I enjoyed living in the nicest village in Colombia for 4 years: Sopó. Only a few times during these years have I stayed in a hotel. Including the beautiful Hostal Casa el Bugambil. A very pleasant surprise where I almost didn’t want to leave. Want to explore Colombia off the beaten path and stay in quaint Sopó? In this article, I tell you all about Hostal Casa el Bugambil, for a great experience in off-the-beaten-path Colombia.
Sopó | The nicest village in Colombia
Let me start with the location of the hostal: my much-loved village of Sopó. The nicest village in Colombia. Packed with street art, great restaurants (which you really don’t expect in such a small village), one of the most beautiful places in Colombia for paragliding, stunning views from Mount Pionono and then there’s the scenery. With the Jaime Duque theme park (also fun if you are traveling with children in Colombia), the white villages of Guatavita and Cucunubá, the ultra luxury shopping mall Fontanar in Chía and National Park Chingaza. You will find all this and more, including practical information, in this mini guide Sopó.
There are several hotels in Sopó, hostels none to few. A destination off the beaten path, Sopó is massively overlooked by travelers. Hence.
There are many beautifully located hotels, especially on the mountain. Ideal for when you have a car. If you don’t have one, it’s easier to just be able to walk to your hotel. There are a few hotels in the village itself, but of course it is much nicer to stay ín the village, but have the idea of being in the middle of nature.
Exactly that feeling you get at Hostal Casa el Bugambil.
Hostal Casa el Bugambil | Stay in the center of Sopó in the middle of nature
The El Chuscal neighborhood goes up the mountain from the center of Sopó via a narrow road. Bugambil lies at the foot of this mountain. In an oasis of tranquility. When I arrive at the hotel I enter through the gate full of bright pink Bugambil. The hotel is named after this beautiful plant found everywhere here.
Staying with couple Mauricio and Rosa
The hotel is run by Colombian couple Mauricio and Rosa. Both retired, they are enjoying life in their own place. That they share with travelers who want to get to know their Sopó.
Mauricio and Rosa have been married for years and are an incredibly sweet couple. They do not have a lot of claim and therefore love to welcome guests to their beautiful place. You feel right at home and much more like visiting a Colombian home than a hotel.
A crafted house of your own
Both Mauricio and Rosa are both enormously creative. Mauricio has his own workshop where he makes everything out of wood, thus constantly inventing new things for the hotel. The hotel is also largely put together by themselves. Anyway, all the details were made by themselves.
Rosa spends all day decorating and literally makes everything herself. From the flower pots shaped like dolls to the beautiful mirrors to the wooden chickens to the green chairs. They also love gardening, so you can find beautiful plants and flowers in all colors of the rainbow everywhere.
Beautiful views and tranquility
From Bugambil, you have a beautiful view of the mountains in every direction. In particular, the “suite” is the room to wake up to such a beautiful view. But you can also enjoy the mountains when you are standing in the shower. It is incredibly quiet and thus ideal for relaxing.
Which room do you choose?
Mauricio and rosa have 2 wooden cottages on the property with rooms. There are currently a total of four rooms; a fifth is nearing completion.
The nicest room to stay in is the suite. To do this, you have to climb a wooden staircase upstairs, where you will find not only a beautiful room, but also a living room with a kitchenette. You can’t cook there, but there is a microwave, a refrigerator, dishes and the possibility of sitting down for coffee and tea. From the living room you have a nice view and can enjoy a book in the evening.
All rooms at Bugambil have a private bathroom. The most expensive rooms are the suites; the cheaper rooms are a bit smaller. All very clean and nicely decorated.
The hotel has two places where you can both watch television and play games. For example, there is Rummikub and there are typical Colombian games. There are also nice chairs everywhere to relax and you can sit in the garden or on the terrace under the parasol during the day.
Camping in Colombia
You can also camp on the grounds. A beautiful place overlooking the mountains. There is an extra bathroom (again with great views) that you can use if you come to camp.
Explore the area from hotel Bugambil
From your hotel room you can simply walk to Sopó, but if you want to explore the surrounding area, you can easily do so as well. From Sopó there are direct buses to Bogotá, Parque Jaime Duque and Zipaquirá. A transfer will also get you to Fontanar, Guatavita and other destinations. For an overview of what’s on offer, check out this mini guide Sopó.
Would you rather go by car? Mauricio will lovingly arrange a cab for you or take you himself to Sopó or a place nearby in his car. Both Mauricio and Rosa are happy to help you discover Sopó and its surroundings and are happy to give tips.
How to get to Sopó?
Depends on where you are coming from, of course, but most travelers will come from Bogotá, Zipaquirá or Villa de Leyva. In all cases, this means coming over the highway (there is only one in that direction) and turning off at Briceño in the direction of Sopó. Follow the signs for Briceño or Sopó. Because it is only a small village, it is not indicated with huge signs, so set your navigation if you are not familiar with the area. You can also look out for the Taj Mahal: there you will find your way to Sopó.
From Bogotá, there is a direct bus to Sopó from Terminal Norte Satélite (the white “tent” on the other side of the highway from Transmilenio station Terminal). The bus costs about 4500 pesos p.p. and takes about 30 minutes from that point. Unless there is a lot of traffic congestion, then it can take you an hour, too. Sopó is only small, so in Sopó it doesn’t matter much where you get off. Look where everyone gets off: that’s the end point.
How to get to Hostal Casa el Bugambil from the center of Sopó?
The great advantage of this hotel is that it is located very close to the center and yet in the middle of nature. It is hard for outsiders to imagine: but the route up the mountain from Sopó is so steep, it is barely doable with a normal car, let alone walking. So the hotels on the mountain can only be reached by cab or your own car. Bugambil, on the other hand, you can just walk.
See the map below with the exact location. Or click here for the location on the map. From the center, walk to the “big” road towards La Calera (just ask someone on the street). You soon encounter a pedestrian bridge over the road. Just before that bridge is a little road to the left. That’s where you walk in. At the first turn you will find the hostal right away. It sounds complicated, but it’s only about a 15- to 20-minute walk from downtown.
Can you park your car there?
Yes you can. There is plenty of room and you don’t need to reserve this.
Is breakfast included?
Yes, a delicious breakfast every morning with egg, fruit and arepas or bread.
What language is spoken?
Mauricio speaks a little English. Other than that, only Spanish. So you can get by with English. However, as in all of Colombia, the experience is more enjoyable if you can speak some Spanish and have real conversations with them. Both, by the way, are very interested in other cultures and communicate lovingly through the Google Translate app.
Don’t speak Spanish? No problem: with some word back and forth and hand and foot work, you will mostly have fun and there will be learning from both sides.
Safety is virtually not an issue in Sopó. You can just use your phone on the street here and walk the streets in the evening. Only on the mountain in certain neighborhoods, especially in the evening, you have to be more careful. But there is no reason why you should go to those places. I myself do not walk the streets alone at 10PM, but it could be done in principle.
Hardly anything ever happens in Sopó and theft of, say, a car radio is immediately on the news. The good security is also exactly why Bogotans love to come and live here. Hostal Bugambil is also just completely safe (I didn’t lock my hotel room myself once during my stay).
Sopó is at 2,600 meters above sea level, which means that just about any type of weather (except snow) can occur in a single day. During the day it is about 15 to 20 degrees (depending on whether there is sun or not) and at night it cools down quickly to about 10 degrees or less.
In the rainy season, it rarely rains all day. Usually a heavy shower in the afternoon of an hour and otherwise cloudy with sunshine. Only occasionally does it drizzle all day.
Bring at least a rain jacket and a warm sweater for the evening. But also a t-shirt for when there is a lot of sun during the day. Don’t forget your sunscreen, either: you burn quickly at this altitude on the equator.
How do you book your stay?
Would you like to visit Sopó during your trip through Colombia? Book here your stay at Hostal el Bugambil and enjoy this gem in this beautiful village.
Colombia has so much more to offer than the highlights. Take a step off the beaten path and discover the most special place in this beautiful country!
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