10:00 To start discovering Bogotá, head straight to the Plaza de Bolivar, the main square located in the heart of the city’s historical area. Here, you’ll catch a glimpse of the statue of famous South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar, who played a key part in achieving independence from the Spanish Empire.
10:15 The square is also home to several historical buildings and monuments, such as the Capitolio Nacional (Carrera 8), where the houses of Colombia’s Congress are located. Check out the fresco-style mural of Bolivar painted by Santiago Martínez Delgado, considered one of the most important paintings in the country.
11:00 Stroll over to the Catedral Primada de Colombia, a Roman Catholic cathedral built in 1807 on the foundation of Bogotá’s first church. Check out the 17th- and 18th-century paintings and carvings, as well as the tomb of the founder of Bogotá, Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.
12:00 Grab lunch and a cold one at Hamburguesas El Corral (Carrera 2), known for its Gaucho (or South American cowboy) burgers. Don’t be dissuaded if it looks like fast food – we have it on good authority that these are the best burgers in town.
14:00 The historic La Candelaria neighbourhood is just a few blocks down from the square. It’s one of the best-kept examples of colonial architecture in Latin America, so spend some time here, meandering and taking in the 16th-century terracotta homes and baroque churches.
14:30 Rain is quite frequent in Bogotá, so if you need to find refuge, head to the nearby cluster of museums. Start at the Museo Botero (Calle 11 #4-41), a colonial-era house once belonging to Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist. There are more than 100 of his own abstract works along with a number of Dalís, Renoirs and Picassos.
15:30 Make your way over to Quinta de Bolívar (Calle 20 #2-91), a house formerly owned by Simon Bolivar. You’ll find an impressive collection of his personal belongings from the 19th century.
17:00 Then head to the Museo del Oro (Calle 16 #5-41) which displays an extraordinary 55,000-piece pre-Hispanic gold collection including masks, earrings, crowns and ceremonial vessels dating back more than 2000 years.
19:00 After all that sightseeing, you’ll need to refuel. For an unforgettable dining experience, head to Andrés Carne De Res. Located in the little village of Chia, about 20 miles from the city, its acres of dining area are decorated with antiques and Christmas candles, and you might just get dinner delivered to you by a brass band. Thousands of Colombians rock up here to eat, drink and dance, so a not-to-be-forgotten atmosphere is guaranteed. If you don’t fancy heading all the way to Chia, there is a second, not-quite-so-raucous branch in Bogotá, Andrés DC. Still expect an all-night party.
11:00 Kick off your day with Colombia’s famous coffee at the Juan Valdez Cafe inside the Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez. It features waterfalls, an art gallery and an enormous library.
12:00 Take things at a slower pace today, and stroll around the Independence Park (Calle 26), Bogotá’s oldest and most traditional park, and take in the eucalyptus forests and neo-classical architecture. Bike tours are also available if you’re feeling adventurous.
14:00 For an intimate lunch, head to Tapas Macarena (Carrera 4A #26-01) for traditional Colombian food – patatas bravas, carpaccio with blue cheese and sangria. It’s a cosy little restaurant with only five tables.
15:00 Now that you’re recharged, hike up to Monserrate, a mountain located right in the city and towering 3152m over the sea. It’s frequently visited by pilgrims heading to the 17th-century church perched on top, but it’s also a great place for some amazing views of the city. If you don’t feel like slogging it to the top, the Teleférico de Monserrate cable car can get you there in minutes for about £5.
19:00 Start your evening with a visit to Restaurante Club Colombia (Avenida 82 #9-11), a chic eatery serving Colombian food with a modern twist. Savour empanadas Bogatánas (stuffed pastry), ajíaco (beef, veg and chilli) soup and platanos maduros (fried sweet plantains).
21:00 End the night at Punto G (Calle 94 #11-46), a crossover club with live reggae and salsa. It’s only right to bid Bogotá goodbye while dancing.
How to get there
Return tickets from London Heathrow to Bogotá, via Sao Paulo, start around £730 with TAM
More on Bogotá at colombia.travel