A few tips for your visit!
Welcome to the Healthcare Operational Research (HOpeR) Graduate School 2022! We are excited that you can join us in Bogotá, and we are looking forward to your visit. We would like to share with you some recommendations and tips to help you plan your trip and take advantage of this amazing city.
Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and has a population of over eight million people. The city lies in the center of Colombia, on a plateau known as the Bogotá savanna, part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes. Bogotá is the third-highest capital in South America, at an average of 2,640 meters (8,660 ft) above sea level. Average temperature goes from 15° to 18° Celsius, and this time of year you can have great sun in the morning (around 22°) and rain in the afternoon.
In Colombia the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B (same as in North America). The standard voltage is 110 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.
Currency and money exchange:
Colombia peso (COP) is the only national currency. You can pay (almost everywhere) with your credit card, but you can also exchange USD at the airport for a small fee (1 USD is around 5000 COP). There is one inside the arrival terminal, next to the luggage claim, other right outside and others on the first floor. Another option is to make a withdrawal from ATMs like Bancolombia, Davivienda, CityBank, Grupo Aval (at the airport or in the city).
The HOpeR 2022 Google Maps (link) shows in blue the area close to the University. We recommend that you look for accommodation in this zone. In general, la Zona G (G Zone), la Zona T (T zone), El Parque de la 93 (around 93 park), la Quinta de Camacho and up to the Calle 100 can be a good option. These places are within a 40-minute uber ride from the university. You will find these areas are full of cafés, bars and restaurants so you can enjoy your time in Bogotá.
When you land at the airport (Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado), you will find a transportation service in the International Arrival exit. There, you will find a kiosk with identified agents and offering official taxi services. You will need to provide your destination to the agent, and they will give you a ticket with the cost and lead you to your taxi driver. Depending on your destination, taxi fare can be around 30000 COP (6 USD) and you will need to pay in cash.
When moving around the city, we recommend the taxi/uber option. You should know that in Colombia, Uber is not yet officially legal. This means that the Uber driver may ask you to sit in front. This is normal. A 20-minute ride will cost around 20000 COP (less than 5 USD). You can choose in the app if you want to use the credit card in your account or pay in cash directly to your driver. We recommend paying with a credit card through the app. The Uber app will also let you to book a regular cab (Taxi option) but usually you will have to pay cash. We do not recommend taking a cab on the street. The apps are your best option.
SIM card and Communication:
Finding a prepaid sim card in Colombia should be easy and cheap. Good phone services providers are Tigo, Claro or Movistar. A sim card should cost less than 5000 COP (around USD 1) and the service with data and calls for less than USD 10 (40000 COP). We do not recommend that you buy your sim-card at the airport (it is pricy!). Once you are in the city, found sim cards in office supplies stores, some supermarkets like EXITO, or the distributors of the mobile companies (Claro, Tigo, Movistar). We added in the HOpeR Google maps a store close to PUJ where you can buy one.
Our Host: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
HOpeR 2022 will take place mainly at the Engineering Building (Edificio de Facultad de Ingeniería) of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ), Bogotá, Colombia. The PUJ Campus is the Chapinero area of Bogotá, close to the City Center. You are on one of the main avenues in Bogotá, Avenida Carrera Séptima (7th Carrera), now named Avenida Alberto Llegas Camargo.
We have created a HOpeR Google Maps for the event (you can access here). We have delimited in green the PUJ Campus with the different buildings where the activities of HOpeR will be.
The Inaugural talk will take place in Alfonso Quintana Auditorium.
Sessions and Cocktail will take place in the Engineering building (Facultad de Ingeniería)
You can use the University cafeteria for lunch (Giraldo and Central), where you could get a full meal for 12000 pesos (COP) – around 3 USD.
If you want to eat out, but near the university, there are tons of restaurants for all budgets in the area (between la Carrera 13 et la Carrera 7, and between the Calle 39 and Calle 45). We can recommend Plaza 39 and Plaza 45 where you will find several options to enjoy your lunch break.
For the coffee breaks you can use the Sauce, Baron, Giraldo, and Central cafeteria. Outside the universy, do not hesitate to try out also any coffee shop, they are all great, as well as the chains Juan Valdéz Café, Oma, or Tostao (several locations all around the city). This are all great Colombian Coffee places, please enjoy them!
Also, here you can find the program with the classrooms and buildings where the conference will take place.