Planning a Trip to Bogota Colombia

Colombia has traditionally been negatively depicted by the mainstream media, so as travelers who venture to the capital Bogota Colombia may be in for a surprise when they discover what a cosmopolitan metropolis Bogota and other Colombian cities have become.

Over recent years, Bogotá has become an increasingly popular tourist destination due to its wild cultural diversity, exciting nightlife, and above all improved safety measures since the beginning of the 2000’s.

However, as with traveling abroad to any foreign city, it is important to recognize the issues you’ll face that are particular to the region. Whether Bogotá is your vacation destination or simply where you’ll be taking your next business trip, here are some tips for planning a trip to Bogota Colombia and making your journey safer and more affordable.

Finding Reliable Travel

In addition to having Latin America’s largest biking network, there are many safe and reliable means of communication that you can depend on once arriving to Bogotá.

While the city’s trams are no longer in use, there are shuttles and buses that frequent airports and circulate throughout popular tourist destinations, primarily throughout the historical La Candelaria area and surrounding artistic centers and shopping hotspots. Bogotá is also home to Latin America’s greatest network of bicycle routes, which attracts thousands of bicyclists annually.

Taxis are also readily available throughout the city, though it is crucial to know how to safely find and use taxis.

From being overcharged, dealing with a reckless driver, to even being held for ransom, taxis are one of the more unfortunate ways that some criminals might target tourists making their way through Bogotá. While these practices are becoming weeded out by authorities over time, they present a very real threat to unsuspecting travelers.

To avoid these unfortunate circumstances, only take taxis which are registered when arriving at the airport. These drivers are specially marked and have a registration where you leave your name.

Also make sure you verify your phone number with any taxi drivers that you phone for a ride, which can also help eliminate the odds of being taken for a ride you’ll regret. Keep this in mind if you intend on taking in the nightlife, since criminals posing as taxi drivers often target tourists at such destinations.

Once you’ve navigated around these potential threats, making your way across Bogotá can be easy and convenient.

Know Where to Book Your Lodging

Given the great deal of cultural and economic disparity between Bogotá’s numerous districts, it goes without saying that the likelihood of dealing with loss property or personal harm can be higher when staying in certain areas.

As with any city, it is wise to recognize the nature of the district you’ll be sleeping in before forking over your money and booking ahead of time. It can be tempting to go with lower priced hotels in rougher areas, but this isn’t always a great idea when you’re exposed to a higher risk of dealing with crime and squatters.

There are affordable options in more populous areas designed for tourists, but they’re typically harder to spot. Prime locations on main roads can charge easily more than double what you should be spending for your accommodations. To find the greatest options at your disposal, it can help to research Bogotá hotels ahead of time.

Otherwise, learning how to navigate the peculiar street network of Bogotá to find a good lodging tucked somewhere in a desirable district can be your best bet.

In urban areas, streets (or calles) are typically designed around a central plaza in a perpendicular, grid-like system. This design is intended to more easily funnel traffic through the center square of town and is typically surrounded by main roads. More modern areas differ in structure, but this pattern holds true for older and historical districts.

Given that this style of traditional Spanish-style roadwork can be confusing to foreigners, carrying a map or sticking with a guide whenever possible is highly advisable when visiting.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to more easily navigate around the cost and confusion that travel to Bogotá might provide less prepared travelers. If you ever experience doubt about your safety during your travels, remember the value of sticking with your guide and taking public transportation whenever possible. With this in mind, your travels can be safe as they are entertaining in the heart of Colombia.

Author Bio: Felipe Santos is a travel blogger and an adventurer of Latin America. A native to ColombiaFelipe enjoys sharing ways that tourists can enjoy themselves when traveling while learning from others and their experiences in his country.

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