This mountainous town has an exciting outdoor café culture
Up in a towering Andean valley, the Colombian capital is a shocker - instead of cocaine cartels and car bombs, visitors find the welcoming cobble-stoned Spanish-colonial La Candelaria neighborhood. It's built for long walks: drop by the café of the mustachioed face of Colombian coffee icon Juan Valdez and check out the city's best attractions: the Gold Museum and artworks of Fernando Botero, in which everyone is impossibly plump. Afterwards ride a streetcar up Monserrate mountain for a meal with volcano views. Most visitors choose mid-range, mid-sized hotels in the ritzy districts Zona Rosa or Parque 93 (a 20-minute taxi ride to the north). Here you can join families and young couples strolling to open-air cafes, sushi bars, and all-night salsateca dance bars. On weekends, locals love getting out. Four hours north, Villa de Leyva is a 16th-century colonial town with hiking trails and arty posada B closer to Bogota, Zipaquira is a massive salt mine-turned-cathedral you can visit. If you're staying in town over the weekend, plan on biking. The center-spanning Ciclovia is a Sunday event in which some roads are closed and bikes take over the central boulevards.