La Candelaria, is officially recognised as the first neighbourhood of Bogota. It is the city’s principal tourist destination and home to Bogota’s renowned museums, the government palaces, and beautiful old colonial buildings along narrow cobblestone streets.
These are the top five things to do in La Candelaria.
Callejon del Embudo:
Callejon del Embudo is an iconic street in La Candelaria, it stretches from from the Chorro de Quevedo square, where the capital city was founded by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada y Rivera. The street is filled with a mystic and charming energy. Walls are adorned with graffiti and the pavement is often used as a commercial space by craftsmen selling souvenirs.
Cerro De Moneseratte:
Cerro de Moneseratte dominates the centre of Bogota. It can be seen almost from every part of the city. Cerro De Moneseratte is a popular attraction, best known for the view of the city and the neighbourhood from the summit. The summit houses a shrine devoted to El Señor Caído, a tourism office, cafeteria and souvenir shops. Its open from 06:30am and can be accessed by an aerial tramway, a funicular or by hiking.
Its safe to hike to the summit during the day between (1000 am and 0200 pm), as there are police patrolling the area at every few meters. Although, take precautions and avoid carrying valuables.
Cost: Aerial tramway or Funicular: COP 20,000 (return) | Entrance: FREE
Plaza Bolivar or Plaza mayor as it was known during the 18th century, was once a site of pillory where public punishments were conducted. Now, Plaza Bolivar is the main square of the city, the square is rimmed with some iconic buildings. The first cathedral of Bogota which was built by the Spanish conquistadors, Palacia of justice, Neo-Classical styled Lievano Palace which now serves as the city hall and National Capitol.
Bogota has one of the best museums in South America. Some of the important ones are Museo De Oro (Gold Museum), Museo De Botero, Museum of Colonial Art and Museum of Religious Art. On Sundays its free to visit museums in the city.
“Free Walking Tour” by Beyond Colombia, is the best way to know the history of the city. The tour starts everyday at 1000 am and 1400 HRS in front of Museo De Oro. The tour covers some of the prime attractions like Emerald Black Market and the influence of the infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar’s influence in Bogota. Like any other walking tours you are expected to tip at the end.