Under the backdrop of the Andes Mountains sits the colorful city of Bogota. Perched at 8,600 feet of elevation, this city will literally take your breath away. From the cobblestone streets of La Candelaria in the city center to the lush farmlands just over the mountains from the hustle and bustle of the city, there is plenty to do and see as you explore Bogota.
Explore Bogota – Must Do’s
Drive through the mountains and hike La Chorrera
Nestled in the Andes mountains are miles and miles of farmland with cows, wildflowers, and majestic views. Colombia’s tallest waterfall, La Chorrera, sits high above the countryside. Hike just over 4 miles in and out of the well-maintained trails and enjoy stories of the region’s history. Local guides are stationed along the hike just waiting to tell you the legends of their ancestors (in Spanish of course).
Wander La Candelaria
Enjoy the amazing graffiti art coloring the city streets just below the mountains. Walk through La Candelaria and visit Bolivar Plaza, the Gold Museum, and local shops.
From what I gather Tejo is a noun and a verb. It is a place and it is a game. Think cornhole (or bags) but with gunpowder and metal disks. Gather a group of friends and tejo. The process is easy. You start by purchasing a large quantity of beer and are assigned to a tejo pit. (I don’t actually know the name for the field/track/alley on which you play Tejo, but I’m going to call it a pit because it is dirty and smelly.) Take turns, alternating teams, throwing your metal disk across the pit. The goal is to hit closest to the center of the clay board. The closest disk to the center at the end of a round earns one point. If you hit the mecha (pink triangles filled with gunpowder) and an explosion occurs, you score 3 points. Get the puck in the center circle and you score 6 points and the round immediately ends. If you’re skilled enough to hit a mecha, cause an explosion, and stick to the center circle, you score a whopping 9 points. The first team to 21 points wins.
There are tejo joints scattered around the city. We visited Club de Tejo 76 and had a great time. This location offers full-sized courts on the first floor and smaller courts upstairs. I’d recommend the smaller courts for your first tejo. There is no website, but they are on google maps at 56, Ak. 24#76, Bogota.
Grab Lunch at Misia
My favorite meal in Bogota was a quick lunch at Misia after visiting the National Museum. The atmosphere was super cute and the food was amazing.
Walk, Run, or Cycle on Sunday Mornings and Holidays
Every Sunday from 7am-2pm many city streets shut down to cars and are opened up for Ciclovia. The air clears of automobile pollution and runners, bikers, and skaters fill the streets for some exercise.
Explore Bogota – Where to stay?
We were lucky enough to be visiting and staying with friends on our visit to Bogota. We stayed in Chico Norte, which is a nice, safe area in the northern part of the city. There were plenty of good restaurants nearby, and with Uber, transportation was cheap and easy.
Dinner suggestions near Chico/Chico Norte include: Italian @ La Fabbrica, Burgers @ La Xarcuteria, and Pizza @ Da Quei Matti. All offer good food, great atmosphere, and cheap prices. Try the Limonada Coco for a sweet and refreshing drink.
We enjoyed Sunday brunch and spent the afternoon browsing the market near Usaquen and really enjoyed that area as well.
Explore Bogota – Tips
- Use Uber. Although it isn’t technically legal in Bogota, Uber is a safe, reliable, and cheap mode of transportation. Public transportation is not considered safe. Pickpockets and armed robbery on buses are common and even Taxis can target visitors.
- Altitude sickness is common for visitors. Don’t push yourself too hard physically the first few days in Bogota and make sure to hydrate.
- Air pollution can get pretty bad during peak rush hour times. If you struggle with asthma, be sure to carry your inhaler.