Trip Report – Bogota
My husband is working in Bogota, Colombia - so I went down for a long weekend to visit.
Flight – Continental direct from Houston on Thusday, Aug. 12th arriving Fri. Aug. 13th– very comfortable and great service. I have Elite status so I had the chair with two seats of leg room. It made for good sleeping on the way down since we took off at 11:55 pm and landed at 4:55am.
My husband had his driver pick me up at the airport. This was very convenient and all weekend we were able to use him for transport. I, unfortunately, cannot give the price range on this but we had zero problems getting around with a driver. We did use the “hotel” cab services a few times these were the white cabs that wait in front of the larger hotels. Again, these were very useful. A note on transportation, as many who go to Bogota know, there are many warnings about the taxis. While we never felt threatened or had an issue, we stuck to our driver, the white cabs, and taxis that had a coordinator on site (they hand you a ticket and track the taxi). We had absolutely no issues in this way.
The Hotel – My husband has an apartment in Bogota in Hotel Casa Dann Carlton. While, I’m sure the apartments would be too rich for our blood on our own dime, the hotel has a hotel room tower as well. The location was great in that we felt fine walking from our hotel to Zona T and Parque 93. Having visited the more historic areas, I would recommend staying near Parque 93 or Zona T. These seem safer and while you will have to drive/be driven to many of the sites…the peace of mind while walking in the evening/at night was worth it to me.
Day 1: I got there and immediately went to bed as the 5 hour over night flight was not very restful. I woke up at about 11:30 and we decided to take a bit of a ride for lunch. One of my husband’s co-worker’s had found a really good empanada stand and man was it good. It was called “La Comilona” and as much as I tried to figure out an intersection, I could not for the life of me find the street names. It was in a pretty run down area, not a place you would walk around. We had chicharron, empanadas de yucca, papas fritas, and postobon to wash it all down. (Pictures will be posted soon in a Flickr account).
We then took a drive up to La Calera. It offers a beautiful view of the city there are also many restaurants/cafes up there. I wish that we could have tried one, but my husband thought it best (since knows the city well at this point) to not chance it up there at night. A day time trip up to the view point is highly recommended. We parked in a restaurant parking lot that I believe was called “La Paloma”.
The driver then dropped us at Zona T for a bit of shopping. I found that most of the mall items were priced similarly to the U.S. so no big bargains to speak of. I did find one store in the mall called “Opposite”. They specialized in leather items that were made in Colombia. I bought a nice pair of brown boots for U.S. $110. I also bought some knock off Ray Bans on the street for U.S. $20 (but I bet I could have negotiated lower).
We then stopped off at the Bogota Beer company for a quick drink. Bogota has many great beers. I tried my first Club Colombia and very much liked it (and I’m not a big beer drinker). They have many locations. http://www.bogotabeercompany.com/
We walked back to Calle 94 from Zona T. A long walk but along Av. Carrera 15 there was a flower market and goods market along the way. It was a pretty busy street so we felt very safe considering it is about 10 blocks.
That night we had dinner at Club Colombia – the brewery owns the restaurant. It is in a beautiful two story house home at Av 82 No. 9 - 11 Carrera 9, Bogotá D.C., Colombia -(0)571 2495681. The décor was very romantic and dark with a fire place. While the service was inattentive, the food was excellent. We had a typical array of appetizers and I had the langostinos coco loco for my main course. For two bottles of wine (there were four of us), appetizers, and dinner the bill was ~$200.
We ended the night at a club called Kukuramakara. http://www.kukaramakara.com/ They had a band playing US covers and salsa in between. We had quite a bit of fun dancing and felt very safe walking the few blocks back to our hotel (even though it was pretty late at that point). That is all for now… more to come.
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Trip Report – Bogota