About 75 km from Bogotá, overlooking the lake is the small, modern town of Guatavita Nueva, which was built in colonial style when the old town of Guatavita was submerged by the reservoir. The original inhabitants were unwilling to stay in the new town, so it is now a weekend haunt for bogoteños and tourists. There is a cathedral, artisan workshops and two small museums; one devoted to the indigenous Muisca and the other to relics of the old Guatavita church, including a delightful Debain harmonium. The Sunday market is best in the morning, before bogoteños arrive. To get there, catch a bus from Bogotá.
Laguna de Guatavita (also called Lago de Amor by locals), is where the legend of El Dorado originated. The lake is a quiet, beautiful place. You can walk right round it close to the water level in 1½ hours, or climb to the rim of the crater in several places. Opinions differ on whether the crater is volcanic or a meteorite impact, but from the rim at 3100 m there are extensive views over the varied countryside. Access to the park is only permissible with a permit obtained from the Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca (CAR) (Cra 7, No 36-45/11, T3209000, http://www.car.gov.co, US$6.50).
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