La Candelaria— Bogotá


Even though La Candelaria is in Bogotá’s city centre parts of it feel like a remote Andean village. With its colonial mansions, bohemian atmosphere and plans for regeneration afoot, foreign property buyers are investing in the area and snapping up bargains.

Bogotá, Colombia, bohemian, colonial, foreign, investment, mansions

About a decade ago, a small group of well-heeled Bogotános decided they wanted to escape the bland and sterile gated communities of Bogotá’s northern suburbs. They opted for Bogotá’s oldest neighbourhood and historic quarter – La Candelaria – in the city centre.

It’s a district of steep cobbled streets lined with Spanish colonial mansions stretching towards the green forested foothills of the Andes.

Since the 16th century, La Candelaria has been a cultural hub and the birthplace of the capital’s leading universities and theatres. Spurred on by…


David Meyer
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.”

Daniela Ogliastri
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.”

Guillermo Londoño
“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.”

Adrian Cussins
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
Landscape gardener
“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.”

Gianpaolo Magnani
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.”

The process

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.


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