The Museo del Oro houses more than 34,000 pre-Columbian gold relics, the largest collection on earth. The focal point is the 8,000-piece Offering Boat room, which holds the spectacular Balsa Muisca, a miniature model of a gold-and-copper raft bearing figurines that depict the initiation ceremony of a new ruler on Lake Guatavita. Legends say that each new chief would cover himself in gold dust and dive into the water to become “El Dorado,” or the gilded one.
Carrera 6 No. 16–58, 57/(0) 1-343-2222. Image: courtesy of Museo del Oro
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Bogotá's Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) is home to one of the world's largest collections of pre-Columbian gold artifacts and relics. Admission to the museum is about USD$2, but the many rooms of glittering objects can get overwhelming after an hour or two. Don't miss La Ofrenda, a third-floor exhibit where you enter in complete darkness, only to find yourself surrounded by gold as the lights slowly rise. It's a one-of-a-kind experience, and you'll leave with a newfound respect for ancient jewelry makers.