Bogotá, love at second sight:
Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, may initially make a rather dreary impression on many visitors, which is why the majority turn their backs on the city quite quickly. For many travelers, it serves merely as a starting point or short stopover to quickly explore the country’s many other treasures. Understandable, if one has only limited time available.
On closer inspection, however, the capital of Colombia turns out to be a real pearl at 2,600 meters above sea level in the midst of a mystical mountain landscape – a real love at second sight.
The climate in Bogotá is very special. While we in Germany have our four seasons spread over the year, in Bogotá it is not uncommon to experience all four seasons in one day. So it often happens that you start the day at dawn at a fresh 5-7 degrees with a hot Tinto (that’s how they call black coffee in Colombia) and a sporty morning session into the surrounding mountains – e.g. over the “Quebrada Vieja”, the “old canyon”. Once at the summit, you are rewarded with clear air, an incredible view, more nice early morning athletes of all ages (Colombians love hiking and mountain biking) and pure nature. Every now and then you can also observe some locals meditating at the summit. Back at your accommodation in Colombia, a hearty, hot breakfast often awaits you, usually consisting of chicken soup, rice, yucca, or plátanos, as well as a fresh fruit juice. In the better middle as well as upper classes, the household is usually taken over by employees – often single women – who live with the families. This is just one of the many examples where one can feel the strong class distribution as one of the striking contrasts of the city of millions (~ 8 million inhabitants).
A spring-like morning is often followed by early summer temperatures of up to 25 degrees in the late afternoon, which can often turn autumnal again in the evening. The best thing to do then is to make yourself comfortable with a cerveza in one of the numerous, cozy and stylish bars and restaurants. The Colombians have a real knack for aesthetic interiors. An absolute “must-do” for going out in the evening is the “Andrés Carne de Res”. The legendary steakhouse, which extends over several floors, is gradually transformed from a first-class restaurant (among the rich selection you will also find arepas and ceviche, for example) into a big Colombian party. Of course, one or the other glass of the local anise schnapps “Aguardiente” should not be missed – don’t worry, it actually tastes better than it sounds! 😉 Another absolute highlight is the small but fine restaurant “Casa Brava”, which enchants with a breathtaking view over the city. Under warm mushrooms you can enjoy typical tapas at the edge of the serpentines.
In the Usaquén district, in addition to a variety of restaurants and shopping centers, you will find several vendors selling their traditional colorful bags, ponchos and handmade jewelry. The historical and cultural center of the city, la Candelaria, impresses with its colorfully painted houses, cobblestone streets and its tranquil squares, making it one of the best preserved historical old towns in Latin America. Numerous libraries, theaters and museums contribute to a rich cultural life.
Which brings us to the museums, of which Bogotá has several to offer. On different days of the week you have the possibility to visit one of the numerous museums for free or at a reduced price, for example the “Museo del Oro”. On several floors the history of the noble metal is illuminated and antique treasures invite you to marvel and linger. An absolute must for all gold lovers!
Since the infrastructure for public transport in Bogotá is simply non-existent, the ride with the UBER offers itself as an easy, safe and cheap means of transport, with which you can get from A to B without any problems. Most of the time, you can also learn a lot about the country and its people from the friendly UBER drivers (Spanish basics are usually a prerequisite).