The following is a guest post by Brice.
Bogota vs Medellin. The capital of Colombia versus it’s much loved little sister.
I believe it’s a truth in most countries, where the second city has a complex with it’s big brother. This is the case with Chicago vs New York, Manchester vs London, and Melbourne vs Sydney. It is no different in Colombia.
Medellin feels like it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves from the residents of Bogota, and in turn they make it clear their distaste for their “big, cold, ugly, and polluted” sibling.
The funny thing with intercity rivalries is that the larger city rarely pays attention to the rivalry. They in fact usually pay compliments to the positive aspects of their compatriot. This holds true with Colombia’s two largest cities.
Rolos (the nickname for Bogota residents) are rarely heard saying anything bad about Medellin. In fact, when asked what they think of The City of Eternal Spring, three things are usually said: it’s beautiful, the women are beautiful, and the weather is great. (Which are all truisms.)
Ask the same question to Paisas (Medellin residents) and the same can not be said. The dislike for Bogota is near universal in Medellin. The general response to “What do you think of Bogota?” from a Paisa is: the weather’s cold, the people are unfriendly, and the women are ugly.
The funny reality, however, is that many of the respondents have never even visited Bogota. The answer is so universal in Medellin that it’s been ingrained in them without even having experienced the city for themselves.
Bogota Truth: The weather’s cold
So we’ve identified that Bogota is cold. Are the other statements by Paisas true? Well, the Rolos are not as open as Paisas, but Paisas are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever encounter.
Are the women ugly in Bogota? No. Do they wear more clothes than Paisas? Yes. Are there less plastic surgery enhanced breasts and buttocks? Yes. However, the women of Bogota have one thing going for them: a better sense of style. Paisas are stunning, but you will definitely find beautiful women in Bogota.
Medellin Truth: The Weather’s Perfect
So if the weather, women and people of Medellin are so much better, why would you want to go to Bogota? One word: diversity.
Bogota, along with being the home of the national government is also home to an amazing amount of cultural diversity. The museums, nightlife, restaurants, cafes, music scene, and theatres of Bogota can not be matched by any city in the country, Medellin included.
To have the opportunity to live in Medellin is a beautiful thing. It’s a fantastic city. I’ve had the chance to live in Medellin and spend a few months in Bogota. I like them both, and for very different reasons.
I think the ideal balance is to live in Medellin, and visit Bogota from time to time for a cultural splash. It’s only a 25 minute flight away.
Plus, you’ll save money living in Medellin over Bogota, so you can afford the occasional excursion to the capital to indulge in some of your favourite cultural experiences.
About the Author: Brice is a location independent day trader who chose to live in Medellin for six months in late 2011 and early 2012. He has lived on four continents in five different countries. His favorite way to see a place is from the saddle of his trusty bicycle. To read more on his Colombian adventures, check out his website: Traveling to Colombia.