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Capital city of Colombia

Top 10 Bogotá related articles

From the top: Central Bogotá, La Candelaria, Torre Colpatria, Capitolio Nacional and Gold Museum.
"La Atenas Suramericana"
("The South American Athens") "Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad "
("Most Noble and Most Loyal City")[1][2]
"Bogotá Reverdece"
("Bogotá Green", 2020–2023)
Location in Colombia and South America
Bogotá (South America)
Coordinates: 4°42′40″N 74°4′20″W / 4.71111°N 74.07222°W / 4.71111; -74.07222Coordinates: 4°42′40″N 74°4′20″W / 4.71111°N 74.07222°W / 4.71111; -74.07222
Country  Colombia
DepartmentCapital District
Cundinamarca (see text)
Founded6 August 1538 (traditional)[5]
Founded byGonzalo Jiménez de Quesada
 • MayorClaudia López
 • Capital city of Colombia1,587 km2 (613 sq mi)
 • Urban
307.36 km2 (118.67 sq mi)
Area rank32nd
Elevation2,640 m (8,660 ft)
 • Capital city of Colombia7,412,566[3][4]
 • Rank1st
 • Metro
bogotano, -na, rolo (informal), cachaco (informal) (es)
Time zoneUTC−5
Postal code
Area code(s)+57 1
HDI (2018)0.806[11]
GDP (PPP) (2014)USD 160 billion[12]
GDP (PPP) per capita (2014)USD 17,500[12]
Primary AirportEl Dorado International Airport
BOG (Major/International)
Secondary AirportCATAM
none (Military)
Guaymaral Airport
none (Private Activities)
La Vanguardia Airport
VVC (Regional)
Bus rapid transitTransMilenio
Bike PathsR2-R29
Rapid TransitBogotá Metro
TramwayTrams in Bogotá
Teleférico de Monserrate
WebsiteCity Official Site
Bogotá Tourism (in Spanish)
The Bogotá savanna is the high plateau in the Andes where Bogotá is located. The flatlands are clearly visible in the topography and the result of a Pleistocene lake; Lake Humboldt, that existed until around 30,000 years BP

Bogotá (/ˌbɡəˈtɑː/,[13][14] also UK: /ˌbɒɡ-/, US: /ˈbɡətɑː/,[15] Spanish: [boɣoˈta] ( listen)), officially Bogotá, Distrito Capital, abbreviated Bogotá, D.C., and formerly known as Santa Fe de Bogotá during the colonial period and between 1991 and 2000, is the capital and largest city of Colombia, administered as the Capital District, as well as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca.[16] Bogotá is a territorial entity of the first order, with the same administrative status as the departments of Colombia. It is the political, economic, administrative and industrial center of the country.

Bogotá was founded as the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada on 6 August 1538, by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada after a harsh expedition into the Andes conquering the Muisca. The Muisca were the indigenous inhabitants of the region, and they called the place of the foundation "Thybzaca" or "Old Town". The name of Bogotá corresponds to the Spanish pronunciation of the Chibcha Bacatá (or Mueketá) which was the name of a neighboring settlement located between the modern towns of Funza and Cota. There are different opinions about the meaning of the word Bacatá, the most accepted being that it means "walling of the farmland" in the Chibcha language.[17][18] Another popular translation argues that it means "The Lady of the Andes".[19] Further, the word 'Andes' in the Aymara language means "shining mountain", thus rendering the full lexical signification of Bogotá as "The Lady of the shining mountain" (notice, however, that the language of the Muisca people was not Aymara but Chibcha). Others suggest that Bacatá was the name of the Muisca cacique who governed the land before the Spaniards arrived.[20] Jiménez de Quesada gave the settlement the name of "Our Lady of Hope" but the Spanish crown gave it the name of Santafé (Holy Faith) in 1540 when it was appointed as a city.[17]

Santafé became the seat of the government of the Spanish Royal Audiencia of the New Kingdom of Granada (created in 1550), and then after 1717 it was the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. After the Battle of Boyacá on 7 August 1819, Bogotá became the capital of the independent nation of Gran Colombia. It was Simón Bolívar who rebaptized the city with the name of Bogotá, as a way of honoring the Muisca people and as an emancipation act towards the Spanish crown.[19] Hence, since the Viceroyalty of New Granada's independence from the Spanish Empire and during the formation of present-day Colombia, Bogotá has remained the capital of this territory.

The city is located in the center of Colombia, on a high plateau known as the Bogotá savanna, part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes. It is the third-highest capital in South America and in the world after Quito and La Paz, at an average of 2,640 metres (8,660 ft) above sea level. Subdivided into 20 localities, Bogotá has an area of 1,587 square kilometres (613 square miles) and a relatively cool climate that is constant through the year.

The city is home to central offices of the executive branch (Office of the President), the legislative branch (Congress of Colombia) and the judicial branch (Supreme Court of Justice, Constitutional Court, Council of State and the Superior Council of Judicature) of the Colombian government. Bogotá stands out for its economic strength and associated financial maturity, its attractiveness to global companies and the quality of human capital. It is the financial and commercial heart of Colombia, with the most business activity of any city in the country.[21][22] The capital hosts the main financial market in Colombia and the Andean natural region, and is the leading destination for new foreign direct investment projects coming into Latin America and Colombia.[23] It has the highest nominal GDP in the country, responsible for almost a quarter of the nation's total (24.7%).

The city's airport, El Dorado International Airport, named after the mythical El Dorado, handles the largest cargo volume in Latin America, and is third in number of people.[24] Bogotá is home to the largest number of universities and research centers in the country,[22] and is an important cultural center, with many theaters, libraries and museums. Bogotá ranks 52nd on the Global Cities Index 2014,[25] and is considered a global city type "Beta +" by GaWC in 2020.[26]

Bogotá Intro articles: 34


The area of modern Bogotá was first populated by groups of indigenous people who migrated south based on the relation with the other Chibcha languages; the Bogotá savanna was the southernmost Chibcha-speaking group that exists from Nicaragua to the Andes in Colombia. The civilisation built by the Muisca, who settled in the valleys and fertile highlands of and surrounding the Altiplano Cundiboyacense (modern-day departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá and small parts of Santander), was one of the great civilisations in the Americas. The name Muisca Confederation has been given to a loose egalitarian society of various chiefs (caciques) who lived in small settlements of maximum 100 bohíos. The agriculture and salt-based society of the people was rich in goldworking, trade and mummification. The religion of the Muisca consisted of various gods, mostly related to natural phenomena as the Sun (Sué) and his wife, the Moon; Chía, rain Chibchacum, rainbow Cuchavira and with building and feasting (Nencatacoa) and wisdom (Bochica). Their complex luni-solar calendar, deciphered by Manuel Izquierdo based on work by Duquesne, followed three different sets of years, where the sidereal and synodic months were represented. Their astronomical knowledge is represented in one of the few extant landmarks of the architecture of the Muisca in El Infiernito outside Villa de Leyva to the north of Bogotá.

Pre-Columbian era

The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, founder of the city

The first populations inhabiting the present-day Metropolitan Area of Bogotá were hunter-gatherers in the late Pleistocene. The oldest dated evidence thus far has been discovered in El Abra (12,500 BP), north of Zipaquirá. Slightly later dated excavations in a rock shelter southwest of the city in Soacha provided ages of ~11,000 BP; Tequendama. Since around 0 AD, the Muisca domesticated guinea pigs, part of their meat diet.[27] The people inhabiting the Bogotá savanna in the late 15th century were the Muisca, speaking Muysccubun, a member of the Chibcha language family.[28] Muisca means "people" or "person", making "Muisca people", how they are called, a tautology. At the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, the Muisca population was estimated to be half a million indigenous people on the Bogotá savanna, and up to two million in the Muisca Confederation. They occupied the highland and mild climate flanks between the Sumapaz Mountains to the southwest and Cocuy's snowy peak to the northeast, covering an approximate area of 25,000 km2 (9,653 sq mi), comprising Bogotá's high plain, a large portion of the modern-day department of Boyacá department portion and a small area in the Santander region.

Trade was the most important activity of the Muisca with other Chibcha-speaking neighbours,[29] such as the Guane, Lache and U'wa and with Cariban-speaking groups such as the Muzo or "Emerald People". Their knowledge of salt production from brines, a task devoted exclusively to Muisca women, gave them the name of "Salt People".[30] Tropical fruits that didn't grow on the cool highlands, as well as coca, cotton and gold were all traded at markets that took place every Muisca week; every four days. At these frequent markets, the Muisca obtained various luxury goods that appear worthless in a modern sense, as well as precious metals and gemstones that seem valuable to us and which became abundant and were used for various purposes.[31] The Muisca warrior elite were allowed to wear feathered crowns, from parrots and macaws whose habitat was to the east of the Andes; the Arawkan-speaking Guayupe, Tegua and Achagua.

The Muisca cuisine consisted of a stable and varied diet of tubers, potatoes and fruits. Maize was the main ingredient of the Muisca, cultivated on elevated and irrigated terraces. Many words exist in Muysccubun for maize, corn and the various types and forms of it.[30] The product was also the base for chicha; the alcoholic beverage of the people, still sold in central Bogotá today. It was the beverage used to celebrate the construction of houses, harvests and sowing, ritual practices around the various sacred sites of the Altiplano, music and dances, trade at special fairs with farther away trading indigenous groups of Colombia and to inaugurate the new highest regarded member of the community; zipas, zaques, caciques and the religious ruler iraca from Sacred City of the Sun Sugamuxi.[32]

Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada expedition and Spanish conquest

From 1533, a belief persisted that the Río Grande de la Magdalena was the trail to the South Sea, to Perú, legendary El Dorado. Such was the target of Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, the Granadanian conquistador who left Santa Marta on 6 April 1536 with 800 soldiers, heading towards the interior of current Colombia. The expedition divided into two groups, one under Quesada's command to move on land, and the other commanded by Diego de Urbino would go up river in four brigantine ships to, later on, meet Quesada troops at the site named Tora de las Barrancas Bermejas. When they arrived, they heard news about Indians inhabiting the south and making large salt cakes used to trade for wild cotton and fish. Jiménez de Quesada decided to abandon the route to Peru and cross the mountain in search of salt villages. They saw crops, trails, white salt cakes and then huts where they found corn, yucca and beans. From Tora, the expedition went up the Opón River and found indigenous people wearing very finely painted cotton mantles. When they arrived in Muisca territories in the Andean Plateau, on 9 March 1537, of the expedition leaving Santa Marta, only 162 men were left.[33]

The zipa at the moment of Spanish conquest was Tisquesusa. His main bohío was in a small village called Bacatá with others in Funza and Cajicá, giving name to the present day capital of Colombia. Bacatá was actually located near to the modern location of the city of Funza. A prophecy in his life came true; he would be dying, bathing in his own blood. Defending Funza with a reduced army of guecha warriors against the heavily exhausted but heavily armed strangers, his reign fell in the hands of Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and his younger brother Hernán Pérez on 20 April 1537. Upon his death, his brother Sagipa became the last zipa, against the inheritance tradition of the Muisca. Sagipa used to be a main captain for Tisquesusa but quickly submitted to the Spanish rulers. The first encomenderos asked high prices in valuable products and agricultural production from the indigenous people. On top of that epidemics of European viruses razed through the population, of which in current Boyacá 65–85 % of the Muisca were killed within 100 years.[34]

Jiménez de Quesada decided to establish a military campament in the area in 1538, in the site today known as the Chorro de Quevedo square. The foundation was performed by the construction of 12 houses of reed, referring to the Twelve Apostles, and the construction of a preliminary church, also of reed. With the celebration of the first mass in the campament, celebrated by Dominican friar Domingo de las Casas the city was founded with the name of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope) on 6 August 1538.[17][20] Quesada placed his right foot on the bare earth and said simply, "I take possession of this land in the name of the most sovereign emperor, Charles V."

This founding, however, was irregular as no town council was formed nor were town officials appointed, as well as lacking some other juridical requirements for an official founding. As a consequence, the official founding only occurred about eight months later, on 27 April 1539, in a site close to one of the recreational lands of the zipa, called Theusa or Theusaquillo.[17] This official founding involved an official ceremony appointing a council and officials, and the demarcation of streets and lands, and in it fellow conquistadores Sebastián de Belalcázar and Nikolaus Federmann were present. While this was the official date of founding, traditionally it is the 6 August 1538 that is considered the date of the actual foundation.

The village obtained the title of City by way of a decree from Charles V on 27 July 1540, which changed the name of the city from Our Lady of Hope to Santa Fe (Holy Faith), after the name of a town nearby Granada where Jiménez de Quesada grew up.[20] Jiménez de Quesada and conquerors De Belalcázar and Federmann left for Spain in April 1539, founding Guataquí together on 6 April 1539. The rule over the newly created New Kingdom of Granada was left to Jiménez de Quesada's brother, Hernán Pérez de Quesada. The first mayors of the city were captains Pedro de Arevalo y Jeronimo de Inzar. The city obtained the Title of Muy Noble y Muy Leal (Very Noble and Loyal) on 17 August 1575 by a decree from Phillip II. Bogotá, then called Santa Fe, later became the capital of the later Viceroyalty of New Granada.[28] Following the independence from Spain, Bogotá became capital of Gran Colombia and later the capital of the Republic of Colombia.

Spanish colonization

The city mayor and the chapter formed by two councilmen, assisted by the constable and the police chief, governed the city. For better administration of these domains, in April 1550, the Audiencia of Santafé was organized. Santa Fe (or Santafé) became the seat of the government of the New Kingdom of Granada . Fourteen years later in 1564, the Spanish Crown designated the first Royal Audiencia chairman, Andrés Díaz Venero de Leyva. The Chapter and the Royal Audience were located on the other side of what is today the Plaza de Bolívar (then called, Plaza Mayor or Major Square). The street connecting the Major Square and the Square of Herbs— now Santander Park— was named Calle Real (Royal Street), now Carrera Séptima (or "Seventh Street"; counted from the mountains to the east of the city). After 1717 Santafé became the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

Formed by Europeans, mestizos, indigenous people, and slaves, from the second half of the 16th century, the population began to grow rapidly. The 1789 census recorded 18,161 inhabitants, and by 1819 the city population reached 30,000 inhabitants distributed in 195 blocks. Importance grew when the Diocese was established.

Nineteenth century

The Royal Street, today known as the Seventh Avenue (Carrera Séptima)
Bogotá's Railroad Central Station

Political unease over the Spanish monarchy and the rights of citizens born in the Americas had been feeling all over Spanish colonies in America, and it was expressed in New Granada in many different ways, accelerating the movement to independence. One of the most transcendent was the Insurrection of the Comuneros, a riot by the locals that started in Villa del Socorro —current Department of Santander—in March 1781.[35] Spanish authorities suppressed the riot, and José Antonio Galán, the leader, was executed. He left an imprint, though. One of the soldiers witnessing his execution was an intellectually curious, noble teenager named Antonio Nariño, who was deeply impressed by both the insurrection and the execution. Nariño went on to become a politician in Santafé, and he became acquainted with the liberal ideas in vogue in Europe. He started organizing clandestine meetings with other intellectuals and politicians to discuss and promote the independence of the American colonies from the Spanish crown. In 1794, Nariño clandestinely translated and published in Santa Fe the Declaration of the Rights of Men and of the Citizen, and copies of his translation were distributed all over the continent and started creating a stirring in the political mentalities of the time. The Spanish government had banned the distribution of the pamphlet and soon discovered the material and burned any copy that they could find. Nariño was arrested on 29 August 1794, and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment and to have all of his properties confiscated, and was sent to exile the year after. Those suspected of being part of Nariño's intellectual circle were also persecuted, but his ideas had become widespread.[36]

In 1807, following the French invasion of Spain and the subsequent abdication of the House of Bourbon in Spain, pressed by Napoleon to give the crown to his brother Joseph, resulting in the destruction of the Spanish administration, many in Spain and in the American colonies created local resistance governments called Juntas. The dissolution of the Supreme Central Junta, following a series of military defeats in the Spanish troops promoted the creation of local juntas all throughout Latin America, which very soon consolidated the independentist ideas already in vogue. After the establishment of a junta in Cartagena de Indias on 22 May 1810, and in many other cities throughout the Viceroyalty, the Junta de Santa Fe was established on 20 July 1810, in what is often called the Colombian Declaration of Independence. The Junta adopted the name of "Supreme Junta of the New Kingdom of Granada", and first swore allegiance to Viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón, and appointed him as president, but then he was deposed and arrested five days later. After declaring independence from Spain the different juntas attempted to establish a congress of provinces, but they were unable to do so and military conflicts soon emerged.

The period between 1810 and 1816 was marked by intense conflict between federalist and centralist factions over the nature of the new government of the recently emancipated juntas, a period that has become known as la Patria Boba. The Province of Santafé became the Free and Independent State of Cundinamarca, which soon became embroiled in a civil war against other of the local juntas which banded together to form the United Provinces of New Granada and advocated for a federalist government system. Following a failed military campaign against Quito, General Simón Bolívar of the United Provinces led a campaign that led to the surrender of the Cundinamarca province in December 1814.

In Spain, the war had ended and the Spanish monarchy was restored on 11 December 1813. King Ferdinand VII of Spain declared the uprisings in the colonies illegal and sent a large army to quell the rebellions and reconquer the lost colonies, for which he appointed General Pablo Morillo. Morillo led a successful military campaign that culminated in the capture of Santafé on 6 May 1816.

In 1819, Bolívar initiated his campaign to liberate New Granada. Following a series of battles, the last of which was the Battle of Boyacá, the republican army led by Bolívar cleared its way to Santafé, where he arrived victorious on 10 August 1819. It was Simón Bolívar who rebaptized the city with the name of Bogotá, to honor the Muisca people and to emphasize the emancipation from Spain. Bogotá then became the capital of the Gran Colombia.

Between 1819 and 1849, there were no fundamental structural changes from the colonial period. By the mid-19th century, a series of fundamental reforms were enacted, some of the most important being slavery abolition and religious, teaching, print and speech industry and trade freedom, among others. During the decade of the 70s, radicalism accelerated reforms and state and social institutions were substantially modified. However, during the second half of the century, the country faced permanent pronouncements, declarations of rebellions between states, and factions which resulted in civil wars: the last and bloodiest was the Thousand Days' War from 1899 to 1902.

In 1823, a few years after the formation of Gran Colombia, the Public Library, now the National Library, was enlarged and modernized with new volumes and better facilities. The National Museum was founded. Those institutions were of great importance to the new republic's cultural development. The Central University was the first State school, precursor of the current National University, founded in 1867 and domiciled in Bogotá.


President Rafael Núñez declared the end of Federalism, and in 1886 the country became a centralist republic ruled by the constitution in force – save some amendments – up to 1981. In the middle of political and administration avatars, Bogotá continued as the capital and principal political center of the country.

From a base of only 20,000 people in 1793, the city grew to approximately 117,000 people in 1912. Population growth was rapid after 1870, largely because of emigration from the eastern highlands.[37]

Twentieth century

Early in the 20th century, Colombia had to face devastating consequences from the One Thousand Days War, which lasted from 1899 to 1902, and the loss of Panama. Between 1904 and 1909, the lawfulness of the liberal party was re-established and President Rafael Reyes endeavored to implement a national government. Peace and state reorganization generated the increase of economic activities. Bogotá started deep architectural and urban transformation with significant industrial and artisan production increases. In 1910, the Industrial Exposition of the Century took place at Park of Independence. Stands built evidenced industrial, artisan work, beaux arts, electricity and machinery progress achieved. The period from 1910 to 1930 is designated conservative hegemony. Between 1924 and 1928, hard union struggles began, with oil fields and banana zone workers' strikes, leaving numerous people dead.

Bogotá had practically no industry. Production was basically artisan work grouped in specific places, similar to commercial sectors. Plaza de Bolívar and surroundings lodged hat stores, at Calle del Comercio –current Carrera Seventh– and Calle Florián –now Carrera Eight– luxurious stores selling imported products opened their doors; at Pasaje Hernández, tailor's shops provided their services, and between 1870 and 1883, four main banks opened their doors: Bogotá, Colombia, Popular and Mortgage Credit banks.


Following the banana zone killings and conservative party division, Enrique Olaya Herrera took office in 1930. The liberal party reformed during 16 years of the so-called Liberal Republic, agricultural, social, political, labor, educational, economic and administrative sectors. Unionism strengthened and education coverage expanded.

The celebration produced a large number of infrastructure works, new construction and work sources. Following the 1946 liberal party division, a conservative candidate took presidential office again in 1948, after the killing of liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Bogotá's downtown was virtually destroyed as violence reigned. From then, Bogotá's urban, architectural and population sectors were substantially reorganized.

Twenty-first century

Bogotá is the third largest city within city limits in South America by population, after São Paulo and Lima

The city begins the 21st century with important changes in its urban space and public transport, looking to plan a demographic and economic growth that would position it as a strategic hub for international business in Latin America. Some of the main interventions initiated in this century looked to develop projects contained in the Plan of Territorial Ordering (POT), which will guide the development of the city for the next two centuries.

One of the most important interventions in the city for this time was its transportation system. In 1967, there were 2,679 urban buses in Bogotá that transported, on average, 1,629,254 passengers per day. The city had a little more than a million inhabitants and 8,000 hectares in length, the service was relatively reasonable and comfortable. But as the city grew and reached more than five million inhabitants and an area greater than 30,000 hectares, not only did the car fleet increase substantially to reach more than 20,000 vehicles, but chaos multiplied, as well as pollution and the inefficiency of the only existing transportation system.

By the end of the 20th century, the situation was critical. There was no real urban public transport system that would serve as an alternative to the private vehicle - which further incentivized its use - and the city had low levels of competitiveness in Latin America, as well as an unsatisfactory quality of life for the vast majority of its inhabitants.

The administrations of mayors Andrés Pastrana (1988–1990) and Jaime Castro (1992–1994), in addition to the first one of Antanas Mockus (1995–1997), formulated proposals to solve the problem of public transport, with limited results. It was during the mayoralty of the latter when there was an insistent talk about the possibility of establishing a mass transportation system that would help remedy the problem of mobility in Bogotá.

Under the second administration of Antanas Mockus, Bogota opened a 'zone of tolerancia' which legalized prostitution in a large swath of the center of the city in the Santa Fe neighborhood.[38]

Mayor Enrique Peñalosa (whose first term was 1998–2000) included in his government program as a priority project a solution to the problem of public transport. Consequently, in the execution of the development plan "For the Bogotá we Want" in terms of mobility and in a concrete way to the massive transportation system project, the construction of a special infrastructure exclusively for its operation was determined. This system would include specialized bus corridors, equipped with single-use lanes, stations, bridges, bike paths and special pedestrian access platforms, designed to facilitate the user's experience in the system. However, Peñalosa became infamous for his campaign against the poor, saying he would rather see robbers on the streets rather than people selling candies. Peñalosa also served a second term (2016–2019).

After getting elected in 2011, Gustavo Petro, clashed with conservative political establishment after remunicipalization of the city's garbage collection system. The inspector general, Alejandro Ordoñez deposed Petro for alleged constitutional overreach and when he tried to replace the city's private trash collectors. Petro was reinstated weeks later after a Bogota court ruled that the Alejandro Ordoñez had overstepped his authority.

Although the proposal for biarticulated diesel buses called "Transmilenio" was in its early stages a success, due in part to the small numbers of passengers that it transported, in the long term it became an inefficient and contaminating system, saturated for a metro population of almost ten million inhabitants, guilty of environmental deterioration and air pollution.[39]

International Business Center, Bogotá, D.C.

For its part, the cultural equipment plan of Bogotá has given as one of its most significant results the construction of three large public libraries in different sectors of the city, in addition to the provision of existing ones. The new libraries were located in sectors that allow a wide coverage, have easy access by public transport and bike paths; and their projects were commissioned to distinguished architects of the city. They are those of El Tunal, in the south, projected by the architect Suely Vargas of El Tintal, in the west, the work of the architect Daniel Bermúdez, and the Virgilio Barco Vargas library, located in the Simón Bolívar park in the central area, work of the architect Rogelio Salmona. The three libraries, in addition to their excellent architecture, offer spaces for the educational and cultural development of the citizens of Bogota.[40]

As for 2019, the city's distribution is composed of nine main business centers (Av. El Dorado Business Corridor, Centro Internacional, Parque de la 93, El Lago, North Point, Calle 100, Santa Barbara Business Center, Zona Industrial Montevideo & Parque Industrial Zona Franca). Grittier sides sit south and southwest, where working-class barrios continue to battle their reputations for drugs and crime. In the ritzier north you'll find boutique hotels, corporate offices and well-heeled locals piling into chic entertainment districts such as the Zona Rosa and Zona G.

Protests against police brutality started in Bogotá following the death of Javier Ordóñez while in police custody on 9 September 2020.[41] As of 12 September 2020, 13 people have died and over 400 have been injured as part of the protests.[42]

Bogotá History articles: 140


Hailstorm in Bogotá
Eastern Hills

Bogotá is located in the southeastern part of the Bogotá savanna (Sabana de Bogotá) at an average altitude of 2,640 metres (8,660 ft) above sea level.[8] The Bogotá savanna is popularly called "savannah" (sabana), but constitutes actually a high plateau in the Andes mountains, part of an extended region known as the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, which literally means "high plateau of Cundinamarca and Boyacá". Bogotá is the largest city in the world at its elevation; there is no urban area that is both higher and more populous than Bogotá.

In the extreme south of Bogota's District, the world's largest continuous paramo ecosystem can be found; Sumapaz Páramo in the locality Sumapaz.[43]

The Bogotá River running NE-SW crosses the sabana, forming Tequendama Falls (Salto del Tequendama) to the south. Tributary rivers form valleys with flourishing villages, whose economy is based on agriculture, livestock raising and artisanal production.

The sabana is bordered to the east by the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes mountain range. The Eastern Hills, which limit city growth, run from south to north, and form east of the center the Guadalupe and Monserrate mountains. The western city limit is the Bogotá River. The Sumapaz Paramo (moorland) borders the south and to the north Bogotá extends over the plateau up to the towns of Chía and Sopó.

Most of the wetlands in the Bogota region have disappeared. They covered nearly 50,000 hectares in the 1960s, compared to only 727 in 2019, for a disappearance rate of 98%.[44]


Bogotá has an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb) bordering on a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb).[45] The average temperature is 14.5 °C (58 °F),[46] varying from 6 to 19 °C (43 to 66 °F) on sunny days to 10 to 18 °C (50 to 64 °F) on rainy days. Dry and rainy seasons alternate throughout the year. The driest months are December, January, July and August. The warmest month is March, bringing a maximum of 19.7 °C (67.5 °F). The coolest nights occur in January, with an average of 7.6 °C (45.7 °F) in the city; fog is very usual in early morning, 220 days per year,[47] whilst clear sky sunny full days are quite unusual.[47]

The official highest temperature recorded within the city limits is 30.0 °C (86 °F), and the lowest temperature recorded is −7.1 °C (19 °F), both at the Guaymaral Airport.[48]

The rainiest months are April, May, September, October, and November, in which typical days are mostly overcast, with low clouds and some winds, bringing maximum temperatures of 18 °C (64 °F) and lows of 7 °C (45 °F).

Because of its low latitude and high altitude, Bogotá has an average of 12 daylight hours and 11+ ultraviolet radiation year-round.[49]

Climate data for National Meteorological Observatory, Bogotá (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 26.4
Average high °C (°F) 20.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.3
Average low °C (°F) 7.6
Record low °C (°F) −1.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 9 12 14 18 19 17 15 14 16 21 16 11 181
Average relative humidity (%) 75 76 75 77 77 75 74 74 75 76 77 76 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 156 128 107 88 83 94 114 117 109 96 103 138 1,328
Percent possible sunshine 41.9 38.1 28.8 24.4 22.3 26.1 30.6 31.4 30.3 25.8 28.6 37.1 30.5
Source: Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (IDEAM)[48]

Urban layout and nomenclature

Street arrangement of Bogotá based on the Cartesian coordinate system: North is to the right. (Typical maps for the city place the north on the left.)
View of Bogota from the mountain Monserrate

Bogotá has 20 localities, or districts, forming an extensive network of neighborhoods. Areas of higher economic status tend to be located in the north, close to the Eastern Hills in the districts of Chapinero, Usaquén and the east of Suba. The lower middle class inhabit the central, western and northwestern parts of the city.. The working-class neighborhoods are located in the south, some of them squatter areas.

The urban layout in the center of the city is based on the focal point of a square or plaza, typical of Spanish-founded settlements, but the layout gradually becomes more modern in outlying neighborhoods. The types of roads are classified as Calles (streets), which run from west to east horizontally, with street numbers increasing towards the north, and also towards the south (with the suffix "Sur") from Calle 0 down south. Carreras (roads) run from north to south vertically, with numbering increasing from east to west. (with the suffix "Este" for roads east of Carrera 0). At the southeast of the city, the addresses are logically sur-este. Other types of roads more common in newer parts of the city may be termed Eje (Axis), Diagonal or Transversal. The numbering system for street addresses recently changed, and numbers are assigned according to street rank from main avenues to smaller avenues and local streets. Some of Bogotá's main roads, which also go by a proper name in addition to a number, are:

  • Norte-Quito-Sur or NQS (North Quito South Avenue, from 9th Rd at north following railway to 30th Rd, or Quito City Avenue, and Southern Highway)
  • Autopista Norte-Avenida Caracas (Northern Highway, or 45th Rd, joined to Caracas Avenue, or 14th Rd)
  • Avenida Circunvalar (or 1st Rd)
  • Avenida Suba (60th transversal from 100th St the Suba Hills; 145th St from Suba Hills westward)
  • Avenida El Dorado (El Dorado Avenue, or 26th St)
  • Avenida de las Américas (Avenue of the Americas, from 34th street at east to 6th street at west)
  • Avenida Primero de Mayo (May First Avenue, or 22nd St South)
  • Avenida Ciudad de Cali (Cali City Avenue, or 86th Rd)
  • Avenida Boyacá (Boyacá Avenue, or 72nd Rd)
  • Autopista Sur (Southern Highway)

Localities (districts)

Surrounding towns

Bogotá Geography articles: 67