Arrived at Bogota at about 1:00 pm and immigration was a breeze. But
as soon as I got out to arrival area,
there was no tourist information and only a few people spoke few
English. So I had to reset my mind that communication was a challenge.
Good thing I came from the Philippines and had a little knowledge of some Spanish
words. So I was able to communicate a bit with them.
From the airport, I took the yellow taxi
and paid COP$25,000 or CD$12.50. There were other drivers who offered
COP$40,000 as they thought I was an easy prey as a tourist but the yellow cabs were
recognized as official transportation by the city. Talking to the
driver about fare was not difficult as conversion was simple –
for every COP$1,000, think of it as CD$1 and divide by 2. So COP$1,000 was
On the way to the hotel and my initial
interaction with the locals at the airport, I already surmised that
Hollywood movies gave a wrong perception about Colombia. Colombians
were very friendly and they tried their best to communicate. I felt very safe around the city as there were police and army
on every possible corner. It was a bad perception that Colombia was overriden by drugs and killing as portrayed in the movies.
Upon arriving at
Crowne Plaza Tequendama,
English of the front desk staff was also very limited. Good thing the duty manager
was around and was able to answer some of my tourist questions (e.g. map of
the city and where to go from the hotel).
Once checked-in, I started to explore
main attraction of Bogota which was
La Candelaria. Crowne Plaza was
strategically located to Carrerra 7 which was the main tourist road for the
Museo del Oro (Gold Museum),
Monserrate, La Candelaria,
Plaza Bolivar, and
My first stop was Museo del Oro and
entrance was COP$3,000 or CAD$1.50. I am generally not into museums but
this sparked my interest. True enough, there were lots of gold artifacts