Holiday in Bogotá, Colombia : city tour, amusement park, rafting, mountain hiking

Bogota, capital and most populated city in Colombia, culminates at 2600 meters in the Andes, is mostly known for some recent drug related stories – but is definitely a great holiday destination for all kind of activities.

holiday in Bogota

Interactive map to Bogota, Colombia

Bogota, capital and most populated city in Colombia, culminates at 2600 meters in the Andes, is mostly known for some recent drug related stories – but is definitely a great holiday destination for all kind of activities.

Arriving in Bogota

Arriving at El Dorado airport, 42nd best airport in the world, the customs clearance takes longer than in other destination, with some extra screening after  baggage   claim. However, about an hour after landing, getting out of the airport, and going out to look for the free shuttle bus to Radisson AR Bogota airport hotel, the first impression, arriving in December from cold and low Frankfurt, is the impression of warmth – even at night with about 12°C – and a slight headache due to the altitude.

First impression during the drive to the hotel, which will be confirmed later : they do like Christmas decorations ! It feels more Christmassy there than in Europe, with blinking lights on nearly all buildings, trees and wherever it is possible to plug some Christmas lights.

Bogota: Find local activities

Arriving at the hotel, after getting VIP treatment due to Club Carlson Concierge status, and a nice upgrade on 19th floor (out of 20) in a junior suite, with access to the Executive lounge on the same floor, it was time to appreciate the beautiful city view from the room – most likely one of the best city view possible, see by yourself !

City tour

Going on a tour of the old town, it feels like going to the mountain. Starting in Candelaria, the historical part of the city is situated closer to the mountain heights surrounding the city, and, getting closer to this city center, it feels like the mountains are getting higher. This would allow for some beautiful pictures, but, with lot of traffic, many people on the sidewalk, and apparently some pickpockets gangs around (as advised by locals), it was better to simply enjoy the sights with our own eyes.

After some walk in the small streets, first stop for Colombian food in a small restaurant, El Sitio, for some chicken soup, very popular in Colombia, and some plancha, of course with patacon (also known as tostones), fried plantain (cooking banana) slices.

This delicious dinner break led us to more city walk, with a stop for a warm canelazo in the street, before heading to the Primada Cathedral, the National Capitol, and to see the street animations on Carrera 7.

The streets, and especially Carrera 7, are full with street sellers, of all kind of things : street food, books, cigarettes, chips, … and of street artists. As explained by a local, the reason is that no license is required to perform / sell in the streets.

Finishing with a nice walk in the decorated and animated parks of Independance and National park, one impression is left : one day is far from enough to visit even only the historical part of the city !

Amusement parc day

Next day, going to some “extreme” adventures, by visiting the Salitre Magico amusement park. With 2 adult roller coasters, and many rides, this park in the middle of the city greatest advantage is its huge Ferris wheel, which allows for beautiful panoramic view on the city – we kept it for the end, during sunset.

With relatively cheap prices compared to Western Europe, one huge distinction has to be noticed : on top of the 2€ entry fee, each single attraction needs its specific ticket, which can be bought at some specific ticket selling booths.

The trick? Staff does not speak English, and even in Spanish it was complicated to understand which ride to try, as only the rides names are available, no map or picture, and tickets have to be bought separately for each ride.

Ultimately, we had a great time on the rides, and managed to be on the top of the Ferris wheel for the grand final, the sunset over Bogota.

Rafting day

Colombia has the third affluent of the Amazon river : el Rio Negro, the black river, called that way because of… its black color, coming from humic acid. This large mountain river allow for some great activities, like rafting.

After having bought the activity in Bogota, and found a driver that would take us to the small village of Tobia, 2h drive down the mountain from Bogota, which we negotiated for 100$ go and back, the trip to this place is magical, with beautiful sights all along the way, on mountain and forest.

Arriving at the place, Rio Negro rafting camp, on time at 9am, we had to wait a bit for the other participants to arrive, chilling on their facilities, which includes lot of hammocks, camping ground, outdoor swimming pool, soccer and volley playgrounds, billiard and ping-pong tables.

The group finally formed, rafts loaded on the trucks, we could go to the activity, about 1h on the rapid waters ! Two groups were formed, one with amateurs of speed, and one for beginners and kids which went more carefully on the rapids.

A lot of fun, capsized once, but at the end, everybody arrived safe and had a great time. The organization was perfect, with 9 persons + 1 guide, each raft closely followed by one guide on a kayak.

After the rafting trip, we could chill out by the swimming pool at the premises, and had such a good time that we canceled our plans to go see some castles around to play in the pool.

Hiking day

Bogota being surrounded by higher mountains, one of the great activity to do there is to hike to one of the chapels up there, which we did to visit Monserrate.

At 3170 meters high, about 500 meters above Bogota city, Monserrate can be reached via three different ways : a hike, with 1200 steps on 2km, a funicular, and a cable car.

We chose to hike, stopping on the way for a refreshing drink, a salpicon de frutas, then to light a candle at the Monserrate chapel, a sweet melcocha candy, to finally reach the top, about two hours later, enjoying beautiful sights on the city, despite some grey clouds that day, and traditional food.

The most amazing part of this adventure : temperature was quite good, around 15°C, and we arrived sweating, only wearing t-shirts. Arriving at the top, and taking the bottle of water out of the bag, a funny surprise. Water froze inside the bottle during our hike !

Exhausted after this hike, we went down the lazy way, with the funicular.

Later that day, it was time for some shopping at the large Gran Estacion mall, at walking distance from the hotel, which has a lot of great restaurants like La Ponderosa, which serves great Bandeja paisa, a must try traditional meal. And the night could finish on a party in Baum night club.

In short

Far from preconceived ideas, Bogota is a relatively safe city to visit, with plenty of activities, in and around the city, even in mountains and on rivers.

A solid 2 weeks to fully enjoy the experience is recommended !

Holiday in Bogota

Going for some Bogota holiday is a great experience !

The city offers plenty of things to do, from amusement park to mountain hiking.

It is great for a city break, and is just at the border of a nature break, with some of the best rafting colombia at only a two hours drive in the mountains.

The capital of colombia is in the middle of the mountains, and with a good pedestrian guide there are plenty of amazing walks to do in and around the city.

Bogota accommodation is generally affordable, compared to Western countries, counting between 25 and 50 US dollars for a flat or cheap hotel per night, and 50 to 100 US dollars per night for a good standing hotel.

Fly bogota now for amazing holidays, and see below how to get bogota flights cheap !

Hotels near el dorado airport bogota

There are plenty of airports near El Dorado airport, within a 15 minutes drive including some traffic jams, and a lot of them offer a free airport shuttle. Of all hotels close to bogota airport, our favourite is the radisson ar hotel bogota, which is also located closeby a huge mall.

Nearly all big chains have hotels in Bogota Colombia near airport, see below our selection of Bogota Colombia airport hotels, which are all Bogota Colombia hotels near airport.

If being near airport is not the most important, have a look at bogota hotels la candelaria, in the center, and salitre bogota hotel deals, near the amusement park, and not too far from the airport.

Radisson AR Bogota Airport from Radisson Rewards, hotels near bogota airport colombia for 50€ a night
Aloft Bogotá Airport from SPG, hotels bogota colombia near airport for 60€ a night
Holiday Inn Bogota Airport from IHG, hotels bogota airport for 55€ a night
Courtyard by Marriott Bogota Airport from Marriott, bogota airport hotels for 65€ a night

Manage your trip to Bogota, Colombia

There are several 5 stars hotels in Bogota Colombia, but you might be more comfortable staying for example at the  Aloft Bogota   airport in case you are only transiting for a few days, with the  Aloft Bogota   airport offering complimentary airport shuttle.

Another good option for an hotel below 5 stars hotels in  Bogota Colombia   is to visit the  Courtyard by Marriott Bogota airport   which also offers a complimentary airport shuttle.

There are plenty of cheap hotels in Bogota, and with our guide, you will surely easily find the best  cheap hotels in Bogota   for your trip!

To manage your trip to Bogota, check also our cheap tickets to  Bogota Colombia   with some prices that can easily go below the 1000 mark for a round trip from either Europe or America. One of the best way to find cheap tickets to  Bogota Colombia   is also to be a little flexible on dates, in order to find better prices.

After have found the perfect cheap tickets to  Bogota Colombia   and booked one of the many cheap hotels in Bogota, get ready to do one of the many fun activities in Bogota! Hiking Bogota is probably one of the best things to do around, as it is possible by hiking Bogota nearby mountains to go up to Monserrate church, 600 meters higher than the city, or find a guide for hiking Bogota waterfalls in the nearby mountains.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the diverse activities available in Bogotá cater to different interests, and what can visitors expect from the city's natural and urban attractions?
Bogotá caters to diverse interests with its rich urban culture, vibrant art scene, and nearby natural attractions. Visitors can enjoy city tours showcasing historical landmarks, thrill-seeking activities like amusement parks and rafting, and nature experiences through mountain hiking.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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