Colombia’s capital, Bogota, was founded in 1538 and has a long and tumultuous history.
Most holidays to Colombia start in the city, where visitors may be surprised at the number of fashionable restaurants, illuminating museums and colonial quarters: the city has thankfully risen above its unfavourable past reputation with something of a renaissance that has resulted in an eclectic mix of old and new.
One of the most attractive parts of the city and a must-see on all Bogota holidays is the Spanish colonial district of Candelaria. Here, travellers and residents alike gravitate towards the cobbled streets, colonial museums and 300-year-old private homes, churches and convents. Start in attractive Plaza de Bolivar – a grand, stark square in contrast to the flower-filled streets that surround it. It’s in Candelaria that you’ll find the renowned Gold Museum, where each corridor displays a different era of Columbian history, and a ground floor given over to an impressive collection of art. Not to be missed is the Botero Museum, which houses one of Latin America’s most important international art collections.
Bogota is set at an altitude of 2,640 metres and is the third-highest capital in South America after Quito and La Paz. Because of this, the views are magnificent, and the best place to find stunning vistas is at Cerro de Monserrate, a lofty peak which dominates the city centre. Another must-see is the city’s elegant Italian-style performance venue, Teatro Colon, built in 1792. The inside is just as grand as the exterior, and it’s well worth taking in a show if your itinerary allows.
Head north to the districts of Zona Rosa and Usaquen for buzzing nightlife, fashionable eats and boutique shopping centres. Around an hour away from the capital, you’ll find the famous Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, hewn entirely from the salt mines that once flourished here.
Call our Latin America Destination Experts for more information on holidays to Bogota and to book your adventure to Colombia.