city-guide-bogota-colombia

For many years, the Colombian capital’s official slogan was “Bogotá, 2600 metres closer to the stars”. The motto, coined during Enrique Peñalosa’s term in office, is a reminder of how far the city is from the sea and how thin the air is. So much so that locals have come up with a word for the lack of breath, dizziness and headache that overwhelms unaccustomed visitors: “soroche”. But fear not, there are many cures, such as a hot agua de panela (melted sugar cane with squeezed lemon) and plenty of sleep. If that fails, a shot of aguardiente, a local aniseed-flavoured spirit made from sugar cane, should do the trick.

The truth is that even if this is your first time in Bogotá and soroche does strike you, the chances are you won’t feel it. There’s so much to see and do that a headache is soon forgotten. With over seven million inhabitants, Bogotá is its own universe made up of microcosms that live almost independently from one another; each neighbourhood is so unique that you might find that if it’s pouring down in the leafy upscale district of Usaquén there’s a chance that in La Candelaria, the well-preserved colonial centre, people are walking around in shorts, soaking up the sun and enjoying the summery weather. Keep that in mind while packing; Bogotá’s unexpected weather will have you walking around in flip-flops and a rain jacket.

At last, the city has caught up with other capitals and is just as developed as Buenos Aires or São Paulo, with modern hotels, top-notch restaurants and effervescent nightlife. Behind it all is a new generation of young creatives who once left the country for safer metropolises but have returned, packed with energy and ideas, ready to give their city a makeover. If you want to be a part of Bogotá’s continued transformation, now is the time to go.

TO STAY

B.O.G

The first design hotel to come to the capital, B.O.G is in the heart of Bogotá’s commercial district, walking distance to the Andino, Atlantis and Retiro shopping malls and just across from the El Virrey Park. After a long day of shopping, don’t forget to soak in the year-round heated rooftop pool.

  • +57 163 999 99
  • Go to Website
  • Carrera 11, 86-74
    Cundinamarca
    11001 Bogotá

Hotel de la Opera

Sleep right next to Bogotá’s opera house in the city’s regal centre. Set in a centuries-old house surrounded by university and government colonial buildings, the Hotel de la Opera is the best place to sleep in La Candelaria.

  • +57 133 620 66
  • Go to Website
  • Calle 10, 5-72
    Calle del Coliseo
    Candelaria Historic Centre
    11001 Bogotá

Hotel Click Clack

One of the city’s newer hotels, Click Clack marries art, high design and architecture to create an innovative, urban setting. Located in el Chico neighbourhood and steps away from el Parque de la 93, there’s plenty around to keep you busy. Be sure to grab a burger at the hotel’s bar on the 10th floor – panoramic view included.

  • +57 1 743 0404
  • Go to Website
  • Carrera 11, 93-77
    Cundinamarca
    Bogotá
    110221

Casa Medina

Casa Medina is a colonial-style boutique hotel nestled in the Zona G, one of Bogotá’s gourmet quarters. Elegant and calm, it’s the holy grail if you’re looking to be steps away from some of the city’s best food and drinks.

  • +57 132 5 7900
  • Go to Website
  • Avenida Carrera 7, 69a-22
    110221 Bogotá

Masaya Hostel

This is the spot for those who are on a budget but  still prioritise comfort and experience. Set in a colonial home in the historic Candelaria district, Masaya aims to provide the comfort equivalent of a hotel, providing both private rooms and dorms. Plus, be at the heart of the cultural activities going on throughout the week, from cooking classes to salsa lessons.

  • +57 174 718 48
  • Go to Website
  • Carrera 2, 12-48
    Candelaria
    Centro histórico
    110221 Bogotá

Casa Legado

A home away from home, Casa Legado is a great option for those who value substance as much as style. Located in Quinta Camacho, one of Bogota’s premium neighbourhoods, it’s an ideal balance of luxury and familiarity. Self-proclaimed as the “home hotel” Casa Legado comprises of seven rooms – interiors are bright, colourful and airy – and five communal areas designed with relaxation in mind. Service is family inspired, with each guest assigned a host on arrival. Providing more than your average concierge service, hosts are on hand to assist with grocery shopping for catered meals, create personalised itineraries and answer any other queries you might have.

The hotel has an open kitchen mentality and for those looking to heighten their experience of true Colombian living, guests are invited to visit the owner, Helena’s countryside home, an hour outside Bogota, and spend a relaxing afternoon or evening at this rustic lodging for a small surcharge.

B.O.G

Hotel de la Opera

Hotel Click Clack

Casa Medina

Masaya Hostel

Casa Legado

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