Visit Monserrate travel guide: experience the sunset over Bogota

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Welcome to the Monserrate, the symbol of Bogotá, a must-see among the must-sees, a mountain culminating at 3152 m above Colombia’s capital, with its basilica, a place of pilgrimage and meditation.

The Monserrate looks out over the immensity of a city stretching as far as the eye can see in a verdant valley. He plays hide-and-seek with clouds, mist and sun. You see me, you don’t.

Vigil, lighthouse, control tower of a capital monster. He’s the mirador maximus, the king of vantage points, the must-see. It is the need for elevation, the desire to stand back, the need for a horizon that grips us in the midst of the maze of gargantuan Babylon.

Take the high ground!

Disclaimer: we apologize in advance for any grammatical or syntactic errors, as our native language is not English (we're a Colombian-French couple), so we hope you'll forgive us and still enjoy the information we share with you! Please note that all the information on our blog is based on our own experience, and is checked and updated regularly.

English-speaking guide to climb Monserrate

and Candelaria City Tour

Felipe, an English-speaking guide in Bogotá, offers a guided tour of Candelaria, including the Monserrate. He also offers private tours of Bogotá’s surrounding areas, all in english.

Tour Felipe Bogota (#13)

To get in direct contact with Felipe, and discover Bogota and the surrounding area with an English-speaking guide, you can use the form below. You won’t pay more, but it will let him know you’re coming from us.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t hear from our partner within 72 hours, please check your SPAMS first before contacting us.

The Monserrate in Bogotá

Must-see in the colombian Capital

Visit Monserrate travel guide: experience the sunset over Bogota

Wherever you are in Bogotá, it’s impossible to miss the Monserrate. It’s a great landmark to help you find your way around the city, as it stands roughly above La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historic district.

The weather in Bogotá is temperamental. To put it mildly! We had in mind to enjoy the sunset from the Monserrate, so we had to be well connected to the weather so as not to miss out… the Monserrate often has its head in the clouds.

As we were staying with Angélica’s family in Chia, on the outskirts of Bogotá, we had to make sure we weren’t caught off guard by an untimely arrival of fog, which would have spoiled the party.

From Chia to Monserrate, it’s a two-hour journey, first the buseta, then the Transmilenio, then walking to the cable car, so we couldn’t improvise our ascent.

Of course, living in the center of town made it easier to adapt to the conditions and take advantage of a clear day to attempt the climb.

We get off at the “Universidades” Transmilenio stop and walk up to the cable car station.

The white, sunlit basilica on its dark green summit is a beckoning sight. As we get closer to the foot of Monserrate, distances become more and more contorted. But nothing prepares us for what lies ahead.

Sprawling Bogota

View from the Monserrate

Visit Monserrate travel guide: experience the sunset over Bogota
Inside the cable car

It’s not until we’re inside the cable car, breaking away from a cow floor at 2640 m, that the sheer size of the capital jumps out at us.

The higher the glass cage rises to a summit at over 3,000 m, the more Bogotá swells before our eyes, stretching as far as the eye can see, like an immense river of stone and asphalt surrounded by majestic mountains.

At the top, it’s the immaculate, imposing basilica that dominates, but it’s the view of Bogotá that sucks you in. The few restaurants and tourist attractions can’t distract your attention.

Like a magnet, the landscape grabs you and won’t let go. A failed experience in Hong Kong or Taipei, an incredible memory in Caracas, Paris or San Francisco, dominating a sprawling city like Bogotá is one of the unforgettable experiences I like to have when traveling.

On one side, nature, the forest, the surrounding peaks; on the other, the city, a shapeless, magnetic form. We take a seat on the parapet, and like many people around us, wait for the show to begin.

Be patient, let the needles turn and the light fall, and above all, don’t be tempted to come down too quickly – you’d be wrong to think you’ve seen it all!

Sunset over Bogota

WHEN THE MONSERRATE BECOMES A SHOW STAGE

Visit Monserrate travel guide: experience the sunset over Bogota

The temperature is dropping fast, but fortunately we’re familiar with Bogotá’s weather and we’re well covered up, exploring the surrounding area in anticipation of the first flare-ups: at the side of the Basilica there’s a gallery offering a few souvenir stores and restaurants for a bite to eat.

The interior of the basilica itself is nothing exceptional.

Then the first colors appear in the sky, it’s time for the show, the bell rings for the last spectators, everyone takes their seats, it’s not too crowded, it’s the middle of the week, all that’s left is to contemplate what will remain one of my most beautiful travel memories.

From here on in, the images are worth all the words in the world, so I’ll let you enjoy!

Where to stay in Bogotá

Staying in Candelaria, near Monserrate

Bogota, the best hotels, Candelaria

The Candelaria House Hotel

Finca

The Candelaria House Hotel

Double room : $250.000 to $300.000 COP

Ideally located just a stone’s throw from the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum, The Candelaria House offers beautiful guest rooms set in an antique colonial house in La Candelaria. For old-world charm!

Bogota, the best hotels, Candelaria

Hotel Casa Deco

Hotel

Hotel Casa Deco

Double room : $200.000 to $250.000 COP

A hotel recommended by our readers, with a pretty nice terrace! Views of the mountains and the Monserrate, pleasantly decorated rooms and a warm welcome.

Bogota, the best hotels, Candelaria

BH Bicentennial

Hotel

BH Bicentennial

Double room : $200.000 to $250.000 COP

Sam has stayed here and the hotel is up to the standards of fine modern European hotels. Ideally located on the Plaza de los Periodistas, it’s close to the Transmilenio, the Monserrate and the entrance to Candelaria.

Bogota, the best hotels, Candelaria

Masaya Hostal

Hostal

Masaya Hostal

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

Masaya is the success story of 3 Frenchmen who opened this renowned hostal in Bogotá. Since then, smaller ones have sprung up in Santa Marta and San Agustin, the sign of a job well done!

Bogota, the best hotels, Candelaria

Explora Hostel

Hostal

Explora Hostel

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $0 to $100.000 COP

A tastefully decorated hostal in the heart of Candelaria, with helpful staff and impeccable cleanliness, offering good value for money.

Bogota, the best hotels, Candelaria

Botanico Hostal

Hostal

Botanico Hostal

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $100.000 to $150.000 COP

Located in the Candelaria district, Le Botanico Hostal is renowned for its warm welcome and friendly staff. Its highlight: its garden and terrace overlooking the Monserrate!

How to get to Monserrate

During the day, if you’re in the neighborhood or nearby (Candelaria), you can walk up to the cable car station. This is best avoided in the evening, to prevent any problems.

Otherwise, the simplest solution is to take a cab to the funicular. For the return journey, even though we got off just after sunset, it wasn’t too late and we did it on foot, so we recommend taking a cab: it’s clearly the best solution.

  • Nearest Transmilenio station: Universidades
  • Address: Carrera 2 Este No. 21-48 Paseo Bolívar

Monserrate timetable and fares

Cable car

  • Monday to Friday 5 p.m. to midnight
  • Saturday noon to midnight.
  • Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Funicular

  • Monday to Friday 6.30am to 4.45pm
  • Saturday 6.30am to 4pm
  • Sunday 5.30am to 6.30pm

Pedestrian trail

  • Open every day except Tuesday, from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. to go up and from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. to come down.

Rates

  • Monday to Saturday: $10,000 one way – $20,000 return ticket
  • Sunday: $6,000 One-way – 12,000 return
  • Tickets on sale until 10.30pm

The pedestrian trail

  • Free

Restaurants with a view of Monserrate

In addition to the little “bouibouis” in the shopping mall where you can eat for not too much money, there are two “real” restaurants with a view of Bogotá at the top of Monserrate.

Casa San Isidro – english restaurant
Quite expensive, but a very famous restaurant with an exceptional view

Casa Santa Clara – Colombian restaurant
Slightly less expensive, but just as famous and with a superb view too

Practical info BOgota

For all practical information on Bogota, please visit our general post and our dedicated posts:

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Authors

Angélica & Samuel

We are Angélica and Samuel, a French-Colombian couple, professional photographers and web editors specializing in travel to Colombia. We created this blog to change the image of the country, help you prepare your trip and inspire you to discover Colombia in a different way!

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2 thoughts on “Visit Monserrate travel guide: experience the sunset over Bogota”

  1. Hello!
    First of all your blog is really great, it helps us a lot!
    Secondly, I have a little question because I didn’t understand everything. Can we take a cab up to Montserrat?

    Reply
    • Hi Loic, and thanks for your message 🙂 No, maybe it’s not clear in our information, but when we say that you can get to Montserrat by cab, it’s to get to the foot of the mountain, at the cable car entrance 😉 Then, to get to the summit, there are 3 options (depending on the season): cable car, funicular or footpath.

      Reply