Thanks to its position 2,600 meters above sea level, Bogotá enjoys a pleasantly mild climate, with temperatures ranging from 6 to 24ºC. A day out in the capital can be a veritable climatic rollercoaster, with the feel of a brisk European city in winter morphing into an exotic tropical destination in a matter of hours or even minutes. With this in mind, make sure you’re prepared with sunscreen, a warm coat and an umbrella so that you can enjoy Bogotá in all its glory.
As with a visit to any of the world’s larger cities, you should take some basic precautions, such as keeping valuables close, taking care when using your phone on the street, not carrying large amounts of cash and making sure you use certified tour guides. The areas we recommend in this guide are patrolled by local police and, in most cases, private security firms.
Use the mountains on the east, clearly visible from pretty much any part of the city to orientate yourself in Bogotá. If they are on your right, then you are heading north; and if you see them on your left, you are making your way south. Looking for an address is simple too, you just need to be able to identify which streets are Calles and which are Carreras: the former run perpendicular to the mountains and increase in number as you go north. The latter run parallel to the mountains and their numbers go up as you head west.
Avoid hailing taxis on the street: you can order them using apps like Cabify, or you can call for a cab. Uber operates here too, with a dynamic fare system. If you are travelling in rush hour (7:00 am to 9:00 pm and 5:00 am to 8:00 pm), be sure to order your transport well in advance to avoid delays. One more thing to consider: when it rains, the entire city moves at a slower pace, so it might be worth taking some time to wait out the rain while you sip on a hot beverage at one of the city’s delightful cafés.
Never change money on the street; be sure to use an authorized money exchange or head to a bank or the airport. Try to ensure that, when taking out money, you use an ATM in one of the shopping malls. When carrying cash, take only what is absolutely necessary, as most places in the city accept debit and credit cards.