Quality of Life
"The light here is the kind of light that makes you happy to be alive!"
Michelle - Denver, Colorado, USA
"It is safer here than in Sao Paulo. I am in love with Bogota."
Carol, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Most first time travelers to Bogota arrive here with at least a cursory awareness of the high culture to be found in the city. However, few foreigners can ever imagine the excellent quality of life that is actually to be found in Bogota, especially if one decides to relocate here and experience it.
Sadly, the international media has had a penchant to myopically cover the negative events in Colombia, with a recherché effort to disseminate catchy sound-bites of morose news events. Naturally, it would be hard for anyone to expect that in reality the quality of life in Colombia could be so good. In fact, the quality of life is surprisingly so good in Bogota and throughout most of Colombia –that despite the economic challenges of some of its citizens, in 2009, it actually ranked as the second happiest nation in the world, after the tiny South Pacific Island-Nation of Vanuatu.
An in-depth world-wide study conducted by the British organization New Economics Foundation’s –Happy Planet index, not only placed Colombia as second happiest place, but it also ranked it second for being the most ecological-minded nation as well.
In fact, one of the best attributes of life in Colombia, is that Colombians have an innate desire to enjoy and protect their ecologically-gifted environment. When you consider that Colombia is the most bio-diverse nation in the world (per square mile), then you realize that vacationing in other beautiful places such as Thailand, New Zealand or Costa Rica, are but a mere hint of this verdant, topographically gifted, river and ocean enriched land which will await you in this much larger, more environmentally diverse nation.
It is no wonder that tourists from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United States, France, New Zealand and Chile, just to name a few, are now coming here in record numbers.
Nowhere else in the world will you find more diverse eco-tourism choices, with Andean mountains peaks that are taller than the Alps or the U.S. mainland Rockies, access to the Pacific and Caribbean/Atlantic Oceans, pristine lakes of all shapes and altitudes, marshes, the fabled Amazon, Magdalena and Orinoco Rivers, Pine tree forests, Eucalyptus forests, rainforests, two jungles, archipelago island-paradises, verdant cattle plains, springs, volcanoes, deserts and canyons –oh and have we yet mentioned the fact that Colombia recently inaugurated the world’s longest cable car system for tourists to view one of the new top eight wonders of the world, the Chicamocha Canyon?
Well, if you live or visit the cosmopolitan capital of Colombia, you will have the opportunity to happily experience the rest of these incomparable places waiting for you.
The surprisingly excellent quality of life that is found in Bogota easily rivals that of other great cities such as Vancouver, Canada. In fact, aside from finding more potholes, far more traffic and traffic related pollution in Bogota, one will actually find Bogota to be more international, bohemian, greener, sophisticated, cultured, with an extraordinary culinary scene –all within a beautiful architectural aesthete, in a city full of warm and well educated people.
Here are just a few other reasons why we believe Bogota is one of the best cities to live in the world:
- Unrivaled number and variety of Festivals.
- Beautiful parks and flowers in practically every neighborhood.
- The world’s largest urban bicycle path system.
- Innumerable options of Eco-Tourism activities.
- A surprising amount of year-round golf courses, private clubs, horse riding trails, fishing options, campgrounds , rock-climbing and rappelling, hiking and extreme sports activities.
- The best healthcare in the Americas (as ranked by the World Health Organization –and despite some of the same challenges affecting healthcare systems globally).
- The unrivaled spectrum of fruits and vegetables, variety of international and Colombian restaurants, the interesting choices of fresh-baked breads and pastries, the world famous Colombian coffee, hot chocolate and aromáticas –Bogota will be a haven for your palate.
- The ideal climate, where average daytime temperatures hover between 58 F to 65 F, every day of the year! –Never too cold or too hot. And though it can often be rainy and gray, precipitation figures still rank Bogota as being far less rainy than London, Vancouver, New York or Paris.
- Love! Bogota is a city for lovers …where you will see couples of all ages and sexual orientations, arm in arm, embracing and kissing –like nowhere else. But no less endearing, where one finds children, parents and grandparents enjoying the richness of the family unit, celebrating their love –and where you will also see them walking arm in arm, hand in hand.
Bogota, with its spectacular quality of life is the only megalopolis in the world to be situated closest to the sun and evening stars, a truly wonderful city for anyone to work in, play in, live in and fall in love.
In Colombia, one of the few countries on Earth considered by many to have the least prejudice-prone society, we are happy to report that on August 30, 2011, the Colombian congress passed a law which would punish anyone convicted of discriminatory acts of violence with jail terms from between one to two years of prison.
The Colombian constitution emancipated the slaves upon the founding of the republic in 1810, and Colombians have enjoyed the second oldest constitutional democracy in the world (after the USA). Colombia is a nation of great ethnic and racial diversity that includes a 10.5% afro-descent population, but it has long been known as a land where racial prejudice was never allowed to flourish.
In recent times, Colombian society has been unfortunately influenced by the prejudices from abroad, and the neo-Nazi groups that have take root may now be considered illegal here. The new law protects people living in Colombia from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, political ideology or philosophy, sex or sexual orientation.
NOTE: Bogota Brilliance is a private, apolitical enterprise, created to help recalibrate the international perceptions of Bogota.