Tourists to the capital of this fascinating country are increasing every year. Where safety concerns were once great, much has improved socially and so the entire panorama for tourism is as attractive as ever. Bogota is an excellent gateway logistically into the country and an encounter with the collective history of geographically diverse regions.
Any first time tourist will find public transport in buses and taxis to be the handiest ways of getting around. The sheer population and traffic can make bus transport less of a desirable option if time is of the essence. Taxis are affordable and safe, simply use official looking vehicles and have all address information handy.
Bogota is a city of high elevation, but it is so flat that it may not appear so at first glance. These high plains are encircled by mountain rims and one of these is Monserrate. This is a great first stop to appreciate the vast panoramic views of the city as well as take a thrilling cable car ride up a mountain and see the shrine and shops at the top. It is open during regular working hours.
This section of the city preserves the colonial structures in vibrant colors with ornate architecture, blissful courtyards and many little shops, eateries and businesses. It is the center of nightlife especially for tourists and students. Food is very typical and creative and prices are very good. The streets preserve that old time feeling with their unmistakable charm.
This is one of the biggest social spaces in the crowded city plains. The iconic square is bordered by the country’s highest political offices, courts and of course ornate churches. The square is full of activity day and night. If in town for a holiday or on a regular day this will always be the place where activity and national identity are fully expressed and celebrated. Photo opportunities are abundant here.
One of Colombia’s world famous artists can be easily recognized around the world in painting and sculpture by his fat characters. The Botero Museum here in Bogota is a world class attraction that is free to visit. Hours range from 9am-7pm most days and the museum is closed Tuesdays. If one is a fan of moderns like Dali, this is a worthwhile attraction.
Even for tourists attracted by museums overall, this place guarantees fascination. Gold and other metal-workings shown here capture man’s fascination with precious metals in a very modern and creative display.
Best times to go
The highest months for tourist traffic to the capital are July and August due to the city’s famous carnival. It can be a great way to see the city in its prime, but overwhelming in an already crowded place. The months of April-June are some of the wettest so the weather won’t be cooperative, but the rates may be more affordable. Finally the driest months are December-March when a more moderate tourist crowd surfaces.