Uninterrupted city views, native wildlife and a historic church make Monserrate one of Bogotá’s must-see attractions. Visible from much of the city, this 10,341-foot (3,152-meter) mountain is a picturesque Bogotá icon.
Ride the gondola to the top for panoramic aerial views and watch as Bogotá’s cityscape becomes a dot on the landscape. Take the funicular train, which has a glass roof affording constant views of the mountain’s flora. Energetic visitors might want to walk up to the top via the marked trail that snakes through the forest. Allow about one hour if walking.
The rich flora provides a welcoming habitat for several bird species and mammals. Watch for weasels and foxes, as well as hummingbirds, swallows and wrens. At the summit, enjoy the view from the observation deck and look for city landmarks, including Guadalupe Hill and Plaza de Toros de Santamaría (Santamaría Bullring). Have something to eat at one of the two restaurants on the mountain, or find a spot on the observation deck and enjoy a picnic.
Visit the Sanctuary of Monserrate, a quaint whitewashed church built on top of the mountain in the 17th century. Its statue of El Señor Caido (Fallen Lord) is a popular pilgrimage site. The church and mountain take their name from Montserrat mountain in Barcelona.
Rising up from the northeast corner of Bogotá’s city center, Monserrate is easily accessible by public transportation such as buses and the subway. A hop-on, hop-off tourist bus also stops at the start of the gondola and funicular train station. You might want to combine your visit with a tour of nearby attractions, including the Casa Quinta Museo de Bolívar and Torre Colpatria.
The mountain is accessible daily. Check the mountain’s official website for the operating hours of the gondola, funicular train and walking trail. Sunday is a particularly busy day, as the mountain fills up with crowds of pilgrims visiting the sanctuary.