Americas, Colombia

Bogotá‘s Candelaria

No Comments 23 November 2010

Bogotá‘s Candelaria

After his kidnapping ordeal, the Monkey was able to get out and enjoy some of Bogotá‘s charm. In these shots from 2003, he explores La Candelaria, an evocative colonial district at the heart of Colombia’s capital.

Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia
It’s often said, but Bogotá truly is a city of contrasts. 16th Century churches and 1960s high-rises play neighbor as fabulous wealth stands in stark relief against the abject poverty of so many of the city’s residents. In this photo, the Monkey rests on the low roof of an old house near the central Candelaria district, Bogotá‘s old colonial core. Down the street you can see two modern towers; at right is the Avianca Building (1969) and at left is what the Monkey believes to be the Banco de la Republica Building.

Iglesia de Santa Bárbara, Bogotá, Colombia
The Monkey admires the narrow streets and colonial architecture of the Candelaria district. Up the street, the ornate, red and white striped church is the mid 16th Century Iglesia de Santa Bárbara.

Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia
Reminders of the war are omnipresent in Colombia. Strolling through central Bogotá, the Monkey came across numerous deployments of heavily armed troops guarding government buildings and public spaces. If you look past the Monkey down this attractive Candelaria street you’ll notice several soldiers, guns at the ready. Despite the stress this constant exposure to the images and actualities of war must cause them, the Colombians are a truly warm and joyous people.

Window in Candelaria district, Bogotá, Colombia
The Monkey climbs into the window grillwork of a Spanish colonial home in Bogotá‘s Candelaria district.

Window at Platypus Hotel, Bogotá, Colombia
The Monkey rests on a vividly painted windowsill at his Bogotá hotel.

Plant at Platypus, Bogotá, Colombia
El Mico climbs some local flora in the atrium of his hotel in Bogotá.

This Monkey adventure has been viewed 1225 times since the 2010 website relaunch.



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45,013,672 (2008)

Land area:

1,038,700 sq. km.


Bogotá (pop: 1,945,448; 2005)


In 2006, Colombia ranked 69th in the UNDP Human Development Index and 39th in total GDP, with a per capita GDP of $2,981.74. Public debt accounts for 52.8 percent of total GDP, while 49.2 percent of Colombians are beneath the poverty line.

Main language(s):


Monkey's name:

El Mico, El Mono (El Me-koh, El Moh-noh)

Fun fact:

Colombia’s Avianca, founded in 1919, was the second commercial airline in history (the U.S. Benoist Airlines, which serviced Florida, was the first). Colombia’s early foray into air travel had much to do with the country’s wildly varied topography and the resultant impracticality of establishing reliable road, rail, and river transport links.

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