Of all the amazing Christmas activities in Bogotá offers, the Cicolvía Nocturna (or night bikeway) is definitely one of the best experiences to have! Although the Ciclovía goes year-round every Sunday, its night version is only done twice a year and it’s super special. Don’t miss the opportunity of having the ultimate night stroll this year on Thursday, December 12th!
The Ciclovía in Bogotá offers over seventy miles of city streets that are closed to traffic and open only to biking, running, walking, skating, and much more. Its night version, the Ciclovía Nocturna, done in August (for Bogotá’s birthday) and in December (for Christmas), is a super special event to exercise, to get to know some parts of the city by strolling through the streets, and to have the most wonderful time with family, friends, and strangers (read our article Novena: the best way to eat, pray, love (and sing) at Christmas to find out more about other Christmas celebrations). Plus, Christmas also gives us the opportunity to experience the lights and decorations that sparkle in the night alongside thousands of people from a different, but fun perspective.
Why the Ciclovía Nocturna is a must!
- You can go on a route or just wander around aimlessly: it’s the perfect opportunity to see Bogotá through a specific route or just by strolling around, while also exercising.
- It’s an experience to share with people: no better time than this to enjoy a night with the ones you love or even with strangers. It’s special because it gathers thousands of people looking for the same spectacular experience.
- Amazing street food: one of the best nights to enjoy the best food Bogotá offers. From restaurants to amazing street food that will make your mouth melt, you won’t regret it.
- It’s an integral part of our culture: over the years, the Ciclovía Nocturna has become a distinguishing local experience in Bogotá and there’s no better way to embrace our culture than having this type of experience.
When is it and how can you experience it?
The Ciclovía Nocturna at Christmas is organized by the IDRD (District Institute for Sports and Recreation). It’s usually done on the second Thursday of every December; this year it’s on the 12th from 18:00 to 00:00. Six hours of over seventy miles of fun! The Ciclovía gathers a large number of people of all ages and it’s protected by entities such as Secretaría Distrital de Salud (District Health Secretary) and the Policía Metropolitana de Tránsito (The Metropolitan Transit Police), which guarantee the security of all the attendees. It can get extremely busy though; in some particular areas, it becomes quite difficult to cycle, but then remember you can also walk, run, skate, etc.
Quick tip: If you want to rent a bike for some hours, check Baja Bikers (the biggest world-wide bike tour operator) here. It’s only around $3.50 USD per hour.
As someone who has experienced Ciclovía Nocturna at Christmas, the top three routes to see the lights and decorations that I recommend are:
- Carrera Séptima (Seventh Avenue) at Calle 116 (116th Street) and go all the way to the south to Plaza de Bolívar (Bolívar’s Square).
- Take Carrera Quince (Fifteen Avenue) at Calle 72 (72nd Street) and go all the way to Calle 127 (127th Street).
- Or Carrera 50 (5oth Avenue) at Calle 63 (63rd Street) all the way to Parque el Tunal at Calle 48B Sur (South 48th B Street).
In addition, authorities also recommend to take into account the following:
- Though it’s safe, it’s better to go with someone else, or in a group.
- If you are cycling, don’t forget your helmet, reflective lights, and all the safety equipment
- Abide by authorities’ recommendations and respect traffic signs
- Don’t neglect your personal belongings and carry I.D.
- Plan your route and return time (although the programme can be subject to last minute changes).
The Ciclovía Nocturna at Christmas is a unique night event to enjoy and have a wonderful time with people during the holidays I don’t think there’s anything more cultural or Christmas-y than having this type of experience(read our article Bogotá’s Ultimate Holidays Checklist to find out more). Please add Ciclovía Nocturna to your to-do list if you are spending Christmas in Bogotá!
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