Bogota - Capital of Colombia
The capital of Colombia is Bogota, with a population of 7.3 million located at the fairly high altitude of 2640 meters, which means that the temperature can be considerably lower than what you might expect this close to the equator. Bogota is in the district of Cundinamarca.
Lina and I frequently go on short trips, only a 30-minute flight from Medellin, to visit friends, go to galleries, eat and have fun.
As mentioned, cooler than you might expect. Temperate during the day with temperatures reaching the low 20s centigrade and 5-6 degrees and even down to freezing at times at night.
Remember to bring a warm jacket.
In stark contrast to Medellin, the second largest city, the capital of Colombia has a far more cosmopolitan feel to it with a stronger sense of style and personal identity. Women in Medellin for example, tend to be fairly uniform – breast implants, work out a lot, spend a lot of time on their appearance – whereas in Bogota, they tend to be more individualist and dress with a bit of attitude as you might expect in the capital.
Bogota is huge and congested but also fairly beautiful with a backdrop of mountains running North to South along the Eastern edge of the city.
There is much to do and see and it probably isn't what people expect from Colombia but rather, trafficated, fairly modern in parts, with a lot of high rises, shops, hotels and restaurants. There is also considerable wealth concentrated to the North half of the city.
Another detail, this is a walking city with spacious side walks. Due to its size however, this will only serve within the area you're visiting.
One of Bogota's finest and pricey to go. Colonial-style but the building itself is not that old.
La Fontana de Estelar
US$ 150 - 200
Large and something of an oasis in the North of the city. Across from an Exito supermarket and large shopping mall. We often stay here.
US$ 65 - 100
Nicely decorated hotel in the trendy La Candelaria. The rooms have wooden floor and are decorated in the Colonial style.
US$ 10 – 25 (dorm to double room w. Private bath)
Cheap and good hostel in La Candelaria.
Restaurants and Areas Worth Seeing
In general, there's Usaquen, Zona G, La Candelaria, Macarena and the Zona Rosa and Parque 93.
Usaquen is an old Colonial town (it's small) within Bogota in the North and you can walk around there and choose any of the Asian, fusion, Italian etc., restaurants that you take a liking to. There's s lot to choose from and there's a good energy but not so much of the partying kind.
La Candelaria is the old part of Bogota close to downtown and is fairly cool as is Macarena which is a slightly more sophisticated and intellectual setting.
Zona G - This are is the upper crust of dining in the capital of Colombia. You can walk around and choose according to what you like.
Zona Rosa and Parque 93 are alright if you want to party but this is the most obvious area to go and the restaurants are only so-so in my opinion.
To the North:
80 Sillas - tel: 619 2471
Ceviche and seafood. Old Colonial-style. Trendy, in Usaquen.
Andres Carne de Res
An institution to the North of Bogota meaning you need to get a taxi for a 20-30 minute trip. Steakhouse with a wacky interior and party atmosphere. You better get of your butts and dance!
La Jugueteria – tel: 341 1188
Dolls, toys and more dolls. Bizarre but fun. Decent food and good atmosphere.
The best way to get a sense of the nation's deep history is right here in the capital of Colombia. Very stylish and interesting. Café and restaurant on the premises. It's a must see.
At 3131 meters, you can get the funicular up to this peak with mind blowing views over the city. Good for the kids or adult kids who need to get to the top of a mountain from time to time.
Otherwise, stroll around the areas mentioned earlier: Macarena, La Candelaria, Usaquen, Parque 93 and Zona G to take in the atmosphere of the city.
I do NOT particularly recommend Bolivar Plaza that is often crowded and filled with dirty pigeons. It's up to you and considered a must-see in the capital of Colombia, but I just don't see the point.
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