"Bogota" Colombia Favorite Tip by traveldave

Colombia General: 65 reviews and 53 photos


Favorite thing: The area that would eventually become Bogota was first settled by the local Muiscas Indians, and their settlement, called Bacatá, was the center of their civilization.

The Spanish, lured by gold, arrived in South America in the 1500s to establish colonies. In 1538, a Spanish settlement was founded by Gonzálo Jiménez de Quesada on the site of the former Muiscas settlement. The new Spanish settlement was called Santa Fé de Bacatá. (Santa Fé was the town in Spain that Jiménez was from). Eventually, Bacatá was corrupted to Bogota, and its official name became Santa Fé de Bogota.

Bogota was elevated to the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada, which was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru at the time. Later it became the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Grenada. The city became one of the most important centers of power in Spain's South American colonies.

From 1810 to 1811, the inhabitants revolted against Spanish rule, declared their independence, and set up their own government. However, internal turmoil and revolts led to the Spanish re-conquest in 1816. The country remained under Spanish rule until Simón Bolívar defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Boyacá in 1819.

After the Spanish were permanently expelled, Bogota became the capital of the Republic of Gran Colombia, which included the present-day countries of Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Eventually, the Republic of Gran Colombia was broken up, and Bogota became the capital of the new nation of Colombia.

Since Bogota was the most important city in Colombia politically, economically, and culturally, it quickly grew, sprawling over most of the Bogota Savanna, which is a highland plateau on which the city sits. In 1956, Bogota and most of its suburbs became a "Special District." In 1991, it was changed to a "Capital District." In 2000, the official name was changed from Santa Fé de Bogota to just Bogota.

Nowadays, Bogota is a sprawling city with about 8,250,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area. At an elevation of 8,661 feet (2,640 meters), it is the third-highest capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia and Quito, Ecuador.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 30, 2009
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