What to pack for Bogota with tips from someone who lives there

This is what happens when you ask your husband to photograph your outfit in front of this cool wall.

We booked tickets for Colombia in December, and my huge question was: what to pack for Bogota? Fortunately, we have friends who’ve been living and working in Colombia for a couple years (shout out to Narcos!). So we reached out to them to get some tips on what to pack for Bogota in December. Although most of these tips will work for any time of year!

Here are the super-helpful tips from our friend and fabulous Colombian chica Shelly

What to wear while in Bogota:

Okay, so safety is important. We have heard and been close to people that have had their phones, money, and/or jewelry taken right off of them. BUT don’t be scared you can avoid this by making a few small changes…

No jewelry. I know it sucks, but just think of it as a beacon of light screaming, “guess what else I have!” If you must have some kind of jewelry make it the cheap-y kind — I wear a $20 necklace to go out.

As far as a purse goes I would suggest a crossover (cross body) purse. Be sure that the purse has zipper to close all openings. I am not very good with purses (I tend to leave them lying around) so I got myself a fancy version of a fanny pack. Its a pouch that I loop through my own belt. I love it, but the fanny pack look takes some getting use to.

Make sure your jacket has at least one zippered pocket. Make sure your phone and wallet fit into this zippered pocket. We just got my boyfriend a great one with four zip pockets at Zara.

Lastly think layers as far as dressing goes. Maybe a tank or short sleeve shirt on the bottom with a scarf sweater and jacket. Jeans are perfect for everything here.

No open toe shoes. As a Miami girl, I brought a bunch of them and never use them. Boots boots boots.

Clearly my color palette is of blacks and greys, feel free to wear more color than I do. BONUS: Most of these things can be either purchased from Amazon or Target.

Based on that info, here’s what I packed, wore, and used in Bogota:

  •  I wore these boots with hidden pockets all over the city. I walked for miles in them, and they were always comfortable, and kept my feet dry and warm, and my secret stash well-hidden.

  • When we went out to nice restaurants and clubs, I wore my favorite comfortable heelsthese ‘ol things (in black).
Zella 'Live In' Slim Fit Leggings
Zella ‘Live In’ Leggings
Blooming Jelly Lightweight Loose Hooded Waterproof Jacket
  • I brought three different waterproof jackets, which was over-kill. I should have just brought my waterproof Anorak (I got mine at Target and it’s longer available but any of these would work) — it’s light (layers are your friend!), water resistant, and could look dressy if paired with heels. Or this Calvin Klein super-light, down jacket that comes with a bag you can smoosh it into to portability.
what to pack for bogota - @thedashanddine
Celeste Cashmere Blend Infinity Scarf
  • One light infinity scarf — this was probably my most useful layer! The one I’ve been using for years is this cashmere blend scarf (pictured above). It’s easy to take on an off, and easily tied around my purse when I wasn’t wearing it.
  •  I actually brought 4 or 5 chunky knee socks, but wish I had just brought 1 or 2 leg warmers like these that a) would have taken up less room, and b) would have been easy for me to remove as I got hotter as the day wore on.
  • One little black cotton dress
What to pack for Bogota - @thedashanddine
The smaller inside zippered pocket was the perfect place to keep credit cards and cash!
  • This cross body purse with a main zipper, even more secure inside zipper (for money and credit cards), that could also be a clutch, with a strap that I kept my hand on while I walked through crowds. It fit everything I needed for a night out, and it worked perfectly!

Anyone else have packing tips for Bogota?

Megan Finley Horowitz

I’m a part-time writer, editor, and full-time eater from Los Angeles. I live with my husband/travel partner, our rescued senior chihuahua and grumpy-ass cat.


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