Enjoy a full-day visit to the historic centre of Bogotá known as La Candelaria. This archaic suburb has great significance in the country's history due to its cultural heritage and is also a great example of Spanish colonial time architecture. Visit the main square Plaza de Bolivar, where a statue of the great emancipator Simón Bolívar is located. Around the Plaza de Bolívar are buildings such as the Palacio de Justicia, the Mayor of Bogotá’s offices called the Edificio Liévano, the oldest school in the county called San Bartolomé and the Casa de los Comuneros, named after the leaders that participated towards the end of the 17th century in some of the first movements towards independence from Spain and the formation of the Republic.
The visit continues with the Botero Museum, a colonial house exhibiting some of Fernando Botero's works of art, alongside pieces from his own personal collection that includes works by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti. Next is the Gold Museum which has a permanent exhibition of some 32,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stones, ceramics and textiles all precious to the Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Sinu, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco and Magdalena cultures.
After the museums, enjoy a traditional lunch in the Santuario de Monserrate, a symbol of Bogotá. Take the cable car up to Monserrate at 500 metres above Bogotá (total of 3,140 masl). The site offers incredible panoramas of the city on one side and the Andes on the other. Then, head north travelling along on the Carrera 7, one of Bogotá’s principal avenues. Called the Vía Real del Comercio in colonial times, it was used as the main exit north to the salt mines. Along this avenue we can appreciate the contrasts of Bogotá, passing by various styles of architecture, old and modern, with influences from all over the world and combined with touches from our Pre-Columbian ancestors. Go past parks, the Centro Internacional, Museo Nacional, gastronomical, shopping and entertainment districts such as the Gourmet Zone or otherwise referred as Zona G, the Zona T and Zona Rosa. These last two areas are renowned for their shopping centres, pubs, cafes, fashion boutiques, jewellery stores and night time entertainment options.
The trip will end in Usaquén, a colonial district that was formerly a town in its own right but has now been taken by the city. Appreciate the atmosphere of the area that is slightly rural, colonial in style and at the same time modern. Walk through the streets, take in the colonial plaza and wander through its small boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. On Sundays there is a Flea Market where you can have the opportunity to admire or even purchase high quality products, try exotic platters and a great deal more, therefore Sundays is one of the busiest days in Usaquén.
Overnight in Hotel B3 Virrey, Bogotá , Bureau Room
Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch
The Plaza de Bolívar, previously known as the Plaza Mayor, was used for civil and military purposes, as a marketplace, at one time as a bullring and also as a gallows. The Cathedral, on the eastern side of the plaza, is built on the remains of Bogotá's first church, constructed in 1539, and houses an important collection of religious artefacts including textiles and artwork that has been collected over four centuries. The Capitol, built between 1847 and 1926, shows renaissance and neoclassical influences with carved stonework and tall columns. Around the Plaza de Bolívar are the Palacio de Justicia, the Mayor of Bogotá’s offices (the Edificio Liévano), the oldest school in the country, San Bartolomé, and the Casa de los Comuneros, so named to honour one of the earliest movements for independence from Spain towards the end of the 17th century.
The Museo Botero is a colonial house in Bogotá filled with works of art created and donated by the renowned Colombian painter and sculptor, Fernando Botero. The museum houses one of Latin America's most important international art collections. There are over 100 of Botero's works on show, in addition to artwork from his own personal collection that includes pieces by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti.
Bogotá's Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) has a permanent exhibition of approximately 32,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stones, ceramics and textiles: all of incalculable value to the Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Sinu, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco and Magdalena cultures. The Museo del Oro is considered as one of the most important museums of its kind internationally and has been functioning since 1939. In 2007 it underwent a complete overhaul to make it an interactive museum that brings the objects on display to life.