Sitting up on a plateau some 2,500 meters above sea level, Bogotá gazes down as the third highest capital in South America. At the geographic center of Colombia, Bogotá boasts of being the country’s main urban center. That urban center was neglected for a time, filling with crime and the rough and touch. Getting it together over the last few years, many are finding Bogotá pleasant, cultural, artistic, and academic, words that used to describe the city centuries ago. Bogotá has taken those words back today.
Right in the heart of the historic city of Bogotá lays Plaza de Bolivar. With a statue to Simon Bolivar in the center, Plaza de Bolivar proves its importance as it dresses in governmental and political buildings. The area surrounding Plaza de Bolivar is just waiting for a stroll. La Candelaria, as it is referred, breathes in and out a colonial spirit and way of life. The first buildings in the area date back to the 16th century. Forming together with several old districts, La Candelaria is the perfect place to see the bohemian, cultural and academic flavors of Bogotá.
Surround yourself in gold while in Bogotá. El Museo del Oro glistens with 24,000 gold pieces from pre Hispanic cultures throughout the country. Not just a gold museum, El Museo del Oro is said to be one of the most important gold museums in the entire world. Bogotá’s museums are not quite finished showing you their importance. Museo Botero is considered one of the most important art collections in Colombia’s history. With 120 artworks, paintings, drawings and sculptures, visitors are bound to find something to their liking. Works by Picasso, Dali, Matisse and Renoir cloud the museum.
Works of art hang throughout Bogotá, including the Church of Santa Clara. Constructed between 1629 and 1674, the church’s walls cover in paintings and statues of saints. Many of these works of art date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. More religious sides to the city continue on over at the Catedral Primada, supposedly where the first mass was celebrated post Bogotá’s foundations. Rebuilt several times over the years, what visitors marvel at today is a 1807 creation. The largest church in the city also houses Bogotá’s founder Jimenez de Quesada.
Heading for the hills of Bogotá, visitors can see an impressive view. Cerro de Monserrate remains the peak overlook to the city. At 3,160 meters high, you can bet to receive an inspiring view. From the top, you can take in the volcano range, Los Nevados, when the air is clear. Cerro de Monserrate has served as a place of pilgrimage. The church at the top sits with a statue of Senor Caido. Numerous miracles have been attributed to this spot, so come on up and let the miraculous view consume you.
Bogotá entertains at Teatro Colón. An Italian, Pietro Cantini, understandably designed the Italian style theater. Lavishly and ornately decorated on the interior, Teatro Colón puts on concerts, ballets, and operas. More natural entertainment comes at Jardín Botánico José Celestino Mutis. The rich variety of national flora fills throughout greenhouses and different climatic zones.