- Climate: Temperature ranges from 12ºC to 18ºC.
- Location: Bogota is situated in the centre of the country, on the western part of the Bogota savanna. To the south, the Bogota river forms the falls of Salto de Tequendama.
- Airport: The El Dorado International Airport takes care of 65 per cent aerial operations in the country. All procedures related to entering or exiting Colombia, as well as connections to the rest of the country, has to be made from here.
- Inter-city transportation: Bogota has an exclusive lane rapid transport system called TransMilenio buses, which costs 1,400 Colombian pesos or about $0.80. Ordinary bus tickets are for $1,100 Colombian pesos or $0.60.
A visit to Bogota last summer was one of the best times of my life. There are simply beautiful locations in and surrounding the Colombian capital, and lots of outdoor activities to explore. If you are going to South America and visiting Bogota, there are a few attractions I would recommend as ’must see’. The best part of visiting these places is they are accessible to people of various age-groups and physical abilities.
However, while planning trip to Bogota, plan ahead. And plan with a group or friends who are lively and outdoor types. Personally, I would have been much happier had I figured out beforehand what was there to see instead of rushing around trying to take in as much as possible of all that is there. I think next time it would be interesting to go with a tour group or more active friends.
The first on the list is La Candelaria, an older part of Bogota, with a beautiful historic plaza. This was one of the favorite parts of my trip. A part of the province that has a real Columbian feel, with charming cobblestone streets, historic hotels and cute little bistros and cafes, La Candelaria offers great photo opportunities. You could really just stay here for the entire time and explore it completely. There are some parts in La Candelaria that are a little bit unsafe, but if you stick to the main drags, you should be fine. Usually it is pretty quiet here, and if you are interested in history, you will find it interesting and worthwhile. The next time I visit Bogota, I plan to mostly stick to La Candelaria.
There is also the Museo de Botero in La Candelaria. The Botero Museum is located houses a large collection of works donated to Colombia by the artist Fernando Botero with the intention of spreading the arts and culture in his native country. Museo de Botero also has a lot of work from other artists like Picasso and some modern painters. It is also usually free to get into, which is definitely a plus in my book. While the museum is not for everyone, if you have an eye for art, it is really interesting. I always prefer to take an ‘art break’ during my travels.
Last but not least, you should consider visiting Monserrate. It is a giant hill right outside the city, and Bogota sits right in its shadow. You have to pay a really expensive fee to get up the hill on the tram, but it is totally worth it. I only was able to spend a few hours up there, but I would definitely recommend making the journey last an entire day. There are loads of awesome looking cafes on the top. Also, save a large portion of your film and camera batteries as the scenery just gets amazing there and you just cannot stop clicking. There are steep hills to walk up around the area. A definite must-do if you are up to it and do not want to miss out on some of the most beautiful historical and spiritual sites in all of Bogota. Most people go up there to see the historic church at the top, which is simple yet beautiful. You should also visit on a Sunday, because there are more people headed up the tram for Mass and it is safer and more lively up there with all of the people. But if you want to avoid the crowds, no real harm trying on a weekday.
My advice would be to bring a rain coat — it is usually pretty damp and rainy in Bogota. You should also bring comfortable hiking shoes or hiking sandals, because there are hilly areas and so many slippery surfaces.
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