Stopovers – Part 4 - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Travelling
LOS ANGELES – USA
Los Angeles Airport is a major stopover en route to Central, South and North America as well as the South Pacific. It is a good stopover point as it is often part of a super long haul route from Europe
Los Angeles is vast, but its evolution from lawless outpost to ‘Tinseltown’ magic can be explored in a day as long as you do not get caught in the traffic. Downtown lies the Mexican district of El Pueblo, where settlers first arrived in 1781. Grab a churro and admire Union Station, this is where dazzling Latin meets Art Deco at a train station. Then explore the area’s history with a free tour with Las Angelitas del Pueblo. Historic Los Angeles tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday, excluding major holidays. Complete plaza tours take approximately 45-50-minutes and depart from the office which is adjacent to the Old Plaza Firehouse & Museum on the hour at 10am, 11am & 12pm.
Asian workers built the US railways, and nearby Chinatown is a vibrant side-trip. Afterwards compare handprints with the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, before following ‘Tinseltown’s evolution at Highland Avenue’s Hollywood Museum. Finish the day among the sandy trails of Griffith Park, trekking to the Hollywood sign on foot or horseback in time for sunset. If you can stay longer then hire a car and check out at beaches, wineries and forests en route to Malibu. The ‘sailing stones’ of Death Valley and trails of Yosemite, both near Nevada’s border, make for a longer break if you have the time. No visas are required for UK citizens for trips up to 90 days but you will need a valid ESTA. The trip from the airport to Union Station by bus is under £10 and takes around 35 minutes.
BOGOTÁ – COLOMBIA
El Dorado Airport is the hub for Avianca Airlines and one of few South American connections with direct flights to the UK.
Hiking and art in the formerly notorious capital are just two popular things to do. The cycle friendly Bogotá has had a serious reboot since it gained a bad reputation but now there is plenty to see and do. Head south to La Candelaria district because much of the city’s wealth went north, leaving this arterial of colonial alleys untouched and offering you a view of the old capital. Wander around the graffitied streets and cafés awash in the aroma of coffee and ajiaco, chicken stew. Stop at the Gold Museum for its 6, 000 strong display of pre Columbian gilded exhibits. At the centre of the city lies Plaza de Bolívar, which is just oozing with revolutionary history. This is exemplified in its Palacio de Nariño which is the official home and principal workplace of the President of Colombia. Overlooking this is the 3, 152m Andean rise of Monserrate. You can hike the 17th century pilgrimage trail to the sanctuary’s peak for views over the city. If you stay longer then less than an hour’s drive north is the salt mine cathedral of Zipaquirá; east of there lies the beautiful crater lake of Guatavita. This is where tales of kings covered in gold dust diving into its waters started the El Dorado myth. No visas are required for UK citizens for stays of up to 90 days. The trip from airport to centre bus terminal takes 40 minutes and cost £5.
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