Just north of the equator on a high plateau surrounded by the Andes, the Colombian capital of Bogotá is home to nine million people – about the same as London. No Colombia trip would be complete without exploring this Cosmopolitan, relaxed and Bohemian city. When you visit Bogotá you feel very safe on the streets. Tourist areas are well policed so you can concentrate on soaking up the unique atmosphere. The city is packed with galleries and museums to suit every taste. One of the best places to visit in Colombia is undoubtedly the Gold Museum; it holds the biggest collection of gold artefacts in the world including plates and pots, masks and models. Among the beautifully displayed collection, visitors can imagine themselves among the ancient tribes of Latin America with all their unique ceremonies and beliefs.
If you only get to visit one gallery when you visit Bogotá the Botero is the one not to be missed. There are works by many world-renowned artists including Chagall, Picasso Monet and Matisse. The star of the show is the vast number of canvasses by the nation’s premier painter, Fernando Botero, who donated more than two hundred of his and other artists’ works when he founded the museum. Modestly, the painter describes himself as, “the most Colombian of Colombians.” Seeing his art first hand is a key part of the Colombia experience.
Another is the traditional (probably thousands of years old) drink called chichi – although you’re advised to buy it from a reputable coffee bar rather than one of the many street vendors. It’s made all over South America using different recipes. In Colombia it’s a fermentation of maize and sugar and tastes quite unlike anything you’ll find in a coffee shop in the UK.
Getting around Bogotá is simple enough with taxis cheap and plentiful, and the driving style can be a Colombian adventure all on its own. The place to go for nightlife on a Bogotá city tour is La Candelaria, and when the sun goes down the place comes alive with bars, street artists and boutique restaurants. We at Avventura particularly recommend dinner at Andres D.C. A meat-eater’s delight you can enjoy a uniquely Colombian fusion of nightclub and restaurant, bar and theatre while tucking into your succulent steaks. Warning! The mojitos are dangerous.