The Capital of Colombia: A Hybrid Plateau of Rural and Urban Life

RURAL BOGOTA: Bogotá verves green

In the last trip I made to Bogotá at the beginning of this year, and thanks to a mixture of new local experiences, I realised that even though Bogota is my birth city, I have never ended learning about its many hidden charms, and probably never will until I stop breathing. I have to look and look again with my eyes wide open to enjoy every single moment of my carpe-diem.

From January until the beginning of March, I had the chance to observe and be thrilled with abundant rural views as I had never done before. Bogotá is a huge city, as huge as London and when we live there in these big metropolises, immersed in the day-to-day busy working life, their traffic jams, their gigantic shopping centres and hectic urban life, sometimes we don’t realise the other benefits that their magical geography offer.

My sisters took me around to discover some of Bogota new bike routes, places of nature and landscapes endowed with the beauty of the eastern hills. A wide and natural perspective, one that I had never seen like this before, riding a bicycle. My sisters have become “the Egansitas” of the family and in less than eleven months they have become enthusiastic cyclists and also super-fit cycling ladies.

Well, with their impeccable cycling uniforms and full of the natural positive vibes coming from this contact with nature, I accompanied them to some wonderful routes. Despite that I am not at their level in terms of speed or hills endurance, I didn’t mind at all, and enjoyed every second of it. Never mind that I was constantly behind, mostly mesmerised by the view of the stunning Eastern hills, taking photos, mini clips, breathing and observing local people enjoying their rides, also chatting with some of them while enjoying the landscape that I wanted to bring back in my rucksack.

I have already seen this massive global phenomenon of cyclists who pre-pandemic were not keen cyclist all, but who are now enthusiastic riders! I have seen it in cities in Europe and it seems that it has taken on in Bogotá as well: the massive bicycle fever, one positive outcome caused by that virus that is out there, people have had the time to observe more and appreciate more their natural surroundings and at the same time falling in love with this sport, love it!

I clarify that before the pandemic Bogotá already had a good network of routes to promote cycling to its citizens and visitors, thanks to the district administration that has been working for years to develop Bogotá as the “Bike Capital of the World.” And that is a change that I myself have seen over the years, a huge transformation since when I emigrated from Colombia almost 18 years ago, it has indeed been impressive. Thanks to the universe that has allowed me to visit my family and my city frequently to witness these changes, otherwise I would feel like visiting another planet! Today Bogotá has now 560 km, 347 miles of cycle paths and more than 123 km, 76 miles, of bike paths.

Analysing all nature activities with family and friends that I managed to enjoy during this time, it made me realise that many times when we think of Bogotá, not only tourists but also locals, we do it with a perception of a purely urban city, our mental cloud draws us the capital with numerous business buildings, large apartment blocks, huge shopping malls and busy avenues. But we forget to stop for a moment and analyse that right next to all of them there is also a largely rural city.

Bogotá has the locality of Sumapaz, which is positioned in the southernmost part of the city and it is almost completely rural in character. Over there we can find the Sumapaz Paramo, the largest in the world! Which was considered a sacred place for our ancestors the Muisca, because they had a wise knowledge and understanding of water management. A true place that Pachamama gave us as a natural food supplier for centuries. Today for this very reason, Bogotá has the largest food collection centres in the country, such as Corabastos among others, which efficiently serve the city and its eight million inhabitants and growing visitors.

In addition to the locality of Sumapaz, Bogotá is bordered by the stunning eastern hills as part of its blessed green capital geography, several wetlands and lagoons. All this makes Bogotá 75% rural! …

I advise you to visit Bogotá with an open mind, vision and heart, as it is a city of infinite heritage, which is somehow an intricate pleasure to explore. Although sometimes city traffic can lead us to frustration, today I invite you, reader, to let yourself be carried away by the beauty, the benefits of its geography and its green nature where there is a very significant wild world, a world that it is born from the water of the largest Paramo in the world.

Thank you very much for reading my blog and soon I will continue part 3 of Bogotá.

Because talking about Bogotá is talking about a magical plateau embedded in the Andes, surrounded by greenery and ancient stories sheltered by a modern metropolis.” Jr.

With love

Jenny from JR Bespoke Travel

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