Bogotá’s climate is quite unlike the vast majority of Colombian cities, with a mild average temperature of 16 .C, a fair amount of rain and extremely variable weather conditions. You can experience four seasons in one day, with sudden changes, so be sure to wear sunblock and take a coat and umbrella everywhere you go.

When out and about on the street or using public transport, take the same care with your personal belongings as you would in any large city. Be sure to make money withdrawals in shopping centers and hire a guide for any tours around the city. Don’t carry large amounts of cash and be vigilant with your mobile phone, although our recommended areas are well protected by the police and private
security firms.

While it might seem confusing at first, getting your bearings is actually fairly straightforward. Always use the eastern mountains as your guide on your outings if they’re on your left you’re heading south, and if they’re on your right you’re making your way north. The street names are numbered calles and carreras, unlike the unique names you will find in most cities. The ‘calles’ run from north south, with higher numbers indicating a street being further north, while the numbers of the ‘carreras’ change from east to west, with higher numbers the further west you go. Addresses indicate which ‘calle’ or ‘carrera’ the building is on, followed by the number of the perpendicular ‘calle’ or ‘carrera’ and the building number. For example: Carrera 13 No. 85-35 (the building is on Carrera 13, where it meets Calle 85 and the building number is 35).

Avoid hailing a cab on the street – order them over the phone or using apps like Easy Tappsi and Smart Taxi, and be sure to double check the license plate number, name of the driver and form of payment before getting in. When using Uber, keep in mind that at peak times the tariff can double in a matter of minutes.

In order to allow your body to adapt to the altitude, make sure that you take at least a couple of hours to rest before heading out. For the first day or two, ensure that you stay well hydrated, eat plenty of sugar and carbohydrates, and reduce your consumption of salt and alcohol. Given that we’re in a mountainous city (2,600 meters above sea level), it’s important to protect yourself with plenty of sunblock, even on a cloudy day.