Today was a jam packed day spent exploring Bogota, and I only fell more in love with this city! To start I took an Uber (Uber is so cheap here it is insane - like under $5 every ride) to the cable car station to go up to Monserrate, a mountain 10,000 feet above sea level with views that are impossible to even describe. You can see the entire city, and it literally stretches on for as far as the eye can see, which from 10,000 feet is really far. I'm so glad that the clouds cleared and that I could see the view. I also could definitely feel the altitude and had to catch my breath a few times, but it was so worth it and you get used to it after a while.
You take a cable car up the mountain which is pretty cool in itself. At the top there is a beautiful church, stalls of touristy things, and restaurants with the views. I ate at Santa Clara House, and I don't think I will ever have a more breathtaking view of a city while eating lunch. I am really loving the exchange rate here - I had steak for lunch for about $10!
After lunch, I took the cable car down from Monserrate and then had quite possibly the most incompetent Uber driver of all time. His GPS stopped working so I had to give him directions, which he proceeded not to follow probably three times. It’s a good thing we weren’t going too far because it was a lot of driving in circles! His phone finally started working and he dropped me off at the art museum. Shout out to Uber for refunding the ride because it was quite the ordeal.
I haven’t been to an art museum, which is one of my favorite things to do when I travel, in quite a while, so I was really excited for Museo de Arte del Banco de la República. And it definitely did not disappoint! The museum was really modern but also encompassed older historic building of the old town area I was now in. It took you through art over the history of Colombia but also had some incredible modern pieces. There is an entire wing of the museum for Fernando Botero, who is probably the most famous Colombian artist. Not going to lie, his art makes me laugh quite a bit because he basically depicts people and figures as being unusually large sometimes to evoke humor and sometimes as a political statement. See below for an example of enlarged Mona Lisa. Overall, I really enjoyed the museum and it had famous works from all over the world in addition to the great Colombian art collection.
After the museum, I walked down the street to the beautiful Cathedral of Colombia. This area of town had lots of old and beautiful buildings. The Cathedral sits on Plaza de Bolivar, a huge plaza where people congregate. It is a very pretty square, and the Palazio de Nariño (National Palace) sits just down the street from it. Before walking by the national palace guards search your bags, but you are allowed to walk right up to the gate. The palace is stunning and has very well manicured gardens surrounding it. After walking around the area for a little longer I took an Uber to get dinner at The Market.
The Market is the top ranked place to eat in Bogota according to TripAdvisor. It was located in a hotel, which I did not love, but it was a really cool and modern restaurant with an amazing cheeseburger so I was pretty happy with my meal. I splurged on a brownie for dessert because having such a great exchange rate is both something I am not used to and something I was very excited about. After dinner, I headed back to Mika Suites to pack before an early flight to Quito.
If you ever are thinking about visiting Bogota, Colombia I cannot recommend it enough. Similarly to my apprehension about Mexico City, I had no idea what to expect. But it was such a cool and modern city with so much history and culture and so much to see. I have loved my time here!
23 countries down, 174 to go.
Read about my first day in Colombia here.
To learn more about Mika Suites click here.