Breakfast at La Perseverancia district market

Breakfast at La Perseverancia district market

Bogota Hidden Treasures (Nature, Food and Art)

As I was in Bogota, without much plans, I had a look on the Couchsurfing activities organized around.

Bogota hidden treasures nature food and art on Couchsurfing

On Saturday, there was a day tour, with food, art, and an eco adventure, with this content:

  • Breakfast in Perseverancia Market (taste the local food),

  • Eco tour inside Oriental Virgin Mountains in Bogotá (hiking, waterfalls, and lakes),

  • National Museum Tour,

  • La Macarena Gastronomic District Tour.

I registered to join it, as the departure was at 7:30am at the National Museum, which was right next to my hotel, the Ibis Bogota Museo, and the trip included visiting a cascade, which is one of the things I wanted to do in Bogota.

Best rates Hotel Ibis Bogotá Museo

I contacted them on the given Whatsapp to make sure the tour was on, and we agreed on the meeting time and date, and met in front of the Museo Nacional.

Cheap flights and hotels Bogota

Breakfast in Perseverancia Market (taste the local food)

Meeting on time, it was a couple organizing the tour: Sophy, a Mexican native, and Jhon, a native of the area. It was actually their first time organizing the trip, and I was the only participant as they advertised it last minute.

We started the tour by going on the side of the national museum, where a colourful gourmet street is well indicated, starting with a city sign detailing all restaurants of the street.

We went up the beautiful street, and turned left, to see the Plaza de Mercado La Perseverancia, or the Perseverance (the district name) market place, a building with a large decoration on its main wall, and a large outdoor terrace, on which we sat down.

La Perseverancia district on Wikipedia

The couple did know personally the workers of the nearby shops, which quickly brought us an amazing breakfast:

  • a fresh lulo juice,

  • soup with chicken and eggs, or tamale, as choice for entrance,

  • rice with scrambled eggs and arepa, as main course,

  • a hot chocolate,

  • dessert creation with fruit salad, biscuits, and ice cream.

Tamale recipe
Lulo (Solanum quitoense) on Wikipedia

The whole breakfast was delicious, and too big for me! I'm not used to eat breakfast so early, and I couldn't eat all. I had the chicken soup and the dessert, and asked the main course as take away.

During the breakfast, we had time to talk about the continuation of the day, and the area.

Perseverancia market place

Having a look at the wall decoration, is was actually a painting and mosaic decoration. The guides explain me that this place has been created by the community, and that La Perseverancia, the district, is one of the oldest in Bogota.

District market place of La Perseverancia on Colombian Social Economic Institute

It has no big buildings, and functions pretty much like a village, everybody knows each other, and the community organize events like street festivals in which everybody participates.

This market place has been created by and for the community, and the inhabitants are very proud of it, as it is a way to show their skills.

We had only been outside of the market for half an hour, and can already seen it!

The food tastes delicious, and the dessert creation is unbelievable, not only looking amazing, but also tasting great. Hard to understand how they managed to prepare it in their really small shop by the stairs.

However, it is a great moment of enjoyment, and I tell the guides I'm not sure how I'll be able to walk after that much food, but they ensure me that the food is really necessary before the hike that awaits us.

I ask to take the main course and the hot chocolate with me, and we go to explore the inside of the market, learning more about the history of the neighbourhood.

Cheap flights and hotels Bogota

Bavaria Brewery and district development

They tell me that the district has originally been created around the beginning of the 20th century, mostly developing with the brewing company Bavaria Brewery.

Back home, I read a bit more about that company, and learn it was the second largest brewing company in South America at its best, and produces many beers: the local Club Colombia, Aguila, or Poker for example, and other global brands such as Budweiser, Corona or Stella Artois. Pretty huge!

Aguila Colombian beer website
Club Colombia Colombian beer website
Poker Colombian beer website
Budweiser beer website
Corona beer website
Stella Artois website
Bavaria beer company website

Entering the building, there is a big sign in Spanish that tells a bit about the history of the building. It reads the following:

The history of the "working class neighbourhood", "the perse", or better, of the perseverance, started with the beer and chicha. In 1889, in the neighbourhood of San Diego was funded the first Bavaria beer factory. The workers of the company, together with their families, looking where to live, arrived at "the perse" and gave it life. Later the chicha comes with the peasants, who root the consumption of this drink in the community. Since then the chicha is a symbol of the tradition of the neighbourhood, its people and its workers, and it is in this market place that they all meet.

This clearly explains how that factory made this district what it is.

Cheap flights and hotels Bogota

Perseverancia cooking market

Going up the stairs, we arrived at a large place, with seating tables all around, and, in the center, several cooking places, each of them with a sign on top.

The sign explains from where in Colombia the food they are cooking is coming from. Each one is cooking traditional food from a different region!

With my guides, we are stopping at each of them, asking them what they are cooking, how is it special, and, sometimes, how is it different from the cook right next to them from a different region.

Some of them offer us to taste what they are preparing, and one of them gives us a full warm arepa that he just finished preparing.

I've had a few arepas before, but this one is by far the best! All handmade, and much more sweet than the ones I've tried before, it is a delight.

Another one explains us the different kind of potatoes they use to cook their traditional meal, and show us the potatoes. Some of them, I've never seen or heard before.

Another one from the Pacific coast tells us about the tasty fishes he will cook, and gives us a lot of details. We ask them if we can see how the fishes looks like, but no – it is about 9am, and the fresh fishes for the day haven't arrived yet, impossible to see them.

In general, the place is brand new, looks totally safe to eat in, as all cooks are wearing all the kitchen protection necessary, and all of them seem to cook using the highest hygiene standards.

They all are extremely nice, and proud of what they are accomplishing in this amazing place.

My guides tell me that they are very happy that a foreigner takes an interest in what they are doing, as this gives them some confidence that they are doing it right enough to attract attention out of their district.

Cheap flights and hotels Bogota

Perseverancia food market

We continue the visit by the food market, in which plenty of shops are selling fresh food: meat, fruits, and other consumables.

We have a short look around, but spend more time in one of the fruits market, where Jhon seems to know personally the owner.

There, they tell me to choose which fruits I'd like for the lunch break.

Around us, all kind of fruits available in Colombia, including some kind of tomatoes I've never seen before, and of course all the standards fruits.

I settle for an apple, a pear, a grenade, and a mango, which will be my lunch for the day.

After this culinary stop, it is time to start our hike in the mountains to the cascade. But, first of all, we need to make a pit stop at the toilets.

Jhon tells us that he lives nearby in the neighbourhood, and that it will be much nicer to go at his place than to use the public toilets.

We go to his house, where his mother welcomes us with a coffee, which is welcome early in the morning.

They explain me that the sweet taste comes from panela, sugar made from sugar cane which tastes really sweet – they even gave me a piece of panela to taste.

Panela on Wikipedia

Back on the streets, at some point, we find a statue on which I recognize the protagonist: it is an homage to Gaitan, a former presidential candidate and hero of Colombia, which assassination in plain sight in the middle of the day in 1948 led to 3 days of riot, most of the city of Bogota burned down, and years of violence in the country. I learned about it during the free walking tour Bogota.

free walking tour Bogotá Colombia

We then go up in the district, where we reach the last marvel that we'll see in town before going in the mountain: a very long staircase, with about 70 stairs, all painted with a large fresco. They explain me that the paintings is based on drawings from the community.

We surely use the opportunity to take a few pictures!

Going up the stairs, we are now out of the city, with the road being the only frontier with the mountains, and walk a few hundred meters along the road, until a point at which we cross and start climbing the mountain, starting our trip to the hidden waterfall.

Similar articles


Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Use VPN to book cheap flights and hotels
Use VPN to book cheap flights and hotels