Best of Bogota – See it All in One Day

After decades of internal strife, Colombia is once again tranquil, thriving and safe. Tourist is playing a big role in Colombia’s recovery; while other South American nations saw their visitor numbers decrease in 2009, the variety of visitors to Colombia climbed up by seven percent.

Bogota, the capital city and the country’s economic and cultural center, provides amazing opportunities for visitors. It has more than two lots museums, numerous parks, a wealth of colonial architecture, and some of the hottest night life in South America. If you have two weeks to spend in Bogota, you’ll discover something new to see and do each and every single day.

But exactly what if you’ve just got a day? Noted listed below are the “must-sees,” Bogota’s best destinations. All are clustered within and near La Candelaria, the old colonial heart of the city. There’s more great news, too: La Candelaria is just a brief, economical taxi flight from Bogota’s El Dorado Airport.

Cerro de Monserrate First stop: Monserrate. This Roman Catholic Sanctuary, situated 2,000 feet above Bogota, is accessed by means of either a cog rail or cable car. From this mountaintop the vast panorama of Bogota spreads out prior to you. It’s an incredible view, but Monserrate has its own appeals, including a splendid church, magnificent gardens, and dozens of shops where you can anticipate local crafts.

Bolivar Plaza This large area is the heart of Colombia. It is surrounded by the Catedral Primada (the nation’s “first cathedral”), the Colombian Home and Senate, and the Supreme Court. Just one block away is Casa de Narino, home of the Colombian President. The plaza is constantly aswirl with activity; you’ll find chains of school kids making their way among the structures, picketing (and serene) protestors, travelers, government workers and the dapperly-dressed elite. From here it’s a pleasant walk to the other must-sees.

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Museum of Colonial Art Found in an amazing colonial estate, this museum homes numerous pieces from the time of the conquest and the early settlement of Colombia.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Center Colombians are justly proud of their Nobel Prize-winning author, whose works are celebrated throughout the world. This brand-new facility offers extensive details on the author, whose books consist of 100 Years of Privacy and Love in the Time of Cholera. Stop by to find out more about the author, and to have a cup of good Colombian coffee in the open air cafe.

Botero Museum Fernando Botero is Colombia’s best known artist, well-known for his depictions in paint and sculpture of “the fat ones.” The Botero Museum houses the artist’s own collection of artwork, consisting of a thunder-jowled Mona Lisa. The museum likewise includes works by Picasso, Monet, Renoir and Matisse.

Museum of Gold This incredible museum is home to more than 30,000 pieces of pre-Columbian artwork, consisting of the popular raft of Guatavita, source of the El Dorado legend. The Gold Museum is found on one of downtown Bogota’s busiest plazas, the website of an informal market for Colombia’s well-known emeralds (and for its equally well-known phonies!).

Colombia is still a deal. Simply keep in mind: when you get hungry, avoid the American-style dining establishments and instead pick among the regional favorites. A McDonald’s hamburger, for example, chooses US$ 7, and fails to live up to the dubious requirements of its American origins. La Candelaria’s Restaurante Masiz, on the other hand, serves a four-course Colombian meal with veggies and fresh-squeezed fruit juice for $3.

The coffee is great too – naturally. Oma and Juan Valdez are the big chains (they are the Starbucks of Colombia), but try a locally-owned store. At Coffee shop Negro the service is as fun as the coffee is rich.

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