Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
4 days - April 2018
Last leg of our trip in Colombia and Latin America before spending 6 months in Europe: Bogotá.
The capital of Colombia is famous for its crime rate and bad weather. If a lot of travellers decide to skip it we decided to dedicate a few days to discover it and we are glad we did: it’s not the most beautiful city we ever saw but it is interesting.
Besides our good friend Caroline joined us for 2 days, so glad we get another city ticked together!
Bogota is a huge city ! To get an idea of its size we took a funicular to Montserrate. The view from the top of the hill is amazing and it makes us feel really small seeing these 8 million inhabitants living in the valley , at 2,500 metres and always surrounded by clouds .
We spent 3 days here and did two free walking tours. The first one regarding historic events in the city. We started quite late in the history - in 1948- when a lawyer who was known to protect locals from abusive laws died and some riots started to know the truth about his death. It caused many buildings to be destroyed and between 3,000 and 5,000 people died in a couple of days. In response the rich people from Bogota created local armed groups (militia and guérilla) to protect themselves and from that time the homicide rates increased dramatically in the city... all financed by the drug cartels.
On a funny note we also discovered the local alcohol called chicha made from corn chewed by people and fermented. We got to try it and the least we can say: it’s fermented and we can feel it !!! What’s funny is that a German guy tried to import and develop beer consumption in the country but people were not interested in beer. In order to develop a new market he had to make illegal the consumption of chicha and from that time beer became the most popular drink in Colombia !
We also discovered how street art is part of Colombian life since 2013. Before that it was totally illegal to do it and it became legalised just when Justin Bieber came to Bogota and on a night out did a piece escorted by the police. If Justin can do it how come local artists can’t ? Hence it became legal and it’s now an integral part of the city and especially of La Candelaria, the historic suburb which look liked a small village with its markets and paved street.
Many internationals artist come to Bogota and it’s now a vibrant city for artists. An interesting tour!
We also went to the gold museum which is huge ! We discovered how gold shaped the local economy and Spanish colonisation. Besides The Eldorado Story comes from that part of Latin America : the Spanish heard a legend saying that locals were throwing into a lake many many many gold to pay tribute to the Earth. Of course they tried to get access to this gold by trying to drain the lake. It never worked but it didn’t prevent us from robbing jewels from locals...
An interesting museum is the Botero Museum where we got to see a copy of our famous Mona Lisa but in Botero style i.e. weird proportions !
Finally to conclude our 6 months in Latin America we spent a night in a Colombian club with locals we met during our excursion at La Guajira, joined by our fellow frenchies we met back in Nicaragua 3 months ago!
A good night dancing salsa (cédric is not that bad !) and reggaeton!
Thanks Colombia, we had a great time, we loved the people who are so nice and open, the amazing and diverse landscapes !
Our only issue: the food ! That’s why we got super excited to come back to Europe ;)
See you soon Latin America !
# we stayed in La Candelaria, the historic part of the city. Don’t miss the markets and the street art. Some stay at Chapinero.
# we recommend the free walking tour and the street art tour
# the funicular is 20,000 pesos
# the gold museum is 8,000 pesos
# for a good night out we recommend Andres DC!