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Old 08-26-2018, 07:14 AM
 
Location: PVB
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Car rentals are pretty steep from my experience. It nothing at all like in the USA. We once tried to rent a car in Bogota and it was a fortune.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
Car rentals are pretty steep from my experience. It nothing at all like in the USA. We once tried to rent a car in Bogota and it was a fortune.
I don't recall this being true. I rented a car last year in Bogota at the airport (through Orbitz) and I remember it being a standard price.

Also, unlike my experiences in Europe, I didn't get hit with any (bogus?) traffic tickets or hidden charges upon returning to the U.S.

When I travel, I tend to do everything through Orbitz (plane tickets, car rentals, hotels). Competitive prices, dependable.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:18 PM
 
Location: London, UK
2,875 posts, read 1,548,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
Car rentals are pretty steep from my experience. It nothing at all like in the USA. We once tried to rent a car in Bogota and it was a fortune.
It must've been a while since you've gone. You can now get a car for less than $40 bucks a day including all taxes & insurance.

Colombia is advancing quickly from one year to the next especially when it comes to apps and travel budget services. You can't rely on people's experiences from as recent as 3 yrs ago. It's a different beast now. Colombia grows at a rate of over 30% a year in tourism whereas the world average is more like 4% growth in visitors.
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
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My husband and I are strongly considering a trip to Colombia in Dec-Jan (2 weeks). Our itinerary so far is to start in Bogotá for a few days, then take a tour going to the Salento/Manizales area, Medellín, and ending up in Cartagena. We would stay around in Cartagena for a couple of days before heading back to the states.

One question I have is: How safe are city parks in Bogotá, specifically the Parque la Florida and the Simón Bolívar Park? We're birdwatchers and hope to do some birding in those parks, but don't know if it's a really bad idea to walk around in them with binoculars.

We're also looking at going to the Botanical Gardens and perhaps the Observatorio de Colibríes while we're in the area.

Otherwise, we plan to do typical tourist stuff during our trip. We've been reading that Bogotá has an amazing restaurant scene above and beyond the typically good Colombian cuisine.

I speak Spanish, but sometimes it's been best for me during travels to pretend not to understand what people are saying to me.... We're looking forward to the trip; we've been wanting to visit for years.
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empidonax View Post
Otherwise, we plan to do typical tourist stuff during our trip. We've been reading that Bogotá has an amazing restaurant scene above and beyond the typically good Colombian cuisine.
Honestly I'd recommend concentrating more on the food that you'll get in highway-side restaurants on your drive to Manizales and Medellin. And, if it were me, I'd recommend spending more time in the latter two cities rather than Bogota (I prefer Manizales and I think you'll find it interesting and appealing too.)
Quote:
I speak Spanish, but sometimes it's been best for me during travels to pretend not to understand what people are saying to me....
Why?
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:50 AM
 
Location: PVB
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There are many awesome restaurants in Bogota. Peruvian food is quite popular as well as the local cuisine. As for the highway side restaurants, they are nice if you are there for an extended period and want to try one or two. The cuisine is authentic, but you need to know which ones are good or just ok. Some are icons others are just local diner type food.
The parks are reasonably safe in the daytime. Don't carry an expensive cellphone. We have a cheapie we walk around with.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:27 PM
 
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Everyone carries their smartphones. There's a lot of cellphones being robbed but people carry them anyway. Most people cannot live without them. You walk around some areas with paranoia but you deal with it.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
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Thanks, all, for the replies. We just got our tickets and are looking forward to the trip.

Aside from binoculars, the other high-tech thing we'll have is cameras, though I may opt to take my pocket-sized point-and-click instead of my bulky Sony. (Or I may take both, but only use the point-and-shoot in Bogotá.) Neither of us has a smartphone; we only have flip phones that don't work abroad.

(As regards 80skeys' question re language during travel.... I sometimes don't feel like engaging with random strangers who come up to me and start angling for something, so I'll pretend I don't understand English or Spanish, then shrug my shoulders and walk away. I'm not always in the mood to engage. Sometimes tourists are fine and just want to be left alone.)
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:02 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Empidonax: Let us know how it goes with your trip and share photos.

I was in Colombia two weeks ago; am in Spain currently.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:13 AM
 
Location: London, UK
2,875 posts, read 1,548,951 times
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@empidonax just found this article published 2 days ago on birding in Bogota which may be of interest. The Quinta de Bolivar is right near the foot of Monserrate. https://thecitypaperbogota.com/bogot...hat-list/20579

Although a short walk from the Quinta to grab the Monserrate cable car of funicular this pathway is known for frequent muggings. Therefore I suggest you take a taxi (make sure you tell the driver to put the meter on) or walk in a group. Sundays is a day many people walk up so safer to do the hike and don't be tempted to wander off into the forest at the foot of the mountain across the road. Opportunists lurk here.

As for at the top of Monserrate no worries there and Simon Bolivar park should be fine during opening hours.

Finally also check out the Quebrada la vieja hike. It's a very easily accessible medium to low intensity hike (little over 1 hour each way). Several videos on youtube re hike, google maps even shows you the route/trail. Get up early though I believe the path opens at dawn but closes at 10am or so.

As for restaurants I highly recommend Mini-Mal in chapinero Alto check TripAdvisor for reviews and try the Palmira Rolls if on menu. Paloquemao market is also a great place to try fresh & diverse produce. Try Feijoa juice a fruit endemic to the region also popular in New Zealand.
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