Looking for an apartment/house with a self serve intercom system.

I am planning a visit to Bogota to get away from the January cold and work stress here in Canada. I have done my homework about Bogota as where the relatively safe places are so looking for houses/apartments near Zone T or Parque 93 where restaurants and bars are (and no I won't walk around after dark even in those areas and no I won't flag down a taxi on street and will always call and never leave my drinks and watch them all the time and never carry lots of cash or bank card........).

All that said, I can't find a hotel or apartment without a doorman (it appears everywhere in Bogota every building has doorman and security so I would be surprised if there is any unemployed person in Bogota lol!!!!). When I communicate about having visitors they all say that they have to be announced at the entrance by doorman or they have to leave their ID at the reception!!!!! (yes my purpose for this trip is to meet people  and invite them over and that is why I want a house near zone T or parque 93 where nightlife is).

I find this offensive that my invited guest(s) has to go through all this to come and see me in my own home (if I rent and pay for a place that is my home while I pay right?). Is there anywhere in Bogota that I can rent without a doorman where my visitors can visit me without being interrogated at the door? In Canada we have an intercom system with which we hear the voice of our visitor and we let her or him in without having to get a permission from a doorman as who can visit us!!.

Thanks in advance.


Do you not realize why there are celadores , why they exist and why they control access especially to the higher-end apartment complexes, and why vigilantes patrol up and down the streets in many neighborhoods?

You say you have done your homework.  You should then realize the reason they have those jobs IS security and to provide at least a modicum of protection from the pillos and ladrones who are intent on B&E (breaking and entering) and robbing people.

You should be able to find a home and even an apartment to rent that does not come with a watchman, for sure, but you may have to be "on the ground" and just nose around looking for signs and asking people.

Thank you. I knew it is bad but I didn't know it is that bad that every apartment in the city of 8 million needs a doorman and security for protection. I thought  at least in those neighborhood of North Bogota it is safe to stay inside. May be I should change my plans for a visit to Bogota. If it is so  unsafe inside our homes even at Parque 93 area then without a doorman/security then how can I feel secure outside when walking to nightclubs in Zone T after dark without a security guard!!!!.

As you say, it is a city of 8 million plus, and it has its crime problems - but don't be overwhelmed.

I did not mean to imply, and you should not infer, that every apartment needs a doorman and security.

It IS safe to stay inside, but you should not barricade yourself inside.  Neither should you leave yourself completely open as you might be able to do in many parts of Canada and the USA.

It is common in Colombia and other South American countries for those who may have possessions worth stealing, to have bars on the windows and doors to discourage it.  Also that's why people are employed to be doormen and watchmen.

But people do not live in fear there - rather one must be watchful and aware of one's surroundings and not give the bad guys any opportunity if possible - many crimes are crimes of opportunity, of the moment in which an opportunity presents itself.

If you have never visited Colombia before - perhaps you should consider other cities to visit as well?  Bogotá is perfect for a Canadian because it is quite cool there, being above 8000 feet - but there are other warmer cities that might appeal if you're trying to get away from the Canadian winter.

Maybe it would be safer in a hotel. I don't think in a large hotel the reception would stop and question visitors as how would they know out of a few hundred people coming in and out every hour who is the guest and who is the visitor? Anywhere in South America is warmer than Ottawa but I chose Bogota Colombia out of all other cities (Santiago was a second choice) because I read about how friendly Colombians are and how beautiful and lively they are. What other South American city would you suggest which is as nice and live and friendly but safer than Bogota?

I would not worry about safety but I would always be aware no matter where I was in Colombia or in any South American country.  Personally I feel safer in Cali than I do in Memphis, TN where I lived for 15 years.

If you are prone to avoid Bogotá because of safety concerns I am not sure where I could recommend you go.  All cities have crime but in reality most tourists do not experience it unless they are careless or unlucky.

Medellín is a favorite of many for its weather and it is a modern, cosmopolitan city.

Cali has hot weather but it's interesting and beautiful with welcoming friendly people.

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