TODAY COLOMBIA – Bogota is 479 years old today, Sunday, August 6, 2017. Colombia’s major city will be celebrating with parades during the day and fireworks at night. And given that the 8th is a bank holiday, the party or at least the hangover will last longer than the usual.
The day’s celebration includes two free concerts, on the 6th in the Parque Simon Bolivar ad the second on the 7th in Parque El Tunal, by Colombian heartthrob, Manuel Medrano.
Founded as the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada on August 6, 1538, by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada after a harsh expedition into the Andes conquering the Muisca, today Bogota is market of over 8 million residents within city limits (more than 10 million taking into account the surrounding areas), supported by a sound and diverse economy. Bogota currently accounts for approximately 25% of the country’s GDP of US$720 billion, is larger than those of several countries in Latin America.
Bogota is also the country’s largest consumer center, the city’s good economic performance has been reflected in a noteworthy stability in prices and one of the lowest inflation levels among relevant cities in Latin America.
According to the Administrative Department Of Statistics (DANE), more than half of that population is middle class (51.6% in 2016), which has created new challenges for the capital.
Bogota is sophisticated in order to meet this growing demand, moving from primary and low value-added sectors to manufacturing and specialized services. As a consequence, in 2016, Bogota’s economy grew 3%, above 2% of the country.
“Bogota is well positioned among its Latin American peers as a dynamic, modern, diverse city with prospects of becoming number one of the Region,” said the executive director of investment promotion agency Invest in Bogota, Juan Gabriel Perez.
Now, we could bore you even more with more economic achievements and statistics, the fact is that Bogota has many cultural venues including 58 museums, 62 art galleries, 33 library networks, 45 stage theaters, 75 sports and attraction parks, and over 150 national monuments.
The Cristóbal Colón Theater, the country’s oldest Opera House, opened in 1892. It is home to the National Symphony Association’s major act, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. Rock al Parque or Rock at the Park is an open air rock music festival. Recurring annually, it gathers over 320,000 music fans who can enjoy over 60 band performances for free during three days a year.
And then there is the cuisine
There is a broad array of restaurants in Bogota that serve typical and international food. Parque de la 93, Usaquén, Zona T, The G Zone, La Macarena, La Candelaria and the International Center are some of the main sectors where a number of international restaurants are found, ranging from Argentinian, Peruvian, Venezuelan, Brazilian, Mexican, American establishments to Arabic, Asian, French, Italian, Russian and British bistros, rotisseries, steakhouses and pubs, just to name a few.
Typical dishes of Bogotá include the Ajiaco, a soup prepared with chicken, a variety of potatoes, corn on the cob, and guascas (an herb), usually served with sour cream and capers, and accompanied by avocado and rice.
Appearances Can Be Deceptive
Bogota is not a ‘love at first sight’ kind of city. At 2640 meters above sea level ( 8661 feet), Bogota is not the tropical climate one would expect, or found in the rest of the country, such as Medellin or Cali. The climate is cooler, subtropical highland (Köppen Cfb) which means it is cool during the day with average temperatures of 19°C (67°F) during the day and 8°F (47°F) at night.
But, take our word, the cooler climate doesn’t hamper partying.
Stay a little longer and you’ll begin to appreciate the city’s charms
Sources: Wikipedia; LatinTravelGuide.com; Flickr.com; RCNradio.com and agencies