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Parque Simón Bolívar: Bogotá’s most iconic park

Lake at Parque Simón Bolívar
María Montes

María Montes

I'm a social anthropologist working in marketing and I'm passionate about food, traveling to big cities and dogs. I like being that person everyone comes for recommendations especially if it is in Bogotá, a city I love dearly and where I been living intermittently for over 12 years. Instagram: @mariaisaturtle

Due to its strategic location in the heart of the city, its huge amount of greenery, and all its stages and plazas, Parque Simón Bolívar has become an essential place for Bogotanos looking for some leisure time inside the city.

Why you shouldn’t miss it

I highly recommend you spend some time at Simón Bolívar Park. It is not only an iconic place that defines the identity of people in Bogotá, but it is also a nice spot to hang out with your mates, take a nice walk with your dog, or enjoy some live music. The park has witnessed all types of events, been visited by two popes, served as a stage for a lot of renowned artists, and it promises to keep delivering to all Bogotanos and tourists visiting this fantastic place!

A bit of history

The idea of creating a public green space for leisure started as a project by the national government back in 1979 and was fully finished in 1995. Simón Bolívar Park, named after the famous Latin American Liberator, is looked after by the Instituto Distrital de Recreación y Deporte (IDRD) and is known as the most important and iconic part of the city, has become a center for leisure and cultural gatherings over the decades.

Simón Bolívar Park belongs to a system of adjacent green spaces, which total over 970 acres (3.9 km2), making it bigger than  Central Park in New York. Nowadays, the park is famously known as the “lung of the city” due to its central location and because of its size and its varied vegetation that provides plenty of fresh air to the city. Click here to find out the best way to arrive at the park.

Map pf the park
© Image by Alcaldia Mayor de Bogota

What can you find in the park?

This park has a little bit of everything for people of all ages: you can find three playground zones for kids, a big lake where you can rent a boat for approximately $3.20 USD/$10,000 COP, the main square for events with 37,000 m2 of bicycle paths, food courts, public bathrooms, and even a church. This is a great place for a Sunday picnic or a nice and peaceful run inside the city.

People having fun at the park
© Photograph by Stephen Downes on Flickr.com

Main events in the park

Due to its size and all the facilities mentioned above, the park hosts a wide number of private and public events throughout the year. Some of the most popular public events are the music festivals, which host genres from salsa to hip hop and rock. The Festival de Verano (Summer Festival) is always held in August, which is peak season in the park because, with the heavy winds, everyone is flying kites. There is also the Christmas Festival in December, which starts the celebrations in the city which is a popular display of fireworks that can be enjoyed for free in the park.

Summer festival
© Photograph by Jorge Gomez on Flickr.com

These major events are held in the Parque Simón Bolívar annually, but there is also a big amount of activities like aerobics, running clubs, yoga lessons and bicycle tours you can join for free every week. You can check the weekly activities by going to the IDRD site.

To know about another amazing park in Bogotá, read El Virrey Park: a shot of green and fresh air in Bogotá.

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