When arriving in Bogota the eastern hills is something you cannot miss, that great green wall that gives a backdrop to this city of almost 8 million inhabitants that live on a height of 2600 meters above see-level.
Two of the cities most famous landmarks are situated on top of these hills: Monserrate and Guadalupe . The first at an approximate height of 3,100 m.s.n.m., has a magnificent view over the city that is enjoyed by both Bogotanos and tourists who visit it daily, either with the cable car or steep train.
Besides being a place of pilgrimage, it is also one of the great viewpoints of Bogota, where you can see its extension and many of its emblematic buildings.
In the 17th century it began being a pilgrimage site, with the construction of a small hermitage that was demolished at the beginning of the 20th century to be replaced by the current structure. That is designed by the architect Arturo Jaramillo Concha. A few years later the road was paved and the funicular (cable railway) was constructed, facilitating with this the access to this imposing mountain.
You will also encounter an image of the Virgin of Monserrat (the patroness of Catalonia) that is almost a bit overshadowed by an image of the Fallen Lord, the main element of pilgrimage today. However, Monserrate is not only a religious site, but also a tourist site, where you can get enjoy panela in cooked water with cheese, arepas, broth with rib, among others, that can be ordered in several of the restaurants arranged In the back of the hill.
On the other mountain on the other side you will see Guadeloupe, at 3,300 m above see level another element that forms part of the eastern hills and is emblematic in the city, located a bit to the south of Monserrate.
In this place a first hermitage was constructed in 1656, that was destroyed by several earthquakes that hit Bogota during century XVIII and XIX. In the 40’s of the last century, a statue of the Immaculate Virgin by the artist Gustavo Arcila Uribe was installed, with a height of about 15 mt.
The day of greatest pilgrimage to the two hills is Sunday.
How to get there:
In the case of Monserrate, head to the Funicular Station, where you take the cable railway or the cable car (teleferico) to get up, and in some seasons, it is possible to do this tour on foot, by following a paved and signed path.
While Guadalupe is possible to be visited by car or by taking public transport.
It is reached by car by following the Circunvalar Avenue taking the route to Choachí, on a winding route through the eastern hills.
Buses leave from the center of the city, in Carrera 10 with Calle 6 (service only on sunday).
It is noteworthy that both places have their own charm and an exceptional view of the city, which deserve to be visited. At more than 3000 meters above sea level, the panoramic view of Bogota shows its diversity, development and transformations it has passed through in its ever growing territory.