I had three main missions today:
- Check out the Botero Museum
- Get a souvenir for my uncle from Hard Rock Cafe
- Sample a lot of Colombian coffee
Botero Museum (free, closed on Tuesdays)
Hours: Closed on Tuesdays
Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 7 pm, last entry at 6.30 pm.
Sunday and holidays, 10 am – 5 pm, last entry at 4.30 pm
I have always liked the work of Botero, and honestly, prior to this trip, I didn’t even know that he is Colombian! The Botero Museum doesn’t just house the works of Botero, but it also houses some really famous artists, like Monet, Picaso, Dali, and Degas, to name a few. Given the quality of the works, this would be a good museum, even if they decided to charge $20. Within this complex, they also have rotating exhibitions, the Museum of Art, and the Museum of Coins. They do tend to attract student groups, so you might have to wait a little bit for student groups to clear out before you get to see the art works. Some of the paintings are not covered by that glass/plastic thing, that makes photography hard, so you can get some good photos. Just remember to turn off your flash!
If Mona Lisa had one too many Big Macs
Shopping is generally not my thing, but after this visit, I wanted a Botero for my souvenir fridge magnet. They have a gift shop on the premise, but it is slightly hard to find. It is behind the Botero museum itself, but still within the same complex. They do take credit cards. Within the complex, they also have a restaurant. I read a couple of blogs about best cafes in Bogota, and seeing the sign for Amor Perfecto coffee, I popped in for a coffee. I got a cappuccino, but I still felt that the coffee was a bit too acidic for my taste (4700 COP).
Cafe Amor Perfecto
After my hour-long visit at the excellent Botero Museum, I headed towards the San Victorino Transmilenio station. As I walked across the Bolivar Plaza, it was quite a sight! There were protestors on the square. It appears that they are indigenous and non-Spanish people, who came in from other parts of Colombia, to protest inequality in the country. Some of them were also wrapping their own flag on the statue of Bolivar. It was a peaceful protest, but it was really quite a sight.
Protests on Bolivar Plaza
Protests on Bolivar Plaza
Hunting for coffee and the Hard Rock Cafe took me to Chapinero, which is supposed to be an upscale neighborhood, with lots of shopping, dining, and drinking establishments. The area where Hard Rock Cafe is (Hard Rock Cafe is in Atlantis Mall, Calle 81) has a bunch of upscale shopping, e.g. Ferragamo, Louis Vutton. Well, I guess souvenir hunting for others has its advantages, since it took me to a different part of town?
After the trip, I walked about 10 blocks to another coffee shop that I read about – Devotion Coffee, which is attached to Hilton Hotel (calle 70, Ave 7). Of the different coffee places that I visited on this trip, I must say that this is my favorite (not to mention, most expensive). They have a number of beans, and they also have seasonal offerings, and these beans can be done in a number of different styles. The coffee menu is fairly self-evident. I tend to prefer my coffee with a chocolatey note, so I went with Toro, the form of a latte (6000 COP). You can also get 2 hours of free wifi, courtesy of Hilton, if you plan to do some work at the cafe.
Selection of coffees at Cafe Devotion
Toro Latte at Cafe Devotion
So, I read on wikitravel about Ajiaco, which is some thick Colombian soup. After spotting it at this chain restaurant, Sopa De Mama y Postre de Abuela, I decided to try it for dinner (12900 COP). Unfortunately, my eye is bigger than my stomach as always, and I wound up ordering a Parrillada (something like steak/mixed grill, 30900 COP). Ajiaco is this thick chicken soup, which is served with shredded chicken, corn, potatoes, and usually comes with a side of rice and part of an avocado. Being Cantonese, I like the idea of soup. It was a decent soup, but I guess I was hoping for more of an umami rush from it. This can be a meal in itself, though. Parrillada is basically this mixed grill, and this particular one has all sorts of Colombian meats, so chorizo, pork, chicken, steak, served with some baby potatoes, and a side of guacamole. It was pretty decent. I thought the parrillada that I had in Lima, Peru was much tastier, and the steak and sausage that I had in Antigua, Guatemala was much better as well. But hey, for 10 bucks, can’t complain!
Buses: 1500 COP + 1800 COP + 1800 COP
Coffee: 4700 COP + 6000 COP
Dinner: 53000 COP
Accommodations: 25 USD
Total: 50 USD