We are back to Bogota and head straight to Bogota’s historical centre. Bogotá’s real charm lies in La Candelaria, a recently revitalized neighbourhood of grand colonial buildings and narrow cobblestone streets. According to Hoyos, the area "used to be hell: part of a whole city of private splendour and public squalor." Now, its Teatro Colón participates in one of the continent’s most important theatre festivals, and its restored mansions have been turned into museums. Galleries, yoga studios, and dimly lit cafés give the area an air of gentrifying boho-chic. Hoyos calls it "a renaissance of public space."
One of the best pastimes is wandering the streets of Candelaria admiring the colonial architecture. Each street is a photo opportunity with brightly coloured buildings, many with intricate balconies, some with privacy screens and others laden with flowers, but always with the green mountains as a backdrop. Many of the buildings still carry the traditional names of the streets such as Calle del Olivo. There is always something interesting to see on the streets – musicians, street performers, and vendors selling handicrafts. There is artwork in the parks and even eye-catching statues of people in everyday poses.
Tip of the day
We had dinner at Donostia, a Spanish restaurant, Calle 29 Bis Nº 5-84. Very good food. Recommended.