The New York Times posted this piece by Jada Yuan today: Beautiful, Complicated Bogota and I wanted to throw in my two cents. I missed most of the places on Ms. Yuan’s list – the city is huge and there is so much to see (and eat!). Each neighborhood is a city unto itself so I think you can get a totally different vibe depending where you are. I noticed a commenter recommended the Museo Botero (pictured above) which I thought was awesome. It also merges into some of the other museums in Candelaria such as la Casa de moneda. Unfortunately, I ended up there after climbing Monserrate (by foot – seen in the background of the photo) so I was super tired and didn’t get to spend as much time there as I could have (hello, altitude!).
I would also suggest using your own common sense about security. I was super anxious about using my phone in public before going because I had read so many posts about safety, but once I was adjusted to my neighborhood (Chapinero) I realized it wouldn’t be a problem there and wished that I hadn’t been so stressed about it in the first place (of course, use your own common/spidey sense!).
I got some help with taxi-taking in Bogotá from this helpful site: How to Bogota with additional pages here and here. However, I couldn’t get any of the suggested apps to work with my United States phone number.
After stressing out about the transportation situation, I found some interesting news here which seemed to suggest that a new meter system was on the verge of being implemented, in which each taxi has a screen for the passengers displaying the route and rate.
Disappointingly, I saw zero signs of this once in Bogotá. I was still able to get around though.
I used Uber four times. The first time I tried to get in the front seat per the blogs I had read but the driver wasn’t expecting that and didn’t even have the front passenger door unlocked. Edgar was very cool and got me where I was going (Chapinero to Candelaria) with friendly but not intrusive chit chat.
Other travelers I had met mentioned the they had not had any issues with Uber except that they couldn’t get a car out of Candelaria. This turned out to be the case for me as well. The remaining three Uber rides I took all originated in Chapinero. Two of the drivers had me ride in the front seat and the third didn’t care. The prices for Uber seemed comparable to those for taxi rides.
I ended up hailing taxis off the street since I couldn’t figure out the app situation. I did see drivers using Smart Taxi but I couldn’t get that app to work. None of the drivers had the charts visible but I don’t think any of them scammed me either. All of them had working meters and were totally fine in my opinion.
What are your thoughts? Was this helpful to anyone? Does anyone know about the supposed new system?