Zapiquira & Salt Cathedral
We booked the tour through our Hostel and we got picked up around 9am that morning. We paid $120,000 COP each. Our driver didn’t speak an inch of English, but we figured out he took a wrong turn off the highway and we ended up doing a quick lap of Chia. The town actually looked pretty nice and you could spend a day or two there. We noticed a combined Crossfit / MMA gym that was actually open … it crushed us a little that we couldn’t go.
The Salt Cathedral was much better than we expected and absolutely massive. The photos do not do it justice, this cathedral took over 40 years to make. It’s definitely worth going however – make sure you see the light show, watch the movie about the history of the salt mine and check out the “glass” mirror.
Aside from the cathedral there’s also rock climbing in the park (unsure if it’s included in the price), a kids maze, restaurants and stores.
After finishing in the mine we searched for about an hour for our driver who we realised later had taken the other family down to the town because the Dad was sick. The small “train” ride (van towing carriages) around Zapiquira after the cathedral was pretty average and we ate a late lunch at one of the places in Zariquipa (also average) and then headed back, getting home around 7:15.
Bogota Brewing Company
We wanted to try beers from BBC (Bogota Brewing Company) before we left, so while I cooked dinner Ricky walked down to the brewing company to buy a couple. He got heckled several times for change on the walk back but luckily after the first guy came up to him, he put his wallet in his jacket and just showed empty pockets to everyone else. He also hid the beer bottles inside his jacket as well so it looked like he was just going for a walk. I think that was the first bit of trouble we’ve encountered in the whole of South America so far. Both beers were really good btw, definitely try!
We spent the morning bumming around the hostel, playing with Bobby (the hostel dog) and doing admin stuff on the computer. We went up to the Montserrat at 10AM and the line wasn’t too long thankfully (maybe 30-45 minute wait). The view from the top is amazing; you can definitely see why it’s one of the top attractions.
Up the top there isn’t much to do unless you want to go inside the church or eat at one of the restaurants; overall we were up there for maybe 30 minutes in total. After that we went and got money out from Citibank (near the Gold Museum) and walked around the streets a little.
We found an epic little coffee shop as well… you could walk straight past it. Caffe De Passo.
That night we had our flight Cartagena and we coincidentally ended up using Johnny again. It was a hilarious 60 minute car ride through peakish hour traffic (6:15-7:15) with him swearing at the motorcyclists and having broken Spanglish conversations with us.
The only thing we feel we really missed during Bogota was a trip to Laguna Gauravita which takes most of a day. Some places off Zapiquira and the lagoon in one day but we were told not to as it’s too rushed and you can’t enjoy either of them (and end up skipping lunch and arriving back late).
Overall 3 full days (maybe 3.5) would have been enough in Bogota had we flown out the next morning or early afternoon; given the poor reviews people had given us of Bogota however, we quite enjoyed it.