If you’re a big city person with a penchant for traveling in Latin America, then Bogota, Colombia Vs. Lima, Peru Vs. Mexico City might be the comparison post you need to succeed.
See, these three cities are the Holy Trinity of Spanish-speaking locales with massive population numbers. The smallest city featured here has over 9 million locals. Not small!
Luckily, I’ve had the good fortune of passing time in all three of these metropolises. Months in Bogota and Lima have been endured and enjoyed, including a little degeneracy from time to time.
I’m a little new to Mexico City. So, this might be a little premature. But that’s never stopped me before. Trust me. I tell you just like I’ve told a certain few Latinas…
Todo es tu culpa. No es mio, pero no te preocupes, amor. Dame 15 minutos y podemos hacerlo bien rico alguna ves.
That didn’t come out right. Or maybe it did. Wait. Damnit! Stop, Jake.
Get focused. Go back to writing about Latin American megacities. Don’t you dare open up What’s App achieves and start looking at old videos from the past. Refrain from perving out and let’s stick to being productive today.
You right, fam. Let’s dig in and see where budding travelers, digital expats, and true degenerates should pass their days in Latin America.
Below you’ll find the ultimate guide comparing Bogota Vs. Lima Vs. Mexico City. We’ll take a look at:
Cost of Living
English & Education Levels
Girls & Dating
Tourism & Stuff to Do
Enough with the ado and out with the hype, let’s dive in and see which city suits your needs.
Living in Lima, Peru.
Bogota, Colombia Vs. Lima, Peru Vs. Mexico City
This may get a little sloppy, but we should be able to determine a winner by the end. While Bogota, Colombia vs. Lima, Peru vs. Mexico City won’t be clear-cut choice for all, my goal is to help you find the perfect spot. Here we go:
All three of these cities are monstrosities. True mega-cities filled with millions upon millions of people. Just look at this list.
Mexico City is the largest city in the Americas, with a metro population of nearly 23 million – although some statistics claim Sao Paulo is.
Bogota and Lima are no slouches, either. Lima has about 11 million in the metro area, while Bogota offers a smooth 9 million residents.
There’s no real winner or loser in this category. These cities are so massive that it’s damn near impossible to fully know or understand them.
I will say a few things though…
Lima, Peru feels far smaller than Mexico City and even a little smaller than Bogota. Why? Because you won’t be spending much time outside the areas of Miraflores or Barranco. There’s just no reason to.
Bogota is a little larger, as you have more neighborhoods to check out, including Zona T, Parque 93, Chapinero, Galerias, and La Candelaria.
Mexico City is a true behemoth of a city. As my flight landed, I starred out the window and saw urban sprawl that was truly unparalleled. The city seemingly never ended.
While I’ve only spent time in Condesa and Roma Norte so far, people tell me that there are nearly a dozen neighborhoods here worth checking out.
Winner: Tie. You won’t get bored in any of these cities.
Mexico City. Might get a little rough in this area at night.
English & Education Levels
The reality of the situation is you can get by without decent Spanish in every single one of these cities.
Education levels are decent in Lima, Bogota, and Mexico City. These cities are capitals of their respective countries and filled with businesspeople, hustlers, and students.
You’ll find most people living in these massive cities works, studies, or both. Many also learn English as a way to boost their resume and potentially land a lucrative job in tourism.
I’d say English levels and education are fairly similar in Bogota and Lima. But once you get out of Miraflores in Lima, the English speaking skills plummet.
So, Bogota might get the slightest edge here. But…
CDMX, especially in areas like Condesa and Roma Norte, seems to be filled with English speakers and highly educated people. After all, Mexico is so close to the USA. For many locals, learning English just makes sense.
Overall, you’ll have no issue getting around with just English here. Spanish definitely helps. Don’t get me wrong.
But I can’t lie and say you definitely need it to get around here, meet people, and stay safe. That’s simply not true.
Not sure I should even tackle this one, as I’m no expert on dating in Mexico City. At all. Whatsoever.
But I’ll do my best.
The girls are hottest in Bogota, Colombia. You’ll see more head-turners in Bogota than in CDMX and Lima combined.
I’m talking enhanced assets and all. Assets that demand a second look. Or a straight stare.
That being said – the women in Lima and CDMX are definitely attractive. Lima gets a bad rep, but you can find some stunners if you stop swiping on Tinder and get out in the real world.
For Mexico City, I can only comment on the women I’ve seeing cruising around Condesa and Roma Norte.
At first, I was fairly uninspired. Then I went to the gym. After, I took a walk around Parque Mexico around 5 pm.
I found inspiration if you know what I mean. There are some cute girls in Mexico City. It’s a city of 23 million, so there’s bound to be attractive humans.
Personality-wise, I’d say girls in Lima are more interested in foreigners than girls in Bogota or Mexico City. I’d also surmise they’d make the most loyal girlfriends, overall.
Girls in Mexico City seem more westernized and liberal. They’re chill and easy to get along with. These chicks seem to have jobs and might be looking to have fun more than date seriously. I dunno, but this guy might.
For any ladies reading this, lo siento. But I can’t help you much here. No soy un maricon. You’ll just have to visit and check out the dating scene yourself.
Winner: Bogota, although that’s not 100%. Too many variables.
This one will be tough. Both Mexican food and Peruvian food is pretty incredible.
Sorry, Bogota. But you can’t compete here. Colombian food is pretty bland.
While I’m no foodie, it’s hard to imagine better places than Lima, Peru and Mexico City for eating.
Seriously, the restaurants around Miraflores in Lima and Condesa/Roma Norte/Polanco are pretty great.
For someone from the States, I’ve been in love with Mexican food since forever. And there’s no doubt the food here in CDMX is way better than the Tex-Mex stuff back home.
But Peruvian food is unique. I’d never tried dishes like ceviche or lomo saltado before I made my way to Lima.
I was impressed. Peruvian food is damn good. Highly recommended.
Overall, it’s a tie. In my opinion, Mexican food is richer and Peruvian cuisine is healthier.
We’re not talking Cancun, Mexico. This isn’t Medellin, Colombia. Nor are these cities jammed packed with tourists year-around like Cusco, Peru.
Sure, there are foreigners in Lima, Bogota, and Mexico City. I’d surmise Bogota sees the least foreigners than the other two cities.
But it really doesn’t matter. Why? Because these are massive cities, mate.
Think how many gringos it would take to overrun a city of 23 million people. That’s just not going to happen. It’s not possible.
Overall, gringo fatigue simply isn’t an issue in these cities. I’ve found locals in all three cities more than friendly and quite helpful.
Views in Lima, Peru.
Tourism and Stuff to Do
Bogota doesn’t have tons of stuff to do. There’s some cool street art, a few museums, and you can take a cable car to Monseratte for stunning views. Well, there’s the drugs and the women, too. But that’s not exactly my definition of tourism.
On the other hand, Lima is filled with fun stuff. Some of my favorites include:
Swimming with sea lions
Relaxing at the beach
Malecon workouts with ocean views
While I haven’t spent enough time in CDMX to give to accurate a description, I’m inclined to believe Mexico City might have more stuff to do than Lima and Bogota combined.
Some claim there are over 150 museums in Mexico City (Source) and I wouldn’t doubt it. Plus, you have places to visit like:
El Angel de la Independencia
Palacio de Bellas Artes
And that’s just to name a few. Overall, Mexico City wins. There’s just so much to see and explore here in this massive city.
Winner: Mexico City
Bogota, Colombia Vs. Lima, Peru Vs. Mexico City: Overall
So, where does that put us? Which city is the winner? Well, there’s no real “winner” here because all three of these massive cities are pretty great. But let’s take a glance at the scorecard:
City Size: Tie.
Cost of Living: Mexico City.
Weather: Mexico City.
Safety: Lima / Mexico City.
English & Education Levels: Mexico City.
Girls & Dating: Bogota.
Food: Lima / Mexico City.
Gringo Fatigue: Tie.
Tourism & Stuff to Do: Mexico City.
After nearly 2,500 words, it seems that Mexico City is the winner. However, I’m inclined to believe I gave Lima, Peru a lower rating than I should have.
Why? Because from December until May, I’d choose to live in Lima over Bogota and Mexico City.
If women and partying are the most important aspects of travel, then Bogota will be damn near impossible to beat.
For overall quality of life, I’d have to stay Mexico City is the winner. And the results reflect this. The city is simply nicer, more developed, and has more stuff to do than Bogota and Lima.
Plus, Mexico City is close to the States and one of the easiest flights in Latin America. It’s damn cheap to get to Mexico City.
Overall Winner: Mexico City
…Although, it definitely depends on when you go and what you’re looking for. These massive cities have a lot to offer every type of traveler.
My best advice? Just be yourself. Do what you do. Go to the city and country that intrigues you the most.
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.