Where should I stay in Colombia?
October 24, 2012 5:29 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to use AirBNB to stay in Colombia on vacation. Medellin vs Bogota? Favorite neighborhoods?

I have heard a lot of great things about Colombia and I have a free month I'd like to commit to visiting someplace I've never been.

I'm a guy in my 30s, I like bars and music and restaurants and interesting little haunts. I would not have a car so I would like to be in the center of things, in neighborhoods where interesting things are happening.

Anyone have a preference of cities and/or neighborhoods down there? Any other advice for someone who's never been?
posted by deern the headlice to Travel & Transportation around Colombia (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't been to Medellin, but Bogota prides itself as a city of culture and vibrancy, like a London of Latin America. My family lives in Bogota, and when I go there I enjoy taking the fantastic new bus system, el Transmilenio, to visit La Candelaria, a neighborhood in old Bogota that has been revitalized due to students and artists that have taken up residence there. If you can find a room near that area you'll have easy access to some very interesting culture and walks, like the Botero Museum and the Museo de Arte Coloniales.

Stroll down Carrera Septima past the street performers and have a tinto at any cafe, like Cafe Oma, and soon you'll find yourself by the overwhelming Museo del Oro, where there is room after room filled with pre-Columbian indigenous gold artifacts (be warned, it will make your head/heart hurt).

I haven't gone, but many friends say Andres Carne de Res is a riot of a restaurant to visit, and check and see if any cool couchsurfer types are up to come out for a drink.

Talk to anyone, they will be more than friendly, they'll give you the shirt off their backs if you let them. Try every fruit the vendors have to offer and all the pastries in the shops and on the streets. Have arepas and ajiaco. Skip the terrible IHOP-like "Crepes and Waffles". Don't wear flashy accessories and high end brand clothing, and have a great time!
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 6:32 PM on October 24, 2012

Also, buy every female in your life a Mochila bag and you will own them forever. I guess you could get them emeralds too, while you're at it, but seriously, Wayuu Mochila bags are like lady catnip. You'll see there are plenty of craft vendors right next to the Museo del Oro- haggle with them, they're into it!
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 6:46 PM on October 24, 2012

you won't need a car to get around, and a month is plenty of time to see both Medellin and Bogota (and Cartagena, and...)! I preferred Medellin for awesome weather (compared to the wet, cold bogota) and the day trip we took by bus to guatape. it also has a great nightlife scene.

I just got back from a 10-day trip to Colombia, feel free to me mail me for more details.
posted by sabh at 7:56 PM on October 24, 2012

I was considering Bogota for my last trip - apparently it has a great cycling network.
posted by kjs4 at 10:52 PM on October 24, 2012

I know Bogota pretty well for work and have never gotten a great tourist vibe from the city. I've only been to Medellin twice and got a much better leisure time vibe.

As Queen of Spreadable Fats mentioned, Andre Carne de Res is incredibly fun. If you have the chance go, take a party, and get a driver. It goes late and gets drunken.
posted by Che boludo! at 12:48 PM on October 29, 2012

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