Colombia’s crime rate has hit a four-decade low, the government made peace with FARC rebels, and tourism has doubled in the last 10 years. The country is finally becoming the major destination it deserves to be. Here’s how to make the most of a trip to its capital city.
Hotel with History: Many global chains are here, but the city’s most distinctive property may be the Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá, set in a 1946 edifice that’s a registered national landmark.
Higher Ground: Though Bogotá’s motto—2,600 meters closer to the stars—is poetic, the altitude can be a challenge for some visitors. Skip rigorous activities the first few days, and stay well hydrated.
View from the Top: Towering above the city, the mountain of Monserrate offers an invigorating hike. If you don’t feel like making the climb, get whisked to the summit via funicular or cable car.
Caffeine Buzz: Colombia is famous for its coffee, but not (yet) its café culture. Arte y Pasión Café is changing that with beans sourced from around the country and a training program for baristas.
Take It to the Street: Some of the city’s most eye-catching art is outside. Join a Bogotá Graffiti Tour to check out the colorful creations along the lanes of downtown neighborhood La Candelaria.
La Vida LGBTQ: Bogotá may not have the rainbow culture of cities like Buenos Aires and Rio, but the scene thrives in hot spots such as Theatron, one of the continent’s biggest gay nightclubs.
Eric Rosen is a freelance travel writer and loyalty-program expert who contributes regularly to National Geographic Traveler, the Los Angeles Times, The Points Guy , and more. He is also the founder of ClusterCrush.com , an insider’s guide to the world of wine from grape to glass. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.