Business trip: Bogota
To see a large and extraordinary collection of pre-colonial gold work and other indigenous crafts, check out the popular Museo del Oro. Also, do not miss the Botero Museum for the works of Colombian Fernando Botero, best known for his modern paintings and sculptures depicting men and women in an exaggerated, pudgy form.
If you have a few hours between meetings, take a hike, funicular or cable car to Montserrate, a mountaintop perch where you can take in sweeping views of Bogota, which are most dramatic at twilight.
Colombians are generally known to speak the most clear and non-accented Spanish in Latin America, so Bogota is an excellent place to learn or brush up on your Spanish language skills. Bogotanos take great pride in their reputation for maintaining the purity of their native tongue, so they are usually happy to practice with non-native speakers.
Despite Colombia’s reputation as a supplier of coffee to the world, locals are more likely to drink juice or hot chocolate with breakfast because most of its prized beans are exported. There are no Starbucks in Colombia, so those in search of a caffeine jolt should seek out the relatively new chain of Juan Valdez cafes springing up in Bogota.
Don’t do this!
Do not arrive in Bogota unprepared for its cool, frequently wet, weather. While the city’s location in equatorial South America may lead you to believe that Bogota is tropical, its altitude (2,625m above sea level) has a more powerful influence on its autumnal climate. Year round, temperatures average around 14C, rarely rise above 18C or fall below 4C. It normally takes visitors arriving from sea level about two days to adjust to the high altitude. The thin air also means aircraft need much more time (and longer runways) to become airborne.