This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in La Calera. To help you make friends with La Calera before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
La Calera is a small town in the Cundinamarca department of Colombia. It lies in the eastern Colombian Andes, almost smack in the centre of Colombia. It is also only 18 kilometres from Bogota, which makes it a popular weekend destination for many Colombians. One of the favourite local things to do here is sample local foods; La Calera is well known for the many restaurants and bars with local cuisine.
There are plenty of hostels in La Calera, though if you’re going on a holiday weekend it’s best to book ahead. La Calera is almost a suburb of the city, as well, so a hostel here is a great place to stay even if you want to explore Bogota for a day or two! Hostels here are kind of spread out. You could be staying further into the mountains away from Bogota, or you could be closer than the centre of town. It’s up to you! Some hostels offer car hire which, if you want to get away into the hills, is a great option for a day.
The easiest way to get here is to fly into Bogota and catch a bus; they run fairly regularly. Being in the Andes, you’re also well poised to do trekking, paragliding, and mountain biking. There are also day or multi-day horseback trekking trips; your hostel can give you details on these! The views back toward Bogota from La Calera are phenomenal; the entire drive is an ascent into the Andes and if you can find a good stopping point on the road, you should stop for a photo.
Bicycling is popular on the roads as well as in the mountains. Hikes leave from La Calera and offer a good idea of what the ecology in this area is like. If you continue north from La Calera, you will see the San Rafael Dam, which produces over 50% of the water for Bogota. Further north are the Siecha Lagoons in the Chingaza National Park, which are well worth a visit. If you can’t find a bus, ask your hostel about transport.
Written by local enthusiast for La Calera hostelsJakob Lombardi