Eat, hablar, love: Our last-minute, wifi-tastic, foodie trip to Bogota, Colombia


meggyfin
My boyfriend Mike and mahself, high atop Monserrate -- overlooking the city of Bogota.
My boyfriend Mike and mahself, high atop Monserrate — overlooking the city of Bogota.
Traveling companion(s): Megan, your humble(?) editor, and Mike
Where did you go?: Bogota, Colombia

For the past few months my boyfriend (oh, hai, I have a boyfriend now) and I have been itching for international travel. The only thing keeping us from taking off to anywhere in the world was that I didn't have time to get enough work done so that I could take a non-working trip. That means we had to go somewhere that was easy to plan at the last-minute, that was in a US time zone, with enough access to wifi that I could still work, as usual.

Mike suggested Colombia — which he had traveled to the year before, and knew to be very safe (now). Plus he had friends who were living and working in Bogota.

One particularly disturbing episode of Narcos not withstanding, I trusted him completely, and we were off to work in, and explore, the world's largest cocaine producer!

What did you do?

Our main focus on this trip was getting work done (he's a writer, and you all know what I do!) and eating. So days were spent eating breakfasts with our laptops open. Afternoons were spent hunting down good cafes with even better wifi. Then our nights were spent drinking and dining out with friends.

If you're looking for places to eat and work in Bogota, here were our favorites:

  • Any Juan Valdez Café. We stayed across from one in Bogota that had an amazing vibe — a vertical plant wall, fire pits, and outlets outlets everywhere!
  • La Plaza de Andres — this was one of the only breakfast spots that was open in Zona Rosa. But with yummy food and bountiful wifi, we had a nice little work spot.
  • Masa in Zona G is a super-charming breakfast spot. It was one of my favorite unexpected wifi with breakfast spots.
  • Any Crepes y Waffles — here's the thing, I was super-duper stoked about this chain. Crepes and waffles and wifi are my favorite things. But no other place had weirder hours (how is this place not open for breakfast?), spottier wifi, and even spottier service. But the waffles and ice cream are awesome.
  • Tienda de Café in Usaquen — lovely outdoor patio with a view of a park, and the wifi is free, no password necesario!

If you're looking for amazing meals for dinner:

  • Astrid y Gaston — we just asked the wait staff to bring us "whatever they wanted" and ended up with an incredible (although a little too much fish for my tastes) meal.
  • Capital Cocina y Cafe — it's in the Candelaria district and it's as adorable as it is delicious.
  • Di Lucca — great Italian, and one of the only places that will be open for dinner if you're there on a Sunday

What was your most favorite moment of the trip?

Before leaving for Bogota, and after watching that one particularly disturbing episode of Narcos, Mike and I jokingly (but also not!) made a pact that neither of us would go undercover to a narcos party. Turned out we totally did! Well, we came as Plus Ones to the Narcos holiday party at Andres DC. We totally partied with the cast and staff of the Netflix TV show, and had a fantastic evening. And this happened…

What would you have done differently?

There are two things we would have done differently:

Checked to see if there were any vaccination restrictions from Colombia. We were supposed to fly from Bogota to Costa Rica, but were told by the airline that we needed proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination. Oops.

That's okay though, we didn't get to Costa Rica, but we ended up having an awesome few days in Cartagena, Colombia instead! And, as Mike's sister pointed out, we got to say "we're holed up in Cartagena for now, until we figure out our next steps." Which is a totally bad-ass thing to say.

What's your best travel advice for other offbeat travelers?

  • We ended up asking friends who live in Colombia for their advice on what to pack, and how to stay safe, and their advice was spot on. If you wondered what I packed and what nifty safety hacks I employed based on their tips, check out my post on what to pack for Bogota.
  • Bogota's altitude was something we didn't expect either. The first day we were there, I had no idea why I was feeling so light-headed and why a large breakfast couldn't solve my feeling of intense hangryness. When we ran into our buddy on the street she asked, "so how are you doing with the altitude? You're a mile and half high right now!" Ohhhhhhh, THAT explains why I was feeling so weird. Mike faired better than I did. But we would often have to take breaks during our walks. Just a quick rest usually alleviated some of the light-headedness.
  • The upside to the the altitude issue: One of the ways to solve your sickness is to load up on carbs! And Bogota has amazing carb-tastic snacks like my favorites: empanadas de pipian, or pandebono, or the king of all carboloads: Arepa con Queso from street vendors!

Wanna see more photos?

There's a lot more foodie pics to see, if you're interested, on our trips to both Colombia and Panama City, check 'em out on the #eathablarlove hashtag!

    • Right!? That was cool… things are SO INCREDIBLY affordable in Bogota, that you can get a hair and makeup person to make a house call for like $30. Seriously, $30 = full hair, full makeup, and I don't have to leave my house. My friend (who we went to the Narcos party with) does that every time she has an event. I just about died.

  1. Megan, I LOVE that you were just like "oh, just give me whatever is delicious and awesome." And your "I have no idea what this plateful of yum is" photo is priceless. Your relationship with food has really changed for the better! Does this mean you have fresh fruits and vegetables at home now, too (they're not scary, I swear)?! I never would have thought of you going on a foodie trip, but it looks like you had an awesome time. I like Mike. He's a good influence.

    The altitude would be a major selling point for me to visit Bogota. I breathed better while skiing in Colorado than while walking around in Florida.

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