The best airport in South America. So good I slept in it on a flattened cardboard box on two separate occasions. Aside from that joy, the club night DJ selection here is awesome.
A short layover travelling Bogota. If Medellin has the culture Bogota has the business. I stayed in hostel Arche Noah Guesthouse for three nights, which was more like a hotel than a hostel. Followed by Explora hostel for four nights, which was laid back, more social and a great atmosphere for getting a group together.
This place wasn’t on my travel plans. Coming from London I tend to avoid the large cities. Still, I had the chance of a layover travelling through it so figured it was worth the nose around. What hit me immediately was the size. It’s big. I mean Panama city big. And it’s a hell of a lot more business oriented and developed than what I imagined. Call my a cynic but I kind of expected an underdeveloped city. I was firmly put in my place. With banking areas, shopping malls and an entire skyline view of high rise offices. It was clear this place is a money hub of the Americas.
By day I wandered the streets of the old town. Cafe stops, cake eating and smoothie drinking were on the cards. I checked out the main shopping areas further out of the old town. You get a sense of the real Bogota day to day life here. It’s fast, it’s packed and it’s dog-eat-dog. It was a chance to stock up on the essentials weaving in and out of the locals.
In the old town the different architecture, restaurants and bars have a huge contrast. Both in style and offering so I didn’t get bored spending a few days poking my nose in areas. The graffiti is nuts around the old town and taking the free city tour means you’ll learn how it depicts Bogota’s history.
I ventured up the Teleferico one hung-over day. Located at the top of the which takes you to the top of the mountain. It’s a great shout to spend an afternoon. Due to the fact there’s a massive market of meat dishes, curries and pastry stalls with a mighty view of the city and beyond to enjoy them with.
After one big night out I realised, Bogota has a music scene. A fellow traveller was whispering the possibility of a decent club night. Apparently in an old warehouse club. Again being the cynic I doubted the music or clubbing scene of Bogota. Expecting a breeze block place with disco lights serving triple measures at chap prices. None the less we had a decent group at Explora hostel. So, after some solid pre drinking we jumped in cabs and made the 5 min journey.
Again, I was put firmly i my place. The club itself would have put the London nightlife to shame and the DJ smashed it. A three storey venue with the roof old and worn down creating one hell of an atmosphere. Fantastic system too. It was 5am finish, hence the Teleferico food market joy.
- Stay at Explora hostel for a more social cheaper vibe
- Stay at hostel Arche Noah Guesthouse for a more boutique experience
- Spend a few days here
- Go to a club night if there’s a big anniversary party or monthly gig on, some of the DJ’s are big names
- Head up the Teleferico
- The city tour and graffiti tour
- Explore the many different cafes and restaurants around the old town
- Head to the shopping mall if you’re in need of a refresh of clothing
- Checkout the Irish Pub, it’s the fanciest I’ve ever seen with some great craft beer selections
- Stroll around on your own late at night, I met a fair few who’d been mugged solo
- Waste your time seeing any other parts of the city other than the old town and shopping centre area
Bogota as a funny one for me. I feel it is what it is. It was interesting but after several months travelling others areas of South America, it didn’t leave much of an impact on me. For a layover it ticked the boxes.
Tips for healthy eats
- There’s an Olympica supermarket near the main square in the old town, walking distance from the Explora hostel and hostel Arche Noah Guesthouse. It sells veg and fruit galore.
- There’s little smoothie / fruit stalls in the main square
- There’s a Juan Valdez in the main square, the don for the best coffee in colombia
- Walk away from the main square and deeper into the old town and you’ll find many a salad, vegan, health kick option
How to get meat for that protein hit
- In the old town you’ll come across little shack vendors that sell cooked chicken by the leg, half, full and breast for cheap as chips. CO-incidentally you also get chips with them, winner winner chicken dinner.
- There’s a few of them kicking around towards the main centre of the old town, down away from the teleferico hill. Keep your eyes peeled, I used these for the main meat purchases.
- For the smaller dishes, good old tins of tuna in a salad were my go-to prepared at the hostel
Where to exercise
There’s quite a few little playground / park areas on the top side of the old town which I found ideal to hang the TRX from, some even have pull up bars.
Early morning about 9am was quiet, I wouldn’t advise doing this on the eve though there’s a few characters around.