sábado, 30 de outubro de 2010

Trip Tips: Bogotá

4 day trip from 03/06/2010 to 06/06/2010 held in the fall.

The photos were taken in a conventional camera and then Escaned. The quality is not good, but you can get a sense of beauty.

Flight from Brazil on Thursday at 12.30 with estimated arrival at Bogotá at 19.50 (local time) by Gol Airlines. The Colombian boarding fee (U$ 33.00) is already paid along with the air ticket.

Arriving at the airport El Dorado, go through immigration, to be sniffed by police dogs and then exchange their currencies into one of four exchange houses that exist in the outside. At the airport the exchange is much more advantageous than in downtown Bogotá.
After exchanging the currency on the left before leaving the airport building there is a branch of esBogotá tourist information that can provide a detailed map of Bogota and La Candelaria, the historic center.
Take a taxi to the convening Cranky Croc Hostel, located on Calle 15 with Carrera 4. The taxi is for approximately $ 10.00 and you know how much you pay before you get on.

It is important to understand how the division of streets and avenues in Bogota to get your bearings. There is a hill called Monserrate which is on the east side of town. Avenues (carreras) are numbered from east to west starting from the hill, so that the carrera is the first one after the hill. The calles (streets) are numbered in vertical direction. Another important thing to know is that the houses have two numbers: the first of which always indicates carrera, or calle it is closer and the second indicates the number actually in the house or building.

The Cranky Croc hostel is owned by two Australian brothers and is very well maintained. It has a friendly staff, rooms with beds and new mattresses, new bed linen and clean, lockers (locks are sold there for $ 2.60, but you can take your) shared bathrooms with hot water, internet area, big and clean kitchen with several appliances, video room, a bar for smokers.
Rates in dorm cost about U$10.00 and they do not accept credit cards.
They sell snacks, beer Aguila, Club Colombia and wines at reasonable prices. The site is very well located for those wanting to walk the streets of Bogota. At night there are bars and discos nearby, which are frequented by locals or tourists from the hostels of the region.
Nearby there are museums, pharmacies, markets and shopping malls.

Enjoy the first night to meet the guys staying at the hostel, that before to go out stay in the hostel bar to warm up.
The Thursday in Bogota is the best day to dance rumba. There are some nightclubs near the hostel of rumba: Quiebra-Canto and others who do not remember.
The Bogota love to dance and usually call people who do not know to dance along with them.

I want to leave a note here: I decided my trip to Colombia in the early hours of Wednesday (02/06/10) to Thursday (06/03/2010). As the flight was at 12.30, woke up early and went into a site to search for backpacker hostels. The first post I found that the hostel spoke Platypus was the best hostel in Bogota. There was no doubt, got in touch directly with the hostel and made a reservation for every day. For those who do not have to stay in the hostel Bogota Platypus is an option. But as attributes of the hostel must say I was somewhat frustrated:
- First I was dryly answered by staff (assuming that the Colombian people are friendly, helpful and loves the people of Brazil) and thought it an offense
- The room that I did not have lockers to store my backpack
- The bathroom of the room, although private, had no hot shower and cold water is very cold there
- Above the dormitory was another bedroom, and ceiling/floor was wood, so that every time someone walked by a room upstairs unbearable noise was heard in the room below.
I supported to stay in this hostel to take the first bath. At the same time searched and found the Cranky Croc and spoke with the owner so that I could change. He said he would have bedrooms the next day, but I said I wanted to move in that hour (it was night). Moved without too much trouble and then there was the hosting super quiet and nice.

If you do not prepare their own breakfast in the hostel, walk through the center of Bogota and meet some bakeries and cafes that serve delicious snacks morning. Near the hostel there are also some supermarkets. Go to any market and make purchases. Cranky Croc's cuisine is very organized.

On Friday morning, make sure you know the Museo del Oro, Museo de la Esmeralda , Museo del Cobre and the Museo de Fernando Botero.
The museum shows a shower of gold pieces from BC to the present day, showing that the techniques they use to cook up the gold pieces. The Museum of emerald and copper are similar to gold, but in smaller proportions.
The entrance to the museum of gold costs U$ 1.50, but on Saturdays you can visit for free.
If you want to buy handicrafts, there is a cultural fair opposite the Gold Museum. There you can buy books, cds and crafts. I found the new edition of Cien Años de Soledad with little use and the price of U$ 8.00. A very popular handicrafts are the thumbnails of the hand or horse artist Fernando Botero.
Near the museum is the chapel of gold, golden San Francisco de Asis. The chapel is beautiful and worth the visit.

The museum Botero, a Colombian artist known for gaining weight all his works, is a delight to visit. Right away you'll find a dark hand and fat, with almost 2 feet tall. Entering the first room on the right you already see one of the most interesting works: chubby Monalisa. Throughout the rooms you will already realizing the fuller features of the artist. The museum also has works by artists like Picasso and Renoir.
The museum entrance and Botero Mint is free.
Annex to the Botero Museum is Casa de la Moneda, which has a museum of numismatics. Also quite interesting to see what was happening with the bills and coins of Colombia (Gran Colombia and) over time.
Leaving the building and in front you can visit the largest bookstore in Colombia: The Cultural Center Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize for literature. There are several titles in castellano and a section devoted to the author. The latest edition of Cien Años de Soledad can be purchased for approximately U$ 15.00. If you enjoy literature castellano is possible to buy securities of the Chilean Pablo Neruda or the Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano.

Have lunch at a typical Colombian dish: Ajiaco Santafereño, a soup made with chicken, different varieties of potatoes, corn and Guasco, which usually adds cream and capers. It is delicious and kills the hunger of anyone. It costs something around U$ 6.00 dish that even with rice and a piece of avocado! The recommended restaurant is one that is opposite the Argentine Mi Viejo on the same street as the Casa de la Moneda.

Also in the center and walking a few blocks you can get to Plaza Bolivar. There are Capitolio Nacional, Primada Cathedral of Bogota, Palacio de Justicia, Alcaldia Mayor (Palacio Liévano) and behind the Capitol is a beautiful garden and Nariño Palace (seat of government). Prepare to have your purse investigated every time you cross a checkpoint, which is heavily armed.

After these visits, walking down carrera 7 are heading north you can visit the Plaza de Toros Santamaria (map), where for a few months of the year there are bullfights. From January to March occur bullfighting professionals. From July to August for aspiring bullfights occur. The site is impressive. If you're indoors, try contacting the guard and offer a commission of U$ 3.00. It will let you in to take some pictures and try to imagine how is the weather in a day's bullfight. The museum is not accessible.
After visiting the bullfighting stadium, walk a little further north on the cross 6 and visit the Museo Nacional de Colombia, which contains an archive of the history of education in Colombia.

Completing these visits, return to the central region of Bogota without commitment and go to the Juan Valdez coffee, near the Casa de la Moneda and enjoy the most popular and tasty Colombian coffee.

Returning to the hostel, enjoy a warm shower and relax a little bit. At this point your legs may be very tired.
At night, start the heats at the bar's own hostel and then go to the T Zone, a region within the Zona Rosa, with numerous bars, restaurants and discos. There are options where clubs do not pay the entry and other paid. The paid are frequented by people in a most beautiful and well dressed. You can have fun in any of them. Suggestions are Spin, Colombian music with electronics, or the Blessed's, a ballad more bourgeois where attendants take a the night and climb on the tables to dance to electronic music loud and contagious. Accept credit card but the entry is "en effective."

On Saturday take time to know the most famous breakfast, traditional and elegant in Bogota, which is in carrera 7: hot chocolate with bread, cheese and butter. The bakery is called Pastry Florida and its owner wins customers since 1936. The bakery is part of the city's history. By asking the pan y chocolate do not forget to ask for a little warm bread.

After breakfast, go walk down Calle 20 with Carrera 2, near the Cerro Monserrate. Climbing the hill on the right side you will find the Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar, at the time who lived in Colombia . The house has its own style and is very comfortable, especially the dining room, which during the day under the sun has a very pleasant and inviting. Admission is U$ 1.00.
Going up a little more you can reach the base of Monserrate hill. On Saturdays you can climb on foot. If it is not a Saturday or you're out of gas, there is a funicular cable car and they charge U$ 7.00 round trip. The view from up there is beautiful and it is possible to identify several landmarks of Bogota. There is a chapel on top of the hill, which celebrates Mass regularly. Beside the chapel there are some restaurants and a fair of crafts.

Ending the visit take a Transmilenio with the direction of the T Zone and have lunch there.
The T zone is a region very conducive to shopping. There are several shoe stores, shoes, clothing, leather and electronics. Another area that can be visited for shopping is the outlet of the Avenue of the Americas. And if you want to bring back a little to Brazil from Colombia, do not forget to buy the Antioqueño brandy, which has a value around U$ 10.00, and Juan Valdez coffee, which can be found in several flavors in packages that cost U$ 5.00.

At night, the lineup is great. Even many people say: "who goes to Bogota and not knowing the Andrés Carne de Res did not go to Bogota". There are two options: the oldest and most traditional in the city of Chia (a taxi there costs U$ 93.00), and the latest version Bogotá. The place is a mixture of restaurant, circus and ballad at the same time.

On Sunday, if you do not have to go back to the hostel to check out at noon, leave everything ready and already paid for and request that your luggage is left in the storage alberque, is safe and lock that only the owner handles.
In the morning, if the day is sunny, rent a bike and go ride the carrera 7. The only avenue is closed to cyclists. A lease is for U$ 13.00 in Biketours and they also offer guided tours.

The tamale is a kind of cornmeal, salt or fresh, and may contain meat, cheese, peppers among others. Wrapped in straw own ear of corn or banana leaves, steamed.
Prove it! If you find a restaurant that offers.

After the bike ride, take a Transmilenio season's Museo del Oro to the Avenida Jimenez. Make and take another baudeação Transmilenio toward the North Terminal. Lasts around 40 minutes to an hour the whole operation and costs U$ 1.00. Get off at North Terminal and look for where to catch a bus from Zipaquirá. Ask where to get off the conductor closest to Salt Cathedral. The trip lasts more than 40 minutes and costs U$ 2.00. It is interesting because the way you cut almost entirely from downtown Bogota to the north, and crossing the town of Chia, where the meat of Res Andrés Coming to Zipaquirá if you have not had lunch and tasted delicious tamale, find a restaurant it serves. Then walk a few blocks until you reach the park entrance to the Cathedral. Climb the stairs and buy the ticket. You can choose to only visit the Cathedral through the Via Crucis, but also opt for the ride known as the Ruta del Minero, a curious experience on farms in the mine, where you can understand how the engineering behind it. You will receive a helmet with a very powerful flashlight, and in some moments, you are invited to turn off the flashlight to see the darkness of the cave. The tour of the cathedral lasted around one hour and Route Miner 30 minutes and both cost U$ 11.50. Accept credit cards.

Ending the tour take the bus back to the North Terminal of Bogota and then the Transmilenio back to the hostel.
Get your stuff, take your last beer Colombia (Aguila, Club Colombia, or Costanera) and ask to call a taxi. If in a hurry you can ask the cabbie to run a lot. He will be grateful to receive a 10% tip for the effort. The taxi from the airport to the hostel gives U$ 10.00 and takes no more than 20 minutes to the freeway.

Time to go back to Brazil. Check-in and go to the desk in Colombia to register your exit in your passport.
If you have leftover money to past purchases, the free shopping airport has several shops, handicrafts, T-shirts and beverage in Colombia.

Very useful: map of the stations of Transmilenio.

Bon voyage!

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