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Archive for June, 2010

Restaurants in Macarena

by Alex on Jun.30, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Carrera 4a with Calle 27
Macarena

Macarena is a funky and bohemian neighbourhood about 10 blocks north of La Candelaria and is home to about 20 good quality restaurants in close proximity to each other, mostly on Carrera 4a with Calle 27 with some on 4a with 26a and couple on 26a with 4 Arabic, French, generic (North) American, Italian, Seafood, Spanish, Sushi and others are on offer – you can safely come here on a random and be sure that you’ll find something to suit your taste, unless you are mental or something… My favourite for service, atmosphere and the French onion soup is Liberty

Find Macarena on the map here

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Liberty

by Alex on Jun.30, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

French restaurant
Carrera 4 No. 27-42
Macarena
(1) 566 1709 (landline)

To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

A lovely, cosy and homely restaurant with very friendly owner and attentive staff. Currently my fave restaurant – amazing (and fully veggie) onion soup!

Find Liberty on the map here

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Corferias (exhibition/exposition centre)

by Alex on Jun.30, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Carrera 37 No. 24-67
(1) 381-0000 (landline)

To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

Corferias is massive and puts on trade fairs, exposition, exhibitions and that kind of thing; the best thing on recently was ‘Bodies’ or ‘Bodyworlds‘ as it was when I saw it on London…

Not all the expos are relevant to your average traveller but it’s worth checking here to see what’s on. Cool stuff coming up:

GRAN FIESTA NACIONAL: BICENTENARIO -15th – 25th of July – Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the independence of Colombia – more details here
FERIA DE LAS COLONIAS – 15th – 25th of July – Tour the whole of Colombia in one day
FERIA INTERNACIONAL DEL LIBRO (International book fair) – 11th – 23rd of August – more details here

Find Corferias on the map here

Visit Corferias’s site here

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Cheap Colombian internal flights

by Alex on Jun.24, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

In my experience, the best airline to use for internal flights in Colombia is Aires. I’ve rarely found their prices beaten by other airlines and they have two distinct advantages over other airlines in that:

  • You can pay for flights with an international credit or debit card
  • You can book flights online on the day you wish to travel
  • Internationally, Aires serves Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Panama City

    Other airlines you might try are:

    Aerorepublica, which also offers flights throughout the Americas
    Avianca, which also offers flights throughout the Americas, to Europe and the UK

    Despegar offers pan-American flights via multiple operators

    Note: flights get cancelled fairly frequently here – it is wise leave at least a day between getting an internal flight and any international flights you might have booked, I’ve a few mates who have had to pay a lot of money to change the dates of their international flights due to not being able to take the internal flights that they’d booked

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    Parque Natural Chicaque

    by Alex on Jun.22, 2010, under Blog, What to do in Bogotá

    Parque Natural Chicaque is a cloud forest reserve to the south west of Bogotá. It is visitable from central Bogotá in one (long) day but it’s probably best to stay there for a night, or two.

    View from park entrance:

    chicaque-view-from-park-entrance

    Its website tells of 18 km of footpaths through seven types of forest and more than 300 species of birds and 20 of mammals.

    refugio1

    Accommodation is available at the refuge (right) or in nearby cabañas, both options including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Camping at the refuge camp site includes the three meals as well as use of the refuge’s toilets, showers etc. You can also camp near the park entrance, no food is available there so bring cooking stuff.

    view-west-from-refugio


    The refuge has a large circular dining room with balcony with stunning views (left) of the valley of San Antonio de Tequendama, the large fireplace in the middle providing for a cosy evening after a day of exercise and general naturey stuff.


    To get there by public transport from Bogotá, take the Transmilenio to the Portal Sur (1,600 COP) and from there take a bus west along the autopista to Soacha (1,300 – 1,350 COP). If you can, get a bus to El Parque de Soacha and get off the bus at El Parque (an obvious central plaza type place), other buses pass Soacha on the autopista, ask someone to tell you where to get off and walk the 3-4 blocks from the autopista to El Parque. I’ve heard that in the mornings you can find cars that will take you from El Parque to Chicaque for 10,000 – 15,000 COP. The other option is to walk two blocks south from El Parque to a small roundabout from where you can get buses that pass the entrance road to Chicaque. Buses to Apulo, Anapoima, La Mesa, Mondoñedo and Funza all pass the park entrance road. Your best bet is to stop any bus that passes and ask. As well as asking the driver to stop at the entrance to the park, it’s wise to ask fellow passengers to tell you where to get off the bus, it’s not unusual to find yourself at the end of a bus route with an unapologetic driver telling you that he forgot that he was supposed to stop for you…

    peacock

    From where the bus drops you it’s about a 30 minute walk to the park entrance where you pay the park entrance fee (if you get a private car from Soacha’s Parque it will bring you to the entrance). From here you can walk the trails of the upper part of the park and also use the park entrance camp site. If you are staying at the refuge/cabañas/refuge camp site, there is a fairly lengthy decent through probably about 500 metres to get to there, it’s reckoned to take about 50 minutes – we managed to scab a lift in one of the park vehicles having had a shambles of a time getting there, including ending up in Funza explaining to the bus driver that implicit in my question ‘do you go past Chicaque’ was the request that he stop there… You pay for your accommodation at the refuge. If you don’t fancy the long climb out of the park you can hire a horse to take the strain for you.

    They have peacocks too…

    Prices:

    Entrance to park – 10,000 COP
    Camping at the entrance camp site – 10,000 COP
    Camping at the refuge campsite including breakfast, lunch and dinner – 42,000 COP
    Accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner at the refuge – 75,000 COP
    Accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner per couple at the refuge – 159,000 COP
    Accommodation per couple in a cabaña plus brekka, lunch and dinner at the refuge – 220,000 COP
    Horse rental – 16,000 COP
    Guide (general) – 55,000 COP
    Guide (specialist) – 65,000 COP

    Just found some lovely pictures of Chicaque here

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    Destino Nómada (hostel)

    by Alex on Jun.22, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

    Calle 11 No. 00-38
    La Candelaria
    Bogotá
    Colombia
    +57 (1) 352 0932 (landline)
    +57 312 300 6895 (mobile/cell)
    contactus@dnhostels.com

    To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

    Find Destino Nómada on the map here

    Visit Destino Nómada’s site here

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    Platypus (hostel)

    by Alex on Jun.22, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

    Calle 16 No. 2-43
    La Candelaria
    Bogotá
    Colombia

    Find Platypus on the map here

    Visit Platypus’s site here

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    Musicology (hostel)

    by Alex on Jun.22, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

    Calle 9 No. 3-15
    La Candelaria
    Bogotá
    Colombia
    +57 (1) 286 9093
    Skype: musicologyhostel
    contact@musicologyhostel.com

    To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

    Find Musicology on the map here

    Visit Musicology’s site here

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    Hostal Sue and Hostal Sue Candelaria

    by Alex on Jun.22, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

    There are two Sue (pronounced sway) hostels in La Candelaria:

    Hostal Sue
    Calle 16 No. 2-55
    La Candelaria
    Bogotá
    Colombia
    +57 (1) 334 8894 (landline)
    +57 310 877 5281 (mobile/cell)

    and

    Hostal Sue Candelaria
    Carrera 3 No 14-18
    +57 (1) 341 2627 (landline)
    +57 314 464 0774 (mobile/cell)

    Find Hostals Sue on the map here

    Visit Sue’s site here

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    Aragon (Guest House)

    by Alex on Jun.22, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

    Carrera 3 No.13-14
    La Candelaria
    Bogotá
    Colombia

    Lacks the atmosphere that one might seek in a hostel but is cheap at 20,000 COP per night for a private room. Ten percent discount offered for month-long stays. Has a communal kitchen but no wifi at time of this post

    I’ve heard tell that the hot water is not always hot

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