Visiting Colombia has always been on my mind.
My daughter is 50% Colombian, her dad was born in the US but both of his parents are Colombian, so I couldn’t wait to experience some of the culture and meet some of her family.
After visiting Cancun for my book release party, “The Journey to a Dope Life”, my daughter and I headed to Brazil via a layover in Bogota Colombia. Our original itinerary had us sitting in the airport for 12 hours, so I decided to extend the layover for 4 days, and it almost made no difference in price! (See our tips on how!)
A no brainer!
So after spending a week in Cancun, my daughter and I hopped on a 3:30 hour flight to Bogota. The Covid requirement was proof of vaccination or a covid test 72 hours prior to arrival. For children 17 and under, nothing was needed.
We arrived that Monday with no plans or expectations, and wow, Colombia blew us away big time. we stayed at the B.O.G. Hotel, in the neighborhood of Zona T.
I chose this spot because it was well located and super safe with a ton of amazing restaurants and great partying.
We visited Usaquén, had an amazing meal at Crepes & Waffles. It was our favorite restaurant! We tried amazing soups along with savory and sweet crepes. Kylie loved the waffles and enjoyed the crepes especially with Nutella, banana, and strawberry.
This is a spectacular place to walk around, get some food and do a little shopping.
Our next stop was the Gold Museum. For only $1, we had a wonderful experience. The museum had several floors showcasing beautiful art made of gold. There is also a small café and a little shop for souvenirs.
Iglesia de San Francisco was within walking distance from the Gold Museum. Free to enter, the church was a beautiful quick visit.
We had Cacio & Pepe, an Italian restaurant for dinner, also within Zona T, only a 5 minutes’ walk from our hotel.
The mushroom fettuccine was made fresh, and was delicious! Our margherita pizza, meh, ok, but nothing to rave about. Prices were reasonable about $30 for dinner for 2.
Plaza de Bolívar is a huge plaza with beautiful architecture. It's a great place to people watch and also try all the amazing street food. We had churros, sugar cane juice and arepas.
La Candelaria is a part of town with a ton of historic buildings, great restaurants and street art. Walk around, grab a couple of drinks, enjoy the history, and take a ton of pictures.
Botero Museum is absolutely beautiful! You can walk the grounds and appreciate all the art for free and there is another museum attached, Museo de Arte Miguel. Both are free and worth checking out.
See our Bogata Reel!
Salt Cathedral was our favorite activity of the trip! About an hour from Bogotá, in the town of Zipaquirá, the beautiful drive took us through the mountains, where all these little towns are built in between.
The uber ride was $23 for 68 minutes ride.
The beautiful Salt Cathedral was a great opportunity to learn some history and shop. There’s also an underground spa where you can get massages, the only spa 180-meter underground!
To enter it was $32 dollars for adults and $15 for kids.
The $58 for the additional 40-minute massages (each) was so worth it.
Make sure to allow plenty of time to visit Zipaquirá and the Salt Cathedral. This should be a whole day trip so you can also check out downtown. This cute little town is filled with a variety of stores so you can try some authentic Colombian food and do a little shopping.
Sanctuary of Monserrate: This sanctuary can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, with its basilica built on top which reaches 3,172 meters above sea level.
Every day devotees walk up for their offerings. At the top people can experience and walk the stations of the cross. This is a very spiritual experience, filled with the culture, and breathtaking views.
You can walk up to the sanctuary for free, which takes about 50 minutes, and is an extremely extraneous walk up the stairs.
For more comfort and convenience, you can take the funicular or a cable car up, and enjoy the beautiful views. The round-trip cost is about $5 dollars and there are different times of operation for each cable car and funicular. If you prefer one or the other make sure to check out time prior to visiting. I also highly recommend checking the weather. It is very rainy in Bogota and can often be cloudy, which makes it impossible to see much from the sanctuary.
Unfortunately for us, we barely got to experience the view due to the weather. On the bright side, it has a restaurant and a little flea market with souvenirs and food!
Sanctuary of Monserrate Website
Bottom line, we thought Colombia was so dope! The way of living is different… people take their time, service is slow, so don’t expect to be in and out of places. 😅
Allow 3-4 hours to depart as everything moves very slow at the airport. We arrived 2 hours prior and it took over 1:30 hours to get our bags checked! We had to run to our gate, cut the entire line and we still only caught our flight because it was delayed.
So we mean SLOW.
The city is easy to navigate, Ubers are your safest option. We felt very safe but be careful wearing expensive clothing and accessories and avoid taking your phone out and walking alone at night.
Zona T is one of the safest neighborhoods to stay in. It's about 20 minutes from where most of the tourist attractions are but it’s a lot safer. So for the sake of having the freedom to walk around to places for dinner late at night we decided to stay there. Bogota was filled with culture and friendly people; we had a magical time.
Our Dope Life Continues.
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