Bogota Tourism...
A visit to the Athens of South America

The number of Bogota tourism options is so vast a varied as to overwhelm the senses.

Capital of Colombia, the Federal District - formerly known as Santa Fe de Bogota - is a modern a vibrant metropolis of about eight million people, with a very rich cultural life and all the comfort you could expect from any modern city.

Bogota. Colombia
Sunset at Bogota. Colombia © Gunther Beck/Istockphoto

In fact, due to its number of libraries and universities, Bogota has become known as "The Athens of South America".

Its architecture reflects XVII century Spanish colonial and Baroque styles, most evident in the historic neighborhood of La Candelaria, in downtown Bogota. In the 1930s, however, a new style developed, when Colombia started to embrace modern architecture.

It became known as "Republican Architecture", with the Teatro Colón as one of the finest and most lavish examples of this trend.

To give you a broader vision about what to include in your Bogota tourism experience, let's mention some facts surrounding the city...

Other facts include the Ciclovía (world’s largest bicycling network, with nearly 300km), over sixty museums and art galleries, fifty shopping malls, many, many parks and world-class restaurants to suit every taste.

Bogota Tourism

Moving to specifics now, what follows is a suggested list of attractions that shall be part of your Bogota tourism experience, beginning with the Botero Museum, the largest permanent exhibition of his artwork in the world.

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Fernando Botero (Medellín, 1932) is the most iconic figure of Colombian Art ever. His oversized, voluptuous Renaissance-inspired portraits, reflected in drawings, paintings and sculptures, are part of every major collection of artwork worldwide.

La Candelaria district, Bogota. Colombia
La Candelaria District © Proexport Colombia

When ready to expand Bogota tourism to the surrounding area, here are some attractions to include...

Originally inhabited by the Muisca people - part of the Chibchan culture, who spoke the Chibcha language (to some linguists, older than the Aramaic language) - the actual Bogota was born as Santa Fe de Bacatá, founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada in 1538.

Observe the city map here.

Bogota seats at an altitude of 2,640 m.a.s.l. which makes it the 3rd. highest capital in South America, after La Paz (Bolivia) and Quito (Ecuador). It has a moderate temperature ranging from 12º C (54º F) to 18º C (64º F).

La Candelaria. Bogota. Colombia
La Candelaria, Bogota by Pedro Szekely . CC BY-SA 2.0

How to Get There

Largest and busiest airport for domestic and international traffic in Colombia, el Dorado International (BOG) is located 15km to the West of city center. There is a 2nd airport - Guaymaral (GYM) - suitable for small aircrafts.

As for ground transportation, the bus terminal - Terminal de Transporte Bogota - is divided into modules, Yellow to the South of Colombia, Blue to East and West and Red to the North and international destinations in South America. It is located near Ciudad Salitre (Fontibón) and well connected to city center by a network of buses and colectivos.

Where to Stay

From high-end to modest, all options are available - over three hundred of them - so you will surely find something suitable to your needs and budget. Find and compare best hotel rates in Bogota.
In terms of budget accommodation, review and book your hostel here.


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