Tourism in Bogota

Although for many years Bogota was not considered a great tourist destination because of its reputation for drug cartels, murders and kidnappings, it has over the last 20 years successfully limited the activities of the drug cartels, to reducing murders to 25% of their one time high and to a large extent lost its reputation as a place where you could get kidnapped. In fact today, Bogota is probably no different from any other Latin American city in regards to safety. This means that tourism has started to grow in the city which is a good thing, not just for the residents who could financial gain from tourism but also for the tourists as there are many interesting things to do in Bogota Columbia.

One of the most interesting and popular attractions for tourists to Bogota is the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum). This is a museum that is dedicated to showing artifacts from all the indigenous peoples of the region and has over 55,000 that can be displayed. Although displaying clay and pottery artifacts as well as jewelry, one section of the two story building is specifically dedicated to gold artifacts and has the largest collection of Pre-Hispanic gold artifact collections in the world. Hence the museum’s name and why it is so interesting but many tourists look in awe at the amount of gold on display, knowing that they will never again see such a large collection together all in one place.

Another popular attraction for tourists is Monserrate Mountain. At a height of 3,000 meters above sea level Monserrate Mountain towers over the city offering spectacular views of the city from its summit. So that tourists can more easily take advantage of the great views the mountain top has to offer, a funicular railway and a cable car can quickly transport them to the top.

La Candelaria is the city’s old district and is home to the famous Plaza Bolivar. This old part of the city has many old churches and cathedrals and although it also houses the Presidential Palace, the palace still to this day remains heavily guarded. No visit to the old district is complete though without visiting one of the many restaurants.

Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira (Salt Cathedral) is actually about an hour from Bogota in a small town called Zipaquira but is well-worth a visit as it is a cathedral carved out of salt. The cathedral marks the site of an old salt mine and it was built by the miners so that they could have a place to pray close to the mine.

To get a true view of Bogota, you can cycle some of the more than 300 kilometers of bicycle routes within the city. Bogota has become the most bicycle friendly city in South America and possibly the world with 5% (400 to 500 thousand) of the residents taking to cycling each and every day. Cycling some of these routes will afford you a better view of the city than you would get from any taxi window and is cheaper.