Best of Bogota – See it All in One Day

After years of internal strife, Colombia is when again tranquil, prosperous and safe. Tourism is playing a huge role in Colombia’s healing; while other South American countries saw their visitor numbers decrease in 2009, the variety of visitors to Colombia climbed up by 7 percent.

Bogota, the capital city and the country’s financial and cultural center, supplies wonderful opportunities for visitors. It has more than two dozen museums, numerous parks, a wealth of colonial architecture, and a few of the hottest night life in South America. If you have 2 weeks to invest in Bogota, you’ll discover something brand-new to see and do every single day.

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Exactly what if you’ve only got a day? Noted below are the “must-sees,” Bogota’s very best attractions. All are clustered within and near La Candelaria, the old colonial heart of the city. There’s more excellent news, too: La Candelaria is just a short, economical taxi ride from Bogota’s El Dorado Airport.

Cerro de Monserrate First stop: Monserrate. This Roman Catholic Sanctuary, located 2,000 feet above Bogota, is accessed via either a cog rail or cable television car. From this mountaintop the large panorama of Bogota expands before you. It’s a remarkable view, but Monserrate has its own beauties, including a splendid church, magnificent gardens, and dozens of stores where you can plan on regional crafts.

Bolivar Plaza This vast space is the heart of Colombia. It is surrounded by the Catedral Primada (the country’s “very first cathedral”), the Colombian House and Senate, and the Supreme Court. Just one block away is Casa de Narino, home of the Colombian President. The plaza is constantly aswirl with activity; you’ll discover chains of school kids making their method among the buildings, picketing (and serene) protestors, tourists, federal government employees and the dapperly-dressed elite. From here it’s a pleasant walk to the other must-sees.

Museum of Colonial Art Located in a wonderful colonial estate, this museum homes numerous pieces from the time of the conquest and the early settlement of Colombia.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center Colombians are justly happy with their Nobel Prize-winning author, whose works are celebrated throughout the world. This brand-new facility offers extensive information on the author, whose books include 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. Visit to learn more about the author, and to have a cup of excellent Colombian coffee in the open air coffee shop.

Botero Museum Fernando Botero is Colombia’s best known artist, famous for his depictions in paint and sculpture of “the fat ones.” The Botero Museum houses the artist’s own collection of artwork, including a thunder-jowled Mona Lisa. The museum likewise includes works by Picasso, Monet, Renoir and Matisse.

Museum of Gold This magnificent museum is home to more than 30,000 pieces of pre-Columbian art work, consisting of the popular raft of Guatavita, source of the El Dorado legend. The Gold Museum is located on one of downtown Bogota’s busiest plazas, the website of a casual market for Colombia’s popular emeralds (and for its similarly famous fakes!).

Colombia is still a deal. Just remember: when you get hungry, prevent the American-style dining establishments and rather select one of the local favorites. A McDonald’s hamburger, for instance, opts for US$ 7, and fails to measure up to the suspicious requirements of its American origins. La Candelaria’s Restaurante Masiz, on the other hand, serves a four-course Colombian meal with veggies and fresh-squeezed fruit juice for $3.

The coffee is terrific too – naturally. Oma and Juan Valdez are the huge chains (they are the Starbucks of Colombia), however attempt a locally-owned shop. At Coffee shop Negro the service is as enjoyable as the coffee is abundant.


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