Bogota Colombia

More than a few of my friends whispered concerned warnings to me about being kidnapped when I announced my intention to visit Colombia; this fear is the norm among Americans who follow the media. Colombians have similar fears about coming to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles because every crazy American is carrying a gun. The media seems to always lean toward shocking news to boost ratings. What most Americans don’t know is that Bogota has a lower crime rate than Washington D.C. but like any big city, it has areas that are less safe at night if you are walking solo.

Anandamayi Hostel

hostelbogotaI absolutely love two kinds of travel: 1) couchsurfing where you stay with a local for free 2) hostels, where I stay in a dormitory with six to ten other travelers. Couchsurfing usually requires a week or more of requests online to hosts in order to find accommodations–it takes lots of work and rarely works on short notice. I booked a hostel in the historic area of Bogota in a rustic, non-party type hostel called Anandamayi, named after a famous female Hindu guru. The hostel here is fabulous and ranks among my favorites I’ve stayed in. My dorm bed costs me $10 a night and includes a free breakfast (I’m having eggs, toast, oatmeal, fruit and coffee or tea every morning). The hostel appears to have been built from a historic barn or perhaps a workshop of some kind. It is made of adobe and timber with the classic Latin styled tile roof. It is quite fabulous!

My Cost for a Day in Bogota

There are three things I obsess on when traveling: food, cultural differences and language. The food in Bogota is cheap, very cheap. I eat breakfast each day in the hostel for free. Lunch typically costs me $2 and dinner $3. I even had a big ice-cream cone from a street vendor for $1. Including my hostel room of $10 my daily budget is usually around $15 to $18 a day.

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