Maybe we shouldn’t have started our trip to Colombia in Bogotá, because it was really hard to follow a city like that. I have always heard amazing things about Medellin but Bogotá was more my type of city. In fact, I am already plotting ways to work at the international school there in 2013. Zona Rosa is the nicer neighborhood of restaurants and bars, but I spent my entire time in La Candelaria, the run down old town overflowing with hippies and hipsters. Our hostel was in a little alleyway we renamed ‘piss alley’ because of the stench in the morning. This didn’t stop us from having impromptu dance parties in the piss alley at 4 AM with complete strangers.

 We ate so much food in the streets-
People were out celebrating Easter weekend!

Entrance to the alleyway where our hostel was located

Live Circus in the Plaza del Chorro, La Candelaria
This pretty much made up our Bogotá experience: meeting amazing people. What an amazing cast of characters I will never forget! We were there for a theater festival so there were exciting events and people all over the city. By the end, I recognized everyone hanging in the Plaza del Chorro and even had a couple of friends (Thanks barista who gave me a free brownie on my last night in town! Thanks Crazy Carreras for the fun dances! Thanks older Argentine man who salsa danced with me on a street corner!) I also got to go antiquing, something that does not really exist in Quito.

 Trying on antique glasses!

Eating fresh watermelon in the main square

Typical Colombian food- ajiaco soup
There was such a liveliness to Bogotá that I think Quito sadly lacks. No offense, Quiteños, but Colombians were so raw and exposed in a way I have never experienced here in Ecuador. I made more friends in Bogotá in 3 days then I have in 9 months in Quito. The city is totally alive at all hours. During the day there were street circuses and theater performances in the park and at night there were musicians and groups of strangers calling you over to share a beer with them. Medellin was lovely, but Bogotá felt real, not superficial. The street art seems like some sort of manifestation of the crazy adventures we had in Bogotá.

 Jenny and I hanging out with some old buildings


Street art reflected the liveliness of the city


  1. Hey McKenzie

    As I was browsing around the web about Bogota and modern day hipsters in the city, I found this article. I'm a 'Rolo' (Colombian term to refer to native people from Bogota), I'm guessing you might of heard the term before. The point is that this article really brings me joy for how much you enjoyed our city. These are the 'little big things' that can make a change on the view of the country and city from abroad.

    I'm not in Bogota at the time, but reading this, really transported me there and created that sincere wish to go back there soon and re-do all of those things again. The food, antiquities, colorful graffitis all over, all the art expressionists on La Candelaria, and much more, as I said, your point of view has helped our city through these political issues and bad reputation we once had. For the future tourists or even natives like myself living abroad, reading blogs like yours can definitely help us out finding out how great Bogota is. Thank you.


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