National soccer team celebration
Passionate, friendly people. A national soccer team celebrated with more fervor than a World Series or Super Bowl Champion. Thousands of exotic fruits in the second most biodiverse country in the world. A culture of salsa dancing and making time for life’s daily joys.
Whether you’re looking to join the digital nomad community, work in a company located in Medellín, or just want to experience life in one of the happiest places in the world, Colombia’s third-largest city will take your breath away. Here are some reasons why you should have already moved here:
1. A Booming Real Estate Market
Although some had entered the market even earlier, it wasn’t until about five years ago that many international real estate investment companies started to take note of this magnificent Colombian city.
An improved exchange rate between the Colombian peso and the dollar meant that real estate ventures were particularly smiled upon, leading the bold to take the plunge into a foreign, relatively-unknown Latin American market.
Today, the iron isn’t just hot, it’s glowing blue. There’s still time to enter the cornucopia housing fray and come away with a mouth-dropping steal, but this is something you’ll want to see to believe. Fortunately, Medellin is easily accessible.
2. Proximity to the US
Medellin is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from home for Americans, meaning that when you inevitably fall in love with the country or a Colombian (or both), family will be within easy access. Also, the tourist visa is 90 days and free for many countries, including the US, making it easy for family to come to you. As for yourself, Colombia just restructured their visa options in late 2017, making it easier than ever to come by a long-term visa.
Direct three and five-hour flights from Miami and New York are readily available, and because you’d just be heading south, you don’t have to worry about serious time zone issues. Colombia doesn’t do daylight savings time. Half the year they are the same as Central Standard Time in the states while the other half they are on EST.
3. A Strong Local Economy
The exchange rate between the American dollar and Colombian peso remains strong, even with the Colombian economy being one of the strongest and most stable in Latin America. The country’s myriad of free trade agreements has allowed for the development of a fairly robust economy, and the country’s efforts were recognized in 2016 as the Most Transformational City of the Year by Council of the Americas for its commitment to free trade, democracy, and open markets.
4.Cost of Living
Fantastic, furnished accommodation featuring everything from multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, granite countertops, 24/7 security, and amenities such as a gym and pool can all be had for around $700/month—and that’s if you’re renting for two. If you’re just seeking accommodation for one person, that number drops to around $350/month, and plunges still further when living in a group. Further, prospective property owners will find Medellin to be a veritable playground for the real-estate venture.
While almost everything is less expensive than what most North Americans are accustomed to, prices involving personal services can be shockingly low. A friend of mine recently hired a live-in nanny for his family of six, who works full time and does everything around the house for just $340 USD per month. Personally, I hire a weekly house cleaner for around $25 USD, which is a luxury I’d never splurge for in the United States.
Expats or retirees will also find that a car is unnecessary due to the city’s impressive urban planning and the accessibility of everything from the Metro to a taxi to a cable car. Which brings us to the fifth reason you should have moved to Medellin yesterday…
5. Award-winning Infrastructure
The Metro system is state-of-the-art and Medellín’s buses, trams, cable cars, and taxis are all seamlessly integrated with the parks and libraries that thrust Medellín to the forefront of innovation. In fact, Medellín’s innovative spirit defeated the likes of Auckland, Sydney, Toronto, and Vienna for the biennial Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2016. This award, which recognizes outstanding urban achievements and solutions, followed on the heels of its recognition in 2013 by the Wall Street Journal and Citibank as the Most Innovative City in the World.
6. Internationally Recognized Health Care System
Colombia ranks #22 in the world for its health care, beating out Canada (#30), Germany, and the US (#37). Medellin also boasts around 40% of Colombia’s best hospitals. This concentrated quality of healthcare in Medellin also makes the city a compelling draw for people seeking access to both affordability and variety, such as the country’s bustling alternative healthcare sector. For a more in depth look at how health care in the city operates, see this article: .
7. Spring is Constantly in the Air
Medellin enjoys an average annual temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius), rightfully earning it the spoiled-sounding nickname “The City of Eternal Spring.” The warm, sunny days are attributed to the city’s location and altitude—situated near the equator at an altitude of 4,900 feet (1,495m) means you’ll never have to worry about Seasonal Affective Disorder and renders air conditioning and heating completely optional costs—as if you weren’t saving enough already in this city.
8. An Excellent – and Improving – Culinary Scene
Before Lima, Peru, there was Medellín—and with good reason. While Peru’s capital may be dominating the mainstream Latin American culinary scene as of late, Medellín firmly ingratiated itself within the international foodie scene in 2015 when CNN reported on the incredible variety and delicacy of options available. These ranged from plantain crusted fish of the day served on a bed of coconut rice risotto and a to-die for fruit-and-alcohol infused puree to 12-hour roasted pork shank served in an orange balsamic sauce.
9. An Expat Community—if you want one
Anyone who Googles anything about living in Colombia is sure to come across the neighborhoods El Poblado and Laureles. These tried and tested places are home to many an expat and offer a welcome cocoon that many new residents to the city find pleasant, but there are also plenty of lesser-known neighborhoods such as Sabaneta and Belén that offer the opportunity to integrate more with the local community.
10. Passionate Countrymen and Women
Medellín’s international notoriety as a city with a serious drug cartel problem tends to overshadow the present-day reality: The city residents have worked hard to come together and create the beautifully affordable hub that it has become. Paisas are a very proud and welcoming people, and will treat you like one of their own if you come and live here.
11. Witness the Healing Power of Community Art
During the days of Pablo Escobar, Medellin’s most crime-ridden neighborhood was Comuna 13. This area, situated high in the hills of the city, provided direct access to the drug transport corridor between the Andes and the North Coast, trapping residents who had fled the violence of the inner city in violent crosshairs.
In the years following the demise of Escobar and destabilization of the cartels, Comuna 13 came to represent the heart of Medellin’s healing. Through intricate and gorgeous graffiti murals and in-depth walking tours conducted by local guides, visitors to Medellin will quickly find themselves seduced by the city’s dark history and subsequent, burning creative passion which is etched in the symbolism of brightly-hued images that adorn the city walls. Considering visiting Comuna 13? Check out this article for some tips.
Are you thinking about visiting or moving to Medellin? What are your reservations? Tell us about it.