Colombia uses numbers rather than names for streets, which makes navigating a big city like Bogotá surprisingly easy. What can be confusing though, is deciphering an address, so that you can find the place you’re looking for or making sure you write an address correctly, so that the letter you send will arrive at its intended destination.

The layout of Bogota began with a grid designed by the Spaniards which can be appreciated in the historic center of the city the present numbering system was derived from that original grid. The names of the streets indicate their direction: calles (or sometimes, Diagonales run perpendicular to the hills, from east to west, while Carreras or sometimes Transversales) run paral lei to the hills, from south to north. Addresses are based on cross-references between them, beginning at the point where calle I and carrera meet, calle I was the city limit at the beginning of the century and now marks the dividing line between the north and the south of the city. The numbers of the streets increase in both directions calle J2, 3, 4 etc. to the north; or calle 2S, 3S, 4S etc. to the south; Carrera 2, 3, 4 etc. are to the west of the foothills of Monserrate, and carrera 2E, 3E, 4E etc. To the east).

For example, the address calle 45 No. 20-54 is to be found on calle 45, between carrera 20 and carrera 2 Another example, carrera 2 No. 8-53S or sur) will be on carrera 2 between calle 8 and calle 9, south of calle.

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