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What are the Bogota must sees?

What are the Bogota must sees?

Old Apr 18, 12, 10:03 am
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What are the Bogota must sees?

I'm getting to make my first trip to Colombia this summer and due to the nature of the trip, I'm probably only going to have a few hours free to really do any sightseeing in Bogota. What are the must sees in Bogota that can be appreciated in a limited amount of time?
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Old Apr 19, 12, 12:50 pm
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In just a few hours your can see the botanical garden, which doesn't on the face of it sound very interesting except for it replicates ALL of Colombia's climates and it is well nice. It is also just under the El Dorado flight path so good for plane nerds too.

Botero Museum is fab and you can spend a couple of hours there

You could go up to Monserrate with your camera (I am going this afternoon)

Check out the guinea pig racing on the corner of la 7Ş and Jiménez

Gold Museum you could do (closed Mondays) you could do but I think that is a bit dull.

(This is in the order that I would do them coolest first)
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Old Apr 19, 12, 2:43 pm
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Thanks, I figured you'd have some suggestions. Will share the list with my travel companions. Looking at our schedule we hopefully will have at least a a good portion of a Friday for sightseeing, but won't know until we actually get down there and see what they have planned for us.
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Old Apr 19, 12, 11:17 pm
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OK I picked the wrong day to take in the "spectacular" view of Bogotá from Monserrate

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Old Apr 20, 12, 10:23 am
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Hmm, hopefully the weather clears before I arrive then.
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Old Apr 20, 12, 10:53 am
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In summer, you probably have a better chance of clear mornings. April and May are the rainy months.

Here is what I wrote in my trip report concerning Bogota:

Definitely visit the Botero Museum. It's open on Mondays when most museums are closed and it's free. Museo del Oro is also worth a visit. Also saw police, military, national, and modern art museums, all of which were just ok. The Iglesia de Santa Clara is quite beautiful. But really just enjoyed walking around, particularly the area around the Universidad de Los Andes and the Universidad Autonoma, and a walk from the Plaza de Bolivar to the modern art museum around Calle 26.
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Old Apr 20, 12, 12:35 pm
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I think Johnny Colombia's list is pretty good. I don't know if the municipal government still does this but a couple years ago (2010, during bicentennial celbrations) the Alcaldia was sponsoring free guided walking tours of the historic colonial center. These tours were available in English and completely free.

Tours left from the east side of Plaza de Bolívar. Before/after the tour you would be within easy walking distance of many of the key sights to hit on a short visit to BOG (Museo del Oro, Museo Botero, etc.)

For lunch, asuming it's a typically cool BOG day, have a bowl of ajiaco. There's a nice restaurant on Av Jimenez that serves traditional Colombian food in a nice colonial building type setting.
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Old Apr 20, 12, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by trebex View Post
In summer, you probably have a better chance of clear mornings. April and May are the rainy months.
I have been here for 4 years and cannot predict the weather. April and May might historically have been the rainy months, I don't know. The last three years late Oct to late Dec have been the rainy months. Actually it didn't rain yesterday.

Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
I think Johnny Colombia's list is pretty good. I don't know if the municipal government still does this but a couple years ago (2010, during bicentennial celbrations) the Alcaldia was sponsoring free guided walking tours of the historic colonial center. These tours were available in English and completely free.

Tours left from the east side of Plaza de Bolívar. Before/after the tour you would be within easy walking distance of many of the key sights to hit on a short visit to BOG (Museo del Oro, Museo Botero, etc.)
I don't think they do that, I haven't heard of it. I will gladly show anyone around for free as I am rusty and need to be on standby in case any of our guides has a dodgy arepa and cannot get out of bed. Let me know by PM if you want showing stuff.

Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
For lunch, asuming it's a typically cool BOG day, have a bowl of ajiaco. There's a nice restaurant on Av Jimenez that serves traditional Colombian food in a nice colonial building type setting.
Casa Vieja
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Old May 21, 12, 8:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
I don't know if the municipal government still does this but a couple years ago (2010, during bicentennial celbrations) the Alcaldia was sponsoring free guided walking tours of the historic colonial center. These tours were available in English and completely free.
It looks like the Alcaldia is still doing free walking tours that leave from the Tourist Info Office (PIT) in the Palacio Lievano on the WEST side of Plaza Bolivar. Available in English on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reservations required, but it's FREE! More info on the "Recorridos Turisticos" tab here:

http://www.bogotaturismo.gov.co/punt...-turistica-pit
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Old May 21, 12, 10:25 pm
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Wish I could take advantage but our only free day, if any, will be on a Friday. Really looking forward to this trip though, no matter what I get to see.
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Old May 22, 12, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
It looks like the Alcaldia is still doing free walking tours that leave from the Tourist Info Office (PIT) in the Palacio Lievano on the WEST side of Plaza Bolivar. Available in English on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reservations required, but it's FREE! More info on the "Recorridos Turisticos" tab here:

http://www.bogotaturismo.gov.co/punt...-turistica-pit
That's an awesome find Herb687! I have been here 4 years and didn't even known there is a tourist information office in Palacio Liévano. I have heard rumours but never actually seen it.

I am going to do the tour to see how useful it is.

www.colombia.travel is the website of Pro Export Colombia and also has great info in English about the whole of Colombia.

Pro Export Colombia also does promotional videos that are a bit cheesy and are narrated a bit like a movie trailer. I found this incredible video from Bogotá in 1946

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=553fOHflPRA

It's absolutely beautiful, and ironic too, at the end it says "It is little wonder that a half million Bogotanos take pride in their mountain metropolis" Now, mainly thanks to displacement in the provinces, it is a sprawling mountain metropolis of 7.5 million people. Then it goes on to say that they are justly proud of [...] a tradition of democratic government. Incredible because just 2 years after that video was made, presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated and much of what you see in the video was destroyed in the 2 days of rioting which followed. That is the event which ultimately can be blamed for the creation of Las FARC and the 60 years (and counting) of illegal armed conflict which ensued.

Definitely worth watching the video before visiting Bogotá proper.
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Old May 27, 12, 7:56 pm
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I loved Monserrate. The gold museum you kind of feel obliged to do - there's a lot of gold! Surrounds are pretty touristy tatty.

Liked the Botero museum, and I hadn't heard of him before going We did also just wander around the area of the Botero museum, and really liked that.

Love Bogota, it's very under-rated - but then so is Colombia.
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Old May 27, 12, 8:00 pm
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Really getting excited about the trip. Get there 2 months from today.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 7:07 pm
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So some general questions now that the trip is getting closer:

How easy it is to get currency at the airport on arrival? Would I be better off ordering some before I leave the states? Won't need large amounts but do need some for small souvenirs, sodas, etc.

What is immigration/customs like on arrival in Bogota? How's immigration? Is there any priority for business class passengers? Does everyone go through customs, is it limited to a random passengers, or is it like LIM where you press the button and hope you get green?

In Bogota, what do women normally wear? Pants or skirts? Jeans?

I will be there the last week in July/first week in August. I've been told to expect around 50 at night and 70 during the day, but is it normally dry or wet this time of year?
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Old Jun 25, 12, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
So some general questions now that the trip is getting closer:

How easy it is to get currency at the airport on arrival?
Dead easy, there is a money change office right next to international arrivals, they tend to ask silly questions like "what is your occupation?"

Note in Colombia your occupation is NOT what you do for a living, it is what you studied at university In Colombia I am an architect!

Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Would I be better off ordering some before I leave the states? Won't need large amounts but do need some for small souvenirs, sodas, etc.
Exchange rates are not excessively unfair, if you only want a couple of hunded $$ changing then it won't hurt too much, if you want to go the ATM route then ATMs are on the floor above in departures.

Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
What is immigration/customs like on arrival in Bogota? How's immigration?
On the plane you will be asked to fill in three forms, customs, immigration and a stamp form for your resident tax exemption. If you are flying LAN they never have the customs forms and you need to pick one up in baggage. If you are flying AA then they insist that you don't need the tax exemption form. This is true, you don't really need it.

Regardless of what you write on the form, the immigration will ask you the exact same info again.

Normally a friendly experience.

Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Is there any priority for business class passengers?
No, there is however priority if you are over 60, in a wheelchair, pregnant or breastfeeding an infant. If you fit into any of those categories then your luck is in.

Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Does everyone go through customs, is it limited to a random passengers, or is it like LIM where you press the button and hope you get green?
I have been through that airport maybe 100 times and cannot answer this question. After the 80th time I realised there is a button like LIM, sometimes one is asked to press it. Sometimes one gets waved straight through, sometimes everyone goes through customs, sometimes the button says go through customs but they ignore it. Chance of having to Xray your bags is about 40% I'd say.

Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
In Bogota, what do women normally wear? Pants or skirts? Jeans?
Bogotanas never show their legs in the city and it is very uncommon to see a skirt. Leggings and Jeans are more common, trouser suits for business, small lycra skirts and bra tops for brothels.

Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
I will be there the last week in July/first week in August. I've been told to expect around 50 at night and 70 during the day, but is it normally dry or wet this time of year?
Your night is about right, day will be a bit cooler. No predicting the rain regardless of what anyone says. Normally clear and cool mornings, warming up at lunchtime, cloudy afternoons, rain at about 4.30, cooler nights. If it doesn't get cloudy during the afternoons then the nights are way cooler. That's good for most days of the year apart from the end of Oct to the end of Dec when it lashes it down like the sky is about to collapse
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