This is a city that loves its lights (and probably hates the fact that Medellín is much more famed for its Christmas alumbrados). Bogotá has made some changes this year, as part of the government’s ‘El futuro es hoy’ campaign to save energy and water; with shorter hours, fewer days and displays exclusively made from LED lights. The council is aiming for an energy saving of 33% on previous years, while still ensuring the city’s traditional Ruta de Navidad is as impressive as ever.
Here are some of the best places to see the lights, every day until January 17 from 6.30pm to 10.30pm:
Plaza Bolívar: Although last year’s display was something of a disappointment, there is always a massive Christmas tree and the plaza is usually a great place to see the lights, as all and sundry converge on the centre.
Monserrate: It might be freezing. Yes, it might be crowded. But a journey to the top of Monserrate is certainly worth it, for the stunning views of the city at night as much as for the lights themselves.
Usaquén: One for those of you with plenty of patience – the area can get extremely busy and walking can take what seems an eternity, but the lights in the central plaza are usually some of the best in the city.
Parque Nacional: A spectacular display, with a huge array of lights and designs giving the park a thoroughly festive feel. A great, central place to spend a couple of hours.
Septima: Enjoy a wander from Plaza Bolívar right up to Calle 34 (past the Museo Nacional, where there is usually a huge tree), with a whole host of lights and decorations. The Torre Colpatria gets in the festive-light make over too.
Parkway: A fantastic, and slightly more relaxed, place to meander and see some pretty lights, with plenty of places to stop and take in the magic.
Parque Simón Bolívar: Proudly hosting Colombia’s tallest Christmas tree, the capital’s huge open space is awash with festive luminosity – check out the Parque de los Novios for some excellent displays.
Parque 93: Many bogotanos make a beeline for the park, which rarely disappoints.
Zona Rosa: On Carrera 15 between Calle 85 and 100, there are some – admittedly understated – lights to brighten up the area. Also check out the T for some festive illuminations.
There will also be displays at Lourdes, in Suba and several parks in the south of the city, as well as unofficial lights in many neighbourhoods and streets across Bogotá.
Head to the official webpage for full details on the lights and the various Christmas activities planned by the council