FAQs About Living as an Expat in Colombia

Colombia   /  

Colombia is one of the most up and coming countries for expatriates. Its improved socioeconomic status coupled with mesmerizing landscape make it one of the most popular South American countries. Many expats find the low prices and warm culture more alluring than other popular relocation sites such as Brazil or Ecuador. Before moving to Colombia, get your most burning questions answered. This insight into the country will help you decide if it’s the right new home for you.

What is life like Colombia? How can you describe the culture?

Colombia is one of the most fascinating areas to visit and live thanks to its blend of different cultures. The local culture has Spanish, African and Native Indian influences. These influences have given rise to a vibrant and artistic community. Festivals, carnivals, dancing and artisan crafts are all popular in Colombia. The Cumbia music style combines influences from Africa, Europe and Pre-Columbian Colombia.

go living in colombia

Medellin: Photographie by Jonathan Hood

Life in Colombia is generally centered around the family. Most Colombians consider themselves Roman Catholic.

Church holidays and celebrations make up a large number of local festivities. Politeness and manners are especially important. Always acknowledge and greet others to make a good impression. Confrontation is usually avoided at all costs.

What is the climate of Colombia?

Located near the equator, Colombia has a tropical climate. The temperature for the capital city, Bogota, ranges from about 44 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature for Bogota is around 58 degrees. Temperature varies based on altitude, with some of the coldest temperatures found along the Andean peaks.

How many people live in Colombia? Is there a large community of expats?

Over 47 million people call Colombia home. The highest populated cities are Bogota and Medellin. These two cities are also the most popular choices for expats.The expat and retiree communities are steadily growing especially as the country continues to make socioeconomic strides.

Why do expats choose to live in Colombia?

Colombia is a popular tourist and relocation destination for its vibrant culture. You can’t help but be drawn in by the colorful artisan crafts, rhythmic Caribbean music and warm culture. The country’s biodiversity, the second highest in the world (just after Brazil), means that you are always seeing something new. The Amazon River makes its way through Colombia. With five natural climate zones, you can experience both the desert and glacial mountain within the same country.

Colombia is one of the best countries to learn Spanish. The accent in Colombia is considered one of the easiest to understand and imitate. Friendly natives make it easier to practice your language skills without embarrassment.

What is the price of living like in Colombia?

The relatively low cost of living draws many people to Colombia. Prices will depend greatly on lifestyle and location. Expect higher prices in Cartagena and Bogota. Many expats find Medellin the easiest city to stretch your dollar. You can expect to pay somewhere around $500 for a two bedroom apartment in the city. Public transportation makes it easy to travel cheap.

What steps must be taken to legally live in the country?

Visitors do not need a visa to enter Colombia.

Go Living In Bogota Colombia

Bogota: Photographie by momentcaptured1

Tourists may stay for 90 days until needing to apply for an extension at a migration office. Expats with a pension of approximately $890 a month may qualify for a pension visa. This visa can be renewed annually. After 4 years of holding a pension visa, you may apply for a permanent visa.

Is Colombia a safe place to live?

Most residents report feeling safe and secure within the country. It is important to stick to well-know, populated areas. Call ahead for taxis from a well-known company and record the plaque number. Avoid wearing flashy clothing and wearing expensive jewelry. Having knowledge of the culture and language make it easier to live safely and comfortably.

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Miki Mo

I am a traveler. I have seen lots of places – from exotic Asia to sophisticated Europe! What makes me appreciate every place the most are the warm people who welcome me – and their willingness to show their culture and tradition! Most of the events I really love, involve feasts and celebrations – each country, each ethnic group has a unique way of celebrating nature, and each has unique tradition – which is such a magnificent scene to watch. Truly, there is a lot to learn in the world – a lot of things to explore, and the journey never ends, well, at least for me ☺


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  • jAMAL says:

    My experience is colombia is a peacuful country you have to make sure you are not hanging out in the wrong places. as far as i know Bogota is safer just avoid the downtown at night. they are a lot of information about expats living in Colombia at http://www.expatscolombia.org

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