The dizzying heights of Monserrate, “the sanctuary of Colombians” offer impeccable views of the Andes Mountains and Colombia’s capital city of Bogota.
If you’re in Bogota, you really can’t ignore the over 10,000 foot high Monserrate mountain that provides panoramic views of the city. Commissioned in 1640 by the Governor of the Nuevo Reino de Granada, Mr. Juan de Borga, the church atop the cloud-scraping mountain was built in the name of Monserrate’s Morena Virgin whose sanctuary is located in Barcelona, Spain. A monastery was later built atop the Bogota mountain and since then has become a site of pilgrimage for many believers and tourists alike. In fact, it has become a “must see” destination.
In addition to exploring the exquisite church and the stations of the cross scattered along the gardens, wander around the quaint cobble streets and you will find an abundance of small shops selling gifts and local delicacies. Upscale restaurants, the Casa San Isidro and Casa Santa Clara, provide more gastronomical options.
To get to the top, most tourists take advantage of either the funicular or the teleferico, a cable car system, which both make the trip throughout the day. Either form of transportation takes approximately five minutes and costs around $8. Rates on Sundays are cheaper in order to accomodate those attending Sunday mass.
However, it is common to see locals making the one-hour trek by foot. Despite the decreased prices for funicular rides, on Sunday many choose to walk up Monserrate’s windy paths all the way to the church at the mountain’s peak, which displays a statue of the Senor Caido (Fallen Lord), to which many miracles have been attributed. While the mountain is open every day of the week from morning to early evening, Sunday is by far the busiest day.
The funicular operates Monday-Saturday: 7:45AM to 11:45AM; Sundays: 6AM to 6:30PM; Holidays: 6AM to 6:30PM
The teleferico operates Monday-Saturday: 12AM to 12PM; Sundays: 9AM to 5PM