Nestled in the valley between the western and central ranges of the Andes Mountains is Colombia’s second largest city, Medellín. Blessed with perfect year-round spring-like weather and First world infrastructure, it is attracting more and more expats who want to have a great quality of life.
The city has a very cosmopolitan feel. It is filled with museums, art galleries, concert venues, restaurants, and places to whet your whistle. There are more than 30 universities, which add even more cultural events. Although there are nearly three million inhabitants, the city really feels more like a lot of neighborhoods connected to each other by parks and green spaces.
You can find expats living in most areas of the city, but the highest concentrations are in the neighborhoods of El Poblado and Laureles. More and more visitors are starting to call Medellín home. Many expats who first came for vacation were captured by the scenery, the weather, and the friendly people. It is easy to get around the city using the above-ground Metro system, the integrated bus system, or taxis. No need to have a car.
The city of Medellín loves to celebrate. Whether it is at Colombiamoda, Medellín’s fashion week held every July, the Feria de las Flores flower festival each August, the International Jazz Festival in September, or the amazing Christmas light displays of Alumbrados in December, the people of Medellín rejoice in their culture.
Medellín has something for everyone. Golf courses, fitness clubs, walking and hiking trails, and tennis courts for those wanting to keep active. Get off the Metro at the Universidad stop and you can quickly walk to the Botanical Gardens, the Parque Explora science park, and the planetarium.
Shopping in Medellín comes in many forms. El Hueco (The Hole) is the city´s bargain center. Beginning at the San Antonio Metro stop and running for a number of blocks, there are thousands of small stores (tiendas) and street carts selling everything imaginable. At the other end of the spectrum are the many large malls scattered throughout the city, which have big chains, specialty stores, and restaurants.
One of the many wonderful things about Medellín is the amazing mountain view you get from just about anywhere in the city. The cable car ride up the mountain opens up a view of the city from one end to the other. Parque Arví, the last stop on the cable care, is an ecological nature preserve that offers hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking.