We knew Colombia was going to be a whirlwind visit since we were rushing to Ecuador to meet our friend Clark, but that didn’t stop us from doing our best to take in as much of Bogotá as we could.
Our first day we wandered around the historic neighborhood of La Candelaria. We went to the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) where they had many beautiful artifacts all made of - you guessed it - gold. Before leaving, we stopped in the cafe to have the first of many Colombian espressos. After leaving the museum, we wandered down Carrera 7, one of Bogotá’s major streets, which on Sundays is pedestrian-only. In place of cars, the street was clogged with street vendors, artists, performers, and tons of pedestrians. The street ends at the Plaza de Bolívar, where after taking a few pictures, we skirted up a few blocks and stumbled upon a military museum. Since they had a bunch of huge guns (and it was free), we had to go in! After a few tacky pictures of Laura shooting a machine gun, we decided to grab some lunch from a small place that served arepas stuffed with chicken and pork. The final museum we found that day (also free!) was the Museo Botero, where we saw some awesome paintings and scultures done by Fernando Botero.
Monday morning we decided to take the cable car to the top of Monserrate, a mountain just above the center of Bogotá. At its top is a church, a market, a few restaurants, and some stellar views of the city. Truth be told we headed back down after about 30 minutes, but it was worth it just for the view. Maybe we would have stayed longer if we were hungry since the restaurants were supposed to have good Colombian food. On our walk back home, we saw some cool street art and enjoyed delicious coffee from a street vendor. Laura even managed to order everything in Spanish!
Apart from exploring the streets and sites of Bogotá, we were also pleased to learn that the city has a bit of a craft beer scene! As homebrewers and beer lovers, we enjoy trying the different local beverages. From our recent previous experience, most of Central and South American beers are the equivalent (or worse) of Miller Lite. Our first night in Bogotá, we checked out Bogota Beer Company, which has several locations throughout the city. They had a pretty good porter - our first actual dark beer in weeks!
There were a few other beer bars we found in Zona Rosa and Zona G, both known for their food, bars, and nightlife. Gordo, an American-style restaurant and bar, had a pretty delicious house red on tap, although we couldn’t figure out who brewed it for them. Chelarte was a small microbrewery we found with four different beers on tap, including a pale ale, a summer ale, a brown ale, and an oatmeal stout. We gave most of them 3 stars on Untappd, which is pretty good for our standards.
The best brewery we found was Cerveceria Statua Rota. When we first sat down, a waitress immediately came up to us asking if we’d like to try some samples of their beer. Um, yes please! Of the four we sampled, the best one was Lymantria, a witbeer made with lulo fruit that gave it an awesome slightly sour taste. We had a pint of that, and also ordered a bottle of their strong ale Datura. They didn’t have it on tap, but it was still very good with a unique ginger taste.
Cheers to a great time in Bogotá!