There is a good reason why nearly every Colombian town has a parque principal (central park). It represents everything that is important in Colombian life and culture: religion, family and community, and food.
In Envigado’s central park, Iglesia de Santa Gertrudis (Saint Gertrude’s church) sits at one end and is the focal point of the park. It faces benches shaded by flowering trees where family and friends gather to catch up. All around the park are restaurants, bars and cafes to spend an afternoon or evening enjoying a great meal or some aguadiente (the local firewater).
Envigado has approximately 215,000 residents and is located immediately adjacent to the El Poblado neighborhood of Medellín in the southern part of the city. Actually, it is difficult to tell where Medellín ends and Envigado begins. The two cities have much in common. They both offer perfect spring-like weather all year long with daytime temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s F and low humidity. Set in Aburra Valley, in the midst of the Andes Mountains at 5,000 feet in elevation, Envigado offers spectacular mountain views and colorful sunsets.
You can find a recently remodeled 860-square-foot apartment in the center of all the action for only $90,000. This two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit is walking distance to shopping, restaurants and public transportation, and has great amenities including a heated swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, Jacuzzi and parking.
For those that want to be just a bit outside of town to take advantage of the lush, green, country-like setting farther up the mountain, a brand new, two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 915-square-foot apartment can be yours for just $122,000. It has all the creature comforts of a heated swimming pool, 24-hour security, common play area, and parking. And it’s just a short drive to the malls and restaurants.
If you prefer living in a house, there is a lovely 1,938-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in a gated community with a private patio on the market for $200,000. The grounds have walking trails, a soccer field, swimming pool, and a sauna.
Envigado has a growing buena mesa (food district), too. The up-and-coming Jardines neighborhood is home to an assortment of eclectic restaurants. From gourmet burgers to Spanish paella to authentic Italian, you can certainly find something to satisfy your appetite. On weekend nights, diners enjoy their meals sitting outside taking advantage of the perfect weather. A mix of music, conversation, and laughter fill the streets.
You can live a very active lifestyle in Envigado. Estadio Polideportivo Sur is a multi-purpose venue for all types of sports. Besides being the home field for Envigado’s soccer team, the stadium also has basketball, volleyball, tennis, and swimming venues.
But one of the most special things about this stadium is a small court for tejo. Tejo (tay-ho) is the national sport of Colombia. It involves throwing a weighted metal puck into a clay pit that has targets containing gunpowder. When the puck hits the target it explodes. If you would like to give it a try, there are classes to learn the game. If you are good, maybe you will be asked to join the foreigner’s team.
Parque Salado, a quiet eco-park just 30 minutes from the downtown Envigado Metro stop, is a perfect place to get away from city life. You can enjoy hiking through the woods, having a picnic or barbecue over a fire pit, or just relaxing near the freshwater stream that winds through the park. For the more adventurous, harness-up and ride the four-station canopy (zip line).
Envigado offers expats a wonderful balance of city living with its amenities, easy access to recreational pastimes, and lower cost of living.
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