San Diego Walk (Self Guided), Bogota

San Diego neighbourhood is one of the oldest settlements in the city of Bogota, yet it has been quite modernized within several decades. Some of the most modern construction marvels are located here, such as the highest building in Colombia, the Planetarium and the eco-conceptual Torres Park. The National Colombian Museum and the Museum of Modern Art are also worth a visit, so make sure you don't miss the opportunity to tour the neighborhood!
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San Diego Walk Map

Guide Name: San Diego Walk
Guide Location: Colombia » Bogota (See other walking tours in Bogota)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Author: ChristineT
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Museo de Arte Moderno (MAMBO)
  • Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia
  • Parque de la Independencia
  • Torres del Parque
  • Planetario de Bogota & Galeria Santa Fe
  • Plaza de Toros de Santamaria
  • Museo Nacional de Colombia
  • Iglesia de San Diego en Bogota
  • Torre Colpatria
Museo de Arte Moderno (MAMBO)

1) Museo de Arte Moderno (MAMBO) (must see)

The Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, also known as MAMBO, was founded between 1953 and 1957 by Marta Traba, Argentinian art historian and critic. It is located in the 1985 building, designed by architect Rogelio Salmona. The collection of the Museum of Modern Art is one of the richest of its kind in the country. It includes works from the late 19th century to contemporary pieces, not only from Colombia but also from all Latin America, Europe and the U.S. The international collection includes one of the famous silkscreens of "Marilyn" by Andy Warhol as well as works by Picasso, Bacon, Arp, Dali, Javacheff, Giacometti, Oldenburg, etc. The collection of Latin American Art is truly impressive and is one of the most representative in the continent. The museum also has one of the largest photographic collections in the country with nearly half a million items and pieces of graphic and industrial design. For now, these collections are displayed to the public only through temporary exhibitions.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm; Sunday: 12:00 pm -5:00 pm.
Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia

2) Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia (must see)

The National Library of Colombia (Spanish: Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia) is the national library of Colombia. The National Library of Colombia is generally considered to be the oldest national library in the Americas. It was founded at the end of the eighteenth century by Viceroy Manuel De Guirior, who established the library in the city of Bogotá.

The original collection of the library consisted of books expropriated from the Jesuit community, which had been expelled from all the dominions of the Spanish Empire, as a result of the 1767 order of King Charles III of Spain. In 1825, due to the work of Francisco de Paula Santander, the library was established at the campus of the Colegio de San Bartolomé and received its current name.

Founded January 9, 1777, inaugurated in 1938 and remodeled in 1978 by architect Jacques Mosseri, except decorative elements and façade design remained the same. The two statues on both sides of calle 25 access, high relief at the attic, sign materials mixture and windows ornamentation were abolished. Four story building. In the first floor general reading rooms, kardex, exhibitions, music, classification, among other. In the second floor hemerotheca and researchers, in the third and fourth floors book storage and administrative offices.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Parque de la Independencia

3) Parque de la Independencia

Independence Park is the oldest park in Bogota. It was founded in 1910 to commemorate the first anniversary of Colombia's Independence, July 20, 1810. The park has a variety of native tree species, including wax palms, some of the most popular in the city. It also has large eucalyptus trees, pines and acacias, including some of the most ancient trees in Bogota. The park has recently been planted with many tropical species, including Romeron pine, Chicalá, Sangregado and some new species of wax palms. From the park you have a good view of Torre Colpatria, the third highest building in South America, the Planetarium and Santamaria Bullring.
Torres del Parque

4) Torres del Parque

Torres Park is a set of residential buildings built by Rogelio Salmona between 1965 and 1970, whose three towers surrounding the Santamaria Bullring are considered to be a revolutionary house concept in modern Colombian architecture. Facing Independence Park, there is a remarkable eco-concept of plants and trees, arranged in ascending slopes of each tower, the shape of towers echoing the curve of the bullrings. The tallest of them reaches 30 storeys. The most notable of all is the open space that was created at the ground level, with three quarters of available land allocated for the outside space. This open space consists of various levels of landings and flights of stairs, framed with exotic vegetation that unfolds into the adjacent park. Above all, Torres Park is a great place to live, besides being one of the greatest works in 20th century Latin American architecture.
Planetario de Bogota & Galeria Santa Fe

5) Planetario de Bogota & Galeria Santa Fe

Bogota Planetarium was opened on December 22, 1969. Snail-shaped construction with a dome of 23 meters in diameter, one of the largest of its kind in the world, today the Planetarium is one of the most recognized landmarks of Bogota. Having entertained several generations of Colombians with its cosmic theatre, by 2011 the Planetarium will become a brand new and fully equipped modern observatory, welcoming visitors of all ages. On its second floor is the Santa Fe Gallery, founded in 1978. It is one the most prestigious art galleries in Bogota, showcasing the works of young Colombian contemporary artists. The building also houses a gift-shop and a restaurant.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Plaza de Toros de Santamaria

6) Plaza de Toros de Santamaria (must see)

Santamaria Bullring is the place where every January and February traditional bullfighting seasons are held. The arena was built in 1931, with a capacity of 14,500 seats. The tradition of bullfighting came along with the Hispanic colonial heritage, with the first Bogota bullring established in 1890. The construction of Santamaria Bullring began in 1928 by Adonai Martínez and Eduardo Lazcano, becoming the first reinforced concrete building in the city. Its main sponsor was the farmer Ignacio Sanz de Santamaria, who donated the land for the bullring and in whose honour it was named. In the 1940s, Santiago Mora designed the present Moorish facade. Apart from seasonal bullfights, the arena is used for political demonstrations and concerts. The site also houses the Bullring Museum, that draws the history of bullfighting and their various garments (ancient, modern, golden), all from 1939. It also exhibits bullfighting-related objects, such as capes, flags, posters and a rich photo gallery.
Museo Nacional de Colombia

7) Museo Nacional de Colombia (must see)

The National Museum of Colombia (Spanish: Museo Nacional de Colombia) is the National Museum of Colombia housing collections on its history, art, culture. Located in Bogotá downtown, is the biggest and oldest museum in Colombia.

The National Museum of Colombia is a dependency of the Colombian Ministry of Culture. It is the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in the continent, built in 1823. Its fortress architecture is built in stone and brick. The plant includes arches, domes and columns forming a sort of Greek cross over which 104 prison cells are distributed, with solid wall façade. The building was first built in 1874 by Thomas Reed. It was known as the Panóptico (inspired on the Panopticon prison) and served as a prison till 1946. In 1948, the building was adapted for National Museum and restored in 1975.

The museum houses a collection of over 20,000 pieces including works of art and objects representing different national history periods. Permanent exhibitions present archeology and ethnography samples from Colombian artifacts dating 10,000 years BC, up to twentieth century indigenous and afro- Colombian art and culture. Founders and New Kingdom of Granada room houses Liberators and other Spanish iconography; the round room exhibits a series of oleos from Colombia painting history. Paintings by masters Débora Arango, Fernando Botero, Enrique Grau, Ignacio Gomez Jaramillo, Santiago Martinez Delgado, and Guillermo Wiedemann are part of the Permanent Collection.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm; Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Iglesia de San Diego en Bogota

8) Iglesia de San Diego en Bogota

The Church of San Diego, also called Nuestra Señora del Campo, gave names to the whole neighbourhood. Rather small in its appearance, it still contrasts with the modern look of the surrounding buildings. It was originally built in 1602 as a chapel to the San Diego de Alcala monastery. Back then, its architecture was simple--stone walls with various-sized windows and wooden railings. Several years after its foundation, the church had a legend about a nearby stone, shaped by some “miracle” as St. Virgin Mary, later becoming a sanctuary of sorts. The judge Juan Ortiz de Cervantes ordered the construction of a chapel, where the carved figure of the Virgin was placed at its center, playing a most important part in the solemn religious ceremonies of the times. The new church was built in 1620 and got its look in the authentic colonial style, designed by Bernardo Sánchez Muñoz.
Torre Colpatria

9) Torre Colpatria (must see)

Torre Colpatria (Colpatria Tower) is a 50-story skyscraper located at the area of San Diego in Bogotá. It is the tallest in the country and the second tallest in South America. It was constructed from 1978 until 1979, and has a total height of 196 metres. The main headquarters of Colpatria Bank are located in the building, and also a great number of other banks and financial corporations have offices in it.

The building lies at the intersection of 26th street and 7th avenue, in the heart of the city's downtown. Since 1998 the Colpatria Tower is illuminated every night with thirty-six color changing Xenon lights. The building is a landmark in the country, and it dominates Bogota's skyline along with other structures. On weekends and holidays, the top floor is open to visitors, where a cafeteria and a lookout are located.

Colpatria Tower was to be surpassed as the tallest building in Colombia by a new 206m tall apartment tower that was being built in the city of Cartagena, but that project came to an end after its structure was bent during a series of tremendous winds in 2007 so the city ordered it dismantled.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Bogota without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Bogota, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.6 Km or 6 Miles
Teusaquillo Walking Tour

Teusaquillo Walking Tour

This tour can be rather surprising for someone living outside Latin America. If you want to expand you knowledge and impressions about what Bogota is like, please join us on our regional tour of Teusaquillo and enjoy alluring public gardens, famous landmarks and all the small, pretty sites in between them.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 Km or 3.7 Miles
Bogota Famous Museums, Part 1

Bogota Famous Museums, Part 1

Bogota is clearly not just about museums, as there is loads to see that is rich in Colombian history and culture. Worth visiting are the Gold and Emerald Museums, to get a look at the country's treasuries, to browse through its history at the Museum of the 20th of July and Museum of the 19th Century. You will be somewhat taken aback at the Police History Museum, where you can see highly...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Historical Religious Sites

Historical Religious Sites

Religion has always played an important role in the history of Bogota, and Columbia in general. The sumptuous churches of Bogota are true architectural marvels of a great historical value. All in all, they are well worth your attention, so do spare some time to take the religious tour of Colombian capital.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
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

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