Located on the eastern mountain range of Bogotá, one of the most imposing hills of the Colombian capital is located. The spectacular Monserrate hill is home to one of the most important pilgrimage centers in Colombiathe well-known basilica of the Lord of Monserrate, raised to 3152 meters above sea level.
From it, the views of the entire city are spectacular, although we are used to this by multitude of hills and hills that safeguard this beautiful Colombian city on all sides.
In addition to being an unprecedented religious landmark, the Monserrate hill also represents an authentic natural and gastronomic reference. It can be ascended on foot, through various trails, and also by cable car and funicular.
Can you imagine the starry nights contemplating the skyline of Bogota from here? Join us and we will tell you some interesting things about this beautiful place.
A little of you history
From any point located in the city it is impossible not to see that prominent hill that, from its 3152 meters, watches over the city of Bogotá without quarter.
The Monserrate hill was the place chosen by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, Spanish conqueror, to found Santa Fe. On its top he placed two large crosses to denote the future religious usufruct that, without a doubt, this place would have.
A century later, in 1640, Don Juan de Borja, President of the New Kingdom of Granada, authorized Pedro Solís de Valenzuela to build a chapel dedicated to Santa María de la Cruz de Monserrate.
Its colonial origin made it follow the architectural style and the structure of other Spanish chapels and sanctuaries, such as Santa María del Paular in Segovia or the Montserrat chapel in Catalonia.
Since that time, the hill became an authentic religious claim for the people of Bogota. Day after day, thousands of believers devoutly climb the steps that lead to the sanctuary at the top as an act of penance. On the other hand, many tourists, athletes and curious people arrive on foot, by funicular or cable car.
The Monserrate hill from a bird’s eye view
The view of Bogotá from Monserrate is spectacular, as well as the faith that evokes its Sanctuary, the coming and going of pilgrims, its beautiful gardens and fountains, the native cuisine or its dense forests in the mist…
Without a doubt, the magical moments in this place are monopolized by its sunsets, the starry nights and the majestic moon, which make the experience of visiting Monserrate unique.
Also, in 1992 the Ecological Corridor Park was created in this place, in order to create an environmental preservation area at the edge of the city. On the other hand, its land was ceded to the Enrique Olaya Herrera National Park, located at the foot of Monserrate.
Although the Monserrate hill has lost most of its native fauna and flora due to deforestation, forest fires and the introduction of exotic species, it is possible to find residual remains of Andean forest ecosystems, small mammals and abundant species of birds.
Likewise, it stands out as an ideal setting for practicing sports, due to the natural environment and the quality of the air that is breathed in the area far from the urban center.
Ascent and reward in the hill of Monserrate
There are different ways to climb the Monserrate hill; the ascent on foot is preferred by pilgrims. Either way, funicular and cable car ascents are also very fun and impressive experiences, and the views will leave you speechless.
The cable car to Monserrate began to be built in 1953 and was inaugurated in 1955, with large windows on each and every one of its sides. This offers an imposing view of the hill, which contrasts with the beautiful view of Bogotá.
On the other hand, the great vegetation cover of the towering trees will leave you with a sensation of direct contact between the earthly world and the heavenly world as you pass over their dense canopies. At the top you will find your tasty rewardand now we refer to a gastronomic reward, how could it be otherwise.
For 40 years, Bogotans have enjoyed a select French menu in a romantic and very cozy atmosphere. The Casa San Isidro restaurant is famous for its gastronomic seasons throughout the year. Here you can taste fish during Lent, a French menu in May and June, and lobster in September.
Another no less exquisite option is offered by Casa Santa Clara, a gastronomic center dedicated to typical Colombian food with exquisite grilled dishes, where you can also enjoy the traditional “Onces Santafereñas”.
Bogotá, a spectacle in all its dimensions
Bogotá and its surroundings will not stop surprising you. The city itself, eternal and infinite, has thousands of options for tourism.
Its hills, as if it were a wall, protecting the city from all sides, will also offer you unique experiences. Proof of this is this emblematic Monserrate hill, which you cannot miss during the day or at night.