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Living in Bogota?

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Pablo Garcia Ramirez

Living in Colombia, from Spain

"I was so lucky that a friend told me about InterNations before I came to Bogota. I had the chance to contact many expats there from home."

Michelle Guillemont

Living in Colombia, from France

"I was a little bit afraid before moving to Colombia - a new language, security issues, no friends. InterNations helped me settle in, though. "

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Bogota at a Glance

Living in Bogota

Bogota is a cosmopolitan and vibrant capital city, nestled between the Andean peaks, with an interesting downtown area, but also comes with some safety concerns. Living in Bogota is definitely not boring! Check out all the opportunities and challenges of living in this beautiful city!

Education in Bogota

Bogota can offer both public and private schools. Public ones are overseen by the National Ministry of Education, and are funded by the government of Colombia. The public school system in the city is one of the most efficient in South America, with an increasing literacy rate and percentage of kids enrolled in schools.

Many expats living in Bogota choose to send their children to private school, especially the international schools, which cater to a multilingual range of students and provide the highest standards of teaching. These schools typically follow a curriculum and calendar modelled on the US education system and they teach in English. Some popular international schools are the Colegio Anglo Colombiano and the Colegio Andino Deutsche Schule. Students graduate from this and most of Bogota’s multinational schools with the internationally recognized accreditation; International Baccalaureate.

Transportation in Bogota

Driving in Bogota is difficult, because of the traffic and the often low quality of the road system. There are some issues with the rutted country roads in the rural outskirts of the city, however, in the city they are safe and smooth. The traffic in Bogota is extremely heavy and slow moving. 

Expat drivers who are not accustomed to the hectic roads of Bogota should exercise caution when navigating the heavy traffic, as the city suffers from an epidemic of drunk driving and traffic safety laws are rarely enforced. It is important for drivers to note that driving is on the right and there are regular stops at expensive toll booths. Another option for navigating the city is to use the popular public transit service; TransMilenio. This rapid bus network runs routes all across Bogota and its outskirts.

Culture and Leisure

Known as the ‘Athens of Latin America’, Bogota is a one of a kind combination of cultures and styles. From pre-Colombian ancient monuments to ultra-modern architecture, the taste of every type of sightseer is catered to in this unique city. 

Thanks to the melting pot of civilizations that have made their home in Bogota over the centuries, the landscape is covered with a range of must-see spots. One of the most iconic features of the city is the Sanctuary of Monserrate. Standing before the backdrop of the Andes Mountain range in the east, this 17th century Catholic chapel is situated on a hilltop more than 3000 m above sea level and provides a peaceful and picturesque getaway from the crowds of the city. Other landmarks are the majestic Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá the Gold Museum. For the free time, the Zona T or Zona Rosa offers a wide choice of cafes, restaurants, malls and a bustling nightlife, and the nearby Parque de la 93 is a beautiful natural spot for relaxing and practicing outdoor activities.

Another popular place to visit is the Museum of Modern Art. Designed by famous architect Rogelio Salmona in the 1970s, this gallery houses some of the most impressive examples of modern art to be found anywhere in South America. For a spot of natural sightseeing, the Chicaque Natural Park is located in the west of Bogota and is an idyllic place to admire exotic wildlife such as tinamous, pintails and chachalacas, as well as rare plant life and panoramic views of Bogota for miles around.

InterNations Expat Magazine