Bogota is the capital of Colombia, situated at 2640 m a.s.l. The city is known as the "Athens of South America" due to its great numer 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 architechture. 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 yiy enjoy your historical and cultural adventure in Bogota!
Travels tips for Bogota
If you have planned to move around the regions in Colombia, you might be asked to have the yellow fever vaccine. Other vaccines that you should consider -in case you travel to the jungle- are the tetanus vaccine and the hepatitis A/B.The electric current kind used in Colombia is 110-volt AC (110 V), with a frequence of 60 Hz. We recommend you to have a plug adapter if you travel to places that uses other voltage.The high season in Colombia goes from December to January. You should book all in advance if you travel at the begining of the year.If you stay less than 90 days it's not mandatory to take the visa process. It you come from the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela) or from the Andean Community (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chiles) the only document you will need is your ID card and the TAM (Andean Migration Card).The official currency is the Colombian peso (COP). For you to have an idea, 3000 COP= US$ 1,00(approximately).Sometimes the rains turn into torrential rains -even with hail-. It's always recommended to have an umbrella and clothes to wrap yourself up, since the climate can be unpredictable.The faucet water can be directly drunk or used to cook; if you go to rural areas or little cities we recommend you to buy bottled or treated water.
Best time to visit Bogota
The best time to visit Bogota is during the dry seasons: from December to February and from June to September.
Climate in Bogota
The climate in Bogota is tropical and moderately cold, with an average annual temperature of 57 °F (14 °C). However, the sunny days temperatures are over 73 °F (23 °C). Sometimes there are torrential rains, that can originate hail.
Things to do in Bogota
Bogota stands out for being a culture source with events as the International Book Fair and the crowded Park Festivals, where Colombian people and foreigners have fun. We wish you enjoy your historic and cultural adventure in Bogota.
Nightlife in Bogota
Location: Carrera 13 N. 82 - 17 Hours: monday to saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Rate: 10000 COP/ 11.7 PEN - 20000 COP/23.4 PEN Calypso music and good reggae are the features of Jhonny Cay, whose name comes from a Caribbean island in San Andres, reason why the bar concept is a tropical style. The nightlife diversion is guaranteed with the promotion 2x1 in cocktails.
Location: Carrera 13 N. 93B -48 Hours: wednesday to saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Rate: 25000 COP/ 29.3 PEN It's considered one of the best bars of the city, it's very popular and there is live music during the weekend and there are rumba dances after every show. It's well-known that at this bar gifted artists as Shakira or Cabas started their professional career.
Bogotá Beer Company
Location: Carrera 12 N. 83 - 33 Hours: doesn't say Rate: doesn't say Did you look for handmade beer on the best environment? You found it at this bar of classic and contemporaneous rock, with the English style, as to start a great evening or to close it with a final touch.
Location: Av. 81 N° 12 - 29 Hours: doesn't say Rates: doesn't say The electronic party is better at the Aura bar, with its assorted drinks menu, as to start motivating the evening. You should make your booking before getting there. You can call to 218 - 6913.
Location: Calle 85 N° 14 – 46 Hours: doesn't say Rates: 10000 COP/ 11.6 PEN - 25000 COP/ 29.3 PEN It's the busiest nightclub by the Bogota's people, since the nightclub has 3 floors of different atmosphere, where you can get the best dancing with no stop the most diverse rhythms; you can also have a drink while you talk with friends. You make your party deciding which is your floor. If you wish party, the first and second floors are perfect for you.
Where to eat in Bogota?
Nueve - Gourmet Restaurant
Location: Calle 70 A N. 10A - 18, Chapinero Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Rate: 70200 COP/ 81.61 PEN It's a whole gastronomic experience that turns around the best gourmet dishes served with a good wine. It's one of the few restaurant that prepare plates under demand, after the customer's call. It's highly recommended lumpias de pato and risotto de cochinita.
Ocus Pocus - International Restaurant
Location: Calle 69A n. 6 - 17, Zona G. Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Rate: 48200 COP/ 56.5 PEN Even though the place is little, the fact is compensated with the variety of the menu and its vintage decoration. You can taste exquisite dishes based on fish, chicken and meats, or taste a hamburger (there are also vegeterian plates). Besides that, they count the most varied fruit cocktails, which will be the delight of all your meals.
La Brasserie - Restaurant Bar
Location: Carrera 13 N° 85 - 35, Zona T Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Rate: 65100 COP/ 76.3 PEN An excellent atmosphere, with a tempting drinks bar, where you can ask the appetizers before the main dish. The brie cheeses, crunchy and on the oven, mushrooms in melted cheese or the lobster salad are some of the culinary delights that will make your step through La Brasserie unforgettable and satisfactory.
The tourist places to see in Bogota are:
Location: in the historic center of Bogota, Carrera 8 Hours: all day Rate: free entrance The square has neoclassical features really beautiful and it's doubtlessly the heart of the city for being on the middle of its historic center, where the bronze statue of the liberator Simon Bolivar stands, placed middle the 19th century, which welcomes the visitors in hieratical position. It's the ideal departure point to discover the architectural and tourist attractions of the urban area.
Catedral Primada de Colombia
Location: Carrera 7 N. 10-80, Barrio de la Candelaria Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Rate: free entrance It's the most important church of Colombia, located in the center of Bogota, in the Plaza de Bolivar. Its construction, of neoclassical architectural style dates from 1807; originally there was in the same place a colonial period church, built in 1539. The cathedral has a rectangular floor with 3 high naves and artistic domes. On the inside chapel historic personalities from Bogota are buried.
Barrio de La Candelaria
Location: the center of the city Hours: all day Rate: free entrance It's an old neighborhood that dates from the colonial period, with narrow streets and mansions that prserve the architectural style of the colony. The impressive historic value turns La Candelaria into a point of interest from where go to other tourist attractions of Bogota.
Museo del Oro
Location: Carrera 6 (intersection with Calle 16) Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Rate: 3000 COP/ 3.4 PEN The collection that the Museum harbors has been declared Monumento Nacional (National Monument) and it's considered one of the most important worldwide. Its creation dates from 1939 and harbors nearly 34000 goldsmithing pieces, besides a large number of stone and pottery objects, gemstones and textiles from the cultures Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Sinu, Tolima and Muisca, among others. It's a complete experience, since the museum counts several rooms as its exclusive coffee-restaurant.
Location: Calle 26 #5 - 93 Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Rate: 9600 COP/ 11.18 PEN It's the main astronomical and scientific diffusion center from 1969. Inside you will see a superb projection room, where constallations, stars and planets are reproduced, an entire cosmic and visual delight. You will also see laser projections or use a telescope to live the astronomical experience by yourself. Don't you miss the workshops, unique of its genre.
The things to do in Bogota
Salto del Tequendama
Location: at 18.6 mi (30 km) from the city, Tequendama - Department of Cundinamarca Hours: doesn't say Rate: doesn't say It's a waterfall formed by the Bogota river waters, and it's nearly 515 foot (157 meters). The landscapes that you will appreciate at this wooded environment -where there is always mist- will captivate you. Close to the waterfall area there is a derelict hotel called El Salto, famous for its luxurious architecture from other time and for the legends told about it (some people tell it's haunted). Today the hotel is a museum that close to the cliff and covered by the green nature constitutes an amazing experience.
Cerro de Monserrate
Location: Carrera 2 E N. 21 - 48 Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Rate: 14400 COP (mornings) - 17000 COP (evenings) - 8000 COP (Sundays) This hill is considered as representative cultural heritage of the capital. Over the summit of the emblematic hill rests the sanctuary of Señor Caido de Monserrate, at a height of 3152 meters above the sea level; from there you obtain the best view that Bogota can offer to its visitors. You can get to the peak by the cable car or by funicular. You can as well go up by foot, through a stone road, but to do it you must be in good physical condition.
Usaquen - visit to the fleas market
It's located on the Central square of Usaquen, surrounded by colonial constructions, very crowded on Sundays and main holidays. You will find handicrafts, jewellery, unique and curious objects, antiques, independent design clothing and gastronomy areas, where typical dishes from Colombia are sold. Your weekends will be more cheerful in Usaquen, and by the way you can buy some souvenirs for your friends and family.
Zona Rosa - exclusive amusement
Location: at the North of the city, between the Calles 79 and 85 and the Carreras 11 and 15 The nightlife in Bogota is assembled at the Zona Rosa (the pink area), since there are lots of bars, nightclubs, coffee shops and restaurants located there. But you can find much more than nightlife fun at this area, since there are also commercial areas, exclusive hotels and boutiques of high couture well-known in Bogota and worldwide. Amusement waits for you at the Zona Rosa with a variety of choices.
Cementerio Central de Bogota - historic tour
Location: in front of the Av. El Dorado with Carrera 20 - Barrio Santa Fe This old graveyard was declared Monumento Nacional (National Monument) due to its great architectural, cultural and historic value. Some of the most important personalities of the Colombian history (politicians, Independence heros and artists) rest between graves. There are splendid mausoleums, sculpted by talented artists, of incomparable goddess. If you are a history and architecture lover of the last centuries, take a tour to the Central Cemetery.
Typical dishes in Bogota
What should you taste necessarily in Bogota? This colonial origin plate is fruit of the mix of creole and spanish recipes. It consists of a chicken soup with several potato species, ear of corn and spices. It's usually served with avocado and cream. Its delicious to the palate!
It's a dish made with plentiful ingredients, among them beef, pork, heart, pieces of blood sausage, chorizo, longaniza, creole potatoes and ripe plantain. All the meat is fried until it's gold-colored, and after that they serve it with fried potatoes and baked bananas.
It's a tropical dish originate in the city. It's prepared with potato, ribs, longanizas (spicy pork sausage), manioc, banana and ear of corn, all of it seasoned with hogao (creole sauce) and presented with cabbage leafs.
Sancocho de gallina
It's a popular soup in the different regions of the country, made of chicken, potatoes, manioc, bananas, and several spices, all of it served with rice.
The tamal is a snack prepared in various Andean countries. In Bogota it's made of corn dough mixed with meat, chicken, pig ribs, onions, garlic and salt, all of it wrapped in a typical banana leaf, tied to be boiled steamed. In general the tamal is served with a delicious cup of warm chocolate.
How to reach Bogota
Bogota by train
There is a unique tourist train service that leaves from Sabana de Bogota, called Ferrocarril de la Sabana de Bogotá. This train goes through Usaquen, La Caro, Parque Jaime Duque (Briceño), Cajica and even Zipaquira. The length of the railway is 124 mi (200 kms). Nowadays there is a project of inter-city trains from Sabana de Bogota that will be opened in 2019 and will connect Bogota with the nearby municipalities of the Cundinamarca department.
Bogota by flight
The distance between Cali to Bogota is 191 mi (307 km) in a straight line. The Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado is the international airport close to Bogota, and has a lot of flights. There are direct flights from Colombian cities as Cali, Manizales, Medellin, Santa Marta, Cartagena and abroad from Panama and San Salvador as an example. The most frequent airlines that fly to the city are Avianca, Viva Colombia and Satena. There are other international airlines as United Airlines, Latam and Conviasa that also cover this destination.
Bogota by bus
You can get to Bogota from many towns, since is the capital of the country. A way to travel to the Colombian capital is the bus. The distance from Cali to Bogota, for example, is 286.5 mi (461 km) and it takes approximately 9 hours of travel. The bus companies that cover this route are Expreso Bolivariano, Expreso Palmira S26 and Fronteras, among others.
Accomodations in Bogota
Hostal Chorro de Quevedo
Location: Carrera 3 Calle 12d-60, La Candelaria Rate: 17999 COP - 60000 COP Low-cost accomodation, appealing if you travel as a backpacker, since the area is noisy and the services at the inn are mediocre. The advantage of Chorro de Quevedo is its central location to visit the historic attractions of Bogota. The inn counts wifi and bicycles (free use or to rent).
San Patricio Hostel
Location: Calle 12 N. 2-27, La Candelaria Rate: 19000 COP - 89999 COP Its privileged location close to the historic and architectural attractions of the historic center of Bogota added to its good service and pleasant manners, place San Patricio Hostel as one of the best options to the traveller with low-budget. Some rooms have a gorgeous view over the city and the mountains which surround it. It has wifi, bar and shared kitchen.
Hotel Pasajero Suites
Location: Carrera 39 N. 25A - 12, Teusaquillo Rate: 50000 COP - 188000 COP In this hotel you will enjoy a comfortable stay in rooms with private bathroom, shower, hot water, wifi and TV LED. If you rent a room with shared bathroom, you have to know that it's on the first floor, what can be uncomfortable for some people. Don't you loose the american breakfast prepared in the morning served with the not to be missed Colombian coffee; to start the day full of energy is the best!
Location: Carrera 16 N. 28A - 24, Teusaquillo. Rate: 50000 COP - 95000 COP Great service and kindness of the manager are the features of this hotel located close to the reference places. On the room you will have wifi, satellite TV, private bathroom and showers with towels. Additionally the laundry and ironing service is provided, besides having a shared hall.
Best Western Plus 93 Park Hotel
Location: Calle 93 N. 13-71. Parque de la 93, Chapinero Rate: 288000 COP - 440000 This hotel is placed in one of the most exclusive areas of Bogota and its excellent service make of it the best option to the demanding traveller. Inside the spacious and modern rooms you will have wifi, good light, large windows with the best view, furniture, minibar and a plasma TV. Besides that, everyday you can taste the buffet breakfast (even if it's not so varied). On the counter you can learn about each one of the tourist places to visit.
La Colina Hotel Cottage
Location: Calle 150 N. 78-46, Suba Rate: 353000 COP - 500000 COP This exclusive hotel has one of the best specialized restaurants in regional cooking made on the traditional way, with a clay oven. You'll find a quiet atmosphere, decorated with the most beautiful art paintings, that will relax you. In your room you will have a private bathroom, hot water and eco-friendly articles for personal hygiene. You will have wifi for sure, besides the abundant buffet breakfasts.
Important dates in Bogota
From 2010 this festival celebrates the Colombian, latin and worldwide music diversity. For 5 days 40 music bands are presented among national and international artists.
Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá
Every 2 years, between March and April
It's one of the biggest performing arts worldwide, with a massive participation and worldwide call of people and artists for the 17 days of duration. The theatre shows, dances, concerts, workshops and activities related to art have an appointment at this mass event that fills up the streets, squares and stages of gifts and inspiration. It's a once-in-a-life-time experience that you must live.
Festival de verano
Celebrated once a year on the city's anniversary, this festival gathers visitors and residents with cultural and recreational activities at the Parque Metropolitano Simon Bolivar. Inside the festival you can get to know other events as the Festival Internacional de Cometas (International Festival of Kites), the Rumbas bajo las estrellas (rumba under the stars) among many others that it's worth it.