"Bogotá" Top 5 Page for this destination Bogotá by acemj

Bogotá Travel Guide: 664 reviews and 1,551 photos

Visiting Bogota wasn't exactly planned. This trip was supposed to be about Ecuador, but on the morning of our departure from Philadelphia, I received a call from American Airlines informing me that there had been an accident at the Quito airport and that our flight was canceled. After learning that we wouldn't be able to get to Quito for three more days, we decided to come to Bogota instead. During our visit here, we experienced some amazing things.

Despite its well-known crime problems, Bogota is definitely safer than it used to be. The government is putting effort into cleaning up the city and beefing up security, particularly in the historic center, La Candelaria. It is also the capital of Colombia and is the center of intellectual and cultural life in the country. You'll find a cafe culture, an educated population, a growing middle class and some modern facilities throughout town. Alongside the good, you'll find the bad, like anywhere. Bogota still has its share of pollution, traffic congestion, poverty and crime. The drug trade is still a huge problem in Colombia and it is the seed behind much of the violence along and part of the reason that there is a widening gap between rich and poor.

While Bogota is a big, sprawling city it has a true heart of gold. The people are very warm and friendly and the historic center, La Candelaria, holds a great deal of charm in its colonial style buildings and its museums and squares. There is no doubt an element of danger here. As a visitor, raising your guard a little above normal and using common sense should keep you safe, but check for any new travel warnings before arriving. The northern part of the city, including the Park 93 and Zona Rosa neighborhoods are probably the safest places to stay, while they do lack a great deal of character and uniqueness.

I was traveling with my buddy from Philadelphia, Jonathan. He turned out to be a good travel partner and was very inquisitive and sociable which will be perfect here in Bogota. People are pleased to open up and talk to interested visitors. They are proud of their maddening country and happy to dish out strong opinions on the best and even the worst of what it has to offer. Their passion and honesty were very appealing to me and, I'm sure, will draw me back to Colombia in the future.

  • Last visit to Bogotá: Nov 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 31, 2007
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Reviews (33)

Comments (8)

  • Dec 29, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Nice pictures. I'm proud. Thank you, Jaime (Colombian)

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2008 at 6:27 PM

    Continental Airlines sometimes offers a weekend special to Bogota. Your page has helped me better understand what it's like -- I like the fact that people are natural and friendly.

  • Apr 7, 2008 at 8:10 AM

    I'm from Philly and will be going to Columbia in July! I'm kind of nervous...your advice helped my fear! Any other tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Very cool, a brewpub and like the tip about making calls from other's cell phones too. Look forward to checking this all out next winter. Hmm, I just might have to stay in La Candelaria. ;)

  • garridogal's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2008 at 7:59 AM

    I really enjoyed reading this page. As a child, I spent 1 1/2 mos. there back in 1969. Although edgy, it wasn't quite so dangerous then. Such a shame... I especially remember Montserrat and the Gold Museum!

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2007 at 9:27 AM

    Nice overview of Bogotá.

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2007 at 9:07 AM

    I don't know that I'm brave enough to visit Bogota so thanks for the virtual visit!

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2007 at 2:53 PM

    Nice start.... Did you pick up any Colombian Neckties?


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