The tall cerros (hills) that border the Eastern edge of the Colombian capital of Bogota make for not only a spectacular reference point in understanding the city, but also for excellent excursions for those wishing to explore the environs of the city.
Referred to locally as the Cerros Orientales, there is a maze of signposted pathways here that hikers can enjoy covering a forested area of just over 14,000 hectares and touching the city’s diverse regions and barrios of Usaquén, Chapinero, Santafé, San Cristóbal and Usme.
When to Hike in Bogota
At 2,600m above sea level, the weather in Bogota is changeable, as you may imagine. We suggest that you plan in advance and set off early on your hike. A 6.30am start for someone on vacation is probably not realistic, but really, we strongly recommend that you enjoy the early morning sunshine that pierces the pine tree cover and allows for breathtaking views over the capital.
It is also strongly recommended that you restrict your hike to the weekends when there are other likeminded souls enjoying the outdoors. The pathway to Quebrada La Vieja (accessible from a Bogota Waterworks entry where the Circunvalar ring road meets the Calle 72) is only open from 6am to roughly 1030am on weekends and is policed.
There are many more trails, but strength in numbers is key and if you take the aforementioned Quebrada La Vieja trail you can either continue upwards to the well-visited Virgen overlooking the city or head South over a long trail that takes you right into the Parque Nacional. But, please, check security issues along this trail as it is often very solitary.
Hike to Monserrate
In the coming months the trail leading up to the top of the Cerro de Monserrate will once again be opened, making for a lung bursting challenge for those wishing to visit this famous Bogota landmark. Of course you can always take the funicular or the cable car instead!
And what’s best about these hikes in Bogota, they are completely free of cost. You just need to strike up the desire to explore.