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Bogota

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Travel Guide South America Colombia Bogota

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Introduction

Church of Maria del Carmen, Bogota

Church of Maria del Carmen, Bogota

© All Rights Reserved jimrogers

Bogota is the capital and largest city in Colombia with well over 7 million people living in the city and more than 10 million in the metropolitan area. It is located in the central mountainous part of the country on a plateau at a height of 2,640 metres, which makes it one of the biggest cities in the world at this altitude, together with Quito, La Paz and Lhasa. The city has been inhabited for almost 500 years. Today it is the economical and cultural heart of the country and has good infrastructure for travellers. Still, while it is much more safe than it used to be, crime can be a problem in the city. However, with the normal precautions you shouldn't worry too much about the stories you hear outside Colombia.

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Neighbourhoods

The city of Bogotá is divided into 20 distinct localities, or Districts, and every visit to this city should include touring at least three or four of them, depending on the purpose and extent of one's travel. The "must-sees" include La Candelaria, Chapinero-Zona T, and the Zona Rosa. A little extra time to explore La Macarena in Santa Fé, Parque 93, and Usaquén's colonial center would be time well spent.

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Events and Festivals

With the majority of the city being Catholic all major Catholic holidays are celebrated.

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Weather

The climate is mild yearround and because of its height it is never very hot and humid like most other cities in the tropics. The dry period is from December to March with clear days, frost is possible at night and during the day it is pretty warm. It is never warmer than about . During the June-August period it is relatively dry as well, but cloudy and windy conditions rule the city and temperatures vary less than during the sunnier dry period.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max16.4 °C16.7 °C16.7 °C16 °C16.2 °C15.7 °C14.9 °C15.4 °C15.8 °C15.9 °C16 °C16.1 °C
Avg Min5.6 °C6.5 °C7.6 °C8.6 °C8.7 °C8.3 °C7.7 °C7.3 °C7.1 °C7.7 °C7.9 °C6.3 °C
Rainfall29 mm44 mm66 mm101 mm93 mm54 mm43 mm46 mm72 mm107 mm91 mm53 mm
Rain Days81114182018171616181712

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Getting There

By Plane

El Dorado International Airport (BOG), located 15 kilometres west of Bogota, is the base of the Colombian national airline Avianca. Avancia has flights from Bogota to countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States and Madrid. To the latter, Iberia has flights as well. Air France flies to and from Paris.

By Bus

Currently, buses run in and out of Bogotá's main station, El Terminal de Transporte de Bogotá. The station is clean and has standard amenities. Located at Calle 22 B, No 69-59, multiple bus companies have regular routes to destinations around the country.

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Getting Around

By Car

Driving yourself as a visitor in Bogota can be tough during rush hour but it is possible. However, with cheap public transit options it is recommended to take a bus or taxi.

By Bus

Bogota is actually home to the world's largest what is called a "bus rapid transit" system which combines the technology of a bus on rails with the flexibilty of standard bus system. Because the bus operates most of the time on a dedicated path and has the right-of-way in most traffic situations, it can be a very quick way to get around. Although it can seem a bit complex to travelers at first it is a great way to get around the city when you get used to it. With the exception of a few select streets, there are very few bus stops. When you want to get off you can simply ring a bell or let the driver know when you're ready to get off. In addition to Bogota's bus system being a great option for transportation because of it's speed, it is also very cost effective. Bus tickets are 1,750 Colombian Pesos, which translates to roughly $0.91 USD. TheTransMilenio, Bogota's bus system, has around 1,400 buses that run 12 lines and serve roughly 150 bus stations.

By Taxi

Taking a taxi to your destination is convenient as well as fairly inexpensive. Fares typically run less than 9,600 pesos, or $5, for short rides. Though, as expected, the price can add up quickly depending on how far you have to go.

By Bike

Bogota has a great network of bicycle routes that cover over 300 kilometres. Getting around on a bike on during low traffic times, especially on Sundays- since several streets close to vehicle traffic, can be very easy and likely the most appealing option to those that like the exercise and enjoy fresh air. If you don't mind taking your time getting places, getting around by way of bicycle can be very fun and rewarding.

By Foot

Because of the grid layout of the city of Bogota, it is easy to get around on foot. However, popular destinations and attractions tend to be spread out. If you want to take your time you will enjoy walking around but if you need to get somewhere quickly it is both cheap and convenient to take the bus or a taxi.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
A mi Refugio. Casa Cultural y de HuespedesCarrera 19 - 33 - 21 Barrio TeusaquilloGuesthouse84
Alegria's HostelCarrera 2 # 09 - 46Hostel85
Anandamayi Hostel & HotelCalle 9 No. 2 - 81 (antigua)HOSTEL89
Casa PlatypusCarrera 3 No. 16 - 28Hotel-
ChapiNorte HostelCalle 79 numero 14-59 apto 402 Zona RosaHOSTEL77
Destino NómadaCalle 11 # 00 - 38, La CandelariaHostel78
Hostal Bogota RealCalle 103 B No. 46-05Hostel85
Hostal CampobelloCarrera 45A N 104A-13GUESTHOUSE88
Hostal FatimaCalle 12c No. 2-24 Barrio de la CandelariaHOSTEL82
Hostal La Candelaria BogotaCalle 16#2-38, La Candelaria district, HistoricalGuesthouse83
Hostel Sue CandelariaCarrera 3 # 12c-18Hostel86
Hotel El VirreyCalle 18n. 5-56Hotel81
La Quinta Hostelcalle 58a-#14a-39Guesthouse-
Musicology HostelCalle 9 #3-15 La CandelariaHostel72
PlatypusCalle 12F No 2 -43HOSTEL-
The Cranky Croc HostelCalle 12d No. 3-46 La CandelariaHostel88
Bedbreakfast Chorro de QuevedoCalle 12 B bis a 1-53GUESTHOUSE82
Villacandelaria HostelCarrera 3 15 - 97Hostel84
La PintaCalle 65 # 5 - 67Hostel89
Colombia Apartamentos Amoblado/ EdificioSantanaIICalle 44 Carrera 14Apartment-
Ivy HostelCrr 2 # 17-67 Int 1 Las AguasHostel92
Chapinorte V.I.P.Calle 79, N 14-59, Apart. 301 Zona RosaHostel-
Hostal AventurerosCarrera 3 N.14,82HOSTEL75
Hotel Marques de la PlataCalle 56 # 37 A - 08 Nicolas de FedermanHotel83
Hotel Casa PaulinaCalle 63 # 17-18Hotel-
Los Andes HostelCarrera 13A No. 79-07 Zona RosaHostel90
Hostal Colonial La QuintaCalle 12B BIS # 1-23Hostel84
Baluarte Hostel La CandelariaCarrera 12 B # 0 - 43GUESTHOUSE-
CheckinflatCarrera 21 No. 127D-79Apartment-
Swiss Hostal MartinikCarrera 4 # 11-88 Barrio La CandelariaHOSTEL83
Color HostalCalle 95#69-14 Barrio la Alborada a 20 min del aeropuertoGuesthouse-
Chocolate HostelCalle 12 F # 2 -43HOSTEL84
Hostal Casa QuevedoCarrera 1 A # 12B-30HOSTEL89
North House HostelCra 18 #80-66 Zona RosaHostel85
AlteregoCalle 13 #3-85 (old) Calle 12-B # 3-81 (new)Hostel83
Casa Bellavista HostelCarrera 2 # 12B - 31Hostel89
hostal color roomsCarrera 71B Barrio NormandiaGuesthouse-
Sayta HostalCalle 12B #0-57GUESTHOUSE87
Casa McGeorgiesCalle 12 No. 1-60 La CandelariaHOSTEL-
Apartaestudio PanoramaCalle 31 No. 13A-51 Torre 1 Apto. 701Apartment-
A Bogota On HolidaysCalle 51A # 74 20 Normandia II SectorHotel84
Casa Dan CarltonCalle 47 # 28-83 in BucaramangaHOTEL-
Fatima HostelCalle 12c no. 2-24Hostel-
Niza Norte Bed & BreakfastCalle 127D 71-25GUESTHOUSE-
Boutique Hostal Casa VioletaCll 12 No 2-27Hostel-
Hotel MonserrateCalle 17 # 7-71Hotel-
Hostal BuenavidaCalle 12B # 2-29Hostel76
Hotel El DuqueCalle 23 # 9-38Hotel-
Hotel Internacional BogotaCarrera 5 Nº 14-45HOTEL-
Hotel Lido BogotaCalle 11 9-45Hotel-
Candelos HostelCarrera 3 No12C-94HOSTEL83
El Campin HotelCarrera 25 # 52-35Hotel-
Boutique Casa DecoCalle 14 # 2 - 30Hotel-
Colombia at HomeKra 18 # 56-29HOTEL-
San Francisco de AsisCarrera 10 23-63Hotel-
Suites 108Calle 108 16-05Hotel-
La NiaCalle 66 4a -07HOSTEL84
laquintahostelCalle 58 A No. 14-A-39Apartment-
El Solar Hostel DCCra. 1 # 12B-15 Barrio La CandelariaHostel-
San Francisco de AsisCra 10, 23-63Hotel-
Tip Top HostelCarrera 1 bis no: 12 d 78 (antigua calle 15) Barrio Candelaria City CentreHOSTEL82
Explora HostelsCalle 12c # 3 -19HOSTEL85
La Playa HostelCra. 19 No. 33-04Hostel84
Masaya Bogota HostelCarrera 2 no 12 48 Candelaria Centro BogotaHOSTEL87
Hotel ExcelsiorCarrera 14 # 86a-96Hotel-
Hotel Casa SaritaDiagonal 54 Street, Number 23-45HOTEL83
Hotel Casa Navicalle 24 C # 44A -46Hotel-
Hotel Casa GuadalupeCalle 12 b bis 1-21GUESTHOUSE84
BDA55 GuesthouseCll 55 No. 10 - 73GUESTHOUSE-
Mr Warrot HostalCalle 12 f Numero 1-27GUESTHOUSE-
Casa Hostel Color Roomscalle 95 # 69-14 la alboradaHostel-
LimaSuitesCalle 64 4-14 Bogota, Chapinero Alto Pardo RubioGuesthouse-
Maqroll HostelCalle 22a Bis 44a-04HOSTEL85
El VirreyCalle 64 4-14, Pardo RubioAPARTMENT-
Lima Limon Candelaria HostelCarrera 1 12B-15HOSTEL88
Casa Club Delaucalle 35#17-51Guesthouse-
Hotel Casona del PatioCarrera 8, 69 - 24HOTEL-
Hotel Campin 63Calle 63 D N 21-16HOTEL-
Finca AgualindaKm 1,1 Vía San Francisco Supatá, 001Hostel-
Hotel Plata BogotaCalle 56 Numero 35A - 27 Barrio Nicolas de FedermanHOTEL-
Bahareque HostelCarrera 57 B Bis N° 128-23HOSTEL-
Hostal Donde LiliCra 5 No. 26 b 14HOSTEL-
Hostelling Cumbia HouseCalle 9 3-50 La CandelariaGuesthouse-
Fatima Hostel CapurganaCalle 12 c No. 2-24Hostel-
Hotel AragonCarrera 3 12C-13Hotel-
Hostal Bakano BackpackersCalle 16 # 2-86 (vieja) Calle 12F # 2-86 (nueva)HOSTEL-
SieChitá GuesthouseCr 3 #12b-89GUESTHOUSE-
Zohar HostelCarrera 4 #9-80 La Candelaria CentroHOSTEL-
Kozii Hostel D.CCarrera 10A #67-66HOSTEL-
Tip Top BackpackersCarrera 1 No. 12 B 81HOSTEL84
Hospedarte Shalom SASCarrera 80B No. 24D-45 ModeliaHOTEL-
Casa De AriCalle 10 Carrera 2 - 46HOSTEL-
Tararosa GuestapartmentCalle 145 No 13A 80 apto 504APARTMENT-
Arlequino HostelCarrera 6 # 10 - 23 L.302HOSTEL-
Colombian Dream HostelCarrera 5 No. 12 - 53HOSTEL82
Tita HouseCalle 53D N° 22A- 25 Barrio GaleriasGUESTHOUSE-
La Playa HostelCra. 19 #33-04 TeusaquilloHOSTEL-
Apartamentos Los AlcázaresCarrera 27 c No. 70-65APARTMENT-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.

Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.

Post

4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 4.647302
  • Longitude: -74.096268

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This is version 17. Last edited at 8:09 on Jun 10, 14 by Utrecht. 39 articles link to this page.

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