Cheapest Places to Live in the World in 2024 - International Living

Cheapest Places to Live in 2023
©iStock/Yuki Mao

Affordability is often the single-most influential factor in choosing an overseas retirement destination. After all, who wants to spend their golden years counting pennies and wondering how far the next Social Security check will stretch? That’s the beauty of travel, and International Living’s Retirement Index—you have the power to choose a country with a cost of living that suits your budget.

This is not a subjective list. We’ve sent detailed surveys to our correspondents spread out around the world to get verified, specific costs for things like groceries; rent; utilities; household help; eating out; gym membership; transport and travel; and the unexpected costs that come with living overseas.

While an affordable location can mean more pocket money for leisure activities, it can also ensure peace of mind knowing you are financially secure and can live comfortably on a modest retirement fund. Below you’ll find the most affordable expat havens we’ve found, places where your dollars will get you further than in the U.S.

5. Mexico

Cheapest Places to Live Cost of Living Mexico

By Wendy Justice and Bel Woodhouse

Mexico has something for everyone: funky towns, elegant resorts, hundreds of beaches, world-class diving, and snorkeling. And it offers every environment: lush jungles, high-altitude deserts, snowcapped mountains, and beautiful mountain ranges surrounding lakes. Whether you like a warm climate with a constant sea breeze, a hot and dry semi-arid or desert climate, or you want to be somewhere cool enough that you’ll need to wear a jacket in the evenings year-round, Mexico offers unlimited choices… all for a fraction of what you’d pay in the US.

It’s an excellent retirement destination for any budget. A typical monthly budget for two people living a comfortable, middle-class lifestyle will probably not exceed $2,000. More often than not, it’s certainly possible to get by spending much less than that.

American expat M’kali-Hashiki Nln, who lives in a furnished two-bedroom apartment in the city of Oaxaca, says, "I spend $800 to $900 per month… I could go cheaper if I lived in a different place, walked more, and took fewer taxis."

Mexican food is outrageously good; it’s one of the benefits of living here. Fortunately, you can easily find great, multi-course meals at sit-down restaurants for about $3 to $4 per person. These comida corrida (literally, "food on the run") menus include soup or pasta, an entree with salad, rice and beans, tortillas or bread, a pitcher of the agua del diá (fruit-infused water of the day), and often a small appetizer or dessert. They’re delicious, and it costs less to eat out than it would to try to cook it yourself. Some restaurants even serve comida corrida meals featuring gourmet international cuisine; a lunch with all the accompaniments, with a choice of agua del diá or a craft beer, costs around $8. Even meals at fine restaurants, including a beer or nonalcoholic beverage, usually cost less than $20 per person.

And it’s like this all over Mexico, not just in a foodie haven like Oaxaca. Bel Woodhouse, IL’s Mexico Correspondent, says, "I live comfortably on $1,000 a month, including my treats like big wedges of creamy brie and wine. My rent is only $500 a month, and my apartment (in a top safe neighborhood) is two blocks from the Caribbean shore, so I can go snorkeling and swimming to start my day.

"As a general rule, if you live like a local, you’ll enjoy prices that seem unimaginably low. I know foreign women who pay $50 or more to have their hair done by hairdressers who specialize in expats. Whereas a local hairdresser who barely speaks a word of English will be less than half that amount for a color, trim, and style.

"It’s the same for practically everything—the locals know the best places; they don’t pay gringo prices. The longer you live in Mexico, the less you’ll end up spending as you make new friends, discover favorite places, and settle into your new home.

"Healthcare is excellent throughout Mexico. Hospital-affiliated English-speaking physicians charge around $30 to $50 for consultations; follow-up appointments are often free. Specialists charge around $75. Physicians at consultorios—small clinics often associated with pharmacies—charge even less. X-rays cost around $25, CT scans cost less than $100, and an electrocardiogram costs a mere $3—no doctor’s appointment is required.

"Even in popular tourist destinations where you’d expect to pay more, like Cozumel Island in the Riviera Maya, at the top hospital an emergency appointment is only $15," says Bel.

Dental work is also a bargain; tens of thousands of Americans cross the border each year to save money on their teeth. Check-ups range from free to around $20, crowns cost $200 and up, and implants cost $700 to $1,000.

Mexico has two government-run healthcare plans. INSABI (Instituto Nacional de Salud para el Bienestar) is intended for low-income Mexicans and legal foreign residents. It costs nothing, though the care tends to be basic, and the wait to get treated may be long. The IMSS system (Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social) offers better healthcare to employees and those willing to enroll. IMMS rates are based on age, ranging from around $483 to $1,160 per year. IMSS has some restrictions for pre-existing conditions, with some chronic diseases either ineligible for coverage or requiring a waiting period of two or more years.

If you have private insurance, you’ll have access to the best hospitals in the country, and some of these are as good as you’ll find anywhere in the world. Mexico has several JCI-accredited hospitals and many others that offer English-speaking staff, state-of-the-art equipment, and top-notch care. Like everything else health-related in Mexico, prices at these hospitals are less than half what the same services would cost in the US. Most places with large expat populations will have English-speaking doctors on staff.

Medications are the same. Bel explains, "My friend is diabetic, and one of her medications costs $400 back home in the US, but here in Mexico, it’s only $45."

Real estate also costs less in Mexico than in the States. Foreigners can legally purchase property in Mexico. If you want to buy a home within 31 miles of the beach or 62 miles of an international border, you’ll need to establish a fideicomiso. With this instrument, the title of the property is held in a trust by a bank, but the bank does not own the property; you do, and you’ll have all the rights to use that property as you wish, whether it’s to live in, rent or sublet, improve, mortgage, or leave to your heirs.

Property taxes are low in Mexico—only 0.1% of the assessed value. Places near the beach tend to cost more than those located in inland areas, but even these are far less expensive than comparable homes by the beach in the US. Modern condominiums and houses in move-in condition start in the low $100,000s even in some popular coastal areas. For around $200,000, you’ll find an abundance of luxury homes in the Riviera Maya and in other prime locations throughout the country.

Labor costs less in Mexico than it does in the States. Hiring a housekeeper or gardener is an affordable luxury here. IL contributor Wendy Justice says, "I pay my housekeeper, who comes once a week, $60 per month plus a $10 tip; it takes her about four hours each time. She’s honest and dependable, does a wonderful job, and is quite happy with her salary." Prices will vary depending on where you live, but it’s unlikely that you would pay more than $200 per month for twice-weekly housecleaning.

Full Cost of Living in Mexico here.

4. Ecuador

Cheapest Places to Live Cost of Living Ecuador

By Fiona Mitchell

The low cost of living is the number one reason many expats move to Ecuador. It can be a tremendous advantage, particularly if you are on a fixed income. Rental prices are a fraction of the cost of those in the US or Europe, and if you buy property, your taxes will be significantly lower than in your home country. Local markets offer fresh fruits and vegetables year-round at prices so low you will not be able to carry what $15 will buy. You can live without heating or air conditioning in many areas; even a car is an optional expense for most expats.

In Ecuador, you can not only retire on a lot less money, but you can also live very well. A couple can comfortably get by on less than $25,000 per year. If you are single, you can live on around $1,000 a month, but you may need to make some changes to how you live. Living on the outskirts of larger cities or small towns can significantly cut your rental costs. Buying vegetables and meats from smaller shops or the large indigenous markets is much cheaper, and the quality is likely to be better than what you are used to. Modern supermarkets have higher prices but carry American brand-name products (though, of course, you will end up spending more on your food budget).

In 2021, Aaron Williamson relocated to the southern colonial city of Cuenca, a move he had planned for several years. "My move abroad was an easy decision since I live alone, have decades of travel experience, and never lived in a city in North America that felt like ‘home.’ My reasons for moving to South America were not entirely financial, but I knew I would save at least 30% from my North American burn rate without any budget restrictions. The Bay Area of California, my home for several years earlier on, was becoming so expensive and crowded that I could see the gates had essentially closed on any plans for early retirement while living there."

Aaron goes on to explain that among the main objectives of his move overseas was living in a small city with good infrastructure and a temperate climate, reducing his expenses while continuing to live well, and saving enough money to retire before the age of 60. His remote work as an IT program manager/consultant enables him to earn an American salary, while his living costs are low enough that he can put aside a sizeable amount of his paycheck each month towards his pending retirement.

"The five years of planning and preparation it took to get here are very much worth the lifetime of rewards and experiences ahead of me, and I have made many interesting friends and acquaintances of all ages and backgrounds. My next goal is to become comfortable speaking Spanish before I retire… a much more rewarding and feasible goal than saving the millions of dollars I would have needed to retire comfortably in California," says Aaron.

Aaron is not a singular example. In 2023, the median 401(k) balance for Americans in their 50s is just $57,000. Yet financial advisers recommend having at least six times your salary saved for retirement—which leaves many boomers and Gen Xers searching for ways to retire with limited budgets. As boomers and Gen Xers reach retirement, living abroad is a viable solution to low-cost living.

In Ecuador, you can live cheaply as many towns are walkable, and you don’t need a car because of the plethora of public transport: taxis run around $1.50 to $3 to get almost anywhere, and public buses are just 30 cents a ride. IESS, the government health program, will run around $95 per month for two people. Rents are as low as $300 to $350 per month for something modest in the small, expat-popular towns like Olón or Cotacachi. In the larger cities like Cuenca or Manta, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 at the lower end to $1,000 at the higher end.

Entertainment comes cheap, too. You can grab an almuerzo (lunch) for $3 at small restaurants catering to the locals, which includes fruit juice, soup, a main course, and sometimes dessert. In large cities, restaurants serve international cuisine, and lunches start at around $7, so you can grab your favorite Italian, Thai, Chinese, or Mexican favorites at a reasonable cost.

In all the expat hotspots, there are many social groups you can join to explore your love for photography, hiking, pickleball, trivia, or playing card games… for free. All over Ecuador, there are fiestas, countless parades, frequent fireworks, craft fairs, and all types of free or low-cost entertainment on most weekends.

Additionally, retirees benefit from 50% discounts on national and international airfares (although this does not include taxes and tariffs). People in their tercera edad, which means Third Age in Spanish, enjoy many other special benefits in Ecuador. You are entitled to half-price public transportation, discounted admission to sporting and cultural events, and special priority lines in banks, grocery stores, medical facilities, and much more. Plus, you are eligible for a refund on your monthly IVA (sales) tax on all purchases up to $108 a month.

"My husband and I moved to Cuenca in 2019," says Fiona Mitchell, IL Ecuador contributor, "after he retired from the Coast Guard. We are able to live comfortably here on his military pension, renting an attractive two-bedroom apartment, and can still put money aside every month into savings or toward travel. We also own a car, which is not an essential but allows us to get into the mountains more easily for hiking adventures—which we are able to enjoy on weekdays now, since neither of us needs to be tied to a full-time job. If we were living in the States or Europe, we would both still have to work full-time to supplement the pension and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the quality of life we have here in Ecuador."

Full Cost of Living in Ecuador here.

3. Malaysia

By Keith Hockton

Cheapest Places to Live - Malaysia

Malaysia is a hidden gem nestled in the middle of Southeast Asia. I say it at every IL conference, and I honestly believe it. It has always been a magnet for adventurous souls of all ages, both retired and working, seeking a life that’s as colorful as it is affordable. The country’s unique blend of stunning landscapes, friendly locals, and budget-friendly living has enticed expats from around the world for over 400 years. With Thailand and Singapore on its doorstep, and countries that border Malaysia to the north and south, respectively, Malaysia’s affordability and 800-odd islands capture the hearts of many.

So, what’s the secret that has made Malaysia a top destination for retirees and adventurers alike? It all starts with the jaw-droppingly low cost of living.

For those with a fixed income, Malaysia is your place. Rental prices are practically a steal, often cutting your housing expenses by one third to a quarter compared to the United States or Europe. For those not on a budget, you’ll find luxury here beyond your imagination. 12,000-square-foot apartments with their own pool and sea views rent for just $4,500 per month.

Furnished options abound, making your move hassle-free. If you don’t like what the landlord provides, most landlords will remove some, if not all, of the furniture if asked. If the apartment is owned by a local, it’s likely that it won’t be furnished to your liking. Asian tastes usually move to dark and heavy furniture, so come with an open mind. Remember, this is all an adventure!

Asia, in general, is, in many ways, a "suggestive" place of opportunity, which means that everything is open for friendly negotiation. And that includes apartment rentals, and everything within the apartments themselves. If you want new air-conditioning units, fridges, freezers, washing machines, and dishwashers, you have to ask! One couple I know even managed to get their landlord to pay for their internet for two years and throw in a brand new 80-inch smart TV. When we moved into our apartment, we asked for $300 off what they were asking per month, a new fridge, new air-conditioning condenser units throughout, and a dishwasher, and the landlord didn’t bat an eyelid.

In most cases, landlords just want good tenants. Good people who will look after their property. And that all starts with a friendly discussion, a platform of understanding at the beginning, and honesty. I’d also add—follow your gut instincts. If you get a bad vibe from your landlord right at the start, if they won’t do anything for you, it’s not going to be an easy road ahead.

And if you decide to buy property, brace yourself for property taxes that are a mere fraction of what you’d shell out elsewhere. However, keep in mind also that you can’t flip properties here in Malaysia as easily as you would at home. To buy anywhere in Malaysia, you need both state and federal approval. It’s the norm, meaning settling when you buy and sell takes a little longer.

More importantly, keep your foreign exchange risks at the forefront. The Malaysian ringgit, or dollar, rises and falls just like any other currency, and although you may be buying in USD, which is excellent value for money, you will be selling eventually in ringgit, and then having to convert that back to USD, or whatever home currency that you made the purchase in. And if the ringgit falls during that time, it could cost you a great deal of money.

Air conditioning is optional in Malaysia, saving you even more money, but rest assured, every apartment comes with AC and fitted fans. AC at night in your bedroom while you sleep makes sleeping more comfortable, but some folks prefer not to use it at all. Fans suffice and that will cut down on your electricity bills. Penang in northwest Malaysia is blessed with sea breezes practically all year round, and even during the day, all you need to do is open the windows and maybe have a fan or two running.

In Malaysia, you can retire comfortably on a shoestring budget, but you can also live like a king on more. A couple can live very happily on $2,000 per month. And if you are single, you can live very well on just $1,000 a month. You may not be able to live in the ritzier areas, but you don’t have to. Living in beach suburbs like Batu Ferringhi can trim your rental costs significantly. There, a 1,000-square-foot, three-bedroom apartment with sea views can cost as little as $300 per month. Shopping for groceries at wet markets and local markets can save you a pretty penny too, and introduce you to fresher, tastier, exotic produce. And the modern supermarkets stock all the American brand-name products if and when you need them.

Many Malaysian towns are walkable, making cars almost redundant, and the Malaysian public transport options are good. From taxis that will whisk you around for as little as $5 to public buses and Grab, the Malaysian version of Lyft, you have a lot of choices here. Public busses are air-conditioned and have complimentary Wi-Fi, and a journey from one end of the island to the other can cost as little as $5. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, the public transport system is just as good and a serious contender for the best in the country.

Entertainment? You can be as entertained as you like, seven days a week, with a variety of options or… not. Going out, believe it or not, can just wear you down, and every now and again, you need to take a breather from the plethora of events that take place on a daily basis, especially during the months of December (Christmas) and February (Chinese New Year).

Malaysia is known internationally for its street food, and cheap, all-around good fare. Penang, however, is known as Southeast Asia’s food center of excellence. People fly in from all over Asia, and the choice is undeniably good. From Michelin-star restaurants that will have you salivating over every dish, to street stalls that will have you drooling as they are prepared in front of you, Malaysia has it all.

In George Town and Tanjong Bungah, two great suburbs in Penang, social butterflies have plenty of groups to join where they can explore their passions for photography, hiking, pickleball, cycling, wind or kite surfing, tennis, and racquetball, to name but a few activities. There are also trivia or card game nights at various pubs and restaurants—all for free. Throughout Malaysia, you’ll find festivals, parades, nightly fireworks, craft fairs, and an array of free, budget-friendly entertainment almost every night of the week. And Malaysia has more festivals year-round than any other country on earth!

And for avid travelers, Malaysia’s low cost of living means more funds to explore Asia. If Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, or India are on your bucket list, you’ll find budget airlines flying from Penang and Kuala Lumpur International Airport daily.

Malaysia sits in the heart of Southeast Asia, which makes it accessible to one and all, and the great thing is that once you move here, just by the very fact that you have moved here, you have an immediate connection to everyone else who has moved here—billionaire or budget traveler—you have a connection. And guess what? If you don’t like it, and you may not, then the options of Cambodia, Thailand, and Bali are open to you to go adventuring again.

Full Cost of Living in Malaysia here.

2. Thailand

Cheapest Places To Live Cost of Living Thailand

By Rachel Devlin

The popular and colorful Southeast Asian country of Thailand provides such affordable living that even upscale experiences are bargains for the taking. Thailand, nestled between Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, also shares a border with Malaysia and provides a history and culture that are as unique as they are old.

Expats are sprawled happily across many provinces as this diverse country offers a myriad of retirement lifestyles and can provide affordable experiences on most budgets. The beaches and islands offer an idyllic retirement for lovers of the water, happy views, and water sports. Bangkok, known as Krung Thep by the locals, is perfect for people looking for a more cosmopolitan life filled with fashion, tech gadgets, and bustling nightlife. Northern Thailand is filled with blissful mountains, acres of rice fields, and an amalgamation of Thai, Burmese, Laos, and Cambodian cultures.

Deciding between tall condo apartments, old traditional style housing, or cheaper studio condos will be easy, and you’ll be spoiled for choice. A modern one-bedroom apartment in trendy Sukhumvit, Bangkok, close to the train station and nightlife, will only set you back $829 per month. If you are looking for sun and sand with an isolated beach, Koh Samui is simply luxurious. A one-bedroom stylish, resort-style villa will well be worth the $830 monthly. This price also includes a pool boy and a maid! For those looking for absolute value for money, you cannot look past Chiang Mai, where rents are probably the cheapest; a city studio with a kitchenette can be as little as $248, but you don’t have to feel suspicious of the affordable prices. These studio apartments are clean and to a Western standard.

Many expats immerse themselves in the food culture of Thailand. Restaurants come in many shapes and forms, from revolving skyscrapers to plastic stools on the sidewalk. Still, all promise exquisite culinary experiences as cooking fresh food daily is deeply embedded into Thai culture. Fragrant and spicy street food can be as little as $1.65.

Alternatively, if you wish to spend more or enjoy a more decadent experience, you can eat at a Michelin-star restaurant in Bangkok for under $50. If Asian food is not your style, no problem, as there are many Western options. A hamburger and chips cost only around $5.50, and a ten-inch pepperoni pizza will cost under $7.

"I try to eat a clean diet and go to a large grocery store once a week to stock up on fresh salad greens and fruit. A whole roast chicken costs $3.60, and between baguettes and homemade salad, I am pretty well-sorted," says expat Pamela Manning of her food budget. "Groceries cost me under $25 per week, but I eat the local food with friends as well. My favorite is pad kra pao gai, a chicken and basil dish with a fried egg on the top, usually under $3."

However, the coffee culture has grown exponentially over the last decade, and the country offers thousands of coffee places to meet with friends. A latte, on average, is only $1.30, and often cakes and pastries will be on display to tempt you for as little as $2.60.

Already famous for health tourism, Thailand offers first-rate hospitals and health services. All specialists are English-speaking; many have even been trained in North America or the UK. Bangkok Hospital, which has hospitals all over Thailand, creates deals for expats for annual health checks. An initial visit to a specialist will barely dent your wallet as it will only cost around $10. Bangkok Hospital almost seems like a luxury hotel with sparkling tiled floors, freshly-painted walls, state-of-the-art technology, and tasteful artwork. At the other end of the health spectrum, one night in intensive care is around $2,000 in northern Thailand. You will also be smiling about the dentists in Thailand as a filling begins at $30, and root canal work will probably be under $200.

A surprising aspect of life in Thailand is its transport system. The trains in Bangkok are efficient and reliable, and they also offer a cheaper travel alternative to other parts of the country, like Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. The roads throughout the country are also in very good condition, and you can find a car rental for around $30 a day. These safe highways can lead you to ancient ruins in Ayuttaya, south of Bangkok, or to the town of Mae Sai, where you can walk over the border to Myanmar (Burma). A local taxi ride of around 40 minutes, depending on traffic, is only $8, so wherever you want to go, you will be able to get there without worrying about the cost. Of course, if you have the skills, a brand-new Honda motor scooter is a steal at around $1,300.

New expats often search for the magic number for cost of living, but it depends on so many factors. "Expats tend to live simpler lifestyles, and that impacts positively on the budget," says IL contributor and expat Rachel Devlin. "A perfect starting point is between $2,000 and $2,500 to live comfortably, including some luxuries, like weekends away."

"Although, you may be surprised to find that sometimes things are free in Thailand," says Rachel Devlin. "Recently, when looking at a temple, I was offered water and snacks by a kindly monk in his saffron-colored robes. When thinking about it, beautiful Thai smiles are everywhere, and they don’t cost a cent."

Full Cost of Living in Thailand here.

1. Colombia

Cheapest Places to Live Cost of Living Colombia

By Michelle Thompson

One of the main benefits of living in Colombia is its low cost of living. The country offers many of the amenities and infrastructure you’d expect in a much more expensive country.

In the last five years, the cost of living in Colombia has risen steadily, along with the number of newcomers and visitors. Even with the increase in costs, foreign residents can still live quite comfortably in affluent areas, starting at $1,000 per month in smaller cities like Manizales and Pereira and $2,000 per month for popular cities like Medellin. Compared to many North American cities like New York City and Toronto, Bogota tends to have lower rental prices than cities like Medellin and Cartagena, and you can find a two-bedroom home for $1,000 a month.

Colombia uses a tiered estrato system to determine the cost of utilities, including electricity, natural gas, water, telephone, and internet services. The system assigns an estrato number to neighborhoods based on the average income of its residents.

Lower estrato neighborhoods received subsidized rates, while higher estrato neighborhoods pay more. Despite these differences, utilities are still very affordable. "Expect to pay at least $100 for monthly utilities in strata five or six," says Erin Donaldson, a contributor for IL. "Internet and TV services will start around $20 or $30 per month and can be as much as $50 for all-inclusive packages.

"I’ve lived in both Cartagena and Bogota and found that in general, electricity and water costs are comparable to Canadian prices in the summer, but gas, internet, and cell service are much cheaper. A hot climate means using more air conditioning, which is something you don’t see in Bogota. So, the cost will rise depending on the climate," says Michelle Thompson, another IL contributor who lived in the capital city from 2018 to 2022. Using heaters may also lead to higher electricity bills, though most Colombian homes don’t have a heating system, and you will need to buy a portable unit.

In Bogota, rent can start around $700 per month for an apartment in a very nice area. Smaller cities like Cali, Pereira, and Bucaramanga will see prices starting closer to $500 per month. Cartagena has one of the highest housing costs in the country due to the influx of tourists and foreigners in recent years who are willing to pay higher prices. Short-term rental platforms have also increased the cost of renting an apartment, especially in popular neighborhoods like Bocagrande, where the beach is only minutes away. "I pay $650 a month for a modest one-bedroom that faces the Caribbean Ocean, much less than most foreigners pay. I had many conversations with locals and property managers to learn about the local renting market. Like it or not, foreigners often get charged a lot more, and knowing your neighbor will help you learn what’s considered ‘normal’ in terms of pricing," says Thompson.

Food costs can vary depending on your dietary needs, preferences, and whether you eat out or make home-cooked meals. A person living in estrata five or six zones will spend at least $300 per month if they eat out once daily and go out on weekends. A typical lunch runs around $4 for a plate with meat, rice, salad, and a drink. Fancier restaurants will cost $15 to $20 per person for a meal. "In most Colombian cities and towns, a coffee can cost $0.25 to $1.75 per cup, depending on the brand. In Cartagena, a street vendor can offer you a sample size for much less."

Colombia has a national health insurance plan for permanent residents and citizens and those who have permission to work in the country. EPS insurance offers healthcare coverage at a minimal cost. The Foreign Medical Program Veterans Administration benefits are also available to those who qualify. All disabled veterans can get their medical needs paid in full, and those who are partially disabled receive payment for things related to their disability.

Travel insurance for foreign visitors and residents has become a must in 2024. Applications for V-type visas for digital nomads, students, and tourists, and M-type visas will require you to submit a copy. The monthly private insurance rate will depend heavily on your age, income, and the type of insurance you need. If you don’t have health insurance, you can still pay out-of-pocket. The cost of healthcare is much lower in Colombia than in Canada and the US. It is recommended to provide your health insurance certificate when entering Colombia, though many agents may not bother asking for it.

Colombia has loads of entertainment and exercise activities to offer newcomers, whether you’re living on a budget or money isn’t an object. Joining a fitness club will cost you about $30 per month, and a ticket to the cinema costs between $2 to $3. If you’re on a budget, regions like the Coffee Triangle, Santander, and Boyaca offer access to nature reserves, rivers, lakes, and hiking trails for free. Bogota and Cartagena both close major streets on Sundays to allow locals to use their bikes or go walking or jogging. "Spanish, dance, and cooking classes are widely available in most major cities and are reasonably priced. They can vary from $10 to $20 a session with private classes and more and more virtual classes available," says Thompson, who now lives full-time in Cartagena. "There are also many festivals and cultural events at low ticket prices or no cost at all."

Full Cost of Living in Colombia here.

Related Articles

The World’s Best Places To Retire

Your Overseas Retirement Calculator

How To Move Out Of The U.S.