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Pueblo compared to City

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3/6/2019 12:22 EST

the other thread comparing Ecuador to Colombia got me thinking about why some of us choose to live in pueblos and others choose to live in cities. why is that?

I live in pueblos 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 its 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 :-)

12/21/2019 14:22 EST

That sounds great Cafetero you could live comfortably there and save money Estrato 4 is that the way they classify the area?

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11/5/2019 11:18 EST

We love cooler weather so at this point we are looking at places like Manizales. My wife loves to run around to Walmart and malls...I like to stay at home. She is a native Spanish speaker and we've been married 22 years. If you were looking for a pueblo...maybe close to Manizales...any pueblos in that area that you like ? Thx !

11/3/2019 13:40 EST

Awesome Cafetero sounds like your really happy with where you're staying great! That sounds as reasonable as the places you mentioned in Santa Rosa thanks so much for the information my friend it's certainly appreciated!

10/19/2019 14:00 EST

SpikeRivet, I agree somewhat with Elexpatriado that Santa Rosa only has a couple really pretty areas, but the rest of it is just typical pueblo. I also agree that viterbo is bit out of the loop, and its on the hot side, being low in the valley.

There are a couple places in closer to Pereira you might take a look, one is a development called Villa Verde about 15 minutes by taxi from el centro Pereira.

Villa Verde is a condominium style development with a small centro that includes 2 supermarkets and 10 or 15 restaurants and bakeries, lots of little tiendas. It is a new devlelopment, within the past 15 years and it is sort of like living in a new Pueblo. AS far as I can tell there are few to zero gringos.

If you want smaller, yet still on the metro line, look at Altagracia, or some of the ubicaciones along the Via Cartago.

10/19/2019 12:51 EST

This thread has been really informative. Since I'm not really a city person, This information about very cheap unfurnished rentals in outlying areas is also very useful to know. Thanks, Cafetaro

I've been blessed with good health, (knock on wood) and would prefer to be in a pueblo within 40 minutes from a hospital in one of the major cities I'd consider.

My most ideal rental situation (which never works out in real life) would be in a mountain town overlooking Medellin, Pereira, Armenia, or Bucamaranga ,(wonder about Villa Joseia, though I've never been there) or looking uphill toward Manizales as weather wise, I don't think I want to be higher in elevation than Manizales.

I passed through Santa Rosa de Cabal which I see is just before descending into Pereira. Unfortunately I was coming from Medellin, it was night and I was completely frazzled by 5 hours of gladiator like highway construction delay driving. So I wasn't able to appreciate it. But I remember I regretted I couldn't see it in the daylight.

I like some gringos around, but I've gotten along well traveling throughout Central and Latin America intermingling with locals in the cities and in the country.

One pretty , serene little valley town I liked where I had lunch was Vitterbo though it realistically is a bit to far out for me, Being a little under an hour from Pereiera..

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10/18/2019 08:22 EST

Santa Rosa is okay in the outskirts on the road towatds the termes.

Rest of the place close to el centro is a dive

10/18/2019 07:22 EST

oops, Chilango, I meant to say....I do NOT believe there is a Smartfit in Santa Rosa......sorry for the slip.

10/18/2019 05:58 EST

Chilango, I'm not living in Santa Rosa anymore, so I can't say for sure, but, I do believe there is a Smartfit in Santa Rosa de Cabal, Only in Pereira and Manizales. Here is a link that shows addresses.

10/18/2019 05:50 EST

EpaEpaEpa, clearly I'm not on the run, nor will I likely ever have to flee anywhere. It was just a figure of speech.

I've lived in 23 different places in 10 years because I wanted to.

Sometimes I moved to take teaching jobs.

Several times I moved to be closer to a woman I was dating.

Sometimes I moved because I wanted to try a place out before I settled down.

Of all the places I've lived, I would go back to most of them if circumstances pointed me in that direction.

I probably would not go back to Bogota, five months there was more than enough. Nor would I go back to Medellin, three months was enough.

I've dialed in my preferences.

I like an elevation of about 5,000 feet to get the eternal spring effect, and I like living in a pueblo-style environment, but close to a small city.

I live closer to downtown than half the people who live in the city. I'm only 15 minutes from el centro, yet I can walk 10 minutes down my street and be in farm country.

I live in Estrato 4, and never feel deprived or wanting for anything. Others mileage will vary.

10/18/2019 03:23 EST

I once rented a second story 3 bedroom apartment in Timana. 250 mil per month and the rest of the utilities combined no more than 200 mil. Never tired of the view of the valley and mountains to the west. Markets, asaderos and the usual traditional hole in wall restaurants just a couple hundred yards away. Not much needed to retire in these little towns.

10/17/2019 23:10 EST

If one is married to a real Rolla, forget about living in some small pueblo in the middle of nowhere--no mall shopping, no good restaurants ( a 5,000 peso lunch is not exactly an upscale restaurant) no movie theaters-etc
The local butcher shop with hanging carcasses out front with the bugs.
No premium gas, et etc

10/17/2019 22:57 EST

Colombians think all Americans have money--even if one does not display such they still think so---

10/17/2019 22:39 EST

Thank you immensely Cafetero I've been to Panama and was thinking about retiring there but Colombia seems like the perfect place for me thanks to you again good information my friend.

10/17/2019 22:28 EST

Is there a smartfit there in santa rosa? :)

10/17/2019 22:28 EST

Is there a smartfit there in santa rosa? :)

10/17/2019 22:22 EST

Agree 100%

10/17/2019 18:44 EST

"I´ve moved 25 times in the past 9 years so none of my stuff owes me anything.

If I had to flee the country I would just donate my stuff to a good family and not lose anything."

Cafetero is there really a chance you'll have to flee the country. it does rather sound like you're on the run?

10/17/2019 18:17 EST

Kumusta, I'm not sure which prices you are referring, but I can assure you the prices I listed for apartments and houses in Santa Rosa de Cabal are indeed real.

This thread is 9 months old and I have since relocated to a house in Pereria.

I have a 3 bedroom 2 bath townhouse, in Estrato 4, with a patio, garden and parking for one car. The house costs 600,000 month and I have a six month contract without a fiador and without deposit. My utilities are another 150,000 month and my 10mbp Internet is 77,000 month.

My neighborhood is very quiet. I'm 6 blocks from the little center that has two supermarkets and 10 restaurants and the tiny little police station that usually has one officer nodding off at the desk.

I'm on a dead end street that has 10 kids ages 4 to 10 and each night they are playing in the street. I love to hear the children laughing and to look out and see the neighbors walking around visiting with each other.

I don't recall anything like this in the United States.

10/17/2019 16:39 EST


10/17/2019 16:30 EST

Are those prices for real?

3/9/2019 15:51 EST

There are many rental businesses in Colombia - more than in the US, because Colombians are poorer and cannot always afford to buy furniture etc. if/when they need it, or for parties and family gatherings, etc.

For Medellín do a search:

medellin alquiler muebles

medellin alquiler electrodomesticos

3/9/2019 14:51 EST

Yes, Dallas Steve, the Airbnb and the apartahotel are furnished. You can get good deals by the month. If I was coming to Colombia for the first time I would rent by the month Airbnb and live in different cities to get a feel for where I would like to settle permanently.

If you want to furnish an apartment yourself, you can do it for about 3,000,000 on the cheap up to about 10,000,000. Then if you want to be gone for 6 months you can rent a garage to store your stuff. and Yes, I would rent a garage and be confident my stuff would be safe there.

I've probably got about 5,000,000 invested in my furnishings and appliances over the past 9 years for a one-bedroom, two-person household..

I´ve moved 25 times in the past 9 years so none of my stuff owes me anything.

If I had to flee the country I would just donate my stuff to a good family and not lose anything.

3/9/2019 13:34 EST


I'm not surprised that the apartments are not furnished. Does Colombia have any businesses like Rent-A-Center in the US? Probably not. If not, and if we bought furniture and wanted to go somewhere else for 6 months does Colombia have storage warehouses like in the US? If so would our furniture probably get stolen? If so, maybe it would be better to pay some local youths to steal some furniture for us. Just joking. Maybe our first 6 months of testing the waters it would be better for us to do a long-term deal with someone on AirBnB or an apartahotel. I think both of those are usually furnished.


3/9/2019 12:38 EST

@littlebhuddha Yes, you are correct, construction of any sort is painfully slow. Then there are those projects that seem to never reach completion. On many occasions taking bus trips over the winding mountain roads I was awestruck to see an adjacent elevated highway. Vacant, however, with shrubs growing through the cracks.

3/8/2019 22:04 EST

Pocopelo Most of the people I have talked to about it are all for it. I think it will change things for the better. The commercial traffic through town seems to get worse everyday. Faced with the current wait times at Pericongo, they try to make up time by barreling through town. I don’t see the vendors making much from through traffic anyway. Most travelers just jet through trying to make up time getting San Augustin thanks to the Pericongo mess. I think the bypass will, like you said, make it a much more attractive place to visit. That having been said, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime and i plan on being alive for another 40 years. Jajaja You know how fast Colombians complete projects

3/8/2019 19:50 EST

@littlebhuddha If they go ahead with the hydro development at Pericongo and the bypass highway it will totally change the ambiance of the place. I'm not sure if that will be for the worse or for the better. Pros and cons. Most of the businesses and street vendors are apprehensive. But less heavy trucks and stinky buses trundling through the heart of town might make it a more attractive stopover for tourists/travelers.

3/8/2019 15:32 EST

DallasSteve, yes, it is more common in pueblos to be able to rent without a deposit or fiador.

In Pereira it is much more common to have to sign a one year lease and have a Fiador. However, you can still find plenty of rentals in Pereira without a Fiador and without a deposit.

Yes, the rentals I listed above are month to month except in the case of the six-month lease.

I have never seen or heard of a furnished apartment in Santa Rosa or in Pereira. I imagine they exist, but I've personally never seen or heard of one. I don't think they are very common.

I hope I am not making this sound too easy. It takes a lot of work to find these apartments that I listed above. My exercise routine is to walk a minimum of one hour each day. As much as 40-50 blocks per day.

I take a different route each day and for entertainment and out of habit I keep an eye out for apartments with Se Arrienda signs, or apartments that are vacant with no curtains or furniture.

I stop and ask the neighbors if they know if the apartment is for rent. It is just my way of entertaining myself as I walk around getting exercise.

For someone visiting Pereira for the first time I would suggest hooking up with a person who lives there who can drive around with you in a taxi and show you the various neighborhoods. When you see a neighborhood you like, start looking for a rental.

Stay in a hotel or airbnb for a week and give yourself plenty of time to see the various neighborhoods. Same thing applies to Santa Rosa and all the other pueblos. Get a taxi to drive you around for the big picture, then focus on the neighborhoods you like to find the rental you need. Good luck :)

3/8/2019 11:43 EST


I looked some more at your reply. That sounds like a real possibility for me. I want to visit Pereira later this year; probably with my Colombiana if we don't implode first. :-) Or I'll go alone, if necessary. From there I think it would be an easy trip to explore places like Santa Rosa. I have a few more questions, if you would be so kind.

On the apartments you write "no deposit, no fiador". Is that more common than in a larger city, or is it the same in Pereira? Even the high rents you listed are very affordable. And those are month to month? Wow, you can't beat that with a stick (as we say in Texas). Are those apartments furnished? If you say 'Yes' I'm going to start to believe it's "too good to be true".

Thanks, Steve

3/6/2019 21:38 EST

In Santa Rosa de Cabal, Risaralda, 30 minutes outside Pereira.

Hotels start at 35,000 for one person, including hot water and wifi. For parking and more upscale room add 10,000. For 2nd person add 10,000.

Airbnb starts at 70,000 for 2 bedrooms 2 baths, 2 guests, equipped kitchen, totally furnished, 7 blocks from main park and shopping.

Apartments I have seen this week:

Second floor, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, quiet neighborhood, thru street that has very little traffic, completely remodeled, new kitchen, instant hot water, 550,000 month to month, no deposit, no fiador

Second floor, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, large balcony, large windows, corner lot with nice views, side street location in small barrio with very little traffic, no buses or trucks, 500,000 month to month, no deposit, no fiador

Gated community at edge of pueblo, Fifteenth floor penthouse with elevator, 270 degree views of mountains and valley, 3 bedroom, 2 baths, instant hot water in both baths and kitchen sink, rooms are small but still plenty of room, balcony, 650,000 month to month, no deposit no fiador. Includes administration fee. 30 minutes walking to main park and shopping. Taxi takes 10 minutes and costs 4300 pesos. Bus takes 15 minutes and costs 1,800 pesos.

Gated community at edge of pueblo, Fifteenth floor penthouse with elevator, larger rooms, nicer finish, 3 bedrooms, balcony with 180 degree views, 2 baths, instant hot water in both showers and kitchen sink, 750,000 month to month, no deposit, no fiador. Includes administration fee.

Gated community at edge of pueblo, Fourth floor with elevator, views to the north of the hills and adjacent barrio, 3 bedroom 2 baths, large rooms, instant hot water in both showers and kitchen sink, 700,000 month includes parking spot in front of apartment (50,000 value) and owner provides Internet 10meg UNE and fixed telephone. Six month lease, no deposit, no fiador. Includes administration fee.

Fourth floor, brand new gated community, next door tower still under construction, Estrato 5, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, instant hot water, 750,000 month, six month lease, no deposit, no fiador. Includes administration fee. Only 8 blocks to main park, very convenient.

Any of these apartments would cost twice as much in Medellin or Bogota. Or more.

3/6/2019 21:26 EST

I like the cleaner air that can usually be found in the smaller cities and pueblos and better (cheaper) prices to be had.

My wife is a city girl though, so...


3/6/2019 18:37 EST

Santa Rosa has a climate similar to Pereira only a wee bit cooler and a wee bit more rain because of the position at a higher elevation. I can feel my ears pop on the bus ride about halfway between Pereira and Santa Rosa as we climb the mountain.
Month to month rentals are fairly common, six month leases are fairly common, probably half the places I've inquired lately have asked for a fiador, but there are plenty of rentals available without fiador.
there are dozens of hotels, and several Airbnb rentals. Finding a place to stay temporarily is not difficult, and finding an apartment or house to rent is just a matter of walking around and looking for vacancies and talking to porterias and inquiring at corner stores.

3/6/2019 16:09 EST


I hadn't hear of Santa Rosa but it looks interesting. The climate looks like what I'm after. If I went to a place like Santa Rosa where do I stay for a few days to get to know it? A hotel? What if I like it and I want to rent a place for 6 months? Is it the same story as the larger cities: walk up to a building and ask the portero if any units are for rent?


3/6/2019 14:10 EST

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. I was in the local ferretería yesterday to buy some hogwire. When the guy quoted me a price a total stranger stepped in and the price was cut in half. I now have one more friend. I agree completely with cafetero. Life in a pueblo is so much less hectic. I can breathe clean air here. No gringos here to spoil the experience. And Pitalito is 20km if I need that “big city” experience. (Pitalito is not a big city but they do have ab Exito)

3/6/2019 13:50 EST

Keep in mind Santa Rosa is a big pueblo, In US it would be called a city such as Portland, Maine or Daytona Beach, Florida.

With a couple dozen barrios its hard to say how crime in one of the barrios will affect the rest of the city. Its also hard to predict how long it will go before the next murder.

I lived in one pueblo population 7,000 that had a murder each weekend for a while, then didn't have another murder for 2 years.

3/6/2019 13:17 EST

Santa Rosa has had a lot of murders lately. Two more boys were murdered just last night in Barrio La Eugenia. Appears to be the start of a turf war.

3/6/2019 12:32 EST

Buses!? You have local buses?

That’s not a pueblo, that’s a town. When I need something not available in the pueblo, I head over to the big city, Chinchina.

Ok, I’m being ridiculous, Chinchina is small, so is Santa Rosa but they both seem too big to me.

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