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I was so lucky that a friend told me about InterNations before I came to Bogota. I had the chance to contact many expats there from home.


Many people have an outdated perception of Colombia. The country has transformed from its dark past of violence and drug cartels and is now a vibrant, thriving, and welcoming place to live. Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world.

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So, expats looking for warm, tropical beach living, or more temperate, fresh, spring-like mountain climate can find what they desire. The cost of living will vary depending on your lifestyle choice, which city you choose, and even which neighborhood in that city. If you are considering making this up-and-coming retirement haven country your new home, here are some places to check out and a couple to skip. The red-brick high-rise apartment buildings and low-rise townhomes blend perfectly into the greenery of the Andes Mountains that surround the city.

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Due to the near-perfect climate, flowers are constantly in bloom and dot the streets with color year-round. Daytime high temperatures average mids F to low 80s F. It is a cosmopolitan city that boasts 30 universities, a robust gastronomy scene with hundreds of restaurants, and world-class healthcare.

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The city also has an international airport with direct flights to the U. You will find English-speaking doctors, lawyers, bankers, and ants to handle your professional needs. But not many people who you will encounter in your day-to-day living, such as taxi drivers, store clerks, and restaurant staff speak English. Pereira population, Manizales population, and Armeniamake up the coffee axis.

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The cities are modern, have good public transportation, and plenty of activities to keep you busy. Manizales is nestled higher in the Andes mountains, so the climate is slightly cooler than both Pereira and Armeniaespecially at night. This is light jacket weather.

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The coffee region is becoming popular with retirees and the s are continuing to grow. You can enjoy stunning, green mountain scenery in any of these cities. Several parts of the cities are quite hilly, making walking in these areas an aerobic workout. The area does attract tourists to the National Coffee theme park and the various natural, hot-spring, sulfur spa resorts.

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Situated on a mesa in the Andes Mountains, Bucaramanga has all the benefits of gorgeous mountain views but with flat, pedestrian-friendly streets. Bucaramanga is a safe, modern city with excellent public transportation, great spring-like year-round weather, a t Commission International-accredited hospital, and a newly expanded airport. Cartagena is a popular tourist destination thanks to its interesting history, excellent cuisine, and amazing shopping. It is on the Caribbean coast and a major seaport for cruise ships.

The residential population of about 1 million people swells to absorb the nearlyannual cruise ship passengers that pass through the terminal each year.

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This can make getting around the city tedious as you bob and weave around the tourists. As you can imagine, Cartagena has a hot and humid tropical climate. Temperatures in the low 90s are not uncommon.

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Sunscreen, a hat, and carrying bottled water are necessities. The old walled city features narrow, cobblestone streets, churches, museums, restaurants, and shops.

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Sections of the wall have steps that let you walk along the top while listening to the waves crashing close by. There is a large expat community who enjoy the many benefits of retiring in Cartagena. There are lots of recreational activities including boating, swimming, bicycle riding around the city, and playing golf. It is easy to lead an active, vital life in Cartagena. The cost of living tends to be higher than some other coastal communities due to the influx of so many tourists.

However, you can still live for about half of what a similar coastal lifestyle would cost you back in the U. With an average daytime high of 90 F and an evening low of 75 F, the warm, tropical climate is a magnet for those wanting an outdoor, ocean-focused lifestyle. Withresidents, Santa Marta is about half the size of the more well-known city of Cartagena, just miles down the coast.

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By comparison, Santa Marta is less humid, less expensive, and has better beaches than Cartagena. A quick minute taxi ride from the airport, the greater Santa Marta area offers history, beautiful white sandy beaches, water activities, ecotourism, trendy restaurants, and a growing nightlife. Although the climate is hot, the gentle breezes that come in off the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain make being out and about extremely delightful.

Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and bakeries surround the plaza. It is the largest city with over 8 million inhabitants. With an average daytime high of 65 F and an average low of 48 F, the climate is very cool compared to many other places in Colombia. Also, the cost of living and price of real estate is ificantly higher than many of the cities mentioned above. You will most likely go through the city either via the international airport, or if you need to visit your embassy for passport or visa requirements.

The Pacific coast is home to the major shipping port Expat living in colombia of Buenaventura and some eco-travel adventure excursions. The majority of the coastal area is rural with a few scattered villages and poor ro. You can only access the area by domestic flights. There are essentially no expats living in this very remote part of Colombia.

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However, if you are adventurous, you might want to take a trip to visit this area between July and November to experience the majestic humpback whales during mating season. You can also enjoy spending time in an eco-hotel, unplugged from the world as there is no internet or phone service, while you walk along completely pristine beaches with no one else in sight.

The Weather in Colombia.

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Buying Real Estate in Colombia. Where to live in the mountains: 1. Bucaramanga Situated on a mesa in the Andes Mountains, Bucaramanga has all the benefits of gorgeous mountain views but with flat, pedestrian-friendly streets.

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Where to live on the coast: 4. Cartagena Cartagena is a popular tourist destination thanks to its interesting history, excellent cuisine, and amazing shopping. Pacific Coast The Pacific coast is home to the major shipping port city of Buenaventura and some eco-travel adventure excursions.

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Summary: Expats in Colombia discuss the pros and cons of living in Colombia.


Colombia has turned out to be a favorite for innumerable expats seeking a decent quality of life at low costs.


Our team of experts is ready to help you find a home abroad, move your household goods, and settle into your new country.


Are you looking for a genuine expat experience in South America?