Oct 18

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Where Is Tierra Caliente? Trips outside Bogota

Some months ago, through Trip Advisor I met an Argentinean girl called Lorena that just had moved to Colombia and she started visiting my Colombia Travel Blog regularly. Amongst many other questions she asked me there was one that caught my attention, she wanted to know how to get to a place  she’d heard mentioned called “Tierra Caliente”. Everyone seemed to recommend it as a very relaxing destination but no one seemed to be able to tell her how get there. At first I thought it was funny, but then I realized that for us Colombians this  is pretty obvious, but for a foreigner “Tierra Caliente” means nothing.

I replied back basically saying that there is no such place as “Tierra Caliente”, it’s just that, due to Colombia’s position within the Equator and in the Andes,  every town or city  below 1000 meter is warm(ish) and therefore called “Tierra Caliente”  by all of us living above that altitude.

Tequendama Falls

Bogota is at 2600m, so we have a colder average than many regions in the country, which means that, forexample, we don’t have outdoor swimming pools. This means that on long weekends us Bogotanos tend to head outside of the city in search of some hot weather and some relaxing time with our families.

This entire introduction is to give some context to a day trip we did outside of Bogota last weekend to Tierra Caliente; more specifically to the legendary Tequendama Falls – a 515-feet high waterfall on the Bogotá River, located about 18 miles southwest of Bogotá in the municipality of San Antonio del Tequendama.  My fiancé (now husband – Paul), who’s not from around here, had read about el Salto del Tequendama when he was a little kid in a comic book called “ Joyas  de la Mitologia”  and he didn’t  even remember that the story was set in Colombia, but  had always remembered the legend of Tequendama, which  involves the pre-Columbian Muiscas and a white bearded deity (Bochica) who created the Fall with his golden scepter.

So when I told him that el Salto del Tequendama was less than hour away from Bogota, he jumped in the car and we headed in search of his childhood memories…..  the trip was a mixture of awe due to the outstanding scenery and a mixture of sorrow and  disappointment  due to the horrible pollution of the Bogota River. We at See Colombia Travel are working with Rio Urbano to try and improve the conditions of the river, and to raise awareness of the situation.

The abandoned hotel at Tequendama

If you’re looking for day-trips outside of Bogota then it’ll be Tierra Caliente that you’re heading to… But don’t forget to find out exactly where you’re going!


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