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Benefits of Bogota-2022 (78)

Bogota or Medellin? 

After a 30-minute flight from Medellin, my assistant Julian Cardona and I de-boarded LATAM flight 4025 at the Bogota El Dorado International Airport at 4:32 pm this past Thursday, November 17th. We returned to Medellin Saturday evening.

I had visited Bogota a few months ago for about 30 hours and was impressed enough that I knew I needed additional information to help me decide whether Medellin or Bogota would be my permanent home in Colombia.

Bogota, a metropolis of 11,000,000 million people (compare 4,000,000 for Medellin) with the same latitude as New York City, takes advantage of the Andes mountain range by topping out at an elevation of 8,660 feet (2,640 meters).

Julian and I, working together, had identified several apartments/houses in Bogota that seemed to meet my general criteria of a place I would like to live: at least 1615 square feet (150 square meters) and less than 3 million pesos ($595 USD) per month.

Bogota wins

Except for the transaction costs of moving, on every other point of comparison that matters to me, Medellin, although a really great place to live, comes out either equal or less than Bogota does. The two most important factors for me are weather and the friendliness of people. Bogota is a strong win on both these.


Since they're both near the equator, Bogota and Medellin have constant weather year around, except for variations in rain. 

Medellin's  average low each day (middle of the night) is 17 C (that's 63 F). It's average high is 28.5 C (that's 83 F).

Bogota's average low each day is 8 C (that's 46 F). It's average daily high is 19 C (that's 66 F).

At night, I sleep better with a colder room and a heavy blanket. During the day, I like to wear a dress jacket when I go out. Overall, that makes Bogota weather better for me.


My comparison of the friendliness of Medellin people vs. Bogota people runs counter to the prevailing opinion of people in Colombia. It may just be that they seem more friendly to just me. My "disagreement" with others doesn't really matter because it's the "to me" part that counts. 

One aspect of them appearing more friendly may be that a significantly higher percentage of Bogota people can speak English relative to Medellin people. While on this trip, I approached several strangers and groups of strangers and was able to easily strike up a friendly conversation. This mirrors my experience from my first trip to Bogota a few months ago.

Other factors where Bogota wins over Medellin (that make any difference to me)

  • More direct flights to other cities and countries around the world.

  • I suspect that Bogota, with its thinner atmosphere, will contribute to me being healthier.

  • The airport is close to the city center.

  • The women in Bogota, in general, are thinner than the women in Medellin.

  • Fewer beggars are on the street.

  • It's much easier to find healthy food dishes that I like in the restaurants (and prices even seem a bit less).

  • Supermarket shelves are more beautifully and neatly presented.

  • Service in the restaurants is faster.

  • Checkout lines are shorter or non-existent in Bogota compared to Medellin.

  • In general, I prefer to live in a more populous city.

Other factors where Bogota ties with Medellin (that make any difference to me)

Housing and other prices seem about the same.

In process

The current timeline to moving to Bogota is by December 6th, just two weeks away...that is when my next rent payment here in Medellin would be due. I will lose a two-month deposit because I am breaking my lease, but I've already taken that into account. 

That timeline, however, depends upon whether I can meet the financial "requirements" of an insurance agency that decides whether or not I will be a reliable tenant for the apartment I fell in love with in Bogota. Even though I would easily meet such requirements if they would just look at the facts, it may be problematic to satisfy their exact "paperwork requirements." Julian is working with me to try to jump through whatever hoops it seems we need to jump through to meet their requirements. 

Regardless of whether I'm able to get this apartment, I will move. It will just involve a more extended timeline.

The apartment

It's a fourth-floor apartment with an elevator in a complex with on-premises checkin security. The apartment seems bigger than 152 square meters (1636 square feet) with its beautiful wood parquet floors and a panorama view that looks out over downtown Bogota. The monthly rent of 2.9 million pesos (currently $574 USD) includes the complex service fee.

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