Bogota Plaza Summit Hotel
Bogotá Cundinamarca 110010
- Mon: 12am-12am
- Tue: 12am-12am
- Wed: 12am-12am
- Thu: 12am-12am
- Fri: 12am-12am
- Sat: 12am-12am
- Sun: 12am-12am
Most tourist sights lie around the city center, El Centro. Just north is a charming neighborhood, La Candelaria, with numerous Bogota highlights, including museums and shopping. Slightly farther north is La Macarena, sporting trendy bars, restaurants, shops and galleries.
Bogota lies in a mountain plateau in central Colombia. With weather frequently damp and chilly, the best time to visit is during the dry season from December through March. Although travel is much safer now, Bogota visitors should always use caution, especially at night. Getting around is best accomplished by taxi, a much safer and relatively inexpensive alternative to renting a car. TransMilenio rapid transit is available, but ask for directions and watch your belongings.
However you get there, plan to visit the Museo del Oro, a must-see Bogota attraction. Located in La Candelaria, the Gold Museum houses one of the world’s most extraordinary collections of more than 34,000 gold pieces and 20,000 pre-Columbian artifacts. Another Bogota highlight just blocks away is the Museo Botero. The Botero Museum features works by the renowned painter Fernando Botero himself, and works from his private collection of Matisse, Picasso, Dali, Monet and Renoir.
Bogota’s 200-plus churches and parishes provide remarkably preserved colonial art, architecture and religious artifacts. Near the Botero Museum is the Church of Santa Clara, one of the city’s best examples of colonial art, which also now serves as a museum. The building’s stark façade belies the more than 100 magnificent frescoes that cover the interior walls.
Another must-see attraction holds religious significance for Bogota visitors and locals alike. The Cerro de Monserrate, or Monserrate Hill, offers unparalleled panoramic views. A 17th-century church at the summit holds a statue of the Fallen Christ, attracting pilgrims daily. Cable cars leave every half hour for the 15-minute trip to the mountaintop, where visitors also find a crafts market, restaurants and cafés.
Shopping trips may rank just below religious experiences for some Bogota visitors. Choices offer everything from open-air vendors to haute-couture shops. The city center and La Candelaria have bargains, flea markets and handicrafts of reasonable quality. Look north for scores of high-end designer boutiques and shopping malls. Tourists will find it easier to bargain for Colombian leather and wool goods, gold and emeralds closer to the city center.
Bogota visitors will discover a city that values its past while driving full-tilt toward the future. The view can be dizzying and the adventure exhilarating, but the pace is what makes Bogota such a spirited ride.