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Chapinero, Bogotá - Colombia

True to its origins of craftsmanship, design and creativity, this lively, historic district is home to chefs who have put Colombian cuisine on the world stage, writes Laura Field

Travel Time 1hrs 10min

Why go?

Affectionately known as Chapi, the large district of Chapinero, in the north-east of Bogotá, is lively, affluent and ever-evolving. Spanning residential areas that creep up the Andes mountains framing the city, and made up of neighbourhoods buzzing with gastronomic offerings and nightlife, as well as sectors with elegant boutiques showcasing Colombian craftsmanship, Chapinero is as enjoyable to visit as it must be to inhabit.

The district is made up of smaller areas like Parque de la 93, Zona G (‘G’ for Gourmet), Chapinero Alto and Chapinero Central, and visitors are often surprised by the distinctly European feel, with Victorian-style architecture and red brick buildings reminiscent of England.

While Bogotá’s central Candelaria district is home to the iconic Gold Museum and Botero Museum, Chapinero is where you come to stroll, browse and eat.
Calle de los Anticuarios (aka Calle 79B) is lined with antiques shops and boutiques like Artesanías de Colombia and St Dom, dedicated to celebrating Colombian design, ranging from homeware to jewellery and fashion.

On Sundays, the Ciclovía circuit pedestrianises a major road, the Carrera Séptima, for joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers and dog walkers. Parque El Virrey is a lively spot on Sundays, when talented musicians come and families soak up the ambience. The Chicó Museum is the spot for ceramics, textiles and religious paintings in a historic hacienda and lush garden.

What to do


Once a rural area, industrial workers labouring in Bogotá’s central districts started to settle here from 1812. It was the shoemakers who crafted bespoke
shoes for chapines (a local expression meaning bow-legged or pigeon-toed people) that gave it the name, but thanks to its tranquil setting and proximity
to the historic centre, it became a popular place for affluent Bogotanos, or Rolos, to build mansions and country estates.

It then developed as a throughway, connecting central Bogotá with northern Colombia, and became an integral sector as the urbanised area expanded.
From the outset, it has been a prosperous and creative area and today its origins in craftsmanship and entrepreneurship still ring true. It’s also an important commercial and financial centre.

Where to stay

Family-owned Casa Legado – set within a welcoming mid-century home with a verdant garden – is a standout. The 13 rooms of this thoughtfully designed boutique hotel are luminous and contemporary in style.casalegadobogota.com

Elegant HAB Hotel looks and feels like an old English mansion and, while nodding to Colombian artisan craft in its decor, it’s a modern building that maintains a sense of history. The patio terrace is a pretty spot, ideal for breakfast while soaking up the fresh Andean air. habhotel.co

Resembling a series of rectangular structures stacked on top of one another, the eclectic and stylish Click Clack Hotel has 60 rooms with a sleek, urban feel. You can expect a lively ambience thanks to regular rhythmic DJ nights in the restaurant and bar. clickclackhotel.com

Just a block from the upmarket Andino Mall is the luminous Bioxury Hotel. Timber cladding and lush foliage create an impressive reception area and the rooms are flooded with natural light, offering views of the capital and the surrounding Andes mountains. en.bioxury.com

Where to eat and drink

With the country’s multiple altitudes, biomes and coastlines comes fresh, diverse produce – a gift for chefs – and exceptional restaurants, cafés and bars.

Head to Tropicalia café for hearty coffee and brunch options. Colombian avocados, often sold on the streets, are in a league of their own, so ordering avocado toast, far from being a millennial cliché, is actively advised. tropicaliacoffee.com

The relaxed Mono Bandido bar in Chapinero Central serves up Colombian craft beer in a white-washed house. For a more sophisticated, saloon-style cocktail, there’s the intimate Bar Enano on Calle 79B. elmonobandido.com

Chapinero Alto is home to contemporary bistro El Chato, where chef Álvaro Clavijo uses techniques gleaned in Barcelona, Paris, New York and Copenhagen
to prove Colombian ingredients worthy of the world stage – it was named fifth best restaurant in Latin America 2022. elchato.co

Equally dedicated to elevating the profile of national cuisine is the elegant Mesa Franca. Dishes fuse international concepts with Colombian twists, making local produce like tropical fruits, root vegetables, seafood and salsas the chief protagonist. restaurantemesafranca.com

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