Five Reasons to Visit Bogotá: Cool Facts You Didn’t Know

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Reasons to Visit Bogotá

Rachel Arrieta

When you Google“Bogotá,” the same things usually come up: popular restaurants, tours, Monserrate, the neighborhood of La Candelaria, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all cool, but what about the stuff you haven’t heard about?  I’ve put together five little-known facts that might be just the motivation you needed to book your trip here!

Bogotá has no seasons

Well, technically it does, but not in the traditional sense. Really, the only seasons that exist this close to the equator are rainy and slightly less rainy.  Some people say there’s a rainy and dry season, but I would never call Bogotá dry!  As the third highest capital in South America, the city sees an average of 32.4 inches (824 mm) of rainfall each year! Most of this comes in April and October, the months known to be the wettest.  December through February are typically when Bogotá sees the least amount of rain, followed by June, July and August.  I say “the least amount of rain” because remember, there’s always rain in Bogotá with the city being situated high up in the Andes Mountains, so make sure you prepare for the weather accordingly.  However, all this rain is what makes the surroundings so green and gorgeous!

Reasons to Visit Bogotá
© Photograph by Colombia Travel & Vacations Group

Bogotá has over 50 museums

It’s not an exaggeration.  This means there’s a museum for everyone!  From famous, big name ones, like the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) and the Museo Botero (Botero Museum, dedicated to the famous Colombian artist), to the lesser known and totally underrated ones, like the Museo de la Chicha (Chicha Museum, one of the drinks you should try while you’re in the city) and the Maloka Museo Interactivo (Maloka Museum, an interactive science and technology place for all ages).  There’s a large concentration of museums in the neighborhood of La Candelaria (including the Gold, Botero and Chicha Museums), the historic part of town.  I’ve yet to visit a lot of the museums.  Because there are so many, I haven’t been able to get to them all, but my favorite so far has been the Planetario de Bogotá (Planetarium) because I love all things space-related.

Bogotá hosts the biggest FREE outdoor rock concert in Latin America

Rock al Parque is an annual three-day festival held at Simón Bolívar Park in the middle of the city. It started in 1995 and has since expanded to include other genres such as punk, ska, blues and metal.  Hundreds of thousands attend every year with the biggest crowd being 400,000 in 2004. Bands from all over the world come to play; some are invited and others are chosen after a multi-stage selection process. Some pretty big names have graced the stage over the years like Lamb of God, Anthrax, P.O.D. and Sum 41. Usually, you get what you pay for, but in this case, that doesn’t apply because it’s totally free and so totally awesome!

Reasons to Visit Bogotá
© Photograph by Juan Diego Buitrago

Bogotá is home to the legend of El Dorado

Technically, the lost city of gold is said to be in Laguna de Guatavita, which is located next to a town by the same name just outside Bogotá.  Over the years the story has changed, what El Dorado is has changed, and even the site has changed.  But, the original tale stems from rituals conducted by a tribe that lived near Guatavita Lagoon.  One of our writers has the full story here.  Even though the legend wasn’t exactly born in Bogotá, the capital city does have its own El Dorado:  the El Dorado International Airport.  And you better believe the name is not just a coincidence.

Bogotá boasts one of the most extensive networks of bicycle routes in the world

Every Sunday and public holiday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., around 200 miles (more than 300 kilometers) of Bogotá streets are converted to ciclovías that are closed off to motor vehicles.  People take to the streets by bike, foot and rollerblades for one of the world’s most successful mass recreation events.  It’s so successful, in fact, that the concept has spilled over into other countries.  Even cooler? Bogotá does a night version, la ciclovía nocturna, two times a year! If you want to join in on the fun, rent a bike!  Get some exercise while getting to know the city.

Reasons to Visit Bogotá
© Photograph by Colprensa

Bogotá is a place with so much to do and see, it’s no wonder that a lot of what makes it so rad gets lost in online searches.  Do all the tourist-y things because they’re still cool, but take advantage of the lesser-known stuff and don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper and read past page one of your Google-ing when you’re looking for things to do!

Did I miss something?  What’s your favorite underrated thing about Bogotá?  Tell me in the comments below and be sure to follow my articles on www.colture.com!  Just can’t get enough?  Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for all things Bogotá related.

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