Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Bogota, Colombia

Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:35am EDT
 
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By Walker Simon

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's capital city lures tourists with its mild year-round weather, booming nightlife and its museums about gold, emeralds and the artist Fernando Botero.

Once sleepy streets buzz with crowds at outdoor tables and modern art graces courtyard cafes.

Wildlife from the tropics spills into the city, 8,612 feet (2,635-metres) high. The Bogota area harbors hundreds of bird species. Nearby valleys grow a dizzying array of fresh produce sent to local restaurants.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a 48-hour visit.

FRIDAY

4 p.m. - For a bird's eye view, take the cable car to Montserrat, a mountaintop shrine 10,340 feet high (3,150-metres high). Stalls sell coca tea to cope with the thin air. Also on sale are 26-ring palm-leaf hats, foldable to hand size.

5:30 p.m. - Dine at the Victorian-style Santa Clara restaurant, with its 11 walls of windows overlook the city.

Start with the house salad with three types of lettuce, garnished with uchuva (Inca berry) with its paper-like petals. Warm up with ajiaco, Bogota's signature stew, typically cooked with three kinds of local potatoes, spiced with capers.   Continued...

 
<p>People drink coffee at a cafe in Bogota August 16, 2011. Colombia's capital city lures tourists with its mild year-round weather, booming nightlife and its museums about gold, emeralds and the artist Fernando Botero. Once sleepy streets buzz with crowds at outdoor tables and modern art graces courtyard cafes. Wildlife from the tropics spills into the city, 8,612 feet (2,635-metres) high. The Bogota area harbors hundreds of bird species. Nearby valleys grow a dizzying array of fresh produce sent to local restaurants. REUTERS/Fredy Builes</p>