Visit Bogotá – La Candelaria
La Candelaria is the old town historical area when you visit Bogotá. It includes Plaza de Bolivar, the National Capitol, Teatro Colon, the sculptures and paintings of the Botero Museum, the Candelaria Church and the Cathedral of Bogotá.
Within walking distance a few blocks south, you can see the Presidential Palace and the candy-cane style architecture of the Church of Carmen. Also within walking distance, but a few blocks to the north, you can visit the Palace & Church of San Francisco and the Gold Museum. The Gold Museum has one of the best collections of pre-Hispanic artifacts in the world.
Visit Bogotá – See the Sights
- Monserrate Sanctuary – near La Candelaria, take a cable car or funicular for great views over the city. Visit the sanctuary and restaurants in the small community at the top. Close to the cable car start is La Quinta de Bolivar – a museum in the former residence of Simon Bolivar.
- Independence Park – includes the planetarium and the Santa Maria Bull Ring.
- National Museum of Colombia and the Maloka science museum.
- Colpatria and Mirador de la Calera – observation points.
- Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park – including the Botanical Gardens of Bogotá.
Visit Bogotá – Hotel Recommendations
There are many reasonably priced accommodation options in the La Candelaria Old Town.
Visit Bogotá – More Things to Do
- Mundo Aventura – amusement park.
- Bogotá’s Ciclovia – on Sunday mornings and holidays some city streets prohibit vehicles in favor of walking and biking.
- Carnaval de Bogotá – held August 5th and 6th.
Visit Bogotá – Nearby Sights
- Take and organized Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral Tour or make your way to La Sabana station and ride a steam train to the Salt Cathedral.
- Half-Day Trip to the Salt Mine of Nemocón.
- Take a day trip to Laguna de Guatavita – a sink hole lagoon rumored to be the source of the legend of El Dorado.
- Visit a Colombian coffee plantation.
Savor the Tastes of Bogotá
- La Puerta Falsa – have a local meal or buy candy at Bogota’s most famous snack shop. It’s across the street from the Bogotá Cathedral in La Candelaria. Try cheese in your hot chocolate.
The climate of the city is predominantly influenced by its elevation on an Andean plateau at 2,700 meters (9,000 feet). Bogotá has temperatures that are roughly the same year round, with highs of around 15 C (60 F) and lows of 5 C (40 F). October is the rainiest month and January is the driest.
Visit Bogotá – Transportation
The main tourist access to Bogotá is through El Dorado International Airport (BOG). It is about a half hour from the downtown attractions and is one of the busiest airports in South America. It’s about a half hour cab ride to downtown. Arrange for a cab at a set price in the airport. Buses downtown are very inexpensive, but challenging for first time visitors to Bogotá.
Visit Bogotá – Background
Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and its largest city, with a population of about 9 million. The original inhabitants in the area were the Muiscas, but by 1553 Spanish colonization was well under way. The city is divided up into more than 20 districts. Bogotá has made great strides in changing its 1990s ranking of having been one of the most violent cities in the world . There is now a steady stream of tourists to the city.