As Colombia’s capital and largest city in Colombia, Bogota is a hub for all things cultural, historic and artistic. So it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most fascinating places to explore. Here are a few of the most interesting ways to experience this sophisticated metropolis — and they’re all available as part of Coddiwomple Journeys’ Discover Colombia (https://coddiwomplejourneys.com/discover-colombia/), an easily customizable itinerary that showcases some of the nation’s most exciting attractions and experiences.
Bogota is heaven for art lovers. You can view more than a hundred works by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist, at the Museo Botero (Botero Museum), which exhibits his paintings, drawings and sculptures. His 20th century works include a variety of his famously rotund representations of men and women — including his 1978 interpretation of an especially round-faced Mona Lisa. The museum, located in the historic neighborhood called La Candelaria, also displays dozens of works by other renowned artists, including Salvador Dali, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso.
You can also take in an array of noteworthy artwork at the Museo Nacional de Colombia (National Museum of Colombia), Bogota’s largest and oldest museum, which is set interestingly in a former prison. Dramatic arches, domes and elegant columns provide an attractive backdrop for exhibits that ranges from pre-Hispanic artifacts to colonial-era portraits to modern and contemporary Colombian art. The museum also has a collection of work by artists including Picasso, Henry Moore and Rembrandt. Coddiwomple’s expert guides are well versed at providing visitors with an especially informed view of the local art scene.
Go For the Gold
Bright, shiny objects —thousands of them — are the big draw at the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum), a Bogota must-see that houses stunningly beautiful displays of pre-Columbian gold artifacts. It’s probably the largest public display of its type in the world. The collection is so vast — more than 55,000 piece in all — that only about 6,000 are on display at any given time, but even that is more than enough to make your jaw drop. Intricate jewelry, decorative items and artwork are among the creative interpretations on view here — and a guided tour with Coddiwomple Journeys is the best way to make sure you don’t miss the most noteworthy pieces.
Hop on a Bicycle
Bogota’s forward-thinking urban attitude is evident in many aspects of local life — and one of the most visible is the Ciclovía, the weekly event during which the city government closes off a number of main boulevards and streets on Sundays, to allow cyclists, pedestrians, roller skaters, joggers and skateboarders to enjoy more space. Bogota, in fact is credited with being the first major city in Latin America to start this practice. An extensive network of permanent bike lanes also makes it easy for visitors to hop on a bicycle, whether for a guided city tour or a quick jaunt around town. Coddiwomple’s itineraries that include a Sunday in Bogota include participation in the Ciclovia, making it easier to get your own set of local wheels.
Browse the Market
Bogota is heaven for shoppers — and for interesting handicrafts and souvenirs, it’s hard to beat the selection at the Sunday flea market in Usaquén, a popular neighborhood in the northern part of the city. Once a stand-alone town before the city annexed it in 1954, Usaquén is a lovely place to stroll, shop and admire Spanish colonial architecture. And it’s a featured stop on Coddiwomple Journeys itineraries.
One of the most visually striking attractions in the region is an easy day trip just outside the city of Bogota. The Catedral de Sal (Salt Cathedral) is a fascinating cathedral, built 220 yards deep inside a former salt mine in the hills above the charming town of Zipaquirá. In addition to being a Catholic pilgrimage destination, the cathedral is an important tourist attraction, thanks to its unique setting and dramatically lit icons and architectural details carved into the halite rock. You just might think you’ve stepped inside a movie set, but remember, this is a real church. The cathedral is included in the Coddiwomple Journeys itinerary, as a memorable stop en route to the colonial town of Villa de Leyva.