Villa de Leyva, is an ancient colonial seat of power situated deep in the Andes Mountains in the Colombian department of Boyacá. Visitors are greeted with white walls, cobbled streets and beautifully preserved colonial buildings.

Famous for its cobbled square (the largest in South America) and as the birthplace of independence hero Antonio Ricaurte (a captain in Simon Bolivar’s army, Ricaurte died in Venezuela in an act of self-sacrifice), Villa de Leyva is a beautiful setting for a weekend away from Bogotá and offers plenty to do.

Marqués de Villa de Leyva is one of two vineyards operating in Colombia, both in the Villa de Leyva area chosen for its micro climate. Colombia doesn’t have seasons, and the vines have to be tricked into advancing through their cycle using computer controlled irrigation. The tour is only bettered by the wine tasting at the end.

How to get there: Villa de Leyva is about four hours driving from the Colombian capital Bogota. The easiest route is to take the Autopista Norte towards Tunja, the Departmental capital. You can stop at the Bridge of Boyacá, the site of Simon Bolivar’s final independence battle against Spanish forces and then take the direct road via the small village of Samacá avoiding the city of Tunja itself.