Before making a name for herself in the music world as Tei Shi, musician and vocalist Valeria Teicher had a pretty eclectic upbringing. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she spent her early years living in different places around the world including Bogota and Vancouver, then later Boston and New York. She is currently based in Montreal writing and recording her debut album while still riding high off the release of her second EP Verde, which came out in May.
Today she’s released the video for her dreamy EP track ‘See Me’, filmed while Teicher was in Bogota visiting family earlier this year. Few music videos will inspire you to drop everything and escape to South America more than this one. It serves as a love letter of sorts to her former home, as Teicher dreamily makes her way through the streets of the city and the mountainous, verdant countryside that skirts it.
We also asked Teicher for her best local Bogota tips, and best believe anyone who looks this at home on an alpaca knows a thing or two about how to best spend your time in South America.
“The last time I was in Bogota I started exploring La Candelaria, which is in the downtown area of the city, and I totally fell in love with the area. I hadn’t spent much time there before but I think now it’s my favourite neighbourhood to walk around and hang out in. It’s kind of what you would consider the “old city” and it holds a lot of the historical buildings and more traditional style architecture. It’s surrounded by libraries, museums, gallery spaces and old Spanish-style houses. It’s really colourful and beautiful.
There is a real sense of youth culture around there with lots of small hostels that young travellers seem to come through, little spots with great Colombian food, shops with artisanal goods and clothing, plus lots of small bars. I also came across some great little spaces where they host dance classes, lectures, movie screenings, and really interesting arts and cultural things of that nature. A lot of the video was shot through the streets here!”
Breakfast is actually the best meal when it comes to Colombian food – at least in my opinion. Having it home made by someone who knows how to make good Colombian breakfast is best! A typical breakfast to me would include arepas (corn flour tortilla patty) with melted cheese and scrambled eggs inside, queso campesino (which is a delicious Colombian white cheese), pan de bono and pan de yuca (which are two Colombian breads), some fresh fruit (the assortment of fruit there is incredible) and finally, Colombian hot chocolate which is made from raw cocoa chocolate cubes and milk. It’s the most delicious hot chocolate you will ever try! If you’re feeling a little swanky, La Bagatelle in Bogota has an amazing brunch with a basket of local breads that is probably the best thing on the menu.
Favourite day trip
There is so much to do and see near Bogota, and so much different geography and climate throughout Colombia. For a quick day trip I would either go for a drive up the mountains towards La Calera which is a town really far up on the slopes where you can get amazing views of the city, hang out on a farm and eat some asado (Colombian BBQ), ride some horses, and generally chill out. Or there are a number of little places a few hours drive out where you can swim. I love Anapoima which is about a two to three hour drive out of the city. You get the most amazing landscapes of green mountains and there’s a river where you can can go kayaking. The weather is really warm and tropical, too.
Favourite place to swim
There’s some really cool and beautiful mineral/thermal pools you can get to from Bogota. Tabio has a great thermal pool and is less than two hours away. Then there are the mineral pools and waterfalls of Santa Rosa which are amazing but a fairly long drive.
Don’t leave without…
So many things…I would probably say don’t leave without having some great Colombian coffee and some arepas. But beyond food, you shouldn’t miss checking out the salt cathedral which is probably the top tourist destination in Bogota. It is actually quite fascinating.
Best meal under $10
I love Colombian empanadas, and there is a small chain called Empanaditas de Pipian where you can get fast and cheap ones that are delicious. They’re all over the city.