Speak to a travel expert: +1-877-240-4770

Bogota
Travel Guide


Plan for Bogota with Local Expertise

Get a Quote

Bogota at a glance

Bogotá is the center of Colombia not just geographically, but culturally, economically, politically and gastronomically. Colombia’s capital is situated on a high mountain plain surrounded by the green peaks of the Andes, and its name derives from the ancient language of Chibcha and means “The Lady of the Shining Mountain.” Bogotá draws Colombian nationals from all corners of the country as well as tourists and travelers from around the world, all looking to explore this diverse, energetic city comprised of close to 1,000 distinct neighborhoods, each with its own character and identity. At 8,660ft (2,640m) above sea level, Bogotá is the third highest capital city in South America, after Quito in Ecuador and La Paz in Bolivia, and is dominated by the towering Monserrate mountain that rises up from its center. The mountain can be reached by cable car, offering visitors expansive panoramas out over the city.

Our Bogota Travel Experts Recommend:

  • Explore Bogota & ‘La Candelaria’ by bicycle
  • Walking Tour through the streets of Bogota
  • Private Guide - Bogota Like a Local
  • Explore the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

Experiences around Bogota

What not to miss

Bogotá has many charms, not least its enchanting historical quarter La Candelaria. The capital’s old town has long been the haunt of intellectuals, artists and the cultured classes, who flocked to the area to appreciate its unique mix of architectural styles from colonial buildings to Art Deco edifices, attend performances at La Candelaria’s many theatres or to study at its universities and in its libraries. The Gold Museum is one of Bogotá’s cultural highlights, with an incredible collection of pre-Hispanic goldwork on display. Bogotá is also known for its unparalleled food scene, which has seen the city rise to prominence as one of the culinary capitals of South America. Many of the city’s most well known restaurants are located in the Zona Rosa neighborhood, which is divided into Zona T and Parque 93.  Zona T is filled with chic cocktail bars, VIP clubs, hip pubs and trendy restaurants, while Parque 93 is perfect for a romantic night out at a quaint restaurant or wine bar. Zona Rosa is also the place to go for some retail therapy, as it has a high concentration of boutiques, shops and independent galleries. Foodies should head to Usaquén, an upmarket area with a village feel that has a host of eateries boasting world cuisine. Bargain hunters might also want to head to Usaquén on a Sunday to browse the extensive flea market that takes over the area’s main square.

Bike city tour ‘La Candelaria’

With 215 miles of bike paths in Bogotá (the largest bike path network in Latin America!), you’ll set out on this half day tour which will introduce you to the highlights of this amazing city. The colonial city center of Bogotá is known as La Candelaria and today you’ll enjoy seeing its beautifully preserved buildings, charming cobblestone streets and rich culture. While cycling through the city, you’ll stop off at the fruit market where you can try a variety of refreshing tropical fruits that you will find nowhere else in the world! You’ll also pass by and visit Plaza del Chorro where Bogota was founded, and the famous squares of Plaza Bolivar and Plaza San Victorino. From the streets of La Candelaria to the Botero Museum, parks and neighborhoods of Bogota, your local guide will be on hand to explain the history behind the various landmarks, buildings and areas as well as sharing the city’s many architectural influences.

Bogota Walking Tour

This fantastic walking tour is a brilliant, immersive way to get to know the bustling city of Bogotá. Tours take place every day from Wednesday to Sunday at 9am and offer an insightful, fun-filled and informative walk during which you will learn about history, gastronomy and architecture of this splendid Colombian city. Our walking tour is focused in La Candelaria and will take you around to the best sights. Our aim is for you to discover and experience our city through the eyes of a local ‘Bogotano’ and learn about our culture and customs as well as the tragedies that changed our city. Join this tour to discover what Bogotá has to offer and let the Colombian and Latino atmosphere seep in.

Classic Bogota City Tour

This tour combines the most important sites of Bogotá with the spectacular salt cathedral of Zipaquira. In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel to start this very complete tour of the historical center of Bogotá. You will be taken to the Plaza Bolivar, with its historical governmental buildings and the oldest church of Bogotá. You will continue to El Chorro de Quevedo, where Bogotá was originally founded and walk through the small beautiful alleys of the center to the Gold Museum.

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral

You will be picked up from your hotel to start your half day excursion to Colombia’s First Wonder, the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral. The journey from Bogotá will take you through typical “sabana” landscape to the colonial town of Zipaquira, where you will visit this remarkable underground Salt Cathedral that was carved out of a working salt mine. The cathedral is reached by a series of tunnels and at its deepest point is 590ft. below ground, where the cavernous naves will swallow you whole as the sheer size of each room and detail of the salt sculptures leave you speechless. Your local guide will talk you through the history of the salt mine and provide you with the hidden details and meaning behind some of the salt sculptures. From outside the Salt Cathedral you’ll be able to enjoy an aerial view of the terracotta rooftops of the City of Salt, Zipaquira, which is one of Colombia’s historical and cultural heritage sites. The best time to visit is early in the morning when there is less traffic and the Salt Mine and Cathedral are not as busy. You can arrange the exact time of the tour when you meet with our representative at the beginning of your trip.

Fast Facts on Bogota

USEFUL TRAVELER INFORMATION

This section is a quick overview to help in planning your trip to Bogotá.

When to go

Bogotá can be visited all year round, but the driest months are between December and March, so this is an ideal time to head to Colombia’s capital. Because of Bogotá’s high-altitude location close to the equator it is a city without seasons, so daylight levels are usually pretty consistent all year round. Bogotá is known for being generally overcast and dull and the city receives large amounts of annual rainfall, so be sure and bring a raincoat and umbrella in case you get stuck out in a shower. Bogotá’s rainy season runs from April to July, but be prepared for rain at any time of the year. In general, the temperatures do not vary into extremes, and you can expect an average low in the mid 40’s and an average high in the mid 60’s in Bogotá. Bogotá is busiest in July and August during the city’s Carnival, so plan around this if you want to avoid the crowds.

How to get there

Bogotá’s newly renovated El Dorado Airport receives both international and domestic flights and is located about 8 miles (13km) away from the city center. There are many domestic flights that operate inside Colombia, and these will be arranged for you as part of your itinerary. If you arrive in Bogotá by bus, you will likely be dropped off in the main bus terminal, Terminal de Buses, or at El Portal del Norte, depending on the bus company and where you are arriving from. Buses between Colombian cities are common, but if this is part of your itinerary we will arrange the tickets and transfers for you. Almost every city in Colombia has a bus service to Bogotá.

Infrastructure

Bogotá is a highly developed and Westernized city, and as such has a sophisticated tourist infrastructure. No matter what type of accommodation you are looking for, Bogota has something for everyone, as you would expect from any capital. The most luxurious hotels are located in the Zona Rosa area, while more affordable lodgings can be found in La Candelaria. The most efficient way to get around Bogota is to use the Transmilenio bus system which operates thousands of bus routes. However, if you are worried about pickpockets who travel on the bus, it is advisable to take a taxi, as taxis are cheap and safe, as long as you book them through a private service by phone. Uber is also operational in Bogotá. Foodies will delight in the seasonal produce and exotic fruits that can be found in the Colombian capital, so have a scout around to see what is on the shelves during your trip.

Tour Package Connections with Bogota

Class Adventure Travel gets you the best Latin America has to offer!