I have no idea where to live!

Hi there,

I will be moving to Bogota in the next few months for my Year Abroad. I will be working in the Cuidad Saltire district of Bogota, and I am just wondering if anyone could give me any advice with where to live?



Mocawa apartments, Armenia, Quindío.

I'm sure the Mocawa apartments are nice but living in Armenia may be just a bit far to commute, working in Bogotá...

First you could look at some airbnb listings in Ciudad Salitre:
https://www.google.com/search?q=airbnb+ … p;oe=utf-8

There are apartments for rent but most are expensive, doing a search for "ciudad salitre arriendo apartamento":
https://www.google.com/search?q=ciudad+ … p;oe=utf-8

What I would do, is stay in an airbnb booking for a week or two and then walk around looking and asking (speaking Spanish is of course a BIG plus).  Once you start working you could also ask colleagues who I am sure would have some good leads.  You may end up finding something not in Ciudad Salitre but in a nearby barrio.  Hopefully some others who live in and know Bogotá can give you some better suggestions.

Hi Charlie.  Fellow Bristolian here, (Westbury on Trym, but mostly lived in Cornwall).
Whilst I'm not too keen on Salitre area myself, Its often good to live close to where you'll be working, for travelling each day, morning and night can be awful, especially in rush hours.

Personally I much prefer Cedritos/Mazuren areas, in the north of the city. They are cleaner, greener, quieter, less traffic, less pollution, and in my own opinion, less crime too. They are areas where a lot of middle class families live, better quality of life, better housing, etc, whilst not too expensive. But as I say, travelling every day to work isn't too good.

But wherever you choose, DO make sure you find a place close to the Transmilenio, which is a rapid transport system of articulated buses that run on designated lanes, free of other traffic. This is not only advantageous for work, but for getting in and out of the city for nightlife too. Fares are cheap, you can go the whole length of the city, from the furthest south, (not that you would want to go to those areas, - can be very dangerous) to the furthest north, probably about 30 kilometers for a mere 2,000 pesos, about 55 pence.   Normal buses get clogged up in the traffic jams, and doubles or even trebles your journey times. Taxis, whilst pretty cheap, also get stuck in the jams, but their meter continues clocking up whilst sat in a jam for an hour. That makes them expensive. Taxis are ok at night, and I recommend you use them at night, as they should be safer.

Now, how to find a place ...... Most flats come unfurnished, and any that you find furnished will be a lot more expensive, and so if you are there for only a year, buying furniture is something you don't want to do. So the best option is to flat-share. You should look for "habitaciones", which is usually your own room, but sharing the rest of the apartment with other like-minded people.

I find that the best place to look is the national daily paper, El Tiempo.  www.eltiempo.com
Along the options bar at the top of the page click on "Classificados",  then in the column Venta y Arrienda de Vivienda, click on "Ver más en Vivienda". 
Then in the second column, for stuff in Bogota rather than the whole country, click on "Habitaciones en Arriendo en Bogotá". This will bring up all the flat-shares.

There is a menu on the left hand side where you can filter according to what you want.

This is probably the most up to date list that you'll get. On other mediums they rarely update them, so some places will have properties that were filled months ago. I wouldn't bother with AirBnB, Craigslist, etc, for they are usually only used by Americans, and if anyone advertises a flat on them, they will be "Gringo prices", targeting rich Americans, and a total rip-off.

Good luck.

You could also look at Locanto for Bogotá which is not yet polluted by gringo influence:


Look under Inmobiliara for Apartamentos en arriendo (apartments for rent), Habitaciones en arriendo (rooms for rent), and Casas en arriendo (houses for rent).  Many of these are direct from the owner so you are more likely to see realistic pricing and not gringo pricing.  If the price isn't posted you must use your fluency in Spanish to keep from getting gouged but if you know approximate prices in the surrounding areas you won't get ripped off badly...the art of the deal has at its center the willingness to walk away and Colombians play the game to the hilt.

Rooms for rent offer both the cheapest and the best experience if you get a good one.  You can save money and have an "authentic" connection with the people, many of whom are absolute jewels and just all-around good people who would be more than happy to rent to a foreigner whom most would trust as much or more than their own countrymen and who can be invaluable in helping you learn about the culture.

As the Crazy Englishman noted, the north of Bogotá is generally regarded as safer, and my in-laws who live there in the nevera of Colombia confirm this.

Why would you want to move to Bogota??? that's not Colombia....   That's just another huge city..... same everywhere in the world. Try rural Colombia..... inexpensive, safe, beautiful.... Try the Coffee Region, perhaps a small picturesque city like Manizales if you must live in an urban setting....

glengalindo :

Why would you want to move to Bogota??? that's not Colombia....   That's just another huge city..... same everywhere in the world. Try rural Colombia..... inexpensive, safe, beautiful.... Try the Coffee Region, perhaps a small picturesque city like Manizales if you must live in an urban setting....

I agree, but the OP stated that Bogotá was the destination for living and working the year abroad.  Bogotá would not be my first choice but it is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in Colombia (OK Medellín fans may disagree).  If one has fluent Spanish there are hundreds of cities in Colombia that offer great experiences - but if one has limited/no Spanish then Bogotá may be the best choice.

And like it or not, Bogotá IS Colombia in many ways.  It's not an aberration, it just represents one facet of the national character, warts and all.  In Bogotá you can meet people from literally all over Colombia and learn a lot if you are open to it.

Glen. Not everyone has the same tastes, same requirements, same likes and dislikes. We are all different.

I myself love Bogota. The climate, the mix of cultures, the access to anything you could possibly want, and many more reasons.

But more importantly, Chubsworth has made it clear that he will be working in Salitre, Bogota, and you must realise that not many would be able to travel each morning and night Manizales - Bogota - Manizales  .......... unless you have your own helicopter, and somewhere to park it.

Whatever works for you, my friend.  I am just not a fan of any large city, anywhere in the world.  I am not familiar with the acronym you wrote, so I can't comment on that.... :-(

Seriously, consider Manizales. Lots of universities, awesome landscape, plenty of educated people, clean, safe, inexpensive, about 400,000 and plenty of culture and things to do. Medellin is great too, but you are surrounded with an international community, not the true Colombia experience either.   

You're welcome to visit. I've already had others move here from this site..and more coming... ***

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GlenGalindo, You should get a clue from what the OP (Original Poster) said:

"I will be moving to Bogota in the next few months for my Year Abroad. I will be working in the Cuidad Saltire (sic) district of Bogota..."

He did not say Manizales.  He did not say Cali.  He did not say Bucaramanga.  He said BOGOTÁ.

Hmmm... you seemed to take offense to my posting. I am not sure how or why, but that's ok.  Best wishes to you.

If you're a student with only a year to make the most of Bogota, living in Salitre would not be your best option...waaay too boring for after work options. Lots of expats who work for NGOs live in La Soledad/Teusaquillo area: a nice middle-class area with a mix of apartments, old homes and good grocery stores and restaurants. It has a large student population because of its close proximity to National University and other higher ed institutions. It has rapid transit connections to both Salitre (for work) and el centro, Chapinero or Chico (for nightlife and socialization).  You could also live in Chapinero, which also has a very large student population, but that's puts you into a longer commute to Salitre (30-40 min).

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