Bogota, diverse and multicultural
Bogotá is the capital and largest city in Colombia. A melting pot of people from around the country, it is diverse and multicultural, with a blend of modern and colonial architecture. The predominant colors in Bogotá are the green of the city’s many parks and the eastern mountains overlooking the sanctuaries of Monserrate and Guadalupe, and the rich red of its many brick buildings.
What to do?
The landscape of Bogotá, marked by the green of the Andes to the east, is spectacularly one-of-a-kind. Apart from the many outdoor spaces in Bogotá, travelers find it an ideal place to do business, or explore history, food, culture and many other local customs.
In Bogotá, the seat of Colombia’s government, visitors can visit the Gold Museum, which houses an important collection of pre-Hispanic objects. Visitors to the capital also experience the city’s juxtaposition of history and modernity and the local and the cosmopolitan; it is a great destination for high-end shopping as well as shopping for fresh fruit in Paloquemao Square.
In the west of Bogotá is a traditional part of the city where fresh vegetables and other farm products fill an old abandoned railroad warehouse with color. The square, in operation since 1972, is much more than a marketplace, and attracts Colombian and foreign visitors who find a wide variety of fruit. Visitors often receive free samples of fruit, such as avocado from Mariquita (Tolima). In Paloquemao you can find tonkua, a variety of squash that can weigh over 100 pounds. People from countries like India, Peru, and Mexico come to the square to buy special peppers.
A Modern and Historic City
The contrasts between Bogotá's colonial past and the XXI century is appreciated by walking a few blocks from La Candelaria, in the historic centre - where Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada founded the city on August 6, 1538 -, and the International Centre towers, where banks and other companies have their offices. So you can "time travel" between stone streets and buildings with helipads. The first inhabitants of Bogotá were the Muisca, of the Chibcha language family. The Spaniards designed an urban layout in a grid formation. Bogotá has about 7 million inhabitants and measures 40,000 hectares.
The Gold Museum
At the Banco de la República’s Gold Museum, visitors witness an unforgettable experience: as they stand in a dark room, bright lights suddenly switch on to reveal hundreds of gold ornaments. The museum features about 13,000 gold artifacts and 20,000 stone and clay objects originating from various pre-Hispanic cultures. Artifacts of the Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Sinú, and Muisca cultures, among others, are on display. The museum displays gold pieces such as breastplates, masks, brooches, bracelets, and necklaces. The Tolima, Tumaco, and Malagana cultures are also represented in the Gold Museum.