Weekend in Bogotá: the Highlights

weekend in Bogotá

Greetings from Bogotá! 

From the street vendors hawking tropical juices to the many tributes to Gabriel García Márquez to that first, white-knuckled taxi ride, it was clear that we were in Colombia. I’m still absorbing and assimilating everything, so before I post something reflective, let me zip right to the images and highlights of our weekend in Bogotá. The Colombian capital, with its historical and cultural offerings, made a great introduction to the country before we hopped over to Andres’ hometown.

Plaza de Bolivar

Plaza de Bolívar, Bogotá’s main square, is flanked by important buildings such as the Palace of Justice and the Primary Cathedral of Bogotá. Inside the plaza, a jumble of performers, street vendors, pigeons, and crafty entrepreneur’s vied for our attention. Slow-moving llamas took pint-sized kiddos for a spin (and photo-bombed at least one of our pics). Wind whipped through the flat expanse of the square, alternatively ruffling and straightening the colors of the Colombian flag. The plaza was an obvious starting point for our tour of the city, as the streets that led off of it made it easy to explore the art offerings in the neighborhood of La Candelaria

weekend in Bogotá

weekend in Bogotá

Cafe de Colombia

What better place than Colombia to battle that pesky traveling companion, jet lag? Juan Valdez is Colombia’s go-to coffee stop, popping up everywhere from museums to malls. After checking out the Museo Nacional, we stopped at the adjoining Juan Valdez for a no-frills espresso. (Verdict: Let’s go back, por favor.) Starbucks opened their first stores in Colombia just last month, but for now, at least, the global coffee giant clearly has stiff local competition.

weekend in Bogotá

weekend in Bogotá

Museo Botero

I didn’t learn about artist Fernando Botero until a college professor of mine revealed that he was related to this famous painter. My interest was piqued, but I never imagine I’d get the chance to see so much of his work in person. Botero’s light-hearted and colorful expression is mimicked perfectly in the museum that houses it. A giant hand waves invitingly from the entryway, a tell-tale sign that this is no stuffy art affair. Whether baskets of oranges, renditions of famous portraits, or canvases filled with quotidian characters, these larger-than-life objects made for an experience that was anything but stodgy.

weekend in Bogotá

weekend in Bogotá

weekend in Bogotá

Andres D.C.

Andres D.C.is a zany restaurant famous for Colombian fare, as well as the effervescent bacchanalia. Everything is over-the-top, starting with the 63-page menu, and it was an upbeat addition to our weekend in Bogotá. The wait staff adorned their outfits with all sorts of kooky charms and amulets; most distinctly, I recall a blue Furby dangling from a waitress’ neck. Add confetti, wandering musicians, boot-stomping rounds of “Happy Birthday,” and TV screens following the diners, and you have an idea of the carnivalesque atmosphere that accompanied the meal. The multi-storied restaurant is so packed with trinkets, art, and ceiling ornaments, that I had a hard time even recognizing if my thumbnail shots were right-side-up or sideways!

weekend in Bogotá

weekend in Bogotá

Mixed platter with: arepas, two avocado dishes, potatoes with different sauces, grilled corn, and a fried plantain stuffed with cheese and quince paste

 weekend in Bogotá

Mountain views

Staying in Andres’ brother’s apartment meant that we were treated to 17th-floor views of the high-rises and mountains surrounding Bogotá. The living room window took up an entire wall, and I was struck by how gorgeous the mountains looked both during the day and at night. Fog collected around the mountaintops, making the landscape extra picturesque–and even more illusive to photograph.

weekend in Bogotá

weekend in Bogotá

weekend in Bogotá

 

Visited Bogotá and have a rec for our next visit? If not, what would you like to see and do in Colombian capital?

← Previous post

Next post →

15 Comments

  1. Ahhh, I love that flag.

    • Cassandra

      Doesn’t it look great against the blue sky? We took so many photos trying to capture it unfurled!

  2. Ooooh wow the main plaza looks beautiful what with all the neoclassical architecture and liveliness! I’m glad you’re finally getting to explore Andres’s homeland.

    BTW gimmeh some of that coffee! It has to be glorious down there :D

    • Cassandra

      Thanks, Trevor! It’s definitely a special trip; it’s fun coming to a (for me, new) country that we hope to revisit again and again.

      I’ll be sharing more about the coffee later, so stay tuned!

  3. Ah, this post takes me back. I loved Bogota so much! With all those amazing old buildings and the cool weather…I would live there in a heartbeat! Did you manage to make it up to Monserrate? The views there are killer! Where else are you two traveling to while in Colombia? Love the photos, by the way :)

    • Cassandra

      Thanks Justine! The variety of architecture was fascinating, I’d love to know more about it.

      We thought of going to Monserrate but it was so rainy that we didn’t think it’d be worth it. We’re also headed to Cartagena, Baru, and Barranquilla. There’s so much to explore that we’re already musing about our next trip!

  4. Colombia looks way cooler than I imagined it would! Sounds like you had an amazing time.

    • Cassandra

      Thanks Polly, it has been great so far. I’m very curious to see the colonial town of Cartagena, too!

  5. Sounds like you are having a good start to your trip! That picture of you and Andres posing in front of the dancing painting is adorable. Is this the first time you are meeting his family?

    • Cassandra

      Aw, thank you! I had to cajole him into it, but in the end he got into the “swing” of things, hehe.

      I met Andres’ parents two years ago when they visited Madrid, but only briefly. This is the first time I’ve met his brother! And it’s nice to have ample time to actually get to know his parents on this trip :)

  6. Okay, first off, that plate of Colombian food looks SO INSANELY DELICIOUS. Second of all, the picture of you and your novio dancing in front of that painting is the most adorable thing I’ve seen all day. Lastly, a llama photo-bombed your picture, and I cannot deal with the jealousy!! Your Colombian adventures thus far sound like a blast. I hope you have an amazing rest of your trip!

    • Cassandra

      Thanks so much, Courtney! Your lovely comments made me smile. ALSO, I was (ok, still am) jealous of your recent Greek island adventures. We’re even now :)

  7. One place I’d love to visit in Bogota is the Museo del Oro. It has a lot of beautiful ancient gold artifacts.

    • Cassandra

      Yes, it sounds nice! The Botero museum was nearby but we didn’t have time for another museum before it closed. Maybe on our next trip, though.

  8. WOW, amazing place and such a great food and sightseeing spots. On my bucket list!! :)

Leave a Reply

Read previous post:
IMG_2592.web
Cerrado por Vacaciones: An August Icon

A "closed for vacation" sign hangs near the Torres Blancas Summer in Madrid is the perfect time to open a bank...

Close