Sprawling to the north-east of Bogota’s historic La Candelaria district, Chapinero is an affluent residential suburb. It stretches from Calle 39 in the south to Calle 100 in the north and from Avenida Caracas into the undeveloped hills which rise to the east.
Chapinero is an important economic and commercial hub in the city, with many financial headquarters found here, together with large-scale shopping centres. It’s also renowned for its dining and nightlife areas, particularly in and around Zona G which is famed for its upmarket restaurants serving international cuisine and has become a centre for Bogota’s gay community with more than 100 bars and clubs. The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes is situated in the heart of Chapinero Centrale, built in an imposing Gothic-Moorish style in 1875, while the Museo del Chico lies to the north, combining a beautiful 18th century hacienda and its surrounding parklands. Large Victorian mansions reflecting the influence of European architectural styles on Bogota dot the district, together with picturesque green spaces such as Parque de la 93 which is surrounded by restaurants, shops and art galleries.
Chapinero is well connected to Bogota’s city centre by both public and private bus services, particularly along Carreras 7 and 14 which run north to south through the district. Minivan colectivos and medium-sized busetas follow similar routes, and it’s around ten kilometres east of El Dorado International Airport.
Chapinero was originally settled in 1812 by workers in Bogota’s industrial industries, with its name derived from the shoemakers who created footwear for “chapines”. Mansions and country estates began springing up towards the end of the 19th century, with an electric tramway added in 1910, and it was designated a locality of Bogota when the city’s Special District was formed in 1955.