Towering 10,341 feet (3,152 meters) tall at the edge of Bogotá, forested Mt. Monserrate (Cerro de Monserrate) can be spotted from across the city. Set like a pearl on the summit is the Monserrate Sanctuary, a 17th-century church whose shrine is a major pilgrimage place for Colombian Catholics.
Whether you ride the cable car, hop on a historic funicular, or take on the challenging hike to the top, visiting Mt. Monserrate means panoramic views and fresh air. Many sightseeing tours stop by the mountain as well as other top city attractions. And some Mt. Monserrate excursions include dining and other activities along with transport to the summit.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Dress in layers, as the weather on the summit can change quickly.
- The higher altitude can be an issue for some travelers. If you just arrived in Bogotá, take it easy when ascending the mountain.
- With steep grades and bumpy surfaces, Mt. Monserrate isn’t easily accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Mt. Monserrate is situated on the eastern side of Bogotá, above the historic Candelaria neighborhood. The funicular station is located at Carrera 2 Este; the cable car departs just next door. A hiking trail sets out from a nearby parking lot on Carrera 3. Some travelers like to get to the summit by cable car or funicular, then hike down to the base of the mountain.
When to Get There
Sunset is a wonderful time to enjoy the view from Mt. Monserrate, but take an extra layer or two, as the temperature usually drops when the sun goes down. Hiking the mountain is a popular activity for local families—if you head to the peak on a weekend, you’ll have plenty of company.
Restaurants at Mt. Monserrate
You’ll find two restaurants on Mt. Monserrate. The higher-end Restaurante Casa San Isidro has white tablecloths, great views, and well-executed international cuisine. More casual and budget-friendly is Restaurante Monserrate Parrilla, serving grilled meats and traditional Colombian fare. There’s also a wide range of food stalls on the summit.