Year round, the flowers are in bloom, the birds serenade you with their songs, while the sun rises and sets at the same time every day…it’s no wonder that Medellín is nicknamed The City of Eternal Spring.
Nestled in the Aburra Valley, surrounded by the lush green Andes Mountains, Medellín is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city filled with international restaurants, cafes, museums, shopping malls and boutique stores, art galleries, and concert venues. The Metropolitan Theater is home base for Medellín’s Philharmonic Orchestra. The 1,600-seat theater presents classical music performances, ballets and a wide range of international jazz, as well as popular and traditional musical shows. I have seen everything from performances of Bach & Beethoven to covers of Beatles songs to indigenous folk dancing. The theater draws people from all walks of life: Couples, young professionals, families, and students.
With temperatures in the low 80s F during the day that dip into the mid-60s F in the evening, the fresh spring-like climate is perfect for those wanting an outdoor, active lifestyle. This near-perfect weather means there is no need for heating or air conditioning; just open or close the windows to regulate the temperature.
Living in such a great climate allows you to be outside and enjoy all the city has to offer. From taking a leisurely stroll through some of the many parks, to participating in more active endeavors such as golf, tennis, and hiking, there is something to suit everyone’s level of fitness. Each Sunday, several major roads are closed to motorized traffic and become pedestrian ways. From 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., these streets are filled with walkers, joggers, bike-riders, and parents pushing their children in strollers accompanied by the family dog. It is a great social event to meet new people while improving your health.
Medellín also offers its residents world-class healthcare. The city has eight of the top 43 Latin American hospitals.
Even though Medellín is home to nearly 3 million people, the city vibe is much more like a group of neighborhoods connected by green spaces than a sprawling metropolis. Whether you want to live in a traditional Colombian-style home, a high-rise building in the trendy part of town, or a modest apartment just outside the city, Medellín has places you can call home.
The U.S. dollar continues to enjoy a great exchange rate against the Colombian peso. Currently averaging just under 3,000 pesos to the dollar, your money buys you nearly 66% more than three years ago when the rate was only $1,800. This makes purchasing a property now a great bargain.
Since there is a lack of furnished apartments for expats in many parts of the city, I would consider a two- or three-bedroom apartment in the Laureles or Envigado areas. You can easily furnish it for about $5,000. Monthly rent would be between $850 and $1,000 per month.
Many expats enjoy living in the Laureles area. This primarily residential neighborhood in the flatlands has two- and three-story homes on lovely tree-lined streets. Shopping, banking, restaurants, and everything you need for daily life is within walking distance. A lovely older three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 1,300-square-foot, two-story home can be yours for just $83,000.
The higher-end neighborhood of El Poblado is just across the river. Easy to spot with its multitude of high-rise, terracotta-brick apartment buildings, it has the highest concentration of expats. While some are more expensive than other parts of the city, there are still many good-valued properties to be found. For example, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 970-square-foot apartment with integrated kitchen, parking, and 24-hour security, is listed for only $105,000.
Just south of the official Medellín city limits lies the community of Envigado. Less expensive than El Poblado, the area is experiencing a building boom with many new apartment buildings under construction. A brand-new, 720-square-foot apartment on the 15th floor with great views of the mountains, a pool and a common social area, can be snapped up for just $71,000.
Each year the greater Medellín area continues to grow as a retirement destination for expats looking to live in a place with a temperate climate, a cosmopolitan feel, world-class healthcare, and a low cost of living.
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