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Neighborhoods to Explore

La Candelaria -- Bogotá's semirestored colonial quarter is home to most of the city's tourist attractions. It was here that wealthy Spaniards founded the city. The sector has a definitively intellectual feel, being home to half a dozen universities, several museums, galleries, cafes, the famous Teatro Colón, and La Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, once considered the most important library in the country. La Candelaria, with its many pedestrian-only stone-cobbled streets, is the perfect place to spend the morning or afternoon exploring, enjoying a leisurely lunch, taking in the colonial architecture and atmosphere, or visiting a museum or two. Most tourist and cultural attractions are between Calle 7 and Avenida Jiménez, and Circunvalar and Carrera 8. This sector has a long history with writers, artists, and journalists, and you'll probably spend most of your sightseeing time here.

Plaza de Bolívar -- Just South of La Candelaria, this is a great place to people-watch and admire examples of Bogotano architecture. Unfortunately, you have to keep an eye out for the thousands of pigeons that make the plaza their home.

Downtown & El Centro Internacional -- This is a chaotic, noisy, and vibrant area -- not the kind of place you want to end up lost at night, but you should be all right during the day. Some of the city's best bargain shopping can be found here, particularly around Plaza San Vitorino, though you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of shops and the somewhat seedy atmosphere. Be sure to stop in at the Cafeteria Florida for a Bogotá-style tamale and chocolate con queso. The international zone starts at Calle 30 and is home to many of Colombia's most important companies, high rises, restaurants, and cafes. Behind the Plaza de Toros between Calle 22-26 and Carreras 2-6, you will find the edgy, bohemian neighborhood of La Macarena, with its many cafes and bars. As one Colombian put it, La Macarena is the equivalent of New York City's East Village, on a much smaller scale.

Usaquén -- Like La Candelaria, Usaquén is one of Bogotá's most picturesque neighborhoods. Home to a pleasant plaza, colonial-style church, and many restaurants and bars, Usaquén is also famous for its proximity to the Hacienda Santa Bárbara, a beautiful courtyard mall of upscale stores and boutiques that was once the home of a wealthy family. Usaquén really comes alive at night when the lively university and post-university crowd fills its restaurants and bars. This residential sector feels like a quaint small town and, in fact, it didn't become part of the city until 1954. Be sure to check out the impressive Sunday flea market, where you'll find everything from handmade clothes and one-of-a-kind jewelry to souvenir-style knick-knacks.

La Zona Rosa -- Located between carreras 11 and 15 and calles 79 and 85, near the upscale Andino mall, La Zona Rosa is Bogotá's most exclusive nightlife center. Home to many clubs, bars, and restaurants, La Zona Rosa is where you'll drop COL$10,000 to COL$30,000 for a cocktail or COL$100,000 for a bottle of rum. However, keep in mind that cocktails in La Zona T are two to three times bigger than what you get in North America. La Zona T, a cobblestone pedestrian walkway, makes for a pleasant night-time stroll. Just a few steps away, on Calle del Sol, you can window-shop at the stores of famous Colombian designers.

Parque de la 93 -- Located between calles 93A and 93B and carreras 11A and 13, Parque de la 93 is another exclusive area, popular with the city's worldly and elite. It's home to many international and gourmet restaurants as well as to several clubs, bars, and cafes; the park itself often hosts musical events and is beautifully decorated at Christmas time. During the day, families bring their children to the pleasant green park for ice cream and fresh air, and at night the area comes alive with music and energy. The bars and clubs here attract a slightly older crowd than those in La Zona T.

Avenida Chile -- Also known as Calle 72, Avenida Chile occupies the city's former northernmost point. It was once home to Bogotá's wealthiest families, where they built their European-style mansions in the beginning of the 20th century. Over the years, the area has become a bustling, vibrant commercial area with dozens of skyscrapers and some of the city's top hotels. This is the city's most sophisticated cosmopolitan area, and its side streets are filled with English- and Swiss-style mansions.

La Zona G -- Also known as the Gourmet Zone, La Zona G is adjacent to the Centro Financiero and is home to the city's best restaurants. If you're looking for world-class dining, this is the place to come.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.