Colombia (part I): Bogotá

La Candelaria neighborhood

My friends and I decided to spend a different Thanksgiving this year, so we headed to Colombia! Follow us on this trip that took us to Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena de Indias.

 We first flew to Panamá on Friday and from there to the Colombian capital, Bogotá. After landing we went straight to our hostel to drop our luggage and we then strolled a bit in the cobbled Candelaria neighborhood, where most historic buildings are.

We were lucky to have several friends living and visiting Bogotá at the same time, so they took us to the very best local spots!

On Saturday,  we did plenty of sightseeing: first along the Carrera 7 (Iglesia de San Francisco, Banco de la República, Plaza Santander and the famous Museo del Oro which I really enjoyed!), then in Plaza del Chorro de Quevedo and in Plaza Bolívar, the heart of the old Bogotá where the Palacio de Justicia, the Palacio Liévano and the Congreso de la República are located.  In addition to this, we visited the National Police Museum, the Palacio de Nariño (home to the President of the country), the Casa de la Moneda and the Museo Botero, a real jewel both in terms of architecture and artistic works from the Colombian master. Finally, we saw the Teatro Colón and the San Carlos palace. At night, we attended a friend’s birthday party and headed to Armando Records for a good rumba.

On Sunday, we headed to the Quinta de Bolívar, a colonial house in Bogota that served as a residence to Simon Bolivar in the capital after the war of independence. It is now used as a museum dedicated to Bolivar’s life and times.  We then took the cable car up to the Cerro de Monserrate to enjoy the view of this big city. After that we went to the Usaquén neighborhood to explore a market and the mall Hacienda Santa Bárbara. Finally, we came back to La Candelaria and stopped by the cloister of San Agustin and the Finance Ministry.
Monday was our last day in Bogotá. Before heading to the airport, we visited the Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación. 

 

Here are the details of our stay in Bogotá:

-accommodation: hostal Anandamayí (we really loved this place in the old Candelaria neighborhood with its charming patio and hammocks)

-restaurants:

  • La Puerta Falsa: try one of their specialties which is the ‘chocolate completo’ (hot chocolate, cheese, bread and almojábana).
  • Hotel de la Ópera, El Mirador restaurant:  nice restaurant in an elegant building in La Candelaria. I ate sobrebarriga.
  • El Gato Gris: we liked this place so much that we came twice. The first time I tried their ajiaco (famous soup) and creole steak. I had patacones con hogao the second time.
  • Salto del ángel: located in the Parque de la 93, one of the places to party in Bogotá. I ate their quesadilla de camarones.
  • Casa Vieja: we ate at their Usaquén branch and had sancocho de gallina.
  • Crepes & Waffles: this is a famous brand across Colombia and they have a spot in Usaquén. Try their crepe with arequipe and coco tostado, delicious!
  • Patisserie francaise: great cafeteria in La Candelaria where I had quiche lorraine, hot chocolate and a pain au chocolat et aux amandes.
For the next time in Bogotá, here are a few things and/or places that came recommended but we didn’t have time to do:
  • Bogotá graffiti tour
  • Cuevas de sal
  • Guatavita
  • Andrés carne de res restaurant
  • La Perla restaurant
  • La Principal restaurant
  • Agave azul restaurant

And in case you were missing the good Colombian vibes, here is my playlist for this trip:

 

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