The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion


Your Perfect Women’s Packing List for Bogota and Medellin, Colombia

Reasons to think the entire country of Colombia is a tropical paradise: Colombia is in South America, Cartagena is on the Caribbean, and everyone knows there is plenty of jungle inside its borders.

But Bogota and Medellin are not exactly resort towns. First of all, they’re located at a high elevation. In the capital, Bogota, the temperature typically stays within 40°F to 65°F. In Medellin, city of eternal spring, the temperature stays within 60°F to 80°F. So if you are planning to spend a week in Colombia and are wondering what to wear in Medellin and/or Bogota, pack as if it’s early spring in the Northern hemisphere. Note that you can pack slightly lighter for Medellin if you’re not making a stop in Bogota (which is entirely possible, it’s not exactly a tourism magnet).

Second, these are big cities, with a worldly, fashionable populace that wouldn’t look out of place in New York or L.A., albeit with a subtle (subtle) Latin flair. The women here put a lot of effort into looking modern and sexy. Think perfect makeup, long straightened hair, and curve-conscious jeans and dresses.

ADAY also offers a packable capsule with five of the items I list below, if you want to pull this off in one fell swoop!

(Also, here’s where to shop for the best local and artisan fashion when you arrive!)

With all that in mind, here’s my packing list for Bogota and Medellin:

On the Plane

Three Colombian women in the fashion scene of Medellin: from Noa Trade and Chila Bags. Notice the light sweaters layered over white tops with colorful accessories.

In Your Suitcase

My friend taking pictures during a tour of Communa 13. All black works great for Medellin!

In Your Toiletry Bag

  • Argan oil –  I can’t live without argan oil for making my hair shiny and smooth, plus sealing in moisture on my face after a shower.
  • Coola Tinted SPF BB cream – This is my absolute favorite tinted SPF cream
  • Micellar water – I prefer Micellar water to face wash. I like Yes to Cucumbers, which you can find in the travel size in your local CVS or Walgreens.
  • Reusable cotton pads
  • Deodorant – here’s my roundup of my favorites
  • Mini hair iron, curling iron, and/or hairdryer – you’ll especially want this in Colombia, because Colombian women don’t usually do casual wavy hair.
  • Mini hair brush
  • Tweezers
  • Hair elastics
  • Reusable nail file
  • Jane Iredale lipstick in red – I love the look of rich red lipstick in South America
  • Eye makeup
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Multipurpose soap – this one by Akamai is amazing for shaving as well as cleansing.
  • Soap box
  • Shower cap
  • Safety razor and razor blades – I switched to this because it’s easier and more affordable to find razor blade replacements, then the fancy heads that come with whatever fancy razor blade you can get from your drugstore in the U.S. Just be aware you have to check your luggage if you’re bringing this – security will confiscate it.
  • Sunscreen 
  • Dr. Bronner’s soap – great for if the place you are staying doesn’t provide hand soap, or if you need to wash your clothes in the sink.

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