Museo Botero

Top choice museum in Bogotá

Image by posztos Shutterstock

Even if you've never heard of Fernando Botero, you'll probably recognize some of his highly distinctive paintings of oversized (read: chubby) characters, including dodgy dictators, fleet-footed dancers, dogs and birds. Colombia’s most famous living artist is also a prolific sculptor and his curvaceous bronze statues display equally generous girth.

The museum, which belongs to the Banco de la República de Colombia, was founded in 2000 when Botero donated more than 100 of his own works, along with 85 from his personal collection of other artists' work – a haul that includes pieces by Picasso, Monet, Matisse and Klimt. The painter curated the museum himself.

Botero paintings to look out for include a parody of Di Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1978), the wonderfully intimate Pareja Bailando (1987) and the haunting studies of Colombia’s drug-cartel violence in the 1980s and '90s.

Audio guides (COP$10,000) in English, French and Spanish are available from the museum complex's main entrance on Calle 11. Other than that, there’s no cost.