If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of doing a homestay, I say DO IT! A homestay in Bogotá is perfect for the xenophile who would like a little more out of their stay. While most travelers book a hostel, hotel or Airbnb, none of those compare to living with locals and surrounding yourself with Colombians who genuinely want to share with you what it’s like living in their country. You might spend a little more than you would at a hostel, but no more than you would at a cheap hotel or Airbnb and the adventure will be more than worth the extra money.
If you’re already enticed, visit our partner’s website at https://www.wheeinstitute.com/homestay-activities/ to learn more! To those of you saying “I can rent a room in someone’s home on Airbnb,” I assure you, it’s not the same because I’ve done both. I had the amazing opportunity to do a homestay for three weeks in Bogotá and I’ve compiled my top 3 reasons you should do one too.
Obviously, it’s fun!
For starters, you could end up in a really cool house. Mine was an older house in the heart of La Candelaria complete with a balcony overlooking a backyard blooming with flowers and a hammock to lay in and enjoy the view. Homestay options are spread out across the city and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You could end up in the middle of the hustle and bustle, where you’re able to access everything just by walking out the front door, or you could be in a quieter area if you prefer more solitude. Your hosts could be the biggest help in having fun (think of them as your local guides!), if you let them, and homestay families also come in different types: parents with a child, grandparents, single people or just 2 young roommates who wind up feeling more like your friends that you can talk to about anything, as in my case.
You will improve your Spanish!
This is inevitable when you live in a house full of Colombians, some of whom might only speak Spanish. While both of my hosts spoke at least some English, one of the things I wanted out of my homestay was to practice Spanish a lot to supplement the classes I was taking (click here to read about Spanish classes at Whee Institute) and that’s exactly what I got because I asked them not to speak to me in English. If you are trying to learn another language, the best way is to immerse yourself and a homestay is a huge help with this goal!
You will become part of a Colombian family
Probably the best reason to choose a homestay is that you will leave will a full heart because you’ve met and gotten to know people who will stay with you forever. When I left mine, I was told that I was always welcome, and it was genuine. I still visit one of my hosts whenever I’m in Bogotá (the other has unfortunately moved away). This is undoubtedly the biggest perk of a homestay that your friends in hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs sure aren’t getting.
My homestay in Bogotá was coordinated by the Colture Team. Nearly every aspect of the homestay is customizable from your living arrangements to what meals are included. You will get to specify your preferences when you decide to book a homestay through Colture. Your options include but are not limited to:
- Single or double room
- Shared or private bathroom
- The people you live with (kids/no kids, pets, family, couple, etc.)
- Meals you would like to be included (should you want them at all)
- Neighborhood preferences (read about Chapinero, La Candelaria, Chicó, Rosales, Santa Bárbara and Cedritos, to name a few, if you would like to learn more about them!)
The price is determined according to the specifications above and you are charged by the day, not the night. When you’re ready to book a homestay or if you have any specific questions, you can contact the Colture Team directly at [email protected]. I can’t speak more highly of my time at my homestay; to this day, it’s one of the highlights of all my travels and that’s because a homestay is so much more than accommodation. It’s the chance to have a truly one of a kind experience and get to know some wonderful people during your time abroad in Bogotá that you’ll be telling others about for years to come.
Let me know what you think or if you have any questions by dropping a comment below and be sure to follow my articles on www.colture.com! Just can’t get enough? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for all things Bogotá related.
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