Exploring La Candelaria and Downtown Bogota

Like any day, it started with a need for coffee.  I was really looking forward to one of the most highly recommended coffee places in Bogota – Amor Perfecto.  After all, who dares use the word “perfecto” in their company name.  It’s quite a lot to live up to.

Amor Perfecto

Luckily the cafe was only 10 minutes walk from the Airbnb so it was quite easy to get to. It was a bit hidden on a residential street.

But the front of the cafe was clear…

Inside was beautiful, and the coffee turned out pretty good.

Uber Downtown

After the coffee, it was time to call an Uber.  It would have taken at least an hour to walk, so I thought an Uber would be faster.  PLUS, the altitude was not treating me well.

I had the usual symptoms… shortness of breath, a bit dizzy at times, a bit hungover feeling.

The drive around the mountain side/ back of Bogota was a great view of the city.

There was a park…

And street art…

And soon we were at Plaza de Bolivar.

Plaza de Bolivar

I noticed pretty quickly that Simon Bolivar is a huge hero in Colombia, and has many, many places named after him.

Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military leader who was instrumental in the revolutions against the Spanish empire.  He effectively “set Colombia free” and South America as well, from the Spanish.

From here, I headed past the Palacio de Narino – The President’s Palace.

And I stumbled onto a church.

San Agustin Church

It was built on the ruins of a temple, which was destroyed by the earthquake of 1736. The interior is stunning.

And just around the corner is the military area and a monument to the soldiers.

Just up the hill is the Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Senora del Carmen.

Senora del Carmen Church

The higher you go up the mountain, the better the view.

Walking around these streets is so beautiful.

I finally found a place to stop for some lunch.

After lunch, I crossed over Carrera 10 to Santa Ines, and I immediately felt less comfortable.

The street art was amazing though, but I was keen to quickly cross back over.

I started to head towards Santa Fe.  The ugly graffiti was overwhelming in places.

I could sense a great dis-balance in the city. Only angry or disgruntled people tend to tag all over beautiful and/ or historical buildings.

Inglesia Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves

After walking so much I was exhausted and called an Uber to head back to Chapinero.

The sky was so clear.

Past the National Museum

And past more creative street art.

What a day. Bogota wasn’t what I expected at all.

Also published on Medium.

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