I’ve been known to say I’m not really a tour person. By that, I mean that big group bus tours (like our day trip to Viñales) aren’t my thing. But I do like help getting to know a new city, especially if I’m short on time. With good online reviews, Bogota Bike Tours seemed like the perfect introduction to Colombia’s capital.
The Bogota bike tour starts in La Candelaria, with its narrow cobblestone streets and colorful old buildings. Despite the layout and the incline – Bogota is nestled right up against mountains – the biking isn’t too bad. We learned a bit about the history and origins of the city and enjoyed the views.
One of the main streets in Bogota is now closed to car traffic for much of the day, and on a Sunday it was packed with people out for a family stroll. This is one of several initiatives to improve Bogota, and people were definitely taking advantage.
Our favorite part of the tour was, surprise, a market featuring some interesting food stalls. These fruit carts are all over the city. We didn’t ask what that red juice is, but it seems to be a popular favorite, and if we’d had hotter weather I’m sure a fresh juice would have hit the spot.
Even more fun was this truck-turned-coffee-shop. Please note the bottles – of course you can have some highly alcoholic aguardiente with your café! When in Colombia…
Honestly, we found our Bogota bike tour somewhat overrated (it is, after all, the number one rated activity on TripAdvisor). It was only the two of us, and our guide was very relaxed. This had its positives, since he was kind enough to wait with the bikes for a few minutes as we popped into the Botero Museum before it closed, but I also wonder if it meant the experience was less structured and informative than it might have been.
I felt like the route tried to cover too much ground. We went by quite a few places with “this is the bullring, which is now used for cultural events” but no deeper explanation. I would have been interested in fewer stops with more information.
That said, I don’t regret doing it. We got an introduction to many of the city’s sights and neighborhoods that we wouldn’t have had just walking around aimlessly by ourselves. Plus I got brownie points for being the one to suggest a bike activity to my bike-loving husband. Totally worth it for that alone.
More in this series:
Heading to Bogota with Roomorama
The view from Cerro Monserrate
The marvelous Museo de Oro
The Botero Museum will make you smile
Andrés Carne de Res: Bogota’s craziest restaurant
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
The truth about Bogota