Also known as Santa F de Bogot or the Athens of the Americas, Bogot is set at an altitude of over 2600 m (>8000 feet) with high ranges of the Cordillera to the east. You may need some time to adjust to this altitude, especially if you are arriving from lower parts of the country or flying in.
Most of the sights of the city are in the historic central neighborhood of La Candelaria. The Plaza de Bolivar is the principal square in the city and it is where the seat of both Federal and Local governments are housed. The buildings in the surrounding areas are built in the colonial style with wide-eaved balconies. Sitting on the main square, you may also see and visit the First Cathedral, built back in the late 1500’s. Bogots most breathtaking museum is the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum), — more information on this museum and others can be found in the museums section.
Downtown Bogot is filled with shops, business offices, cafs, and the banking district — also an interesting area to stroll around. Most of the best hotels, restaurants, cafs, and boutiques are located in the Northern end of the city.
Possible day trips from Bogot include a trip to the salt mines of Zipaquir, where you will find a whole cathedral built inside the salt mines. Another incredible place to visit is Monserrate, where you will find a modest and uninspiring church, but a marvelous panoramic view of the city. Take the tram up, and walk down.
Bogot’s security is not a problem anymore thanks to a people first urban planning strategy initiated in the late 90’s by then Mayor, Enrique Pealosa. These changes included LESS roads, highways, and on-street parking, but MORE bike/pedestrian paths, quality mass-transit, and parks. This should be COMMON SENSE — in every big city, it’s advisable to devote resources to the majority of the population, not the minority of cars. Currently in New York City, this same sort of approach is being applied to the South Bronx and worth a visit!
If you are interested in experiencing the culture and richness of a South American metropolis, Bogot should be on your top 5 cities to visit and you should very much feel free to shop, party, explore, learn, and relax!