Bogota is the capital of Colombia, situated at 2600 m a.s.l. The city is known as the "Athens of South America" due to its great number of museums, theaters, libraries, and cultural activities. It is the third most elevated city in South America, behind (La Paz and Quito). In your journey through Bogota, you will enjoy the historical tour along streets that combine modernity with colonial architecture. Bogota is well known for its cultural events like the International Book Fair and the "Festivales al Parque", which are attended by both national and international tourists. The Gold Museum, the National Observatory, the Colpatria Tower and the Botanical Garden José Celestino Mutis, the old La Candelaria Barrios are all must-see destinations for all tourists. We hope you enjoy your historical and cultural adventure in Bogota!
The Weather in Bogota
Bogota's climate is one of the most curious and unpredictable in the world. It is classified as a cold city because it is located at 2600 m.a.s.l., but it is common that in the morning the climate of Bogota is 18°C and that it can rise up to 20°C throughout the day. The nights are cold, with temperatures of 8°C and even less. Bogota is a city with a very varied climate that can have different temperatures throughout the day and that often has heavy rains and that in a matter of minutes a radiant sun rises again. This means that people have to be prepared with the appropriate clothes for each of these climate changes.
Hotels in Bogota
● Hotel Tequendama
- Address: Carrera 10 # 26-21
- Services: Tequendama Hotel is one of the most traditional hotels in Colombia, operating continuously since 1953. It is the preferred place of many artists who visit the country for its classic style and for being located in the center of Bogota. It has comfortable rooms and various amenities throughout the hotel facilities such as a sauna, swimming pool, casino, spa, jacuzzi, beauty salon, and gym. Hotel Tequendama offers cribs and babysitters for kids.
● ExpoHotel Bogota
- Address: Carrera 37 # 25B-65, Teusaquillo
- Services: This hotel is perfect for those who visit Bogota with the intention of attending a fair or event in Corferias, as it is only 3 blocks away. The 21 rooms have wireless internet, a minibar and a very nice view of the city. In the restaurant, guests can enjoy an American breakfast or end the day with a glass of wine by the fireplace. ExpoHotel also has a laundry service and airport transfers.
● Hotel Bogota Central
- Address: Carrera 13 No. 22-24, Alameda Centro
- Services: This hotel is located in a strategic point of Bogota, very close to the Colpatria Tower, the La Santamaria bullfighting arena, Bolivar’s Square, and the National Museum. The 38 rooms have TV cable, a private bathroom, and WiFi. The hotel has a game room and an ironing room, dry cleaning, and laundry.
● Hostal Chorro de Quevedo
- Address: Carrera 3 # 12D-60
- Services: This hostel is ideal for backpackers who want to live closely with the indescribable essence that La Candelaria has, in a comfortable and cozy atmosphere with television, internet, and a private bathroom in each room. The hostel is very well located, just a couple of blocks from Luis Angel Arango Library and the Gold Museum.
● Hotel Dann Avenida 19
- Address: Av 19 # 5 - 72
- Services: This is the ideal hotel for business travelers, as it is close to the main government entities, shopping centers of great tradition, and the financial center, as well as being close to the airport. The rooms have a private bathroom, work desk, WiFi, safe, alarm clock, and telephone. Some of the rooms are equipped to receive disabled people. The hotel has a business center, convention, and conference rooms with a capacity for 100 people. The restaurant offers a varied menu of Colombian food and international food.
Restaurants in Bogota
● La Jugueteria
- Address: Calle 27 No 4A-03, La Macarena
- Services: The food is very varied, offering meat, chicken, pork, fish and soups, all with a very successful preparation, good-sized portions, and prices according to a quality lunch or dinner. However, the great attraction of La Jugueteria is its decoration, logically of toys. With elements from different eras, movies, cartoons, TV shows, and action figures in general. This place manages to evoke memories of a wonderful time in the life of each of its guests.
● Crepes & Waffles
- Address: Several locations
- Services: Although this is a very recognized place with several presences in different cities of Colombia and Latin America, it is in Bogota where more Crepes & Waffles restaurants can be found. The preparations are very simple, they can be in crepes, in waffles, in pitas, and in panne cooks, accompanied by some protein, sauce, or other product that makes an ideal combination. This is a restaurant perfect for any occasion due to its abundance of places, comfortable prices, quality of food, and speed of service.
● La Puerta Falsa
- Address: Calle 11 # 6-50
- Services: This restaurant has been in the heart of Bogota since the beginning of the 19th century and has always belonged to the same family, which is why its seasoning has been maintained over the years. The menu consists of typical snacks such as chocolate with cheese, almojabana, arepa, and tamale, a simple but fabulous combination that became a mandatory stop for those who visit Bolivar Square. In this place, the liberator Simon Bolivar used to eat with Manuelita Saenz. The infrastructure and decoration of the place have been maintained from that time until today.
● La Floridada Bakery Shop
- Address: Carrera 7 # 21-46
- Services: La Florida has been part of the landscape of Bogota since 1936, being one of the most popular places on the capital's scene. Its wide variety of cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits, desserts, and bread in general, accompanied by coffee, tea, or chocolate make the perfect dish for those who leave work and want to eat something before returning home. They are also famous for their breakfasts that have different preparations of eggs or changuas, to start a day in the best way.
Outstanding Tourist Places of Bogota
● Monserrate: The panoramic view from this hill allows you to see how enormous Bogota is. You can get up there by cable car or funicular in 10-minute journeys. For nature and exercise enthusiasts, a trail is also enabled to climb this mountain on foot, on a journey of about an hour depending on the pace of each person. At the top of this hill is the Church of the “Fallen Lord” of Monserrate, famous for performing miracles. There is also an attractive variety of restaurants and cafeterias to have spectacular snacks while enjoying the view.
● Gold Museum: In the center of Bogota is this emblematic museum that has several of the pre-Columbian elements that abounded in this land before the Spanish conquest. Vessels and other gold elements, accompanied by their respective descriptions, allow seeing the works and the symbols that they existed at that time. However, the main protagonist of this place is gold, which not only gives the name to the museum but also revives through its golden pieces, multiple accessories that represented great value not only economic but also spiritual.
● Planetarium: This space allows science lovers to have an approach to different advances and astrological investigations that have been made in this place. The Planetarium also has an imposing dome that simulates a night sky to be able to capture on the screen all the behavior of the stars. In this dome, different concerts and attractive audiovisual functions are held.
The most important festivals in Bogota
● August 6 - This day is Bogota's birthday and is celebrated with different free outdoor concerts to promote art and cultural diversity.
● July 20 - Although this is a national date because the Colombian Independence Day, nowhere do they manage to celebrate it as it is done in Bogota. The military parades in carrera 68 and the sample of military airplanes, are a spectacle that must be lived and that makes Colombians feel proud of their homeland.
How to travel in Bogota?
● Public bus: The Integrated Public Transport System SITP has several buses that travel throughout the city, covering Bogota in its entirety. Transmilenio covers the main roads of Colombia, going at a high speed thanks to having its own trunk. It is necessary to take a SITP bus to get to Transmilenio’s stations. For both services the same card works. The card must be recharged at any Transmilenio station and allows free transfer from one bus to another.
● Taxi: The supply of taxis is very wide because of the high demand for their service. The fares are charged according to a taximeter that works while the ride is in progress.
How to reach Bogota?
Bogota by bus: You can reach Bogota from Villa de Leyva very easily by land. The trip takes between 3 and 4 hours.
Gastronomy in Bogota
● Ajiaco Santafereño: Chicken Soup made with different kinds of potatoes, ears of corn, and some spices. It is also usually accompanied by avocado and milk cream. A hearty delight for the palate.
● Tamal Bogotano: Tamal is an appetizer that is prepared in different Andean countries. In its Bogota version, this is made from a corn dough combined with meat, chicken, pork ribs, onions, garlic, and salt, all wrapped in a typical banana leaf tied to be cooked with steam. It is usually accompanied by a delicious cup of hot chocolate.
● Puchero Santafereño: Tropical type dish, originally from the city. It is prepared with potatoes, meats, ribs, sausages, pastusa, cassava, plantain, and cob, all bathed with hogao and presented with the leaves of a cabbage.
Things to buy in Bogota
● Coffee: Colombian coffee is excellent. In Bogotá, you will have the option of visiting different shops and comparing the flavor of each region to bring the best gift.
● Emeralds: In the center of Bogota there is a great variety of places where you can buy spectacular emeralds, ideal to take back.
● Obleas: A great idea to bring back a good dessert, which can be loaded without damaging it. Take care that they do not break into the suitcase.
Santa Fe de Bogota is everyone’s city, as it is the capital and most important city of Colombia. It is a metropolis of more than 7 million inhabitants, many of them from different regions and other countries for multiple reasons such as job opportunities, study and forced displacement. It is the most important business center in Colombia and the headquarters of Nariño Palace, Justice Palace and the Congress. Its historic center remains intact, allowing to remember with great nostalgia the era of colonization and subsequent independence of Colombia. Bogota is the headquarters of many cultural spaces. Visitors from all over the country attend in order to have different exchanges such as the International Book Fair or Rock al Parque, the largest free music festival in Latin America. Its cosmopolitan culture allows several cultures to live together, even though Bogota traditions prevail.
Bus operators of the route Villa de Leyva to Bogota
● Expreso Cundinamarca
● Valle de Tenza
● Expreso Gaviota
Art, culture, and diversity are some of the elements that will welcome you in Bogota, everyone's city. This is your house, welcome!