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At roughly 8,600 feet above sea level, and with an estimated 8 million inhabitants, Bogota is one of the largest high-altitude cities in the world.
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(CNN)We know, you probably don't know much about Bogota.
You might also be skeptical about claims that this city of an estimated 8 million people stands shoulder to shoulder with other storied South American capitals.
But with Colombia as a whole experiencing a tourist resurgence, it's time to get familiar with its vibrant capital city.
10 things to know before visiting Colombia
Often called the Athens of South America, the best of Bogota is a treasure of museums, art galleries, international fairs and cultural events.
About 60% of the world's emeralds come from Colombia, and there are myriad opportunities to buy them in Bogota.
Named the UNESCO City of Music in 2013, a slate of festivals throughout the year is celebrating everything from Beethoven to cumbia, the native Colombian music popular throughout South America.
Meanwhile, a growing gourmet scene has led to a boom in sophisticated eateries.
And, of course, it practically rains fresh brewed Colombian coffee.
So now you know -- Bogota isn't just a stopover en route to other South American cities, it's a destination on par with the best of them.
Here's how to find the best of Bogota.
JW Marriott Hotel Bogota
Luxury in the financial district.
In the financial district and near embassies and multinational offices, this is one of the most impressive hotels in Colombia.
Comfortable, elegant rooms have all the luxurious touches expected of a five-star hotel.
Best of Bogota hotel restaurant La Mina is modeled after the famous salt mines north of the city.
For a posh way to relax -- or dizzy yourself with indecision -- the hotel bar menu features 73 types of martinis.
Within walking distance of businesses, events, malls and restaurants, this hotel in the north of the city provides outstanding service and individualized attention.
Large, comfortable suites offer excellent views of Bogota.
A delicious selection of international food is served at the two restaurants, and in the evening guests can relax with live music and drinks in a lounge near the lobby's majestic winding marble staircase.
Excellent, traditional Colombian dishes such as ajiaco and sobrebarriga have been circulating through this quaint dining anachronism for almost 50 years.
The two-story colonial-style house has an outdoor terrace with a fireplace, a private dining area for parties up to 25 people and an adorable bar.
Live music is played at lunchtime on weekdays.
Casa Vieja, Calle 70, #6-23, Bogota Colombia; +571 310 5247
Easy on the wallet, but explosive in flavor, this local Bogota fusion chain draws its inspiration from the flavors of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and other Asian countries, serving it all with a Colombian twist.
The focus here is on national ingredients, from moshiso leaves grown by descendants of Japanese immigrants to fish from the Colombian Pacific coast.
Wok, Zona T Carrera 16 No. 86A-76, Bogota Colombia; +571 622 5980
A cool climate mixed with Colombia's love of good tinto (black coffee) guarantees a coffee shop on nearly every corner in the city.
Although much of the quality Colombian coffee is exported, Juan Valdez is proof that some does stay in the country.
While some may balk at the inclusion of a corporate coffee dispensary, this famous symbol of Colombian coffee growers focuses on coffee education and the support of various national coffee producing areas.
This is a popular place for impromptu business meetings or gatherings with friends.
Colombians love a party, so it's not hard to find a place with good music and lots of energy, but Gaira Cafe is special.
Owned by famous Colombian singer Carlos Vives and family, this is as much a museum of Colombian music history as it is a leisure space, filled with instruments and memorabilia of outstanding Latin musicians.
The house band is good and has the place packed on weekends.
The restaurant serves creative and delicious Colombian food and the full bar has inventive cocktails.
Reservations on the weekend are essential to ensure a table and the cover is COP$20,000 ($11).
Sundays at lunchtime Gaira presents a musical theater for children.
On the northwest corner of Parque 93, this imposing five-level restaurant provides a hip place for a rumba (party), for enjoying a cocktail or shot of Colombian aguardiente and for dancing to Latin music with the young and beautiful of Bogota.
A sophisticated shopping mall that offers international and national brands, leather goods, souvenirs and jewelry, Centro Andino was the seed for development in Zona Rosa that transformed the neighborhood into a vibrant commercial destination.
Vertical gardens and live music on select evenings add to the elegant surroundings, which are soon due to receive a fourth level and 22 additional stores.
A tiny colonial town within the big metropolis, Usaquen is a district in which you'll discover small, quirky restaurants and bars with first-rate food and live music.
A colorful arts and crafts fair is held on Sundays and holidays.
Colombian musicians play the harp, saxophone or marimba on street corners, local artists sell paintings and craftsmen display jewelry, leather products, hats and bags crafted by indigenous tribes, and more.
This little mountain town set aflame the imagination of explorers when they heard tales of the Muisca Indian tribal chief, El Dorado, who would ritually cover himself with gold dust and then bathe in Guatavita Lake.
Later explorers used that name to describe the legendary "Lost City of Gold." This lake and quiet colonial town are among the best places to enjoy Colombian small town hospitality.