Bogotá: capital of Colombia.
Population: 8 million.
Elevation: 2640m (making it the third highest capital in South America).
And what is it famous for?
Maybe in the past. But Colombia has moved on. And Bogotá has too. These days the city is famous for its graffiti slash street art. La Candelaria district, a historic neighbourhood in downtown Bogotá, is a treasure-trove of such works.
The declassification of graffiti as a criminal act in Bogotá has led to a boom in street art. Artists have travelled to Bogotá from around the world to leave their mark here.
Such as this work, by Barcelona native, Pez, a street artist of global renown. Pez is known for his Barcelona happy style, featuring abundant large smiling fish.
Or this artwork, by Ecuadorian street artist, Vera, featuring a woman eating a butterfly.
Local Colombian artists have a fondness for producing psychedelically coloured murals, incorporating indigenous peoples and themes, such as this work by street artist, Guache.
And this work, featuring a Guna woman, also by Gauche.
Bogotá local, Rodez, also goes for bold, colourful schemes. In this mural he has produced a showcase of Colombian birds, including macaws, flamingos, and hummingbirds.
This three dimensional art work marks the start of Calle del Embudo, a tiny cobblestoned laneway leading to Chorro de Quevado Plaza, the birthplace of Bogotá (the city was founded in 1538).
This artwork, also by Rodez, decorates one of the oldest structures in the city, a building almost 500 years-old. Its placement on such a historically significant structure shows the acceptance of street art in Bogotá.
Street art used to appear overnight; the work of urban guerrillas. Now it is being commissioned by shop owners and city councils, as well as being promoted in community and school projects.
Fun, vibrant, decorative, politically motivated, or just a convenient way to deter taggers; street art does it all. And when it comes to street art, Bogotá is leading the way.
Practical information and how to reach Bogotá:
El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá has regular flights to the United States, scattered cities in Europe, and most major cities in South America. More transport info here.