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Advice for immersive Colombian experience (Bogotá)


Hi all -

I'm planning to come to Colombia for a stay of Protected content , in order to both experience some of the country and improve my Spanish. I'm hoping for a more "immersive" language experience by staying primarily in only 1 or 2 cities and using a rented apartment instead of a hotel.

I was thinking of spending 1/2 of my time in Bogota and the other 1/2 in Medellin. I'm pretty self-sufficient, but I am concerned about how much I will actually be able to use my Spanish. Will it be difficult for me to find people that will take the time to talk with me? I do need people to speak at a slower-than-normal pace. I'd like to do more than just order in a restaurant or ask a vender the price of something, but it's pretty hazy to me as to where I should go or what I could actually do to start more general conversations. Are there particular activities or locations in these cities that you would recommend for someone who is looking to strike up conversations (in Spanish :) )? Would you recommend staying somewhere outside of one of the major cities?

I'd really appreciate any suggestions, advice or feedback from you all who are actually living there!