There is a corner of the world which promises even the most demanding visitors an amazing experience. It is the only country in South America which has boasts both Atlantic and Pacific coastlines, in addition to being the leading producer of emeralds and one of the top coffee providers in the world. Of course, there is only one nation which unites all of these characteristics: Colombia.
Those who have traveled to Colombia have arrived to a general consensus: “The only risk is wanting to stay”. Having endured decades of negative media coverage internationally, Colombia is often regarded as a dangerous destination. However, changes in recent years have been pivotal to the increase to the country’s tourism. After all, it is a shame for a nation which has so much to offer to remain stigmatized. If you seek adventure, Colombia is for you. If you seek luxury, Colombia is for you. If you seek the vacation of your dreams, Colombia is for you.
Bogota: The South American Metropolis
Bogota is a city which offers visitors countless possibilities. Whether you are in need of relaxation, some concrete jungle adventure, or fantastic eats, Bogota has exactly what you need. The Colombian capital is surely to offer attractions for all sorts of tastes.
Located in the center of the country, Bogota sits on an altitude of 8,629 feet, with several mountainous regions exceeding 10,000 feet. Mountain lovers can admire the Andean Range from virtually all points of the city. They can even visit Monserrate, the famous mountain placed right at the city center. At just over 10,000 feet, Monserrate offers tourists a rare attraction. Its peak is the host of a 17th century church, which has served as the site of a pilgrimage since its construction. The peak of Monserrate is also the home to beautiful gardens and a sparkling view of Bogota. Visitors can reach the summit of Monserrate in three different ways: by funicular, cable car, or hiking. All three methods will grant visitors unique experiences they will be sure to cherish for years to come.
A visit to Monserrate would be incomplete with a tour of the neighborhood in which it is located. Those travelers who have a special appetite for antique architecture cannot afford to miss a visit to La Candelaria, a historic neighborhood of the Colombian capital. The architecture found in La Candelaria features Spanish Colonial, Baroque, and art deco styles. The antiquity of La Candelaria’s houses has the ability to make any visitor feel as if he is back in colonial times. Many of the houses have been turned into hotels and hostels. Hence, travelers have the opportunity to find lodging in the very center of Bogota in homes which have been inhabited for several centuries.
If you seek culture, you will certainly find plenty of it in Bogota. Head over to the Gold Museum. Boasting the largest pre-Hispanic gold work collection, the Gold Museum is Bogota’s truest gem. The museum’s collection has over 55,000 pieces, with 6,000 more on display in an expanded building. Feast your eyes on the intricateness of gold works manufactured before the arrival of the Spanish. The museum is divided into different halls for every pre-Hispanic culture in Colombia. Fortunately, there are bilingual descriptions on nearly all the exhibits, so fluency in Spanish is not a requirement for this golden adventure.
About an hour outside of Bogota, you can immerse yourself in a unique experience. The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. This magnificent cathedral was built within the tunnels of a salt mine almost 700 feet below ground. The cathedral is part of the complex including the Salt Park and a mining museum. This attraction is considered a “jewel of modern architecture” and Colombia’s top wonder. The price to enter the cathedral is approximately $11.50 per person. Not bad to visit such a unique site!
Looking for a little retail therapy? Well, Bogota is certainly capable of delivering. All you shopaholics out there can spend entire afternoons in one of the city’s 50 shopping centers. Yes, you read that correctly, 50 shopping centers. The number includes both indoor malls and outdoor centers. No matter what your taste in clothing, you are sure to find something you love in Bogota. From the highest names in couture fashion to beloved local brands, shopping in Bogota is certain not to disappoint.
Shopping makes even the most seasoned of shoppers hungry. Fortunately for the visitor to Bogota, the city offers an array of endless food choices. If you yearn to try the deliciousness that is Colombian cuisine, there are several different options. The city is boasts countless mom and pop shops which will treat your palate. However, if you need a particular recommendation, try Yanuba. This small, but prosperous, restaurant chain has been serving Bogota for over 67 years. Indulge in typical Colombian cuisine, which offers all kinds of options even for the pickiest eaters. Yanuba serves all sorts of meats, delicious salads, different kinds of rice, pasta, and even sandwiches. It is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in the city.
If you crave something more down the aisle of burgers, then we also have an amazing recommendation for you. El Corral serves the favorite burgers in all of Colombia. This massive restaurant chain puts any American burger restaurant to absolute shame. The deliciousness of these hamburgers cannot possibly be overstated. Craving dessert after your scrumptious burger? Simply visit Endulza tu Paseo, or Sweeten up your Trip. This well-known restaurant serves the most traditional Colombian desserts with a modern twist. Indulge in some coconut flan, chocolate cake, an assortment of cheesecakes, and other surprising desserts you will find nowhere else. Endulza tu Paseo is a certain way in which you can add sweetness to your time in Bogota.
When the night hits, Bogota transforms itself from a cultured capital to party central. Make sure you visit La Zona Rosa (The Rose Zone). One of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Latin America, La Zona Rosa is filled with restaurants, bars, European-style pubs, and exclusive clubs. You are sure to run into Colombian celebrities during your visit to La Zona Rosa. Despite its exclusivity, club cover charges to La Zona Rosa range from $3 to about $13 depending on the Colombian Peso to U.S. Dollar exchange rate. Still more affordable than cover at a regular American nightclub. With so many different options, La Zona Rosa is a definite can’t-miss when in Bogota!