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Bogotá, Colombia – Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Start your visit by concentrating on La Candelaria, the atmospheric old quarter, full of colonial houses built more than 300 years ago. Lose yourself in the cobbled streets and spend time people watching, particularly in Bolívar Square. This is where a statue of Simón Bolívar, the Venezuelan leader who liberated Latin America from the Spanish in the early 19th century stands, pride of place. While you are here visit the neoclassical Catedral Primada, the city’s grandest; inside you’ll find the tomb of Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, who founded the city. Other notable buildings on the square include the Capitolio Nacional, built between 1847 and 1926; work was frequently halted due to political protests. Just up the road is the Museo Botero filled with works by great native artist Fernando Botero, famed for his rotund sculptures. Also on show are pieces by Picasso and Dalí. Another museum not to be missed is the Museo del Oro, the Gold Museum, which houses glistening gems and ancient archaeological finds created by the country’s indigenous peoples before the arrival of Europeans. End the day in lively Santander Park, once known as Square of the Herbs, which is full of street entertainers and handicraft stalls

The full range of accommodation can be found here with the Hotel Charleston located in northern Bogotá is one of the city’s best. It has 64 modern, luxurious rooms, complete with queen-sized beds, marble bathrooms and all mod-cons. Doubles start from around £160 for room only. A good medium price is the Hotel Casa Deco which is within walking distance of all the main sights. It’s housed in an art deco building and the decor has artistic touches. The 21 rooms are spacious, the staff pleasant and there’s a roof terrace with beautiful views. Doubles start from £70 but this is including breakfast.

If you are on a tight budget rooms at the Hostal Bogota Real are basic but comfortable. It’s situated in a quiet and leafy neighbourhood just 15 minutes from the airport. Doubles start from £45 including breakfast.

With so much on offer elsewhere in Colombia, it can be tempting to rush away but you should give Bogotá a day or two at least. Beyond the obvious sights, discover the secret sides to Bogotá on one of its more unusual tours.

Why not tour the sites of north Bogotá by bike or get the inside track on the city’s dynamic and thought-provoking street art with a Bogotá Graffiti Tour. Also, take a day trip to Zipaquirá, 40km away, to see the striking underground salt cathedral, constructed in the 1930s within old mining tunnels which is 200m below ground.

Then if you want to move on head north to the colonial Caribbean city of Cartagena which is worth a separate description all of its own.

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