Bustling Bogotá

Nestled in a high Andean valley in the center of Colombia, Bogotá is a vibrant metropolis. Home to over 8 million people, it is the fourth-largest city in South America. I was blessed to visit several times in 2011 and 2012, and look forward to another encounter later this year. If you’d like to learn a little more about the city, here are a couple of places to peak your curiosity.

I’ve been following Mike’s Bogotá Blog for the last few months, a collection of newsbites, musings, and culture from the perspective of a transplant to Colombia’s sprawling capital city. I don’t necessarily agree with his take on everything, but he posts on interesting topics which recently have included: public art in disrepair, charming and quirky shopping finds, coffee production being overtaken by oil, and blood emeralds.

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The city at night, viewed from Monserrate

This little travel piece popped up in my reader this week, one visitor’s “20 reasons to visit Bogotá.” Several of Bogota’s fabulous museums are highlighted here, as well as my favorite chain restaurant anywhere, hands down: Crepes & Waffles. (You may have heard me rave about this delicious restaurant, a haven for vegetarians found throughout Colombia and in numerous other Latin American countries–but not yet in Bolivia. Crepes & Waffles has a unique business model that offers employment almost exclusively to female heads of household). For the record, I completely disagree with at least one of the recommendations: Zipaquirá’s Salt Cathedral was far from being my favorite excursion–although the scenery on the way out of town to get there is lovely! To be fair, I would undoubtedly have enjoyed it more had I not been tasked with interpreting the guided tour back into Spanish (from oddly-pronounced English) for our mixed-language group of visitors; so, if it sounds interesting to you, check it out!

One of Bogotá’s historic buildings you’re not likely to see listed in the guidebooks is First Presbyterian Church–the oldest protestant church in the country and one of the oldest in Latin America! I was invited to preach there when I was visiting in June, and if you’d like to visit I’d be happy to connect you with the pastor–or you could always attend Sunday worship. (Some pictures are posted here.)

Bogotá is a fun and multifaceted city, worthy of exploration!

Have you been? What are your favorite things about Bogotá?

About Sarah

I serve with Presbyterian World Mission as liaison to the Andean region. This blog is a place to share stories, experiences, and observations, both my own and those of friends and colleagues and the occasional item of news.
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