Colombia's capital city, nestled in the heart of the Andes, is a heady mix of old and new. Different areas of Bogota showcase the many different facets to the city - the historical center of La Candelaria, littered with well-preserved specimens of colonial houses, museums, and churches, the gritty urban sprawl of the southwest city, or the glamourous northern entertainment district, where you can find hotels, bars, and restaurants to cater to the most discerning palate.
Bogota's historical roots are visible in plenty of attractions for visitors, such as the Museo del Oro, where one can get dazzled by the golden artefacts from Colombia's pre-colonial indigenous culture, or the stunningly decorated church museum of Santa Clara. Contrast this with the bohemian charm of the San Alejo flea market, or the chic nightclubs of the Zona Rosa district, to experience Bogota in all its shades.
The local landscape is stunning, and offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to get away. The nearby monasteries of Montserrate and Guadalupe are popular among tourists, as is the perfectly preserved colonial town of Villa de Leyva, which was declared a national heritage site by the government.
For entrepreneurs and start-ups, Colombia is an exciting place to be. The government is taking concerted initiatives that support the development of the local start-up economy, including funding and university partnership programs. An increasing level of access to private equity and venture capital funds, a handful of successful start-up stories, and the fact that several major corporations have chosen to set up shop locally are making the business community at large take sit up and notice of Colombia as a start-up destination.
Another town to satisfy the caffeine addiction, Bogotá is where chocolate sellers haunt the buses and sometimes you will be entertained with a touch of impromptu rap dancing during the ride. Fluoro orange jacketed folks help the elderly across the road and they are paid to do it. Eco-hitlers abound with a "no car day" on an annual basis. Heaven forbid if you forget to turn out the house lights, but then again plenty of random blackouts take care of this. Rumba classes are held at the local gyms, which is a good thing, as you will find a street snack vendor every ten meters around town. Crepes and waffles filled with chocolate crocantino will become part of your staple diet and the sun shines every morning to make you smile. Bogotá is the cool city, where even the dogs get dressed up, by their owners.
A bustling hive of activity, Bogotá is a modern city thriving on the love of its locals for stylish boutiques, fabulous restaurants and funky bars. There is a quaint historical center where cobblestoned streets and brightly colored buildings are splashed with brilliant street art. Narrow alleyways have snug cafes serving up "chicha", a corn based drink with more than a punch, or if you have a fancy for French pastries, head to the old Candelaria.
Throwing a party whilst in Bogotá will always be a success, as everyone will come with a big smile on their faces and an attitude that is totally outrageous and flirtatious.
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