Usaquen – A Hidden Gem in Bogota’s Capital District, Part 2


Memorial Day weekend is here – the unofficial beginning to summer.  That means BBQ’s, the kids are out of school, lazy weekend days at the local beach or other type of watering hole, and of course, the family vacation!  If you have not decided on your family vacation destination yet, you are probably starting to break out in a cold sweat as you read this.  You swear under your breath, for you are certain that all of the good deals must be long gone by now.

But fear not! There are still great vacation ideas that your whole family can enjoy but won’t blow up your budget. Smart Travel & Incentives of Lake Mary, Florida wants to help you find spectacular places at affordable prices for your upcoming vacation. Smart Travel has travel vouchers to help make your next trip one that you and your family will remember forever.  Here is the second part of a review of a destination that will could be memorable for your whole family… and potentially life-changing for you.  The place is Usaquen (Pronounced Oose – a – KAHN), a picturesque district in the north east corner of Bogota, Colombia.

If you read my previous blog entry, you can tell that I fell in love with this magical place within minutes of stepping outside of my taxi cab.  The historical flavor of this First District of Bogota oozes from the cobblestone streets, hundreds’ years old church, colonial-style architecture and statue dedicated to Simon Bolivar placed right in the southern area of the town green.

Every Sunday the center of town, already a beehive of activity on a normal day, becomes dedicated to Usaquen’s famous weekly Flea Market.  In fact, travelers rank the Usaquen Flea Market the # 1 place (out of 22) to shop in all of Bogota, according to TripAdvisor.  Local merchants flock to the streets to ply their wares, and many of the items unique to the area are a treat for the eyes.  After walking around for quite a while taking in the many amazing sites, my two traveling companions (my girlfriend, her aunt and I) happened upon an artisan named Paola Serrano who had several uniquely enchanting pieces that drew me in to her street display.  Apparently her specialty is working with and molding plastic into scenes of local life.  I purchased two of them, one for my sister and of course one for my girlfriend, realizing right away that several of her creations depicting colonial Bogota homes were truly enchanting.


Of course my sister loved her piece when I presented it to her upon arriving back home.

After several hours of perusing the Flea Market, me, my girlfriend Paula and her aunt decided it was time to relax at a local coffee house, Café Usaquen. Locally owned and operated, Café Usaquen had a typical hip coffee house feel, but with a definitive Colombian twist.  The coffee and tea receive high marks – but even better was the piece of oreo cookie cheesecake we shared.  We all had a number of laughs – mostly at me for my often feeble attempts to understand their fast-talking Spanish conversations) and enjoyed the twilight hours of the day together. At the corner of Calle 118 and Carerra 5 about two blocks north of the town square, check this place out, and definitely make it a point to try the cheesecake!  Other interesting restaurants to spend some time include The Bogota Beer Company restaurant, and Tasca La Puerta De Alcala and La Biferia.

When it was time to go back to the hotel (we were staying at the J.W. Marriott in Bogota, definitely one of Marriott’s signature hotels), all 3 of us were disappointed that it was time to go. Usaquen is an enchanting place, and it served as just another reminder of why I love to explore new places when I travel.  I highly recommend that you book a trip to Bogota with friends and/or family, and when you do, make sure you reserve at least a full day if not several to relish in the sights and sounds of this picturesque district of northeastern Bogota nestled right into the East Andes mountains named Usaquen.

Summer travel season is now upon us and you need to make your plans now if you are going to go to highly desirable places like Usaquen. If you wait any longer, you will not be able to pull together a trip in time. You deserve an awesome summer vacation, so let Smart Travel & Incentives help you with your plans. Their travel vouchers can help you find the perfect place to stay that fits into your budge, and their reviews should keep you away from any destination that is less than you truly desire. With help from Smart Travel & Incentives, get ready for the best and most affordable vacation you’ve ever had!

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