Holidays in Bogota
Going for Gold
Holidays in Bogota: From Gold to Graffiti
Bogota is the capital city of Colombia and the country’s largest city. With almost eight million inhabitants it’s one of the biggest cities in South America, and is at the centre of Colombian political and cultural life. Situated in the centre of Colombia at an altitude of 2640m on a plateau known as the Sabana de Bogota just west of the Andes, the city experiences a year round spring-like climate where the flowers are always in bloom.
Bogota is characterised by the great variety of its barrios, or neighbourhoods: the tall modern buildings of the Centro Internacional are right next to the bohemian Macarena district, which is home to the iconic Plaza de Toros. The lovely colonial centre is called La Candelaria and has the oldest buildings in the city, as well as the government and congress buildings. Here you’ll find some of the best of Colombia’s architectural heritage and fantastic museums, including arguably the most impressive collection of Pre-Columbian art in the world at the amazing Gold Museum.
Holidays and Tours in Bogota
All our holidays and tours of Colombia can be 100% tailor-made, so just get in touch to plan your tours in Bogota.
Where to Stay in Bogota
Although there are some nice boutique hotels in La Candelaria, staying there can be a little restrictive in terms of options for restaurants and other facilities. Many people on holiday in Bogota choose to stay in other parts of the city, even if they are a little further afield from the major 'sights'.
As you move north from La Candelaria, you start to find a much bigger range of hotel options, and also much more in the way of cafes, shops, bars and restaurants. For example, Chapinero, just a mile or so north of the historic centre is arguably the best area of Bogota for fine dining, but just a little further north in Zona Rosa and the leafy area around Parque de la 93 you'll find a really good selection of mid-range and upper-tier hotels, together with the city's best nightlife.
Things to do in Bogota
Bogota is a surprisingly attractive city, from the leafy northern districts, to the fantastic colonial and republican architecture of La Candelaria. It also has Colombia's best museums and some fantastic nightlife...
At the heart of Bogota is the original colonial settlement of Santa Fe de Bogota, nowadays known as La Candelaria. A lively area of cobbled streets, brightly-painted colonial houses and grand public buildings, it's the number one destination for any trip to Bogota. From the lively street performances in small squares like Chorro de Quevedo, to the grand Plaza de Bolivar, with its giant two-tone Cathedal.
Undoubtedly the most popular tour of Bogota, however, is to the world-famous Gold Museum. Housing the world's biggest collection of pre-Hispanic gold artefacts, it offers a breathtaking look at the skill and craftmanship of South America on the eve of the Spanish Conquest, including the famous Muisca Golden Raft, which depicts the El Dorado ceremony.
The Monserrate Cable-Car
In many ways, Bogota is defined by the mountains around it, and one of the great things to do on any holiday in Bogota is to catch the cable-car up to the chapel at the top of the Cerro de Monserrate to the east of the city. The base station is in La Candelaria, and the birds-eye views back across the city from the summit at 3160m are amazing. There is also a funicular railway to the summit, but this currently only runs on Sundays and public holidays in Colombia, so for most trips it's the cable-car or a rather long and roundabout road journey to get to the top.
Simon Bolivar Park
North-west of the centre, the huge Simon Bolivar park is the green lungs of Bogota - a huge, leafy park with a large boating lake and public events spaces. If you're not a person for organised tours, and you'd rather just kick back like the locals on your trip, it's a great place for a stroll.
Travel To and From Bogota
Some great news at the start of 2014 was that the national airline Avianca restarted direct flights from Heathrow to Bogota. Avianca are an excellent airline and so this is definitely our preferred option for flights to Bogota.
Alternatively, you can fly from the UK (including from many regional airports) via Paris with Air France, via Amsterdam with KLM, via Frankfurt with Lufthansa, via Madrid with Iberia, or various US airports with airlines such as American, Delta and United.
As you'd expect from Colombia's capital, Bogota's connections with the rest of the country are excellent, with flights to just about every corner of Colombia. There are also a growing number of direct flights to other South American cities, including Cusco and Rio as well as more or less every capital city in South America.
Transport Within Bogota
Bogota's public transport system has at its centre the excellent TransMilenio rapid bus network. The buses run in dedicated lanes and are by far the quickest way to get around the city. Handily for tourists, Line A of the TransMilenio links La Candelaria with the northern districts such as Chapinero and Zona Rosa, so if you're not doing organised tours of Bogota it can be a perfect way to get from your hotel to the sights.
Weather & Climate in Bogota
Bogota has a spring-like climate more or less all year, although because of the altitude it rarely gets as warm here as you might expect from the tropical location. In July and August it can get rather cool at night, but daytime temperatures are fine throughout the year.
Probably the main thing is to avoid the spring and autumn rainy seasons, as Bogota can be rather damp at these times of year. All in all, the best time for a holiday in Bogota is probably over December and January - fancy Christmas in Colombia?
Tailor-made Bogota Holidays
All our holidays to Colombia are 100% tailormade, so if you'd like to customise any of the tours of Bogota you see here, or just plan a trip completely from scratch then get in touch and let us know - we'll be delighted to help you plan your perfect holiday in Bogota!
Did you know?
The Teusaquillo neighbourhood of Bogota contains whole streets of British-style semi-detached houses, built in the 1920s and 1930s. It's the only place like it in South America and can be extremely disorientating for those of us from the UK!