Our change of plans in Ecuador meant we were now flying out of Guayquil. As we were flexible on our arrival destination in Colombia (and with by far the best value flight arriving in Bogota) we were now set to stop off in Colombia’s capital city.
Heading back up high into the Andes we enjoyed pretending to be students again around Bogota’s university campuses and tried to get used to living back at altitude (and wearing a jumper)!
We were only paying the city a flying visit but nevertheless had a jam-packed 2 days.
We must’ve walked for miles and miles around Bogota’s bustling streets discovering huge illuminated sky-scrapers, an eating and shopping-led city centre and narrow, winding brightly coloured side streets.
Our first stop north of the equator felt in a lot of ways as though we had been transported from our mad South American travels to a typical European city break! But it was a fun contrast to spend our days doing some proper sight-seeing.
Bogota has a great selection of restaurants, museums and things to see – below I have listed some of the highs (and lows) of what this city has to offer, enjoy!
What to see and do;
Museo del Oro – Gold Museum – absolutely spectacular – over 55,000 gold pieces from tiny earrings to enormous body plates dating way back to the Inca times – a definite must-see and entry was less than £1!
Monserrate – climb up the winding path (or get the funny funicular train or cable car) to the top of the highest peak around Bogota for an epic view of the sprawling city and a walk around the beautiful Cathedral. We were feeling a bit off kilter (first of the travel sick days) with all the overnight travel, altitude and changing countries so we opted to take the funicular train up and walk down (it was also raining) – would definitely recommend this as it is 1000ft up – warning, it is not for those who don’t like heights or who are suffering from the altitude!
Wander through the university campuses and the business district – there is so much to see around this bustling city. From street entertainment to pop-up market stalls everyday life in Bogota is full of surprises.
What to avoid;
The pot holes! Bogota is infamous for its pot hole ridden streets! Walking the pavements is literally a minefield (especially for someone as clumsy as me) – watch your step or your days adventures will soon be halted by a twisted ankle!
Museo National – we ducked in here for two reasons;
- 1) the building looked spectacular from the outside
- 2) it was beginning to rain (again…)
The fantastic building unfortunately didn’t contain a particularly exciting exhibition but it was free entry and protected us from the rain, the highlight was seeing an actual meteor that had landed in Colombia – not all bad then!
Plaza Bolivar – another capital, another Plaza Bolivar (see Lima) however, rather than the stunning, palace-backed plaza we discovered in Lima we could not have been more disappointed with the pigeon infested, pick-pocket central square in the heart of bustling Bogota – there is plenty else to see in this city.
Where to stay;
Chocolate Hostel – central, simple but comfortable, full of information points and is good value for a great location. BUT – take layers as rooms get super cold at night and (side note) the hot chocolate from the Chocolate Hostel was really disappointing!
Where to eat and drink;
Not a particularly Colombian selection I know, but…
Wok – think Wagamamas but, dare I say it… even better! Incredible menu packed with a variety of Asian delights from noodles to ramen to sushi and wonderful fresh fruit juices – it’s always busy, and for good reason, we pigged out here twice, both times for about £10-£15 (not bargain basement but it didn’t blow our budget either). Make the most of it though because the chain is only in Bogota.
Archies – stopped here one night for a quick early pizza as we were exhausted after our early flight from Ecuador – it was tasty but nothing special, however, we did have major ‘food envy’ of other tables so I think in our tiredness we might have chosen badly.
University campus – lots of little fast, on-the-go eateries, great for picking up a quick and cheap lunch!
Travelling around Colombia;
I have said this before, so believe me it is true, I do not really like flying, not in a major ‘refuse to get on a plane way’ but would look at most other options first…
So I think you know I am giving you some good advice when I say that the ONLY way to travel around Colombia is by flying. The country is a minefield for travel with dense Amazon and treacherous mountain roads (and even some parts still Guerrilla-run) so when we discovered flights for the same price, if not less, of the major bus companies it was a no-brainer.
Avianca, LAN and Viva Colombia (links) all offer cross-Colombia flights for around £50.
Bus – Bogota to Medellin = 10hrs and £20 with
Plane – Bogota to Medellin = 45mins and £40 on Avianca
By now we were in our 3rd week of travels and just beginning our explorations in our 3rd country – stay tuned for lots more Colombian adventures and find out why it became one of my favourite places.