Bogota, Colombia


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South America » Colombia » Bogota
October 17th 2008
Published: October 22nd 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

October 14, 15, 16, 2008

Bogota, Colombia

We arrived in Bogota in the afternoon, following the 5 ½ hour flight from Santiago, Chile, and spent a quiet afternoon looking around the city near the hotel. This is a very nice and clean city nestled into the mountains at 2600 meters altitude.

Wednesday morning we were picked up by our driver guide for a trip into the country and a visit to Villa Leyva about a 3 hour drive from Bogota. The drive was a great trip with some very good conversation with our guide and a few stops along the way to visit a farmers market, the craft center at Raquira and a look at some smaller towns. This area is a huge producer of “cut flowers” and there are literally thousands of green houses in these small towns. This is really a beautiful country !!

Villa Leyva is one of the best preserved Colonial style towns and is an important historical place as before Colombia was liberated from the Spanish it was the center of government and probably would still be the capital if the Spanish were still in charge. (Bogota is now the capital ).

It turned out to be a very long ( but interesting ) day and we arrived back in the early evening for a late dinner in Bogota.

Thursday morning we were picked up by our guide for a very interesting day in and around Bogota. Nice place !! Lots of history, a great old town center, Candelaria, and some spectacular views from the top of the mountain at Monserrate Sanctuary at 10,340 ft. above sea level. This is a very nice city of about 8 Million people. Very modern in the main part of town but a few large districts on the outskirts with a lot of very poor people. Not unlike what we saw in Rio de Janiero.
Bogota is a beautiful place and we had a very interesting time here. The altitude in Bogota can pose some problems but not a serious issue if you take it easy in the “ walk abouts”.

We continued our adventures in Colombia with a drive to the Salt Cathedral in a small town called Zipaquira. This is a very interesting tourist place that was originally a smaller “Chapel” in a salt mine that has been expanded and reconstructed to encourage tourists to the area a short drive from Bogota. They claim to have the world’s largest underground cross and for the Catholics they have the “Stations of The Cross” as you enter into the old mine and down to the main Cathedral. Very interesting place that is really quite amazing deep into the mountain and the mine is still operating at a different part of the mountain.
We stopped to visit a 5 star resort on the hillside overlooking the city. Beautiful place to say the least.

Friday morning we left Bogota for a short flight to Cartagena north of Bogota on the Caribbean for a few days of relaxing.


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27th October 2008

Hiring Guides
How do you get your guides? Do you use an agency? Do you wait until your arrival in a major city to hire a guide? I have enjoyed reading your blogs. You have had a fascinating trip. Thanks for sharing it with the world.
From Blog: Bogota, Colombia
27th October 2008

We booked all of our guides, and most of the individual country trips, through Travel Companies. There is some security in this as they know who to deal with. For the most part we have been very happy with our guides in every location except a few. We did most of the bookings on-line and checked with several companies for price and "what's included" before choosing one. Look very carefully at the itineraries and when you are with the guide. We went with mostly "Private" tours. Us and a guide and driver or Driver / Guide. We did have a few small group tours ( 6 - 8 passenger bus but no Big buses except for long road trips with no stops for sight seeing etc. Have fun !! It's been quite the adventure for us. Tom and Alice
From Blog: Bogota, Colombia

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