Bogotá to Cartagena

Bogota to Cartagena

Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia in South America.  Bogotá offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Monserrate cable car
  • La Candelaria
  • Many museums such as the Gold or Botero musuem
  • Plaza de Bolívar with Capitolio Nacional and Capilla del Sagrado
  • Nightlife at calle 85
  • Modern shopping malls
  • Colpatria tower
  • Santander Park
Bogotá, Colombia

A view from Monserrate of Bogotá, Colombia

As you can see from the image above Bogotá is a huge city!  Most tourists that visit Bogotá stay in the historic center which is called La Candelaria.  There are lots of good value hotels, hostels and more tourists than you’d imagine, you’ll feel very safe.  Having said how safe it feels, I wouldn’t recommend that you’re in quiet streets or areas alone.

Bogotá is situated at an altitude of 2,644 meters so although it’s in Colombia it can get quite cold, especially at night and at Monserrate.

One of the most popular things to do in Bogotá is to take the cable car to Monserrate which gives you great views of the city.  Make sure you go on a clear day just before sunset and you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the city.  It’s also possible to walk up to Monserrate, be warned though, it’s quite far and steep but does make for a great workout.

Palacio de Justicia

Capitolio Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia

There are many things you can see and do in the Candelaria area.  The building pictured above is the Capitolio Nacional on Plaza de Bolívar, there is also a very old Cathedral opposite it called Capilla del Sagrado.  As you can see there are many pigeons in this large plaza which is typical of most South American plazas.  Plaza de Bolívar is patrolled by police and is very safe, as is most of the Candelaria.

Just off Plaza de Bolívar is the infamous Calle Del Divorcio, or Divorce street.  It’s called this because many years ago, a couple who were supposed to have arranged marriages ran away to be together here.  They then lived together for 20 years, unhappy, fighting and screaming but never got divorced.  This street is named as it is because the option of divorce should be there instead of a lifetime of unhappiness.  Make sure you get a photo next to the Calle Del Divorcio street sign, I did, it’s on Instagram!

Another infamous place on Plaza de Bolívar is the Palace of Justice.  Those interested in Colombian history will have read about the Palace of Justice Siege which happened in 1985.  It was a terrible situation and nearly half of the 25 Supreme Court Justices were killed.

Botero museum

Botero Museum, Bogotá

Also in the Candelaria you’ll find the Botero Museum.  At the Botero museum you’ll find artwork by the same artist who created Botero Park in downtown Medellín, Fernando Botero.  In the museum they have lots of larger than life Botero statues and huge paintings of the oversized people.  Right next to the Botero museum is the coin museum which is also very interesting.

You should take the time to visit another part of Bogotá, Calle 85 which offers the best nightlife in Bogotá.  If you’re homesick you could visit TGI Fridays, Hooters, Krispy Kreme or one of many other western chains.  A bar I recommend is BBC, this is not the TV channel, but the Bogotá Beer Company, they have great beers that come in liter size steins.

Transmilenio

Transmileno, Bogotá

Taxis in Bogotá are cheap and the driver usually puts the meter on without asking, so this is a viable method of getting around.  Another way to get around is by the Transmilenio (pictured above).  This is a bus service with enclosed bus stations which you need a ticket to get into, it’s easy to use and the maps help a lot.  There are several different routes available with route changes included in the ticket price.  I wouldn’t recommend the Transmilenio at peak hours, it gets very overcrowded with long queues to get in the stations.  The buses run in private lanes so traffic is not a problem.

Bus from Bogotá to Cartagena

Overnight bus from Bogotá to Cartagena, 22 hours, 90,000 pesos

Most buses leave Bogotá from Terminal Bogotá which is also known as the Terminal de Transportes de Bogotá.  Be aware that there is also a south terminal mainly serving destinations to the south of Colombia.  I turned up at Terminal Bogotá without a ticket, and I decided 90,000 pesos for a 22 hour overnight luxury Copetran bus leaving within the hour was good value.  Unless it’s a major holiday in Colombia, there should always be available seats on the bus and therefore you should be able to get better than advertised prices.

Cartagena to Aruba

2017-04-01T11:35:45+00:00 November 30th, 2016|Colombia, South America|11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Brittany January 31, 2017 at 6:05 am - Reply

    The photo of Bagota at night is amazing!!! Really like how you go in depth of where to go to grab a meal especially if someone gets homesick while over there as not many people touch on that! Great post!

  2. Sonia January 31, 2017 at 6:32 am - Reply

    I have heard so many great things about Colombia that I want to visit the country soon. Is the place safe? We hear such varied versions of the country … also, how many days should I spend in Bogota?

  3. Mohit Agarwal January 31, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

    that’s a beautiful city….and your itinerary is perfect,

  4. Sara Essop January 31, 2017 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for the helpful tips. I didn’t know much about Colombia before I read this post. The story about Divorce Street is interesting too. I’ve never heard of a place being named after divorce before.

  5. Ticker Eats The World January 31, 2017 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Bogota sounds and looks like a dream. Thanks for all the tips. Divorce Street is so quirky, I love local “history” although won’t risk going there with my wife 😜 As for Calle 85, it’s great to have familiar brands to choose from but I usually skip them for something local.

  6. Swati & Sam January 31, 2017 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Have never heard about this place but the city looks quite interesting. Cathedral is really beautiful and the view after the cable car ride is amazing for sure. Divorce Street sounds funny … do they also have Marriage street .. sorry poor joke 😀

  7. The Travel Ninjas February 1, 2017 at 12:20 am - Reply

    Columbia is such a gorgeous country. Bogota and Cartagena sound like great places to visit. I’d really love to take the cable car in Bogota. The views would be stunning I’m sure. Thanks for the tips.

  8. Abigail February 1, 2017 at 4:15 am - Reply

    These places look amazing and are beautifully captured in your photos. I’ve never been to both cities! But it is always exciting to discover new spots to add to the bucket list!

  9. Ling Ge February 1, 2017 at 8:12 am - Reply

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about Columbia, especially from our Columbian friend. Now it’s great to have a list of activities that we can look forward to when we get a chance to visit. Calle Del Divorcio sounds like an interesting place.

  10. Cassidy's Adventures February 2, 2017 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    This is a great post! It’s so informative! Thanks for sharing all the info 🙂

  11. Carmen Baguio May 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    I always forget how big Bogota is. Now that it is safer, I’d love to visit Colombia and see all of the Latin American architecture.

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