Bogotá, Colombia is a cool weathered, professional city with very cheap and comfortable cost of living.
Perched high in the Colombian Andes, Bogotá is a great place to save some money, eat healthy, get some work done, and improve your Spanish.
While not the safest place in the world, staying in a nice neighborhood and taking normal urban precautions are more than enough to stay safe.
- Cool weather year round, roughly 63°F / 17°C every day
- Business focused, formal environment, great for focusing and getting work done
- Cheap rent and cost of living
- Easy to order food, medicine, and living essentials as home deliveries
- Traditional food is healthy and basic - meat, rice and potatoes. But you can find a variety of international options around the city too
- People are often called "cold" here compared to the rest of the country, but are still very friendly and helpful in my experience. Not to mention beautiful!
- No bugs! The cool weather and high altitude mean you can leave the windows open and never worry about mosquitoes, flies, etc.
- Water is safe and delicious to drink from the tap, which is my personal theory for why I also never got sick from any food. Nice not to ever worry about!
- Very neutral, clean Spanish that is easy to understand as a non-native
- Traffic is some of the worst in the world. Don't plan on moving around much because it is awful. It can take hours to traverse the city, and the streets are filled with holes. I get carsick every time I have to go somewhere. Not fun!
- No metro system and the busses are too slow, confusing and dangerous to use alone
- Safety is average. I never felt in danger, but you definitely need to know what neighborhoods to avoid, and take precautions not to walk around at night or with valuables in hand
- Rain (worse during Colombian winter) can get annoying. It can fall at any time and stop or last an unknowable amount of time. Don't bother with the forecast, it is useless!
- Not much tourism. There are a few cool museums and day trips, but in general this is not a tourist destination by any means
I moved to Bogotá at the beginning of 2022 and stayed for about 6 months. I lived in various parts of the city, in airbnbs, hotels, and coliving buildings. The average rent per month is around $500-$800 for a modern, clean airbnb in a good location. My personal favorite neighborhood was Cedritos, which is a slightly upscale, quiet residential area with plenty of restaurants that feels quite safe.
There is not much of a digital nomad community here that I know of, and with lingering Covid pandemic restrictions, there seemed to be few meetups or things going on. That said, there were plenty of Spanish schools around if you want to learn, the accent is clean and easy to understand. There is also a pretty big party scene, with many bars and clubs to visit if you are interested! Knowing Spanish would be a big help here.
Another thing worth mentioning is the ease and cheapness of eating out. You can download various food delivery apps like "Rappi" or "iFood" and order deliveries from across the city for about $8 a meal. You can also eat out on nearly any street at a "Corrientazo" restaurant with healthy traditional Colombian food for around $3.
Overall, I enjoyed my time here and would definitely call it underrated. It's cheap and relatively safe, with healthy food and kind people. If you want some cool mountain weather, a place to improve your Spanish, or just an inexpensive place to work from among locals, Bogotá is a great place to spend some time.