You can’t really get to know a city with 8 million residents in a 4 day visit. Bogota (photos) is described as a collection of 1,000 neighborhoods, each lending its own unique flavor to the whole. We were only able to focus on the portion in and around La Candelaria, where the city originated. Bogota’s Spanish era began in 1538 but the valley containing it was originally inhabited by one of the most advanced pre-Colombian Indian groups, the Muisca.
It’s dark, not terribly late, only about 8:00pm, but it’s dark and we’re in the back of a taxi that has just taken a turn off the main highway down a dirt road. The road is narrow and both sides are thick with vegetation so that we have that tunnel effect. We’ve just recently arrived in the city of Manizales and have booked ahead to stay at Hacienda Venecia, a coffee estate about 30 minutes outside of the city. It’s one of those situations in which you let your mind wander. What if he’s taking us down this dirt road to some isolated place to dump us out and take off with our belongings? We are in the mountains of central Colombia and who would know? But, Hacienda Venecia has arranged for this taxi. We phoned them from the bus station in Manizales and they told us the name of the taxi driver that would come for us.