High up in the Andean Highlands peaks, lies the bustling and busy city of Bogota. The capital of Colombia is home to eight million residents is a hot spot for gastronomy with chefs whipping up mouth-watering melanges of traditional and foreign ingredients. Pull up a seat to the Colombian table because there is much to be tasted. Munch on empanadas served hot from the street or salted green mangos. In the mornings, hot chocolate is served with cheese and cornbread. A wander through the labyrinth of the Paloquemado Market will give you an idea of the sheer variety and fresh variety of fruits and vegetables that the city’s chefs have to choose from. The fruits are so sweet, a treat from mother nature. There’s even zones, or areas, that are specifically known for their immense and delectable, selection of restaurants. Knock back a cup of coffee and get the jolt of energy needed to explore this vibrant city.
Wander through the colonial area of La Candelaria and admire the beautiful architecture. Spanish churches attract the faithful. The Plaza Bolivar is surrounded by a 19th century cathedral and other architectural masterpieces. Learn about the history of the country in the National Museum or see the thousands of pieces of glittering gold artifacts at the Museum of Gold. Admire the works of global artists Picasso, Renoir, Dali, Matisse, and Monet at the Botero Museum.
Shop for emeralds, the green gem popular in Colombia. Urban living is alive and well in Bogota. But at night the city really wakes up. Doors of nightclubs and bars set among old homes open, offering cocktails and a carefree evening. Cumbia is the Colombian musical export and the locals love to dance.
Snow-capped mountains soar beyond the city. The little towns outside of Bogota, offer a variety of climates and terrains. Further north, the town of Barichara is a treasure trove of colonial history. Whitewashed homes with red tiled roofs, sit on cobblestone streets. The village of Guaduas was founded in 1572 and feels like a travel back into time. The white church is flanked by towering palms.
Venture out to explore the vast and varied landscape. Hike past crystal clear lagoons and rivers in the Chingaza Natural Park. Hummingbirds hover above flowers and rabbits bounce through fields. Colombia is the second largest flower exporter in the world. The indigenous people here believed the area to be sacred. See the largest glacial mass in the country at the Cocuy Natural Park. Lakes, sit between icy mountains and valleys, reflecting the rocky hills on their still surfaces, making a hiker feel they are far away from the buzz and bustle of Bogota.