Cerro de Monserrate Tour (Self Guided), Bogota

Cerro de Monserrate is sometimes called the mountain-guardian of Bogota and has been a place of religious pilgrimage since colonial times. Due to its outstanding surrounding beauties, it became a natural, religious and gastronomic attraction, accessible by a walking path, cable car or funicular. On the way up, there are also several attractions such as Iglesia Nuestra Señora de las Aguas and Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar. The tour to the peak is fun and healthy, so it's definitely worth a try!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Cerro de Monserrate Tour Map

Guide Name: Cerro de Monserrate Tour
Guide Location: Colombia » Bogota (See other walking tours in Bogota)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 Km or 4.8 Miles
Author: ChristineT
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Media Torta
  • Iglesia Nuestra Señora de las Aguas
  • Universidad de los Andes
  • Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar
  • Teleferico y Funicular
  • Camino de Monserrate
  • La Basílica Santuario del Señor Caído de Monserrate
  • Mercado de Monserrate
  • Restaurante Santa Clara
Media Torta

1) Media Torta

La Media Torta is considered to be the leading centre of popular culture in Colombia. The open-air amphitheatre opened on August 13, 1938, at the celebration of the fourth centenary of Bogota's founding. At the beginning, it was only a scene of recreation for the working classes of the neighbourhood. In the early 60s and late 70s, it became a space for the presentation of renowned international artists. It now has a varied cultural program all weekend, which includes home movies on Fridays, storytelling on Saturdays and music and dance in different genres and formats, every Sunday. La Media Torta is a meeting place where the creation and understanding of cultural diversity works to promote the music and dance of Latin American popular culture. In 2010, it was upgraded with a new sound amplification system. With its ability to house 5,000 people, Media Torta is definitely the best outdoor venue in the capital and one of the largest in the country.
Iglesia Nuestra Señora de las Aguas

2) Iglesia Nuestra Señora de las Aguas

The Church of Our Lady of the Waters or Water's Church, as popularly known, is a Colombian Catholic cult temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located in the neighborhood of La Candelaria. The temple was part of the former convent of the Waters, which throughout its history has also served as a hospital, orphanage and is now the home of the "Artesanías de Colombia" ("Crafts of Colombia"). The church is a rather simple colonial building dating from 1644, with a single rectangular nave, and has a chapel dedicated to San Antonio on its northern side, built in 1901. Perhaps the Water's Church is modest in its decoration, and has no strong decorative features of typical colonial Baroque, yet the facade is quite graceful, with a niche at the main entrance, housing the Virgin. The huge green wooden doors are interestingly contrasting with the white walls. The chapel dedicated to San Antonio is designed in Gothic style, linked with the chancel by a wide arch.
Universidad de los Andes

3) Universidad de los Andes

The University of the Andes is a coeducational, nonsectarian private university located in city centre Bogotá, Colombia. Founded in 1948, the University has 9 faculties: Administration, Architecture and Design, Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, Law, Economics, Engineering and Medicine, which offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs; and the Center for Research and Training in Education (CIFE), and the Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies (CIDER), for postgraduate programs. In addition, the University includes the first private school for public affairs - the Alberto Lleras Camargo Government School, which is named after a former President of the Republic and Rector of the University. Representing a high quality education and an elite institution, it is ranked as a top tier university in Latin America.

The university was founded by a group of Colombian intellectuals led by Mario Laserna Pinzón, and was the first university in the country to be nonsectarian. Today, the University seeks to model itself after major research universities through strategies such as greater focus on graduate education and research. As a result of this, the university offers doctoral programs and new research facilities have been built on campus. The University of the Andes has achieved wide international visibility in the early twentyfirst century: in 2011 it was included among the top 500 universities worldwide. It was the only Colombian university included in the scale and it's included in the group of the top 10 Latin American universities.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar

4) Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar (must see)

The Quinta de Bolivar is a colonial house in Bogota that served as a residence to Simon Bolivar in the capital after the war of independence. It is now used as a museum dedicated to Bolivar's life and times. The history of the house goes back to the late 17th century when the land was sold by the chaplain of Monserrate to Jose Antonio Portocarreño, a Spanish merchant, who built a country house there. After his death his heirs could not maintain the property and it had seriously deteriorated by the time the newly independent government bought it and gave it to Bolivar. The house was restored for his use and between 1820 and 1830 Bolivar stayed there for a short time whenever he visited Bogota.

After Bolivar had to abandon the capital, he gave the house to his friend Jose Ignacio Paris. Later the house changed hands several times and throughout the 19th century it was used for the most diverse purposes. Finally in 1919 when the property was again up for sale, the Colombian Historic Society and the Embellishment Society of Bogota began a national fund-raising campaign in order to buy it. After it had been purchased as a national monument, it became a museum with artefacts from the independence times including objects belonging to Simon Bolivar.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Saturday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Teleferico y Funicular

5) Teleferico y Funicular (must see)

The Teleferico is a cable car that communicates with Monserrate Hill. It was built in 1955 to service the growing number of worshipers who rose to the Sanctuary of Monserrate. Designed by the Swiss company Von Roll, it has a bi-cable mode, with two cabins that carry 40 passengers each. The height difference is from 2692 m up to 3152, with a distance of 880 m that can be done in 7 minutes. During the 50 years of service there were no accidents, which proves it to be a very safe mode of transport. The busiest days are Fridays, mobilizing around 35,000 people. The cable car operates from Monday to Saturday from 12 am to 12 pm and Sundays and holidays from 5:30 am to 6 pm. The Funicular is older, having been opened in 1929, and is faster than the teleferico, which takes only 4 minutes. On its way it passes two bridges and a tunnel. It operates Mon to Sat from 7:40 am to 11:40 am and Sundays and holidays from 5:30 am to 6 pm. Both teleferico and funicular offer panoramic views of Bogota.
Camino de Monserrate

6) Camino de Monserrate (must see)

The long hiking trail that leads up to Monserrate is not tricky, but very enjoyable, providing outstanding views of Bogota and the surrounding forests. It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the peak. This trail was used for decades by worshipers to climb the Monserrate Hill. The road is pretty passable, with an average level of difficulty, but you should pay attention to pick-pockets and muggers, as they are quite common in the area. The best way is to be accompanied. On weekends and holidays it is the safest, as the trail is always very crowded, and people come with entire families. At about mid-way there is a pit-stop, with some food stalls and souvenirs, where tourists can take a break, a snack and enjoy fresh air and Bogota's breathtaking views.
La Basílica Santuario del Señor Caído de Monserrate

7) La Basílica Santuario del Señor Caído de Monserrate (must see)

The Basilica of the Fallen Lord Christ of Monserrate is a Catholic basilica located at the top of Monserrate hill, a sanctuary that became a pilgrimage destination since the 17th century. Originally built as a colonial chapel, it was finished in 1657 and dedicated to the Fallen Lord Christ. The statue of Fallen Christ, work of Pedro de Lugo Albarracín, is still standing next to the church, dating from the mid 1650s. For centuries, many miracles have been attributed to this statue, making the Monserrate Church and the statue a popular pilgrimage destination. The growing number of worshipers and the damage incurred in the original construction during the 1917 earthquake, forced authorities to build a new church at the top of the hill. It was designed by architect Arturo Concha Jaramillo in Neo-Gothic style. The new church was built with the help of pilgrims who climbed the hill to visit the Fallen Lord of Monserrate, carrying at least one brick; it was completed in 1925.
Mercado de Monserrate

8) Mercado de Monserrate

The Monserrate Market is located right behind the church's backyard and you can reach it through a welcoming white archway. There are dozens of stalls selling all kinds of souvenirs and national food, all lined up along a narrow street. You might find some very interesting things like handmade jewelry, traditional garments, bags, sombreros, etc. There are also many food stalls offering chocolate covered coffee beans, hot chocolate and more commonly fried cheese pastries. The Monserrate Market is a true minglepot of touristy kitsch and valuable traditional Colombian merchandise. The prices are rather high.
Restaurante Santa Clara

9) Restaurante Santa Clara

Monserrate Hill has plenty of spots worth visiting, one of them being the Santa Clara Restaurant. The restaurant is located south of the church, in a beautiful colonial house built in 1924 in the Usaquén village and moved to Monserrate in 1979. Santa Clara is a restaurant of the finest traditional Colombian cuisine, providing an opportunity to taste tamales tolimenses, the bandeja paisa or famous grilled chops or steaks. It is worth trying the local speciality – the "Ajiaco". The service and the ambience surpass expectations. Located right at the edge of a cliff, this place is quite unique, with a view across Bogota and its surroundings.

Walking Tours in Bogota, Colombia

Create Your Own Walk in Bogota

Create Your Own Walk in Bogota

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bogota is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bogota Introduction Walking Tour

Bogota Introduction Walking Tour

The capital of Colombia Bogotá is a sprawling, high-altitude metropolis renowned for its rich historical scene. The cobblestoned center of the city, known as La Candelaria, abounds in colonial-era architecture and numerous museums, including Museo Botero, showcasing Fernando Botero's works, Museo del Oro (museum of gold) and others. The most notable sites of Bogotá are included in this...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Architectural Jewels

Architectural Jewels

Bogota is quite a city for an architectural experience. Not only did it preserve its architectural and historic heritage, it also managed to maintain most of its colonial buildings and structures in rather good shape, so one can really enjoy their interesting and imposing styles. Take this tour and discover Bogota's architectural jewels.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Bogota Shopping Tour

Bogota Shopping Tour

Bogota is so rich in authentic shopping that it's almost mind-boggling when trying to decide what to buy first! Colombia is famous for gold and emerald products, very specifically and recognizably designed national clothes, pottery, accessories and other crafts. Bogota's historic district, La Candelaria, has many markets, shopping galleries and little shops, so be prepared to do some...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

18 Uniquely Columbian Things to Buy in Bogota

18 Uniquely Columbian Things to Buy in Bogota

To those who understand Russian, the word "Bogota" sounds very similar to the one translating as "rich". And, indeed, the city does live up to this name connotation in terms of peculiar things worth exploring in addition to coca, coffee and emeralds. Here's the longer list...
Enjoying Onces in Bogota

Enjoying Onces in Bogota

Elevenses, on the surface, seem to be a particularly British tradition, a break for something light and sweet between breakfast and lunch, a time to gossip, a time to catch up, a time just to be. Lo and behold, Colombia somewhere along the line adapted this tradition in a particularly Latin fashion....