Welcome to Bogota
To take a flight from Ecuador to here seems to be ridiculously expensive and I don’t even know why. Boyang and I split up while in Ecuador because he wanted to do other things than trekking volcanoes. So we were able to reunite in Colombia.
After almost 2 years, I did Couchsurfing again. This time I stayed with Deivid, a funny, generous and very lovely guy. We spent everyday together exploring and visiting places in Bogota.
He has a dog called Spike with whom I fell in love. In general, I love to stay with locals to get an easier access and understanding of the place, the people, and the culture of the country I travel to.
The first day – of course- I asked him where we can hike. Therefore, he took me to Monserrate (3152m) where we had an amazing view of the city. I tried some Colombian dishes while enjoying the quality time and the beauty of the mountains in front of me. There are lunch places in Monserrate and it’s worth the money. What you can also do is a three hour Free Walking Tour with Strawberry Tours.
La Candelaria & Downtown
And if you want to visit the town by yourself, I would get myself a cheap sim-card for Colombia and use Uber to get around Bogota. For example you can visit La Candelaria, the beating heart of Bogotá. A bohemian district with sights such as the Colonial Cathedral and the neo-classical National Capitol of Colombia. Narrow streets lined with shops selling emeralds and other crafts.
Close by, you can visit Museo del Oro with pre-Columbian artifacts and the Museo Botero. The last one is my favourite museum in Bogota, it displays the work of Fernando Botero in a colonial mansion and has free entry. He might be among with Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Escobar one of the most famous Colombian personalities. Have a look online for his works.
And at the end of your tour you can try in of the restaurants dishes such as ajiaco (chicken soup with potatoes). The downtown offers so much street food, hence indulge in all those different flavours and be curious.
My First Insignificant Impression Of Colombia
Guys, the rumours are true about Colombians. Don’t get me wrong it is just a small impression of mine, I can’t say much about the country yet since I have been only to Bogota.
Despite spending a short time there, I fell in love with Colombia. The rumours are true that Colombians are very passionate, happy and warm-hearted people. And despite what some misled travelers may tell you, the food is quite rich, you just need to eat at the right places. Boyang got the same impression and our host was one of the best examples.
Once you talk to them, they could talk for hours and won’t stop. And that’s why I need to come back to learn Salsa in Colombia. I want to feel and discover more about the Colombian lifestyle and passion.
Now I think it’s obvious why so many backpackers predetermine Colombia as their favourite Latin-American country.
Zipaquira – Catedral de Sal
On our last day, Deivid drove us to Catedral de Sal near the town of Zipaquira. This Roman Catholic church is built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200m underground. It is pretty much a tourist destination. But in my opinion it is worth a visit. The temple at the bottom has three sections, all representing the life and death of Jesus. The beautiful architectural details are hand carved in the halite rock. For Colombian people, it is a cultural and religious patrimony. Colombians are even so proud that in 2007 they proposed the cathedral to the list of modern Seven Wonders of the World.
Going To New York From Bogota
It was very hard for me to leave Bogota and all of South America and its people I have met since December behind me. Also, it was time to say goodbye to Boyang, since he has to go back to Germany for his studies. It has been a blessing for me to travel with such an amazing friend through a small part of South America and experience so many lifetime adventures together.
If somebody would have convinced me a little bit more, I would have stayed longer in South America. It was not easy at all to leave Colombia. But that’s just one of the reasons why I need to get back as soon as possible!