Luxury Holidays to Bogotá

The Colombian capital Bogotá - also known as Santa Fé de Bogotá - is well worth a couple of nights' stay in its own right and shouldn't be overlooked en route for Cartagena or beyond. This cosmopolitan city is also known as the Athens of the Americas, and has received substantial investment in recent years. This has made significant improvements to its aesthetics, security and infrastructure, and an Andean location means that the air is cool and clear.

Bogotá's appeal is not as immediately apparent as that of other Latin capitals but with local knowledge and advice from Original Travel, this is an excellent place to spend a few days. Once adjusted to the altitude (7,500ft), visitors can explore historic neighbourhoods alongside leafy parks and glitzy modern districts alongside the colonial architecture of the older areas.

The old town of Candelaria is an immediate draw for all visitors to the capital, with its narrow cobbled streets, colourful buildings and museums. The culture here is all about cafés, either for a daytime coffee or an evening aperitif and dinner.

By contrast, the Zona Rosa is the area to head to for clubs and bars (similar to the area of Mexico City's of the same name) and this northern section of the city has many of the most expensive hotels, restaurants and shops.

To gain perspective on the city and for sweeping views of its urban sprawl, take the funicular railway or cable car to the top of Monserrate hill and take in the panorama from the church atop the peak.

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Graffiti Bird
If You Do Three Things
A Graffiti Tour

Discover Bogota's renaissance on a walking tour of its booming urban art scene. Hit the streets in neighbourhoods like La Candelaria, where you can see walls decked in graffiti. Your guide will point out the works of globally-renowned street artists that bloom all over the city. You may be pleased to know that a portion of the cost of the tour will be reinvested in community art projects.

View of Bogota from Montserrate
If You Do Three Things
Markets & Monserrate

Start the day at the Paloquemao market, the largest in Bogota, to see fresh fruit and exotic vegetables stacked high. Afterwards, hop on a cable car up the steep Mount Monserrate where the city views from the summit - just over 10,000ft above sea level - are spectacular. Adjust to the heights before meandering through the market for a spot of souvenir shopping.

White Water Rafting
If You Do Three Things
White-water Rafting

An hour drive out of the city takes you into the lush mountains to the banks of the Rio Negro. Your expert guide will help you get to grips with all the rafting gear. After a safety brief, step into the inflatable raft and career down 7km of rushing river where you'll enjoy quiet moments lapping up rural scenery interspersed with plunging through grade three rapids at a thrilling pace.

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Map of Bogotá

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A Note on Price

Colombia is very much about the experience, so if you’re happy with more basic accommodation, there are lots of charming haciendas that are full of character - and which won't break the bank. Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, private villas and high end hotels in Cartagena over New Year can easily set you back thousands a night.

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