At a first sight, Bogotá with its 8 million inhabitants looks like just your typical metropolis. Too many people, chaos everywhere and especially a lot of traffic. During rush hour it’s quite normal to spend 2 hours crossing the city from one side to the other. However, don't allow yourself to be stressed out by Bogota’s frenetic pace of life, because there are plenty of green areas for you to escape and relax. Some of my favorites include Simon Bolivar Park and the José Celestino Mutis botanical garden.
Simon Bolivar Park is the biggest park in the city. It’s about 400 hectares and it also includes a sports complex where you can engage in a variety of different activities such as soccer, cycling, and track. This park is also famous for hosting some of the most important festivals in the city such as ‘Rock al Parque’ and ‘Jazz al Parque’.
José Celestino Mutis is a wonderful botanical garden and is the biggest in Colombia. Here you can find many plants typical of the Colombian Andes, as well as some beautiful, artificial waterfalls. It's the perfect place for relaxing and enjoying nature!
In addition, it's worth noting that just half an hour from Bogotá you can find peaceful places with unpolluted nature, such as those close to the town of Choachí. In fact, in this area, it’s possible to visit cloud forests, sub-páramo and páramo ecosystems, as well as incredible waterfalls.
One of the best things by far though that I love about Bogotá is its implementation of the Ciclovía (cycleway), a local initiative for promoting an ecological lifestyle. How does it work? Every Sunday and on public holidays, the main streets of Bogotá are closed to traffic from 7 A.M. to 2 P.M. During this time you can can travel around the city on bicycle and visit many interesting places, such as the local handicraft market in Usaquén and the Chicó Museum situated along Carrera 7. And don’t forget that riding a bicycle is also very good for your health!
Bogotá may not be perceived as one of the greenest cities by its inhabitants, but thanks to ecological initiatives like Ciclovía, it is surely becoming greener!