With its rich abundance of beautiful architecture and emphasis on the arts, La Candeleria is one of the most dazzling neighbourhoods in Bogotá!
Located in downtown Bogotá, La Candelaria has been described as the city’s “beating heart” and that was obvious from the moment I set foot there. It is a neighbourhood that offers an exhilarating experience for a foot traveler. It has a tantalizing mix of diverse architecture – Spanish colonial, Spanish Baroque and Art Deco are all proudly on display – street food, street art, colourful buildings and a warm, inviting atmosphere. La Candelaria dates back to the 16th century, which was around the beginning of the Spanish colonial period in Colombia, and is the equivalent to what is often called “old town” in many cities. La Candelaria also offers a wide array of dining options, as well as numerous backpacker hostels.
During my experience in La Candelaria, I was drawn to Museo del Oro and Monserrate, both special experiences for me during my visit to Colombia. Museo del Oro (or “the Gold Museum” in English) boasts an incredible array of gold, totaling over 55,000 pieces, from pre-Columbian times. The museum gives fascinating insights into what life was like in indigenous cultures in Colombia prior to European colonization.
Following a picturesque trek through La Candelaria as part of the Graffiti Tour, I began the trek up a rather formidable incline to a little cable car station. While not mandatory, it would certainly be beneficial to be in peak cardiovascular condition (or you couple simply take a taxi). The cable car ride up to the top of Monserratte provided a view of Bogotá that became more stunning by the second, which turned out to be a small sample of what was to come once I arrived at the top. Monserrate offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some urban greenspace while taking in a panoramic view of Bogotá.
La Candelaria is a neighbourhood that appeals to a diverse range of travelers, and is a must-see on any Colombia travel itinerary!