In February, two of my girl friends (Anna Russell and Amanda Lomax) and I took a week-long trip to Colombia to get a little creative refresh and spend some much-needed time together. Particularly after my #1 creative collaborator, Anna, moved to Nashville, TN this past year.
We landed on Colombia by chance, but after exploring a bit more we decided this was a gem of a location and would be a great spot for some creative inspiration.
Our first stop was Bogota. We had two main goals: spend quality time with each other and Instagram the hell out of this trip. It helps when you travel with friends that you can instruct to "stand in that doorway". Though we all had to agree first thing that we would always be willing to stop for photos - it made our walks long and luxurious - just what we needed if you ask me.
I can't say enough about this beautiful city. The people were friendly and open and the food scene was one of the best I've experienced (outside of Cape Town). Every shop or restaurant was adorned with greenery and we were even able to uncover a bit of the city's local maker community.
I've shared a few of my favorite spots at the bottom of this post.
WHERE TO STAY
Four Seasons Casa Medina - @fscasamedina - We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons in Bogota. I was delightfully surprised by how down-to-earth and friendly the staff were despite what one would expect from a higher end hotel. The location was perfect and the style and architecture of the hotel was a dream. If you can manage it, I'd suggest making this your home base while exploring this incredible city.
WHERE TO EAT
Bruto - @brutorestaurante - Spanish cuisine, cozy vibe, lady boss DJ spinning the perfect tunes.
Andres DC - We almost didn't go here. BIG MISTAKE! We were lured inside by the group of impersonators dancing and singing out front and the free shots of Chicha (a traditional alcohol made from corn). Once inside we thought it was a bit of a let-down until we were finally lured to the dance floor and didn't stop dancing for the next 3 hours. Most people will suggest that you go to the Carne de Res location - we found the Bogota location to be a good alternative for those that don't have the time to make the trip.
Mini-mal - Traditional Colombian dishes with a modern flair. This place had a laid back atmosphere, friendly staff and fabulous cocktails.
Cantina Y Punto - @cantinaypunto - Mexican cuisine, beautifully presented with a great cocktail menu. It was VERY busy when we arrived (without a reservation) but they found us 3 spots at the bar and we had no complaints. We even made friends with our bartender (the only one that spoke English) and he joined us to go find a hole in the wall joint around the corner where we played a traditional Colombian game called Rana (Frog).
Castanyoles - @castanyoles - The hotel bar - BEAUTIFUL dining room/bar, just what we needed for the times we wanted a little break from the exploring. They also had G&T Chalices and a cozy fireplace - 'nuf said.
WHERE TO VISIT
Jardín Botánico - Good for a few hours of exploring and great for impromtu photo shoots.
La Candelaria - This is where you will find all of the museums and famous buildings but we enjoyed it most for the street vendors and beautiful architecture - you know, doorways.
Monserrate - MUST SEE! Don't leave the city without going here. It provides the best mountaintop view of the city, a beautiful chapel and a line of street vendors selling all sorts of odds and ends. Here you can enjoy great traditional food options in simple tables overlooking the mountainside. Try the corn! It is a different variety than what we grow in the United States and is almost meaty in texture.
WHERE TO SHOP
Gris Bogota - @grisbogota - Small high-fashion boutique featuring multiple local designers.
Diana Gomez - @dianagomezbogota - Slow fashion brand. I think I bought one of everything in her shop. We were offered tea and got to peek in the back room where Diana was hard at work on the sewing machine.
MoBlar - @moblar - Right next door to Diana Gomez is a furniture design studio that makes the most stunning pieces - even though we weren't in the market for furniture it was great to see what they were working on.