martes 9  de  julio 2024
TRAVEL

Bogota, vibrant city and culinary delights

The capital of Colombia offers a unique and memorable experience as one of the best airlines in the world Emirates serves the city via Miami

Por JESÚS HERNÁNDEZ

BOGOTA.- Nestled in an extensive valley and surrounded by mountains, Bogotá will exceed your expectations. Not only because of its altitude as one of the highest-elevated capital cities in the world, about 8,660 feet above sea level, but the contrast given by the stunning city set within lush green elevations and the lively life of the capital of Colombia.

And, on top of that, Bogota takes more relevance today, now that one of the best airlines in the world Emirates serves the Colombia’s capital city, via Miami.

Bogota is a massive city that sprawls across a plateau in Colombia’s western Andes. It´s a city of contrasts with vibrant, hectic city life and lots of action.

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The outstanding architecture, unique among its Latin American counterparts for its fondness for red brick and interesting buildings, looks spectacular with the backdrop of the mountains.

Anybody visiting Bogota owes it to themselves to pay a visit to the historical quite attractive center La Candelaria, with plenty of colonial buildings, the Botero Museum, Plaza Bolivar and the impressive Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá.

Up here is where many laureates, including Gabriel García Marquez, once studied, and where nightlife buzzes to the sounds of music and food makes you discover different flavors.

Be aware that the era of narcos and guerrillas is long gone. Here you may have more trouble than you would expect trying to choose what coffee is the best.

Typical day

You might want to start your day at Paloquemao market, where you find an endless array of tropical fruits, fresh vegetables and yummy food stalls.

Here you will see a wide variety of local fruits. Let´s say lulo, a combination of kiwi, citrus, and pineapple you can either eat or enjoy as ice cream, juice or mixed with vodka or rum.

If you like pork, try lechona, which translates to “suckling pig”. But don’t get it twisted. This dish is very different from the standard pig on a spit you’ve tasted at barbecues.

How do they make it? They start off with the whole pig. They carefully remove pig’s bones while leaving some meat and the skin still intact.

Once this is done, the shell of the pig is cleaned. Then they make the filling with white rice, peas, onions and spices, but the filling can differ depending on where you eat it.

Higher

Want to go even higher? Head to Mount Monserrate for the best views in Bogota at over 10,000 feet above sea level. You can travel to the top of the mountain by taking a cable car.

At the highest point, the highlight is the promenade that overlooks the city. A 17th-century church devoted to The Fallen Lord and the Virgin of Montserrat will give you the sense of peace upon the mountain.

Here you can recharge at the hilltop cafe or explore the mountain’s open-air market, which sells Colombian crafts and souvenirs.

The Mountain, already considered sacred in pre-Columbian times when the area was inhabited by the indigenous Muisca, is a pilgrim destination, as well as a major tourist attraction.

You may want to visit the place early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowd.

Gastronomy

Besides Paloquemao market and plenty of street vendors, where you can taste some on the best Bogotan arepas and empanadas for little money, there are hundreds of restaurants that serve flavorful Colombian and international food.

If you ask someone where you should dine in Bogota first, they might probably tell you Andres DC. It´s not only about the good Colombian food they serve, but the environment, and the festivity.

Founded by Andrés Jaramillo as a roadside grill spot in 1982, Andres DC is now a huge four story restaurant, with at least three dance floors and near 500 staffers where roving bands of performers equipped with confetti make the party go.

This is about a hilarious ritual of joy and celebration, where males and females, all cachacos (people from Bogotá) with a variety of backgrounds, celebrate life in Hell, Earth, Purgatory and Heaven week after week.

Famous Latin America’s 50 Best List describes the restaurant as “Alice-in-Wonderland meets Moulin Rouge.”

There are also Colombian gourmet restaurants, like Acai and Afluente where food takes a higher standard based of traditional and natural ingredients taken from the forests.

Another Colombian restaurant to consider is Jairo, located at the W Hotel, where food is prepared and presented to please your senses.

Emirates

Emirates flies daily from Dubai to Bogotá, via Miami, and this is the first airline to offer travelers to fly between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort.

Yes , you can book your seat from Miami to Bogota, and the other way around, to enjoy the good service.

The route to and from Bogotá features the widebody three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, including lie-flat seats in First Class and Business Class, generous baggage allowance, higher standard complimentary dining, and in-flight entertainment.

Emirates aircraft also features Economy Class, with seat pitch of 32¨ and seat width 17¨, and offers a higher standard than usual complimentary dining.

Emirates provides one of the best entertainment systems currently in the sky (13.3” display screen), and this will also help to ensure an enjoyable economy experience.

You can book your ticket on Emirates.com, the Emirates App, or via travel agents.

The Dubai based airline is graded one of the top five airlines in the world by the inflight research services group Skytrax, with “modern, efficient and comfortable aircraft” and “award-winning services aboard” across the world, serving over 150 destinations.

Where to Stay

Bogota has plenty of places to stay overnight. From five-star hotels such as the Grand Hyatt, which is located right between the airport and the city.

The property features a modern 14-stories facade with walls of windows. It opened in October 2018.

At the corner room on the 14th floor, there was a spacious room with sweeping views of Bogota from floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom with dual vanity, a marble bathtub and a toilet in its own walled-off area.

On the ground floor of the Grand Hyatt Bogotá there was the expansive Zaitania Spa, and the gym, occupying a space with floor-to-ceiling windows.

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