We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Sarepa, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Sarepa is from Australia and submitted the following report about Bogota. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 2.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Spanish
Reasons to Visit Bogota
Colombia isn’t necessarily one of the first countries that come to mind when planning a solo trip abroad. But I found myself living in Bogota as a solo female traveler recently and it amazed me that while the public transport system can be difficult to navigate and the language barrier can be a hurdle, even as a blondie from abroad I felt like I could really find a place for myself in this eclectic, busy, and colorful capital of the country.
Bogota is so much more than what is portrayed in films and on television. It’s not a remote jungle stuck in a time lapse of guerrilla warfare. It’s young and vibrant. There is culture, art, music, and dance. There are free festivals in the city throughout the year featuring everything from salsa to hip hop to rock and folkloric dance.
Often Bogota is the city travelers visit in transit to other, more well known and tourist-friendly places like Cartagena and Medellin, but there is charm in this bustling city perched some 2,600 feet above sea level, high in the Andes. It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea though, I’ll give you that. It is a fast-moving city, unless you’re stuck in traffic of course, then it is mind-numbingly slow. But within a city that is constantly moving, there are places to find calm and respite. There are thriving yoga communities, small tea houses, and hole-in-the-wall eateries where locals stop along their daily commute to have a bowl of egg and milk soup to start off the day.
There are so many activities available in Bogota, from people-watching at a local café, to taking a stroll down the Ciclovia on Sunday when some of the city’s busiest streets are made pedestrian-only for the day. You can visit Monserrate, the iconic mountain upon which stands an imposing church. Here you can see the entire urban sprawl of Bogota below. Be prepared to feel about the size of a grain of rice while you’re up there.
Traveling in Colombia as a solo female traveler is all about having common sense, really. Enjoy the cities, get to know the people, but don’t let your guard down. Don’t leave your belongings unattended, don’t walk around alone at night in unfamiliar or deserted neighborhoods. If you do that, you might just find that, as the locals say, the only risk of traveling to Colombia is wanting to stay. That’s exactly what happened to me.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 3 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 3 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 2.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)