“Ever been to a club with 5,000 other gay boys with 13 rooms spread across 5 floors?“
Neither had we until we went to the huge Theatron gay club in Colombia's capital city, Bogota. The gay scene here is all about this infamous mega-club, which is the largest in Latin America. It's like no other place we've ever been to and is certainly the largest gay club we've visited.
There is of course more to this city than Theatron club, with many different gay places to hang out as well as an exciting foodie scene and beautiful hotels. The historic Old Quarter is a delightful area to see the Spanish colonial influences and explore some of the most interesting museums.
We've put together our detailed guide to our favourite gay bars and clubs in Bogota, the best gay friendly places to stay or eat, as well as our favourite sightseeing things to do in this vibrant city.
Explore Colombia on a gay tour
Out Adventures' brand new Colombia tour is hotter than Maluma! Beginning in Bogotá, the carefree escape will have you shaking your arepa at the largest LGBTQ club in the Americas, hiking humid jungles in Tayrona National Park and soaking up the country's sand, sun and sea in coastal Cartagena. The optional gay salsa class, food tour and snorkeling excursion make this adventure muy caliente!
Is Bogota safe for gay travellers?
As gay travellers in Bogota, we felt safe and we found it to be a welcoming city. We didn't have any problems sleeping in double beds in the hotels we stayed at and never felt like we had to hide who we were. In terms of public displays of affection, we only felt comfortable walking hand in hand in some parts of Chapinero, where most of the gay scene is located. As with most big cities in the world, there are areas you need to be cautious of whether you're straight or gay, so keep an eye out on your belongings wherever you are.
When it comes to gay rights, Colombia is one of the most advanced and progressive countries in Latin America. A full range of anti-discrimination laws were passed in 2011, adoption is completely allowed by both single and married couples, gays are allowed to openly serve in the army and in 2016, gay marriage was legalised. Colombia even has a law protecting your “right to express public affection in public”. Very few countries in the world we've come across have this! And if that wasn't enough, Bogota elected its first lesbian mayor in October 2019 – the fabulous Claudia Lopez!
In terms of transgender rights, Colombia is one of the most progressive. For example, the right to change legal gender has for years been allowed in Colombia, but since 2015, it was possible without psychiatric or physical evaluations. Also in 2015, Colombia allowed a “neutral” or “blank space” section for gender in birth certificates, and in the same year, transgender people were allowed to openly serve in the army.
In light of such progressive LGBTQ laws, it is not surprising that Bogota has one of the best gay scenes in Latin America.
Landing in Bogota soon?
Arriving in a new country can be stressful and getting from the airport to your accommodation with piles of luggage is not ideal on public transport. We like to book a private transfer from Bogota airport to our hotel so we can relax and get ready to party!
The gay neighbourhood of Bogota
Chapinero is the gay neighbourhood of Bogota. It is an affluent area of the city, around 30 minutes taxi ride (sometimes a lot longer!) north of the touristic downtown “Candelaria” area. There are more than 100 gay bars, clubs and shops in Chapinero, including of course: Theatron! Chapinero is also home to Colombia's first LGBTQ community centre.
Whenever we visit Bogota, we aim to be close to the city's gay scene, so we book a hotel or Airbnb in Chapinero. On our first visit to Bogota, we stayed in Candelaria, which as well as being the touristic area, is also very fun and hip due to the high student population. However, Candelaria is a long 30 minutes taxi ride to Chapinero, which can easily turn into a 1-hour drive during rush hour.
Experience Bogota's gay nightlife on a tour
Our friends at The Queer Scout, an excellent gay local tour company, offer a gay nightlife tour of Bogota. We found this to be a fantastic way to discover the gay scene. You'll be greeted by a gay local guide, who'll take you to the best gay bars and clubs in Bogota for an unforgettable night out! We've partnered up with them to offer our readers an exclusive 5% discount off their gay tour.
Gay-friendly hotels to stay in Bogota
We love a gay hotel! Not only do we feel more welcome as a couple, but it's also a great chance for us to get tips off the other guests on the best places in the city to check out. In Bogota, we were spoiled for choice!
Hotel Gay San Sebastian
Why we love it
- An actual gay hotel!
- Sauna for relaxing
- Very affordable
- Great location in gay district Chapinero
Located in the centre of the Chapinero gay district is the TOTALLY GAY “Hotel Gay San Sebastian”! Since opening in 2013 this small boutique hotel has catered to LGBTQ guests and is a very affordable option.
We love the quirky and colourful decor throughout, as well as the very welcoming staff.
The location is fantastic because you're walking distance to gay bars of Chapinero.
Staying here feels more like you're staying with a gay family rather than being in a big hotel. It also has a nice sauna to relax in, as well as a hotel bar and restaurant. While the hotel is very affordable, everything is lovely and clean, perfect for relaxing after all your sightseeing and partying!
If you're not into pink ballerinas, don't worry as not all the rooms are as bold as the one in the picture. The balcony bar is a gorgeous spot to have a cocktail and look out over the city before heading out for the evening. We took full advantage of this each evening, as the only way to get us to stop complaining about sore feet and how exhausted we are from walking all day, is to shove a tasty drink in our hands!
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.
Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia
Why we love it
- Gorgeous luxury hotel
- Located close to Chapinero
- Wonderful in-house restaurant
- Such comfortable beds!
The Sofitel is Colombia's first luxury hotel and it's absolutely gorgeous. It's the sort of place you could imagine staying for your honeymoon, with a large grand James Bond-like entrance hall, and the most charming hotel staff we've ever met.
It is located in the high-end El Retiro neighbourhood, near the gay scene in Chapinero and close to some of the best restaurants of the city.
Even though you're close to so many great restaurants in Bogota you'll also not want to miss out on the Sofitel's in-house restaurant Basilic. We are suckers for Mediterranean cuisine. It also serves delicious French cuisine, meaning Seb felt right at home (he's never admitted to eating snails though…) Oh, and the decor is incredible too, with a huge skylight in the restaurant's ceiling.
Our favourite thing about the Sofitel is their beds! They're so comfortable that you feel like you're in a cloud and never want to leave. It was the best night's sleep we've ever had in a hotel. Bedrooms with romantic balconies overlooking the city are just the icing on the cake.
Explore Bogota by bicycle
Bogota has an excellent cycling infrastructure, and riding a bike around is a fun way to explore the city. Check if your accommodation offers bike rentals, or join a guided cycling tour to explore the sights.
Why we love it
- Funky murals and pops of colour everywhere!
- Very affordable
- Fun activities on offer
- Free breakfast included
For a truly hip choice of budget accommodation in Bogota, you have to check out the Graffiti Hostel!
As you might expect, there are awesome murals throughout this gay-friendly hostel, as well as lots of quirky details like a bathtub library (a bathtub converted into a coffee table with books in it) and foosball tables.
If you like graffiti art and colour, you'll be in heaven here.
Growing up, neither of us were the rebellious kind, so you wouldn't catch us with a graffiti can in our hands. Yet, since our stay here, we are pining to become the next Banksy, as the incredible artwork dotted around the hotel has given us serious inspiration!
You can choose to stay in bunk beds in dorm rooms or in a double room for a bit more privacy. This hostel is even pet-friendly, as long as you organise to bring your furry friend ahead of your arrival (we're not talking about bears in this case!).
As well as foosball tables you'll be able to play board games in the common areas and socialise with other guests. Both of us are pretty sore losers, but we risked playing a game, and are proud to announce we are still together!
The staff are so friendly and helpful, especially the lovely lady who cooks your free breakfast each morning.
Gay bars in Bogota
Bogota has a really large gay scene, with many many gay bars. The majority are based around Carrera 9 street between Calles 58 to 60 in the Chapinero neighbourhood. There are far too many to list them all here, so we've highlighted the ones we visited and loved. You can also check out our complete guide to the best gay bars in Bogota for more.
Experience Bogota's gay nightlife
If you're travelling to Bogota you absolutely have to experience the gay nightlife! There are so many excellent gay bars and clubs to discover. You can even go with a local guide if you want an introduction to the scene.
- El Recreo de Adan: one of the coolest gay bars we've been to, with a seating area where you can play the classic, albeit potential fatal to a relationship, game of Uno with your friends. We love the atmosphere here, made sweeter by the super cute charming waiters. As a bonus, there's not one, but two El Recreo de Adans, one in Chapinero on Carrera 9A #59-85 (it's actually called Adam Recess and is open every day from 5 pm), the other in the Zona Rosa neighbourhood on Carrera 12A #79-45 (open Tues-Sun from 5 pm).
- Color House Cafe Bar: a gay institution of Bogota, Color House Cafe has been around for 11 years and knows how to please its eclectic patrons. We loved the cheesy gay anthems and it's a great place to start your night as it's just a stone's throw away from Theatron. We used it as a warm-up to the night ahead at the massive 13 room club! It's open Monday to Saturday from 5.30pm until around 3 am and is located at Race 9A No 60-74.
- Brokeback Mountain: one of the popular karaoke gay bars of Bogota and a fun place to hang out with friends. It's named after the iconic film but sadly, we didn't see Jake Gyllenhaal when we were there. The cocktails, however, are divine! Brokeback Mountain is open every day until around 3 am and is located at Calle 60 on the second floor of #9-28.
- Leos Bar Mistica: a gay dive bar with a fun atmosphere. Leos hosts the best LGBTQ rumba in the city! On Friday evenings they have karaoke and ꜱtriþpers(!) and on Saturday nights they have a bear night. Leos Bar is located at Calle 59 N 9-36 and it is open daily until around 3 am.
Gay clubs in Bogota
Bogota is all about the massive Theatron Club; “the largest gay club in Latin America” – as every Colombian gay guy you'll meet will proudly remind you! It's in a former theatre hall turned into a gay boy's playground. On Saturday evenings, around 5,000 come here to party into the early hours. There are other gay clubs worth checking out as well though, such as Punto 59 and Disco Jaguar. Try and spend enough time in Bogota to check out a few.
- Theatron de Película! Theatron is split into 13 mini clubs, which are spread over 5 floors. Each one has its own theme, for example, one room is devoted to 1980s hits, another to salsa music, there's one which is men only and more. We went on a Saturday night and only managed to see a fraction of this mega-club. We would return to Bogota simply to come here again, it's definitely one of our favourite clubbing experiences. Theatron is located at Calle 58 10-18 and is open on Friday and Saturday evenings until 5 am.
- Punto 59: Puntro 59 is an institution in Bogota, a long-running gay bar and club that is almost as popular as Theatron. The dance floor gets crowded with hot, sweaty gay men dancing the night away and the vibe is very fun. Drinks are also cheap and they have regular karaoke nights. Located at Cra 13 # 59 24 Int 6 Chapinero, Punto 59 is open daily until around 3 am (later on weekends).
- Disco Jaguar: This is a fun and kitschy disco club, which even has a gay shop attached! Like the animal, the bar is cunning, striking, and domineering. There are two main dance rooms, one playing electronica and the other a mix of Latino music and gay anthems. Disco Jaguar is very popular so gets quite crowded here on weekends. It is located at Carrera 7 # 59-30 and only open Thursday-Saturday from until 2.30am.
- El Mozo Club: This is the fanciest gay club in town, with a beautiful terrace bar open from 5 pm. El Mozo hosts regular drag shows, dancers, top Colombian DJs and international guest DJs. There's even a sister lesbian club called La Moza, so the girls are not left out. Located at 85 Street No 12-51, El Mozo is open Wednesday-Saturday from 5 pm until 3 am.
Explore the Candelaria neighbourhood
The Candelaria neighbourhood is filled with cute cobblestone streets, colourful houses and lots of cool graffiti art. You can even meet some local artists and join a workshop to learn more.
Gay cafes in Bogota
Aside from all the bars and restaurants, Bogota has some nice gay cafes that offer up both food and drinks. These were our favourite gay cafes in Bogota:
- Village Cafe: this is such a quirky, colourful gay cafe/bar, with pink lighting, stained glass windows, and a lot of fabulous purple! Village cafe opens at 4 pm and is a great place to come for a quiet cocktail, a delicious light meal and to listen to music that isn't too loud to hear yourself think. The staff are very friendly and welcoming. It's located at Career 8 No. 64 – 29.
- Estacion Cafe: this is a more intimate gay bar in Bogota and ideal to come for a few cocktails before heading to the almighty Theatron! You can also have a meal of delicious filet mignon or cordon bleu before going out to party. Estacion has a cover charge of 6,000 pesos ($2) and is open every day from midday (from 4 pm on Saturday/Sunday) until 3 am. It is located at Calle 62 #7-13.
Find some gold at Museo del Oro
Bogota's gold museum has the largest collection of gold in the world and is also home to the famous Muisca Raft piece, which started the legend of El Dorado! It's also fascinating to learn how gold was used in everyday life in Colombia's past.
Gay events in Bogota
Bogota has a fantastic Pride, alongside other events gay travellers will love. These are our favourite gay and gay-friendly events in Bogota.
- Gay Pride Weekend (June): Bogota's gay pride festival and parade take place every June. The annual march starts at Parque Nacional and makes its way down Carrera Séptima before arriving at Plaza de Bolívar. There are lots of parties happening in the gay clubs of Chapinero during Pride, making this a fun time to visit Bogota!
- Festival Internacional de Cine Diverso LGBT+ Bogota (June): Diverso Cinema Festival is a film festival dedicated to showcasing both short films and feature films which tell stories of a diverse community. This is the first and (so far) only International LGBTQ Film Festival in Colombia.
- Feria Internacional del Libro de Bogota (May): since 1988, Bogota has hosted an international book festival as a way of promoting reading as a fun and informative pastime. During the festival, there are more than 500 exhibitors that include publishers, distributors, booksellers, and of course, authors. This is a gay-friendly festival that’s perfect for the bookworms out there.
- FIT – Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogota (March/April): This 17 day performing arts festival takes place every two years (on even-numbered years) in Bogota. The world's most important theatre companies from five continents participate. Events take place at various venues around the city and include street theatre, international concerts, classical dance, storytelling and children’s theatre.
Visit the Salt Cathedral
Yep, about an hour from Bogota is a cathedral made from salt! Located in the Zipaquirá salt mines, this is an incredible sight to see and a must-do as a day trip from Bogota.
Gay saunas in Bogota
These are some of the best gay saunas in Bogota to check out:
- Baño Turco Saint Moritz: Saint Moritz is one of the biggest and oldest gay saunas in Bogota, which has recently been renovated. They offer massages and have regular shows featuring ꜱtriþpers or drag acts. You can find Saint Moritz at Calle 65 #13-30 Piso 2 and it is every day from 2-10 pm.
- Cómplices Spa: Cómplices is another fun place, that's a mix of gay sauna, bar, health club and entertainment complex. There's a beautiful Roman-style pool, Turkish baths, a sauna, 2 Jacuzzis, bar area and private relaxation rooms. They also host regular ꜱtriþ shows and themed parties, so make sure you check their Facebook page to see what's coming up. Located at Carrera 13A # 38-60, Cómplices is open every day from 2-9 pm.
- Dagoas Spa: if you're looking for a sauna that's open late then Dagoas is perfect because it's the only 24-hour sauna in Bogota. There's a large Jacuzzi/pool with a pretty fountain, a Turkish bath, sauna, showers, a small bar and masseur services. Dagoas is open all day every day and is located at Calle 59 #9-34.
Get the adrenaline pumping!
Tobia is a town about two hours from Bogota, famous for its extreme sports. We spent an amazing day trekking in the Tiger Creek Mountain, rappelling down the Barandillas waterfall, zip-lining over the Rio Negro valley and rafting down the wild rapids of the Rio Negro.
Our favourite things to do in Bogota
Candelaria is Bogota's downtown neighbourhood, which is around 30 minutes taxi ride away from Chapinero. The city's best touristic sites can be found here. If you head outside of the big city you will also find many small pretty towns and villages, which you can visit as part of a day trip. Here are our favourite things to do and see in/around Bogota!
For more inspiration, especially if you're travelling as a couple, check out our 5 romantic things to do in Bogota as well.
Experience Bogota's gay nightlife!
As we've mentioned, Bogota has an amazing gay scene, particularly if you're into partying and nightlife! You absolutely must experience Theatron at least once, as well as some of the many other fun gay bars. If you're travelling to Bogota by yourself, or just want an introduction to the gay scene, then you could also join a local tour of the best gay bars. Even if you're not big into partying, there are quieter gay bars and cafes to hang out in, nearly all of which offer an experience unique to Bogota.
Cable car to Monserrate Mountain
Monserrate Hill is a famous landmark of Bogota, which should be visited simply for the incredible views. It's also considered very sacred by locals who visit it as a sort of pilgrimage, particularly the white 17th-century monastery at the top which features a shrine devoted to El Señor Caído (“The Fallen Lord”). Located at an altitude of 3,172m (10,407 ft) there are a variety of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops to visit as well as the church. You can travel up the hill by cable car, funicular or, if you're up for it, hike up the whole way!
Go cycling in the city
Getting around the city by bike is a really fun way to experience Bogota and the bicycle infrastructure here is excellent! There are over 300km of specially designated bicycle lanes. On Sundays between 7 am and 2 pm, lots of main roads in the city are closed for an event called “Ciclovía”, which aims to encourage more locals to cycle in the city. There are plenty of bike rental companies in Bogota if you want to explore the city on two wheels. We recommending checking if your hotel offers bike rentals or consider joining a guided bike tour to see the sights with a local guide.
Awe at all the gold in the Museo del Oro
Bogota's Gold museum has the largest collection of gold in the world and is the most visited attraction in the country. A trip here is like a cultural adventure through Colombia's indigenous past as you learn how gold was used in day-to-day life and marvel at the beautifully crafted displays. One of the most famous pieces to be seen is the Muisca Raft piece, which started the legend of El Dorado and has never left Colombia! There's also a cafe, restaurant and gift shop to enjoy after your exploration of the museum. Museo del Oro is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am-6pm and Sundays 10am-4pm.
This neighbourhood has many cute small cobblestoned streets and is famous for its street art, thanks to Justin Bieber. In fact, Bogota is one of the top 20 cities in the world for seeing gorgeous street art. We really enjoyed exploring this area filled with colonial architecture and colourful murals. Just take care to only bring with you what you need and leave as many of your valuables as possible in your hotel's safe as Candelaria is a bit unsafe; Stefan's bag was stolen from a cafe here. If you'd rather visit the area with a group then you might like to join a tour to see the street art and meet some of the local artists.
Visit the Salt Cathedral
Located in Zipaquirá, around 1 hour away from Bogota, this underground cathedral was carved out of salt and is only one of three such structures in the world; the other two are both in Poland. It is simply stunning and was voted #1 of the 7 Wonders of Colombia in a poll in 2007. The salt cathedral and mine is a great spot to visit on a day trip from Bogota. Once there, entry is 50,000 pesos (around $17) per person, which includes an audioguide in English. You can also book a tour to visit the town and cathedral from Bogota, which includes transport there and back.
Trekking, rappelling and rafting
Tobia is a small agricultural town, around 2 hours away from Bogota, known for its stunning scenery and extreme sports. We came here as part of a big adventure day trip, which included trekking in the Tiger Creek Mountain, rappelling down the 75m (246ft) Barandillas waterfall, zip-lining over the Rio Negro valley and rafting down the wild rapids of the Rio Negro. Afterwards, we relaxed with lunch then splashed around in the swimming pool at ‘base camp'. This was definitely one of our favourite things we did while in Bogota.
Watch a football match at the El Campín Stadium
The Estadio Nemesio Camacho, commonly known as El Campín, is the main football stadium in Bogota and the home ground of the teams Independiente Santa Fe and Millonarios. Even if you're not a big football fan (like our Seby!) it's still worth coming just to feel the huge energy of the local supporters. Football is life for Latin Americans and they get super passionate about it! The stadium is also a popular venue for international musical acts as it can hold up to 36,343 spectators. Big artists such as Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Shakira, U2, The Rolling Stones and One Direction have all performed here.
Marvel at the Botero Museum
Fernando Botero is one of Colombia’s most iconic and influential artists, we love the exaggerated figures in his work! A prolific sculptor and painter, Botero donated more than 100 of his own works to this museum, as well as pieces from his collection by artists such as Picasso, Monet, Matisse and Klimt. It's free to visit the museum, although you can also hire an audio guide or join a private tour if you'd like to learn more about Botero and his artistic legacy. If you're travelling to Medellin while in Colombia as well, don't miss out on seeing more of his sculptures in the outdoor museum of “Botero Plaza”.
Visit a traditional coffee Hacienda
90 minutes from Bogota is the Hacienda Coloma, a beautiful coffee plantation in a stunning location. If like us you're super passionate about your morning brew, then exploring a coffee plantation is a must! At this Hacienda you get to learn all about the process of making coffee, from growing the chupola to the washing, pulping, drying and roasting of the beans. The gardens at Hacienda Coloma are so gorgeous that we definitely recommend having lunch here. If you don't have your own transport you can join a tour of this lovely hacienda.
Gay-friendly restaurants in Bogota
Bogota boasts some of the best restaurants and most creative chefs in the country. These were our personal favourite gay-friendly restaurants we enjoyed during our time here:
Andrés Carne de Res
This amazing restaurant actually has a few locations but the easiest to get to in Bogota is Andrés DC. The crazy decor, live shows and dancing are reason enough to visit, while the food is just the icing on the cake. The menu is 40 pages long and features delicious dishes from grilled octopus to steak, as well as vegetarian options and lots of yummy cocktails. The staff are incredibly friendly and attentive, which is no mean feat since this place gets absolutely packed. It's really quite difficult to describe Andrés Carne de Res, you'll just have to experience it yourself!
Capital Cocina y Cafe
Serving up traditional Colombian dishes and tapas, Capital Cocina y Cafe is a very cosy little restaurant in the old town area of Candelaria. It's small and the tables fill up fast because the food is so good! They do yummy Colombian comfort-style food, like pork chops, steak and grilled chicken, although they also have vegan options. The English-speaking staff are so lovely and while the prices are low, the portions are massive. For about $6 you can get a delicious three-course meal.
Agadon was our favourite place to come after a night on the town, their burgers are the best thing to cure a hangover! Aside from the biggest, juiciest burgers we've ever seen, they also serve “freakshakes”, big salads, sandwiches, soup, nachos, ribs and chicken drumsticks (and oh em geee, the pancakes!) They're open on Sundays from 9 am for brunch but only after 12 pm the rest of the week. They're also open til late so you can have dinner as well as some craft beers before heading out for the night.
Restaurante Tabúla (which simply means table) serves up rustic fare that's elevated to incredible by their use of the freshest ingredients to make everything from scratch. This restaurant is casual yet elegant, and goes by the motto ‘we are what we eat'. Famed travel writer Anthony Bourdain featured Tabúla on his No Reservations television show, so you know it must be good! We loved the ambience and the greenery wall, as well as the romantic decorations of candles inside dainty birdcages on the tables. We also found the staff to be very welcoming and gay-friendly here.
SPQR (Temporarily closed: they are looking for a new location – updated 15/7/2020)
SPQR was our favourite lunch spot in Bogota, with lots of vegan and vegetarian options as well as gluten-free baked goods. We loved coming here for lunch or simply to have a slice of one of their many drool-worthy cakes! The service here is excellent, the prices are low and it's a very nice, chilled out atmosphere. As well as the incredible breakfast/brunch options (like french toast, eggs Benedict or smoothie bowls) they also do a set lunch menu where you can have a delicious soup, main meal and fresh juice for just 10,000 pesos (around $3)! Note that as of 2020 they temporarily closed to look for a new venue.
Before you go
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Bogota. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.
How to get there: If you are flying to Bogota you will be arriving at the El Dorado International Airport. From the airport to the city centre it's only about 20 minutes (in good traffic) and you can catch a public bus if you don't have much luggage. If you have more than a small bag (or simply don't want to have to deal with the hassle of public transport when you first arrive) then you could do what we usually do, which is book a private transfer from the airport to your accommodation. It's also possible to get to Bogota via bus from other Colombian cities such as Medellin.
Visa requirements: If you have a passport from the EU, US or Australia then you probably won't need a visa to visit Colombia for up to 90 days as a tourist. If you are planning to stay longer, come from another country or just want to be 100% sure, check your personal visa requirements here before booking anything for Bogota.
Getting around: Bogota is served by one of the best bus systems in the world, the TransMilenio network which covers 112km with a fleet of over 2000 buses. Generally, catching a bus is cheaper and safer than getting a taxi as they often have scams, and Uber is technically illegal in Colombia. Check out this website for more information about using Bogota's public transport.
Power Plugs: In Colombia Type A and B power plugs are used, which are the same as those used in China, Japan, North and Central America. If you're travelling to Bogota from a country other than those then you will need to bring a travel adaptor with you.
Travel insurance: No matter where you are things can go wrong, whether it's missing a flight or having your passport stolen. Make sure you have adequate coverage on your trip to Bogota by using an insurance provider like WorldNomads. We love using WorldNomads Travel Insurance because their cover is very comprehensive and it's easy to make a claim online if something goes wrong.
Safety and Security: Unfortunately, travel can be dangerous, that's just a fact. There are a variety of ways you can stay safe while travelling, one of our favourites is using the CloseCircle virtual bodyguard app. This service offers up advice, alerts and even evacuation if the need arises, all of which can be accessed via your phone.
Vaccinations: When travelling to Bogota you should make sure you are up to date with all routine vaccines (especially measles as there have been some outbreaks in Colombia recently). The CDC also recommends vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Depending on what activities you are planning to do on your trip you may also need other vaccinations, so make sure you check the CDC website before you go.
Currency: The currency used in Bogota, and throughout Colombia, is the Colombian peso which is abbreviated to COP. The regular dollar symbol is used with Colombian pesos, or sometimes COL$ to distinguish it from other currencies. $1 US converts to about COL$3100, £1 to around COL$4,000 and €1 to roughly COL$3600.
Tipping culture: There isn't really much of a tipping culture in Bogota and the rest of Colombia. Some travellers might tip a few thousand pesos (50 cents to a dollar in USD) to hotel housekeeping for good service. In restaurants and spas, a 10% optional service charge is usually added to your bill so you can choose whether to tip and know how much would be reasonable. You wouldn't normally tip a taxi driver but you should probably tip a tour guide between 5-10% of the tour cost, particularly if you think they did a good job.
Internet access: You should be able to access good, free WiFi in the hotels, hostels, bars and restaurants of Bogota. If you think you may need to use a lot of bandwidth then you might also like to bring your own portable WiFi device with you or get a local sim card.
Online privacy: There aren't any restrictions on internet usage in Colombia so you won't have any trouble using gay dating apps or accessing certain websites. If you do prefer to keep your browsing history private then you could use a VPN like the ones ExpressVPN offer. We always use ExpressVPN when travelling because they're easy to use, reliable and affordable.
Accommodation: If you want to see more accommodation options for Bogota then we recommend using Booking.com to search online. We always use Booking.com because they have a huge selection with the best prices, excellent customer service and often free cancellation if needed.
Sightseeing and adventure: We found most of the fun activities we tried in Bogota on the GetYourGuide website, which we love! There are always so many choices, the online booking process is very easy and the 24/7 customer support is excellent.
When to visit: Obviously, if you want to visit Bogota for gay pride and the Diverso Cinema Festival then June is the time to go! Because of it's elevated position, the weather in Bogota is generally mild year-round, although it tends to rain less in the periods between December-February and June-September, which make them ideal for visiting.
Gay map of Bogota
We've put together a gay map of Bogota for you, which shows where all our favourite gay bars and clubs are, as well as all the other places or things to do that we've mentioned here. Use it to help plan your own fabulous trip to Bogota!
For more inspiration:
- check out our full gay guide to the city of Cartagena
- we also have a gay city guide for Medellin
- read about the awesome colourful flower festival of Medellin
- learn more from our interesting facts about Colombia here
- Find out what the famous foods of Colombia are
- read what it's like growing up gay in Colombia
- check out our romantic guide for Bogota
- as well as our favourite romantic things to do in Cartagena
- if you're travelling to Bogota for Pride, you might also like to read about our favourite Prides events in Latin America