The Foreign Exchange
Expat Exchange
Expat Exchange
A World of Friend Abroad
March 13, 2023

Expats love living in Colombia for its vibrant culture, low cost of living, friendly people, and beautiful landscapes. If you're considering a move to Colombia, one expat shared an important tip, ""Stay in the area for a while before making a desision and try and get some inside information ..someone from your own country who has lived in this place a while." Today, we're highlighting 4 of the 9 Best Places to Live in Colombia according to expats living in Colombia. In our article, expats share why they love living in each city, the climate, cost of living, social activities and more. Don't overlook the comments about heat and humidity in some coastal cities - while these conditions are ideal for some expats, they're oppressive for others.


Medellin (#1 on our list) (pop. 3.7 million) was once considered one the most dangerous cities in the world. Today it is called the city of eternal spring. A retiree in Medellin wrote, "[Medellin] Colombia is like a dream come true. Fresh, crisp mountain air. Sunny days with gentle, pine and eucalyptus scented breezes. Restful, cool nights with the patter of soft rain overhead. Green everywhere. Lush pastures and forests. An average yearly climate that averages 68 degrees at night and 75 daytime. Morning and evening hot tub sessions. Walks along shaded forest paths. Fresh fruit, juice, vegetables from our garden and dairy right from the farm. Fresh meat without preservatives. Beautiful, warm, friendly Paisas. Parties, barbecues, family celebrations. It's all good."

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Bogota (#4 on our list) (pop. 8 million) is the capital of Colombia. "I am a single woman from sunny Southern California now living in Bogota for 2 years. I LOVE it. The climate suits me perfectly. I have large picture windows facing the east and in the morning my apartment heats up to 80 degrees. I am wearing sundresses I would be wearing at the beach in So. Cal. Yes, at night, it gets cold but, an extra blanket on the bed solves that problem. I sleep with my kitchen windows wide open at night... Yes, it rains but, only for an hour or so - quite livable actually. Bogotanos have welcomed me. They have taught me Spanish, helped me get settled, shown me where to shop and how to get around... The city is filled with lots of nightlife, culture, entertainment, and lovely people. The people are much nicer than in most American cities. And, I live in Cedritos, which I find very safe. I can actually walk to the market after sunset by myself. I, for one, find Bogota a refreshing change. But to each his own," said one member.


"Cartagena (#8 on our list) (pop. 970k) is like a living museum - if one loves culture, art, music, history - this city is unique/international and well worth 'taking in the whole ambiance.' The good beaches, are experienced in near-by islands," said one expat. In terms of best areas of Cartagena to live, one expat offered some great insight, "Bocagrande - high rise condos, hotels and la playa, the beach. I always spend most of my time in Bocagrande well I just like cafe life and watching the world go by and only be two blocks from the beach from from anywhere you are standing 80 percent of the penisula." Cartagena has year-round temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s.

Small Pueblos

"I live in Small Pueblos (#9 on our list) because I like the less hectic lifestyle, it is usually quieter, the people are more friendly and less stressed, costs are lower, often by as much as half, and it's just plain fun to walk everywhere I want to go. Rarely do I use a taxi here in the pueblo, and hardly ever use the local bus. The best part is, Pereira is only 30 minutes away whenever I need a city fix. Probably going to Price Smart tomorrow to stock up on American products," said one expat in a discussion about city vs. pueblo life. Another expat explained, "I live in a pueblo in southern Huila and I wouldn't trade my life here for anything. I love the fact that I am totally immersed in the local culture. I lived in Cali and made very few friends there. Here in this small town I have more friends than I had in the US. Most of the people are proud to have a gringo friend and look out for me."