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Three Perfect Days: Bogotá

From the green mountains that encircle the sprawling metropolis to its blossoming arts and entertainment offerings, Colombia’s abidingly beautiful capital city is a place bursting with optimism, energy and life

Author Janet Hawkins Photography Michael Hanson

Taking in the view from the Teleférico de Monserrate cable car

Picture 1 of 12

BOGOTÁ IS USED TO BEING misunderstood. It’s chilly, we hear, and a bit wet. It’s true, the city gets a fair amount of rainfall and the mercury rarely climbs above 67 degrees Fahrenheit, but a shower here is as apt to last a few minutes as an afternoon, and the temperature rarely dips below the 60s. Plus, it’s the weather that keeps the city green and fragrant.

There’s also the misconception, a residue from cinematic crime capers and a history of news reports, that Bogotá is teeming with drug lords. No one would deny that this city of more than 8 million people has had its share of problems, but the crime risk today is pretty much on par with any major urban center. These days, Bogotá is as safe as London or New York.

As intensive public safety initiatives have transformed the city’s streets, major redevelopment programs have further heightened Bogotá’s appeal as a place to live and visit, helping the Colombian capital to reposition itself as a hotbed of art and architecture, hospitality and nightlife. You can see evidence of this in the leafy facade of its whimsical Bio Hotel, and in the couples sipping mojitos on the patios of upscale bars.

Walking around this vibrant city, you get the sense that even Bogotans are surprised at how much it has changed. Residents who ten years ago left to seek their fortunes elsewhere have returned, and there’s a Sí, se puede air about the place that’s infectious. Last summer, the city hosted the third annual Bogotá Wine & Food Festival, an opportunity to show chefs from around the world just how it’s done in this cradle of diversity.

As it turns out, it’s done very well.

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4 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: Bogotá”

  1. Esther Bustamante Says:
    February 3rd, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    We were really pleased to welcome Hemispheres Magazine at Bogotá! we colombians enjoy having visitors and showing how fun, interesting and surprising can be to come to our beautiful country.

    Not only Bogotá, but amazing places as Cartagena de Indias, Villa de Leiva, Barichara or Medellín have a lot of nature, architecture, art and gastronomy to offer.

    Thanks for telling United Airlines clients about us!


  2. Alejandro Velez, Ph.D. Says:
    February 4th, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    An upbeat but genuine piece on what Bogota has to offer tourists. It reflects well on the extraordinary effort bogotanos have made in improving its city. Alejandro

  3. Tigre Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    What a fun article covering some of my most favorite Bogota spots. Your descriptions truly capture the essence of today’s Bogota. There is so much more to this booming city including over 80 museums, fantastic theater, festivals, abundant nature and on and on…Keep an eye out for the book, “Bogota! A Bilingual Guide to the Enchanted City” published by Penguin-Random House which covers so many of the city’s treasures. In the meantime look at http://www.bogotabrilliance.co

  4. Mayra Flaherty Says:
    March 5th, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I really enjoyed Bogota, it is very nice city with a lot of history, museums beautiful churches and parks, friendly people and great food. I will go back.

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