Bogota is the capital of Colombia.  It is a big, bustling city with lots to do and see.  That is, of course, if you can stand the traffic.

The traffic is a bit too much for me as there never seems to be a break from the traffic despite assurances that it is fine to travel outside of rush and lunch hours (assuming it is not raining, of course).  Based on my limited experience, no such time exists. 

Bogota rests at a higher altitude than Medellin.  Please be mindful of the same, if you visit.  For me, the traffic, exhaust fumes and high altitude did not bode well for my sinuses. If you like colder and more mild temperatures, then Bogota may be for you. Due to its elevation (an average of 2640 m above sea level), the temperatures are cooler and often drop at night. Please remember to check the weather before you go and to pack accordingly.

Bogota is the business and financial capital of Colombia. Bogota’s population is estimated to be in excess of 8 million people. There are a large number of foreigners and international businesses that are based in Bogota.  It is also home to the U.S. Embassy. 

Since Bogota caters, in part, to business travelers, Bogota also has a significant number of large hotel chains that we are used to seeing in the states.  Although more expensive than many comparable hotels in Medellin and Cartagena, I still found luxury hotel prices in Bogota to be cheaper than those of comparable hotels located in the US or Europe. Truth be told, I found guest service to be better in Bogota since they are used to dealing with foreign customers and international clients.

La Candelaria is a must if you plan to visit Bogota.  It is the city center and one of the first neighborhoods to emerge in Bogota.  La Candelaria is also quite charming with its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. 

The Presidential Palace, administrative buildings and branches of the government are located near La Candelaria and are within walking distance of other main attractions. Nearby, you will find several well-known museums including the Museo Botero featuring Fernando Botero’s art, and the Museo del Oro – the Gold Museum, as well as a host of other cultural attractions.  If interested, there is a changing of the guards that generally takes place near the Presidential Palace on Sundays.

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