3 places near El Dorado Airport in Bogota for those who have some time to spare
Bogota is a big city and you could be living here for years without seeing everything it has to offer. Sometimes, however, you are here for just a couple hours, waiting for your connection to somewhere else. If the scale is long enough, you may leave the airport and explore the surroundings, looking for treasures hidden nearby. For those who want to seize their short stop in the city, ColombiaByBus presents the best three places you can see while waiting for your next fly in El Dorado Airport of Bogota.
Address: 24A street # 68
Open: Tuesday to Saturday from 8:00 to 20:00; Monday from 14:00 to 20:00; Sunday from 9:30 to 17:30.
How to get here: you can take a Transmilenio bus from the airport to the El Tiempo-Maloka station or the P500 SITP route to AC 26 – Kr 68 D stop and walk two blocks.
A maloca, for the Amazonian Native Americans, is a longhouse for social and familiar communion. Inspired by that, there’s a place in Bogota called Malokawho aims at family fun.
Maloka is known as an interactive centre for science and technology, as well as a museum and a cinema. It’s mainly a place for learning, in a very fun way. Here, you may learn about life, the Universe, animals and plants in Bogota, physics, chemistry and more.
Science and movies
In its dome, one of the best in Latin America, you can watch some movies in a unique way. Although there are some traditional movies in exhibit, like Avengers, for example. Nevertheless, there are some that aren’t that usual, like the Sesame Street sky show or the interactive Penguins 3D show.
In the Universe experience, you can find some cool experiments for children and adults alike. The Faraday cage, the Van de Graaff generator, the plasma sphere or the cloud ring are some of the attractions here. With them, you can learn about physics, electricity and astronomy.
Astronomy, however, has its own space in Maloka. Because, you see, the museum dome works also as a planetarium, with a full 360 night sky experience. Therefore, you can lay down in the floor of the dome and watch the Universe unfold before your eyes. Children will enjoy the experience, and you can take some time to appreciate de biodiversity and culture Colombia has to offer.
It also has a food court, a restaurant, a cybercafé and a gift shop. Right in front of the park there’s a huge mall called Salitre Plaza. In it you can find anything, from department stores and libraries to restaurants and ATMs.
If you have some time between flights in El Dorado, come to Maloka, you will certainly enjoy this unique experience!
2) Virgilio Barco Library
Address: 57 street # 60
Open: Tuesday to Friday from 8:00 to 17:00; Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00; closed on Monday.
How to get here: you can take the P500 SITP route to AC 63 – Kr 47 stop.
Built in 2001, the Virgilio Barco Library is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bogota. Its designer, Rogelio Salmona, is known as one of the best architects in the country’s history. Not only is it an architectonical gem, its surroundings are broad, peaceful and extremely beautiful.
The building structure is mainly made of bricks, with water fountains and canals guiding the way to the library’s entrance. The roofs are decorated with indigenous desings, specially of the Quimbaya tribe. Flowers, trees and a wide grass meadow complete the marvellous environment.
A place to relax
The place is also known for its art and cultural vibe. In the second floor of the library there’s and ever-changing gallery with itinerant art expositions of local and foreign artists. But the art is not only on the inside, as there are many works of art in the surroundings. The most emblematic, perhaps, is the sculpture at the waterfall where the canals end.
The Water Temple, a big reflective pool in the grounds of the library, is a magnificent place to sit and relax. Its circular design gives the place amazing acoustic, where the echo is loud and funny. There’s a road behind the temple where you can see many types of trees and learn about them.
The library is part of the Simon Bolivar park, the central park of the city, that is also worth the travel, as there are many green areas where you can rest, walk or practice any sport.
If you want to forget the sometimes claustrophobic interior of a plane for a while, come here. The Virgilio Barco Library and its gardens will make you feel in peace with nature.
3) National University of Colombia
Address: 26 street # 45
Open: Monday to Tuesday from 7:00 to 20:00; Friday and Saturday from 7:00 to 16:00; closed on Sunday.
How to get here: you can take a Transmilenio bus from the airport to the Ciudad Universitaria station
Regarded as the best university in Colombia, this public institution is definitively worth to see. Founded in 1867, the university campus holds some of the finest buildings in the city, many of them public heritage. The institution is also a huge part of Colombia’s history, as it has been the alma mater for many politicians (including several presidents), artists, scientists and writers, as well as for many guerrilla army and revolutionary leaders.
The most iconic building in the University City is the Leon de Greiff Auditorium. House of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota, it’s also the canvas for the giant Che Guevara mural. The students painted it in the 60’s as a remembrance of the Argentinian communist leader visit to the campus. After the mural, the central square is called Plaza Che.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Library
Moreover, in front of the auditorium Leon de Greiff you can find the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Library. The University pays an homage to the acclaimed writer who once studied law in here, even though he never graduated. Some of his original writings can be found here, as well as some Greek sculpture replicas.
The campus is one of the biggest in Latin America, and holds seven museums, including a modern art one. There’s also an architectural museum, a game museum and a natural history museum. The last one is a must see for any foreigner. Here, you can see the country’s biodiversity in all its splendour. Animals, plants and minerals as well are exposed here for anyone to see.
If you want to know history, culture and science not so far from El Dorado airport, the University City is the right one for you.
El Dorado Airport
Even if you don’t have that much time to left El Dorado Airport, hanging about it is a nice plan. It’s known as one of the best airports in Latin America, with modern installations, Wi-Fi, a court food and some restaurants. As in any other airport you can check out the book stores and find some Colombian literature to entertain yourself. Or maybe buying some coffee in its motherland. As you wait, take a break, walk around and make sure you don’t miss your flight. El Dorado Airport and Bogota will always be waiting for your return.