Renting a Colombian apartment is easier than it sounds.
There’s nothing wrong with using them.
However, Airbnbs are pricier than what you’d usually rent an apartment for. (Airbnb rentals are also furnished and comes with WiFi, which makes it super convenient!)
Hostels usually only let you book up to two weeks.
And hotels…well, we all know hotels are expensive.
I’ve been really interested in looking at properties in Bogota (and I’ll start looking for places in Medellin as well), and had the fortune to ask my Rola friend on some Colombian apartment rental search sites. (I’m planning to first stay at a hostel for a couple of days and feel out the city before signing on to an apartment!)
When you’re searching for your Colombian apartment, make sure to search “Apartamentos” en “Arriendo”. That means you’re looking for apartments for rent. “Arriendo” means “rent”. Entiendes?
Here are four sites that she recommended.
Fincaraiz is one of the more popular apartment search sites in Colombia. It gets roughly 3 million views a month, meaning properties are rented out fairly quickly. This is a trustworthy site.
Metro Cuadrado isn’t as popular as Fincaraiz, but it’s still fairly popular, pulling in about 1.4 million views a month. They have a nifty map feature to view the properties in their respective neighborhoods.
CompartoApto is one of the newcomers with less than 200,000 views a month. But their listings are only viewable with a Facebook profile, which lends some sort of assurance that you’re renting from a real person, and not some shady individual. Or, you can find listings that are looking for roommates!*
When you sign up, you get to enter the maximum price you’re willing to pay for an apartment. From there, the site looks for listings that fit your tastes! Very simple.
OLX is like the Craigslist of Colombia. You can sell anything from cars to musical instruments, find jobs, and of course, find a place to live.
It looks better than Craigslist, which is completely minimalist (almost to a fault), but both serve the exact same purpose and they do it well.
It’s also one of the more popular places to search for apartments.
So how much is the difference between Airbnb and renting an apartment on your own?
Let’s take an apartment listing in…let’s say Chapinero. That’s a fairly trendy neighborhood and it’s very popular with expats.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to spend $1,000 on rent. I live in NYC and I’m sick of having half my paycheck go to housing.
Using one of those sites, I was able to find a Colombian apartment in Bogota for $300 (890,000 COP). Or $303.04, if you want to be precise.
Sure, you’d have to find a bed, but you can buy them new for less than $60.
These take some legwork, but you still end up paying significantly less than what you’d be paying for an Airbnb!
* If you rent an apartment with roommates, that would be a lot easier because you wouldn’t have to sign up for internet or look for furniture. (Just something to think about!)