March 23, 2010

Tuesday’s Travel Tips- Bogotá

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Image courtesty of Sebastian White

This week we visit Bogotá, Colombia! Our first South American BlueCity added in 2009, Bogotá is the country’s capital. The third highest city in the world at more than 8,500 feet above sea level, this Spanish-colonized city has been coined the “Athens of South America” because of its many libraries and universities. It is also the financial hub of Colombia. And with a population just shy of New York City, there are a plethora of activities one can enjoy both in and around the city.

Communications Manager, Mateo, suggests you pay a visit to the Luis Angel Arango Library (BLAA). It is the most popular library in America, with more visitors each year than the Library of Congress!

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Image courtesy of Eddie Jones

Senior Accountant, Luz, offers that the Botero Museum, a wing of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota (Museum of Modern Art in Bogota) filled with art all donated by artist Fernando Botero, is free to visit, and the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum), which houses the world’s largest goldware collection, is a must-see. While you’re visiting the museum, be sure to explore the surrounding neighborhood, La Candelaria (Colonial District). Located in the downtown district, its quaint streets will leave you feeling like you’re in a town rather than a major metropolitan area.

For the best in cuisine, Luz recommends you check out the much-talked about the Andres Carne de Res. For budget eats, be sure to check out Cali Mio for the best rotisserie chicken at a reasonable price.

Wellness Programs Analyst, Eddie, suggests you take the tram up to Montserrat mountain, a fabulous way to see the whole city (even better lit up at night!). For some down and dirty fun, he also thinks it might be fun- though potentially embarrassing- to hit up La Guardia bar for karaoke night. “There were very few songs in English,” Eddie offers, “meaning, they only had High School Musical and Faith by George Michael.” Eddie was even honest enough to admit that they closed the bar early, not long after he had finished belting out his rendition of High School Musical- coincidence? We’re not so sure!).

Sr Analyst Financial Planning & Analysis, Peter, suggests you venture out of the city

Image courtesy of Eddie Jones

Image courtesy of Eddie Jones

about 40 miles to Zipaquira to check out the  Catedral de Sal (Cathedral of Salt) which is a breathtakingly beautiful and unique salt mine, complete with backlit religious paraphernalia. Even if you aren’t the least bit religious, this site is sure to amaze.

You can take one of the TransMilenio’s nine lines to many of the city’s different districts. Opened in 2000, this new public transportation train system runs 54 miles around the city and is a fast and easy- and cheap- way to get around.

Communications Manager, Sebastian, remarks that Bogotá is a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city – and one of the first in Latin America to extend its constitution to grant the same rights to same sex civil unions as to heterosexuals. The community’s nightlife is among the most lively of any our BlueCity’s, with numerous bars and clubs clustered around the pulsing and massive Theatron.

Worth checking out- though only with a local in tow for safety reasons- are the Milliones, Bogotá’s professional futbol (soccer) team. Even if you aren’t huge on the sport, it is sure to be an experience of a lifetime for the unmatched energy the fans bring to the stadium.

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