With a population of over eight million, and one of the highest population densities of any city in South America, Bogotá might not be the first place to come to mind when you want to enjoy the outdoors. But since it’s “on the cusp of becoming the hottest city in South America,” and a Forbes top 12 destination of 2017, we wanted to show you that it has something for both the urban explorer and the outdoors lover. You may need to cross off a sprawling green backyard from your Airbnb wishlist, but that should be the only House Hunters style compromise that you’ll have to make.
I recently headed down to the Colombian capital for some “field research.” I learned that despite the eight plus million people packed into the city, there were countless opportunities to explore the outdoors full of friendly bogotanos.
Parque Nacional Enrique Olaya Herrera
This park makes a great stop to unwind and relax after a day of sightseeing in colorful colonial La Candelaria. Head north on Carrera 7 after making stops at the must see Museo del Oro and Museo Nacional. Once you get to Calle 36, the park opens up toward your right. It’s a great stop for a sunset picnic or to just sit and chat with your friends after being on your feet all day. If you time it right, you can catch a show at the theater inside the park.
Parque de los Novios
The name says it all. And don’t feel bad if you don’t have a novio. Maybe this is your chance to take Tinder tourism to the next level. Taking a break from the tourist activities by the peaceful lake in the park with a hot bogotano… what more could you ask for? An easy park to get to if you’re staying in party-heavy Chapinero and need a quiet break.
Locals may laugh at your desire to wait in the never-ending lines to take a cable car to the summit, but this spot is a must. At 10,341 feet above sea level, the views are out of this world. And if you really hit it off with your Tinder date, the highly rated Casa San Isidrio restaurant on top has delicious options in an elegant atmosphere to back up the views. If you’re more of a history buff and prefer to leave the Tinder date online, check out the Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar at the foot of Monserrate—where El Libertador Simon Bolivar himself once lived.
Parque Metropolitano de Simon Bolivar
If you feel like you need some alone time to squeeze in that morning jog, this is the place for you. With 280 acres of land and ten miles of walking and jogging trails, there’s lots to explore.
Parque de las 93
This park is a great launching point for the many trendy restaurants in this northern neighborhood of Bogotá. Or if you want to grab a coffee, post hangover Gatorade, or Postobón (#BringOnTheSugar!), there’s plenty of people watching you can do from the park benches.
I’m cheating a bit here to call this an outdoor activity, but where else can you find a nightclub with a live tree protruding through the roof in the middle of the dance floor! With a 900 person capacity and world renowned DJ’s, this is Bogotá’s top nightclub. You’ll want to end at least one night here.
Hopefully we’ve convinced you that Bogotá has it all. If not, let us know what we missed!