In 2016, I wanted to visit Colombia. The country had recently become exponentially safer for travelers, and I wanted to get to it before it became overrun with tourists.
I asked my best friends, my good friends, and my dad - no one could make it happen with me. Offhand, I asked my mom and was totally caught off guard when she said she'd love to join.
So, we planned a two week trip to travel the country!
Where To Stay In Bogota
We started by flying into Bogota, the country's capital. We stayed in Zona G, in a quiet neighborhood hostel, just a short walk away from Zona Rosa/T. My mom agreed to stay in hostels to keep our trip cheap, so I used HostelWorld.com to book all our stays. For Bogota, we chose the Kozi Hostel.
It was your typical bare bones experience, but we enjoyed our stay. The staff and other travelers were super friendly, and a free breakfast was prepared for us every morning. The room was as you might imagine...lumpy mattress on the floor of a small room, with very little space to put our backpacks. Concrete walls and floors, but a window that let in the cold and sound for outside. Nonetheless, we loved it.
Our two favorite and must-do activities in Bogota were our trips to the Botero Museum and the Monserrate.
Fernando Botero is an extremely important figure in Colombian history, and he produced some really incredible, unique artwork in his time. The museum shows off some of his most famous work, and you cannot miss it. Pro Tip: Museums are free on Sundays!
The Monserrate is a huge mountain that sits in the center of Bogota. You take a cable car to the top, which is fun in itself and provides increasingly dazzling views of the city. On top, there is a church and a few restaurants. My mom and I had lunch at one of them, while looking out at what felt like the entire city from a cloud.
Weather in Bogota
The weather wasn't great in Bogota, as you can see from the pictures. Pretty cold and grey most of the time, so pants and jackets were necessary.
What Not To Do In Bogota
Finally, a few things we did in Bogota that you could definitely skip:
- La Candalaria
- Museo de Oro (Museum of Gold)
- Jardin Botanico de Bogota (Botanical Gardens)
We found the Museum of Gold to be a little boring, while the Botanical Gardens were just downright nothing. Coming from the PNW and California, we have some pretty high standards for beautiful vegetation, and Bogota is just not boasting the best.
Safety in Bogota
Walking the streets is a cultural experience in itself. I'm not sure if it was because this was our first city and we still weren't fully comfortable with being solo female travelers in a country notorious for drug-related violence, but Bogota definitely felt like the least safe city we visited. It was really only when we were walking in the Candalaria that we felt a little on edge. Nothing ever happened, though, and we felt perfectly safe elsewhere.
We spent about 2.5 days in Bogota, and that was plenty of time to get a feel for Colombia's capital city. Next up, Medellin, the unofficial culture capital of the country! Read about that adventure here.
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Pictures and events from October 2016.