Bogota is the capital of Colombia and one of the largest cities in Latin America, with a population of over seven million.
Though a fast-growing metropolis engaged in a continual process of modernisation, it is also one of South America’s oldest cities, having been founded on 6 August 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada. Initially the political and administrative centre of the Spanish colony, it became the capital of Colombia in 1810, when the country began its fight for independence.
As the seat of the nation’s government and the home to its lawmaking and judicial bodies, Bogota has always been Colombia’s most important city. The largest financial, religious and industrial centre in the country, it boasts an infrastructure with sufficient capacity to host major national and international events.
Bogota has plenty to offer in the way of leisure, entertainment and sport as well. Home to no fewer than 5,200 parks, it also hosts a Sunday recreational cycling event that takes place on a 100-kilometre circuit around the city, not to mention the Festival de Verano - Colombia’s largest outdoor leisure festival - first held in 1997.
El Parque Simon Bolivar, South America’s largest city park can also be found here. Covering 360 hectares and comprising a variety of different facilities and attractions, it is a meeting point for Bogota’s families and sports lovers.
Bogota’s two big clubs are Independiente Santa Fe and Millonarios, whose highly charged derby meetings bring the city to a standstill.
Santa Fe, better known as El Expreso Rojo (The Red Express), were the country’s first league champions in 1948 and reached the final of the 1996 CONMEBOL Cup. For their part Millonarios have won 13 league titles and two Colombian Cups, making them the most successful club in the land.
The city’s premier footballing venue is the Estadio Nemesio Camacho, more popularly known as El Campin de Bogota. Opened in 1938 to host the Bolivarian Games of that year, it has been renovated on several occasions over the years and is one of the biggest stadiums in the country.