20 July 2016
Top Destinations for Nature Lovers in Bogotá
It’s time to swap the work shoes for hiking boots and the briefcase for a backpack. If vacations are all about relaxation, there’s no better place to unwind than surrounded by towering trees and chirping birds.
Bogotá, Colombia might not seem like a destination for nature lovers. After all, the bustling capital city is home to more than 6.7 million people and has all the trappings of a metropolitan. But the tranquility of nature can be found in and around this unique city.
Here are the top destinations nature-lovers will want to put on their Bogotá bucket list.
Bogotá is tucked between in the Andes, so there are always gorgeous mountains peeking through buildings. One mountain is more prominent than its neighbors. It’s called Monserrate and the hike up this baby is beautiful. It stands about 3,150 meters (or 10,340 feet) above sea level, so you will want to take your time climbing to the top, especially if have recently arrived in Bogotá and are not yet acclimated to the altitude change. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to make it to the top. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded with a breathtaking view of Bogotá. There is also a charming church and restaurants serving traditional Colombian food. For a different perspective on the way down, visitors can take a train or cable car to get to the base of Monserrate.
Chicaque Natural Park
This 600 Arce park and designated Important Bird Area is located about 30 minutes west of Bogotá. The lush landscape welcomes visitors as soon as they pass through the entrance. The park offers hiking, camping, horseback riding and even zip-lining. A gorgeous waterfall is also located within the boundaries of Chicaque. This park is way too pretty just to spend a few hours exploring. For people who want to see all Chicaque has to offer, overnight lodging accommodations are available. Visitors can spend the night in individual cabins, the popular lodge, a tent or even a tree house… yes, you can sleep in an actual treehouse.
To read more about Chicaque Natural Park, click here.
Birding Tour in La Florida
Birdwatching and nature go hand-in-hand. Colombia in general is a great destination for birdwatching because it has more than 1,800 native and migratory species. Plus, it is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, this lends for some amazing birding. Bogotá hosts several Important Bird Areas, or IBAs. Chicaque Natural Park is an IBA and so is La Florida. You can take a bird watching tour in La Florida and be surrounded by tranquil nature. The park is located in the western part of Bogotá and hosts various species that attract birdwatchers from all over the world. Just in a couple hours on this tour, bird enthusiasts spotted more than 20 species in La Florida. The great part about this tour is it starts early in the morning when the birds are most active, leaving you time to see more of Bogotá afterwards, like La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historic district.
Bogotá gets chilly. You should bring a jacket and umbrella if you are going to be spending time outside. Sunscreen is also recommended, since sunburns happened here even when it is cloudy.
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.