Located in the centre of the country at an altitude of approximately 2,600 metres, Bogotá enjoys an almost perfect climate with average temperatures varying from 9 to 23 degrees centigrade.
The city has a population of around 8 million and is divided into a number of different areas including the historic centre 'La Candelaria', the downtown business district and several modern and prosperous suburbs.
Getting around is relatively easy and inexpensive thanks to the city's innovative TransMilenio metro-bus service. There are too many things to do and see in the city to list here but among the highlights are the colonial style buildings of La Candelaria; the Gold Museum with its unique collection of pre-Colombian gold work; the view from the Monastery of Monserrate which overlooks the city and the Botanic gardens which is like a miniature national park.
The city lies at 2600 meters altitude on a mountain plateau in the eastern mountains of the Andes. The city is the Capital District and therefore falls outside the departments of Colombia. However, Bogota is the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, by wich it is almost completely surrounded.
While Bogota lies almost on the equator is the average daily temperature by the high altitude of only 18 degrees (at night 9 degrees).
Santa Fe de Bogota was founded in 1538 by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada. The name of the city comes from Bacata, a resident of the Muisca Indians. Bogota is actually founded twice. The first time was when Quesada on August 6, 1538 with a Holy Mass was baptized twelve farms Santafé. Then symbolically pulled grass from the ground and challenged anyone who would object to the foundation. The second and official foundation took place on April 27, 1539 when Quesada with Sebastián de Belalcázar and Nikolaus Feder Mann complied to the terms of the Spanish Crown by installing a mayor and council, identifying the streets and building lots, and defining the Plaza Mayor. At the place where Bogota was founded in 1538 is now the Cathedral to the Plaza de Bolivar Primada.
Until 1940 the city grew slowly, but has since attracted many Colombians from the country to the city in search of greater economic prosperity. Bogota is the most important center of Colombia, both politically and financially and culturally. Bogota is a modern, ever-growing metropolis with high-rise buildings in the center, surrounded by suburbs with mostly low-rise.
Bogota in 1717 became the capital of the Spanish colony of New Granada and even after independence from Spain was the capital of the country. Due to its far remoteness from the sea it was not immediately obvious that this city would become the capital of Colombia. The plateau was home to the indigenous Indians Muisca, a farming community, and they turned to an abundant source of colonial labor. This economic advantage was the capital city of the country. The colonial city can still be found in the Candelaria district.
The city is listed not only the capital of Colombia, but also of the department Cundinamarca, although it is not formally a part from it. Cundinamarca is the only department whose capital is defined by the national constitution. This means that a relocation of the capital requires a constitutional amendment and not a simple decision of the Provincial Assembly.