Why To Visit Bogota

As Colombia’s capital city, many people fly in and fly out of Bogota to more glamorous Colombian destinations but I recommend staying for a few days. We liked Bogota so much we returned for a second visit this summer and loved it even more. Now, with two multi-day visits almost exactly five years apart, here’s what we loved and why to visit Bogota.

Monserrate

Many people hike up this hill with great views of the city, but we chose to ride up on our first day due to the altitude. And even then, after years living at sea level, I got dizzy and light-headed up there. Monserrate is over 3,000 meters above sea level, with great views of Bogota. It is the site of a 17th century church, and is a big tourist attraction which can be reached by cable car, funicular, or hiking. We did the cable car up and funicular down, but I’m sure the hike is good once you’re acclimated to the altitude.

View from Monserrate
View from Monserrate
Church at Monserrate Bogota
The church at Monserrate

The views are stunning, the church is pretty, and Monserrate has a whole section of restaurants serving Colombian food and drink. If we’d known, we would have waited to eat lunch! Even with the dizziness and general discomfort from altitude adjustment, Monserrate was a pleasure to visit and the intermittent showers made for some moody photographs.

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The Grenadines Are Perfect for Cruising

We love the Grenadines for many reasons. Brian and I were married there in 2004, and there are so many reasons to visit this group of tropical islands in the eastern Caribbean, especially because the Grenadines are perfect for cruising.

church Union Island
The church where we got married on Union Island

This was our third visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. For our 10th wedding anniversary, we returned to the Grenadines and chartered a sailboat with friends. We loved sailing there then and we had a great time this July sailing the islands again.

Here’s some of the reasons I think you should visit The Grenadines, especially by boat!

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Manizales Town and Termales

After a fantastic night’s sleep at the finca, yesterday’s plan was to explore the nearby town of Manizales and local hot springs, or termales. We had a great day and are so glad we visited Manizales town and termales.

Manizales Landscape

Manizales is part of a beautiful landscape but I could never live here. The driving up and down and around winding mountains is too much for my motion sickness! I have taken gravol before every single drive into and out of this coffee farm and I am still feeling it!

visit to the town

We took the Hacienda Venecia van to the highway and the lovely Angela from the hotel accompanied us into town. We hitched a ride with a collectivo jeep for a 15 minute journey that cost 5000 COP for the two of us (about $2.20 Canadian). Cool trip – the views along the mountains are lovely. I just would be addicted to Gravol if I lived here.

We walked around the town a bit, visited some plazas and a cathedral.

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A Bogotá Experience at Andrés DC

Don’t trust everything you read. About a half hour north of Bogota is a very famous restaurant called Andrés Carne de Res, considered one of the many recommended things to do in Bogota. Yet, because of its distance from the city, we determined was too far for us to go. We resigned ourselves to missing this one. Well, last night we were having a beer at a local brewery in a Bogotá barrio called Zona Rosa and noticed that Andrés DC, an outpost of this famous restaurant, was right around the corner from us. Lonely Planet said it wasn’t worth it if you couldn’t go to the original. We threw aside our fears and ignored Lonely Planet. Good choice. We had a great time and a true Bogotá experience at Andrés DC!

Exterior of Andres DC in Bogota
Exterior of Andres DC
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A Bogota Bike Tour And the Food to Fuel It

Today was a beautiful day in Bogota, so we experienced the city on two wheels with a Bogota bike tour.

Biking in Bogota

Sunday is a big day for cyclists in Bogota Colombia because they close the streets to cars. You heard me right! A big chunk of main streets in Bogota are shut down for pedestrians and cyclists for Ciclovia, and we wanted to be part of it! Since we don’t travel with bikes, we participated in a bike tour with Bogota Bike Tours. For 35,000 COP (less than $16 Canadian), we got a 5 hour ride around the city with a lot of facts and fun!

Fuel for the Bike Tour

The best way to get ready for a bike tour is to eat! Since we didn’t eat dinner last night because of our massive lunch, we stopped at a street with lots of Colombian restaurants. We wanted an authentic breakfast and got it at La Puerta de La Tradicion. We consumed coffee, a milk soup called changua (which was delicious) and chorizo. The food was good, the service was too, and from there it was a quick walk to the bike shop.

Bogota Bike Tour

The English language bike tour left around 10:40am from Bogotá Bike Tours and took us approximately 8KM around the city, with a lot of stops along the way.

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