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Bogota Undergoes Transformation

Colombia’s capital has undergone a stunning transformation, improving its public transportation and reinvigorating its historic city centre with museums and restaurants.


La Candelaria, Bogota, Colombia

La Candelaria, Bogota, Colombia

Fast Facts
Recommended Website: colombia.travel
Average Hotel Room Rate: $150 USD
Getting There: Four times weekly, Air Canada (aircanada.com) flies direct from Toronto to Bogota. American Airlines (aa.com), Delta (delta.com), Copa (copaair.com) and Continental (continental.com) fly from Toronto to Bogota through connecting U.S. and Latin American cities.
Convention Facilities: Corferias Bogota can host 6,600 attendees in a fairground city featuring 17 pavilions with a covered exhibition area of 478,000 sq. ft. and an outdoor exhibition area of 161,000 sq. ft. Along with the convention centre, other features include a food alley, exhibitor warehouses and a free trade zone. corferias.com

Pillow Talk
Located in the heart of the financial and entertainment district, JW Marriott Hotel Bogota features 11 meeting rooms totalling 5,823 sq. ft. The largest of those offers 3,606 sq. ft. and hosts 400. marriott.com

Radisson Royal Bogota Hotel features 4 Keys from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program. In addition to 251 guestrooms and suites, the property offers 13 meeting rooms, the largest of which accommodates 300. radisson.com

Surrounded by high-end restaurants, shopping and nightlife, Hotel Charleston Bogota houses a lobby level space hosting 60 (cocktail) and a second-floor room, hosting eight. hotelcharlestonbogota.com

Attractions + Distractions
Perched on a mountain over 10,000 ft. high, the Sanctuary of Monserrate is a 17th century church that attracts pilgrims and tourists alike.

Maloka is an interactive science centre, covering almost 183,000 sq. ft. and featuring nine themed exhibit rooms, as well as 300 interactive modules and, for a unique movie experience, a giant-screen dome.

An historic neighbourhood in downtown Bogota, La Candelaria is a delightfully bohemian part of the city, and features churches, museums, libraries, restaurants, boutiques, tea shops, a theatre dating from 1892—in short, something for everyone.

À la Carte
In 2003, brothers—and Bogota natives—Jorge and Mark Rausch founded Criterion, with a menu that skillfully, and deliciously, brings together influences from France and South America. criterion.com.co

Club Colombia serves up a range of traditional dishes: variations on empanadas (filled savory turnovers); ceviche (marinated seafood); grilled items (chicken, beef lamb); and stews. harrysasson.com

The scene at Harry’s bar sizzles with celebrities, the business elite, and assorted scenesters and beautiful
people. Steaks are augmented by a bar menu of smaller dishes reflecting local traditions. Good selection of cocktails and wines. harrysasson.com

Programme Ideas by Rodolfo Móseres-Dieppa

Sample itinerary for a Bogota FAM, provided by the Colombian Government Trade Commission—Proexport. Pictured, at right, is Rodolfo Móseres-Dieppa, Consul—Investment, Trade and Tourism Commissioner for Colombia in Canada.

DAY ONE
7:30 a.m. Arrivals, Bogota El Nuevo Dorado International Airport.
7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Check-in, Radisson Hotel Bogota.
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Breakfast at hotel.
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Welcome reception at hotel.
12:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Lunch at Habemus Papa restaurant, in historic Usaquen neighbourhood. After lunch, tour of Usaquen.
2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit Chico Museum.
4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Shopping excursion to Unicentro mall.
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Return to hotel. Free time.
7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Dinner at Tramonti restaurant.

DAY TWO
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Breakfast at the National Museum of Colombia, followed by a museum tour.
10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tour of historic La Candelaria area.
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Visit the Emerald Museum.
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch, Casa Vieja restaurant.
3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Time at leisure to explore city.
7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. View a performance at the National Theater.

DAY THREE
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Breakfast at hotel.
10:00 a.m. to Noon. Time at leisure to explore city.
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch at Andres Carne de Res-Chia, a four-fl oor restaurant/nightclub 45 minutes outside Bogota.
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Scavenger hunt, Andres Carne de Res.
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Dinner, Andres Carne de Res.
9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Party, Andres Carne de Res.

DAY FOUR
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Breakfast at hotel.
10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, a Roman Catholic church built 650 ft. underground in the tunnels of a salt mine.
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch, El Portico restaurant.
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Time at leisure to explore city.
7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dinner at 80 Sillas restaurant.

DAY FIVE
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at hotel.
8:30 a.m. Transfer to airport and fl ights home.