The capital of Columbia is Bogota and it is located at an elevation of about nine thousand feet on a mountain rimmed plateau near the Andes Mountains. Bogata has a temperate climate with average temperatures of about fifty-seven degrees all year long. Bogota is currently one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in South America. Some of the industries found in Bogota include printing and publishing, motor-vehicle assembly, food processing and manufacturing of products such as textiles, metals, machinery and electrical equipment. Bogota is also headquarters to many banks and corporations. As of 2005 the population of Bogota was over six million.
Getting Around Bogota
The roads and highways in Bogota have experienced a strain due to the rapid growth, but efforts have been made to upgrade the infrastructure. Currently there is the TransMilenio which is a rapid transit system that helps to fill in the gaps and to compensate for the lack of a metro system.
The main method of traveling around Bogota is the buy. The city has two bus systems: a traditional system and the Trasmilenio. The traditional system features a number of bus types that are operated by a variety of companies. There is the bus which is a large bus, buseta is a medium sized bus and colectivo is a van or minivan.
The buses are further divided into two categories. There is ejecutivo which is more of a deluxe service and not supposed to carry standing passengers. Then there is corriente which is normal bus service. For the bus you can expect a fare between sixty and seven cents.
For visitors there is a tourist train which operates on the weekends as a sightseeing tour. It is even popular with Bogota residents since it runs to the outlying towns. The route for this train is about fifty-three km long and then a second route goes further north by forty-seven km.
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What to Do in Bogota
There is plenty to do is Bogota since it features a number of parks and facilities that put on concerts, plays, movies, storytelling and other activities. First there is Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park which is used to stage free concerts and kites can be flown there. Then there is the Parque Nacional or the National Park which has a lot of open green space for games, foot and bicycle paths to wander along and entertainment venues such as movie screenings, concerts and other events.
When to Go in Bogota
Travel to Bogota can happen at any month out of the year no matter what the weather since there is plenty to do in Bogota. All year long there are a variety of events and major international events such as the Iberoamerican Theater Festival which happens in March. During the dry season there are plenty of outdoor activities and during the wet season there is plenty to do indoors to keep you busy for the entire length of your trip.
Easter is a time of the year reserved for reflection and many come to visit the various monuments arranged throughout the city for the celebration, but the largest number can be found in the downtown area. Another good time to come is during Christmas when the main park, shopping malls and other main points throughout the city are illuminated and provide quite a spectacle.
Where to Stay and Eat in Bogota
There are many options when it comes to staying in Bogota. You can find everything from a simple room with just the basic amenities up to vast elegant hotels that have everything you need to make your stay in the beautiful city of Bogota unforgettable. It is a good idea to first consider hotels near your place of interest. If you are going to be there for business then you may want to stay near the downtown corporate center. On the other hand if you are going only for tourism and to enjoy your vacation then you may want hotels on the outskirts of the city or even in the outlying suburbs. There are many excellent hotels in the countryside which provide a warm and familiar environment. Perfect for a romantic retreat or a place to gather with family and friends for a relaxing vacation.
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Bogota is a large cosmopolitan city that has plenty for all types of people. Whether you are an inhabitant or a foreigner there are a wide variety of foods to choose from that come from the different regions of Columbia and even from all over the world. No matter what your taste or budget you can find a restaurant you will love in Bogota.
There is everything from small down home restaurants to elegant and exclusive restaurants for the upper class. You can also have an easily time located a wide variety of fruits from the local fields of Columbia. In fact, you will find many exotic fruits and vegetables that you won't be able to find in a typical supermarket in Bogota or anywhere else for that matter. Consider some of the top restaurants you can visit while traveling in Bogota.
First if you are in the La Zona Rosa section of the city you will find an endless choice of cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Many of the restaurants in this section of the city are fine place to eat during the day then at night they become a popular place to dance the night away and enjoy a few drinks.
North of the capital there is an exclusive park on 93rd which is surrounded by many cafes, bars, nightclubs, hotels and foreign food restaurants. Many of these restaurants have terraces that overlook the park or the city so you can enjoy gorgeous views along with your meal. If you are looking for unique cuisine from anywhere around the world you will likely find it at a restaurant in this area.
Then near the hills there is the Usaquen neighborhood which features many architecturally unique buildings to help preserve the appearance of the old neighborhood. There are a number of historic restaurants and bars in this area. They are also near plenty of serene walking areas should you want to take a stroll after your meal.
On the outskirts of the city there is the La Calera neighborhood which features a few wonderful restaurants which also offer you views of the city of Bogota. Most city inhabitants go out to these restaurants and nightclubs so be sure to call ahead for seating or reservations to be sure you get a table.
Lastly there is the North Zone neighborhood which is also located on the outskirts of the city. In fact this neighborhood is located close to the nearby towns of Chia and Cajica. This is the place to go if you want to find a restaurant that offers the typical, traditional Columbian food. Most restaurants feature Columbian grilled meats done on the grill the old fashioned way.
No matter what your taste you will find a restaurant in Bogota. Or just go out and try something new. If you are unsure where to go then consider asking the hotel staff or a local citizen. They can point you in the direction of an excellent restaurant favored by locals and tourists alike. You likely won't be disappointed.