Part of my excitement to return to Bogota from Argentina revolved around my wanting to finally feel settled in Colombia. Over the last four weeks, I’ve stayed at two hotels and two Airbnbs in Buenos Aires and Colombia. I was tired of unpacking and repacking every few days, and craved some normalcy.
Finding an apartment in Bogota is a process, and because the Fulbright is so hands-off during our time here, the apartment hunt becomes an independent process more than anything else.
There are a few ways that a person of my median-income, Colombian pesos budget can find an apartment in Colombia’s capital city: Facebook (aka: Bogota Short Term Rentals page), the Craigslist-esque site “Compartoapto”, word of mouth, or by walking through a neighborhood that you like and calling the phone numbers hung up in windows next to “FOR RENT” (“ARRIENDO“) signs. I viewed tens of apartments online and saw seven in person. Because I’m here for “only” ten months, I wanted to find a furnished room/studio, in a central, safe area, with a solid Wifi connection, a full-sized bed, and a reasonable guest policy. After searching for a few weeks, I believe I found that spot! All for the equivalent of $190USD/month… or about 11% of the cost of my old SF apartment in the Mission.
I moved in to my apartment this Monday, immediately after getting off the plane from Buenos Aires. I’m at the bottom of the Chapinero neighborhood/on the outskirts of the Teusaquillo neighborhood, near several universities, coffee shops, and cheap places to eat. There are always a ton of college kids around, and I’m fairly central to other neighborhoods of Bogota. I have a nice bedroom, my own bathroom, and a really sweet, Colombian roommate. We got in touch via a Fulbright friend’s American friend who has a Colombian friend who knows another Colombian girl who had a spare room for rent. Nice and simple.
I’ve also adjusted to the altitude (Bogota is one of the highest cities in the world), and the cooler weather. I took a quick video of the landscape as I was leaving Bogota for Buenos Aires, and I think it gives an idea of how the land drops off by several thousand feet as you leave this region.