Birding Bogotá & Colombia

Historic Center of Bogotá

Height above sea level: 2680m (about 8800 ft)

Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, was founded in 1538 in a large valley known as the Sabana de Bogotá, which is located in the eastern cordillera of the Andes. Today it is a city with more than eight million people, the largest population center in the nation.

When birders come to Bogotá many of them also want to see some of the more important sites within the city. With this in mind, Birding Bogotá & Colombia organizes tours to the historic center of Bogotá, known as La Candelaria area, and visitors will get to know it by walking down its sometimes steep streets, some of them cobblestone, and passing close by colorful houses and buildings that today harbor state institutions, museums, universities, restaurants, bars and many small businesses such as cafes, printing and tailoring.

Within La Candelaria there also are several very beautiful churches of Spanish colonial architecture, perfectly restored and with magnificent religious art, such as La Candelaria, Santa Clara (now a museum), San Agustín, San Ignacio and La Bordadita.

The world famous Luis Angel Arango Library, is also located in La Candelaria, as well as the well-known Botero Museum, which was donated to the city by the famous Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero. The Botero Museum holds one of the largest collections of his works, as well as several rooms with the work of such famous international artists as Picasso, Chagall, Renoir and Calder.

Just a short distant to the west of La Candelaria, one enters the political and religious center of the country, the Plaza de Bolívar with such buildings as the Congress (Capitol) Building, the Palace of Justice, the Liévano Palace (seat of the Mayor of Bogotá), the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Museum of Independence. A little further to the south is the Palace of Nariño, seat of the Presidency of the Republic. The buildings throughout this area are noted for a distinctive yellowish colored stone that was used in the construction of the buildings.

Slightly to the north of the Plaza de Bolívar is the lavish Gold Museum of Bogotá, which houses more than 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts, many of which rank among the finest gold work to be found anywhere in the world. Many visitors regard their visit to this spectacular museum as the highlight of their city tour. Also, immediately in front of the Gold Museum is the church of San Francisco, with its altarpieces covered in gold, the sober and black wood church of La Tercera, and the more simple church of La Veracruz.

To the east of the Gold Museum is the Quinta de Bolívar, a country house where Simon Bolívar, the famous liberator of five nations lived for several years. The house is surrounded by lovely gardens and it is often possible to see several interesting species of birds here that are typical of nearby mountain regions.

Birding Bogotá & Colombia organizes various full and half day trips to Bogota’s Historic Center.

We also offer trips that combine visits to the Historic Center with early morning birding tours to nearby Monserrate Mountain, which is an excellent area for hummingbirds (click here), or to La Florida Park (click here), which is located near the airport and expecially good for marsh and aquatic species including several endemics, and as well as to the Botanical Garden of Bogotá (click here).

To visit the Historic Center of Bogotá email us at


Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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