Travelling with children in Colombia is a delight, and Bogotá is no exception. Colombians generally love children and make them welcome. There’s plenty for kids to do and see in the Capital, whatever their ages. Older children might enjoy a tour of the city’s impressive graffiti (http://bogotagraffiti.com/) or a bike tour (http://www.bogotabiketours.com/), whilst youngsters may prefer the llama rides on offer in the Plaza de Bolívar.
There are many museums to explore: Maloka (http://www.maloka.org/) is an interactive science museum with a 3D cinema dome and the Gold Museum (http://www.banrepcultural.org/gold-museum), with its massive collection of pre-Colombian gold, is unmissable.
The Museo de los Niños (Children’s Museum) is also hands on and has an old Avianca plane to climb around. The sculptures and paintings of chubby figures in the Botero Museum (http://www.banrepcultural.org/museo-botero) are fun for kids too. These are just a few of the many museums, galleries, theatres and music events that might appeal to children.
The brightly painted houses and green figures looking down from rooftops in La Candelaria belong in a children’s book and lend a magical air to the old district.
The José Celestino Mutis botanical garden offers flora from all over Colombia, from the towering wax palm (the National Tree of Colombia) to the giant Victoria Regia water-lily pads of the Amazon region.
Larger than New York’s Central Park, the Simón Bolívar Park has walkways, cycle paths and lakes where you can hire rowing boats. It’s a great spot for kite-flying or picnicking, and younger children will enjoy a ride on the Transmilenio public transport system to reach it.
The Quinta de Bolívar, one-time residence of the man who led the fight for liberation from Spanish rule, is a taste of history and an oasis of tranquillity in the city. Its garden offers a sample of Andean nature, with hummingbirds darting around brightly-coloured flowers.
Click here to read my blog about the Quinta de Bolívar.
Another slice of nature can be found at the Cerro de Monserrate, one of the high Andean peaks that tower over the city. The cable car and funicular ride up the mountain to the sanctuary at the top are part of the fun. At the top, there are fantastic views of the city, a craft market and plenty of places to eat.
Click here to read my blog about the Cerro de Monserrate.
An easy Transmilenio and bus ride from Bogotá gets you to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá. Illuminated by ever changing coloured lights, the spectacular beauty of ‘Colombia’s First Wonder’ appeals to visitors of all ages.
If that’s not enough, give your kids a hard hat and pick axe and send them down the salt mines. After that, they might have enough energy left to scale the ceiba-shaped climbing wall outside.
Click here to read my blog about the Salt Cathedral and Mines of Zipaquirá.
My children also enjoyed the simple pleasure of feeding pigeons in the Plaza de Bolívar. Vendors sell packets of pigeon food that had birds hopping all over them in no time!
In Bogotá, the problem is what to leave out, especially if you only have a few days. My ten-year-old’s verdict:
‘It’s exciting and there’s lots to do.’