C U M U L U S – B O G O T Á – 2 0 1 9
To Get There
Colombia is a rich territory, with one of the most extensive biodiversity’s on the planet, extreme variation in climate and topography, multiple cultural expressions and economic contradictions.
Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world. Multicoloured butterflies are yellow, green, red, orange, violet they fly high and carry the message that in Colombia, life is sacred.
A diversity of mountain climates allows swimming in crystal clear waters, hiking to the top of a tropical snow peak, wandering through the Amazon or contemplating the Pacific Ocean.
Communities inhabit its territories; many contradictions exist within the millennium. Exact sciences confronted with pulsating myths. Past cultures merge with the present, uncertain and possible at the same time.
The people inhabit Colombia’s territories with the contradictions of the new millennium. Myths and exact sciences are locked in a perpetual confrontation. Ancient cultures merge with the present defining a future of multiple realities that are open and uncertain.
Colombia is a country of strong economic contrasts. The rural and the city, poverty and wealth are threads that draw a scenario of unsolved contradictions. Between one reality and another exists a distance difficult to reduce. Colombia’s new history is built by an emerging generation with a desire to define their own destiny, recognizing the countries potential and its possibilities.
A powerful mountain range orientates the people of Bogota, on urban maps the North of the city appears on the left. The city’s climate has multiple personalities, four seasons can be experienced in one day. Bogota’s only controllable aspect is indetermination. Uncertain stability. A constant instability, while its inhabitants prevail with creativity and resilience.
Bogota takes your breath away, located at 2,640 meters (8661 feet) above sea level, the main protagonist is the lack of oxygen, the body feels its weight, a feeling like nowhere else.
People in Bogota are doing everything imaginable (“hay gente pa’to”). People at the corner, on the bus, in the bakery, at the hairdresser, on the street, in the office, at home. A frenetic city that never sleeps, with8,080,000 people representing 16% of the country’s population.
Bogotá welcomes everyone, from all corners of the country or other parts of the world. 10 million tourists visited in 2017 of those 8 million were national and 2 million international.
Bogotá’s light is special, the sun is closer to the surface of the earth and burns the horizon creating beautiful sunsets.
Bogotá is chaotic, informal, noisy and dysfunctional with diffuse city limits. Everything is under construction, in process and growing. A big metropolis intertwining multiple, diverse and contradictory realities.
Bogotá is chaotic, informal, noisy and dysfunctional, with a diffuse border. Everything is under construction, in process, growing. A big metropolis intertwining multiple, diverse and contradictory realities.
Bogotá has a rather large public transportation system
TransMilenio the world’s largest BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system serving many areas of the city. The service is frequent and cheap (a single fare is COP$2300). Generally, lines run from 4:30am to midnight Monday to Saturday and 6am to 11pm on Sundays, though some lines begin earlier and run later. Also, be warned that during peak hours, TransMilenio can be very full. If you want a little more space during your journey as well as a cheaper ticket, try to plan travel outside peak hours (5am-9am and 4pm-7pm).
TransMilenio, like most public transport systems, has various lines of service that are all characterized by a combination of different colours, numbers, and letters, all clearly marked at TransMilenio stations and on maps. You can take TransMilenio to and from the El Dorado Airport, to the historic city centre of Bogotá (Candelaria, Monserrate, Gold Museum, etc…), to the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city (Suba, Usaquén, etc…), and to most of the tourist attractions.
Bogotá’s public transportation is operated by SiTP and consists mainly of: servicio urbano (blue buses, covering routes not served by TransMilenio), servicio complementario (orange buses; serving routes to and from nearby TransMilenio stations), servicio alimentador (green buses; serving routes to and from TransMilenio stations). All the buses have a route sign in the front telling you where they go. If you are going to a well-known place—a shopping centre, museum, main street, etc… you shouldn’t have a problem catching a public bus, however, if you only know the address of the place you are trying to get to, taking a public bus might be difficult, especially if you don’t speak Spanish.
Fares: Tarjeta Tullave
A frequent-rider smart card, the tarjeta tullave costs COP$5000, is a pay-as-you-go ticket that must be pre-loaded with credit before travel (up to COP$100,000), is used to enter the system (TransMilenio and SiTP).
The card is sold at all portals as well as some stations; it can be topped-up at all stations as well as some pharmacies and papelerías (check for locations at tullaveplus.com). At Las Aguas station, near Los Andes University you can buy the card and add credit to it. The card can be personalized (bring your passport), which means the money on it can be recouped in case of loss or theft.
Taxis and Uber
In addition to buses and TransMilenio, Bogotá is also full of taxis. Taxis can be a good way to get around the city. However, make sure you use radio taxis — that is, phone a taxi company that will give you a code as well as the license plate of the taxi that will pick you up- or use an application like Tappsi or easy taxi to take the service.
Uber is available in Bogotá too and doesn’t require cash.
Bogotá has one of the world’s most extensive bike-route networks, with more than 375km of separated, clearly marked bike paths called CicloRuta. Free Bogotá maps from PIT information centers show the CicloRuta paths.
In addition, about 121km of city roads are closed to traffic from 7am to 2pm on Sunday and holidays for the citywide Ciclovía.
If you are looking to escape to some of the towns around Bogotá, your best bet is to head to the bus station (Terminal de Transporte). Here, you can take buses to practically anywhere in the country, including towns close to Bogotá like Zipaquirá, Chía, Cajicá, and Facatativá, among others. Most buses to these towns have various services throughout the day.
For all your transportation in Bogotá, except Uber, make sure you have cash on hand, especially lower denomination bills and coins. It will be hard to get change for a 50.000-peso bill, and sometimes even for a 20.000 depending on the bus or taxi you may catch.
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Metropolitan Police (Policía Metropolitana) – Phone: 112
CAI Immediate attention center – Phone: 156
Tourist Police – Phones: (571) 337-4413 – 243-1175
Medical emergencies Phone: 125
Information Phone: 114
OTHER USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
Immigration and Visas – Address: Carrera 13 # 93-68 Of. 203
Phones: 640-8576, 640-8977, 640-8987, 640-8997
Central Operator Phone: 566-2008
Embassies and Consulates link