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Trip Report a short visit to Bogota

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I just returned from a short visit (3nights) to Bogota (tagged onto the end of our Panama vacation)-- my husband is from there, but it was my first visit. When I first met him, I had some of the typical fears and ideas about Colombia-- regarding crime, kidnapping, etc., but as I learned more about the country and changes in recent years, I become comfortable with paying a visit to see his home town (or home city as it is). So this is not a typical trip report or typical tourist point of view, but here were my impressions and description of tourist sites we visited --

ACCOMODATION: rental apartment in northern part of city--- this area has a lot of new apartment buildiing construction, the building itself had security for cars/people coming/going, surrounding neighborhood appeared quite safe.

TRANSPORTATION: we used a hired car/driver for our stay---- taxis seemed plentiful, but also quite small, and since many times family members would be accompanying us on our outings, having a bigger vehicle available was more convenient. We passed the Trans-Millenio bus several times on the highway, and it usually looked quite crowded, There is a lot of traffic in Bogota, especially at rush hours. I could really notice the air pollution-- so bring allergy/sinus medication if you are sensitive.

SIGHTS- 1.Monserrate-- the sky way (telefriquo) was not operating, so used the funicular-- nice views from the top, and the pathway to the church surprised me with all its greenery and flowers, there was also a handicraft/souvenier market up top.
Went on a weekday, and no crowd at all.

2. Salt Cathedral (outside Bogota)-- I highly recommend this. One hour guided tour ( they had tours in English and in Spanish)-- seeing these cavernous spaces and a whole church carved into an underground salt mine was just fascinating.

3. Botanical gardens (Bogota)-- a nice oasis from the city, and cheap too, numerous outdoor pathways, rose garden, and an indoor display of the warm weather/ jungle plants-- I thought it was nicely done, especially for the price.

4. Zona Rosa area for food and drinks---- loved the atmosphere of this area, and plenty of security was present.

We did spend a little time in the city center for my husband to conduct some personal business--- this area was quite crowded, and traffic crazy, but felt no more or less safe than any other large latin american city .

So having spent a short time, I would be willing to go back to explore some more scenic areas of the country.

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