Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia. Expats in Colombia report that parts of Medellin are among the safest places to live in the country.
An expat who moved to Medellin reported that he or she "found Medellin from a friend" and wrote that "the climate is perfect" with "75 [degree] days and 65 [degree] nights" that are perfect for sleeping." There is also "good infrastructure" that is equal to America's, drinkable water, "low cost hydroelectric" that doesn't require a converter, and natural gas in ground. The expat, who is from the U.S., is very accustomed to finding "everything we want" and reported that the people are "very friendly" and "helpful."
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Where to Live in Medellin
One expat in Medellin said, "I would not consider any [places in the Medellin area] other than Medellin for relocating now. [You'll] find lower costs in the countryside, but [it] can be dangerous. Also look in the suburbs of Envigado or Sabaneta (south end for a more serene life) as the central city can be dangerous and noisy. Prices in Poblado are much higher - starting above $250-500k and is an urban jungle."
The expat continued that "U.S. style housing is NOT common here - typical housing is more European (my 1st apartment) with smaller box rooms and closed in feeling. [I] miss the U.S. kitchen and bath design including appliances in typical housing here (my new condo is U.S. design and is good), much construction here is NOT equal to U.S. standards (no inspection process) and could require much money for repairs."
As far as cost of living, the expat wrote that "costs are MUCH lower as average wages are U.S. $300 per month. With $500 per month, you can live like a king."
Another expat in Colombia wrote that Poblado has expensive places but also affordable places. As the previous poster suggested, try Sabaneta. Also Envigado and in between. Key is security. And plan to learn the language quickly. Spanish is not that hard. It is important to read expats comments regarding recent tax laws changes. There are other countries that are a lot more tax friendly for retirees.
Nightlife in Medellin
One soon-to-be expat and his friend were getting ready to explore Medellin for the first time, and an expat advised that "Parque Lleras is where you and your friend want to be." but then added jokingly, "Be careful, I started hanging out there and wound up MARRIED!"
Other expats have recommended El Poblado as an option for things to do.
There are also many excellent restaurants in Medellin.
Safety in Medellin Colombia
Some believe that Medellin has gone from a murder capital to a model city.
The Crime in Medellin has become far less of a concern than it was during the height of the drug war, but there are still problems in many places in and around Medellin.
The U.S. State department advises that "due to the security environment in Colombia, U.S. government officials and their families are not permitted to travel by road between most major cities, use inter-city or intra-city bus transportation, or travel by road outside urban areas at night. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Cartagena and Bogota, but violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural and urban areas."
Getting A Mortgage in Medellin
One expat in Medellin wrote that "getting a mortage in Colombia without any Colombian income will be difficult. (Try to get a mortage in the US under similar conditions and see what the bank's reaction is!) Besides, the Colombian bank system is very costly to the consumer. There is very little competition ( I wonder what Bancolombia's market share is??!!) They impose the rules. Besides Colombia is a developing economy thus the risks are higher, thus interest rates are also higher."
International Schools in Medellin
The Columbus School in Medellin is often referred to as the "only international school in Medellin".
One expat with children at the Columbus School wrote that "At our first visit we were amazed. Facilities are beautiful. This school is one of the best schools (speaking only about facilities) in Colombia." Concerns that parent has about the school are contained in the full report. The parent also wrote that "you can still find some [schools] like Montessori and Cumbres."