Written by Kieran Proctor

10 Best Tours In Bogotá Colombia (2024): The Ultimate Guide

Bogotá is a city that’s brimming with a rich blend of history, culture and modern amenities. Whether you’re a history ...

Bogotá is a city that’s brimming with a rich blend of history, culture and modern amenities. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, a foodie or an adventure-seeker, Bogotá has something unique to offer.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best tours in Bogotá, from exploring the historical heart of the city to embarking on exciting day trips. These are the activities I recommend you try, while you’re in my favorite South American city.

Introduction To Bogotá Colombia

Bogotá is nestled high in the Andes at a breathtaking 2600 meters above sea level. It’s a city of contrasts where old and new merge seamlessly. And glittering skyscrapers sit beside centuries old cathedrals.

Bogotá is also a bustling metropolis with a rich cultural scenevibrant nightlife and a strong sense of history. With approximately 8 million inhabitants, Bogotá is a sprawling mega city that has something for everyone. And while Bogotá can seem overwhelming at first, those who take the time to properly explore Bogotá will find it an enigmatic and vibrant metropolis.

It’s Bogotá’s sprawling size, gridlocked traffic and past reputation that often turns people away from visiting. But for those who invest their time into properly researching Bogotá and planning a realistic itinerary, Bogotá can become a dream destination.

Yet, when I talk about a realistic itinerary, I’ll tell you now that 48hrs in Bogotá is barely enough to scratch the surface. Bogotá is truly a city that needs time to explore.

Sunset view from Monserrate, Bogota Colombia
View of Bogotá on Sunset from Monserrate

Planning A Trip To Bogotá Colombia

Before we jump straight into the 10 best tours you should take in Bogotá, it’s worth pointing out that if you’re planning to visit Bogotá during the peak tourist seasons (January to March and July to August) you absolutely must book your tours ahead of time.

You should also book your flights a minimum of 3 months in advance. And book your mode of transfer from the Bogotá airport to your hotel when you book your flights.

Here’s a handy list of resources to help you plan your holiday in Bogotá:

I recommend you take the time to read each of the above guides and familiarise yourself with Bogotá before arriving. Most of the information you’ll see on the internet about Bogotá is out of date and incorrect. Whereas each of the above Bogotá guides is up to date and written by a ‘digital nomad‘ who is actually living in Bogotá, me!

Getting To Bogotá Colombia

By far the easiest option is to book a flight on WayAway (Americans and Canadians) or OMIO (Europeans) and fly directly into the El Dorado airport in Bogotá. You should book all your flights to Bogotá roughly 3 months in advance for the best prices.

While there are busses from other Colombian cities and neighboring countries, do remember that Bogotá sits at around 2600 meters above sea level in the Andean mountain range. And Bogotá is nestled in between the Guadalupe and Monserrate mountains.

All bus journeys to Bogotá are long and uncomfortable. And unless you’re an experienced backpacker, you should avoid coming to Bogotá via bus.

I fly to Bogotá from Buenos Aires and Havana 3-5 times a year. And I book all my flights on WayAway and OMIO. For the best prices, I would recommend checking both.

Pro Tip: Save yourself the hassle of negotiating fares with taxi drivers at the airport, by booking your airport transfer in advance. This way, you can kickstart your Colombian adventure on a high note!

Best Tour Booking Platforms in Bogotá Colombia

You should note that not all the best tours in Bogotá are on a single platform. And the tours in this article are from a combination of Civitatis, Get Your Guide and Viator.

All the platforms are free and the tours are similarly priced across the platforms. Civitatis is generally the best in Bogotá. But for certain tours, Get Your Guide and Viator beat it out with better guides and routes.

The better guides also hop between platforms. And I would suggest checking all three. Looking at the current ratings on Civitatis, Get Your Guide and Viator.

The Crème De La Crème Of Bogotá Tours

From exploring the historical heart of the city to embarking on exciting day trips, these are the best tours in Bogotá Colombia. I’ve listed the tours in the order I recommend you consider them. And I’m living in Bogotá and this is the order that I’d take these tours.

Click each tour to see its full description and pictures of what you could experience!

  1. La Candelaria Walking Tour
  2. Free tour of Monserrate
  3. Free street art and graffiti Tour of Bogotá
  4. Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá Tour
  5. Villa de Leyva Tour
  6. Coffee Farm Tour
  7. Chicaque Natural Park Tour
  8. Experience nightlife in Bogotá
  9. Bogotá Bike Tour
  10. Outdoor Adventure: Paragliding Tour
  11. Colombian Cooking Class

Historical Heart: La Candelaria Walking Tour

One of the best ways to explore Bogotá is by walking through its historical district, known as La Candelaria. This neighborhood, characterized by its narrow cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings, transports you back in time and offers a unique glimpse into the city’s past.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This tour provides an excellent introduction to Bogotá’s history and culture, led by knowledgeable local guides. Plus, it’s free!

Duration: 3 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Highlights: Plaza de Bolívar, Gold Museum, Botero Museum and Chorro de Quevedo
Price: Free – just tip whatever you think your tour guide was worth!

Incredible Views: Visit Monserrate And Take In The View

The best way to get a sense of scale and to really appreciate the size of Bogotá is to explore the famous Mount Monserrate. Take this free tour and find out all about the history of Monserrate. But more importantly, admire the absolutely breathtaking views of the city!

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: Monserrate is one of the top 10 must visit attractions in Bogotá. The views out over Bogotá from Monserrate are stunning. And best of all, this tour is free!

Duration: 2 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Price: Free – just tip whatever you think your tour guide was worth!

Artistic Expressions: Graffiti Tour

Bogotá is renowned for its vibrant street art scene. A free graffiti tour not only allows you to admire these impressive works of art but also provides insights into the messages and stories behind them.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This tour provides a unique perspective on Bogotá’s urban culture and political climate, as seen through the eyes of its talented street artists in this bustling city.

Duration: 2.5 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Price: Free – just tip whatever you think your tour guide was worth!
Local Tip: Ask your guide about the history of graffiti in Bogotá. And how street art has contributed to social change.

Architectural Marvel: Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá Tour

A visit to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. This underground Roman Catholic church, built within the tunnels of a salt mine, is an impressive architectural feat that has to be seen to be believed.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: Exploring this unique underground cathedral is a fascinating experience, highlighting the resourcefulness and creativity of Colombian artists and architects. The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is stunning!

Duration: Day trip from Bogotá – approximately 8 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Local Tip: The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is one of the most visually stunning attractions in Bogotá.

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

Day Trip: Villa de Leyva Tour

Villa de Leyva is a charming colonial town located a short drive from Bogotá. On this day trip from Bogotá, explore Villa de Leyva’s cobblestone streets and admire its well-preserved architecture. While also visiting local attractions such as the Fossil Museum and the Infiernito archaeological site by private transport.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This tour offers a taste of Colombia’s colonial history and provides a refreshing break from the bustling city.

Duration: Day trip from Bogotá – 11.5 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Local Tip: Checkout my guide to Villa De Leyva for everything you need to know about this charming colonial town.

A Day Trip To Villa De Leyva In Boyacá Colombia (From Bogotá)
Visit Colombian heritage listed Villa de Leyva from Bogotá

Coffee Journey: Coffee Farm Tour

Colombia is famous worldwide for its high-quality coffee. Embark on a day trip to a coffee plantation on the outskirts of Bogotá, where you can witness the entire coffee-making process, from picking the coffee cherries to brewing the perfect cup.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This immersive experience provides a deeper appreciation for your morning cup of joe and supports local coffee farmers. Plus, the trip to the countryside offers a refreshing break from the bustling city.

Duration: 6 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Local Tip: All the available coffee farm tours across the tour booking platforms are taking you to the same farms. The only difference is the duration and route home.

Nature Retreat: Chicaque Natural Park Tour

Just a short drive from Bogotá, you’ll find Chicaque Natural Park – a cloud forest reserve boasting an incredible biodiversity. Embark on a guided hike through the Chicaque Natural Park, taking in the lush vegetation, observing wildlife and enjoying panoramic views from the park’s viewpoint.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This tour offers a welcome escape from the city, immersing you in Colombia’s stunning natural beauty. And if you’re really lucky, you might encounter a wild sloth or Andean squirrel.

Duration: Day trip from Bogotá – approximately 9 hours
Languages: English & Spanish

Chicaque Natural Park Tour
Chicaque Natural Park Tour

Nightlife Experiences: Craft Beer & Andrés Carne de Res Chía

When in Bogotá you need to experience its vibrant nightlife and sample it’s craft beers. Join locals and fellow travelers as you hop from one bar to another, enjoying a variety of local craft beers. Or hop on a party bus to the famous Andrés Carne de Res Chía.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: Both tours are a great way to socialize, try local drinks and immerse yourself in Bogotá’s lively nightlife scene. But Andrés Carne de Res Chía is one restaurant you simply can’t miss while in Bogotá.

Duration: 3-5 hours
Languages: English & Spanish

Biking Adventure: Bogotá Bike Tour

For those who prefer a more active exploration, a bike tour is a great way to discover Bogotá. Pedal through the city’s streets, parks and neighborhoods, stopping at key attractions along the way.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This free bike tour allows you to cover more ground than a walking tour and offers a more intimate exploration than a bus tour. Plus, it’s a fun way to get some exercise while sightseeing!

Duration: 3.5 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Price: Free – just tip whatever you think your tour guide was worth!
Local Tip: This tour also runs through the ‘feared’ Santa Fe Tolerance Zone. Bogotá’s take on Amsterdam’s red light district. If you want to see Santa Fe risk free, this is a good way to do it.

Outdoor Adventure: Paragliding Tour

For thrill-seekers, this paragliding tour offers an adrenaline-pumping experience. Soar above the city and surrounding countryside, enjoying breathtaking aerial views of Bogotá.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This paragliding tour offers a unique and exhilarating perspective of Bogotá and its stunning landscapes.

Duration:  4 hours
Languages: English & Spanish
Local Tip: If like me you don’t like heights, I’d skip this tour. Personally, I stay on the ground with a beer and watch others do it.

Paragliding Adventure in Bogotá Colombia
Paragliding tours are available and offer a unique perspective on Bogotá and its surrounding countryside.

(Bonus) Cultural Immersion: Colombian Cooking Class

Dive into Colombian culture through its diverse and delicious cuisine. A Colombian cooking class is not only a fun and interactive experience, but it also equips you with the skills to recreate traditional Colombian dishes at home.

Why it’s one of the best tours in Bogotá: This Colombian cooking class offers an authentic taste of Colombia and a unique souvenir – the knowledge and skills to prepare traditional Colombian food. It’s a perfect tour for all the foodies visiting Bogotá.

Duration: 2-4 hours
Languages: English & Spanish

Travel Advice For Bogotá: Enhance Your Trip

  1. Book in Advance: Popular tours can sell out quickly, especially during the peak travel seasons (January to March and July to August). To ensure your spot, it’s best to book your tours in advance.
  2. Check Reviews: Before booking a tour, check online reviews to ensure the tour operator is reputable and provides a high-quality experience.
  3. Consider the Weather: Bogotá’s weather can be unpredictable, with frequent rains throughout the year. Be sure to carry a raincoat or umbrella as the weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable.
  4. Pack Accordingly: Depending on the tour, you may need to bring specific items. For example, for a hiking tour, you’ll need sturdy shoes and rain gear.
  5. Don’t carry lots of cash: Most places in Bogotá accept ‘tap & go’ payments. Consider using a Wise prepaid electronic debit card, like I do, to save money and enhance your security.
  6. Stay Safe: While Bogotá is generally safe for tourists, it’s important to stay vigilant, particularly in crowded areas and while using public transportation.

Where To Stay In Bogotá

Choosing the right neighborhood to stay in can greatly enhance your experience in Bogotá. Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods among tourists:

  1. La Candelaria: This historic district is a great base for exploring the city’s main attractions.
  2. Chapinero: This trendy district offers a cool vibe, great restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.
  3. Zona Rosa: This upscale neighborhood is known for its high-end shopping centers, nightclubs and dining options.
  4. Usaquen: This charming neighborhood is known for its colonial architecture and bustling Sunday flea market.
  5. Parque 93: This quiet, modern and polished neighborhood offers a great culinary scene and is close to the Zona Rosa entertainment area.

Whether you’re planning a short visit or a longer stay, these neighborhoods offer a range of accommodations to suit all budgets and preferences.

Bogotá is a captivating city that offers a rich array of experiences. From its historical heart to its craft breweries and vibrant street art scene, there’s something for everyone in this bustling metropolis. Armed with this guide to the best tours in Bogotá, you’re ready to explore all that the Colombian capital has to offer!

Safe travels!

Where Can I Get More Information On Bogotá?

If you’re planning to visit Bogotá on your next vacation, or you’re simply interested in Colombia in general, you should read my Bogotá City Guide.

My Bogotá City Guide is updated regularly. And it seeks to answer all of your questions regarding Bogotá and Colombia in one place. Read my Complete Bogotá City Guide.