Immersing in the richness of the city
Wake up early the next morning, to take the funicular tram (10,341 feet) up Mount Monserrate, the hill — or rather mini mountain — by 9 am or so. It’s a ten minute mount. You might catch the mass at a church there or walk with the locals through the gardens. The view of the city below is breathtaking. (Pro Tip: Stay hydrated, since water evaporates at such high altitudes.)
You’ll be hungry when you get back down the hill to La Candelaria again, to join the line at a deceptive but delicious famed hole in the wall called La Puerta Falsa, where you can indulge in hot rolls, chicken tamales, and hot chocolate before shopping treasures in the numerous side shops.
Local vendors here sell beautiful jewelry and other crafts. There are “ruanas” — thick often striped ponchos — often created by communities of families over generations and “sombreros veultaios” official Colombian style hats with geometric patterns. They are created by the Zenu tribes in the North but are worn throughout the country. You might also snag yourself a colorful “mochila wayuu” or sack like handbag made of wild cotton, maguey, alpis and other natural fibers twisted into “S” and “Z” patterns, in bright tangerine, lemon, cherry and turquoise. Each one takes roughly three weeks to create. There are leak proof “werregue” bowls made from palm trees (and exclusively by women) as well as “guacumayas” baskets, assembled from colorful woven rolls. Purchases aid residents who rely on such traditional crafts to survive. So you can dress yourself into a rainbow and help people at the same time.Plan your trip