We arrived at 2am. The airport was empty. We downloaded the Easy Taxi app and most of our taxi rides were around $1.50-$3.00 dollars. That is a steal. The taxis have their ID numbers written on the side door. These taxis are pretty much like ubers. Ubers are not legal in Colombia.
The weather in Bogota is interesting. In the mornings, the sun is out and it gets pretty hot. By noon, the skies start to get clouded and out of nowhere around 2-3pm some heavy rains start to fall. We did our research and were ready with our puffer jackets and umbrellas. It gets cold; don't let the beautiful photos fool you.
We arrived at our hotel. We stayed at the Tequendama Suites and our room was bigger than the upstairs of my house. We had two bathrooms, a king size bed with a gorgeous view of the zona financiera (financial area), a kitchen, two huge closets, a bar... We were living the high life. We paid around $400 dollars total for our stay.
Look at the gorgeous view. Everything was great, except that I didn't like the way cartoons were picturing people of color. It was offensive to be honest. Besides that, everything was great in Colombia. I packed with me some pepper spray for protection. It wasn't necessary. There are police officers and military people everywhere with big guns. I didn't feel scared; I felt protected.
Day 1 - Thursday
We slept really good. We had issues getting Colombian money because Jared kept putting the wrong pin! We went to the National Museum and walked so much. Poor Mario was having a hard time walking 8 miles a day.
After the museum, we were hungry. We headed to a cute Colombian Italian restaurant called Bellini. We had Burrata, Pasta, Pork Chops, and Salmon rolls.
Day 2 - Friday
Monserrate is a mountain in the center of the city with a church and shrine at the top that watches over the city. Check it out:
We took the funicular to the top. It was scary but a great experience. The church is very simple but beautiful. As you walk towards the top, there are many statues showing the story of the crucifixion (Catholic version). It was a great experience. It brought back memories of my Catholic school days.
Behind the church there are many food kiosks which can be described as little pop-up restaurants. We didn't know about them before we got there and had already eaten before. Well, we are Hobbses. We made more space to try new foods. We ate Queso de Campo (country cheese topped with a blackberry jam), tiny native potatoes, sausages, and a Coke. I didn't know that in Colombia you can drink coca leaf tea. I wanted to try it sooooo bad, but Jared wasn't thrilled with the idea. I honestly regret not trying it.
After our hike in Monserrat, we took a taxi to the historic neighborhood La Calendaria. It was a great day. We walked around and had the most amazing frozen lemonade made with coconut milk at La Gloria DC Food.
We also went to the Museum of Gold and saw all the pre-Columbian gold artifacts. We had lunch at the Glory restaurant. So far, the best lemonades from all the restaurants we tried were from La Gloria. We also had the Bandeja Paisa which is the national dish of Colombia. At night time, we were so tired. We ordered room service and Mario had a facial.
Day 3 - Saturday
Our favorite part of this day was a visit to the Fernando Botero museum. We also went to La Plaza Bolívar and mingled with the locals.
We also went to the Military museum looking for the golden motorcycle of Pablo Escobar. We were in the wrong museum because it was at the Police Museum. We didn't get time to see it. We tried to go back but all the museums are closed on Mondays. When we were inside the National Cathedral of Bogotá, this random old man approached us and told us that he was the church historian. Of course, it was BS. He gave us an unsolicited tour and we played along. After he was done, he requested a tip. I was like, "Sorry, I don't have any money. Thank you though".
We also went and bought me some gold earrings for my Valentines Day present. I saw many beautiful pieces, but I honestly don't wear jewelry that much. I don't even wear my wedding ring 😱. I wear a gold necklace that I got from Mother's Day because it is broken and I can't take it off. I didn't buy this Cartier bracelet... I just wore it for fun.
Day 4 - Sunday
We went to church on Sunday morning. The ward we visited was called El Nogal after the neighborhood where it's located. The ward was bilingual due to the many ex-pats that live in the neighborhood. There were two speakers that morning. One talked about charity and the other talked about how to make our homes safe spaces for our family to seek spiritual refuge. Both speakers gave their talks in both English and Spanish. Being LDS can be an interesting experience at times, but I do love that no matter where we go, we always have the church members open their hearts to us. Yes, I talk a lot about the church because it is a HUGE part of our lives. There are things that I don't agree with in the church but I try to keep things simple. Life is easier that way. Focus on the good, ignore the bad until you can actually do something to fix what you don't like.
After church we took a taxi to the Bogotá temple to take some pictures. The gate was locked but the guard opened it up and let us in so we could take our photos.
After the temple, we saw a bunch of tents from the window in our hotel room. Well, we went to explore and it was a huge flea market. We bought a new dog tag for Chloe. I am pretty good about not buying junk. We went to the park and walked around. For this adventure, Mario didn't come because he was having issues walking too much.
After the flea market, we went to an Argentinian restaurant called El Viejo Bandoneon and ate Argentinian meat.
Another day, we ate as many Tapas Españolas as we physically could. Another day we headed to a Chocolatier and had hot chocolate with pieces of cheese inside. Colombians have an obsession with adding cheese to everything. It was actually really good. I also noticed that Colombians don't eat or add so much sugar to things. Desserts, juices, and bread are sweet but not like in the USA. If you want something to be sweet, you need to ask for more sugar. I feel that's why you don't see as many fat people in Colombia.
We tried fresh cane sugar with lemon. A fruit called Mangosteen, and a snack called Obleas which are a waffle cookie with jams, sweet creams, and nuts.
We really enjoyed the food so much. The food felt fresh. We loved all the pastries, the meats, the juices, the ice creams... We gained a few pounds in a week! We are starting a diet as soon as we go back to Utah. I also learned the hard way that you don't want to eat too many Pitayas. They are a natural laxative. Yes, that's all.
Day 5 - Monday
On our last day in Bogotá, we got covid tested. We hired a company to come to our room. I think we paid $90 dollars for the four of us. When we went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the covid tests cost us $150.
This building is our hotel. I went to see an anti-aging dermatologist. Yes, it was great. I had some baby botox to prevent aging lines around my eyes. I also had a facial too. My doctor was Lorena Pinzón. I recommend her to everyone going to Bogotá!
We checked out of our hotel at 10pm and got a taxi to the airport. After checking in and getting through security, we waited for our flight inside the El Dorado Lounge inside the airport. Yes, my first time ever! We had free snacks and nice comfortable couches to lay down on. I could get used to this level of traveling.
In summary, this was an amazing trip. I was very nervous about visiting Colombia until I saw things for myself. The media portrays many countries in Latin America as dangerous lawless places, which is not accurate at all. Each country has its own beauty and its own problems. Another great thing that happened on this trip is that my boys saw how important it is to speak another language. They promised to try harder to speak fluently. I can speak English, Spanish, and broken Portuguese fluently. It is exhausting. I sometimes get passive aggressive comments from monolinguals about how I say things, but it is not their fault since they only see the world through a very narrow lens. Speaking different languagues fluently brings different perspectives on things. I can actually travel the world and communicate without fear! That is the best feeling in the world.