Rammed earth, also known as "tapia pisada" in Colombia, is a technique for building walls using raw materials of earth, chalk, lime and gravel. It is an ancient building method that has seen a revival in recent years as people seek more sustainable building materials and natural building methods. Rammed-earth walls are simple to construct, noncombustible, thermally massive, strong, and durable.

Colonial Rammed-Earth houses can be observed in Bogotá and, mostly, in its surrounding towns. In particular Villa de Leyva and Barichara, two of the most fascinating colonial towns near Bogota, have a strong tradition in this technique.

In Villa de Leyva, the streets, houses and buildings are mostly an evidence of the Spanish colonial heritage, as white prevails over any colour and wooden elements are used for doors and balconies in their natural state.

In Barichara, on the other hand, the rammed-earth technique has been used to mix elements of Colombian traditions and cultures. Less moderation in the use of colours is probably what the visitor will notice immediately.  However, it is the combination of cobblestone streets, rammed earth houses, bahereque building style and mud tiles, what makes Barichara unique.




DAY 1 – Bogotá / Villa de Leyva (meal plan (B/L/-)

At morning, visit to the historic center of Bogota, La Candelaria, to walk its colonial streets surrounded by buildings of different architectural styles, the Tapia Pisada houses are some of the most antique of the area. Lunch in a typical Colombian restaurant and then transfer to Villa de Leyva (approx. 3 hours).

Arrive to Villa de Leyva in the afternoon and visit to the Ecce Homo, convent, an important remain of the Spanish heritage in the area. At late afternoon time for a relaxing walk on the town's cobblestone streets, and a visit to the Main Square.

Night at hotel in Villa de Leyva

DAY 2 – Villa De Leyva / Barichara (meal plan B/L/-)

At morning, transfer to Barichara (approx. 3 hours). Its' here that one can appreciate the rammed earth houses and the peacefulness of the town.
Typical lunch just before beginning the rammed earth techniques workshop, in which one can see and participate in the different traditional processes involved. Starting from building the containing walls, which will then be fulfilled with earth that will manually be pressed (by stepping on it) to become "Tapia Pisada".

Night at hotel in Barichara

DAY 3 – Barichara / Bogota (meal plan B/L/-)

After breakfast, return to Bogota (approx. 6 hours). On the way, different stops on typical towns, such as San Gil, the near Gallineral park, Socorro and Barbosa. Lunch will be at one of those towns.

Arrival to Bogota, and transfer to the hotel.