MONTAñAS

Tenza Valley, Boyacá

AUTHOR: Rafael Angulo

A couple of weeks ago I decided to visit Tenza Valley, which in the Muisca language means “King of the Winds”. I also wanted to take advantage of and know the roads that reach the wall of the dam of Chivor and its tunnels.

I must confess that this time the motivation of this trip was a photo contest, so I could meet 2 goals, know the Tenza Valley, participate in the contest and maybe win a prize.

Chivor Dam, Tenza Valley Boyacá
Chivor Dam, Tenza Valley Boyacá

On this trip I left (with a great friend) early in Bogota, on the north highway to the Sisga Dam, after passing the bridge a few meters ahead there is a track on the right that leads to the Tenza Valley.

Our first stop was before entering Machetá – Cundinamarca, we observed the first clouds of the morning walking through the foothills of the mountains and a panoramic view of this town, from where its huge church with two towers dedicated to Our Lady of Candelaria stands out.

Machetá, Cundinamarca
Machetá, Cundinamarca

Being in Machetá we walked around its main square, in a good part of the town the old architecture is maintained, big houses in two floors, with balconies in wood and roofs in clay tiles.

We continue to the next town that appeared on the road, but not before making several stops dazzled by the landscape of the Machetá River Canyon. In this sector the river is adorned with huge rocks and rapid steps of its channel. The mountains emerge with force, clearly showing the formations or layers that compose them.

Río Macheta, Cundinamarca
Río Macheta, Cundinamarca

After traveling almost 30 km we reach Guateque – Boyacá, a beautiful town that preserves the old architecture (at least near the main park).

We arrived in Guateque after the midday mass and the church was already closed, in Machetá we could not enter the church because they were celebrating mass. Here the weather had improved and the heat arrived, we took several pictures, we cooled off and rested for a while in the main park.

Guateque, Boyacá
Guateque, Boyacá

We continued our journey to the Chivor Dam and the tunnels that had named me so much. I must say that after Guateque the road becomes a quilt of pavement, dust and holes, a suffering for the shock absorbers and in extreme cases the kidneys.

Later on when talking with the people of the region I knew that this was the old road to the plain, today in a deplorable state and it is a real pity because they say that the money from its construction has been lost several times and with it the opportunity that this beautiful region can take advantage of its 100% potential.

Tunnel dam Chivor
Tunnel dam Chivor

But not everything is bad, we reached the first tunnel. The tunnels in this sector are old, they are not covered in cement, the rock is in sight, the water drains and falls from the roof, on the other side the light is getting closer and we get to Las Juntas.

At this point there is a bridge where the Garagoa River flows into the Chivor dam and the calm waters allow the presence of the water horn that gives a unique beauty to the landscape.

Water hyacinth, Garagoa river and Chivor dam
Water hyacinth, Garagoa river and Chivor dam

From now on until the wall of the dam the landscape is definitely beautiful, the water flows in all its manifestations, river, streams and small waterfalls that reflect the rainbow. On the wall the soldiers who look after the dam told us how to get to Cascada La 70, another tunnel and wow what a spectacle!

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, it is not easy to describe the feeling of being there, again nature shows us how immense it is and how insignificant we are.

Cascada La 70, Chivor, Boyacá
Cascada La 70, Chivor, Boyacá

It was almost 4:30 pm and the objective in mind was a good sunset, we had arrived at Macanal – Boyacá, a small town located on the eastern mountain range where we could contemplate a beautiful sunset and the clouds resting on the mountain tops as if they were looking for a rest or the perfect shot.

Sunset in Macanal, Boyacá
Sunset in Macanal, Boyacá.

The second day was spent in Garagoa, Boyacá, we took several shots of the cathedral, we had breakfast and we took the road (really trail) towards the Tenza Valley.

Garagoa, Boyacá
Garagoa, Boyacá

On the way an old peasant made a sign to take it, we stopped, got up and started for us the best part of the trip, it was Don Carlos with 80 years old, light eyes, white skin, big hands and blessed words, It was a mistake not to have stopped.

Don Carlos told us about his life, the country life, he said that the field was very good and grateful to work in it, but that it ends people a lot.

Don Carlos
Don Carlos

We arrived at Tenza Valley and we wanted to leave it in La Capilla where I was going to look for clients to negotiate their coffee and it turned out that La Capilla was a municipality where the Virgen de la Candelaría appeared.

Thanks to Don Carlos we got to know a municipality that we had not planned to visit, there we shared the day of the market where the farmers come to offer their agricultural products and sell their cattle, a unique experience, very hospitable people, simple and friendly.

Main square La Capilla, Boyacá
Main square La Capilla, Boyacá

We return to Tenza, for me one of the most beautiful villages of Boyacá, its colonial houses still conserve their white walls with green doors and balconies, the church is a huge stone mass with two towers and a central dome, its altar has a vault With a resurrected Jesus, the dome is painted with a sky full of clouds and stars, a true work of art.

Church of Tenza, Boyacá
Church of Tenza, Boyacá

With this small town our journey through the Tenza Valley ended, there is still a lot to know but the time was short and we tried to know as much as possible. We just returned with the happiness of having known another beauty of our beautiful country Colombia. Until a new crossing.

OTHER DESTINATIONS NEAR THE TENZA VALLEY – BOYACÁ AND CUNDINAMARCA

Monguí, Tota lake, El Cocuy, Villa de Leyva, el Iguaque Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, Parque verde y agua, Guaduas, Anolaima, Siecha Lagoon, Chicaque Natural Park and check at these routes to travel by bike through Boyacá

Rafael Angulo

Rafael Angulo

Bucaro, apasionado por la fotografía y la naturaleza, Colombia es rica en ella y no me canso de descubrirla. Nada te da más paz que sonido del agua, las aves y el viento, y la fotografía me ha permitido conseguir esa paz.

Me gustan muchas cosas especialmente compartir un buen trago con amigos, oír los merengues con los que aprendí a bailar. Gocémonos a Colombia es nuestra!!!

Instagram: @rafaelangulo

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