Monserrate in the clouds above Bogotá

Monserrate is the mountain peak dominating Bogotá where a church was built in the 17th century.  It was top of my to-do list.  Why?

1st memories from long ago (I mention it in my novel BTW);

2nd the panoramic views of the city and the Andes Mountains beyond are fantastic.

~N vu Bgta, Mt S ps -e-0133

View of northern Bogotá

c&T vu Monserrate_0131 ps e-

My husband and I in front of  a view of Bogotá (looking south)

Cerro Monserrate background_0112

……………and 3rd  getting there is fun.

Cable car and funicular rails

Cable car and funicular rails

You can ride the cable car (teleferico), the funicular rail or by climbing, the route preferred by pilgrims.  NB: The steep  climb up is safest in a group or on Sundays when there are plenty of people walking to the top.  We took the teleferico up and the funicular down.

Bogotá has grown by leaps and bounds and was hardly recognizable to me, so it was comforting that Monserrate had not changed.

At 10,341 ft above the sea level however, I found myself a bit lightheaded – that mostly passed after drinking a bottle of water and having a snack.

Tomas with Sue and Joe

Tomas with Sue and Joe

Sue and I knew each other in elementary school and each had memories of going to Monserrate with our families.  The four of us – well six actually – they brought their nephew and his lovely wife along too – had a great time exploring together.

There is an old restaurant at the top, Casa Santa Clara, serving tipico food in a gracious old Colombian atmosphere at reasonable prices.  (After viewing the lines to the bathrooms outside, I decided the restroom was worth the price of the lunch in itself!) I’m glad our friend Joe was hungry and suggested it – our meals were very good. Try the ajaico (chicken stew with potatoes, corn, capers, herbs and avocado).  Also be sure to try arepas (corn cakes) and empanandas ( sort of meat fritters) while in Colombia – and I love the platano (plantain) and yuca.   (Have a favorite yourself? Comments, suggestions, recipes? Tell us!)

Buen provecho!      

BTW if you fall for ajaico you can make it yourself if you buy the Colombian herb guascas – available packaged in most all markets there.



Garden at the foot of the mountain, by the cable car.

Garden at the foot of the mountain, by the cable car.

Have you ever been to Monserrate? Bogota? Colombia?


5 thoughts on “Monserrate in the clouds above Bogotá

  1. In November 2010, I visited Monserrate with a niece who was living in Bogotá. It was fun to get back there; the last time I had been was in 1983. I went up at night this time, using the cablecar.


  2. Hi Cinda, I am very glad that you’re back and safe. The first time I went to Monserrate was in 2007 and we went at night. The view of the city from there is nothing but spectacular. I remember we stopped by this little restaurant and bought empanadas with agua de panela and with a bit of aguardiente in it. It was amazing! Where else in Bogota did you go?


    • We went to Candelario (Old Town) of course and the gold museum, Usaquen ( an old colonial town that was once on the outskirts, but has become engulfed by the city’s growth to become a barrio of Bogota.) But mostly my sister and I wanted to see our old school – Colegio Nueva Granada, the house we used to live in, places our friends lived, parks we played in etc. I also went shopping at a mercado my mom used to go to. Little memories.


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