores
  2. Catedral de Duitama
  3. Puente de Boyacá
  4. Parque Nacional Natural Iguaque
  5. Museo del Carmen
  6. Casa Museo Antonio Nariño
  7. Laguna de Tota
  8. Santuario del Señor de los Milagros
  9. Mirador Turístico Alto la Cruz
  10. Parque Temático Guátika

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Duitama is known for its agricultural production of potatoes, corn, beans, wheat, barley, and other crops.
  2. Textile industry: The city has a significant textile industry producing clothing and fabrics.
  3. Construction: The construction sector is also a significant contributor to the local economy.
  4. Mining: Duitama has several mines that extract coal, emeralds, gold, and other minerals.
  5. Food processing: There are several food processing plants in the city that produce dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
  6. Services sector: The services sector includes tourism-related activities such as hotels and restaurants as well as banking and financial services.
  7. Manufacturing industry: There are several manufacturing companies in Duitama that produce goods such as furniture, ceramics, plastic products among others.

Noteable History

  1. The founding of Duitama: Duitama was founded on June 22, 1539 by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.
  2. Battle of Boyacá: On August 7, 1819, the Battle of Boyacá took place near Duitama. This battle was a key victory for the independence forces led by Simón Bolívar against Spanish colonial forces.
  3. Jorge Eliécer Gaitán: Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was a Colombian politician and lawyer who served as mayor of Duitama from 1925 to 1926.
  4. Rafael Uribe Uribe: Rafael Uribe Uribe was a Colombian lawyer and politician who served as governor of Boyacá from 1898 to 1900 and again from 1913 to 1914.
  5. Luis Carlos Galán: Luis Carlos Galán was a Colombian journalist and politician who served as senator for Boyacá in the late-1970s.
  6. Discovery of El Infiernito: El Infiernito is an archaeological site located near Duitama that contains several stone structures believed to have been used for astronomical observations by pre-Columbian cultures in the region.
  7. Indigenous peoples: The region around Duitama has been inhabited by various indigenous groups throughout history, including the Muisca people who were known for their advanced agricultural practices and goldsmithing skills.
  8. Colonial architecture: Many buildings in downtown Duitama date back to the colonial period and feature traditional Spanish architecture such as adobe walls, red-tile roofs, and ornate balconies.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museo Arqueológico de Duitama: This museum displays the pre-Columbian history of the region with its collection of artifacts, such as pottery, tools, and jewelry.
  2. Catedral de San Lorenzo: This historic cathedral is one of the most important religious buildings in Duitama and features stunning architecture.
  3. Casa del Fundador Gonzalo Suárez Rendón: This colonial-era house was once home to Gonzalo Suárez Rendón, the founder of Duitama. Today it serves as a museum showcasing traditional Colombian life and culture.
  4. Parque La Libertad: This beautiful park offers a peaceful retreat from city life with its walking paths, gardens, and fountains.
  5. Centro Cultural y Deportivo Los Ocobos: This cultural center hosts various events throughout the year like concerts, art exhibitions, and sports tournaments.
  6. Mirador El Santuario de la Virgen del Rosario: Located on top of a hill overlooking Duitama’s historic center; this viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the city below.
  7. Puente de Boyacá: Just outside Duitama is this iconic bridge where Simon Bolivar’s army defeated Spanish forces in 1819 during Colombia’s struggle for independence.
  8. Plaza de los Libertadores: Located in downtown Duitama; this square is surrounded by historic buildings and monuments commemorating Colombia’s freedom fighters.
  9. Iglesia San Antonio de Padua: Another impressive religious building in Duitama that boasts beautiful architecture inside and out.
  10. Parque Nacional Natural Pisba – For nature lovers looking to explore beyond the city limits; this national park offers hiking trails through scenic landscapes featuring waterfalls and wildlife such as deer and eagles.


Sports Teams

  1. Boyacá Chicó Fútbol Club: This professional football club was founded in 2002 and is based in Duitama. They have played in the top tier of Colombian football several times and won the Copa Colombia title in 2008.
  2. Patriotas Boyacá: Another professional football club from Duitama that was founded in 2003. They have also played in the top tier of Colombian football and reached the semifinals of the Copa Sudamericana tournament once.
  3. Club Ciclístico de Boyacá: This cycling team is based in Duitama and has a long history of producing successful cyclists such as Nairo Quintana and Fabio Parra. The team has won multiple national championships and represented Colombia at international cycling events.
  4. Club Deportivo Cóndor: A basketball team from Duitama that competes at a national level in Colombia’s professional basketball league.
  5. Atlético Nacional de Rodeo: A rodeo team from Duitama that has won multiple national championships and represents the region at rodeo competitions across Colombia.


Cultural Events

  1. Festival Internacional de la Cultura: This is a week-long festival held in September that celebrates the cultural diversity of Duitama and Colombia as a whole. It features music, dance, theater performances, art exhibitions, and workshops.
  2. Semana Santa: Holy Week is celebrated in Duitama with religious processions and events that commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
  3. Feria de la Panela: This festival takes place in May and celebrates the production of panela (unrefined cane sugar) in the region. Visitors can sample different types of panela-based dishes and learn about its production process.
  4. Festival del Viento y las Cometas: Held every August, this festival celebrates kite-flying with competitions, workshops, and exhibitions showcasing traditional Colombian kites.
  5. Carnaval de Negros y Blancos: Although not held in Duitama itself but nearby Pasto city (about 8 hours away), many people from Duitama participate or attend this famous carnival which takes place every January 2-7th to celebrate the end of Christmas season with colorful parades featuring elaborate costumes and masks representing different cultural groups from all over Colombia.
  6. Feria Taurina San Juan Bautista: A traditional bullfighting fair held every June during Saint John’s Day celebrations where local matadors display their skills while visitors enjoy food stalls selling typical Colombian snacks such as arepas or empanadas along with refreshing drinks like chicha or aguapanela.
  7. Fiesta del Campesino: A rural-themed festival that honors farmers’ work by showcasing their products such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products among others through fairs held throughout the year at different towns around Duitama’s countryside areas.

Cuisine

  • Ajiaco – a hearty soup made with chicken, potatoes, corn and herbs.
  • Frijoles – beans cooked with pork or beef and served with rice.
  • Arepas – a type of flatbread made from cornmeal and often filled with cheese or meat.
  • Changua – a breakfast soup made from milk, eggs and scallions.
  • Empanadas – fried or baked pastries filled with meat or cheese.

Some popular restaurants in Duitama that serve these dishes include:

  1. Restaurante El Mesón de la Plaza
  2. La Brasa Roja
  3. Restaurante Donde Alberto
  4. La Cocina de María
  5. Restaurante La Casona

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parque La Flora: A public park with green areas, playgrounds, and sports courts.
  2. Parque Los Libertadores: A popular park with a large central fountain, walking paths, and a children’s play area.
  3. Complejo Deportivo San Antonio: A sports complex with soccer fields, basketball courts, and a swimming pool.
  4. Parque Santander: A historic public square with gardens and benches for relaxation.
  5. Laguna de Tota: A large lake located near Duitama that offers fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities.
  6. Cerro de la Cruz: A hilltop lookout point offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
  7. Pueblito Boyacense: An open-air museum featuring replicas of traditional Colombian buildings and crafts shops selling local handicrafts.
  8. Catedral de Duitama: The city’s main cathedral is an impressive example of colonial architecture that is worth visiting for its ornate interior decoration.

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