When we arrived in Colombia we only had our first week planned. We decided we would go where the wind took us, ok, maybe where the best airfare took us. After talking with fellow travelers, we decided to head from the coast to the capital. Bogata was not to be missed!
We would be going from sea level to a plateau in the eastern Andes, known as the Bogota savanna at 8,660 feet above sea level, the third highest capital in South America. More importantly it's a cool subtropical climate that is constant throughout the year, the real reason for our visit. After a hot Mississippi summer we were tired of 90 degree days and were looking forward to 60 and 70 degree mountain temperatures!
Bogata is the Washington D.C. of Columbia, a national capital. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Colombian government are all located here. It's also the financial and economic center of Colombia. To give you an idea as to it's size, the only two cities in North America that are larger are Mexico City and New York City.
It was wonderful to spend our day in the historic district which is home to numerous museums and cultural attractions. We visited two fabulous museums, the National Cathedral and several churches. We were surprised we could walk so freely between the seats of government. We were treated to the changing of the guard at the presidential palace and a concert from the military band in front of the Presidential Palace.
We spent three hours in the Gold Museum, El Museo del Oro, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country with over 500,000 visitors a year. It contains the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world. I loved how the timeline showed what was happening in the Americas in relation to the rest of the world. We really appreciated the rich culture of South America and it's indiginous people. It really helped us plan the places we want to visit over the next few months. We have decided that four weeks in Colombia will not be enough!