Colombia's capital Bogota is located in the heart of the South American country. It rises at 2640 m altitude. This makes it the third highest capital in the world after La Paz, Bolivia and Quito, Ecuador.
This Colombian town has been more than five centuries on the plateau east of the Andes mountain chain. The origin of the name of Bogota came from the ancient tribes that inhabited the region before the arrival of the Spaniards. In 1538, the territory of present-day Colombia, landed the first European to set foot here - Gonzalo Jimenez. He actually founded the city of Santa Fe, which later took the name of Bogota .
Bogota is the most densely populated as well as largest city in the South American country. Capital in Colombia is home to about 7 million and 400 thousand people. Despite overcrowding, however, the city is filled with many parks and recreational areas.
Frequent visitors to the Colombian capital point to its association with ancient Athens. The reason for this comparison is the ancient cultural and educational traditions, as well as many universities and libraries, located in Bogota, called the "Athens of South America". Not accidentally, the capital of Colombia was declared a UNESCO World Book Capital for 2007.
Today, Bogota is a fast growing commercial, administrative, economic, political and educational center and not only for Colombia. Recently the city was named for the fourth financial center for all of South America. It is far from the time that Colombian capital was considered taboo tourist destination because of complex social and especially political problems rocking the country. Today, however, through strenuous efforts for security and infrastructure, locals attempt to give a new face to the attractive metropolis.
In Bogota , visitors will find fine churches , excellent museums , colorful festivals and exciting nightlife.
Attractive center for tourists is the area of Candelaria, located in the north of the capital. There, visitors can enjoy plenty of nice restaurants and cafes, churches and museums amd theatres. That is where tourists can learn more about the history and traditions of the South American country. You can visit are the San Carlos Palace, Public Library Luis Angel Arango, Cristobal Colon Theater, Silva's Poetry House, the Museum of Numismatics. Among religious temples in Candelaria, most remarkable are the church of San Ignacio and Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
Candelaria has a noticeable contrast in appearance and architecture with the rest of the huge metropolis.
Among the most important places of Bogota is La Plaza de Bolivar. The square is surrounded by important public buildings like City Hall, the Palace of Justice, the main cathedral of Colombia and Naryn Palace Presidential Palace. The National Capitol building is also impressive, and actually houses the Columbia Congress.
La Zona T and Zona Rosa, situated between the streets with numbers 80 and 85 and respectively 11 and 15 are good places for shopping and entertainment.
Near the city are other attractive Colombian cities Villavicencio and Soacha.