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Bogota Colombia

INTRODUCTION

Exceptionally friendly locals, beautiful colonial architecture, thriving artistic and intellectual communities, and vibrant nightlife – Colombia’s capital has it all. La Candelaria, the charming historical district, boasts several colonial churches as well as cafes and bakeries where one can enjoy local fare like santafereno (hot chocolate served with cheese and fresh bread). The TransMilenio urban bus service is a fast and efficient means of getting around the capital. Bogota is bordered by a mountain range, and on clear days visitors can overlook the entire city from the top of Cerro de Monserrate.

HISTORY

The foundation date of Bogota is August 6, 1538. As the capital of Colombia since 1819, it's the political and cultural center nationwide. At a time, Bogota was the capital of "Gran Colombia" which was was a federation combining the territories of Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia as a unique nation, until it was broken up. The "Palacio de Narino" where the President Alvaro Uribe lives, is located at Bogota's historical center. The city has an estimated population of over 8 million and its natives are traditionally called "cachacos".

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

The climate of Bogota is tempered by high altitude, which means that its temperature can get as high as 67°F or as low as 42°F. The capital of Colombia is also the most populated city in the country, meaning that its traffic is pretty hectic during rush hours. It's important to know that in case you want to use taxi service, always call and try to avoid taking a cab on the street. In latin american big cities, this advice is usually one of the most important ones. Also, going to what's known as "South Bogota" is not a smart choice. For tourists there's no attraction to see and it can be dangerous.

ATTRACTIONS

This city is known between nationals as the city that has it all. Bogota hosts people from every single corner of the country, offering a wide range of activities and places to visitis. As an artistic destiny, places such as Modern Museum and the National Museum are just two examples of the importance of culture in this city. Art galleries are part of the attraction for locals and tourists e.g. galleries like "Galeria Mundo", Galeria Sextante or "Cero Galeria". Universities play an outstanding rol presenting their own expositions and art work (the best and most recognizable universities are in Bogota. Theater is also a great choice, considering that the International Theater Festival takes place here. The historical distric is a must seen. Its tradition and the history behind it, allows understanding of the past of what we know as Bogota nowadays. Stories of political confrontations are everywhere, leaving a testimony of tragic events as well as successful ones.

RESTAURANTS

Bogota has become an outstanding destiny when it comes to food and restaurants. "Andres Carne de Res" is a the place to visit not only for typical colombian food but also beacuse it's the place to go if you are looking for the best party in town. If you are not in the mood for traying new food, "Creps and Waffles" is a non expensive and delicious option as well as Harry Sasson although it would be a much more expensive option. "Leo, Cocina y Cava" located in the traditional neighborhood La Candelaria, is a great choice if you would try a mixture of tradional flavors and international and modern cooking. These are just a few examples of colombian and international cousine that visitors are able to find in the city. Finally, there's an especific sector/neighborhood called "Zona G" (G stands for Gourmet) where you will find the most exclusive restaurants and bars in Bogota.

NIGHTLIFE

Bogota is well-known in Latin America for its vibrant nightlife. Every single type of partying can be found in town. "Zona T", "Parque de la 93" and "EL Centro" or downtown are the neighborhoods where most of the places can be found. The first one has the best pubs and lounges such as: Irish Pub, The Whiskey House, Pravda (great Lychees Martini), Bogota Beer Company (different locals can be found around the city), Palos de Moguer. At "Parque de la 93" one could just to drink a coffee at Oma or grab a few beers or drinks at Bogota Beer Company or The Beer Lounge. Party is all around the place, so it's all about many options in just one place. "El Centro" or Bogota's downtown consists of traditional neighborhoods such as "La Candelaria". This is a place where bohemian nightlife can be found. "El Goce Pagano" is for those who seek pure latin fiesta and among its recurrents both tourist as well as locals love the place, being also a very affordable spot. For a more luxurious destiny, "Leo Bar" is the place to be to mix with politicans and artists (its "Corozo martini" is a must if you decide to go). And for the ultimate mixture of culture and salsa go to "Galeria Cafe y Libro" where art meets nightlife.

LODGING

Near El Dorado Airport hotels like Hotel Capital or Four Points Sheranton are the main options but not the only ones. Downtown, not too far from the airport, are choices such as Hotel Tequendama (one of the most traditional hotels in Bogota). Hostals are less expensive choices and offer a more adventurous experience. The best ones in town are "Hostal La Candelaria" and "El Cafecito Cafe-Hostal" both located in downtown. "La Fontana" is one of the best hotels in the city but it's kinda apart of the nighlife and restaurants. That's why if going out and nightlife is a major interest, then hotels such as "Charleston Bogota", "Hotel Dann" or "Andino Royal" which are located either near to "Zona T" or "Parque de la 93" would be great.

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