Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Cali, Colombia

Cali, Colombia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

Summary: Cali enjoys a low cost of living, a population of approximately 2.5 million and year-round temperatures in the mid to upper 80s. Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Cali, Colombia. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

What do expats in Cali appreciate most about the local culture?

"I ask for the girl friend's mother and father's approval early on and got approval from the whole family even though I am much older than she," explained one expat living in Cali, Colombia.

Answer this Question

What do expats find most challenging?

"The most challenging may be that she is Catholic and I am Christian. But Saturday is my Church day and Sunday is hers so we can work that out," said another expat in Cali.

Answer this Question

Is there a lot of crime in Cali?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Crime... people are concerned for me in Colombia & ask me this all the time. MY ANSWER? If you keep your nose clean & KNOW where you should or should NOT be? You wouldn't have any more problem then you might have here in the states. I'm sure there are places where YOU live that you KNOW to stay away from, or NOT go there after dark. AND of course, you get into "shady" things... you'd have a problem here too," remarked another expat living in Cali, Colombia.

Answer this Question

What are the schools in Cali like?

"Be aware that the presentation of the school is excelent and the school promise a lot of things that are not true. It is a regular academic school with a nice campus," said another parent with children at Colegio Bolivar in Cali.

"Your child would be in good hands at this school. No specific advice. There's not a strong Spanish as a second language program at all though, so this would have to be arranged. Most classes are in English although at the HS level there are several teachers who teach in Spanish," commented one expat when asked about Colegio Bolivar in Cali.

Answer this Question

What are the pros and cons of living in Cali?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Cali responded:

"I do not live in the city, I'm about an 1:15 outside of Cali in the mountains where it's much cooler. Cali can be quite hot much of the time and the traffic, crowds, and pollution are too much for me. I do drive into Cali about one a week for shopping or medical reasons. I find these day trips quite tolerable but prefer to back home by 7pm," said one expat living in Cali.

"For me Cali, Colombia is too hot. I'm considering a move to a city closer to Medellin," mentioned another expat inCali.

Answer Question & View More Answers

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What type of social life can someone expect in Cali?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Cali, they replied:

"I don't attend many social events, don't drink so bars and clubs aren't on my activities list. Most publically sponsored events draw massive crowds and aren't all that much fun unless you are with a group," remarked another expat living in Cali.

"It was reported recently that only 5,000 foreigners live in Cali now, compared to 20,000 a decade ago," said one expat living in Cali.

Answer this Question

"No. For the most part I find Colombians to be friendly, welcoming people. That was a primary consideration when I chose Colombia as the place to live," commented one expat who moved to Cali.

"Cali is a town that has many activities at night. As I am older, I do not participate a lot in this," said another expat.

Answer this Question

What advice to expats in Cali have about housing?

"It is much easier to make a rent contract if you have previous landlords say that you are very complete with your payments," said one expat living in Cali.

Answer this Question

What are medical services in Cali like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Cali, they replied:

"Many specialists are US trained, speak English and seem to be quite competent. As a former bio-med technician familiar with lots of medical equipment I find many state of the art medical devices are used here," said another expat.

"With the pandemic one needs at least one week to obtain non-emergency appointments with a general practitioner doctor if you have public (non-private) healthcare," commented one expat living in Cali, Colombia.

Answer this Question

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Cali, Colombia

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Contribute to Colombia Network Contribute
Help others in Colombia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Colombia.

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal