Destination: Bogota, Colombia
Number of Days: 2
Times we took the: Boat/Ferry - 0 Bus/Minivan - 1 Train/Subway - 3 taxi/car - 5 Horseback - 0
Where we stayed: Villa Colonial off of 57th (40,000 cp - $18)
Favorite Restaurant: Cafe de Lis by the Museo de Oro - Awesome vegetarian meal of the day for 6100 cp ($3) including a soup, an entree, a fruit juice drink and dessert. This place has something for everyone. There are four floors, the first is a deli with sandwiches, coffee and desserts, the second a fancy executive floor with the seafood comida del dia (15,000 cp), the third with the meat comida del dia (10,000 cp) and the 4th with the vegetarian one (6,100 cp).
Best of: Bogota boasts the most well known and impressive gold museum in the region. Don't miss it!
Worst of: It was a tie between being "accidently" bumped into in downtown Bogota (keep your wits about you here and definitely don't carry much cash) and the over priced tourist trap of a restaurant at the top of the hill (beautiful view but you pay dearly for it with your wallet).
We took the direct bus from Villa de Leyva (20,000 cp - $9) which took about 4.5 hours to get into Bogota. Upon arriving Andres helped us find a hotel in a nice area so we checked in and headed out to meet our American friends Lisa, Robinn & Claude for dinner once again! The next morning we woke up bright and early and took the TransMilenio into La Candelaria ($.75/ride). We wandered around the historic district and took in a few of the sites. We started with the Plaza Bolivar which sits in the historic district then walked by the Presidential palace to Iglesia de Santa Clara. This church has been converted to a museum and its walls are covered in paintings, statues and altarpieces from the 17th and 18th century.
From there we visited Iglesia de Caldelaria, aka the candy cane church, then walked to the gold museum, Museo de Oro. The Museo de Oro houses 34,000 gold pieces from major cultures in Colombia and is considered one of the most important gold museums in the world.
After a coffee break (we love our Colombian Tinto) we started walking and ran into our American friends again...what a small world! We went to the Bottero Museum together which houses over 200 paintings, drawings and sculptures by Bottero as well as an impressive collection of works by Picasso, Dali, Matisse, Monet and Chagall.
That night we celebrated our final night in Bogota in Cerro de Monserrate with beautiful views of Bogota and a way over priced meal (or rather, pricey drinks and appetizers). After dinner the staff at the restaurant gave us a bottle of aquardiamente, the local "fire water". We promptly polished it off! What a way to end our time in Colombia...we are already looking forward to going back!
The next day we flew to Buenos Aires to catch our 16 day cruise around the tip of South America including Antarctica!