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Municipality and town
Flag of Paipa
Official seal of Paipa
Location of the municipality and town of Paipa in the Boyacá Department of Colombia.
Location of the municipality and town of Paipa in the Boyacá Department of Colombia.
Coordinates: 05°50′N 73°09′W / 5.833°N 73.150°W / 5.833; -73.150
Country  Colombia
Department Boyacá Department
Province Tundama Province
Elevation 2,525 m (8,284 ft)
 • Total 27,274
Time zone Colombia Standard Time (UTC-5)

Paipa is a town and municipality in the Colombian Department of Boyacá, part of the Tundama Province a subregion of Boyaca.


Paipa is located 15 km West of Duitama and 40 km to the North-East of Tunja. It is considered to be the main tourist center of the region, with a number of large hotels and Hot springs. At an elevation of 2577m, the climate is mild, averaging 14C.

View of Paipa and the Sochagota Lake

Places of Interest[edit]

Amongst the places of interest are; Lake Sochagota, Rancheria nature reserve, the Vargas swamp, the church, the Casona del Salitre and Jaime Rook park. The latter is named in honor of James Rooke.

Lake Sochagota[edit]

Lake Sochagota is a very popular location for Colombians from the centre of the country and is beginning to become known by foreign visitors. Activities include water-skiing, kayaking as well as running and cycling around its edge.

Vargas Swamp[edit]

This is the location of the famous Vargas Swamp Battle which took place on the 25th of July 1819 and was decisive in the fight for independence. The battle is commemorated by a monument to the 14 lancers, and is the work of Rodrigo Arenas Betancur.

Paipa Thermal Baths[edit]

The thermal bath area covers approximately 5 hectares and includes a number of pools, both public and private as well as hotels, sports facilities, shops and cafes. The water comes from a subterranean lake whose waters come to the surface in this area where they are distributed by pipes to various establishments in the sector.

Casona del Salitre[edit]

Just outside the town is the Casona de Salitre, a beautifully restored colonial era hacienda which is a national monument as well as a hotel.


  • Date Established: February 19 of 1602
  • Name of the founder: Luis Enriquez[citation needed]

Shaping as Paipa town dating from the pre-Columbian era when its population was born in the region for the chieftainship of Tundama, warriors genuine defenders of their culture and wealth of the Temple Suamox challenged by the invasion of the Spaniards in the year 1537 with the burning of the Temple of the Sun is in 1539 when Marshal Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada makes up the first Indian village or settlement. After the fight was the first figure refers to organization of the population imposed by the Iberians, known as "Directs", comprising 800 inhabitants by natural Paipa Captain Gomez de Cifuentes. Similarly in 1596 he was conferred the Commendation of Bonza Pedro Nuñez Cabrera with 231 Indians. Its formation dates back to the urban Hispanic February 19 of 1602, when the visitor Luis Enriquez declared the formation of an indoctrination center in the place where today stands the central square. Based on the classic Spanish grid consisting of a central square and surrounding roads parallel, regularly spaced and crossed by other similarly arranged in a clear allowing the civic, religious and administrative located on its four sides and broken up by land to the church, the house cural, Governor's house and chieftains, confirming resguardos rural and precepts of authority. The first building of the same year was the Church in clay tile, stone foundations, walls, walls in a plant 30 yards long and 11 wide, in the same place where the Cathedral stands today. In 1755 rose to the rank of Paipa corregimiento. Figure that could act as police and criminal justice meant the actual tax collections in your jurisdiction, and other surrounding villages. On November 4, 1755 he was named Don Ignacio de Caicedo as first Corregidor of Paipa. In 1758 appointed Juan Avellaneda, Miguel Rodriguez and Esteban Lara as the first mayor of Paipa. In 1778, for the first time was to demarcate the boundaries of the municipality of Paipa, then guards Bonza, Paipa and Sativa. As the first event that led to Paipa "Tourist City", is the arrival of the first specialists in 1825 to undertake an analysis of the composition of the saline water of Paipa. But it was in 1852 when the central government began to take an interest in natural resources and sends a geographic committee headed by General Agustín Codazzi. The construction of the current Central Church (now cathedral) Jaime Rook in the park began in 1906 and completed in 1920. In late 1930 and early 1931 arrived in Bogota the first passenger train. With the knowledge of their natural wealth termominerales water, municipal swimming pools were built in 1938 by launching the conformation of its resort in 1955 that is reinforced by the construction of Lake Sochagota. Departmental Assembly declared in 1960 as a Paipa city "tourist capital." The construction of the thermoelectric in 1953, generating population movements elsewhere in the country since 1964 Paipa presents a scattered and chaotic urban growth by the growth of its unusual population. It is at that moment when Paipa begins to lose the harmony of the urban design and architectural historical values. The context of the homogeneous main square is broken to make way for buildings "modern" that make Paipa begin to lose those elements of identity as a colonial city. The celebration of 150 years of the Independence of Colombia in 1969 marks a pattern within the urban context of Paipa. The facades are unified in their white walls and green windows, doors and balconies that are usually kept painted pink so far. Inauguration of the monument to the community in the Pantano de Vargas, and now forgotten monument to Innocent Chincá on North Central Avenue, giving it the same name to the road on their way through the urban area of the municipality. They also inaugurated the extension of "the sixth" from the point of light until the pool with the name of Juan José Rondón. It is in this decade when it begins to develop the hospitality industry around the lake with his first Sochagota Springs Hotel or Colonial. Prior to these buildings and construction of municipal swimming pools, residents and tourists to bathe in hot springs and wells existed only Victoria hotel located within the urban area. In 1973 began the first Department of Bands and in 1975, extending its coverage and officially the first National Band Contest, an event that has since characterized Paipa in this genre. These events led to the construction of new urban public venues such as sports and cultural complex Concha Acústica "Valentín Garcia" built in 1990. By 1995, both in Paipa like in other neighboring cities and nationwide in general, begins a dense urban Fulminans due to problems of public policy that makes Colombia a transformation from rural to urban areas in a very short time. The rural population began to seek refuge in stocks that apparently did not affect this problem or at least not to the same intensity. In response to these events is beginning to generate social housing developments to the north side and self-construction, and urbanization Forest.