We left Bogota for Quito. Although 11 days in Bogota seems like a short time (aside from the artist Adalberto and from the funders of Pura Vida Green Store) we met lot of people and learned a lot about Colombia in general and about Bogota in particular.
The capital of Colombia is located in the center of the country surrounded by mountains. Bogota is a monster that houses more than 8 million inhabitants and spreads itself on more than 33km from North to South and 16km from East to West.
Theoretically, mountains surrounding Bogota are forming natural barriers that limit humidity, but in our case we suffered the rain during our entire stay. This made our visit in Bogota a bit harder than planned.
Bogota has the reputation of being a dangerous city; in this article we are going to refute these accusations. Indeed, Bogota went through a period of extreme violence in the 90's, in 1993, the homicide rate in Bogota was at this time 81.2% per 100 000 inhabitants. Uribe's government fought these security issues during the last years. During our stay in Bogota, we did not feel unsafe at any time, policeman and military standing at each street corner made us feel secure.
The amiability of Bogota’s inhabitants is impressive; either to help us find our way, to talk about Bogota's life, or even to share a meal or room with us. Bogota's inhabitants really showed us incredible hospitality.
Apparently, Bogota has changed a lot in the past few years. With the election of Antanas Mockus as mayor in 1994, the urban developments were married to social development. This plan was followed by the next government which built the first public bus line, (Transmilenio).
The city continues with its renovation process. In recent developments the mayor of Bogota decided to re-build all of Bogota`s main streets simumtaneously. This renovation is making Bogota more chaotic than it is usually is and is causing unbearable traffic in the inner city. In the end the construction should greatly help to improve circulation.
The poverty and violence in the countryside can be held responsible for the accelerated urbanization in Bogota as well as complex political and social reasons.
Residents of Bogota are predominantly Catholic, proof is in the many churches, sanctuaries and colonial cathedrals that are present in the historical center. The ascent by foot of the mountains such as “Monserrate ,“and “Guadalupe,” is a ritual that many Bogota inhabitants are used to performing regularly. We did not have the courage to climb by foot.
Upon our arrival in Bogota were impressed by the number of universities and schools present. From primary, secondary, or university, private or public, the city is filled with education centers of all sizes, the constant migration of people from all over the country implies the continued construction of education centers.
The food in Colombia, and specifically in Bogotá is very special. Ajiaco, for example is a soup made out of different kinds of potatoes, corn, milk creme, and a delicious creme of curuba. Even though this is one of the most traditional dishes from Bogotá, we didn't try it. We did try some other very interesting dishes, such as fritanga and calentao (make sure to check out our LifeTrack video so you can see them for yourself) and the changua; this is a soup made out of eggs, milk and herbs (we were told it's very good to cure a hangover, but we wouldn't know).
A very peculiar aspect that we noticed in Bogotá is the lack of success in the inter-national fast-food market. Franchises such as Burger King, Starbucks and Taco Bell have tried to position themselves in the Colombian market but have failed. The reason we have discovered is that the Colombians have very good fast food brands of their own, and it is food of such high quality that does not even compare to McDonalds for example. Colombian fast food is very good, they use quality ingredients, have affordable prices and are found all throughout the city. For instance, the hamburgers of El Corral won't let McDonalds or Burger King grow as they've done in other countries and the coffee chain Juan Valdez has made business very difficult for Starbucks coffee.
En conclusion GRACIAS BOGOTA.
Travel video shared by DanAreYouSerious