A visit to Bogota reaches new heights with a trip up to the top of Colombia’s highest building, the Torre Colpatria, to check out the view.
At 196 meters high, the iconic building is located in downtown Bogota. For 3,000 pesos (US$1.50) tourists can ascend to the lookout at the building’s summit to take in the 360 degree vista.
The fifty second elevator ride up 48 floors leaves you with your heart in your mouth and your ears blocked. Exiting the elevator there’s a rabbit warren of corridors to navigate through to the staircase. Then there’s the traipse up another two flights of stairs to reach the 50th floor. Rest assured the view is worth the exertion.
From the top of the Colpatria you can appreciate just how big this city of some eight million people really is.
Bogota lies in a basin of the Andes and the city stretches out to the peaks on the horizon that surround it. To the east the verdant green of Monserrate Hill abruptly halts the city’s progress. A profusion of trees spill down the side of the hills and snake between gaps in the concrete jungle, freshening the city with streaks of green.
To the north-east the terracotta colored ampitheater of the Santamaria Bullring catches the eye. Built in 1931 the bullring can house up to 14,500 people and still hosts bull fights throughout the year.
Northward the city runs in long straight lines along central avenues to the wealthy suburbs of the metropolis. To the west and south the city becomes more industrial with smoke stacks spewing out clouds of fumes.
The building was built in 1978 and is the main headquarters of the Colpatria Bank. The tower also houses other banks and financial institutions. At night the building is lit up with neon lights that run up its length.
Dusk is a good time to ascend the tower. Pollution hangs in the air, filtering the late afternoon light and softly painting the city with a murky purple glow.
Public access to the lookout in the Torre Colpatria is open Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 11am to 5pm.