DAY 2: BOGOTÁ
- We’ll attend a morning meeting with historian Alberto Leon, who will offer us a framework for understanding Colombia’s recent history.
- After the briefing, we’ll depart the hotel and drive to the Paloquemao market, which is recognized as the Mecca of food sites in Bogotá, bringing together suppliers of meat, vegetables, fruits, packaged goods, seafood, and flowers from all over the country. We’ll experience the multitude of colors and the rich smells of a wide variety of produce. The market is a must-visit for fruit lovers who wish to delve into the full range of exotic produce Colombia has to offer.
- We’ll then head back into the heart of Bogotá, to the La Candelaria neighborhood, where the city was founded, and walk through its cobbled streets. Here, the city’s rich history is ever-present, exemplified by La Candelaria’s many colonial churches, squares, and convents.
- We’ll enjoy lunch at the Hotel de la Opera before beginning our walking tour of the area. We’ll visit the Catedral Primada de Colombia, a spectacular example of 16th-century Spanish architecture and the city’s most recognizable symbol. Close by is the Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez, which opened in 2008 and is named after Colombia’s national hero, the Nobel Prize–winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude. The center features an exhibition room, an auditorium, a bookstore, a coffee shop, and classrooms and spaces for cultural events and lectures. We’ll continue on to the Museo Botero, which houses 208 works donated by the Colombian master artist Fernando Botero—123 of his own works and 85 works by international artists such as Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, Marc Chagall, and Pablo Picasso. We’ll stroll by Plaza Bolívar, where a bronze statue (the first public monument in the city) pays tribute to the great libertador Simón Bolívar, who led the fight for Latin America’s independence from Spain. We’ll also stop at the Plaza de Chorro de Quevedo, where oftentimes storytellers can be found regaling crowds with creative accounts of the country’s history.
- We’ll end the day by taking a cable car 1,600 feet up to the Cerro de Monserrate, where we’ll visit an important pilgrimage site. After enjoying panoramic views of the Río Bogotá and La Candelaria, we’ll head to a nearby mansion that was given to Bolívar in 1820 in gratitude for liberating Colombia from the Spaniards. The home is filled with beautiful period pieces, including one of his swords.
- We’ll enjoy dinner this evening at Tabula, which was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown in 2013.