No-one could claim to know Colombia without spending time in the country’s capital and nowadays there are more ways than ever to see Bogota. Perhaps you’ll choose to spy on the city’s eight million inhabitants from above, chug past them on a train or enjoy a panoramic view on horseback. Either way, there’s something for everyone:
Hot air balloon
There’s no reason why birds should have all the fun, especially not now we can all take a bird’s eye view of the capital and its surrounding savannah. Hot air balloon rides depart at dawn from the village of Guasca and offer stunning views of the towns close to Bogota and the highlands of Cundinamarca and Boyaca. Best of all, the balloon has no rudder, which leaves passengers at the mercy of the winds (although tour companies will have vehicles on hand to meet you, wherever you may land).
Bogota’s beloved tourist train chugs to Zipaquira, where passengers wander the plaza or visit the Salt Cathedral, before reaching the pretty village of Cajica, where visitors stop for lunch and shop for crafts and gifts. The train leaves its central Bogota station (Calle 13 # 18 – 24) around 8.30am every weekend and stops at its station in Usaquen (Transversal 10 # 110 – 08) before it leaves the city. Passengers are entertained by a group of travelling musicians and there are plenty of snacks onboard too.
Bogota’s eastern mountains offer the best view of the city and what better way to reach the capital’s popular La Calera vantage point than on horseback? Pony treks up the mountain take around two hours, depending on the route, and riders usually stop for a barbecue at the top. There they enjoy a cracking view of the city from various different lookout points. Night-time pony treks are also available for those who want an unimpeded view of the stars.
Every city needs a tourist bus to take its visitors around all the sites and Bogota has TurisBog. This green double-decker bus trundles its passengers from Parque 93 down to Monserrate and out past Parque Central Bavaria and Corferias to Maloka and the Botanical Gardens. The bus runs from 8.15am to 4.40pm, Wednesday to Saturday, and the ticket includes entrance to the Gold Museum and a walking tour in La Candelaria.
But if the daytime tourist bus sounds a bit staid for your liking, there’s always the chiva or party bus, which tours the city at night. These specially designed buses have loud sound systems and dance floors, complete with poles in the center. Passengers dance and celebrate their way around a three-hour tour of the city that usually ends at a popular night spot.
Photo: Jared Smith (Flickr)
Want to want to see a city a little differently? The answer is Colombia. If you liked this article please feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.
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