Taking a Bogota bike tour

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.

Bogota streets

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.

Bogota bike tours

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.

Bogota bike tour

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.

Bogota fruit cart

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…

Colombia coffee

Colombian coffee

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.

Bogota neighborhood

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.

Bogota bullring

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

12 Responses to “Taking a Bogota bike tour”

  1. Carine says:

    How safe is it to explore Bogota (walk or bike) around these days? We in the North still feel for some reason that Columbia can be quite a dangerous and unpredictable country because of the drugs/kidnappings and Farc . It is on my list of places to visit because I have a few Columbian friends who have invited us and we saw some pictures of beautiful places to visit. The country is no doubt beautiful and very diverse, the Columbians we know are warm, generous and fun loving. We hope to be able to get there one day.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      We felt very safe, although we did follow the advice never to take taxis off the street (well, we took one once, in the middle of the day, in a nicer area). In general we felt like Bogota is similar to any major city in terms of personal safety just walking around during the day. I think I’m right in saying that the main destinations in Colombia are now pretty much free of FARC-related problems, at least as far as tourists are concerned, so unless you’re headed into the deepest darkest jungle you should be ok :)

  2. Cata says:

    The fruit juice is called salpicon! It’s perfect for hot weather- I love to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream- haha!
    I would never bike in bogota bc of the altitude! Plus i havent been on a real bike in many years! But it does sound like you got a lot covered that day! On Sundays the streets are closed for la ciclovia. It’s big! They even have aerobics and other things free to get people out and exercise!
    Did I miss the andres post? I want to know what you ate and how much aguardiente you had ;)

  3. What a fun, fun way to see a city! Like Cata said I would have died from the altitude, but I would love to do this in BA or Santiago.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      We didn’t have a problem with the altitude. I’m lucky in that I’ve never been sick from it, although I did have a hard time breathing in Cuzco.

  4. Andrea says:

    I remember a lot of traffic in Bogota – wouldn’t have thought it to be a bike place. I’ve never done a bike tour.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      On a Sunday the traffic wasn’t bad, but even on weekdays it would be ok because there are bike paths everywhere. Bogota seems to be a pretty bike-friendly city, surprisingly.

  5. Bp says:

    Nice and very interesting place for bike tour i hope could be there some day ….thanks for sharing .

  6. Natalie T. says:

    I love checking out new cities by bike. Looks so interesting and fascinating. Did you have some “extra added” with your coffee? :) I’m guessing that would have made for a more interesting bike tour!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Haha, I did not, in large part because I don’t trust my biking skills after a shot of aguardiente (also because aguardiente is gross).

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