When I first moved to Bogota I was a runner, I loved hitting the payment, beating personal best times, running for hours on end was a favourite past-time for me…at sea level anyway. 8,000ft above high into the Andes, where the air is thin and my legs are wobbly, it’s a bit of a different story, but when the mood strikes to go for a run, or a stroll, Bogota is a great place to do it.

This forward-thinking (and moving) city closes off a whole range of main roads each Sunday and during public holidays from 7am-2pm so pedestrians, cyclists, runners, walkers and families can have free rein of the roads without the fear by being run over by a taxi. Bogota is a pretty fast-paced, busy, go-get-em kind of city with more than 8 milion people who call it home, so it seems like nothing short of a miracle that they’ve managed to block off more than 120kms of road each week to make them pedestrian-only.

So, when and how did this idea come about? Well, Jaime Ortiz was one of the organizers back in the 1970s and now more than 2 million people, use the stretches of traffic-free asphalt each week. And if that’s not impressive enough, Bogota was also the first city in the WORLD to introduce this idea. Now hundreds of countries around the world have included car-free streets to their cities. And if you ask me, it makes for a more inviting, social and welcoming city to be living in. Check out this great video made by Street Films. Watch the video and find out how the organisers of the Ciclovia used Baywatch to recruit Ciclovia supervisors – so cool!

Ciclovia facts:

  • The Ciclovia was created in the 70s
  • It was the first of it’s kind in the world
  • Head along the Ciclovia on the Septima and visit some tourist attractions on your run including the Plaza Simon Bolivar
  • Done with your run? Time to make a stop and enjoy a fruit salad or a hot chocolate.
  • There are loads of vendors along the Ciclovia where you can pick up anything from freshly-squeezed orange juice to a sandwich or even stop to have the air pumped into your bike tyres
  • Along the Ciclovia there are also classes hosted in parks and gardens including large-scale dance and aerobic classes