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Bogotá isn’t always the most pedestrian-friendly city, but in spite of that, there are some excellent walking tours on offer, particularly in the Old Town neighbourhood of La Candelaria (which is a much easier part of the city in which to walk). From graffiti to food excursions, here are the best walking tours to take in the capital of Colombia.
The most popular and well-known walking tour in the city – and perhaps Colombia – the Bogotá Graffiti Tour is a twice-daily free walking tour around La Candelaria, exploring the incredible variety of street art in the area, as well as delving into the history and culture of Colombia and the graffiti movement. Tipping is expected, but it’s well worth the money for such an in-depth and informative tour.
Beyond Colombia has a number of excellent free tour options, including the Free Walking Tour and the Free Food Tour. The Free Walking Tour is a particularly popular option, as it covers a wealth of history and Colombian culture in a relatively short space of time. The tour departs every day at 10 am and 2 pm from in front of the Gold Museum and lasts for three hours. It operates on a donation basis.
The True Colombian Experience offers several different tours around Bogotá, including a food tour and salsa classes. However, their flagship offering is still their excellent walking tour, which runs twice daily at 10:30 am and 3 pm. Guide Fredy is a fountain of local knowledge as well as being an attentive and informative guide; his passion for Colombia is infectious and really comes across in the walking tour, which is immersive and entertaining, as well as being jam-packed with fascinating information.
Dubbed as the ‘anti-clichés’ walking tour of Bogotá, the Heroes Tour is dedicated to puncturing the myths that still surround Bogotá and Colombia as a whole (particularly since the recent success of shows such as Narcos). Rather than portraying villains such as Escobar in a sympathetic light, the tour aims to place more of a focus on Colombian heroes and discusses subjects such as the conflict and peace process with a refreshing clarity.
This walking tour of Bogotá’s biggest food market, Paloquemao, is a perfect way to explore the wonderful world of Colombian food while being guided by a knowledgeable local foodie. Known as the ‘Bogotá Foodie’, Loon is an excellent guide, whose deep passion for Colombian cuisine shines through on his tours.
A walking tour with a twist, the Septima Challenge is an Amazing Race-style adventure taking place on Sundays in downtown Bogotá. Participants are divided up into teams and sent outside to explore the local markets, plazas, and streets while trying to tick a series of tasks off of their list. In order to win, you’ll need to dance salsa with a local, sample typical Colombian foods, and find some surreal and amusing scenes to photograph. It’s a really immersive tour that forces you out of your comfort zone and gives you the chance to really interact with local people and learn something at the same time.
Colombian Buddy is a great innovation allowing visitors to hook up with a local buddy for a trip – someone who can give them the real insider’s scoop on the city and show them a different side to Bogotá. They have a variety of options, but the best walking tour is the Colombian Buddy Shopping experience, where you can head out to the local markets with a Colombian buddy. They’ll be able to help you get all the best deals while teaching you something about the city at the same time.