Joann Baney is a longtime New York corporate communications consultant who also serves as an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Also an avid traveler, Joann Baney has visited diverse locales from Tblisi, Georgia, to Bogota, Colombia.
A sprawling metropolis at the foot of the Andes, Bogota has a population of nearly 8 million and is the third-largest city in South America.
For many visitors ,the historic old town, designed as a Spanish colonial center, is the cultural heart Bogota. The city’s narrow streets feature adobe buildings topped by red, tiled roofs. These days, they are populated by a melange of artists and university students who have the Plazuela Del Chorro Del Quevedo as their epicenter.
The plaza is the historic spot where Conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada proclaimed the “founding” of Bogota in 1537 on the existing indigenous settlement of Bacata. The plaza comes to life at nightfall, when handicrafts sellers mix with students, fire dancers, and tourists. The numerous small cafes in the area attract patrons with canelazo, a piping hot traditional Andean drink of cinnamon and sugarcane liquor. Another highlight of old Bogota is the Plaza Bolivar, which is surrounded by the city’s most renowned museums and historic churches.