Bogota - better than expected

Trip Start Jul 09, 2007
Trip End Sep 10, 2007

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bogota is so much better than I expected from a town with 7 million people. We arrived sleepy after the 5 1/2 hour flight from Santiago a little apprehensive about the safety of this town and wondering how we would cope getting a taxi to the hostel without getting severely ripped off. In true project management style Liz had prepared a written paragraph to give the the taxi driver with directions to the hostel... we arrived with out a problem although, we did have a brief stop at the wrong place where a lovely druggie welcomed us to the neighbourhood and and politely asked us to make a donation to his cause.

I was so surprised how quaint the area was as we navigated around in the taxi searching for the hostel.  Donkeys strolling down the street without owners and streets busy with pedestrians going about their business. The hostel is perfect (, a sanctuary amongst the busy streets.  The poverty is prevalent and the Piaza de Bolivar had experienced a riot the previous months.  That said, there is security everywhere and provided you have your whits about you, it is a safe as any capital city.  You just feel like you have stet back in time because of all the architecture...

When we arrived we had to press a buzzer as the hotels is always locked... we felt like we had entered an oasis, hammocks dotted around the courtyard and a beautful garden at the back of the hostel (with hummingbird).

We aquanted ourselves with all the other guests, a Liverpudlian, an Irish, some Americans and us as the owner, Margarita, sat us down to cover all the highlights Bogota had to offer. She speaks perfect English and has such a mild caring manner. The hotels seems to have positioned itself for those wanting a more peaceful break rather then some of the others that are typical young get drunk hotels.

The Liverpudlian works 2 months in London as a paramedic to fund the other 10 months in Colombia. The Irish lass has been in Colombia for the last 13 years working on communes.  Both are lovely welcoming people who are really interesting to chat to.

We spent the first day exploring the local La Candelaria area which is the old town part of Bogota where the city began. YouŽll see from the pictures the buildings are all very colourful, it was hard not taking pictures of them all as each one was unique with big wooden doors and design reminisant of the a period of history a long time ago, the 17th century.  

As we write this blog, the employees of the hostel are taking an English class and are giggling away asking us for pronuniations.  The facilities around us are basic but so fitting.  We share a communal kitchen and other guests are quick to share their coffee and offer to share their food.  Our room has its own bathroom (the more expensive option) with rafters showing and skylights in the high roof letting in extra light.  The hostel itself dates back to the 17th Centtury and is made of abode, compacted earth and whitewashed.  Unlike anything weŽve ever stayed in before and making the experience all the more enjoyable.

Today, we ventured to a couple of museums.  An art museum of the famous Colombian artist Bolero which also included pieces of Dali and Picaso.  After a coffee stop (the coffee is not as good as Sydney -  can you believe it) we kicked onto the Gold Musem.  The former being the most interesting.
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danronian on

Hi there. I am also a Colombia traveler, and the Candeleria really is an amazing section of Bogota. I stayed near there with a friend, but every day wandered toward that area, both times I visited the city. The hostel you stayed at looks very nice. I might have to stay there next time I am in Bogota just to get acquanted with some more English speaking people living here (as I have almost zero Spanish skill myself).

Good luck on your ventures!


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