With a population of almost 9 million inhabitants and an area of 1587 km, Bogota is the largest and most populous city in Colombia and one of the biggest in South America. This thriving capital city, situated in the center of the country, is in the top 20 largest capital cities in the world and with an elevation of 2,640 m, is the second highest city in the Americas. Labelled a beta global city by the organization of Globalization and World Cities, Bogota is renowned for boasting a huge number of libraries, monuments and universities as well as the world’s largest moorland.
The colonial Spanish influence in Bogota is very strong and can be seen throughout the city: the currency is the Colombian Peso; Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language; Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion; and the overwhelming majority of inhabitants are of a mixed Spanish and indigenous (or mestizo) background.
The climate in Bogota is classified as a subtropical highland climate. The average temperature of the city is 16°C. Although temperatures remain consistently high throughout the year, Bogota’s weather conditions can vary dramatically almost on a day to day basis due to the El Nino climatic phenomenon, which occurs in the Pacific Basin and greatly affects the weather across Colombia.
A common occurrence in Bogota is for bright, sunny days to very quickly turn into heavy thunderstorms; this is referred to as ‘sol de lluvia’ or ‘rain’s sun’. Bogota experiences distinct dry and rainy seasons throughout the year. In December and January, then later in July and August, the weather is intensely dry and arid, whilst during April and May there is heavy rainfall. The warmest month of year is March, when temperatures reach peaks of up to 20°C.
Many expats relocating to Bogota choose to live in gated communities, known as urbanizaciones, condominios or unidad residencial. Shops and restaurants can all be found nearby these gated complexes, and due to the largely English speaking communities of foreigners living there, there is a friendly, international atmosphere.
In such a densely populated city, finding long term accommodation can be challenging, therefore many real estate agencies are available and are very efficient. When renting a property, the minimum tenant contract available in Bogota is one year. There are plenty of easy to use websites that list property for lease or sale in the city, the most popular are Finca Raiz and Metro Cuadrado. Another great way to find accommodation is to simply take a walk through some of the popular districts of the city, and keep an eye out for the ‘arriendo’ or ‘se arrienda’ sign posts outside properties, which indicate they are on the market.