A city of contrasts high in the Andes…
Columbia’s capital has changed. It is no longer a place to avoid and is rapidly becoming the must-see city in South America. Bogota is divided into 4 distinct areas, but most travellers end up spending time in La Candelaria, the historic central area, with its cafes, museums, shops and churches. The north is where most modern development has taken place and is home to shopping centres, nightclubs and large corporations, while El Occidente hosts Bogota’s major sporting venues and parks. Also known as Santa Fé de Bogota or the Athens of the Americas, Bogota is a city of great contrasts with peaceful elegant plazas standing in the shadow of futuristic skyscrapers, with the modern north of the city turning its back on the less well-heeled south. It’s quite a place.
Bogota has some great museums, elegant plazas and old churches, a thriving nightlife, green parks, cool air and lots of entertaining festivals and cultural events. It’s also a good base from which to explore other areas of South America.
When to Go?
The best time of year to visit Bogota is probably during December, January, February and March as these are the driest months. July and August also tend to see only light rain and the wettest months are April and October. Year-round average temperatures are around 14°C -18°C, dropping slightly at night. It’s always a good idea to pack an umbrella when going to Bogota.
How to get there?
There are no direct flights from the UK to Bogota’s El Dorado International airport, but there are plenty of indirect flights. The airport is 13km from the city and there are regulated taxis and buses available. Buses are cheaper but taxis are a convenient option. Bogota is the third-highest capital in South America after La Paz and Quito, so you’ll need to take it easy for the first couple of days to acclimatize.
Stroll around La Canderlaria, it’s charming. If you’re there on a Friday or Sunday night go to Avenida Septima. On these evenings the road is closed to traffic and instead street performers and live music take over - it’s crowded but lots of fun. Take the funicular or cable car up to Cerro de Monserrate, and walk the trails back down. You’ll get stunning views of the city and surrounding area and there are a couple of pleasant, if slightly pricey, restaurants too.
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