Thinking of moving to Manizales from Columbus, Ohio

Hi everyone,

For a few years I have been thinking about making a big change and living abroad. After much consideration I have narrowed in on Manizales, Colombia and was wondering if anyone could give me some more information.

How long have you been living there? Are you happy with the climate? Are the locals accepting & friendly? Do you feel safe? Where should I be looking for apartments where a newcomer can get a good deal but still feel safe (at least until I get my own bearings)? Also, alas I am not rich and will need to be bringing in an income while I am there. How is the job market? Are there opportunities for expats? I am starting to brush up on my formerly decent Spanish language skills & hope to be at an intermediate level by the time I arrive so perhaps that will help (I hope). Is there an expat community there or are well all pretty scattered?

Many thanks for any info you can give me.


There is a very small expat community in Manizales.  You will find a larger community in Pereira.

Sorry I can't help you more.  Manizales is a beautiful town.  I'll be heading to Pereira in about 5 years....

Thanks for your response although I am now looking at Medellin. The housing expenses are more daunting but with all the growth Medellin has been seeing it has better job/business prospects (I hope).

Good luck in Pereira - I read it was a fantastic town but I don't know if I could live in a city that shares a name with my ex. Lol. I really don't know much about Pereira though. Perhaps that will be tonight's bedtime reading.

I use to live in Bexley by the way....

Seriously? I am about to head over there now. I own & operate a pet sitting business and have a little Jack Russell in Bexley waiting to be tucked in. I live right by amount Carmel East off of Broad.

Why are you moving to Colombia in 5 years and why did you choose Pereira? Sorry- I'm nosy :). Well, and all my friends think I am insane so I don't talk about my move with them too much.


Hi, Rebecca.  I think we spoke before. Just in case....  I have been spent a lot of time in the Manizales-Pereira region since 2013.  We run medical missions in the region so I have visited a lot of Caldas & Risaralda. I prefer Manizales. It is more picturesque than Pereira. Pereira just feels like a big city to me, not that pretty. Pereira has more entertainment and business opportunities, but Manizales is more of a university small city. I prefer Manizales. In fact, I prefer the surrounding smaller towns of Manizales.  But the good news to you is that you don't have to choose right away. They are close to each other. In fact, I would just spend a couple of weeks on each and see how you feel personally; see where you fit best.  You are welcome to stay at my guest house. Look up MINGA HOUSE in Manizales. And my mother-in-law Angela can show you the city.  And then I can connect you to my staff who know Pereira very well and can show you the coutry side as well.  Eitherway, staying in each town for a  couple of weeks will let you appreciate the weather and atmosphere personally. You'll love the whole region, and you'll choose more securely where you want to call basecamp.  Hit me up for any questions, ok?

When are you thinking of arriving?   I need bilingual staff in Chinchina, which is in the middle of Manizales & Pereira, smaller city of about 50,000.  Maybe we can hire you from time to time to help you while you get started on your pet grooming business.


Thank you so much for your offer- how very kind of you, I will definitely keep it in mind.

I am actually a pet sitter, not a groomer. I come into people's homes and care for their animals while they work long hours or if they go away on vacations, etc. It is a healthier alternative to boarding at a facility for pets. I have 26 years of experience working with animals, but little to no artistic ability so grooming was not a possibility for me- haha.

Manizales seems like a lovely town but I find myself getting drawn back to Medellin over & over. The housing costs are daunting in comparison, but I am thinking that with all of the corporate growth it seems to be experiencing it may be my best shot at finding people who would use & value my services. That being said, there is a very real possibility I won't be able to get a company off the ground & may just have to move to Manizales & take you up on that after all.

Oh- I am looking to move at the end of November.

We really miss Bexley...but the job took me away.

Moving to Pereira because my wife is from there.  Getting ready to retire early...but am waiting 5 yrs.  Hope to open a Bed/Breakfast or Hostel there or close by in a smaller town or farm.  Or a restaurant...but there is a lot of competition.

Good luck in Medillin.  Traffic and pollution are becoming a problem...and the price of you said.  Yes, there is not much in Pereira and Manizaliz is much more pretty and inviting, so don't blame you there.

Good luck.

Hello Rebecca,

I am moving to Manizales from Dallas, TX on Aug. 3rd. I chose Manizales because of the beauty of the area and the friendliness of the people, even though I don't speak much Spanish, as of yet.

If you do decide to make the move to Manizales, I would definitely use your pet sitting services. I have a ragdoll cat that I purchased when I lived in New Zealand. He has traveled with me for the last 12 years and has never stayed in a caged environment while I traveled on business. They don't do such things to animals in NZ. I will no longer be working, but will venture out on trips from time to time.

Please keep in contact if you do make it this way.


Hey, lets connect....i aarive to manizales July 17 from WA.  I have a guest house in manizales.   I run medical missions in Caldas and Risaralda with American nursing and premedical students, and Colombian doctors of course.  Its fun, perhaos you would like to join us.  No experience needed, just a desire to help and learn.

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