I arrived in Bogotá by bus at midnight and after a $12 taxi ride and a great deal of indecision on my part as for where to stay, I made it to Hostal Fatima in La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historical district. The next day, I wandered the streets and spent hours browsing several free museum exhibits (including a collection from Fernando Botero, whom I am now a huge fan of).

I had heard so many scary stories of violence and muggings in Bogotá — particularly in La Candelaria, where I was staying, but I should have known (based on all of my experiences in Colombia) that the severity of the situation is really just blown out of proportion. I felt safe in Bogotá the entire time I was there, and now I wish I had budgeted more time than just the three days I had allotted for the city.The next day, I made my way to Zipaquirá, an adorable town one hour east of Bogotá that has a salt cathedral with the largest underground cross in the world. Had I known this town would be so downright quaint and lovely, I would have slept one night there just basking in the sun and beauty of it all. But when I do come back to Colombia, I’ll be sure the set aside a day or two for this city again. I got a very decent tour of the enormous underground cathedral, the salt mining museum, and the town’s very comprehensive archaeological museum. I continue to be astounded by this country’s rich history and vast cultural sites. I hadn’t planned to stay in Colombia for the whole two months, but now that I look back I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. There’s just so much to see in that country and so much to learn.

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Comments by other travellers

I did not stay in Zipaquira but I did have a guided tour of the Salt cathedral. When I saw this on my tour itinerary I had no idea what to expect, but once we descended inside, it was one of the most unique sites I had visited. Beneath the surface are amazing salt mines, carved out into numerous rooms and passages. As you walk along, you'll see all of the stations of the cross, carved from the salt, as well as the largest underground cross in the world. You then reach the largest room which is the actual cathedral.

This is definitely worth a visit as it is something truly unique to the area.

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