I was really excited to visit the Museo Botero in Bogota. The maestro, Fernando Botero, is one of my favourite living artists. Botero is one of Colombia’s proudest citizens, and a living legend in Colombia.Read More »
What other national museum do you know of is housed in a former jail? I guess fittingly, considering Colombia’s violent history, the Museo Nacional Colombia (National Museum) is beautifully showcased within the confines of a former jail. Are you thinking it’s as drab and boring as a jail? You’d be wrong; now follow along.Read More »
The Universidad de Los Andes was a place I wanted to visit while in Bogota. I find university campuses interesting. Universities are the heart of a nation; where the young minds are sculpted and encouraged. I visited EAFIT while in Medellin, and thought it was a beautiful campus. I thought it’d be interesting to compare one of Bogota’s best private universities with Medellin’s best.Read More »
The Chicaque Park is a short distance from Bogota and a world away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. I was invited one Saturday by a local friend to go and explore this natural reserve and park just outside of the cities limits.
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Hot chocolate and cheese? Yes, hot chocolate and cheese. This is a Bogota breakfast staple; and it’s delicious. I know what you’re thinking “you’re crazy”, and I don’t know why we need to keep going over this. Yes, I’m crazy, but it doesn’t change the fact that Bogota’s breakfast staple is delicious.
A gourmet play on the classic.
Before coming to Bogota I had heard that it was common to have hot chocolate and cheese for breakfast, usually with bread to dip in the combo. I thought this sounded weird and disgusting, as many of you readers I’m sure are thinking. However upon arrival in Bogota, I had to try it. I mean I had ate ants, so no matter how weird or terrible this Bogota delight was, it couldn’t be any worse or weird than eating roasted ants.
How it’s done.
One Saturday afternoon after going to the Gold Museum I went to the most famous place in town for this delicacy: La Puerta Falsa. La Puerta Falsa is an institution in Bogota. It’s a 200 year old restaurant that has been serving hungry government leaders and scoundrels alike (occasionally the same person.) It’s famous in Bogota for being the best place for hot chocolate and cheese. It didn’t disappoint.
A Bogotana, Madrileño, and Calgarian trying this Bogota special.
It’s delicious, and the reason why is all three elements, the bread, hot chocolate and cheese all work together. The hot chocolate melts the cheese, then the bread is drenched in chocolate goodness and melted cheese. It’s fantastic. In fact, I want to start every day with this. Too bad it’s not exactly the healthy way to start the day. I guess I’ll just have to indulge while in Bogota.
How to Get Your Own Hot Chocolate and Cheese from La Puerta:
Address: Calle 11 No. 6-50 in La Candelaria, Bogota
Hours: 7am – 11pm Monday thru Saturday
Cost: 5,000COP ($2.70) for a huge mug of hot chocolate, big chunk of cheese, and plenty of bread.
Abrazos.Read More »
Villa de Leyva has a little coffee and pastry shop that serves up some of the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. I love sweets, so I’ve tried my fair share of cheesecake. The Oreo cheesecake that I tried on this particular day definitely scored in the top 3 all-time cheesecakes that I’ve ever tried.
It looked so good I forgot to take the picture BEFORE I took a bite.
Not only does “La Galleta” (The Cookie) serve fantastic cheesecake, but they roast, grind, and brew to perfection a great cup of Colombian coffee. They have their very own solar operated Italian roaster to roast to perfection each bean that arrives green from the Coffee Zone of Colombia. To finish off that perfectly roasted bean they have an Italian grinder and espresso machine to bring that bean to your lips the way it was meant to be.
Pick your non-diabetic friendly option.
On this given lazy day in Villa de Leyva I ended up choosing the Oreo cheesecake to accompany my perfect cup of coffee and my Gabriel Garcia novel. It wasn’t, however, an easy choice. The display glass had enough options to keep me fat and happy for weeks. I think I’ll go back to try their nut pie. I’ve never tried one of those before.
The delicious options that are found at La Galleta.
Villa de Leyva is not a very big town, and this pasteleria is found just off of the main square. For Colombia, the prices aren’t cheap, but man are they worth it. Just look for the sign below to guide your way to tastebud heaven!
This is what you’re looking for.
Directions in Case You Can’t Find the Sign:
Address: Cr. 10 No. 11-23, Villa de Leyva
Phone Number: 314-406-8672
Abrazos!Read More »
The Hot Springs of Santa Rosa are a beautiful and relaxing location just outside of the town of Santa Rosa de Cabal. I’ve been to hot springs in Canada before, and it’s always a relaxing time, but the Termales de Santa Rosa are much more than just a relaxing place to bath. The stunning surroundings of these hot springs are a big part of what makes this such a worthwhile stop.
The hot springs aren’t just relaxing, they are set in an extremely beautiful natural setting. The waterfalls and greenery around the actual springs are incredible, and worth the visit alone.
While at the hot springs of Santa Rosa there are many options to undertake. You can take a zipline canopy tour, a hike around the surrounding area, relax at the amazing spa, or just soak in the pools while enjoying the view. I’d recommend a massage. It’s a nice addition to the relaxation of the pools.
Things to Know
Once at the hot springs you have a variety of options to undertake. The entrance fee varies depending on when you are visiting. Even though it’s in Spanish, I think you can figure out the prices from the site.
From Santa Rosa de Cabal the thermals are about a twenty minute bus or cab ride. The cab ride, round trip was 40,000COP. I believe that the buses are about 4,000COP/person and run on the hour.Read More »
Climbing Monserrate Bogota (on your knees, more on this in a bit) is one of the most popular activities to do while visiting Colombia’s capital city. There’s three different options to get to the top: hiking, a gondola, and a train. The train and gondola cost 7,700COP/direction. Hiking is free, even if you use your feet.
The stairs leading to the top of Monserrate Bogota.
Climbing Monserrate is a common pursuit for the local athletes. The stairs are reserved for athletes from 6am until 8am Monday through Friday. I didn’t get up that early, so I can’t testify to how busy it is, but I was told that it is even used by the professional soccer teams of Bogota for strength training. It’s a great workout, even just hiking it. You gain 600 vertical meters from Central Bogota.
Bogota Colombia from 3200m above sea level.
The climb is tough enough by foot, but I was told that every Sunday, and during the entire week of Easter there are people climbing the mountain on their knees. You may be asking “why on earth would you ever climb 600m of stairs on your knees?” This would be a valid question. I asked the same. Apparently people believe that it’s a reasonable way to serve penance for their sins. I think it’s just plain crazy, but I guess crazy is good in god’s eyes.
The city of Bogota from Montserrate at 3200m.
The view from the top is truly spectacular. You can see the whole of this gigantic city from the top of Montserrate. There are approximately 8.5 million people in Bogota, and the city goes for as far as the eye can see. Truly something else.
The church at the top of Monserrate in Bogota.
Sunday is the busiest day for Montserrate because of the Sunday Mass in the church. It’s also the cheapest day to go, because they give a discount on Sundays so people can visit the church at a more economical price. Of course, because of this, you’ll be fighting crowds if you go on a Sunday.
After paying penance, zombie Christ will forgive your sins.
Seeing Bogota from the top of Monserrate is a “must do” while in Bogota. It has an incredible view, is a challenging, but doable hike, and is easily accessible from the city. Another option is to go at night for dinner. There are two great restaurants with views at the top to take that special someone.
Abrazos.Read More »
A Bogota pub that looks like a British pub? The Monkey House pub in the Chapinero Norte district of Bogota would be what you’re looking for to satisfy your thirst.
A fine place mat with an even finer beer on top.
“You were eating ants in Bogota Colombia? Did you run out of pesos to buy real food?” That would be a reasonable question to ask a sane person after they told you that they were eating ants in Bogota. I, however, am not a sane person, so the question is not pertinent.
The nice lady selling ants . . . to eat.
My friend Sergio and I were walking down the street in the Candelaria region of Bogota near Bolivar Square when he asked me if I wanted to try ants. We were speaking Spanish, so I wasn’t quite sure if I heard him right, so I asked to confirm. Sure enough, the young lady on the corner was selling fried ants.
A closeup of my “delicacy”.
I had heard about this unique “delicacy” before, but thought that you could only find these ants in the Santander region of the country. I had wanted to try them, just because I could, so when Sergio offered I couldn’t say “no”.
Where these ants came face to face with my mouth.
I didn’t look closely at the ants before eating them, I just asked Sergio to start shooting a video to capture the moment. If I had examined them closely, I may have thought twice before popping them in my mouth.
The proof of me eating ants in Bogota Colombia.
The taste was quite honestly nothing to be desired. They tasted like salty dirt in all honesty. Crunchy, salty, dirt. Not exactly a culinary delicacy in which I’ll be going back for seconds. However, I had to try, I mean how many other opportunities are you going to have in your life to be eating ants in Bogota Colombia?
Abrazos.Read More »