Bogota, the capital and largest city of Colombia, is situated 8661 ft (2640 metres) above sea level. The climate in Bogota is consistent throughout the year (around 60-70 °F during the day and 40-60 °F at night.) The water is also drinkable straight out of the faucet.
As I land in Bogota, the fresh air and cool breeze washed out all the humidity and stickiness from Cartagena and Taganga. Soon as I walk out of the terminal, I changed then got in line for the taxi stand. Ten US dollars and a 25 minute ride later I was in front of the Fulano Backpackers hostel (best boutique hostel ever, highly recommended). I opted for the female only dorm for four and roomed with a set of twins from Ireland who are both teachers. They are on a one year sabbatical to travel the world and their next destination is India.
There are a few things I wanted to do in this city and at the top of the list is the bike tour. Bike tour is a great way to cover a large area of the city especially when I don’t know where anything is.
Without reservation, I show up at the bike shop and is very fortunate to make it just in time for the 10:30 AM morning tour with Mike. Mike was/is a journalist and the shop is his business. He has travelled throughout South America for years and seems to have integrated well with the local communities in Bogota.
Our first stop is the local food market filled with mom and pop shops. The fresh variety of fruits was amazing. But what amazes me more was the cleanliness and the lack of any flying insects. Same goes for the seafood and meat sections.
And we got to try many awesome tropical fruits. Got a lot of omega 3 today!
We stop often where Mike points out graffiti and the stories behind them. One that resonates with me most was the graffiti of a comedian who was assassinated in front of the building he worked at. On the right side, the text says: “…the smiles here, country of shit…”
A few more graffiti along the way, each with its own story and message…
We then tasted coffee at a local coffee roast house, visited a popular park, a bullfighting stadium, and several other cool sights that I don’t want to list. You’ll just have to find out for yourself! Best city tour I’ve ever been on thus far.
- Before you go to a taxi stand, write down the address of your destination on a small piece of paper. Show this to the taxi ticket counter and also hand this to the taxi driver. It will save you a lot of time and confusion.
- Transmilenio is the equivalent of the metro/subway system for Bogota. You should give your seat to woman with children under 7 and seniors.
- Stay out of La Candelaria after dark and be careful of pick pockets during the day.