01Candelaria street scene
03View over La Candelaria
04Catalina’s street kios
05Plaza de Mercado
06Juan Valdez coffee shop
07Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez
08Colourful houses in Carrera 2
09Courtyard at Jaime Botero antique shop
10Anderson’s steak house
12A historical home
13Pedro Franco’s house
14The studio of local artist Jenaro Mejia
15The house of Professor Adrian Cussins
16Guillermo Londoño’s kitchen
Owner of Anderson’s restaurant
“The same families have been living here for centuries and are home owners so have a vested interest in the neighbourhood. All the city’s most important universities are here, giving the area an intellectual feel.”
Project manager with the European Union
“You can still find the traditional Colombian village here. People preserve their crafts, such as the ironmonger and carpenter, who live here. Just walking along the road and greeting people who know your name is a great experience. You have contact with people here. You can also rack up a bill at the local grocery store and pay later.”
“Here I can be a rebel. It’s a space for your soul, a peaceful place where I can work in my studio. I can create my own paradise-like world and my own idealised fairytale version of the world. There is a sense of belonging that you don’t get elsewhere.”
British philosopher and local university professor
“I sense that something that might be a dream in the US and Europe is a possibility here. The place permits you to be drawn to things and the freedom to follow them. The world in Colombia, as it is in La Candelaria, is still indefinable so the magic is not lost. I can also be in the mountains in just 10 minutes.”
Professor Adriana Gallego
“Here you can find a niche – [it’s] a real village inside a city. The contrasts between people, its history and community feel make this neighbourhood so different from the rest of Bogotá.”
Owner of Casa Deco Hotel
“La Candelaria represents the original and authentic part of the city. It’s the heart of Bogotá’s cultural and artistic scene, which is attracting a new wave of professionals looking for a different way of life.”
There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Colombia. If the house belongs to a family who has lived there for generations, it’s essential to use a lawyer to check the title deeds are in order.
Ask to see the matrícula inmobiliaria, a document that outlines the history of a home including its previous owners and mortgages.
Once you’ve decided on a property, there’s a preliminary contract (el contrato de compraventa) and a deposit to be made (between 10 and 30 per cent of the value of the property). As this is a legally binding document, it’s important to check all the paperwork. Expect to wait around six months to complete the deal.
When renovating a ruin from scratch a permit is needed and the original façades must remain intact.