Friendly People and an Affordable Lifestyle in Colombia

Most people hear “Colombia” and think cocaine kingpins and drug cartels. But that reputation is seriously out of date. Colombia is fast being discovered as the hottest new destination in Latin America.

Today, you will find a sophisticated country with cosmopolitan cities, stunning coastline, and friendly locals. The people of Colombia and its government have worked hard to overcome the past and they have succeeded…

I never planned on moving to Colombia full time. I came to visit for a couple of weeks to see what all the fuss was about. By day three, I was in love with Medellín. The people were welcoming and the climate perfectly suited my taste (averaging 71 F year-round).

Two weeks became two months, and I’ve never looked back. And with lush green coffee plantations, sparkling crystal clear waters lapping white-sand beaches and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the 18,700-foot snow-capped mountain which is only 26 miles from the Caribbean Coast, you will spend each of those days exploring somewhere new.

Located in the north of South America, the country has coastline on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Tucked away in the eastern part of the country is Cano Cristales, the river dubbed a “liquid rainbow.”

Plants of five colors grow under the water giving it a rainbow effect. All this gorgeous scenery is a backdrop to one of the best things about Colombia—its warm, accepting people. Happy to share their country with foreigners, the Colombians will welcome you into their communities with music, dancing, interesting local food and of course festivals.

Nearly every city and town has a festival to celebrate some aspect of Colombian life. My pick, Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, hosts Feria de las Flores (flower festival) in August, followed by the International Jazz Festival in September and every December they present the most spectacular display of Christmas lights in the world.

Ian McComiske has been living in Medellín for five years. “I wanted a more relaxed atmosphere and the quality of life is so much better. I pay about $300 per month for accommodation in the most expensive part of Medellín. A main dish at one of the most expensive restaurants here would cost less than $15.

“Colombians have a similar outlook on life, a little more relaxed and open. There is somewhat of a crossover on the respect,” he says.

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