Authored by Jess Signut
You’re in the market for your next vacation and wondering where to go. You’re thinking forest trekking, dramatic Andean peaks, and a cobbled historic downtown. Perhaps somewhere in Colombia! And if your Colombia travel guide points to the sub-tropical climate of Bogota, then this post is for you.
These are the top 5 things to do in this beautiful Latin American city.
Top 5 Things To Do In Bogota
Gold Museum, Bogota
The Gold Museum is exactly that; a museum dedicated to gold. Exhibits house pre-Hispanic metal work, made entirely out of gold, and as the biggest exhibit of gold in the world, you may need to set aside a few hours just to scratch the surface.
Other exhibits are dedicated to shell, stone, wood, pottery and more, and there are also many tributes to indigenous cultures that once roamed the lands of Bogota.
The great thing about this museum is the fact that they are bilingual and offer tours and exhibit descriptions in both Spanish and English. Despite there being an impressive 60,000 pieces already on exhibit, this monstrous museum is currently undergoing an expansion.
There is a shop and restaurant onsite for those who didn’t plan for lunch, or want to spend a bit on a souvenir and grab a little bit of gold for themselves!
If you’ve ever seen Christ the Redeemer on the gorgeous mountainside of Rio de Janeiro then this attraction may be for you. Known as Guadalupe Hill, this statue is stylized in a similar manner, and is of none other than Guadalupe herself, a figure of significant religious importance in Colombia.
Located in downtown Bogota against the mountainside of Monserrate, there is also a sanctuary near the landmark with a small chapel only accessible via an unpaved road which leads up the hill.
Colombian National Museum
You may be thinking, “enough of the museums!”, though the largest and oldest museum in Colombia, this deserves a mention.
Housing collections on Bogota’s history, art and culture, popular exhibits include an authentic mummy on display, as well as 20,000 other works of art and artifacts. The museum focuses heavily on archaeology in order to educate visitors on the city’s past, and permanent exhibitions present archaeology and ethnography samples from Colombian artifacts dating back to 10,000 years BC.
There is even a Chinese Terracotta Army exhibit that features 7 of the statues.
Bogota International Film Festival
Film junkies who love international films may want to consider attending the Bogota International Film Festival.
A premiere annual event which has been running for over 3 decades and draws A-Lister’s from around the globe, this film festival is one of the largest festivals in Colombia, and natives of Colombia have even taken home the gold. The type of award given at this ceremony is called the Circulo Precolombino, also known as the Pre-Columbian Circle.
The Bogota Short Film Festival is quite new to the movie scene, though you will still find some of the more popular winning motion pictures on Netflix for those wishing to brush up on recent films. Though if you’re planning to stream them online while in your Bogota hotel room, you may have to unblock Netflix to access it while overseas.
Cascada La Chorrera
Colombia’s tallest waterfall, La Chorrera is about as close to the beach as you’ll get in Bogota. This is truly a hidden local gem which is normally forgotten by tourists and travel guides; a lovely forest trek with amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
If you’re brave enough to swim once there, brace yourself. The water is chilly despite the tropical climate! You’re also able to pre-order a meal for after your trip back down as you’ll probably be parched and starved. The walk takes between 45-75 minutes each way depending on speed.
Why Travel to Bogota
Bogota is a beautiful Latin American city which sure does have nature on its side. The climate and temperatures here are beautiful year-round, the Andes Mountains offer stunning views, and backpackers and hikers have access to an unprecedented amount of untouched lush land, some of Colombia’s finest.
Those who do not travel here are sorely missing out!
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Featured Photo CC by Rosalba Tarazona