Living the Highlife in Bogotá

When things are quiet on The Cloud, I make my way to Bogotá, Colombia, a city that always cheers me up. The smell of some of the world’s best Colombian coffee, vivid street art, a sense of fun and breath-taking views make for unforgettable adventures!

bogota-colombia

The sky is bluer in Bogota!

Bogotá is the capital and largest city of Colombia. It is situated in the centre of the country at an elevation of 2,640 meters (8,660 feet) and has a population of nearly 10 million people. It is a safe and progressive city with plenty to offer travellers. Colombia is known as a “megadiverse” country and home to about 10% of the world’s biodiversity. With abundant nature, a rich history and forward-thinking mindset, Bogotá is a fun and relaxing place to explore.

Here’s a Pro-Tip: The currency used is the Colombian Peso; 1 GBP equals about 5,000 COP.

The international airport that serves Bogotá is El Dorado International Airport (BOG). It is newly renovated and is very convenient for travellers. The best way to reach the city centre from the airport is by official airport taxi (yellow or white taxis). You have the option to either pre-book and pay for your taxi (white) or simply pay when you arrive (yellow). The drive is generally around 30 minutes. You may also choose the TransMilenio, a sort of bus that acts like a train, but it is best to be familiar with the city if you use this convenient transport. On Sundays, the major roads in Bogotá are turned into pedestrian and bike only streets, so grab a bike and enjoy the lack of traffic as you mix with friendly residents!

Here’s another Pro-Tip: Despite its proximity to the equator, Bogotá enjoys a year-round moderate temperature, although days and nights can be quite fresh due to its altitude. Remember to pack layers that you can take off and put on as needed.

From people watching on Bolívar Square to shopping through handicrafts at authentic markets like Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo, here is where I love to spend my time:

La Candelaria – As Bogotá’s historic centre, this cultural gem is a fabulous place to wonder around the cobblestone streets, enjoy the colourful graffiti or perhaps stop in one of the many bars and restaurants for a refreshment. La Candelaria is also home to many of the city’s main attractions such as:

Bogota wears its heart on its walls!

  • Museo del Oro – Amongst additional art pieces made of shell, wood, pottery and textile, The Museum of Gold displays more than 55,000 pre-Columbian gold artefacts; the largest collection of gold in the world! Entrance is free on Sundays. If you don’t have time to visit, look for exhibits loaned to the airport and strategically placed on arrival and departure levels.
  • Museo Botero – A museum featuring works by world class artists such as Salvador Dali, Picasso, Claude Monet and, most notably, Fernando Botero. Botero is known for his unique and entertaining style where he depicts humans and animals with exaggerated body shapes.
  • Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen – A gorgeous Gothic, Florentine-style Catholic church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Its colourful walls, inside and out, are attention grabbing!
The mesmerising interior of Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Here’s a Pro-Tip: To learn more about the tumultuous history of Bogotá’s street art movement and the admired artists that created it, you can join a donation-based graffiti tour.

Jardín Botánico de Bogotá – For a peaceful break, head to Colombia’s largest botanical garden. It features a vast collection of flora from all over the country and a special orchid exhibit.

Cerro Monserrate – For the most wonderful views of the city any time of day, this 3,152m (10,341 ft) tall mountain is the place to go! You can take a cable car or hike your way to the top where you will find a small garden, the 17th century Church of the Fallen Lord, and a handful of bars and restaurants.

Salt Cathedral – About an hour north of Bogotá by car or bus and two hours by tourist train, this Roman Catholic church is built 180m (159ft) underground within the mine tunnels of a 250-million-year-old salt deposit. Colourful lighting creates an otherworldly atmosphere!

As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Colombia is able to produce a wide variety of fruits and vegetables which you can find at Market Square. Additionally, with such high-quality livestock and marine life available, the culinary possibilities are basically endless! Chefs of the area have certainly embraced this, so when traveling in Bogotá, you know you will find some amazing food. Here is where I recommend trying:

Fresh from the land, every time!

  • Andres Carne de Res – Located just outside of Bogotá itself, this legendary steakhouse is also one of the best-known party places in South America. It is known for its fun and inviting energy. It seats 2,000 people and hits capacity nearly every night!
  • La Fabbricca – An excellent Italian food restaurant that takes advantage of fresh local ingredients and innovative cooking.
  • Local by Rausch – Traditional Colombian fare and flavours with a modern twist, as imagined by the Rausch brothers. The vibe is trendy and friendly.

Bogotá’s nightlife is exciting and diverse with something for everyone, every day of the week. There are many areas that light up after dark. Party lovers will enjoy dancing around Zona Rosa or Zona T, Parque 93 is for relaxing and enjoying a stroll between restaurants and bars, romantics will fall in love with La Macarena and the neighbourhood of La Candelaria is wonderful for the free-spirited or artistically-inclined. Be sure to check out these hot spots for an after-dinner rumba:

1-Martini, 2-Martini, 3-Martini, Floor!

  • Céntrico – Situated on the 41st floor of one of Bogotá’s tallest buildings, this lovely bar and restaurant has some of the best city views, creating a fun and romantic atmosphere. The dance floor is waiting for you!
  • Pravda – With a more relaxing vibe, this is the place to go to enjoy delicious cocktails in a beautiful terrace setting. I recommend trying the martini.
  • Bogotá Beer Company – Although this chain bar can be found throughout Colombia, it is definitely worth a try! Each location serves the same artisanal beer, but with its own flare. My favourite is in Parque 93!

There are many great places to stay nearby Bogotá’s most popular attractions. Here are my top picks:

  • Click Clack Hotel – Sleek rooms in an excellent location within Parque 93. It is nearby many shops, bars and restaurants. The rooftop restaurant bar is the cherry on top!
  • The Orchids Hotel – Located in the historic district, this glamourous, neoclassical hotel offers a cosy library, a delectable restaurant and ornate details.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá – This may be amongst the very best Four Seasons values in the entire world! Very close to tourist sites plus it has an excellent spa.

 

Bogotá is an unspoiled gem! The people are inviting, lovely and enjoy life to the fullest. I always feel refreshed after a trip above the Cloud in Bogotá!

 

Love,

Isabella

 

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Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Museo del Oro, Jardín Botánico de Bogotá, Salt Cathedral (https://colombia.travel/en)

Where to stay: Click Clack Hotel, The Orchids Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Medina Bogotá (https://clickclackhotel.com/, https://www.theorchidshotel.com/, https://www.fourseasons.com/casamedina/)

Where to party: Céntrico, Pravda, Bogotá Beer Company (http://www.pravda.com.co/)

Where to eat: Andres Carne de Res, La Fabbricca, Local by Rausch (https://www.andrescarnederes.com/, https://lafabbrica.co/, http://www.hermanosrausch.com/)

What to buy: Enjoy the local markets like Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo

Hola from Bogotá!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Museo del Oro, Jardín Botánico de Bogotá, Salt Cathedral (https://colombia.travel/en)

Where to stay: Click Clack Hotel, The Orchids Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Medina Bogotá (https://clickclackhotel.com/, https://www.theorchidshotel.com/, https://www.fourseasons.com/casamedina/)

Where to party: Céntrico, Pravda, Bogotá Beer Company (http://www.pravda.com.co/)

Where to eat: Andres Carne de Res, La Fabbricca, Local by Rausch (https://www.andrescarnederes.com/, https://lafabbrica.co/, http://www.hermanosrausch.com/)

What to buy: Enjoy the local markets like Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo

Hola from Bogotá!

8 Comments to “Living the Highlife in Bogotá”

  1. I never know Bogota had moderate climate year round! I’d love to see more of that street art and the Museo del Oro. 🙂

    Maybe more on the food next time hehehe 🙂

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    lannie travels at 12:14 pm
    1. Hi Lannie! The art is so colourful and beautiful, the streets are like their own museum! Definitely noted, perhaps the food should have its own blog! 😉

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

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      Katie L at 5:45 am
  2. What a beautiful trip to Bogatá! These are excellent tips! 🙂

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    Kevin | Cocktails and Carry-Ons at 2:38 pm
    1. Thank you, Kevin! It is a lovely time!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

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      Katie L at 5:40 am
  3. Bogota looks fantastic! I’ve not explored much of South America, but Colombia is high on my list. Salt Cathedral sounds spectacular.

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    Lisa at 2:51 pm
    1. Fantastic is right! The Salt Cathedral is very cool and quite unique! I am excited for you to explore Colombia and South America.

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

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      Katie L at 5:41 am
  4. I’m so drawn to Bogotá by the street art. Looks amazing

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    John at 7:16 pm
    1. And the street art is drawn with love 😉 It certainly brings an exciting vibe and a very cool story!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

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      Katie L at 7:10 am

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