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At first sight, Bogotá may not impress you. The constant rain, chilliness, and ominous pine-forest mountains make London seem sunny. But give Bogotá time and you will discover a sophisticated city of skyscrapers, glitzy upscale shopping centers, restaurants to satisfy even the most discerning palettes, and a nightlife that will leave you needing a vacation from your vacation. Colombia's capital, and by far the country's largest city, Bogotá is a sprawling metropolis, home to eclectic, experimental architecture, a large bohemian university crowd, a lively cafe scene, and dozens of attractive city parks. It is a city bursting with energy and culture.
But it's not all good news. Bogotá is, more than anything, a city of contrasts. Class differences are still very much apparent, with the wealthy, modern northern section a world apart from the sprawling slums, poverty, and high crime rates of the southern part of the city. Though security has improved dramatically in the last few years, the city center can still be dangerous at night, so you're better off not wearing expensive-looking jewelry and clothing when visiting these areas. However, Bogotá is one of Latin America's safer cities, and it's unlikely you'll encounter any serious problems.
With convenient American Airlines flights to Bogota, it's easy to visit the capital of Colombia. From biking to exploring prehistoric caves, there is a wide range of things to do in Bogota.
The city is extremely friendly to outdoor pursuits, especially biking, which is one of the most popular activities in Bogota. The city is actually one of the most bike-friendly in Latin America, with close to 190 miles of bike trails. And on Sundays (and some holidays) many roads are closed to vehicles for Ciclovia, which means that only bicyclists and pedestrians are allowed. Other outdoor pursuits you can find in Bogota include rock climbing and trekking.
One most culturally rewarding things to do in Bogota is visiting Facatativa Archaeological Park, about 20 miles outside the city. It features caves and rocky shelters, some of which contain spectacular examples of cave paintings. Sadly, over the years some have fallen victim to graffiti, but there is an ongoing effort to recover and restore these priceless pieces of history. After viewing the pictographs, you can enjoy a picnic lunch or even rent a boat and sail on the park's lake.
If you're looking for a more slow-paced way to spend an afternoon, visiting museums is another one of our top picks for activities in Bogota. At the Museo del Oro, or Gold Museum, you'll be able to see an astounding collection of pre-Hispanic gold. In fact, at more than 34,000 pieces, it's the largest collection in the world. You'll also be able to view pre-Colombian pottery, wood, stone and textiles. English language tours and audio guides are available. You'll also enjoy stopping by the Museo Botero, located in a restored colonial mansion. It features the world's largest permanent collection of works by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, along with works by European masters including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Be sure to also visit Catedral Primada de Colombia, or Bogota Cathedral. It was built in the same location as the first church in the city, with this structure being completed in 1823. It's the largest cathedral in Colombia and it contains artwork from the 17th and 18th centuries -- along with the tomb of Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada, the founder of Bogota.
We've made it easy to fly to Bogota so you can explore the capital of Colombia in person. Browse flights and start planning your journey of discovery today.
|Rock al Parque||Jun - Jul 2013 (annual)||Simón Bolivar Park|
|Jazz al Parque||Sep 2013 (annual)||Parque de los Novios|
|Hip-Hop in the Park||Oct 2013 (annual)||Simón Bolivar Park|
|Planeta Terra Colombia||Oct 2013 (annual)||Jaime Duque Park|
|4+1 Film Festival||Nov 2013 (annual)||Cinemateca Distrital|
|Bogotá Latin American Theatre Festival||Mar - Apr 2014 (biennial)||Bogota|
|Capilla Del Sagrario||Religious Site||1|
|Catedral Primada de Colombia||Religious Site||1|
|Iglesia de San Francisco||Religious Site||1|
|Iglesia de la Concepcioón||Religious Site||1|
|Iglesia del Carmen||Religious Site||1|
|Museo Iglesia de Santa Clara||Religious Site||1|
|Museo Nacional de Colombia||Museum||1|
|Museo del 20 de Julio||Museum||1|
|Museo del Oro||Museum||4|
|Quinta de Bolívar||Museum||1|
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