We all know that Colombia has a darkish previous, so it might not appear to be the paradisal trip spot, however the nation’s status is starting to vary. Traveling to Colombia is not harmful and with the huge quantity of low cost flights obtainable from the USA, it’s a terrific selection for northerners trying to dip their toes in South America. This previous fall, I took a brief journey to Colombia, spending three days in each Bogota and Cartagena. Below you’ll discover my Bogota journey information, with quite a lot of budget-friendly actions. Could Colombia be your subsequent journey?
If you’re touring to Bogota for the primary time and, like me, you solely have a number of days to discover, I recommend concentrating on one district. For a 3 day journey, you’ll be able to spend two days exploring your chosen neighborhood and then take a day-trip outdoors of the town to see one thing utterly totally different.
Where to Stay in Bogota
La Candelaria is the favourite district for many vacationers in Bogota. You’ll discover the town’s hottest points of interest on this space, and it’s additionally fairly lovely with colonial structure, inventive graffiti, and historic authorities buildings. There are not any scarcity of hostels, motels, eating places, and bars in La Candelaria as properly. I stayed on the Masaya Hostel close to the Plazoleta Chorro de Quevedo. It was very good, with journey information, clear rooms, and a bar! Book your dates through HostelWorld.com
A phrase on security after darkish
Although it’s a well-liked district to discover, La Candelaria is just not the most secure district in Bogota. At night time, homeless residents come out to beg and (typically) problem the vacationers. Always stroll with the buddy and ignore beggers every time attainable. I carried a number of cash in my pocket handy out every time I used to be approached. I didn’t have a lot hassle, however I met a couple of different vacationers that had horrible tales. If you’re nervous, keep in your lodge after darkish.
Take the cable automotive to Monseratte
The prime of Monseratte provides an epic view of the town on a transparent day. You can take a cable automotive or (when you’re formidable, hike) to the highest, which is residence to a church and a restaurant. 30 minutes is sufficient time to absorb the view of one among South America’s largest cities.
Go on a “Free” strolling tour of La Candelaria
I extremely advocate the “Free Walking Tour” of La Candelaria. The tour begins within the Plazoleta Chorro de Quevedo and lasts for about three hours. During that point, you’re led by an english-speaking information via all the district, studying concerning the historical past, tradition, and well-known graffiti. The tour additionally features a tasting of Colombian fruits and drinks. I attempted chicha, cocoa leaf tea, and (in fact) Colombian espresso. You ought to anticipate to tip about $10 USD, which is why the tour is essentially “free.” No have to e-book forward, simply present up on the scheduled time. More info here.
Take a Day Tour of Zipaquira’s Salt Cathedral
The Zipaquira Salt Cathedral is the world’s solely underground cathedral, situated about 2 hours away from Bogota. On your go to, you’ll journey three ranges underground to discover a working salt mine and beautiful cathedral. The air is crisp, chilly, and sulfuric at occasions. There are dozens of crosses, carved into the partitions. Each is magnificent and lit with colourful LED lighting. It’s angelic and spectacular. Finally, after passing by way of a couple of slender passages, you attain a cavernous cathedral. My jaw dropped on the enormity of the area! No matter your spiritual beliefs, it’s an astonishing place to behold.
There are so many superb issues to eat in La Candelaria, however you may as well have dangerous meals as nicely. Follow my recommendation, and stick with the native meals. I attempted Japanese meals, for instance, and was not impressed. My favourite meal was truly at a vegetarian restaurant referred to as NATIVO. Everything was recent and selfmade. The serving sizes have been substantial, and it was very properly priced. If you’re wanting for an affordable meal, you possibly can all the time buy the “meal of the day” for lunch, which can often value about $three USD, and comes with a bowl of soup and a foremost dish of rice and meat.
Happy hour isn’t onerous to seek out in La Candelaria. If you need craft beer, the vacationer favourite consuming gap is Bogota Beer Company. The native liquor of selection is aguardiente, which is anise-flavored and a bit unusual. If you want black licorice, you’ll in all probability like aguardiente. There are many cocktails made with this specific liquor, and you’ll even discover individuals promoting scorching alcoholic drinks out of beverage carts on the road for a really reasonably priced worth. Don’t be afraid to attempt it!