San Diego Walk in Bogota, Bogota (Self Guided)

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 in Bogota Map

Guide Name: San Diego Walk in Bogota
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
Author: ChristineT
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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
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

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
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.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
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.
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
Architecture Walk in Bogota

Architecture Walk in Bogota

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
A Tour to Cerro de Monserrate, Bogota

A Tour to Cerro de Monserrate, 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...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 km
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
Teusaquillo Walking Tour in Bogota

Teusaquillo Walking Tour in Bogota

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
Religious Tour in Bogota

Religious Tour in Bogota

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

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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....
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...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Bogota for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Bogota has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Bogota, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.