Find out why travelers are flocking to Chapinero Alto and Chapinero Central.
Over 480 years after Bogotá was founded, Colombia’s capital city has never looked better.
From its beginnings as a cluster of 12 wooden huts in 1538, the city has blossomed into a bustling, modern metropolis with more than ten million residents.
Once marred by a reputation for crime and drug trafficking, Bogotá has emerged as a shining new city. Evidence of urban transformation is everywhere, including increasingly sophisticated transportation options, stronger cultural infrastructure, and an overall drop in crime and traffic fatalities.
Bogotá’s growth is particularly apparent in the cluster of barrios that make up the Chapinero district. Read on to learn why Chapinero should be on your must-visit list.
The history of Chapinero
The Chapinero district was named for the local artisans who crafted the cork-soled, goatskin platform shoe called a chapín in the 19th century. Once a sleepy satellite town, Chapinero served as a midpoint for visitors traveling between the historic center of Bogotá to the nearby town of Usaquén. Soon, luxurious country estates began sprouting up to accommodate travelers, and the barrio was connected to Bogotá by a tram line in 1884.
Chapinero has evolved into one of Bogotá’s hippest destinations. Filled with eclectic eateries, hipster cafés, lively nightlife spots, and pretty parks, Chapinero is a hub for students, travelers, and the local LGBTQ community.
The larger barrio is made up of multiple little barrios, including:
- Zona G: Zona G, with the letter “G” standing for “gourmet”, is home to the city’s finest restaurants, from traditional Colombian joints to Italian, French, Arabic, and other international spots.
- Chapinero Alto: Hailed as the Williamsburg of Bogotá, Chapinero Alto draws a diverse crowd with its growing design and culinary scene, vibrant street art, and hip boutiques.
- Chapinero Central: As Colombia goes mainstream, Chapinero Central is blossoming with trendy new establishments that are spilling over from nearby Chapinero Alto.
Looking ahead, Bogotá’s rapid transformation doesn’t show signs of slowing down. After being held back for a long time, Bogotá is witnessing a rising middle class, booming tourism, and tremendous urban and economic development. In emerging areas like Chapinero, this translates into exciting opportunities to explore world-class experiences in Colombia’s largest city.