Navigating Bogota On Bicycle And Foot

We arrived in Bogota the morning of my 31st birthday, three days before Christmas. It’s a very family orientated affair this time of year in Colombia so the buzz of the city was quieter than usual.

Rolling into the city on Sunday for the Ciclovia was one of our smarter decisions. The 400 metre climb over the hill from La Calera was swarming with weekend riders. Lars was licking his lips the whole ride with the variety of bike porn on display. From banged up classic road bikes,  to $10,000 carbon fibre beauties and everything in between.

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The summit between La Calera and Bogotá attracts hoards of cyclists on Ciclovia Sunday…

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… descends into the big city.

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We arrived in La Candelaria just in time for Jenny’s birthday lunch…

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… the owner’s son gave us a puppet show with Batman and Buz Light Year.

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A street show guinea pig race…

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On your marks……

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… they take bets on which number hole they will run into.

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… of course, birthday lunch alone wasn’t enough!  Chocolate cake and coffee soon followed at Juan Valdez, the Colombian equivalent to Starbucks

Museo de Botero

We are not in the habit of dragging ourselves around every museum and art gallery in a list ticking fashion but occasionally we will poke our heads into those we find intriguing. Colombian born Botero paints and makes sculptures mainly of ‘fat people’ within the local culture and politics of his country. This was the pull, and it didn’t disappoint.

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 We stolled over to the Botero Museum to see his notorious fat people paintings and sculptures…

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Leda y el cisne – Fernando Botero, 1995

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Niña comiendo helado – Fernando Botero, 1999

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The Botero Museo holds a private collection of international art. This Salavdor Dali sculpture was lurking in a corner and we spotted other pieces by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Picasso, Matisse, Degas and Monet.

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We could see Montserrate from our balcony window. This mountain is located in the heart of the city and rises to 3,152 metres.

You can take the funicular all the way to the summit and down again for $7.00 or, you can climb the 500 metre ascent by 1500 steps. We were happy to see families, couples and locals opting to walk up. Our new hiking boots came in handy! Lars scurried up in around 35 minutes and I was ten minutes after that. We enjoyed the beautiful views of the city walking up but forgot to take a picture before the clouds rolled in once we reached the summit!

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Making friends before the climb up Montserrat.

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You can just make out the statue of Jesus Christ on the neighboring hill.

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These mules were exhausted going up the steep steps. The saying ‘worked to the bone’ was literal in their case.

Paloquemao Market

This food metropolis is not one to miss if you enjoy markets. The sweet smell of tropical fruits and flowers will guide you in a trance until you are pulled back into reality at the sight of a butchered cow’s head discarded by a doorway or something similar. As you walk past the market stall owners they ask after you in an all to familiar, ‘a la orden’ (at your service). To our delight we found a market stall of chillies and stocked up on our Mexican favourite, chipotle.

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Paloquemao Market is floor to ceiling with delicious, fresh produce.

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Ooooh chillies!

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It’s so difficult to resist these spicy beauties…

Taking A Stroll

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Plaza Bolívar is always full of people.

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This city is known for its street art…

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… covering pretty much on every corner…

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Bogotá is full of these utitlity tank bikes…

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… but I am pretty sure this is one of a kind.

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pretty coloured streets…

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And of course the cathedral

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We weren’t expecting to see llamas until a bit further south, let alone one wearing shoes.

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The steep hills behind La Candelaria are home to the touristy Monserrate cable car (left) and a giant shiny Jesus (right).

More Ciclovia Fun

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Ciclovia Sunday’s can get pretty hectic, but it’s still better being surrounded by bikes than cars!

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Everyone seems to ride bikes in Bogotá.

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Our leisurely Sunday poodle through Parque Bolívar turned into a bonkers obstactle course, so we quickly made our escape…

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We couldn’t quite figure out why so many Bogotano dogs are sporting this hairdo…

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… like they’ve all had near escapes with lawnmowers…

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…these were much more our style…

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… especially this guy, complete with dog panniers…

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… so we made friends with his proud owner.


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