America,  Bogota,  Colombia,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Bogotá (Colombia): Flower Market & the Emerald Museum

We came one day to Bogota to visit the city with JB’s father. Here we are again, because it makes it easier for us to travel to the Colombian Amazon.

Part 1: Travel Diary Part
2: Practical Tips

Part 1: Travel Diary

This time, instead of taking the plane, we endured 11 hours by bus between Medellín and Bogotá. We are no longer staying in the middle of the candeleria (historical city center) but in the Chapinero business district, very safe, with lots of banks, coworking areas and trendy restaurants.

We are delighted with our hotel Vilar America(Booking link) with a good internet connection, a huge room (with kitchen) (we have been upgraded) for 30€/night.

We take advantage of our rare free time to discover the places we couldn’t visit the first time.

Paloquemao Market

We were told about this incredible flower market. Arrived on the spot around 11:30 am (to eat), we see nothing at all. Where are these incredible flowers of which one speaks to us? It turns out that we have several hours of delay. The cleaning employees are cleaning the last bouquets of flowers that were thrown away. And on the sidewalk across the street, some smart guys are selling bouquets that aren’t yet wilting, but almost.

The market takes place early in the morning, outside. Never mind, we will visit the inside of the market, which sells absolutely everything.

There are signs indicating the location of each radius. And there is a section reserved for eggs only. That’s right.

Stuffed pork (with rice inside), couldn’t test it but it looks super good.

We opt for a menu del dia in a boui within the market. We have a huge soup with potatoes and pork. This is followed by a “plato fuerte” composed of rice, salad (or spaghetti) + meat + fresh green/yellow lemon juice. 8000COP/person.

These aren’t only flowers but also used as aromatic herbs.

We finally arrive at the flowers department, there are much less than in the morning but it’s nice anyway. And here too, they celebrate Halloween.

Emerald Museum

We then take a Cabify (equivalent of Uber) to go to the Emerald Museum. It is necessary to show an ID to get a visitor’s badge and go up to the 23rd floor.

The tour costs 5,000COP/person and we have a guide who speaks very good English to accompany us. Unfortunately we cannot take pictures because it is a private museum and a private collection but there are a lot of raw emeralds. Some of them are carved, others are left as they are.

The most interesting thing is to have the walls of the different mines cut out and shown here – so you can see what you could have found in an emerald mine, but also see the difference between the mines – because you don’t find the same rocks & mineral compositions.

The only place where you can have your picture taken is a fake mine and fake wall 😀 The visit ends of course with a visit to a store. It isn’t advisable to buy the stones here (too expensive), I have two other addresses to suggest.

Elevator incident

We take the elevator. By pressing a button indicating the floor where we want to go, we are “assigned” an elevator (G in our case). When we get to the ground floor, the doors don’t open, the elevator yo-yoes and we panic. We quickly press the emergency button and someone answers us… in Spanish of course. In panic, I don’t understand half of what I’m told – and the first time, they hang up on us.

The 2nd time, I manage to understand that we are asked what floor(piso) we are on. To be doubly sure that someone is working on our liberation, we call the museum (fortunately we still get it). The person asks us in which elevator we are and my very good memory does me a favor (I remember that we had taken the elevator G).

In short, we’re sitting on the ground – as a prevention of a “free fall” (thanks to the Facebook videos that made us aware of this) – even if the best position would have been to lie down on the ground. After 15 minutes, we hear a noise, finally, and the door opens… I have never been so happy to see the elevator door open. That’s when JB tells me that he expected to be stuck longer – last time in Paris he had to wait 1 hour with 4 other people in a tiny elevator.

During the 2 days following this incident, we take the other elevators with great care and if possible, we take the stairs ahahha


If we see a lot of Exito hypermarkets in Medellin, it is rather Carulla that we see in Bogota. I like it a lot! Especially their fruit and vegetable department. It’s tidy and above all, there are detailed explanations about the fruits that I don’t know at all.

Part 2: Practical Tips

Our elevator incident demonstrates the importance of always having a local sim card with you.


  • Transport: with Cabify: between 7,000COP and 10,500COP per run
  • Visit of the Emerald Museum: 5 000COP/person
  • Lunch at the market: 8,000COP/person

See our other article on Bogota here, and the articles in Colombia here

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