Colombia’s cities of Bogota and Cartagena have captured the hearts of many expats looking for a more relaxed style of life, leading the way for travelers visiting this beautiful and rugged country. But I’ve discovered a city, often overlooked, that is one of Colombia’s hidden gems and is perfect for my active lifestyle.
According to Expatistan.com, Medellin, Colombia ranks 200th out of 211 countries for cost of living, and 32nd out of 32 Latin American countries. Regardless of the accuracy of this particular site, the message is crystal clear: Medellin is a very affordable place to enjoy life.
Couple low prices for living with an indisputably beautiful city, warm people, a lively optimism that’s characteristic of latin America and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a happy, content lifestyle.
If you take a look at demographics today, you’ll quickly learn that many older first-world inhabitants are looking to move their wealth and their homes to places (like Medellin) where the cost of living is less than their home country. Who wouldn’t want to live like a king on a laborer’s budget? And today more savvy young people than ever are making the smart realization that discovering these wonderful places across the world now is a great investment for tomorrow, or today.
Certainly arguments can be made for other places around the world, but we feel Medellin is especially compelling, and not just because the weather is temperate, year-round. Take the local language, for instance. Instead of facing a barrier to learning an utterly different language (like Thai, Japanese or Chinese for instance) picking up Spanish is both easier for English-speakers, and faster. With dozens of words you already know (adios, hola, por favor, gracias, de nada, etc.) your learning curve is complimented by having the approximate alphabet, and ability to quickly learn to read the similar language.
Discover insider information about traveling to Medellin in this all-new, fast-start guide below:
Plus, everyday tasks, like going to the market (supermercado) will soon add to your repertoire. And as we already mentioned, here’s where the prices are exciting…
From a lunchtime menu in the business district ($3.71) to a pound of local cheese ($1.99) there are many prices that will have you jumping for joy… and seeing why so many people, from young internet workers–digital nomads to retirees who want to stretch their retirement dollar further–are calling Medellin, Colombia home these days.
One luxury all cannot afford at home is having a maid in regularly to clean the house. Here in Medellin that hourly rate, at $1.52 is so cheap, it’s unimaginable that you might do your own vacuuming. And when you’re in need of a haircut? Get down to the barber, fast. Even in the expat areas (traditionally more expensive parts of town) you’ll only pay an average of $3.64.
A tube of toothpaste is only a dollar, and two tickets to the theatre will set you back a whopping $28. Of course, that is for the best seats in the house. And if that’s a little rich, you can always save money and take your date to the movie theater, where two tickets for the movies will run you $5.97. After the entertainment, if you want to dine, and you’ve got a hankering for Italian, including wine and desert? The average meal for two is just $27. Cappuccino is going to hit your wallet for $1.34 or a beer $1.43.
Of course, not everything is cheaper in Medellin. A gallon of gas, for instance, is going to run somewhere in the $6 range. (This is due to the way it’s imported, and the taxes levied.) Likewise with cars, which are impossible to import. Buying one here means you’ll have the additional headaches associated with parking and keeping it in a crowded city, so buy small. Otherwise, enjoy the freedom of not needing a vehicle in the only city in Colombia that has a terrific metro subway system.
All these prices add up, however, and reports we get from all over indicate that on the low end, you should expect to budget about $1500 on the low end.
Yes, you can spend more. And if you’re on vacation, why not splurge on a top-of-the-line apartment for your stay? Even spending less than a decent hotel at home will put you into a much nicer accommodation than you’re used to seeing.
Check out some top accommodations in Medellin right here.
And we’d be remiss not to mention Medellin is emerging as a powerhouse for all things medical. The last decade has seen an unprecedented rise in people from developed countries looking for hospital care, cosmetic and dental surgery abroad. With excellent prices and equal care, Medellin has emerged as a popular site for Americans and others who want great care and prefer to save thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars for procedures that are done equally well in Colombia.
All these factors make Medellin a very attractive option for vacationers and especially forward-thinking people who enjoy traveling to welcoming destinations where living above normal levels of luxury are appealing!
See how affordable luxurious apartments can be in this opulent neighborhood in Medellin now. Click here
Medellin is one of our favorite high-tech, low-cost havens in the world. It offers everything you could want…a high-quality lifestyle at a low cost… mountains, a bustling city…reliable healthcare…and much more. If you’re thinking of making it your new home, then you’ll want to get your hands on our definitive guide, the Medellin Travel Guide below.