Colombia Pt 3: Café central, artesian heaven and a lucky non-robbery

For some reason I truly can’t comprehend Bogota doesn’t have an amazing rep with backpackers. I hear about Medellin as being an amazing city to visit but Bogota gets a shrug and a ‘meh’ attitude and I genuinely don’t understand why. It’s very artisan with beautiful streets, cafes, full of vibrancy, culture and friendly people. As soon as Abi and I arrived in Bogota we dropped off our bags and took the little telerifico to the view point of Bogota, which is also absolutely massive! Impossible for me to capture in one photo. We made it for sunset which was absolutely stunning, treated ourselves to beer and empanadas before heading back down. I’d have loved to have spent more time up there but as the sun slipped away the temperature dropped quite dramatically which we weren’t prepared for.

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Up the telerifico
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Bogota at sunset
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Thrilled to see beer and empanadas on the menu
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One happy Abi

We had one full day in Bogota much to my in hindsight dismay, so we packed in a lot. Our only full day began with the graffiti tour. As I went to pack my bag I realised that at some point during our visit to the viewpoint the previous evening someone had tried to slash through it, luckily they hadn’t managed to cut through the zip across the bag so nothing was taken but I was upset my beautiful PuriyPacha bag was ruined and a little unsettled that I’d not even noticed someone hack at it with a knife. You might think this marred my impression of Bogota. It didn’t. I’ve had my bag stolen from my home city (Zürich) and if it can happen there it can happen anywhere.

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Absolutely gutted to have my PuriyPatcha bag ruined

The graffiti tour was stunning, informative and definitely a highlight. There’s so much of it to see and admire around the area and in my opinion the graffiti adds so much character – you can spend hours wandering the streets in admiration. The tours are all free with a voluntary tip at the end and I’d definitely recommend it. I took well over 100 pictures but will add just a few of my favourites.

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The graffiti often has political messages 
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Graffiti is often commissioned by local businesses to protect their walls. This was commissioned by the restaurant to the left of the lion.
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The hummingbird sat directly on top of the lion and the owners of the flat allowed it to continue on to their ceiling 
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I thought this piece was beautiful and was located on a brilliant artisan market street 

We made our way to the Catedral Primada de Bogotà where I tried to face my completely irrational fear of pigeons (I’m terrified of the buggers), before heading to Arte y Pasión Café where we had amazing sandwiches (so rare here) and they made little drawings in the coffee. A true barista paradise.

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Catedral Primada de Bogotà

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The fear is real
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My Oso cappuccino 
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When coffee becomes art

We then went all the way out to Zipaquira to the Salt Cathedral as recommended by a fellow traveller. The journey there was a bit of a mission (change buses at Portal Norta) but it was really worth the effort. Abi delivered one of her outstanding one liners while we were in the Salt Cathedral, the crossed were often marked as ‘the time Jesus fell’ ‘the second time Jesus fell’ etc when Abi turns to me and says ‘wow Jesus was clumsy’.

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Angel sculpture 
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Outstanding architecture and artwork

Sadly we only had one day for Bogota, staying at The Kranky Croc which was extremely central to everything and ate at the Mongolian restaurant across from the hostel which was extremely tasty – I even tried (and didn’t mind) an entire shrimp. A lot of travellers I’ve met didn’t have the best impression of Colombia’s capital, and while Medellin is more advanced with their metro lines running through the city I really enjoyed Bogota and will definitely try to come back to experience the nightlife.

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I adored the streets of Bogota

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