Bogotá the capital city of Colombia

Bogotá is the cosmopolitan capital and the largest city in Colombia with a population of close to 9,000,000 inhabitants.In terms of land area, Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia, and one of the biggest in Latin America. It figures amongst the 30 largest cities of the world and it is the third-highest capital city in South America at 8,612 ft above sea level in the Andes mountains.

Bogotá, as well as Medellín are two major cities in Colombia that have made efforts to become more modern in order to offer locals and tourists more cultural attractions and entertainment.  The infrastructure has been updated with efficient mass transportation systems, broad avenues and parks that provide a natural relief for everyone to enjoy.

  Bogota museums keep significant art collections; fashion, music and film events have an excellent reputation all over the world.   There are many elegant nightclubs and restaurants throughout the country.

This Global City, listed as 54th in the  Global Cities Index,  has many universities, libraries churches and theaters. It is a big city offering excellent living standards and has recently become an attractive tourist destination.

Monserrate is a mountain that dominates the city center of Bogota.  It rises to 10,341 ft above the sea level, where there is a church (built in the 17th century) with a shrine, devoted to “El Señor Caído” (Fallen Lord).  In addition to the church, the summit contains a cafeteria, souvenir shops and many smaller tourist facilities. Monserrate can be accessed by an aerial tramway or a cable car, also called a gondola or funicular or by climbing stairs, a the preferred way of pilgrims.

All downtown Bogotá, south Bogotá and some sections of the north of the city are visible facing west, making it a popular destination for watching the sun set over the city.

Popular Bogota attractions

Currency is the Colombia Pesos (COP).  On January 12, 2013 the currency is converted as One US dollar ($1.00 US) is equivalent to 1,763  Colombia Pesos or COP’s.

The Economy is based upon petroleum, mining & quarries, emeralds, manufacturing, banking and financial sectors,  commerce, restaurants, hotels, agricultural, public services and utilities/energy.

Climate: The average temperature is 57 °F,varying from 37 to 68 °F  during the course of the day. Dry and rainy seasons alternate throughout the year. The driest months are December, January, July and August. The warmest month is March, bringing a maximum of about 68°F. The coolest nights occur in January, with an average of around 42ºF in the city; temperatures can fall below freezing in the nearby towns, causing frosts and fog in early morning,

Overall Crime and Safety Situation by OSAC,  a US Bureau of Diplomatic Security under the State Department 

Crime Threats

Bogota, as well as other large cities in Colombia, shares many of the same problems that plague the majority of the world’s biggest cities including New York, Miami, Chicago. On a daily basis, the most prevalent threat to Americans in Colombia’s largest cities is street crime. The most common types of crime include, but are not limited to, muggings, assaults, general thefts, credit card fraud, and burglaries. Criminals are quick to resort to physical assault and commonly use knives and firearms in the commission of crimes.

The U.S. Department of State rates Bogota as high for terrorism, residential crime, non-residential crime, and political violence. The State Department’s most recent Travel Warning was issued on July 22, 2011 and advises U.S. citizens that: “Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations like Cartagena and Bogota, but violence by narco-terrorist groups continues to affect some rural areas and large cities.” The potential for violence by terrorist and other criminal groups continues to exist in all regions of the country. Following strict personal security practices is a necessity for Americans visiting and working in Colombia. It is also essential to check the U.S. Embassy Bogotá website at routinely for messages concerning U.S. citizens regarding travel and other security notices.

For more information on  Safety and Crime in Bogota and Colombia, you can visit the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security or OSAC.

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