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Essential Guide to Bogotá

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Two colors will be top of mind after a visit to Colombia's capital city: green and gold. The green of the city's parks and South America's Andes in the distance. The gold at the Museo del Oro. Spend time walking around the city, there's plenty to marvel at over the colonial architecture along the way. Two day trips from Bogotá that, really, aren't optional: Lake Guatavita, for natural beauty and the stories of chieftains and conquistadors; and The Salt Cathedral, sculpted from the empty chambers of a working salt mine.
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Monserrate Bogotá, Colombia
The peak called Monserrate towers over central Bogotá and lends its name to the church that tops it. Perched more than 10,000 feet above sea level, the sanctuary—dedicated to the Passion of Christ—has beautiful gardens...
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Bogotá’s museum of all things gold is one of Colombia’s greatest treasures. Yet despite the name, you’ll find more here than just the precious metal. In addition to stunning displays drawing on a collection of more than...
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Set within the Banco de la República’s museum complex, the Botero Museum offers a sampling of paintings and sculptures by famed Colombian artist Fernando Botero, best known for his still lifes and his exaggeratedly rotund human...
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Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
Since Bogotá relaxed its rules about street art, the usual hurried scrawls that used to cover walls in some neighborhoods have been replaced by beautiful murals of vivid color and pleasing form. Though some are purely decorative—often...
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Dg. 68 #1242, Bogotá, Colombia
After more than a decade as one of the Bogotá art scene’s nerve centers—in addition to being a Pan-American landmark—Nueveochenta, founded by former Colombian president César Gaviria, now operates out of a house...
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Parque De La Sal, Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
About an hour north of Bogotá lies the so-called Salt Cathedral, an intriguing and impressive church that has been sculpted from the empty chambers of a working salt mine, one that’s been in operation since pre-Hispanic times....
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This lake set amid lofty mountains is a mystical, peaceful spot with a fascinating history of indigenous princesses, gold-covered chieftains, and treasure-gouging conquistadors—purportedly the site where the El Dorado legend began (indeed,...
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Cl. 11 #6-50, Bogotá, Colombia
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. Near Plaza de Bolívar in the colonial Candelaria quarter, the city’s historic core, swing by La Puerta Falsa, a bakery and restaurant that has been run by the same family since 1816. Order the...
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Cra. 9 #75-70, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Chef Harry Sasson is nothing short of an institution in Colombia’s culinary realm, one of the people responsible for having reactivated a local interest in haute cuisine. Mixed-grill aficionados will thrill equally to his langoustines (with...
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Calle 69 A # 5 – 75, Zona G, Bogotá, Colombia
Once a quiet residential neighborhood near Bogotá’s financial district, Zona G (as in gourmet) is now an all-city dining hot spot that’s abuzz day and night, serving everything from upscale burgers (at Gordo) and pizzas (at...
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Cl. 10 #5-72, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
In the historic Candelaria district, the 42-room Hotel de la Opera occupies two colonial townhouses and parts of a 1940s art deco mansion. Head up to the rooftop restaurant, El Mirador, to enjoy ajiaco (potato soup with corn, chicken, and aji...
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Cra. 7 ##69A-22, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
From hand-carved wooden doors to rustic ceiling beams, elements rescued from demolished colonial-era convents were incorporated into the architecture of this luxury property when it was built in 1946. A designated historic landmark,...
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Cl. 79b, Bogotá, Colombia
Calle 79b (between Carreras 7a and 9a) is a favorite Bogotá destination, where restaurants, indie galleries, design stores, bars, and, above all, antiques shops come together. A visit to the Zona Rosa isn’t complete without...
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12, Calle 81-82 #11-94, Bogotá, Colombia
Aficionados of the high-end love the window-shopping and elegant eating in Zona T. Retail therapy reaches a peak at the Centro Andino and El Retiro shopping malls, chockablock with glitzy boutiques hawking refined Colombian and foreign labels;...
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La Macarena, Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. The Macarena district is the center of the city’s art scene. La Peluqueria not only offers edgy haircuts but also exhibits contemporary paintings. At the Alonso Garces Galeria (pictured), installations and...