Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Bogota & Medellin, Columbia.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Bogota & Medellin, Columbia
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Bogota & Medellin, Columbia you can see these species: Slety Brush Finch, Spot-flanked Gaallinule, Black Inca, Chestnut-capped Piha, Red-bellied Grackle, Barred Becard, Blue Dacnis and Blue and Yellow Macaw.
The Columbia Bird Watch (colombiabirdwatch.com/eastern-andes-colombia.html) provides h
Exotic Birding (exoticbirding.com/colombia/la-florida/description.html) focuses on La Florida Park wetlands with 70 species.
Wild Columbia (aturalencountersbirdingtours.com/tours) offers regional birding tours.
Alcoholic Beverages: The most popular drink in Columbia is coffee but look out for aguardiente, the second most popular drink is a 60%-alcohol spirit that means “fiery water.”
PublicTransportation: This is your site for public transportation (worldtravelguide.net/colombia/getting-around)
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (http://en.investinbogota.org/discover-bogota/business-and-economy)
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Day One: Your first stop is to take the cable car or funicular – M-Sa: 7:45 to midnight, Su: 6:30-6:30, Quinta de Bolívar, Carrera 2 Este No. 21–48, La Candelaria, 57 284 5700 to Montserret.
You’re here to see Bogota and get your bearings. The view is from Rio Bogota to La Candelaria.
After returning from Monserrate have lunch at Nazca – L: Daily, D: Sa, Calle 74 # 5-28, 57 1 3213459
Start with the Corvina ceviche or the octopus wrapped in purple olives. The grilled beef heart with a red pepper sauce is a traditional Peruvian dish.
A pisco sour is in order.
The chicken rolls are stuffed with bacon and asparagus served with mashed potatoes and a peanut sauce. The smoked pork and prawns comes with three sauces – soy, hoisin and tamarind.
The ’05 Catena Zapata Alta Malbec is a good wine choice. Dessert is the crepes with grilled apples and vanilla crème brulee.
Then it’s off to the Museo de Oro – Tu-Sa: 9-5, Calle 16 # 588, 57 1 3432222 where you will see a pre-Hispanic gold work collection.
These artifacts testify to the life and thought of different societies now known as Colombia before contact was made with Europe.
The Bogota Gold Museum contains close to 34,000 gold pieces, plus 20,000 bone, stone, ceramic, and textile articles.
For a change of pace you can see the Botero Museum – M-Sa: 9-7, Su: 10-5, Calle 11 # 4-41, 571 3431316.
The museum’s collection has 123 works by Fernando Botero, and over 200 works by other artists such as Balthus, Braque, Chagall, Dali, Miro, Picasso, Delaunay, Monet and Matisse.
Dinner is at the ever popular Bistro el Bandido – L & D: Daily, 12 Calle 79B # 7, 57 1 21 257 09.
Start with the fried camembert or the steak tartare. The beef or the chicken dishes are your best bet.
Sides include roasted peppers, mushrooms, sautéed onions, chickpeas, grilled sweet corn, red beans with chili sauce and wheat flour fritters.
Your wine is the ’05 Errazuriz Don Maximaiano Cabernet. Dessert is the passion fruit mousse.
Live music for you rumba moves.
Day Two: Start your day at the Brot Café – Calle 81 # Calle 81 7 93, 57 805 1034.
Your must have here is the chocolate baguette. Your second choice is the scrambled eggs with ham and cheese served in its own skillet.
The café con leche is wonderful.
Our Cousin Kate suggests taking a short drive to see the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral – M-F: 9-4:30, Sa,Su: 9-5, Zipaquirá (48 kilometers from Bogota).
As you enter the Cathedral you can smell the minerals, and the lights allow you to see the carved rock and the tunnels that have the Stations of the Cross.
There are three naves that show Jesus’ birth and baptism, his life and death and his resurrection. Each one has an altar.
Each nave has artistic sculptures that were carved by the miners. There is La Piedad, a Guardian Angel and an enormous cross.
The salt was used to finance the liberators Narino and Bolivar who brought independence to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
You’re in for more adventure at Criterion – L & D: Daily, 69A Street #5 75 Zona G, 57 1 310 1377
Your foie gras starter comes with peanut butter and jelly and caramelized bananas. The steak tartare is served with tomato jelly, parsley, balsamic vinegar and potato chips.
Your grilled tilapia comes with courgette flowers filled with buffalo mozzarella, mashed potatoes, olives and beans.
Your wine is the ’06 Clos de Apalta Carmenere-Merlot-Cabernet. Dessert is their Colombian cheese cake.
You’re visiting The National Museum of Colombia – Tu-Sa: 10-6, Su: 10-5, Carrera 7 No 28-66, 57 1 381 6470 to get a better understanding on Columbia’s past.
The museum’s permanent collection includes more than 20,000 works of art and artifacts dating from 10,000 BC to present day. Special areas are indigenous and Afro-Columbian art.
Artists work on display include: Debora Arango, Fernando Botero, Enrique Grau, Ignacio Gomez Jaramillo, Santiago Martinez, Alejandro Obregon, Omar Rayo, Andres de Santa Maria and Guillermo Wiedemann.
At the Bogota Botanical Garden – Av 63 # No. 68-95, 57 1 4377060 you can get some exercise while learning about Columbia’s indigenous plants.
The garden has more 19,000 plants. The Mutisia clematis is the symbolic plant of the garden named in honor of Jose Celestino Mutis, an 18th century promoter of science. The garden has more 5000 species of orchids.
The gardens mission is provide a place where people can learn, respect and protect the environment.
Dinner at Matiz – L: Daily, D: M-Sa, Calle 95 no. 11A-17, 57 1 520 2003 could be your culinary high point on this journey.
You’ll remember the smoked salmon napoleon with crispy parsley, basil and sundried tomato pesto or the gravlox cured with salted chili salad topped with sour cream and chives.
Enjoy the Veuve Cliquot with either.
Choices for your mains are the pistachio covered lamb with an asparagus, saffron risotto in a mint demi-glase sauce or the braised duck leg with smoked cheese, potato gratin and sundried tomato pesto.
The ’04 Brote Negro Malbec should be a good match. Dessert is the crispy pastry tarte tatin of apples with cinnamon caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Day Three: After arriving in Medellin the night before you’re having breakfast at Anita’s – B & L: M-Sa, Calle 4 sur #43A-91, 574 310 17 70
Great coffee is a given in Columbia. At Anita’s you can get pastries with cheese and ham or a guayaba filing plus eggs any style with bacon and arepas.
You can walk about the Plaza Botero viewing his 23 giant sculptures while enjoying the space.
Facing the plaza is the Museo of Antioquia – Daily: 10-5:30, Su: till 4:30, Calle 52 # 52-43, 57 4 2513636
The majority of the museum’s art being displayed was donated by Fernando Botero who was born and grew up in Medellin.
The Botero gallery comprises 12 separate rooms where 118 works of his art are shown.
There are also over 500 works of Colombian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Included in this collection are photographs, paintings, drawings, cartoons and sculptures.
The Room of Three Cultures has more than 200 objects of pre-hispanic cultures plus pictorial and sculptural works of religious art during the Colonial period.
You might want to check out the Pablo Escobar grave site – Cemetario Jardins Montesacro, Autopista Sur Calle 42, Itagui.
The grave of the infamous and ruthless Medellin Cartel leader rests in an idyllic setting at Cemetario Jardins Montesacro in Itagui.
Pablo Escobar was something of a Robin Hood, using his drug money to build homes for the poor and employ them as well.
For lunch you want to visit Carmen – B,L,D: Daily, Carrera 36 # 10a-27, 57 1 311 9625.
For your starter we suggest sharing the artisan cheeses with greens, cornichon and ciabatta toast points or the arugula salad with carrots, jicama, chevre and a brasil nut pesto.
Have a glass of Navarro Correas Brut with it.
Then your choices get difficult but we are here to help. The BBQ pork confit with cabbage kimchi, pickled carrots and a mango and cilantro salad comes with corn tortillas is one choice.
Another is the black fish sautéed in black olive oil served with chorizo and ricotta raviolis, crispy black kale and mango.
Your wine is the ’10 Salentein Malbec-Cab-Merlot. Dessert is their citrus cake with banana saffron ice cream and chili rum caramel.
You might want to explore the Jardin Botanica – Daily: 9-5, Calle 73 No 51D-14.
Medellín’s botanic gardens cover 14 hectares and showcase 600 species of trees and plants, a lake, herbarium, auditorium and a butterfly enclosure.
Plant species are arranged by areas such as: rainforest, garden palms, desert gardens, medicinal gardens, vertical gardens and the butterfly house.
To see the progress being made culturally in Medellin you should visit the The Medellin Museum of Modern Art – Tu-F: 9-5, Sa: 10-5:30, Su: 10-5, Cr. 64 No 51-64, 230 2622.
The Museum provides a permanent collection by world-famous artists such as: Debora Arango, Enrique Grau, Leonel Gongora, Manuel Hernandez, Olga Almaral, Beatriz Gonzalez, and Hugo Zapate.
And the Museum has an extensive library of modern art books, plus a theatre seating 220 providing regular showings of cinematographic works of modern art.
Who doesn’t like Italian food. This meal is at Il Castello Cocina Italiana – L & D: M-Sa, Carrera 40 # 10a-14, Envigado, Antioquia, 57 1 312 8287
They have several bruchetta offerings but we suggest the Toast Diablo – mustard, anchovies, mozzarella and parmesan on toast or the Antipasto – roasted eggplant, pepper and zucchini.
They have a menu full of pasta, ravioli and pizza choices plus some specials such as lobster with a brandy and cream sauce.
Your wine is the ’03 Miguel Escorihuela Gascon – Malbec-Cab-Syrah. And if you have room dessert is the tiramisu.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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