We spent a week in heart of Colombia during the kids’ spring break this year. It’s truly a vibrant and engaging city with unique tropical fruits, pre-Colombian historical museums, massive political street murals, and grand 500-year old plazas/churches. Here are the highlights of our trip.
Take the funicular up to Monserrate at an elevation of 10,341 feet for Panoramic Views of Bogotá.
The Monserrate’s story dates back to Pre-Colombian times, when the city was inhabited by the Chibcha-speaking Muisca people, who believed deeply in astronomy and worshipped the solar god of Sué. When the Spanish invaded, they replaced all the city’s Muisca temples with Catholic buildings, including the one at the top of the Monserrate. While today the Monserrate is a tourist attraction, it is also still predominantly a religious and sacred place, with many people visiting the cathedral to offer their prayers to El Señor Caído. Our guide (@greentrailscolombia) even mentioned since we were visiting during Easter week, we may see people climb up the mountain on their knees, barefoot or blindfolded, to proclaim their faith and pray for the healing of loved ones, and at the top of the mountain is a rock bearing messages of gratitude.
Stroll through the historic heart of Bogotá at Plaza de Bolivar.
Bogotá has a colonial history of Spanish conquistadors who conquered the indigenous Muisca during the 16th century and left an undeniable imprint on the region’s culture. In 1819, Colombia gained independence from Spain and named Bogotá as its capital. At the time, the region was known for its salt mines, gold working, and agriculture. Today, the city has become a popular locale for foreign investors and international businesses. Sitting at 8,660 feet above sea level, Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia and third largest in the Americas. With a population of over 11 million people, its majestic mountains are visible from most neighborhoods in the city. A bonus for us was our Flytographer session here. More photos coming!
Graffiti Bike Tour
Hop on a bike and see Bogotá’s best and most famous art, but also hear the stories behind the work and the artists.
Bogotá has more street art per square meter than almost any other city in the world and today we explored the city on a 6hr bike tour (nearly 9 miles)! The street artists drew their inspiration from corruption, political scandals, or daily life in Colombia. This tour was our favorite activity we did on our trip. We highly recommend Bogotá Bike Tours!
Museo del Oro
Visit The Gold Museum to see the largest collection of pre-Colombian gold and alloys in the world.
I was super excited to visit this museum when planning our trip and wished we had more time during our visit to the museum. The Museo del Oro has over 60,000 pieces of pre-Colombian gold and alloys in the world. Some of the artifacts are over 2,000 years old. Many of these items were used in the daily life or sacred rituals of indigenous peoples like the muisca and tayrona.
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
An hour outside the city, is a magnificent cathedral carved deep underground in a salt mine. It contains alcoves for worshipping and beautifully lit crosses.
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic Church, and one of the Seven Wonders of Colombia for its uniqueness and historical significance. The church was built within the tunnels of a 2000 meters long salt mine in a halite mountain near the Colombian town of Zipaquirá. The cathedral is a popular tourist destination and pilgrimage site in the country. Since it has no bishop, it does not have the status of an official cathedral. There are three sections of the temple which represent the birth, life, and death of Christ.
Have you visited Bogotá?