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.
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