Archived entries for Bogotá

Celebrating the 4th in Colombia

Who would have thunk that perhaps the best 4th of July of my life was spent outside the United States? It’s true. I had the distinct pleasure of having an invite to the Independence Day celebration at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá. The embassy is the second or third largest U.S. mission in the world (no one seems to agree on whether it goes 1. Iraq, 2. India, 3. Colombia, or Iraq-Colombia-India) — and the party was befitting of the compound’s massive size. Various American companies doing business in Colombia were on hand with giveaways (as well as cool local brewer Bogotá Beer Company) but the coolest part of the night was the 30-minute long fireworks show, perfectly choreographed to a score that included classics like “Hail to the Chief” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Here I am with my Bogotá BFF David, wearing the party decorations.

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An emerging Colombian rock band (I believe they are called “Momento”) performed a, well, rocking set!

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Some on-site refreshments!

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The homes of Bogotá

Beautiful homes abound in the wealthy north end of Bogotá (some more fortified than others):

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Bogotá

I’m of the opinion that anyone who badmouths Bogotá hasn’t been there. There isn’t another place I’ve been that feels so far removed from its reputation (although Buffalo springs to mind). Two years ago The New York Times declared, “Bogotá Is Not Just for the Brave Anymore,” and last year the paper put the city of 7 million on its list of top must-see cities. To me, the words that spring to mind when I think of this city that’s statistically safer than Baltimore and Washington, are suave and sophisticated. Bogotá boasts distinctly European sensibilities — you could be forgiven if you thought you’d landed in Madrid — and spectacular scenery. I recommend it without hesitation.

Related article: How Bogotá came to be somewhere you’d actually want to live

Seen around the city: A restaurant in the T Zone section –

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A very unique sign on a winding hillside street:

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A restaurant in the Zona G

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Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá

A colleague in Colombia recommended I stay at the Casa Medina — the best hotel in Bogotá, he claimed. And his suggestion was spot-on. The place was fabulous, and in a good location adjacent to the Zona G restaurant area. I wished I’d stayed longer and gotten to experience more of the hotel. It was a bit spendy ($278 USD a night) but prices in Colombia are not as cheap as many might think. When I checked out they even had a departure gift for me: a pound of local Juan Valdez coffee! Here are a few pics from around the hotel.

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Bogotá-bama

I was super bummed to be missing President Obama’s inauguration while traveling yesterday, but as it turned out, I didn’t miss a beat. You see, I was down in Bogotá and all the airport TVs were tuned to the action in Washington. Nevermind that everything had been dubbed into Spanish…but it was cool nonetheless to watch the Colombian masses transfixed by the ceremony.

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Bogotá

I am a sucker for a trip to a new city, a new country, or even better, a new continent, so I jumped at the chance to jet down to Bogotá, Colombia’s thriving capital city today. My fourth continent! Yay!

On approach into El Dorado International:

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Cruising over the coast of Jamaica:

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