The Unseen Side of Bogotá

For those of you who saw “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and think that coming to Bogotá means wearing short summer dresses, dancing in the streets, and drinking goat milk let me hit you with the hammer of truth: BOGOTÁ DOES NOT EVER HAVE HOT WEATHER!

Obviously whoever produced the movie didn’t know Google exists as they failed to google search the city and see that its average is 16 C (~60 F) year round. Yup, climates in Colombia change drastically from city to city but not from season to season. Bogotá is also a big city, with lots of buildings, lots of traffic, lots of pollution, and also, lots of cool things to do. Like most big cities, it can be a little heavy. There are so many people and cars and grey buildings surrounding you that even if you love the city, you can get a little overwhelmed by it. But there’s another side of Bogotá not many foreigners (and sometimes even locals) know about, even if it’s always standing in front of them: The mountains.

Yes, this IS in Bogotá
Yes, this IS in Bogotá

Everyone sees the mountains in Bogotá but not a lot of people go hiking in them. Yes indeed, it IS an option! I myself had never done it until last week, and it was as surreal as it was great. In no time you can go from being in the car-filled pollution to being surrounded by nature. Trees, creeks, rocks, fresh air, the whole shebang right there. It’s also very safe since there are lots of other hikers andpolicemen in posts throughout. If you’re an early riser, go up while it’s still dark and watch the sunrise from the mountain. If you like to sleep in (like me) make the sacrifice and get up early-ish, just make sure you get there early enough to be able to leave when they close the mountain at 10 a.m.

virgen en la montana de Bogotá

Originally, our plan was to get up at 5:30, watch the sunrise, and be back down by 8 a.m. to start the day…a plan which, of course, utterly failed. In reality, we woke up at 8 a.m. and headed out around 8:45, we went through this cool tunnel to the entrance of the mountain and started our trek, almost at the same time it started to drizzle. As we got deeper and deeper into the mountain I felt lighter and lighter. Instead of being annoyed by the rain I was enjoying it, hardly containing myself from doing a full on Gene Kelly number. I breathed in the air and the smells, and felt the breeze and the rain and forgot all about the city.

mountains in Bogotá

Since we had gotten up so late we couldn’t go up as much as we wanted to, and we were forced to turn around way before we were ready to. We went back down and right in front of the entrance to the mountain, seconds before I was about to claim my victory for not slipping in the muddy paths, I fell flat on my butt and got covered in mud! Not gonna lie, it was pretty hilarious, and the amazing fruit salad we got afterwards made up for it. So now you know, if you want to see another side of Bogotá, or get away from city life for a bit, the mountain is right there waiting for you!

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