Most of our time in Bogotá was spent indulging in nice things at BOG hotel, part of the Design Hotels group. We fancied a little treat – a Christmas present to ourselves. Sleeping in a queen sized bed after dorms for six weeks was like sleeping on a cloud.
The interiors of the hotel were as expected, beautiful. We spent three nights at BOG, hopping between the roof top pool, spa, restaurant and our beds. Situated in the area of Zona T with sky rises and designer shops, Colombia’s capital reminded us of London. A far cry away from the Colombian towns we had visited so far.
As Christmas is celebrated on the 24th we enjoyed a slap-up meal in the hotel restaurant that evening, consisting of garlic prawns, turkey in a red wine jus, chocolate tarte and margaritas. For a second we’d forgotten about backpacking completely.
Back to reality…
For those looking for a hostel stay in Bogotá, we can recommend HOBU Hostel situated in the area of Chapinero and priced at six pounds a night. A quiet hostel with comfy beds, basic breakfast included and a stones throw away from Colombia’s largest club, Theatron. With thirteen rooms offering a variety of genres, we had to give the venue a try. Entry was 35 Colombian Pesos (COP) each and included a free bar until 2am – unheard of in the UK. We were slightly disappointed with the music selection. What we define as house and techno was some what different to that on offer in Theatron. We left the club at 1am and got a good nights sleep (also unheard of for us in the UK!)
City tour of Bogotá
A short bus ride away from the hostel, the Gran Colombia tour started in Chorro de Quevedo square, old town. We wandered amongst graffiti, fruit stores, coca leaf shops and cafes offering traditional Peruvian drink chica (fermented corn maize and sweet panela). For a free tour, this was a great way to get a taste, quite literally, of Bogotá with free chica, coca tea and coffee included along the way.
Tostoa is a great spot for a cheap sandwich, salad or coffee. Scattered across the city, we saw this as Bogotá’s version of a cheap Starbucks. We spent 9,000 COP here for both of our lunches (around two pound in total).
Follow the canal from the centre of the old town, up to the University, turn right and walk along the road until you spot a queue of tourists. This is the ticket booth for the funicular up to Monserrat, the mountain that dominates the city centre of Bogotá. A trip to the top costs 20,000 COP per person and takes about 10 minutes. Enjoy the church and rolling views of Bogotá.
The capital of Colombia mixes the old and the new, with a slightly cooler climate, be sure to pack a jumper or two.