It's hard to believe it’s already December! With the holiday season fully underway, we’re featuring some of our favorite places to unwind in front of a fireplace this winter—hopefully with some of your favorite people. Speaking of winter, we’re highlighting a recent trip to the Scandinavian Arctic, complete with a viewing of the Northern Lights. Beaches more your speed? We’ve got the lowdown on some of the best hotels in Anguilla. From all of us at First in Service, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year. Cheers to 2019!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Colombia’s cool factor is rising thanks in part to Bogota. The capital is enjoying a booming arts and culinary scene against a backdrop of traditional Colonial architecture and trendy streets. We checked in with our Bogota office for their must-do activities.
Stroll through La Candelaria
Considered the “Old City,” this historic district is a must for any first-time visitor to this city of 8 million. Not only is it the main tourist area and home to the most popular attractions, it’s also full of colorful cobblestone streets. Start at Plaza Bolivar, the heart of the original town. Make sure to stop in the Botero Museum to view the works of Colombia’s most famous artist.
Join a Bogota Graffiti Walking Tour
Thanks to relaxed laws on graffiti, Bogota’s streets are full of works from home-grown and renowned artists alike. On the free Bogota Graffiti Tour ((donations highly recommended), you can spend two-and-a-half hours getting up close and personal with the vibrant art scene. Led by street art insiders, guides share not only the cultural or political significance of the works, but can explain the technical details too.
Head Up Monserrate
Ask any Bogotano what to do in the city and no doubt “Monserrate” mountain will come to mind. Colombia’s most iconic landmark towers 10,407 feet above sea level. A pilgrimage to the top is worth it for the heavenly panoramic views alone. But the peak is also an important religious site for the city’s Catholics. Visitors can ascend in three ways: by cable car, by funicular or on foot. Grab a delicious empanada from one of the street vendors as you soak in the views.
Dine on Nuevo Colombiano Cuisine
A rise in chef-driven restaurants is giving new flavor to the local gastronomy scene. A fusion of traditional ingredients and adopted techniques is the common ingredient at many of the city’s coolest new eateries including Tabula, Mercado, and Abasto.
Go for Gold
For a look at the world’s finest collection of pre-Columbian gold, head to the Museo del Oro. With more than 55,000 artifacts, all that glitters really is gold! Many objects won’t be found anywhere else in the world. The exhibit is a true reflection of the culture and heritage of Colombia. It’s free on Sundays.
Shop at Mercado de las Pulgas
Spend Sunday morning strolling through one of Bogota’s most beloved outdoor flea markets. Located in Usaquen near the Santa Barbara Shopping Mall, it’s full of quality artisanal goodies from handmade jewelry, and art, to souvenirs and herbal teas. Lively street musicians and tasty restaurants round out the appeal.
We recommend staying at the glittering new W Bogota. It’s just a short stroll from charming Usaquen and the Santa Barbara Shopping Mall.