Villa de Leyva is an excellent place in Colombia to travel to with children. It is just four hours north of Bogota. It is a beautiful whitewashed colonial town with cobblestone streets, a large plaza and surrounded by mountains. Since it is only four hours away, it is a convenient and pleasant place to stop off on the long road from Bogota to the Caribbean Coast.
The following are suggestions of activities to do with kids in Villa de Leyva:
Villa de Leyva has one of the biggest plazas in Latin America. This is a great open space for kids to run around and play in. Kids also enjoy feeding and chasing the pigeons that live in the square. The main attraction though, is the kites. Every afternoon the plaza is filled with families flying kites and every year in August, Villa de Leyva hosts a kite festival. Kites are sold at many of the small stores around the center of town.
Casa Quintero is a complex made up of restaurants, with an ice cream stand and internet cafe thrown in. In the back is a small but well maintained playground with a couple swings, slides, and climbing stuctures. It is supposed to be for Casa Quintero clients only, but no one ever questioned us. Sadly in Colombia, many of the public playgrounds are in a state of disrepair, making them dangerous to play on, so it is always nice to find a private one that is well maintained.
Just outisde of Villa de Leyva is a large ostrich farm. You can either walk the 7km from town or take a minibus about 5km of the way and walk the other two. It costs 9000 pesos for adults, and 4,500 for children. It includes a 45 minute guided walking tour involving a short video and talk, time petting and feeding the ostriches (you must pay extra to buy food), as well as visiting the horses, ponies, llamas and goats.
If you have a preschool aged child you can visit the Ludoteca at the top of the hill. This is a free preschool program offered for local children who attend once a week. If you are staying in Villa de Leyva long term, you can register your child to attend. But, even though we were only planning on being around for a week, they let my daughter and I visit and play. It has a variety of toys and books and is a nice open play time for your child to get to interact with other kids. It is open every day in the morning from 8-11 and some afternoons from 2-5. Best to stop in and check with a teacher about when would be a good time to visit.
In conclusion, there are plenty of things to do with children in this beautiful pueblo in the Colombian highlands.