February 9, 2021

Tequendama Falls: A Mansion, Hotel, and Museum

Bogota, Colombia
Easy
1 hour

Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by the travel blog again. We’ve got a new experience at the falls to share with you today! I’m really excited about this one. The Tequendama Falls have a mysterious and interesting story attached to them. I hope you enjoy the story as much as we enjoyed exploring this amazing place!

A Beautiful And Mysterious Place

Ever since I saw the photos of the Tequendama Falls Museum, I wanted to visit the structure. It is located directly across from a huge, infamous, waterfall which was a big draw! The hotel (now turned museum) also has a long and somewhat tragic history attached to it. All these things increased my desire to explore the place! The museum rests 18 miles southwest of Bogota and is easily accessible by car or bus. It draws crowds of tourists and locals every month. Everyone is eager to enjoy the view of Tequendama Falls. People also gather because they are curious to investigate the stories of suicide surrounding the falls. The legend is that the falls sit on haunted land. I wanted to know where these rumors came from and I was excited to find out more about this mysterious place.

From Hotel To Museum

We knew the breathtaking Tequendama Falls Museum had to have an interesting story attached to its existence. It was a big local attraction for a reason. As we toured the building we learned a lot about its fascinating history. Originally built as a residential mansion back in 1923 for a well-known architect, Carlos Arturo Tapias. By 1928, it started functioning as a hotel and continued on for roughly 62 years! Such a cool historic building! In the 1970s, sewage started affecting the river. The hotel eventually closed in the early 1990s as a result of the terrible pollution in the river. Thankfully, the Institute of Natural Sciences of the National University of Colombia and the Ecological Farm Foundation of Porvenir joined forces and remodeled the sad, old hotel into a museum in 2013, giving it new life!

A Fight Against Pollution

Unfortunately, there have been decades of corporations and individuals throwing their trash into the Bogota River. As of today, the river itself has become so contaminated that the water is not open for consumption, swimming, or fishing. Sadly, as you drive up to visit the Tequendama Falls Museum, you can see the pollution in the water. There are masses of white foam covering the river due to the Bogotá River contamination that is still an issue today. Access to any clean water is very hard to come by in Columbia. On the brighter side, the Columbian government and local authorities have been working hard for years to clean the river up and make it safe again!

The Falls

From inside the museum, we saw the most beautiful, panoramic views of the 433 foot high Tequendama Falls. It was amazing looking out and seeing how wonderful nature is. We learned that the architect of the museum crafted the building to complement the organic beauty of the falls surrounding it. The museum and the falls attract crowds of tourists because they are magnificent sights to be seen.

A Haunting Tale

As I mentioned earlier, people believe Tequendama Falls is haunted. The reputation started circulating around after several people committed suicide at the Falls. The local legend is that the Muisca Indians jumped from the falls to escape the Spanish conquistadors. On their way down, they would magically turn into eagles and fly away to safety.  Sadly, this story attracted attention. More and more people attempted suicide and the spot became a popular place for the broken-hearted to leap from. Its beauty and mystery have created a huge buzz around the falls. All these years later, visitors and locals still frequent the grounds. The views, history, and myths have made it a must-see attraction!

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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.

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