Hi it’s Morgan here! As an international teacher-traveler for the past 3 years, I am excited to take you on a quick journey to Bogota, Colombia. Now is the best time to go to Colombia as tourists are just discovering this beautiful country of cultural, geographic and human diversity. Plus there are non-stop flights available: Chicago-Bogota for one!
Multigenerational travel: When you are traveling in a group that includes people that range in age the goal is to find common ground. Finding places that everyone will like is an easy feat in a city that bursts with art, culture and inviting smiles.
As you’ve heard and understood before now, art comes in many forms. Bogota has art for people of all ages and artistic styles. You can opt to walk around and take in the city’s poetic and politically charged street art in La Candelaria. La Candeleria is a great focal point of art and a good starting point of a sightseeing adventure because it showcases this street art along colonially architected, historic buildings which makes for a great contrast and history lesson. Furthermore, from La Candeleria you can walk to many art museums. Our favorite must-sees are the Bogota Gold Museum and Bogota’s Museum of Modern Art. At the Bogota Gold Museum, I recommend a guide or the audio guide because what I learned from it was so comprehensive of the story behind the gold pieces I was looking at. At the Museum of Modern Art, be prepared with a camera to take in the memories of both the inside art works and the outside architecture and natural sights. So, whether you are young in age or in heart, the architecture and street art of La Candeleria are not to be missed and the museums are a highlight for all ages and highlight Colombia’s rich cultural heritage both past and present.
A culturally authentic and meaningful day-trip is best suited for all ages. The town of Zipaquira and its’ Salt Cathedral is this spot! Zipaquira is a beautiful, quintessential small Colombian town with charm and warm, inviting locals. We hired a driver to take us the hour there and back and to stay and wait for us as we explored the Salt Cathedral. The entrance fee to go inside the Cathedral is around 20 American dollars. The fee included an audio guide that explained each station of the cross that we saw throughout the 2 hour walk inside the salt mine. We were continuously amazed as we walked throughout the mined tunnel systems and saw beautifully carved crosses illuminated in different colors. My Grandma and I had two major moments of “wow, this is so special.” For one, for every carved cross at each station there were altars for active worshippers to pray. We later learned that our day trip is a place of religious pilgrimage for Catholic Colombians. The other moment of awe was when we arrived to the Cathedral. We saw the Cathedral and walked into it with reverence as it was illuminated to remind us that we were inside the earth, in a salt mine, in a cathedral that can hold 3,000 people. My Grandma and I were amazed and felt very culturally invigorated to be a part of something so special for the Colombian people and now something so special to us.
When traveling in a multigenerational group and deciding on which neighborhood to stay in in a big and unfamiliar city, I always think safety and convenience first. As far as our lodging, we stayed at the beautiful NH Collection Teleport Hotel in the Usaquen neighborhood. Our room was spacious, the staff was attentive and the included breakfast was delicious. My Grandma and I had situated ourselves in the gastronomic and green lung of Bogota. Every night we walked mere blocks to the restaurants around the charming shopping complex, Hacienda Santa Barbara. This area is peaceful and is convenient for walking to restaurants, bars, shopping complexes and parks/green spaces. Since Bogota is such a large city, to see all of it requires some time in taxis. Thus, I recommend choosing a location that fits your convenience standards first, and then, it is easy to find a taxi for other touristic needs.