Busy First Day in Bogotá

Museo Del oro

We had a whirlwind three day tour of Bogotá, Colombia’s capital and biggest city with a population of 6.7 million! With so much to do and little time, we enjoyed a busy first day in Bogotá, visiting museums, salsa clubs and meeting new people.

Where We Stayed

We had an easy flight from Cartagena, and took a taxi to our lodgings in Bogotá. We’re couchsurfing with a friendly, interesting and generous guy named Robin, who was a big part of making our first day here so much fun. He has a roommate who is on crutches, Anna Maria, and 3 cats. His apartment takes up the 2nd floor of a building in the heart of a great neighborhood called Chapinero. We chose a place in Chapinero, a barrio north of the city centre which has good nightlife and lots of restaurants, because we like the convenience of walking at night.

Despite arriving to Bogotá in the middle of the afternoon, we saw some of the city and started to get acclimated, but I think it will take a bit longer because the elevation of Bogotá is over 2,6000 meters above sea level.

Bogota Map
Bogota Barrio Map

After traveling and settling in, we didn’t get into the city until 2pm but we still managed to see and do a bit to get acclimated. We enjoyed a rewarding first day in Bogotá.

Amazing Bogotá Lunch

I highly recommend our lunch spot, which we found without using a guidebook. We wandered the city and growing hungry and saw a bunch of young people crowding a restaurant. Good sign! Ricasole Al Carbon is a Colombian restaurant and a carnivore’s paradise. We shared the lunch plate, minced meat al carbon, meaning barbeque style. We couldn’t finish the minced meat plate it was so big. The food was delicious and filled us for two meals because we never ate dinner:

BBQ lunch Ricasole
Lunch for 2 in Bogota

Bogotá Gold Museum

After the lunch we hit the Museo de Oro, widely acclaimed as the best museum in Bogotá. The museum showcases the rich history of gold and gold mining in Bogotá and the outlying region. They certainly do have their fair share of gold (oro is gold in Spanish).

We took the 4pm English tour with a pretty funny guide who was obsessed with hallucinogens and burials. The quantity and quality of gold was very impressive.

During the tour, we learned a lot about the beliefs of the different Colombian cultural groups and what they molded out of gold: lots of birds, animals and other things. I quite liked the flying animals.

Museo Del oro
Gold Flying Creatures

The highlight is The Offering, a solid gold depiction of the much bigger gold sled they used in ancient ceremonies to praise the gods. Peasants found this artifact in a cave in 1969 and their priest told them to contact the museum, which paid them for the piece. They aren’t peasants anymore I’d guess.

Museo Del Oro First Day in Bogota
The Offering

The Streets of Bogotá

Outside the museum, we saw llamas in the street and took some photos. I think the llamas were a tourist attraction. My guess is for some money you could pose with them or even ride one if you’re small enough. We didn’t investigate.

Llamas outside Museo del Oro

Bogotá Bar Crawl

We had a great first night in Bogotá! Our French-Colombian host Robin took us on a bar crawl through the Chapinero neighborhood.

We kicked off the crawl with a stop at Mi Tierra, a unique bar in a thrift shop.

Mi Tierra, Chapinero
Entrance to Mi Tierra in Chapinero

Mi Tierra’s owner is a collector. Some might call him a hoarder, but wow is this place interesting! Since we were the only customers, we freely walked around the store checking out everything he had on sale. He took some photos of us and swears they’ll be up on his Facebook page in no time! Collections ranged from kitchenware to posters to outdated technology. Mi Tierra was a fun start to our Bogotá bar crawl.

Mi Tierra interior
Some of the items inside Mi Tierra

We ended our bar crawl at a salsa club, El Titicó. Brian really wanted to go salsa dancing after my experience in Cali, but we were too tired to join in on the action even though the dance floor was full. I snapped a photo of Brian with our host Robin and another couchsurfer from France named Cecile.

Salsa Bar Titico
Robin, Cecile and Brian at the Salsa Bar

It was a long day but a fun one! If our first day in Bogotá is any indication, these three days will fly by.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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