Monserrate is a MUST do when you are in Bogotá. The views, the views, the views! Did I mention the views?
We asked our Anti-Cliche tour guide Orland what time we should go to get the best views. He recommended at night. So we decided to go in the late afternoon, have a late lunch there and watch the sunset. Which turned out to be the perfect amount of time to experience all of the views of Bogotá that Monserrate had to offer.
I headed to Monserrate around 4:00 pm with my new travel friends, Nick and Ale. We took the cable car up the mountain. We heard that a lot of displaced people live in the mountains and yes, the chances of us getting robbed if we walked up where very high. Local’s don’t even walk up Monserrate. We also couldn’t have handled the walk up in Bogotá altitude. I for sure don’t think I would have been able to make it!
The line to take the cable car was not long and ride up was very quick too. I will say, the cable car ride is not for people who are afraid of heights as you see and experience the whole ascend along the mountain. The view of the ride up is spectacular.
There isn’t much of interest on top of the mountain. There is a church, a souvenir market and a few restaurants. The main reason to go is to see the views of Bogotá, which if I haven’t made this clear enough yet are BREATHTAKING. Monserrate offers one of the best views I’ve ever seen. And if you are a photographer you can easily spend hours taking pictures.
There are two restaurants and a cafeteria at Monserrate. Both restaurants are on the pricy side for Bogotá but, lovely enough if you are spending some time up. We went to the Traditional restaurant and had some apps as we waited for the sun to set. By this point in my travels I was experiencing the effects of the altitude – mainly tiredness and a loss of appetite. I found I would have points of exhaustion but, if I just continued to do things the moment would pass.
Our trip was timed perfectly. We ate our late lunch, relaxed for a bit and were able to do everything in a leisurely fashion. The sun starts to set earlier in Bogotá and because of how high we were up, we could not miss it.
The whole process of seeing the night fall in the city took about 2 hours. The night view of Bogotá was dazzling and indeed more impressive than the daytime view. You could see the whole city and the street-lights all twinkled. It was like seeing stars resting on earth.