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BOGOTA COUNTRY MAP

 

Bogota is Colombia’s sprawling, high-altitude capital. La Candelaria, its cobblestoned center, features colonial-era landmarks like the neoclassical performance hall Teatro Colon and the 17th-century Iglesia de San Francisco. It’s also home to popular museums including the Museo Botero, showcasing Fernando Botero’s art, and the Museo del Oro, displaying pre-Columbian gold pieces. The Zona Rosa neighborhood is known for upmarket shopping and trendy nightlife.

POPULATION: 

Bogota’s 2016 population is now estimated at 9,968,000.

LANGUAGE: Spanish

The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonization ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada, with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 the “Gran Colombia” Federation was dissolved.

CURRENCY

The currency in Colombia is the peso. There are $ 1,000, $ 2,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000, $ 20,000 and $50.00 bills and $50 $ 100, $ 200, $ 500 and $ 1,000 coins. Then you can convert other currencies.

 

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Bogota is located at an altitude of 2,640 m (8,660 ft) above sea level on the Cordillera Oriental of the Northern Andean Mountains. The city is situated at the base of two mountains, Guadalupe and Montserrat.

Several rivers, one of which, the San Francisco, passes through the city, converge near the southwestern edge of the Cundinamarca-Boyacá plateau and form the Funza River (Río Funza), also known as the Bogotá River (Río Bogotá). This river flows all the way to Tequendama Falls (Salto del Tequendama), a vertical waterfall 145 metres (475 feet) high. Currently, most of the river’s water is used to power a hydroelectric project.

The city average temperature is 14°C (57 °F), varyi ng from 9ºC (48°F) to 22ºC (71°F). Dry and rainy seasons alternate throughout the year. The driest months are December, January, February and March; the rainiest are April, May, September, October and November. June and July are usually rainy periods and August is sunny with high winds.

A GLIMPSE OF WHAT TO DO AND PLACES OF INTEREST

The city has 57 museums, 35 libraries, 25 churches containing colonial and republican treasures, 20 public squares, 7 promenades and groves, 162 national monuments, nearly one thousand architectural landmarks, 45 theatres and 20 cultural centers.

The Gold Museum: It displays an extraordinary selection of its pre-Hispanic gold work collection – more than with 34,000 pre-Columbian gold items – the biggest in the world.

The Botero Museum: a collection donated by the Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, including 123 of his own works and others by Picasso, Monet, Renoir and the like.

National Museum: The National Museum is the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in the continent, built in 1823. Its fortress architecture is built in stone and brick. The plant includes arches, domes and columns forming a sort of Greek cross over which 104 prison cells are distributed, with solid wall façade. The museum houses a collection of over 20,000 pieces including works of art and objects representing different national history periods.

Bogota Museum: Founded in 1968, as space dedicated to preserving urban intervention and to provide a sight of public works developed in Bogotá, within historical, social and cultural context.

La Candelaria, a colonial neighborhood of cobblestones streets that is practically a museum in itself.

The Jose Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden which is a living Museum where you can be at one with nature; Covers 19 hectares area including forests planted with Andean species, some conifer and oak trees, orchid nursery and rainy, dry and warm climate plants nurseries. A lake, cascade, laboratories, auditorium, environmental aula and library complete the facilities.

Monserrate: is 3,190m above sea level providing an unbelievable view of the city. The rustic park offers a nice and shady stroll and view of brightly colored birds. Beyond the city limits, in the lovely rural surroundings that Bogotanos call the

Sabana. You can find rustic restaurants with traditional food abound, and 30 miles from the city in Zipaquirá is the popular Salt Cathedral, literally a cathedral carved from a salt mine.

Maloka First interactive museum of Colombia and the largest center of science and technology in South America. Covers nearly 20,000 m² constructions, 10,000 of them 8 meters underground. Presents over 200 exhibitions distributed in different rooms inviting to play while learning about topic such as life, biodiversity, the city, the universe, technology and the human being.

Amusement parks like Camelot, Mundo Aventura and salitre magico offer another alternative for recreation.

A variety of fine restaurants can be found all over Bogotá including, those in the hot new restaurant district known as the Zona G, and those with a more edgy feel in the Bosque Izquierdo neighborhood. And romantic Usaquén, a small town swallowed up by the fashionable northern reaches of the city, has excellent restaurants, live music venues and a Sunday flea market.

Andrés Carne de Res in Chía (Calle 2, No. 11a-56, 57-1-863-7880), a restaurant in name but really a riotously decorated spectacle of art and music and eccentricity.

Located strategically throughout the city, the shopping malls are ideal places for easy shopping, all kinds of products can be found, as well as restaurants, and various activities, There are over 100 with 41 movie theatres.

BRIEF HISTORY

Bogota, originally called Bacata by the Muiscas, was the center of their civilization before the Spanish conquest, and sustained a large population. The European settlement was founded in August 6, 1538, by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and was named “Santa Fé de Bacatá” after his birthplace Santa Fé and the local name. “Bacatá” had become the modern “Bogotá” by the time it was made the capital of the vice-royalty of New Granada, and the city soon became one of the centers of Spanish colonial power and civilization in South America.

In 1810-11 its citizens revolted against Spanish rule and set up a government of their own, but had to contend with Spanish military loyalists, who controlled the city until 1819, when Simón Bolívar captured the city after his victory at Boyacá.

Bogota was then made the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combining the territories of modern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When that republic was dissolved into its constituent parts, Bogotá remained the capital of New Granada, which later became the Republic of Colombia. In August 2000 the capital’s name was officially changed back from “Santa Fé de Bogotá” to the more usual “Bogotá”. The local government consists in a Capital District, the current chief of government is Luis Eduardo Garzón.

TODAY’S CITY

Bogota, officially named Bogotá D.C. (D.C. for “Distrito Capital”, which means “Capital District”) is the capital of Colombia as well as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca. It is the largest and most populous city in the country, and the fourth largest city in South America, with more than seven million residents, is home to a vibrant restaurant scene, world-class museums and a charming colonial quarter.

Residents refer to it as Colombia’s “first city”. Most companies in Colombia have their headquarters in Bogotá, as it is home to most foreign companies doing businesses in Colombia as well as Colombia’s main stock market. Bogotá is a major center for import and export of goods for Colombia.

Bogota’s colleges and universities have a major impact on the city and region’s economy. Not only are they major employers, but they also attract national and international industries to the city and surrounding region, including highly needed technology industries. The city is Colombia’s educational “Mecca”; it boasts more schools, colleges, and universities than any other city in Colombia and contributes with high academic levels.

The population of Bogotá is currently increasing at a rate close to 5% per year, mostly due to people coming from rural areas of Colombia. The city is constantly expanding in size to meet this influx of people. Currently the urban area covers 384.3 km² and the more mountainous outlying regions extend 1,222.5 km².

TRANSPORT:

Bogota, as you probably know is a massive city—it has population of around 8 million people—and, thus has a rather large public transportation system. As a tourist, the public transport system in Bogota can be a bit overwhelming.

That’s why, in this post, we are going to talk a little bit about the public transportation services available in Bogota and how they can help you during your travels there!

First of all, a key part of the public transportation system in Bogota is theTransMilenio system. TransMilenio is a bus rapid transit system (BRT) that runs all over the city. You can take TransMilenio to and from the El Dorado Airport, to the historic city centre of Bogota (Candelaria, Monserrate, Gold Museum, etc…), to the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city (Suba, Usaquen, etc…), and to most of the tourist attractions zones.

In addition to buses, Bogota is also full of taxis. Taxis can be a good way to get around the city, especially if you are going to travel a longer distance, head to a residential address located off the main transport routes, or head to the airport with lots of luggage. However, make sure you only use radio taxis — that is, phone a taxi company that will give you a code as well as the license plate of the taxi that will pick you up. When the taxi picks you up, the driver should be able to tell you the code that was given to you by the operator. This is to ensure the taxi you are taking is secure. Wherever you stay in Bogota, whether a hotel or a hostel, someone should be able to recommend a reliable taxi company should you decide on this method of transportation. Like in most places, taxis in Bogota run on metres which will tell you how much you should pay. Make sure the driver has the metre on when you get in the taxi in order to receive a fair, metered price.

The bus station (Terminal de Transporte)

If you are looking to escape to some of the towns around Bogota, your best bet is to head to the bus station (Terminal de Transporte). Here, you can book a bus to practically anywhere in the country, including towns close to Bogota like Zipaquira, Chia, Cajica, and Facatativa, among others. Most buses to these towns have various services throughout the day. However, it’s best to leave earlier in the day as many buses coming back to Bogota may not have services later at night. Regardless, check the bus schedules, both going from and coming back to Bogota at the Terminal de Transporte when buying your tickets.

For all your transportation in Bogota, make sure you have cash on hand, especially lower bills and coins. It will be hard to get change for a 50.000 peso bill, and sometimes even for a 20.000 depending on the bus or taxi you may catch.

And, don’t forget, you can always walk the city, too! Bogota has just created a large pedestrian zone in the historic city centre that is full of neat places tucked away in nooks and crannies you’ll only find on foot. To best plan your walking, be sure to pick up a free map of Bogota at any of the Bogota Humana stands in the airport or around the city—the same place you’ll find the free TransMilenio map.