Discover the Best Things to Do in Bogota, Colombia
Enjoy the Most Prestigious Bogota Area
Only 12.5 miles from the El Dorado International Airport, Lugano Imperial Suites is a modern hotel located in the north of Bogota near some of the most popular Bogota things to do. It is in the 72nd Street Financial Center in Quinta Camacho, one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in northern Bogota. A short stroll away is the G Zone, an area recognized for its safe atmosphere, culinary restaurants, bars, stores, banks, boutiques, supermarkets and cinemas. 72nd Street is one of the main business areas of the city and is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Bogota. The hotel offers easy access to the shopping mall, Centro Comercial Granahorrar, as well as other shopping areas on 7th Avenue and Chile Avenue. Andino Mall is 2.5 miles away. Within a mile of the hotel are Casa Santodomingo and the El Nogal Club. Monserrate Hill is 6 miles away.
Bogota's business centers are booming. The Big Apple Usaquén, located in the Santa Barbara Business and Teleport Business Park, includes the office of the Commission on Human Rights of the United Nations and the embassies of Mexico, India and Canada. Ciudad Salitre, just 20 minutes from the El Dorado Airport, is a new booming business district. This area is one of the most heterogeneous of the Colombian capital, with clusters of residential, commercial, sporting, recreational and cultural offerings. There are two shopping centers, Salitre Plaza and Gran Estacion, the El Tiempo newspaper building, the Attorney General's Office of Colombia, the Court of Cundinamarca Cundinamarca and other large companies. It is one of the most sought after areas of the country between Colombian and foreign investors. The Zona Franca Bogota, ZFB, is one of the main axes of trade capital of Colombia. It is located in the town of Fontibón, west of the city and houses a large number of companies from all sectors.
Top 10 Things To Do In Bogota, Colombia
The Monserrate is Bogota's most famous mountaintop and one of the most scenic Bogota attractions with sweeping views of the capital. A stone cathedral, built on the edge of a cliff, is situated at the top of the mountain. A cable car provides easy access to the summit where thousands of visitors each year experience this beautiful hilltop sanctuary. There is a tourist market here where you can buy souvenirs and have a cup of famous cocoa tea.
Usaquen is a neighborhood that feels like a small local town. It is a popular place with a number of restaurants, live music shows and shopping. Not to be missed is the flea market on Sundays that showcases lots of typical handicrafts. The Hacienda Santa Barbara shopping mall is also located here.
The Candelaria is a historic, bohemian neighborhood filled with Spanish colonial buildings, quaint alleyways, wooden cathedrals and cobblestone streets as well as striking pieces of street art. It meshes the colorful old colonial city with the new. Plaza de Bolivar, the Gold Museum, Botero Museum and Monserrate are in this district. The Candelaria was the first neighborhood established in Bogota.
Plaza de Bolivar
Plaza de Bolivar is the center of government in Bogota and the country of Columbia. The wide open square features the National Capitol building, Palace of Justice and Cathedral of Bogota. A statue of Simon Bolivar stands in front of the National Capitol building. On a narrow street off Plaza de Bolivar is row of restaurants serving traditional foods of Bogota and Colombia, including ajiaco, a thick hearty soup consisting of shredded chicken, potatoes, and a chunk of corn on the cob. Cream, capers, and avocado are also added.
Museums (Museo del Oro, Museo Donacion Botero and Museo Botero)
Bogota's Gold Museum, Museo del Oro, is the largest gold museum in Colombia featuring exhibits of pre-Hispanic gold, the biggest collection in the world. It houses most of the gold collection from the Musica tribes who inhabited the area prior to the Spanish conquest. Many of these items were collected from the Laguna de Guatavita, the inspiration for the Legend of El Dorado. The Museo Donacion Botero features works from Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist. Additional works by Picasso, Renoir and Dali are also on display. Entrance is free and photos are allowed without a flash. The Museo Botero is a larger museum featuring Botero’s work as well as a wider array of Latin artists.
Zipaquira and the Salt Cathedral (Cathedral de Sal)
About an hour outside of Bogota is the town of Zipaquira, where a salt mine was converted into an underground cathedral. There are a number of tunnels with various alters throughout the system, all of which contain stone carved crosses and impressive formations from the salt on the cave walls. Colorful lighting helps to brighten the interior. Guided tours are available for about $8.00 USD. No flash photography is allowed. After a visit to the mine, check out the small town square of Zipaquira and climb to the overlook for a fantastic view of the valley and cathedral.
Santamaria Bull Ring
Bogota's Santamaria Bull Ring was built in 1931 and sits in the center of the city. Like many Latin American countries, bullfighting is a celebrated sport. The ring holds 14,500 people. Although bullfighting is controversial, it is seen as a celebration among this culture.
La Zona Rosa
Bogota's major nightlife district is the Zona Rosa (literally “Pink Zone”), located between Calles 79-85 and Carreras 11-15. It’s packed with restaurants, bars, and discos. Catering to upper middle class Colombians and tourists, the prices tend to be higher than in other parts of the city. The center of the area is a modern shopping mall filled with many name brand stores and restaurants.
Villa de Leyva
A visit to Villa de Leyva is a lovely side trip which can be done in a day but is more leisurely done with an overnight stay or two. Villa de Leyva is a Spanish town left in time with no modernization at all. It is filled with original buildings and cobblestone streets. The square is the most popular attraction, with a small fountain and a white cathedral that sits against an amazing backdrop of the Colombian Highlands.
Laguna de Guatavita
Laguna de Guatavita is a deep pool of water situated in the mountains. It is the lake where the Musica tribes performed their ceremonies and is the sole inspiration for the Legend of El Dorado. The tribes adorned their chief with gold then floated him to the center of the lake and dropped him in the water. Leaving the gold to float to the bottom was an offering to the gods. For this reason, the Spanish drained and irrigated this lake for many years in search of the gold. It is about an hour hike to the lake.