Is Bogota Worth Visiting? (How To Uncover The Good Bits) • Indie Traveller

On the facial area of it, Bogotá doesn’t have a lot likely for it.

You’ll definitely arrive in Colombia with visions of balmy tropical beach locations, but the capital’s average elevation of 2,640 meters (8,660 ft) guarantees it is normally chilly and dim. Because the bordering mountain ranges trap the clouds it is also notoriously rainy.

Then there is the visitors. It has a good deal of it. With a populace of more than 7 million, Bogotá nonetheless lacks any form of metro method.

The centre can also appear to be a tiny edgy and gritty. One youthful backpacker even told me he was as well afraid to love Bogotá. He definitely didn’t have to have to be… but 1st impressions can be challenging to triumph over.

Oh, and the architecture seems to be largely like this.

So, are you psyched to take a look at Bogotá nevertheless?

No?

Waaaait, really do not go away this web site!

I want to make the circumstance for why Bogota is essentially an awesome town to visit… if you give it a good likelihood. I arrived to love Bogotá and think it’s generally underrated.

If I had to pick a place to live, I would most likely opt for Medellin. But for a spot to check out as a vacationer, I believe Bogotá has additional to offer.

Getting your bearings

Ok, let’s be actual. Bogotá is not a gorgeous city. The centre is dominated by previous brown business properties apparently from the 1970s. Even the nicer heritage structures are in sore want of a fresh new lick of paint. This is not photo-fantastic Cartagena by any stretch of the creativeness.

This could be a bit jarring if Bogotá is your very first prevent in Colombia, which it is for many who arrive on global flights.

I assume Bogotá becoming the initial Colombian metropolis most people see describes some of the detrimental comments you may discover. The circumstance would seem identical to Bangkok, which typically shocks new arrivals in Thailand with its dimension and chaos, but which a lot of admit to liking considerably additional on a 2nd visit.

Bogota’s glimpse and truly feel are truly rather standard for South America. Bogotá is reminiscent of Lima in Peru, Santiago in Chile, and other Andean cities.

Most other Colombian metropolitan areas are at a much reduce elevation, so it’s attention-grabbing to expend at least a bit of time in this mountain capital. The amazing air will distinction from the searing tropical heat you will come to feel on the coastline.

When targeted visitors is surely a issue in Bogotá, it fortunately requires only at most a 30-moment taxi journey from the airport to the town centre.

As soon as you’ve arrived, you might wholly forget that you’re in a metropolis that is residence to millions of folks. The mountains develop normal barriers to its sprawl, with the walkable centre hugging the slopes of Monserrate peak.

Most travelers continue to be in La Candelaria, a historic neighbourhood with old houses, churches, and several of the major museums and attractions.

The area could seem a bit tough all around the edges but it is nicely-policed, so you do not need to have to be afraid. Do choose treatment in the middle of evening when the streets are vacant (think about having a taxi in the course of these several hours) but sense no cost to investigate through the day or evening.

There are masses of entertaining cafes, retailers, and a road market to discover in La Candelaria. It’s alive with action pupils, businesspeople, and tourists will be roving the streets.

There are nicer and leafier household locations in Bogotá, but La Candelaria is the sensible location to go if you’re a vacationer in Bogota for the 1st time.

You can read more about other locations to remain listed here.

What I really like about Bogota is that it’s a authentic city that isn’t just produced for vacationers. This is rather in contrast to what Cartagena has become and also unlike the ‘gringo town’ of El Poblado in Medellin.

There are so numerous fascinating particulars in Bogota to learn if you give it some time. Here are a couple of tips on how to make your stay in Bogota worth it.

How to love Bogotá

1. Consider a bicycle tour

Bogotá is surprisingly bicycle-welcoming. Just take the probability to do a bicycle tour as you’ll be ready to address a much higher area than walking.

You can reserve the ideal bicycle tour here.

A bike tour is certainly the best introduction to Bogota. Think about performing this very first detail you get there! At minimum, it wholly adjusted how I appeared at the town.

Your manual will explain to you tales about Bogotá that will make it arrive to existence. The tour will also assist you understand the politics and tradition of Colombia a lot more helpful insights you’ll just take with you on the rest of your journey.

I loved all the stops on this bicycle tour.

You get to go to a regional fruit industry and consider out some of the mad fruits you can acquire in Colombia. Here’s your chance to get a sensual selfie with a soursop.

A check out to a coffee roaster will give you your initially taste of Colombia’s proudest product (of course, it’s coffee, and not that other things).

Together the way, you’ll quit to see some of Bogota’s finest street art.

The tour ends at a bar wherever you can engage in tejo, a classic ball-throwing recreation involving small explosives that is an complete hoot.

Going for walks excursions are also an alternative but I strongly advocate a bicycle tour as you are going to get to see so substantially a lot more. For instance, you’ll get to go inside the previous bull ring of Bogota which is much outside the house La Candelaria.

Never worry if you’re not a good bike owner: there are lots of devoted bicycle lanes in Bogota. The specific bicycle tour that I did is obtainable below on GetYourGuide, which lasts about 5 several hours.

2. Hit up the museums

Bogota has a great offering of museums that give a excellent introduction to Colombian artwork, lifestyle, and history.

Although Medellin is a greater town to find out about Pablo Escobar and his linked record, Bogota is for anything else.

A need to-pay a visit to is the Gold Museum which homes above 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artefacts. It’s an completely stunning display screen of intricate art built by the indigenous peoples of Colombia. Other towns in Colombia do also have little gold museums, but none compare at all with the one in Bogota.

The Botero Museum is one more spotlight, dwelling to just one of Latin America’s most crucial worldwide art collections. Among the them are over a hundred pieces by Colombia’s very own Fernando Botero, the artist recognised for his comically bulbous figures. Even if you’re not so considerably into present day artwork, I imagine Botero has wide enchantment thanks to his surreal and exaggerated paintings.

Moreover these major two museums, there are at the very least a dozen effectively-rated other individuals to visit.

3. Remain for automobile absolutely free Sunday

Bogota might be motor vehicle-choked and thick with visitors sounds, but this has also led to the very pleased custom of the carfree Sunday known as Ciclovía.

Numerous of Bogota’s biggest avenues and highways are closed to targeted traffic on these days and open up only to pedestrians, cyclists, or skateboarders. It is a best working day for persons-seeing as quite a few Bogotanos from all walks of lifestyle wander the car or truck-cost-free streets. National Geographic wrote about this weekly tradition.

Look at some riveting hamster races on vehicle-absolutely free Sunday…

There are all types of street actions on Sundays as very well which include dancing, games, and marketplaces. Throughout Ciclovía Bogota transforms into a entire various city, so it is value arranging your continue to be about a Sunday if you can.

4. Dive into the culinary & night scene

1 of the greatest matters about being in the funds is just the massive assortment of delicacies, drinks, and nightlife that you can appreciate.

With at minimum 50 nightclubs it’s a terrific town to party. The bar and club scene is a lot less hyped and gringo-fied than Medellin and hence has its personal attractiveness. The nightlife is a lot more concentrated in specific parts in Medellin, so you can a lot more hop simply amongst venues there, but most agree Bogota has substantially additional and superior nightlife over-all.

Nearby craft beer and specialty coffee are effortless to locate and so are lots of superb places to eat, ranging from informal Colombian established meals to Michelin-star degree eating.

You won’t have this degree of selection once you get to smaller sized towns in Colombia’s espresso location or the coastal resorts, so it is worthy of earning the most of it though you’re in the cash.

5. Use Bogota as a base

Currently being at the centre of Colombia and so properly-connected, Bogota is the fantastic area from which to organize numerous working day-trips.

Want to hike to a certainly epic waterfall? Then really do not skip a trip to La Chorrera, Colombia’s tallest waterfall. Starting in Bogota, a tour to La Chorrera will take about 8 hrs.

You can also vacation to Chingaza National Park, wherever you can experience the páramo, a special mountain ecosystem with endemic plant species such as the seemingly cactus-like frailejones.

Also within just day journey vary is the fascinating Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, a church carved into a salt mine about 200m (660 ft) underground. It is a amazing monument and even now utilized for expert services to this day.

By staying in Bogota you get your pick of accommodation and can delight in all the nightlife and terrific dining places a significant metropolis has to offer, though spending your times traveling to highlights in the surrounding location.

Is Bogota truly worth it?

With so many destinations in Colombia vying for your awareness it may well be tricky to dedicate some time to Bogota. But ignore the naysayers who have only detrimental things to say about the funds, as it is most likely that they did not give the metropolis its appropriate because of.

Of course, Bogota is absolutely really worth browsing. Just make certain not to hope a stunning town with warm temperature, mainly because which is just not what it is. Bogota’s characteristics can be uncovered a little much more less than-the-floor. Experience additional like a ‘real Colombian city’ you’ll get to know this non-touristy aspect of Colombia.

If you are on a shorter vacation and traveling in- or out of Bogota, then it will not hurt to keep at least a working day in Bogota. Considering that you’re going to be there anyway you may possibly as well shell out a night time. Chances are you will be pleasantly amazed.

If you are travelling for, say, a couple of months in Colombia then you may possibly want to set at the very least 3 times into Bogota, particularly if you hope to just take any working day trips from the funds. There is enough to see and do to maintain you occupied for really a whilst.


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Posted AUG 09, 2022 (Up-to-date Aug 09, 2022)

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