30 March 2016

Parque Jaime Duque: A Day Trip From Bogotá, Colombia

Posted in Blog

Tucked away in a small city 35 kilometers north of Bogotá is an amusement park and zoo called Parque Jaime Duque. The park is dotted with replica cultural attractions from across the world, giving it an “Epcot on a budget” feel. A whole day can be devoted to this park as there are tons of activities to do and exhibits to check out once visitors make it past the entrance.

day trip Colombia

Before we continue, let’s clear some things up. This place isn’t too shabby, but it definitely isn’t Disney World. Visitors planning to hop on the equivalent of Space Mountain should tone down their expectations and be happy with the paddleboats. Parque Jaime Duque has beautiful scenery and is a family-friendly environment, but it isn’t a state-of-the-art amusement park filled with vomit inducing rollercoasters. But if you did have an interest in losing your lunch, head to the teacup ride—those babies can really spin.

day trip ColombiaThe park has an interesting backstory. A philanthropist named Jaime Duque dreamed about giving Colombians a cultural recreation center that also supported the disadvantaged. Duque had a history of lending a helping hand. In the early 1950s, he retired from his successful career in aviation and devoted his life to social work. The doors to the park opened to the public in 1983.

day trip Colombia

Visitors have to buy wristbands to enter the park and take part in the activities. The wristband for normal weekdays costs 26,000 pesos each, about 9 USD. The wristband used on weekends and holidays costs 34,000 pesos each, about 11 USD. While this seems like a good price for amusement park entrance, keep in mind that there is system that limits how many rides visitors can go on. Workers will mark the wristband before a visitor can go on the more popular rides such as the train that loops around the park or the small cars that can be driven around a track. Visitors can participate in five of the rides that require a stamp, but not all the rides require one.

In addition to traditional amusement park rides like bumper cars, there is also a zoo. Visitors can check out a reptile house and aviary, which are two separate buildings. (If National Geographic taught us anything, it’s that keeping snakes and birds of prey in the same room doesn’t bode well for the snake.) Monkeys, tigers and animals of the African savanna can be spotted too. (Again, not all in the same cage.)

day trip Colombia

For people hoping to learn a thing or two, there are several museum-like exhibits. An exhibit featuring the evolution of humans and early societies displays information in both Spanish and English. A mural with captions in Spanish depicting the history of Colombia’s fight for freedom is depicted inside the replica of the Taj Mahal. Go figure.

Tips:

1. Wristbands for admission can be purchased online.
2. Avoid going on holidays and weekends when the lines can get long.
3. Wear sunscreen even though it is usually cool in the mornings.
4. Taking a bus to the park can be a little tricky, but it’s cheap and possible. The easiest option would be taking the Transmilenio to Portal Norte then walking to the street to hail a smaller bus heading north that has “PJ Duque” listed as one of the stops.

Anneliese Delgado

About the author:

Anneliese Delgado is an American writer living in Bogotá. Her mother is from the United States and her father is from Venezuela, giving her the unique opportunity to blend in on the streets of Colombia, while still viewing the country from the eyes of an outsider. When she’s not writing, she’s playing soccer, wandering around stores with no intention on buying anything and binge-watching Netflix. You can read more about her adventures on her blog at abroadincolombia.com.

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