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Bogota is one of the four main and largest cities in Colombia. It is surrounded by tall, green mountains and by gorgeous nature. If you are lucky enough to fly into this city during daylight – you will think that you have landed in a fairytale.
Quick Note on Safety and Altitude:
Bogota is located at the elevation of 8,675 feet (or 2,644 meters) so proper precautions might need to be taken by anyone prone to altitude sickness.
The security of this city has been greatly improved within the last couple of years, however some general safety measures still need to be observed by anyone visiting from outside.
So What Are the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Bogotá?
1. Bogota is the capital of Colombia – no visit to any country is ever complete without at least a quick stopover in its capital city.
2. The number two reason why you should visit Bogota is for its magical beauty, and the number one place to see this beauty from the best viewpoint is the famous Cerro de Monserrate (Monserrate Mountain). To get to the top of the mountain, you would have to take a funicular ride, where you can also steal a few great snapshots of Bogota’s magnificent landscape.
3. Every city has at least one iconic look that is a must photo-op for every tourist. And the number three reason for visiting Bogota is to take a postcard photo in front of the famous La Catedral Primada de Bogotà. This gorgeous Cathedral is also located in of the most beautiful areas in Bogotá – called La Candelaria, which is in the heart of the city. Take a walk through the streets of La Candelaria and you will get a chance to see some of the most interesting architecture, public squares, cafes, and urban graffitis that you can find in this city.
4. Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum), located in La Candelaria, has a very large collection of gold artifacts and is very well-know across South America as well as the rest of the World. Make sure to read about the legend of El Dorado, before visiting this fantastic place – it will help you to see this place from a unique and informed perspective.
5. Museo Botero (The Museum of Botero), a museum dedicated to the most famous Colombian painter and sculptor, Fernando Botero, is a must-see place. This beautiful two-story house (also pictured on the cover photo of this post) contains some of the most important works of this very talented artist as well as some paintings from other famous artists, such as Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. And if you still need an additional incentive to visit this place – the entrance is free!
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Additionally, as a huge BONUS – there are three beautiful places of interest that are easily accessed from Bogota, and that are true gems of Colombia.
Lake Guatavita and the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá. These two very important landmarks can be visited on a one day tour from Bogota. The Salt Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church built completely underground and can be accessed by a walk through the inside tunnels. Take a guided tour when you get there, for the best narrative explanation of this magical place.
Lake Guatavita is a gorgeous emerald-green lake located up high in the mountains that surround it, and can only be accessed by a steep trail walk. Please note that this is a medium-intensity climbing walk, so if you have any serious health or heart conditions – I would not recommend to try it. Why is this beautiful place important to visit? Because this is the exact place where the legend of El Dorado was born (AND, it’s gorgeous!).
Villa de Leyva. This gorgeous place can be accessed by a 2,5 – 3 hours one-way drive from Bogota but a long drive is well worth it. The beauty and the architecture of this place will easily impress and enchant anyone who arrives to this magical town. And if you really hate long drives, spend an extra night in this place as there is lots to do that you cannot cover on a “short” one day tour of the town.
And finally, if you want to experience Colombia in full, check out this article: 10 Things You’ll Love to do When Travelling Colombia.
Over to you – what are your favorite places of interest to visit in Bogota? Please write your thoughts in the comments section below or even submit your own story about Colombia here!