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Pros & Cons of Living in Villa de Leyva

Planning a potential move to Villa de Leyva? Delve into this comprehensive article, which delves into the various pros and cons of calling Villa de Leyva home.

Thinking about moving to Villa de Leyva? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Villa de Leyva.

Located in the heart of Colombia, Villa de Leyva is a charming colonial town that has become a popular destination for both tourists and expats. With its cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and stunning natural surroundings, it’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to this idyllic location. But like any place, living in Villa de Leyva comes with its own set of pros and cons. In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of making this Colombian town your home.

Pros of Living in Villa de Leyva

One of the biggest draws of Villa de Leyva is its stunning natural beauty. Nestled in the Andean highlands, the town is surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, and crystal-clear rivers. This makes it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. For example, the nearby Iguaque National Park offers a range of trails that cater to all fitness levels.

Another major advantage of living in Villa de Leyva is its rich history and culture. As one of the oldest towns in Colombia, it’s home to a wealth of historical sites, including the Plaza Mayor, the largest square in Colombia, and the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, a stunning example of colonial architecture. The town also hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, such as the Festival of Lights in December and the Kite Festival in August, providing residents with a constant stream of cultural activities.

Despite its popularity with tourists, Villa de Leyva has managed to maintain a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere that many expats find appealing. The pace of life is slow, and the locals are friendly and welcoming. This sense of community is further fostered by the numerous volunteer opportunities available in the town. For instance, the Fundación ProAves, a local conservation organization, regularly seeks volunteers to help with their efforts to protect Colombia’s bird species.

Finally, the cost of living in Villa de Leyva is relatively low compared to other parts of Colombia. Housing is affordable, and the cost of groceries, utilities, and other everyday expenses is generally lower than in larger cities like Bogotá or Medellín. This makes it an attractive option for those looking to stretch their budget further.

Cons of Living in Villa de Leyva, Colombia

While there are many advantages to living in Villa de Leyva, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the main drawbacks is the town’s remote location. While this contributes to its charm and tranquility, it also means that access to certain amenities can be limited. For example, there are no major hospitals in Villa de Leyva, so those with serious health conditions may need to travel to larger cities for treatment.

Another potential downside is the town’s popularity with tourists. While this brings a certain vibrancy and economic prosperity to the area, it can also lead to overcrowding, particularly during peak tourist season. This can make the town feel less like a peaceful retreat and more like a bustling tourist hotspot.

The weather in Villa de Leyva can also be a challenge for some. The town is located at a high altitude, which means it can get quite cold, particularly at night. While many people enjoy the cooler climate, those used to warmer temperatures may find it uncomfortable.

Finally, while the cost of living is generally low, wages in Villa de Leyva are also lower than in larger cities. This means that while it may be cheaper to live here, it can also be harder to earn a good income. This is particularly true for those working in sectors like tourism, which can be seasonal and unpredictable.

In conclusion, Villa de Leyva is a beautiful, historic town with a lot to offer. However, like any place, it has its pros and cons. Those considering a move here should carefully weigh these factors to determine if it’s the right fit for them.

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.

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