Located in downtown Bogotá, this museum is a must-see for anyone coming to Columbia and/or South America.
Following seven weeks in Columbia with almost zero information on how indigenous peoples lived, our thirst to learn was high!
This museum houses the largest collection of South and Central American gold artifacts in the world, with over 55,000 pieces. Not just a bling palace, this museum provides a comprehensive history of the evolution of the use of gold, copper, platinum, and silver, plus pottery dating back to 4,000 B.C. And the source of this technology was the Bogota plateau, here in Colombia.
Comparing technologies between Native American civilizations in the Southwestern United States to those in South America was personally fascinating. First created in at least 4,000 B.C., pottery in Columbia evolved almost 5,000 years before pottery in the areas now labled the Southwest, USA (A.D. 750 and A.D. 800).
A very basic knowledge of metallurgy was in place by around 1,000 B.C., mostly consisted of melting ores, heating and cooling them to temper the metal, and hammering the metals into the desired shape. Other metals such as copper, platinum, and silver. were incorporated with gold to produce more desireable properties, such as durability, flexability, shininess, etc.
So why go here? With the price of admission coming in at a staggering $0.86, the people-watching and the overpriced roasted chile corn out front more than paid the price. Given that we stayed for over two hours and never made it past the 2nd of 4 floors should give you an indication that there is something for everyone. Do not pass this one up!
The public transportation system in Bogota, Columbia has grown to include a large bike lane network and a community rental bike system. Check out a bike using the app “Tembici” and rent an hour at a time up to 4 times a day: daily, monthly or yearly. From start to finish of registration and checking out a bike took ~10 minutes.
Compared to the Medellin bike system “Encicla,” which we were never able to figure out in part because engagement depends on a confirmation email, Tembici was super-easy. Several Bogota people stopped us and asked us how it worked, it’s that new.
Follow the registration instructions. Some will translate to English, some not.
At this point, you will need a debit or credit card.
We selected to pay the 9,900 COP to allow for multiple trips in a day, up 4 times a day an hour at a time. This is approximately $2 U.S. in October, 2022. We went overtime on one ride and were charged $4,400 COP (~$1 USD).
Find a nearby station on the app’s map that has bikes and walk to it. See photos below.
Unlock a bike by using your phone to scan the QR code on the handlebar
Lift the bike out of the magnet lock near the top of the fork.
If it doesn’t unlock, try again. Each bike took a couple tries. Some bikes are not available for some reason even though they are docked in front of you.
Ride your bike around and pay attention to the running time on your app, find a station along your route to return your bike or dock and release your bike again to extend your time.
Check your bike back in when done and review your ride. There is a red wrench on the handlebar, if the bike is in poor repair, press to indicate that the bike needs service.
Hack: there is a handle on the back of the seat that helps to lift the bike’s front magnet into the docking magnet lock.
Helmets are not provided in this system, so either bring your own or do without.
Thanks for reading our post. We are traveling through South America in 2022-2023 with our family and dog. We are posting information on systems and places we discover to document not only for ourselves but other travellers as well. Please comment with helpful hints or updates you learn about Tembici. Ciao!