What to see in Bogotá

Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, is a dynamic and culturally rich city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions. Additionally, the surroundings of Bogotá boast beautiful places and interesting experiences to visit, such as the majestic Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá to the charming colonial town of Villa de Leyva, not to mention the legendary Lake Guatavita and many other wonders. I’ll take you on a virtual journey through these unique experiences.

I’ll guide you every step of the way, sharing my own experiences with you. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore La Chorrera Waterfall, the National Museum of Colombia, the La Candelaria neighborhood, and much more. Let’s start our journey together!

Where is Bogotá?

Map Drawing

Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and is located in the central region of the country, high in the Andes mountain range.

Geographically, it sits on a plateau at an altitude of approximately 2,640 meters above sea level, giving it a mild and cool climate compared to other Colombian cities at lower altitudes. It is surrounded by mountains and hills, which gives it a distinctive landscape and contributes to its pleasant climate.

What Language is Spoken in Bogotá?

Translation Drawing

In Bogotá, the official and predominant language is Spanish. Colombian Spanish has its own dialectal characteristics and regional accents, but it is essentially the same language spoken in other Spanish-speaking countries. In addition to Spanish, in some indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, indigenous languages and African Creole languages are spoken, but Spanish is the main language of communication throughout the country.

Religion in Bogotá

Church Drawing

In Bogotá, the predominant religion is Christianity, with a majority being Catholic. In addition to Catholicism, there has been an increase in the Protestant population in recent decades. There are also minorities of other religions and spiritual beliefs, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and indigenous religions. Religion plays a significant role in daily life and cultural festivities in Colombia.

Time Difference with Bogotá

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The time difference between Bogotá and Spain varies depending on the region of Spain and the time of year due to daylight saving time in some places in Spain. In general, it can be said that:

During most of the year, Colombia is 6 hours behind Spain.

However, when Spain switches to daylight saving time (last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October), the time difference decreases to 5 hours, as Spain moves one hour ahead of its standard time.

Bogotá Hotels

What Currency is Used in Bogotá?

Exchange Money Drawing

The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso, whose ISO 4217 code is COP (Currency Code). The Colombian Peso is commonly abbreviated as “COP” and is used in all commercial and financial transactions within the country. Denominations of the Colombian Peso include bills and coins of different values. For up-to-date information on the exchange rate between the Colombian Peso and other currencies, it is advisable to consult a reliable financial source or a banking institution.

  • 1 EUR (euro) ≈ 4,000-4,500 COP (Colombian Pesos)

This means that one euro would be approximately equal to between 4,000 and 4,500 Colombian Pesos. The euro tends to be stronger than the Colombian Peso in terms of value in international markets.

Pay with commission-free cards in Bogotá

Credit Cards DRAWING

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Colorful Houses in Bogotá

What is the best time to travel to Bogotá?

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The best time to travel to Colombia depends on your preferences and the specific regions you plan to visit, as Colombia has a variety of climates due to its geographical diversity.

Dry season (December to March and July to August)

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These are the months of the dry season in most regions of Colombia, making them ideal to visit. The weather is more predictable, with less rainfall, making travel and outdoor activities easier. However, note that during the high season (December and January), accommodation and flight prices may be higher due to tourist demand.

Rainy season (April to June and September to November)

Weather drawing

During these months, some regions of Colombia experience more rainfall. However, the rainy season does not mean you cannot visit the country, as the climate varies by region. In higher altitude areas like Bogotá and Medellín, the rains are less intense. Additionally, the rains can be intermittent and may not necessarily significantly impact your trip.

Tourist high season: During the peak tourist season, which coincides with school vacations and festivities such as Holy Week (March or April) and Christmas (December), you may encounter more tourists and higher prices in certain destinations. It’s essential to book accommodation and flights in advance if you plan to visit during these dates.

Events and festivals: Colombia hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Barranquilla Carnival in February, the Flower Festival in Medellín in August, and the Cali Fair in December. If you want to experience Colombian culture and celebration, you can plan your visit around these specific events.

The best time to visit Colombia depends on your personal preferences and the region you want to explore. Any time is a good time to visit Colombia, but if you’re looking for drier weather and pleasant temperatures, consider December to March and July to August as ideal options.

Colorful houses in the mountains of Bogotá

How to Make Phone Calls from Bogotá?

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To make a phone call from Bogotá to Spain, follow these steps:

Dial “00” + “34” + the phone number of the person in Spain.

I recommend checking out information about E-SIM cards in the post where I explain how to have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from vacation. Internet en Destino.

What to Visit in Bogotá?

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Bogotá is a diverse and beautiful city with many interesting places to visit. Here’s a list of some of the most prominent destinations and attractions you may consider exploring in Bogotá:

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If you’re planning your next getaway, I highly recommend GetYourGuide. The quality of experiences and the convenience they offer are unparalleled. I’ve always found options that align with my tastes and preferences.

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Gold Museum

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This museum houses an impressive collection of pre-Columbian gold objects and is one of the most important museums in Latin America.

I want to share my experience with you about the Gold Museum in Colombia. It was an enriching visit that I recommend because its cost is minimal, providing you with a rich experience that immerses you in the fascinating history and culture of this beautiful country.

The Gold Museum is located in the heart of Bogotá, the vibrant capital of Colombia. Its opening hours are usually from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s essential to check the hours before your visit, as they may change due to Holidays or special events.

Gold Museum Bogotá

As for the entrance fee, I have good news for you! The general admission is quite affordable, making it an accessible destination for all curious travelers. The price is around 4,000 to 5,000 Colombian pesos, approximately 1-2 dollars. Children and students often have special discounts, and sometimes, entry may be free on certain days or for certain groups.

If you want an even more enriching experience and make the most of your visit to the Gold Museum, consider the option of hiring a guide. The cost of hiring a guide is usually reasonable, around 15,000 to 30,000 Colombian pesos, approximately 5-10 US dollars per hour, depending on the duration of the visit and the guide’s preferences.

Gold Museum Bogotá Colombia

However, there’s another option, which is to wait for guided tours that start at a specific time. If you don’t mind waiting, you can have a completely free guide that will make your visit much more complete. 

With an experienced guide, you will be able to explore the fascinating collections of pre-Columbian gold and learn about the cultural and symbolic significance of these pieces for the indigenous civilizations that inhabited Colombia long before the arrival of European colonizers. I assure you that you will be impressed by the beauty and history that this museum holds.

Another thing that struck me was finding a mummy that is over a thousand years old. The mummy at the Gold Museum is one of the most enigmatic and fascinating pieces you will encounter on your visit! When I saw it for the first time, I was completely amazed by its mysterious presence and the story that surrounds this ancient individual.

La Momia del Zipaquirá

The mummy exhibited at the Gold Museum is known as “La Momia del Zipaquirá.” Zipaquirá is a city near Bogotá and is famous for its salt cathedral, but this mummy is a true archaeological treasure. The mummy belongs to the Muisca culture, one of the indigenous civilizations that inhabited the region of Colombia long before the arrival of the Spaniards.

What makes this mummy so special is its remarkable state of preservation. Despite being over a thousand years old, the mummy is exceptionally well-preserved. This is partly due to the unique conditions of the tomb in which it was found, which helped preserve both the body and the accompanying objects.

What impressed me the most about this mummy is how it transports you to a distant past and makes you reflect on the richness of Colombia’s history. So, if you are planning a visit to Colombia, be sure to include the Gold Museum in your itinerary. Not only will you gain a deeper understanding of Colombia’s rich cultural heritage, but you will also enjoy an educational and exciting experience that you will remember for a long time!

Botero Museum

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Here you will find a collection of works by the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero, including paintings and sculptures with his characteristic voluptuous bodies. This museum is a cultural gem that you won’t want to miss on your trip.

Patio Museo del Oro

The Botero Museum is a place that immerses you in the wonderful world of art, and its collection of works by the famous Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero is simply impressive. When I entered, I was amazed by the beauty and uniqueness of Botero’s works. His paintings and sculptures are characterized by round and exuberant figures that they represent, and each piece has a special charm that captivates you.

Botero's Artwork

The museum is located in the heart of the historic center of Bogotá and is usually open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, I recommend checking the exact hours before your visit, as they may change due to holidays or special events.

The good news is that admission to the Botero Museum is generally free. Yes, you read that right! You can enjoy Botero’s incredible art collection at no cost. This makes it a perfect destination for art lovers and travelers who want to immerse themselves in Colombian culture without worrying about the budget.

Botero's Artwork Woman

But that’s not all. If you want to delve even deeper into your Botero Museum experience, you can opt for a guided tour, the approximate price ranges between 20,000 and 30,000 Colombian pesos, about 6-9 dollars per person.

Botero's Artwork

During my visit to the Botero Museum, I was captivated by Botero’s ability to capture the beauty and uniqueness of human forms and everyday objects. His works are joyful, humorous, and sometimes provocative, making you reflect on the perception of beauty and culture.

To my surprise, in addition to Fernando Botero’s works, the museum sometimes features temporary exhibitions that include works by other renowned artists, such as Joan Miró. You can emphasize the importance of these exhibitions in providing visitors with a broader view of art and culture.

Joan Miró

La Candelaria

La Candelaria: The historic neighborhood of Bogotá is famous for its cobblestone streets, colonial houses, charming squares, and a plethora of bars, restaurants, and shops. This is a place that truly captures the historical and cultural essence of the city, and my experience there was unforgettable.

The La Candelaria Neighborhood is the historical heart of Bogotá, and when you stroll through its cobblestone streets, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. During my visit, it felt like I was exploring an open-air museum full of history and tradition.

Church Bogotá

One of the things that caught my attention the most was the colonial architecture that characterizes the neighborhood. The colorful houses with wrought-iron balconies and red tile roofs create a charming and picturesque atmosphere. Every corner seems to hide a story waiting to be discovered.

Llama in Bogotá square

While walking the cobbled streets, I came across numerous graffiti and artistic murals adorning the walls of houses and buildings. Street art in La Candelaria is impressive and adds a contemporary dimension to this historic neighborhood. Especially this artwork drawn by a street artist representing Frida Kahlo is simply brilliant, as you can see in this photo taken in this artistic neighborhood.

Urban Art Zona T

If you’re in the area and want to have lunch or dinner at a quirky place, The Aquelarre Restaurant in this same neighborhood will delight you. The pleasant atmosphere, themed decor, fun ambiance, good service, and tasty fusion dishes offer a break from typical Colombian cuisine, which, although delicious, a bit of culinary variety is always welcome. It is located at Calle 11 2 80 La Candelaria, Barranquilla, Atlántico 111711 We loved it.

El Aquelarre

The La Candelaria neighborhood is also home to important cultural attractions such as the Casa de la Moneda, the Botero Museum, and the Gold Museum (which I’ve already mentioned), all just a short walk away. Additionally, Plaza Bolívar, the political heart of Bogotá, is located in the center of this neighborhood, surrounded by imposing government buildings.

One of the most remarkable things about La Candelaria is the vibrant energy emanating from its streets. During my visit, I enjoyed live music, craft markets, and delicious Colombian cuisine at the numerous cafes and restaurants found here. Undoubtedly, it’s a place where you can experience Colombian life and culture in an authentic and welcoming way.

Montserrate

Iglesia dibujo

Ride the funicular or cable car to the top of Montserrate mountain for panoramic views of the city. You’ll also find a church at the summit. My visit to Montserrat was a truly special experience, and I’m pleased to share my experience and the fascinating history surrounding this place.

Monserrate

Montserrat is an impressive sanctuary located on the outskirts of Bogotá, in the eastern mountains of Colombia. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be amazed by the natural beauty and serenity that envelops the place. During my visit, I took the cable car to reach the summit of the mountain, where the sanctuary is located.

What makes Montserrat especially intriguing is the local belief that climbing the mountain with your partner can have a profound impact on your relationship.

According to tradition, if you climb Montserrat with the person who is truly “the one” for you, you will marry them. However, if the relationship is not meant to be, it is said that the relationship will end within a few months after the visit.

Views from Montserrat

This belief has led many couples to climb the mountain together as an act of love and commitment. The ascent is challenging but rewarding, and once you reach the summit, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Bogotá and its surroundings.

The sanctuary at the top of Montserrat is a place of great religious devotion, and you will see people of all ages praying and lighting candles. The Virgin of Montserrat, a revered religious image, is located in the sanctuary and is an important figure for the faithful.

Church of Montserrat

As you walk on the top of Montserrat, you will feel a sense of peace and tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere. The panoramic view of the Bogotá valley and the surrounding mountains is simply spectacular and provides a perfect moment for reflection and connection with your partner.

My visit to Montserrat was a unique experience that allowed me to appreciate Colombian culture and traditions. Although in my case, I climbed the mountain with my partner, we climbed together as an act of love and commitment, and while we don’t know if it was because of visiting Montserrat, obviously, relationships are complex and influenced by many factors.

Montserrat

Sometimes, expectations and traditions can add pressure to a relationship, but it’s important to remember that love and compatibility cannot be guaranteed by a single experience or tradition. Relationships are a journey, and sometimes, the destination is not what we initially expect, as each relationship, whether it lasts or not, can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves and what we seek in love. Remember that life is full of opportunities and that true love can be found anywhere and at any time. Now that you know this… will you test your love?

Bogotá views from Montserrat

If you have the opportunity to visit Bogotá, I encourage you to include Montserrat in your itinerary. Whether to experience the romantic tradition or simply to enjoy the breathtaking views and peace that this place offers, Montserrat is a visit you won’t forget.

Good luck on your journey and in your search for true love!

Zona T

It is the epicenter of Bogotá’s nightlife, with a large number of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. The Zona T is one of the most popular and vibrant destinations in Bogotá, Colombia. During my visit to this lively area, I was impressed by its energy, nightlife, and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The Zona T, located in the Chapinero neighborhood, is known for its concentration of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, fashion stores, and entertainment in general. Its name comes from the “T” shape formed by three important streets: Carrera 13, Calle 81, and Carrera 14.

Colombian Food

One of the things I enjoyed the most in Zona T was its diverse gastronomic offerings. Here, you can find a wide variety of restaurants serving Colombian and international cuisine. Whether you want to try typical Colombian dishes like the bandeja paisa or enjoy international cuisine in an elegant setting, Zona T has options for every taste.

At night, Zona T comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Bars and nightclubs open their doors, and music fills the air. If you enjoy Latin music, salsa, and reggaeton, you’ll find places where you can dance until the early hours of the morning.

In addition to nightlife, Zona T is a perfect place for shopping. You’ll find fashion stores, boutiques, and luxury shopping centers where you can buy clothing, jewelry, and designer items.

Bandeja paisa

One of the highlights of Zona T is its multicultural atmosphere. During my visit, I met people from different parts of the world who had gathered here to enjoy the fun and excitement that this place offers. The mix of cultures and the hospitality of the locals make Zona T a welcoming and friendly place for visitors.

Today, I want to take you on an exciting culinary journey to one of Bogotá’s most iconic places, Andrés Carne de Res. I had the pleasure of visiting this place and want to share with you the extraordinary experience I had.

From the moment I walked through the doors of Andrés Carne de Res, I felt transported to a world of colors and joy. The extravagant and colorful decoration of the place creates a festive and vibrant atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re at a constant party. Live music and the contagious energy of customers and staff make the atmosphere unique.

Andrés Carne de Res

As for the food, Andrés Carne de Res does not disappoint. The menu is diverse and offers a wide range of culinary options. I ventured to try their delicious grilled meats, which are their specialty. The meat cuts were perfectly cooked and full of flavor. But I was also impressed by the options of fish, seafood, and vegetarian dishes available for those who prefer other choices.

Andrés-carne-de-res

The price is reasonable considering the quality of the food and the overall experience; the average price per person ranges between 60,000 and 100,000 Colombian pesos, which is approximately 18-30 US dollars.

Additionally, the portion is generous, so you definitely get excellent value for money.

What stood out for me the most was the festive atmosphere at Andrés Carne de Res. It’s not just a restaurant; it’s an experience in itself.

The decoration, the music, the friendly service, and the fun in the air make each visit memorable. As for the location, the restaurant is in the northern part of Bogotá, making it easily accessible from the city center.

Andrés-dc-Bogotá

My taxi journey from the center to Andrés Carne de Res took about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic, although I recommend calculating double or even more time if you go on the weekend, as traffic in Bogotá can be chaotic, and jams can be terrifying.

So, if you ever have the opportunity to visit Bogotá, don’t miss a stop at the unforgettable Andrés Carne de Res.

La Cabaña Alpina Restaurant

It’s a gastronomic and cultural experience that you will never forget. La Cabaña Alpina is a renowned restaurant and landmark located in Bogotá, Colombia. Founded in 1943, this restaurant is a true institution in the city and has endured over the years, maintaining its charm and popularity among locals and tourists.

La Cabaña Alpina is characterized by its alpine architectural style, recreating the atmosphere of an authentic Swiss cabin. Its design and decoration evoke a cozy and traditional feeling, with high ceilings, rustic wood, fireplaces, and alpine details.

Swiss Cabin

This restaurant is known for its diverse gastronomic offerings that include Swiss and European dishes. Among the most popular dishes are fondues, raclettes, crepes, soups, meats, and typical desserts. La Cabaña Alpina offers a unique experience for diners. You can enjoy your meal in cozy indoor settings or outdoors in a patio adorned with plants and lights, providing a charming and romantic atmosphere.

The restaurant is a popular spot for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, family gatherings, and romantic dinners. It is also chosen for corporate and business events.

La Cabaña Alpina is located in the Chapinero Alto neighborhood, a residential and commercial area in Bogotá. The exact address is Calle 72 # 11-65. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends and during festive seasons. The restaurant is usually open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, and on Sundays for lunch.

Throughout the years, La Cabaña Alpina has been recognized for its tradition and quality in Swiss and European gastronomy in Bogotá. It is a place that evokes nostalgia for many city residents and remains a favorite choice for those seeking a unique culinary experience.

If you are in Bogotá and looking to enjoy a meal in a charming atmosphere with authentic Alpine cuisine, La Cabaña Alpina is definitely a place worth visiting.

La Cabaña Alpina gardens

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

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This underground cathedral is one of the architectural wonders of Colombia. It is built inside a salt mine and is an impressive place to visit in the outskirts of the city.

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an architectural and spiritual marvel that will leave you speechless. Upon entering the mine converted into a cathedral, you will immerse yourself in a mystical and magical atmosphere. The cathedral is sculpted inside an underground salt mine and features impressive hallways and chapels illuminated by soft lights that highlight the beauty of the salt sculptures and details.

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

The opening hours of the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá may vary, so I recommend checking the updated schedule before your visit. Normally, the cathedral is open from morning until evening, and you can find guided tours in different languages to learn more about the history and spiritual significance of this place. The entrance fee usually ranges between 30,000 and 40,000 pesos (8-11 dollars), but it can vary depending on the season and specific rates at the time of your visit.

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

To get to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá from Bogotá, you have several transportation options. The most common and convenient way is to take a bus from the Bogotá Bus Terminal. Buses to Zipaquirá are usually comfortable and affordable. The bus travel time is approximately one hour, depending on traffic. The bus ticket price may vary, but it generally ranges from 10,000 to 15,000 pesos (3-5 dollars) per trip.

Once you arrive in Zipaquirá, it’s relatively easy to reach the Salt Cathedral. You can take a taxi or local transportation to the entrance of the mine, where the cathedral is located.

If all of this seems a bit cumbersome, I recommend hiring a tour to visit The Salt Cathedral and Guatavita with GetYourGuide, available in both Spanish and English. You can explore the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, which is a unique experience combining history, religion, and art in a breathtaking setting, and it also includes a visit to Guatavita.

Guatavita Lagoon

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According to legend, this lagoon was the site where indigenous people performed gold offering rituals. It’s a scenic spot for hikes and boat rides.

Guatavita Lagoon is a fascinating place that combines history, culture, and natural beauty. Visiting it allows you to explore a part of Colombia’s rich history and enjoy the tranquility of its natural surroundings. If you’re in Bogotá and seeking a unique experience, this tour will provide a special connection to Colombia’s past and nature.

Guatavita Lagoon is a magical and historic place located about two hours’ drive from Bogotá. This beautiful lagoon is known for its cultural significance and its link to the El Dorado legend.

Visiting Guatavita Lagoon is like immersing yourself in a legendary tale and stunning natural beauty. The lagoon is situated in a crater and is surrounded by lush vegetation, making it a peaceful and serene place to explore.

Guatavita-lagoon-view

One of the most notable features of Guatavita Lagoon is its connection to the El Dorado legend. According to the legend, the Muisca indigenous people used to toss treasures of gold and precious objects into the lagoon as offerings to their gods. These rituals gave rise to the story of the golden city of El Dorado, attracting European explorers and conquerors in search of wealth and treasures.

The traditional way to explore Laguna de Guatavita is through a walk that takes you along a path surrounded by vegetation until you reach the edge of the lagoon. From there, you can appreciate the scenic beauty and serenity of the place. The view of the lagoon surrounded by green hills is truly spectacular.

La Chorrera

Cascada dibujo

La Chorrera: La Chorrera waterfall is the highest in Colombia and is located in a beautiful mountainous area near Bogotá. Take a trip to visit La Chorrera with Getyourguide, you can book the tour in Spanish or English.

The La Chorrera Waterfall is one of the most impressive natural attractions you can explore near Bogotá, Colombia. This waterfall, the highest in Colombia, is a popular destination for those seeking a hiking and nature experience.

To get to La Chorrera from Bogotá, generally take a bus or drive to the town of Choachí, which is about two hours from the city. From Choachí, you can start the hike to the waterfall. The trail is well-known and well-marked, so hiring a guide is not necessary, but it’s always advisable to bring a map and follow local signs.

La Cascada de Bogotá

The hike to La Chorrera Waterfall is an experience in itself. It will take you through a spectacular mountainous landscape, full of lush vegetation and fresh mountain air. As you progress along the trail, you’ll hear the sound of running water, increasing the anticipation of what awaits you.

The waterfall itself is truly impressive. With a height of approximately 590 meters (almost 2,000 feet), it’s a breathtaking spectacle of nature. You can get close enough to feel the cool breeze emanating from the waterfall, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a refreshing swim in the natural pools that form at the base of the waterfall.

The round trip hike to La Chorrera usually takes about 4-6 hours, depending on your pace and the time you want to spend admiring the waterfall. It’s important to wear suitable hiking clothes and footwear, as well as bring enough water and snacks for the hike.

The experience of visiting La Chorrera Waterfall is a refreshing getaway from bustling Bogotá and an opportunity to connect with Colombia’s natural beauty. If you’re a nature and hiking enthusiast, you’ll definitely love this excursion.

Bogotá and its surroundings offer a unique combination of culture, history, natural beauty, and adventure for travelers looking to explore this region of Colombia.

Cajicá: A nearby town known for its relaxed atmosphere and typical restaurants.

Chingaza National Natural Park: This park is a wildlife sanctuary and an impressive place for hiking and connecting with nature.

Hire the Best Tours from Bogotá

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Bogotá serves as a massive “base city” for a multitude of activities, as mentioned below, and you can hire them directly here. The best Tours from BogotáYou can also hire door-to-door transportation as well as transportation from the airport to the hotel or final destination.

Healthcare in Bogotá

Nurse drawing

Healthcare in Colombia has undergone significant improvements in recent decades, although challenges remain in terms of access to quality medical services in some areas of the country. Here is information about healthcare in Colombia:

Healthcare System: Colombia operates a mixed healthcare system that combines the public and private sectors. The public healthcare system, known as the General System of Social Security in Health (SGSSS), provides coverage through the Contributory Regime and the Subsidized Regime. The former is aimed at individuals who contribute to the system through their employers or income, while the latter focuses on low-income individuals and vulnerable populations.

Christmas in Bogotá

Christmas in Bogotá is a magical and festive time celebrated with enthusiasm in the capital of Colombia. During this season, the city is adorned with festive lights, colorful decorations, and special activities to celebrate the holiday season.

Christmas in Bogotá

Here are more details about how Christmas is celebrated in Bogotá and its famous Christmas lighting:

Christmas Lighting: One of the highlights of Christmas in Bogotá is the Christmas lighting that adorns the streets, parks, and main areas of the city. Thousands of bright lights are installed, creating beautiful designs and Christmas scenes, turning Bogotá into a magical and illuminated place during the holiday season.

Carrera Séptima (Seventh of Lights): Carrera Séptima is one of Bogotá’s main avenues that stands out for its spectacular Christmas lighting. During the season, this avenue is adorned with impressive luminous arrangements that attract both locals and tourists alike.

Christmas Tree Sonia Bogotá

Parque de la 93: This popular park in Bogotá is adorned with lights and Christmas decorations, becoming a charming place to stroll and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

Parque Nacional: The Parque Nacional is another place where you can appreciate beautiful lights and Christmas decorations. During Christmas, the park becomes a meeting space for the local community and visitors who want to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Christmas Sonia

Events and Christmas Activities: During the Christmas season, Bogotá organizes a series of events and activities, such as concerts, parades, Christmas fairs, and artistic performances that celebrate the joy and magic of Christmas. Cultural and religious events related to Christmas are also held.

Christmas Markets: In various parts of the city, Christmas markets are set up where you can find decorations, gifts, crafts, and typical seasonal foods to share with family and give to your loved ones.

Churches and Midnight Masses: Many residents of Bogotá celebrate Christmas Eve by attending the Midnight Mass in the city’s churches. It is an important tradition for many Colombian families.

Christmas in Bogotá is a special time to share with family, enjoy the beauty of Christmas lights, participate in events, and celebrate the joy of the season. It is an opportunity to experience Colombian culture and traditions in a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

Do I need a visa for Bogotá?

Passport and visa drawing

As a Spanish citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to Colombia for tourist stays of up to 90 days. You can enter Colombia as a tourist or for business trips without the need to obtain a prior visa. However, you must comply with certain entry requirements, such as having a valid passport for at least six months after your arrival date and presenting a return or onward ticket.

If you plan to stay in Colombia for more than 90 days or have other travel reasons, such as studies or work, it is necessary to consult with the Embassy of Colombia or the Consulate of Colombia in your country for information on the corresponding visas and required procedures.

Get Your Travel Insurance 

Travel insurance drawing

In this unpredictable world, don’t let unforeseen events ruin your plans; you can get your Travel Insurance with a 5% discount just for being a reader of Viajera por el Mundo. If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, loss of luggage, you’ll have your insurance to assist you in every situation.

5% discount on your MONDO travel insurance

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet in Colombia

To have access to the Internet in Colombia during your trip, you can choose between a local SIM card or an eSIM, depending on your preferences and the compatibility of your device. Here, I explain both options:

1. Local SIM card:

wifi dibujo

Upon arrival in Colombia, you can purchase a local SIM card at a telecommunications store, a recharge kiosk, or at the airport itself. You will need to present valid identification, such as your passport, to register and activate the SIM card.

2. eSIM:

wifi dibujo

An eSIM is an electronic SIM card integrated into some modern phones and compatible devices. Instead of a physical card, the eSIM is activated digitally. Before traveling, check if your phone is eSIM compatible, and if your home mobile service provider offers eSIM service, in any case, you can learn about this type of card and hire them at eSIM Cards to get internet at your destination.

I recommend that you learn about E-SIM Cards; they are virtual cards. You download a QR code, install it on your mobile, and you can have internet from the moment you step off the plane and throughout your stay to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from your vacation.

Physics and the virtual, known as ESIM, and its activation is faster because you don’t have to wait for it to be sent by mail. Get it in advance and make sure to stay connected on your trip!

Bogotá cerro

What to wear in Bogotá?

Ropa dibujo

To dress appropriately in Bogotá, it’s important to consider its cool and variable climate throughout the day due to its altitude. Here are some recommendations on what to wear in Bogotá:

  • Layered clothing: Due to temperature variations throughout the day, it’s advisable to dress in layers to adjust your coat as needed.
  • Light coat or jacket: Bring a light jacket or coat for cooler mornings and evenings. During the day, you can take it off if it’s warm.
  • Sweater or hoodie: Bring sweaters or hoodies to wear under the jacket in cool mornings and evenings.
  • Long-sleeve shirts: They are useful for cool weather. You can pair them with T-shirts to add or remove layers depending on the temperature.
  • Comfortable pants: Bring comfortable pants such as jeans, fabric pants, or leggings. It’s also advisable to wear long pants to protect yourself from the cool weather.
  • Comfortable footwear: Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking, as you may want to explore the city. Also, keep in mind that it may rain, so it’s good to have waterproof or water-resistant footwear.
  • Waterproof clothing or umbrella: Bogotá can have occasional rain, especially at certain times of the year, so bringing an umbrella or waterproof clothing is a good precaution.
  • Accessories: Don’t forget to bring accessories such as scarves, gloves, and hats to stay warm on colder mornings and evenings.

Remember to check the weather forecast before traveling to adapt your clothing choices according to the predicted conditions during your stay in Bogotá. With the aim of facilitating the Organization of your Luggage,  you can print or view the list  that you will find at this link, where you will find everything you need to take when you go on a trip. So you don’t forget anything!

Bogotá

Is it safe to travel to Bogotá?

Police drawing

Safety when traveling to any destination, including Bogotá, can vary depending on various factors, such as the political, economic, and social situation at any given time. 

Bogotá is an important city and has a large flow of tourists and travelers. As in any large city, there are certain risks associated with crime, such as theft of wallets, bags, or electronic devices. It is recommended to take normal security precautions, such as not displaying valuables conspicuously, being alert in crowded places, and avoiding areas considered unsafe, especially at night.

Furthermore, it is important to inform yourself about the areas of the city that are safe to visit and follow the safety recommendations of local authorities and your embassy or consulate.

Some general tips for staying safe in Bogotá include:

  1. Stay informed: Familiarize yourself with safe areas and avoid those that may pose a higher risk.
  2. Use secure transportation: Utilize authorized taxis, reliable transportation services, and avoid traveling on public transportation at night.
  3. Secure valuables: Do not display valuables, such as jewelry or expensive electronic devices, in public.
  4. Precautions in crowded places: Be cautious in tourist areas, markets, and other crowded places where pickpockets may be active.

How to get around Bogotá?

Bogotá offers a variety of transportation options to move around the city. Here are some of the main options:

Bus

TransMilenio: It is a mass transit system based on high-capacity articulated buses that travel on exclusive lanes. It has stations throughout the city and is an efficient and fast way to move around Bogotá.

Bus

SITP (Integrated Public Transportation System): It is a system that integrates different types of public transportation, including conventional buses and feeders, with the goal of providing an efficient transportation network.

Taxi drawing

Taxi: Taxis are a common and convenient way to get around the city. Make sure to take official taxis that are properly identified. It is recommended to use transportation apps such as Uber or Cabify for added safety and comfort.

Mountain bike

Bike Lane: Bogotá has an extensive network of bike lanes that allows cyclists to move around the city safely. You can rent bicycles at various rental stations distributed throughout the city.

Mountain bike

Personal Bike: If you are comfortable cycling, you can choose to use your own bike to get around Bogotá. Remember to follow traffic rules and use a helmet and safety gear.

Cable Car Bogotá drawing

Cable Car (Teleférico or Funicular): In some areas of Bogotá, such as Monserrate, there are cable cars or funiculars that take you to tourist points of interest, such as viewpoints and mountains, offering a panoramic view of the city.

Car drawing

Private Car: If you have access to a vehicle or rent one, you can move around in your own car. However, keep in mind that traffic in Bogotá can be intense, especially during peak hours.

Walking drawing

On Foot: Exploring on foot is an excellent option in the historic center of Bogotá and nearby areas where there are many tourist attractions and points of interest.

It is important to plan your trip and choose the transportation option that suits your comfort and needs. Consider factors such as the distance you will travel, the location of your destination, and traffic at the time you plan to move.

Hispanic man with basket of red cherry coffee beans

What are the power outlets like in Bogotá?

Plug drawing
  • Voltage: 110 V
  • Frequency: 60 Hz
  • Plugs: Type A / B

In Bogotá, the common voltage is 110 V. The frequency is 60 Hz. The plugs and outlets are Type A / B. In the following images, you can see the types of plugs and outlets.

The need for an adapter or converter depends on the voltage, frequency, and plugs in the country where you live. If you are unsure, you can select the country in the right column.

The plugs used in Colombia are Type A / B:

The plugs used in Colombia are Type A

 
 
Type A: Japanese A plugs can be used in the USA, but often not the other way around.
 
 
 
The plugs used in Colombia are Type B
Type B: Sometimes valid for type A plugs
 

If you need to buy a travel adapter, I personally recommend purchasing power plug adapters from Amazon. There, you can find a wide selection of Travel Adapters. For more information about plugs from around the world, you can visit the Plugs of the World page.

Typical Foods of Bogotá

Food drawing Bogotá, being the capital of Colombia, offers a wide variety of typical foods that represent the gastronomic richness of the country.

Ajiaco: It is one of the most representative dishes of Bogotá. It is a thick soup made with Creole potatoes, chicken, guascas (a herb), capers, and cream. It is served with rice and avocado.

Bandeja paisa: Although originally from the Antioquia region, it is very popular in Bogotá. It is a hearty dish that includes beans, rice, ground meat, chicharrón, chorizo, fried egg, ripe plantain, and avocado.

Tamale: It is a traditional dish made with corn dough filled with pork, chicken, chickpeas, carrots, and other ingredients. It is cooked wrapped in banana leaves.

Lechona: It is a festive dish consisting of a pig stuffed with rice, peas, onion, spices, and herbs, baked until the skin becomes crispy.

Papas chorreadas: Boiled potatoes covered with a sauce made of fresh cheese and milk. It is a popular side dish for many meals in Bogotá.

Fritanga: A variety of fried dishes that include blood sausage, chicharrón, Creole potato, longaniza, arepa, and ripe plantain.

Arepas: These are corn tortillas that can be filled with cheese, egg, meat, or avocado. They are a fundamental part of the Colombian diet and are consumed in different forms throughout the country.

Soups and Broths: Different soups and broths are popular in Bogotá, such as rib broth (with pork ribs) and fish broth (with fresh fish).

Mazamorra: A dessert made with corn, milk, cinnamon, and sugar. It can be served hot or cold.

Almojábanas and Pandebonos: These are popular bakery products made with corn flour, cheese, and egg. They are delicious and are usually enjoyed for breakfast or snacks.

These are just some of the delicious typical foods of Bogotá. I encourage you to explore the city’s diverse gastronomic offerings and try these dishes to experience authentic Colombian cuisine.

Bandeja Paisa individual

Typical Drinks of Bogotá

drinks drawing

In Bogotá, as in other parts of Colombia, you can enjoy various typical drinks that reflect the culture and traditions of the country.

Aguardiente: It is a very popular alcoholic beverage in Colombia. It is made from sugar cane and has an aniseed flavor. It is consumed in celebrations and traditional festivals.

Canelazo: It is a hot and comforting drink made with aguardiente, panela water (unrefined sugar cane), cinnamon, and cloves. It is especially popular in cold weather.

Chicha: It is a fermented beverage made from corn and other cereals. Traditionally, chicha ferments naturally and has a slightly acidic and sweet flavor.

Avena: A hot drink made from oats, milk, and cinnamon. It is a popular and nutritious breakfast option.

Tinto: It is filtered coffee served in a small cup. It is very common and is consumed throughout the day.

Jugo de frutas frescas: Colombia is known for its wide variety of tropical fruits. Try natural juices made with fruits such as passion fruit, soursop, mango, lulo, pineapple, and guava.

Salpicón: It is a refreshing drink made with chopped fruits, orange juice, and ice.

Café colombiano: Colombia is one of the leading coffee producers in the world, and enjoying a good Colombian coffee is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Bogotá has many coffee shops where you can savor a cup of high-quality coffee.

Refajo: It is a non-alcoholic beverage made with cola and beer. It is a refreshing and sweet combination often consumed at social gatherings.

Chicha de maíz: It is a variant of traditional chicha, made from corn and sweetened with panela. It is an ancestral beverage with a unique flavor.

These are just some of the typical drinks you can try in Bogotá to experience the diversity and richness of Colombian culture. Enjoy these delicious beverages during your visit to the city!

Colombian Coffee

Where to Stay in Bogotá?

Sure, here are three accommodation options in Colombia’s most representative cities: Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena de Indias. Additionally, I’ll include a suggestion for the Rosario Islands, which is a popular beach destination. Remember that availability and prices may vary depending on the season, so it’s advisable to make reservations in advance.

hotel drawing

Hotel: Hotel Casa Deco: This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Bogotá’s historic center. It offers comfortable and stylishly decorated rooms, as well as a cozy atmosphere. From here, you can walk to many of the city’s cultural attractions. Prices per night usually range between 70 and 120 euros, depending on the room type and season.

Hotel Casa Deco

hotel drawing

Our Hotel: Hilton Double Tree Bogotá Salitre AR: This is the hotel we chose to stay in Bogotá, and we loved it because the quality-price ratio is fantastic, and they have an incredible buffet breakfast with a variety of options. The city views from the hotel are extraordinary since they gave us a high floor, and it’s truly impressive. For a luxury experience, this hotel is an excellent choice.

Located in Salitre, it offers elegant rooms, a gourmet restaurant, and exceptional service. This luxury hotel tends to have prices between 80 and 100 euros per night or more.

Hilton DoubleTree Bogotá Salitre AR views

The Hilton DoubleTree Bogotá Salitre AR is a standout hotel that is known for providing a top-quality accommodation experience in the capital of Colombia, Bogotá. This hotel stands out for its commitment to comfort and exceptional hospitality.

What makes the Hilton DoubleTree Bogotá Salitre AR special is its focus on guest satisfaction. The hotel staff is known for their friendliness and professionalism, always ready to attend to the needs of visitors and provide information about local attractions and activities in Bogotá and its surroundings.

Hilton DoubleTree Bogotá Salitre AR

In addition to its elegant rooms and high-quality service, the Hilton DoubleTree Bogotá Salitre AR usually offers a range of additional amenities to enhance guests’ stay. These amenities may include a well-equipped gym to stay in shape, a relaxing pool, and a variety of culinary options in its restaurants and bars.

The rooms are air-conditioned and feature contemporary furniture with cable TV. Some rooms have a well-equipped kitchen, ours even had a small kitchen included.

Hilton DoubleTree Bogotá Salitre AR kitchen

The hotel’s relaxation facilities range from full-body treatments to a variety of alternative therapies. The DoubleTree by Hilton Bogota AR is a 5-minute drive from the Gran Estación shopping center, a 10-minute drive from the Corferias fairgrounds, a 15-minute drive from the El Dorado International Airport, and a 20-minute drive from the Movistar Arena.

In summary, the Hilton DoubleTree Bogotá Salitre AR is an excellent choice for those seeking a luxury accommodation experience in Bogotá, with personalized service and a convenient location near the city’s attractions.

hotel drawing

Hotel: Selina Chapinero Bogotá: If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option with a young and relaxed atmosphere, Selina is a hostel chain with a presence in Bogotá. It offers shared dormitories and private rooms, along with common areas for socializing. Selina provides more economical choices, with prices for shared dorms starting at 10-20 euros per night and private rooms from 30-50 euros per night.

Selina Chapinero Bogotá

What to Buy in Bogotá?

Shopping bag drawing

Bogotá offers a wide variety of unique products and souvenirs that you can purchase during your visit.

  • Handicrafts and Leather Goods: Bogotá is renowned for its high-quality leather products. You can find handbags, wallets, belts, and other leather accessories.
  • Colombian Emeralds and Jewelry: Colombia is famous for its emeralds, so you can purchase jewelry featuring these precious stones in specialized stores.
  • Traditional Clothing and Accessories: You can acquire traditional Colombian garments such as ruana (a type of cape), vueltiao hats, and other folkloric accessories.
  • Aguayos and Woven Blankets: These are colorful handwoven textiles traditionally used in Colombia. They are perfect as decorative blankets or tapestries.
  • Ceramic and Clay Crafts: Bogotá boasts numerous workshops and craft markets where you can find dishes, vases, masks, and other ceramic items crafted by local artisans.
  • Alpaca Wool Products: Scarves, sweaters, gloves, and other items made from alpaca wool are popular in Bogotá and ideal for staying warm in the city’s cool climate.
  • Carved Wooden Products: Sculptures, kitchen utensils, and decorations made from carved wood are common items you can purchase as souvenirs.
  • Books and Stationery: Bogotá has numerous bookstores and stationery shops where you can buy books in Spanish, magazines, stationery, and other desk supplies.
  • Colombian Coffee: Colombia is one of the world’s leading coffee producers, so be sure to bring home high-quality Colombian coffee.
  • Colombian Chocolate: Colombian chocolate is renowned for its unique flavor. You can purchase chocolate bars and other cocoa-based products.

Remember to haggle at local markets to get a better price, especially at outdoor markets and craft fairs. Before buying products like emeralds, make sure to purchase from reputable places and verify the authenticity of the item. Enjoy your shopping in Bogotá!

Markets in Bogotá

National Festivals in Bogotá

Calendar drawing

Being the capital of Colombia, Bogotá celebrates national festivals with great enthusiasm and participation.

  1. New Year’s Day (January 1): Like worldwide, Bogotá celebrates New Year’s with fireworks, parties, and special events in different parts of the city.
  2. Epiphany (January 6): It’s a traditional festival commemorating the visit of the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus. In Bogotá, parades and special events take place.
  3. Holy Week (March or April): Celebrated with religious processions, masses, and reenactments of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It’s a significant period for the Catholic community in Bogotá and throughout Colombia.
  4. Labor Day (May 1): Celebrated with parades and demonstrations throughout the country to commemorate the achievements of workers and advocate for their rights.
  5. Independence of Colombia (July 20): This date celebrates Colombia’s independence from Spain. In Bogotá, there are parades, civic, and cultural events to commemorate this historical event.
  6. Bogotá Independence Day (August 4): Bogotá celebrates its foundation anniversary with a series of cultural events, parades, concerts, gastronomic fairs, and more.
  7. Columbus Day (October 12): A festival commemorating the meeting of cultures after Christopher Columbus’ arrival in America. In Bogotá, parades and cultural events take place to reflect on cultural diversity.
  8. All Saints’ Day (November 1): A religious festival remembering the deceased. Families visit cemeteries and pay homage to their loved ones.
  9. Candle Day (December 7): It marks the beginning of Christmas festivities in Colombia. Candles and lanterns are lit in the streets and windows to honor the Virgin Mary.
  10. Christmas (December 25): Celebrated with family gatherings, special meals, gift exchanges, and Christmas decorations throughout the city.

These are some of the main national festivals and celebrations held in Bogotá throughout the year. Each one offers an opportunity to experience the culture, tradition, and spirituality of the city and the country.

I hope you have enjoyed this Travel Guide, and to not miss out on upcoming posts, don’t forget to subscribe! You can also follow me on my YouTube Viajera por el Mundo.

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