Thursday, July 28, 2011

BOGOTA

BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
Andres Carne de Res – 11-57 Calle 82 (Zona Rosa); 011-57-1-863-7880; andrescarnederes.com; bizarre combination of dance club and steakhouse but excellent for both.
BarDeLeo – 6-73 Calle 27b (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-286-0539; bardeleo.com/en; creative cocktails; live Cuban music on some nights; avoid aguardiente (anise-flavored alcohol).
B.O.G. Hotel – 69-74 Carrera 11 (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-639-9999; boghotel.com; rooftop bar.
N.N. – 5-65 Calle 71 (El Refugio); 011-57-1-710-3086; speakeasy with knockout small plates, such as banana croquettes stuffed with rabbit.



HOTELS
Abadia Colonial – 2-32 Calle 11 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-341-1884; abadiacolonial.com; rustic old house in sun-drenched courtyard.
Hotel Ambala – 13-46 Carrera 5 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-342-6384; hotelambala.net; clean and functional.
Hotel Andino Royal – 12-28 Calle 85 (Center); 011-57-1-651-3131; hotelesroyal.com; modern, clean, good for business; conveniently located.
B.O.G. Hotel – 69-74 Carrera 11 (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-639-9999; boghotel.com; 55-room boutique with restaurant and spa.
Hotel Casa Deco – 2-36 Calle 12c (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-283-7032; hotelcasadeco.com; modern, 20-room inn.
Casa Medina – 69A-11 Avenida Carrera 7 (Centro); 011-57-1-312-0299; hotelcharlestoncasamedina.com.
Charleston Bogotá – 85-46 Carrera 13 (Zona Rosa); 011-57-1-257-1100; hotelcharlestonbogota.com.
Hotel de la Opera – 5-72 Calle 10 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-336-2066; hotelopera.com.co; colonial-era darling; 42 rooms; Simon Bolivar’s private guards’ former residence.
Bogotá Marriott – 69b-53 Avenida El Dorado (near airport); 011-57-1-485-1111; marriott.com.
Sofitel Bogotá Victoria Regia – 85-80 Carrera 13 (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-621-2666; sofitel.com.
W Hotel – 115 Avenida Carrera 9 (Usaquén, in Santa Barbara Business Center); 011-57-1-746-7111; starwoodhotels.com.



RESTAURANTS
Abasto – 1198-52 Carrera 6 (Usaquen); 011-57-1-215-1286; traditional market and serves excellent homemade empanadas.
Andres Carne de Res – 11-57 Calle 82 (Zona Rosa); 011-57-1-863-7880; andrescarnederes.com; bizarre combination of dance club and steakhouse but excellent for both.
Astrid & Gaston – 67-64 Calle 7 (Zona Rosa); 011-57-1-211-1400; astridygaston.com; Peruvian restaurant (international chain).
La Bagatelle – 11A-12 Calle 94 (Zona G, at Holiday Inn Express); 011-57-1-256-1619; bagatelle.com.co; traditional Bogotá breakfast (steaming chicken tamales, spiced egg soup, and hot chocolate); perfect if have hangover; fried egg and chorizo comes in iron skillet with corn arepas.
El Bandido Bistro – 7-12 Calle 79B (El Refugio, not easy to find (tightly nested at end of winding road populated by private homes, antique shops, and churches)); 011-57-31-1472-2327; facebook.com/pages/El-Bandido-Bistro/289830621061815?sk=wall; French food served in 2nd-hand furniture and Argentine vintage knick-knack environment.
Casa San Isidro – Paseo Bolívar Estación funicular, 2 Piso (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-281-9270; specializing in seafood and white-glove service; worth trip for location alone, perching 2K' over Bogotá on Cerro de Monserrate top; can dine fireside; try lobster with squid and shrimp; excellent wine selection; be sure to leave by midnight before last cable car returns to streets below.
Casa Vieja – 3-63 Avenida Jimenez (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-342-6752; casavieja.com.co; famous for its ajiaco (potato soup); this is original, Belle Epoque location.
El Cielo – 4-47 Calle 70; 011-57-1-703-5585; elcielococinacreativa.com/elcielo-bogota.
Donostia – 5-84 Calle 29 (Macarena); 011-57-1-287-3943; multicolored leather booths; excellent lemon octopus ceviche, lamb meatballs with salsa, and/or shrimp with garbanzo beans.
El Envigadeno – 5-19 Calle 23 (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-249-5299; meat-rich, Antioquian cuisine.
El Gato Gris – 13-12 Carrera 1a (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-342-1716; gatogris.com; beautiful, 2-story restaurant overlooking neighborhood’s original square.
Magnolio – 5 Calle 69A (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-211-0627; French-Spanish; 1950s theme in 3-story house.
Matiz – 11-17 Calle 95 (Macarena); 011-57-1-520-2006; little Peruvian restaurant with terrace seating.
Mercado – 12-73 Calle 93A (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-236-2500; arm-to-table; all organic Columbian cuisine.
La Puerta Falsa – 6-50 Calle 11 (La Candelaria); Bogotá’s most famous snack shop; multicolored candy displays beckon you into tiny spot in business since 1816; try sticky breva candy, eggs, or tamales for breakfast, or sit with chocolate completo (hot chocolate with cheese, buttered bread and biscuit).
Rafael – 4-65 Calle 70 (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-255-4138; rafaelosterling.com/intro.html.
Harry Sasson Restaurant – 75-70 Carrera 9 (Calle 82 District); 011-57-1-347-7155; harrysasson.com; famous chef namesake restaurant in remodeled 1934 mansion; stunning bar is all glass, girders & sexiness; food is fused mix of Asian influences & Colombian foundations; try smoky, wood-fired tomato soup and/or chicken & shrimp fried rice doused in sesame oil; reservations essential.
La Sociedad – 6-42 Calle 11 (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-336-5849; elegant dining in 250 year-old building with Colombian staples like tilapia and plantains.
Mi Viejo – 5-41 Calle (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-566-6128; restaurantemiviejo.com; fine Argentinian food.



SERVICES
Bogotá Bike Tours – 12-72 Carrera 3 (La Candelaria); 011-57-312-502-0554; bogotabiketours.com.
Pure Columbia – Carrera 45N128D-92, Ap. 104 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-520-7786 or 011-57-316-473-2849 (Hernan Acevedo); pure-colombia.com/colombia; ask for tour operator Hernan Acevedo.



SHOPPING
Amelia Toro – 12-10 Calle 82 (Zona Rosa); 011-57-1-610-9296; ameliatoro.com; slim-fitting quilted overcoats, frilly, patterned blazers, and dresses.
Atenea Orfebreria – 85-62 Carrera 11 (Chapinero); 011-57-1-236-8226; arts and crafts stuff.
Beatriz Esguerra Art – 86A-31 Carrera 16; 011-57-1-530-0339; pedroruiz.co or beatrizesguerra-art.com; in particular, ask to see works by Pedro Ruiz.
La Cometa Galeria – 94A-25 Carrera 10; 011-57-1-601-9494; galerialacometa.com; Latin American artists.
Giraldo Taller Manual del Cuero – 26A-18 Carrera 5 (Macarena); 011-57-1-342-8964; tallermanualdelcuero.blogspot.com; artisanal leather workshop.
Luvina – 28A-6 Carrera 5 (Macarena); 011-57-1-284-4157; where local writers hold forth.
Olga Piedrahita – 82A-36 Carrera 14; 011-57-1-622-8681 or 011-57-1-623-5750; olgapiedrahita.com; women’s wear.
Valenzuela Klenner Galleria – 26-28 Carrera 5 (Macarena); 011-57-1-243-7752; vkgaleria.com; contemporary art gallery.
Xoco – 11-78 Calle 82 (Zona Rosa); 011-57-1-622-0443; innovative chocolatier.



SIGHTS & SITES
ARTBO – artboonline.com; most important Latin American art festival; in Fall.
Feria Internacional de Arte De Bogotá Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango – 4-14 Calle 11 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-343-1202; lablaa.org; dedicated to pre-colonial past with emphasis on music.
Bogotá Cathedral – 10 Carrera 6 (Bolivar Square); 011-57-1-341-1954; arquibogota.org.co; soaring Gothic structure.
Botero Museum – 4-41 Calle 11 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-343-1212; Botero’s own works, as well as selections from personal collection, Chagall to Renoir.
Centro Cultural Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 5-60 Calle 11 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-283-2200; modernist structure by Rogelio Salmona, housing art space, bookstore, and café.
Chingaza Natural National Park – Cundinamarca; 011-57-1-353-2400; paisatours.com/chingaza.htm; day trip; 40 natural glacial lakes; animals include spectacled bear, deer, tapir moor, pumas, Andean condors, Cock-of-rocks, jaguars, turkeys, woolly monkeys, nocturnal monkeys, ocelots & toucans.
Funicular – 21-48 Carrera 2 East (Monserrate); 011-57-1-284-5700; cerromonserrate.com; tram to top of Andes mountain peak (Cerro de Monserrate) near city.
Gold Museum – 5-41 Calle 16 (Centro); 011-57-1-343-2222; banrep.gov.co/museo; traces gold history and its relation to Colombia.
Jardin Botanico - Jose Celestino Mutis, 68-95 Calle 63 (Cundinamarca); 011-57-1-437-7060; jbb.gov.co; 50-acre oasis of palm trees and lush tropical gardens; orchid gallery, butterfly tent, cactus trove, and floating lotuses (dinner table size).
Sumapaz National Park – Meta (hour’s drive south of Bogotá’s Usme); 011-57-1-381-3000; parquesnacionales.gov.co/PNN/portel/libreria/php/decide.php?patron=01.200106; contains world’s largest páramo expanse, making it ideal home for some of country’s most distinct mountain-dwelling fauna & flora, as well as scientific research center; 595-square-mile park; animals like oncillas (small spotted cats related to ocelots), golden eagles & several types of deer.
Teatro de Cristobal Colon – Calle 10 (La Candelaria); 011-57-1-284-7420; national opera house originally designed in 1890s by Pietro Cantini; recently renovated.
Usaqen Flea Market – Carrera 6 at Calle 118 (Parque de Usaquen); colorful craft show with street food and puppies.

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