When i was backpacking across Colombia for a month back in 2008, i loved each and every place i visited. The only place that i didn’t feel too comfortable, and actually seemed a bit eerie was Bogotá, the capital. Public demonstrations in the center and gloomy weather probably added to that feeling.
5 years later, as I arrived in my hostel in Chapinero and dropped off my bags before heading to the Septima (Carrera 7), as suggested by Anna from the hostel… i took an instant liking to the city, and realized that living in a different part of a city makes a world of a difference. Back then, i stayed in a hostel in the epicenter, La Candelaria.
As i tread confidently around Chapinero and walked all the way to Usaquen, in the midst of Ciclovia Day, when the entire street is closed to traffic – it dawned upon me that Bogotá is actually a fun city if you stay in the right neighborhood (just like any city in the world).
The Septima closes to traffic till 2 pm on Sundays!
Reaching Usaquen after an hour long walk, i was reasonably tired just in time for lunch. As per Anna’s suggestion i visited the Artesan Fair and walked around a bit, before settling for a quaint little cafe for some empanadas and jugo de maracuya. Just as i finished, it started raining and i made another quick stop for my favorite ice-cream in Colombia: Crepes y Waffles. Walking back was not an option with the rains, so i bought an umbrella (amazing how small business are opportunistic and always know what to sell, when and where) and hopped into a cab to get back home to…
Fulano Backpackers – A fantastic boutique hostel
One of the most important aspect of a backpacking trip is definitely the choice and location of a hostel. I chose wisely this time, and loved every bit of my stay at Fulano Backpackers. An artsy hostel with a chilled out vibe, friendly fun staff and a great bar – Fulano (and the Chapinero area) was one of the main reasons my second Bogotá trip was a good one. The cherry on top was a super comfortable bed, complete with a clean duvet and bed covers.
The pool table at Fulano Backpackers Hostel
Chapinero is very well located. I loved walking across the length of the Septima towards Usaquen and La Candelaria. On the Northern end lies Zona Rosa, the ‘happening’ part of the city which comes alive by night. I only visited one club during my week long stay in Bogotá – La Villa, but it was super fun and enough to make me smile and say “Sorry i misunderstood you earlier Bogotá. You are awesome!”
Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.