Bogotá shopping offers options that are vast and varied. If high-end is your style you can explore the malls of Zona Rosa with glee. If it’s arts and crafts you’re looking for, the Sunday market at Usaquen or the colonial streets of La Candelaria are sure to float you boat. The more you explore the city, the more treats you’ll find.
Right in the centre of the bustling Zona Rosa, don’t expect to pay a visit to Andino without leaving with less money in your wallet – or on your credit card. With a cinema, international and national retail brands, a variety of restaurants and cafés serving up everything from sushi to falafel, you could spend hours meandering around the multi-level shopping mall eating and shopping your way around. Window shopping? I don’t think so! Don’t expect to leave empty handed. Some of the retail stores include the big luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and BVLGARI as well as favorites like Tennis, Chevingnon, Guess and Studio F. On a lazy Sunday, watch a movie, sit down to the perfect meal and shop to your heart’s content.
The Colombian island of San Andres in the Caribbean has a fascinating, storied past, replete with pirates, hidden treasure, and duty-free shopping. Shopping in Bogotá, modern-day adventurers hunt for their own brands of duty-free treasure at the commercial islands that take their name from that former haunt of buccaneers. There are a number of such havens around the city, the most famous being San Andresito de la 38, on (funnily enough) Carrera 38, between Calles 8 and 9.
San Andresito is a massive warren of little stalls manned by garrulous, enthusiastic men and women – and, sometimes, whole families. The stalls, sometimes baffling in their similarity, peddle anything from clothes, shoes, DVDs, electronics, to cheap bottles of booze or perfume – all at bargain basement prices. Perhaps due to these prices, this bargain-hunter’s mecca does have a slightly dodgy reputation; so do keep your wits about you. As a great number of stalls will probably stock what you’re after, interrogate a few of the stall-keepers before finally making a purchase. Politely ask to check your desired product thoroughly, to make sure it works, has all the required parts, and is actually what you want; and keep an eye on your belongings. Having said that, once you get the hang of it, the intoxicating atmosphere of a San Andresito can get you hooked – it’s easy to spend hours there hunting for treasure among the endless variety without even realising how long you’ve been there.