Travelling and Eating Gluten Free in Bogota, Colombia

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Bright Little Houses in Bogota Colombia

I can now share the story of how to eat Gluten Free in Bogota, Colombia. We were lucky enough to know people in Bogota who could show us around.This is really a life-saver and offers the unique experience we are always looking for. The city is massive at just over 8 million people in 2018 and we saw just a small portion of the city. Our friends lived in suburb and we stayed in a safe area right in the city using Booking.com in the Chapinero Alto area of Bogota.

Before going anywhere, I always try to research as many places as I can where I can safely eat Gluten Free. I have Celiac and eat Gluten Free for life. I was surprised that there wasn’t very much information online. Hence, me wanting to help others live the best life they can.

Bogota Colombia City View
Bogota Colombia City View

Disclosure: I have some affiliate links included here. I want to be up-front and I only recommend products or services that I like and it helps me deliver free content to my readers.

I am developing a list of places that I ate at successfully. If you are interested, see it here.

Gluten Free Spanish Words

Here are some important Spanish words that you will need to know. This can help in the stores when reading ingredients listings and out at restaurants.

Wheat – TrigoBarley – CebadaRye – CentenoGluten  – Gluten

Colombia Peso

You will use the Colombian peso and the conversion right now is $1 CND for 2, 226 COP, so you will feel love carrying around such big bills.

The ATM’s we used restricted us to only taking out a small amount of money. It was approximately $300 CDN dollar limits. We mainly used cash, so we were visiting them regularly.

Map of Colombia

What You Need to Know About Travelling Gluten Free in Bogota Colombia

1.) Get Realistic

 

I didn’t meet anyone who knew what celiac or gluten was. Not because they do not care, but because they use a lot of corn. Colombians love their empanadas and you can also try them out.

The moral of the story is that you can totally travel anywhere, you just need to be realistic about not always being able to eat out and doing some research before going to any restaurant and asking all the right questions. I totally live a Celiac Life Without Borders and you can to.

2.) Get Packing For Yourself

You should print out the  Celiac restaurant cards in Spanish. Always be prepared with the list of questions to ask at any restaurant before dining out. See the list of questions to ask for gluten free here. I know communicating with someone in a different language can be difficult, but you should at least try to get all the answers for yourself.

I like to bring a few lunch containers so I can have meals with me while I sight-see. The wood cutting boards are everywhere, so I bring my own cutting board. It almost always comes in handy. Then I sneak in my bread, crackers and some spices. 

3.) How to get to Colombia

We flew to Colombia on United and I had a gluten free meal that I organized ahead of time. For the information right from United, see their website here.

Click below on Kiwi.com to see what your best flight options are.

4.) Locate Your Colombian Accomodation

There are beautifully modern kitchens in Bogota. You will be able to get a full sized oven and fridge for sure. We had a modern place with spectacular city views.

Don’t be afraid of calling ahead before booking to confirm any details that you want. Location is key in Bogota. You do not want to be in an unsafe neighborhood to safe a few pennies.

Booking.com

5.) Gluten Free Food in Bogota Colombia

We loved the fruit stands that were everywhere we went and it makes gluten free Colombia easy. The fruits are just amazing! I tried starfruit and guava for the first time and loved it.  If I had to pick some favourites, it would be the lulo and the papaya.

We shopped in the regular grocery stores to stock our fridge for at least two meals per day. Another benefit of this is that you can save your money to fun adventures instead of eating out all of the time. I always liked eating a big breakfast and bringing out  snacks for the day, like leftovers or fruit and yogurt.

There are some natural food stores that you can find some others gluten free things at. Supermercado Naturista is a small natural food store where you can find gluten free protein bars, you can chck out their FaceBook page here. They are located at Calle 98 # 17A-64 Bogotá, Colombia.

Get the Best Gluten Free Travel Guide and More….

  • Whether you are newly diagnosed or just need travel tips from someone who has done it before, Discover the Best Way to Travel Gluten Free.
  • 55 colored pages packed with personal recommendations and tips.
  • Invaluable resources.
  • Fillable worksheets.
  • Spanish AND French celiac restaurant cards.
  • Directly downloadable upon purchase.
Gluten Free Travel Guide Cover Page

Get the Best Gluten Free Travel Guide and More….

Gluten Free Travel Guide Cover Page
  • Discover the Best Way to Travel Gluten Free.
  • 55 colored pages.
  • Invaluable resources.
  • Fillable worksheets.
  • Spanish AND French celiac restaurant cards.

6.) Best Gluten Free Colombian Food - Restaurants

I did not find a lot of restaurants advertised items that were gluten free, but there were many places that had items on their menus that were naturally gluten free and they were willing to assist me to get a meal that was gluten free.

Wok Zona T is a fancy restaurant where I was able to eat some delicious gluten free food. To see their website and locations, click here. The address is Carrera 13 No. 82 – 74. Wok Zona T, Tercer piso, Bogotá, Colombia, but they have many different locations.

Hours: Open daily from noon to 10:30 pm.

La Ventana is also a good options. To check out their menu, click here. As you can see, many items are just naturally gluten free food. They are located at Carrera 7 # 72-41, Chapinero Norte, Bogotá, Colombia.

Hours: Open daily from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.

Makeout Colombia is a vegan and raw restaurant where you can get gluten free meals. You can see their delicious menu here. They are located in the trendy area of Chapinero at Carrera 9 N° 81 – 18 Bogotá, Colombia.

Hours: Open Monday to Wednesday from 8 am to 8:30 pm, Thursday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm and Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm.

De Raiz Cocina Café has naturally gluten free items on their menu, check it out here. The quinoa bowl was delicious. They are located at Cl. 65 #5-70, Bogotá, Colombia.

Hours: Open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.

7.) Places to See in Bogota

Now that you have figured all things related to eating gluten free, it is finally time to plan what you will do while you are in the capital city of Colombia.

  • I would recommend the Botero Museum (Museo Botero).We found the depiction of the chubby people in Botero’s work amazing and we of course got some knock-offs for ourselves. The museum is in the La Candelaria area which was a great area to walk around for the morning. The best knock offs were on the coast, so don’t wait until Bogota if you are going both places.
  • The Ciclovia is on every Sunday where the city closes a long street to cars and bikers and walkers take over to get exercise. Our place was just a short walk from this and we thought it was a pretty cool concept and got the community outside together enjoying the day and exercise.
  • The Parliament building was a beautiful area and on our list as we saw it on Narcos and other Colombia news stories as well. We took some pictures and walked around the square and continued to see the markets that were intertwined between buildings.
  • The Gold Museum is a display of pre-Colombian gold and other alloys. There was also a lot of history of the indigenous people to the area of Colombia, which is also a good history lesson.
  • There is some amazing graffiti in Bogota, so walk around and check it out.

For a Beginner’s Guide to Bogota, do not miss out on 7 Things to Not Miss out on in Bogota.

Some Differences From North America

Our friends made sure we were aware of the differences between Canada and Colombia that we needed to know.

Firstly, we should only be walking around during daylight hours and not at night. We would be targets at night and shouldn’t put ourselves at undue risk. You can take transportation at night, but not be walking around. We usually take extra precautions.

Secondly, the reason we only saw a small part of the city is because there are large parts of the city that would be unsafe and had a lot poverty. They were kind enough to show us parts of this area, but just a glimpse. And not to mention that their vehicle had tinted windows, and no one could see who was inside.  A little sidebar – we were binge watching Narcos at the time we went to Colombia and to be honest, the areas that we toured looked just like the show. We were surprised by it being exactly the same.

Thirdly, that using your cellphone on the streets is a recipe for theft of your cellphone and is commonly described as ‘papaya.’ This turned me into a paranoid tourist which has its pros and cons. My husband had nick named me the ‘Hawk,’ which I happily wore while we were there.

Fourthly, stay away from public transportation on the buses where we would be targets for pickpockets and it isn’t very friendly to females who could be groped and accosted.

Lastly, if you are renting a car and parking it to go to a restaurant – you need to pay whomever is on the street to look after your vehicle. If you don’t, it may get stolen or vandalized. I know this isn’t unique to Colombia, but compared to Canada it is such a difference!

Gluten Free Travelling to Colombia

While my parents were uneasy with us travelling to Colombia, we were so happy that we were able to explore some of the country. I can imagine us going back in a few years and having even more options for me to eat at.

If you haven’t already, sign-up for my fabulous newsletter where I give you the details on my travel adventures.

If you are considering a trip to Colombia and have some questions, reach out and send me an email at GlutenFreeTraveller. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

Looking for Books on Colombia?

It is always a good idea to learn somethings about the country that you are visiting. If you are interested in doing some research about Colombia, here are some top book picks to consider:

  • Colombia – It has the most recent developments in this emerging South American destination.
  • Colombia Handbook – For more about the culture and things to do and see in this country.
  • An Englishman in Colombia – An interesting and adventurous look at the dangerous and alluring sides of the country in Latin America.

Cheers, I hope you enjoyed my lovely trek,

Brett – The Ultimate Gluten Free Traveller

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About Me

Brett Duncan Gluten Free Traveller

“Committed to inspiring people with Celiac to travel the world and explore the limitless opportunities to live Gluten Free anywhere.”

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