Bogota Travel Guide

Geography

Bogotá is located on the west of the Savannah of Bogotá (Sabana de Bogotá), 2640 metres (8661 ft) above sea level. Although it is located in what is popularly called "savannah" (sabana), the geographical site is actually a high plateau in the Andes mountains. The extended region is also known as "Altiplano Cundiboyacense" which literally means "high plateau of Cundinamarca and Boyacá".

The Bogotá River crosses the sabana, forming Tequendama Falls (Salto de Tequendama) to the south. Tributary rivers form valleys with flourishing villages, whose economy is based on agriculture, livestock raising and artisanal production.

The sabana is bordered to the east by the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes mountain range. Surrounding hills, which limit city growth, run from south to north, parallel to the Guadalupe and Monserrate mountains. The western city limit is the Bogotá River. The Sumapaz Paramo (moorland) borders the south and to the north Bogotá extends over the plateau up to the towns of Chía and Sopó.

Climate

Bogotá has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cfb). The average temperature is, and it varies from in fair skies days, to in heavy rain days. Dry and rainy seasons alternate throughout the year. The driest months are December, January, July and August. The warmest month is March, bringing a maximum of . The coolest nights occur in January, with an average of in the city; fog is very usual in early morning, 220 days per year, whilst sunny days are quite unusual.

The official highest recorded temperature inside city limits is, the lowest is .

The rainiest months are April, May, September, October and November, in which typical days are mostly overcast, with low clouds and some winds, bringing maximum temperatures of and lows of . Though hailstorms is a rare extreme event, it is possible during the rainy season, and can be very heavy, especially in October. Days are mild or cool and nights can get moderately cold due to the city having mild winds at night all year round, though frequent fog from sinking of cold mountain air in the enclosed valley of the city means sunshine totals are much lower than would be expected for a relatively dry location in such a low latitude.

While temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year, weather conditions can change dramatically during the course of a single day. Climatic conditions are irregular and variable due to the El Niño and La Niña climatic phenomena which occur in and around the Pacific basin and are responsible for pronounced climatic changes. This makes the city's weather unpredictable; sunny mornings can turn into a severe-storm afternoon (something commonly referred as sol de lluvia (literally, "rain's sun"). Similar to Quito (Ecuador's capital city), precipitation amounts possess irregular patterns throughout the year.

Urban layout and nomenclature

Bogotá has 20 localities, or districts, forming an extensive network of neighborhoods. Areas of higher economic status tend to be located to the north and northeast, close to the foothills of the Eastern Cordillera. Poorer neighborhoods are located to the south and southeast, many of them squatter areas. The middle classes usually inhabit the central, western and northwestern sections of the city.

The urban layout in the center of the city is based on the focal point of a square or plaza, typical of Spanish-founded settlements, but the layout gradually becomes more modern in outlying neighborhoods. The current types of roads are classified as calles (streets), which run perpendicular to the Cordillera, with street numbers increasing towards the north, and also towards the south (with the suffix "Sur") from Calle 0. Carreras run parallel to the hills, with numbering increasing as one travels east or west of Carrera 1 (with the suffix "Este" for roads east of Carrera 0). At the southeast of the city, the addresses are logically sur-este. Other types of roads more common in newer parts of the city may be termed Eje (Axis), Diagonal or Transversal.

The numbering system for street addresses recently changed, and numbers are assigned according to street rank from main avenues to smaller avenues and local streets. Some of Bogotá's main roads, which also go by a proper name in addition to a number, are:

Norte-Quito-Sur or NQS (North Quito South Avenue, from 9th road at north following railway to 30th road Avenue, or Quito City Avenue, and Southern Highway)
Autopista Norte-Avenida Caracas (Northern Highway, or 45th road, joined to Caracas Avenue, or 14th road)
Avenida Circunvalar (from downtown following hillside on eastern hills going to La Calera, mostly the 1-este (1st-east))
Avenida Suba (60th transversal from 100th street to the Suba Hills; 145th street from Suba Hills westward)
Avenida El Dorado (El Dorado Avenue, or 26th street)
Avenida de las Américas (Americas Avenue, from 34th street at east to 6th street at west)
Avenida Primero de Mayo (May First Avenue, or 22nd (partly 20th too) south street)
Avenida Ciudad de Cali (Cali City Avenue, or 86th road)
Avenida Boyacá (Boyacá Avenue, or 72nd road)
Autopista Sur (Southern Highway)
Localities (districts)

Surrounding cities


source: Wikipedia

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