BOGOTA, this March?

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Jan 28th, 2018, 08:56 AM
  #1
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BOGOTA, this March?

As some of you might have read on the US thread, I was thinking about a trip to Nashville and Memphis for sometime in March, departing from SE Florida where I am spending this winter. It turned out to be more complicated and expensive than I expected to combine both these cities from nearby Florida airports. (Did not want to take Spirit Air).

So I am now musing about an alternative for about 5-7 days, and after reading some of the threads here, I became interested in Bogota which is easy to reach from FLL or MIA and seems to be a fairly inexpensive city to visit. Also saw a tv show about the food in Bogota (Andrew Zimmern Delicious Destinations) and it looked intriguing. I know there is a long street specializing in roast pork restaurants, and fabulous fruit, and the famous chicken-based soup whose name escapes me but begins with "A". I've been to several SA countries but never to Colombia.

I'm pretty fluent in Spanish and as we don't stay out late at night, am not afraid of crime more than I would be in any other large foreign city.

BUT, after reading through the Moon guide from library, I wonder if Bogota is even a great idea. Does not seem as if there are many "Sights" per se. I don't mind that if it is a good city to walk around and explore various areas on foot. Like looking at handcrafts. But it appears not to be that...broken sidewalks, vast areas to cover, heavy traffic and streets hard to cross. I would love to see the gold museum but other than that, we am not a huge museum goers. Eating is a big priority, as well as food markets and I know Bogota has at least one great food market, if not more.

Partner does not want to be away longer than a week, if that long, and this rules out adding another destination within the country. So, what do you all think about, let's say, 5 days in Bogota? I'd love to visit the original Andres Carne de Res in Chia--any of you been there and if so, how did you get there? Villa de Leyva seems too far to include, no??

(I'd welcome any other ideas for a quick trip from here, with direct flights, but do not want to fly more than 4 hours and prefer not even that long. Guatemala would be great but I've been there a number of times and seen a lot of the country. Partner does not want to return to my beloved Mexico and did not like DF; other destinations in Mexico require connecting flights from here, I think)

If anyone has the time, I'd love to hear your opinions. Also, we would stay in an upscale hotel and I was looking at the more historic of the two Four Seasons-es (sp..??). But no air con..wonder if this is an issue in mid March..

Most of the higher end hotels seem to be located in glitzy modern areas in the north..are these at all interesting to walk around in for a day or so???

I know the rest of the country has tons to offer but I don't have the time right now....

Many thanks!!

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jan 28th, 2018 at 09:00 AM.
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Jan 28th, 2018, 09:45 AM
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I absolutely adore Bogota and March should be a great month for a short trip.

I now prefer staying away from Candelaria (my hotel of choice is the reasonably priced B-3 Virrey) near Parque El Virrey and Parque de La 93. There are some other hotels near B-3 that are fancier but I don't mind the smaller rooms and limited service (it's a Ibis-style hotel). For example the Cite hotel next door is a bit more upscale.

You can visit the Gold Museum, the Botero Museum and do the graffiti tour. Ride the cable car. Sunday there is the cyclovia in the Candelaria neighborhood.

You don't ever need a/c in Bogota..it's high enough in elevation!

I tend to go for salads etc and not big hunks of beef. So can't tell you about that restaurant.

Villa de Leyva would be okay for a one night trip. But if you're going for less than a week I think I would want the weekend in Bogota.

You might also look into Medellin.

And I wouldn't go by Moon or any guidebook. Look for some recent articles on Colombia in travel magazines and news sources.

E.g.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...d=tmg_share_fb

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 28th, 2018 at 10:11 AM.
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Jan 28th, 2018, 10:21 AM
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Agree with mlgb’s comments. We loved Bogota and much prefer it to Medellin. Loads to see, we spent 4 days there and could have easily stayed a week. Villa de Leyva was beautiful and relatively easy to get to. Be aware that it can be pretty dead during the week with many restaurants closed. Fascinating at the weekend.

Some photos of both Bogota and VDL on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/colombia/ We stayed towards the north of the city at an Ibis next to the Museo Nacional . Really liked the area walkable ( just) to La Candelaria, the Museo Del Oro etc. and handy for the bus system when we headed out to Zipiquira Salt Cathedral ( recommended!)
Interesting to hear your comments re Mexico and Guatemala- earlier today I posted a few questions on the Central America forum re our trip there later this year
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Jan 28th, 2018, 05:10 PM
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I did stay in a nicer neighborhood in Medellin, and the weather is really nice...plus it was Christmas time so just walking around and looking at the lights and decorations was fun. I didn't go to any museums but did go to the Botanic Garden.
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Jan 31st, 2018, 05:53 AM
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Many, many thanks to both of you. I'll think about this some more but am leaning toward taking the trip in March. Jet Blue flies direct from Fort Lauderdale, daily.

Location of Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel ok?
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Jan 31st, 2018, 06:49 AM
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I haven't stayed in that area (Zona G or Chapinero ). As far as I know it's okay.
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Jan 31st, 2018, 06:53 AM
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I really enjoyed Bogota. However, I found it difficult to stroll around the city, We explored Candelaria on foot with no problem and did the graffiti tour. Other than that we ubered it to get around. I don’t recall broken sidewalks, but do recall lots of highways to cross. I believe welltravelledbrit stayed at the historic Four Seasons and liked it. We had dinner in the area and it was a nice, upscale area. I’ve got a TR that starts with our stay in Bogota.
We also spent a couple days in VdL and thought it a nice couple day stay,
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Jan 31st, 2018, 03:45 PM
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Of course Bogota is a huge city, you obviously can't "stroll" from one end to the other and YES there can be awful traffic so time your transits outside of commute times (maybe a big issue getting into and out of Candelaria where the Graffiti Tour and Gold Museum are). I didn't find too many probles with busted sidewalks...Buenos Aires is much worse. They probably are better sidewalks when you are in nicer areas with new office towers etc, and worse in old areas like the Palermos (in BA). There is quite a bit of construction going on all over Colombia with their recovery from the civil war and new investment.
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Jan 31st, 2018, 10:22 PM
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Some cities I find are easier to walk about then others. Many”huge” cities are quite nice to stroll about. NYC, Paris, Quito,Melbourne, just a few huge cities that I had no trouble strolling around. I remember commenting while in Colombia that Bogota was not easy to walk from place to place which is our preferred way to get around. I found Medellin much easier for walking than Bogota.

Last edited by yestravel; Jan 31st, 2018 at 10:34 PM.
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Feb 1st, 2018, 12:44 AM
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Worth noting thtabon Sunday’s the main streets in Bogota are closed fro the ciclovia (or similar?) which makes walking more viable. The Museo Del Oro is also free on that day - go early to avoid the crowds at that time.
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Feb 1st, 2018, 05:16 PM
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The Gold Museum is also free if you are over 60, even for foreigners. Botero is free for everyone.

Cyclovia is great, I highly recommend a Sunday in Bogota that includes participation. Runs from 7am to 2pm and I think the major street that Four Seasons is on looks to be one of the pedestrianized streets.

https://www.vox.com/2016/10/9/130172...a-open-streets
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Feb 3rd, 2018, 06:37 AM
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This is a warning ... I had a friend who moved from the US to Mexico .. then he went wandering , visiting around various countries here and there ...
He visited Colombia .. he is now living in Colombia, in a fabulous apartment with unlimited views of tree tops and blue skies and he is totally in love with the place
so watch out lol
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Feb 7th, 2018, 10:24 AM
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I think you should go to Bogota, eks. . Ajiaco is the name of that soup. Although we liked Medellín better than Bogota, we enjoyed Bog also. And taking advantage of those good easy fares will get you a nice intro to Colombia. It’s a gorgeous country and the people are great! Then you’ll want more and longer on a later trip. Scarlet above exemplifies what, at least at one time, was the country’s promo slogan. “Colombia - el unico riesgo es querer quedarse.”
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Feb 7th, 2018, 04:02 PM
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Yes that Ajiaco soup is fantastic!
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