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.
With 215 miles of bike paths in Bogotá (the most extensive bike path network in Latin America!), you’ll set out on this half-day tour which will introduce you to the highlights of this fantastic 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 vibrant 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.
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 beautiful 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.
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 founded initially, and walk through the small beautiful alleys of the center to the Gold Museum.
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 a 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 lowest 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 information 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.
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 40s 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.
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. Many domestic flights 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 frequent, 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.
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.