New members of the Colombia forum, introduce yourself here – 2017

Hi Marta. I'm in Bogota.  I prefer a nice medium climate, and Bogota is like a typical British Spring day, all year round. I know many folk say its a bit cold for them, but I don't like too much heat.  When I go down the mountains to the hot zones, I'm usually glad to get back to Bogota after 4 or 5 days.

I don't think I'll get disenchanted with the place, for I knew what I was coming to.  I used to be married to a Colombiana, (and we lived in England), but that finished a long time ago. We would visit Colombia every year for a month or two, to see her folks, and so I got to know the place very well, each time, taking a holiday to different places over here.  She eventually said she would like to move back to Bogota to be closer to her family,  ..... but we have 2 children, so how would that work?  I jumped at the opportunity, and sold up, and moved aswell, not only to be close to my children, but also because I loved the country, the culture, and the people.

So here I am.  And I love it. Don't ever want to go back to the UK.

Everyone in Colombia, it seems, wants to move to the US or the UK, but they don't know how the moral fabric of society has almost totally disintegrated, and now I regard Colombia as more civilized than my own country, and yours too.

It will be interesting to see how you find the comparison, living 6 months in each.  I guess family ties count for a lot, so it may be more difficult for you. But still interesting to see how you find it.

Thanks for the reply, and of course, the opportunity of getting to know you.


Thanks for getting back to me. I feel exactly the same way about our respective cultures, though maybe slightly more responsible, as I feel much of the corruption $$$ has migrated across the pond. I've travel outside the US on average 4 months a year for two decades. Leaving has never been a problem for me, and rarely have I wanted to return. In all my travels, I have never felt as "at home" as I do here... except maybe in Nicaragua 25 years ago! If you ever get to Medellin, give us a shout! I am meeting with lawyers today to come to an agreement on an apartment here. I am very excited about this next phase. Ciao. Martha

Welcome Kim. I will be closing on an apartment here soon. If you come before August 10th drop a line and we could meet for coffee. I should have some experience with buying property by then. Martha


I am a 33 year old guy currently living in Dallas, Texas. Long story short I got so burned out and quit my $100,000 a year job. I made so much money but was never happy. My wife and I divorced and I need a huge change quick. I'm collecting VA disability which is 1,500 for the moment. I will do my best to find a new life with that limited income. My father, and sister plan to join me within a few years. I'm one month out and have just started to plan. I will be reading the forum from top to bottom. If you have some advice please share. Thanks

Hello expats
I have been in Colombia for 7 months now and still have a job My work takes me to some out of the way places that posters on these forums rarely mention
My first stop was Bogota for the work visa and sedula Piece of cake after 1 million pesos and 8 hrs in lines
Then I was off to Yopal----Baranquilla----Riohacha-----Guaymaral-----Yopal-----Quibdo-----Bucaramanga-----Quibdo-----Neiva-----Bucaramanga-----Cali----Medejjin----Bahia Solano----Neiva
I flew to all these places in Light Unpressurized Company Aircraft, wow what a adventure!
What a beautiful country especially the Nevada de Santa Marta witch is a mountain that is 40 km from the Caribbean Coast it is amazing we couldn't go over it we had to go around it.
The only evil necessary that goes with this job is commercial travel with airlines and wait your turn to go
I have been on 30 commercial flights in 7 mo  This is a brief story of the good the bad and the ugly
Colombia has been a very interesting place and fun
Neiva is winding down from two weeks of SAN PEDRO

Hello All!  I recently moved to Cali from Chicago with my husband for his job.  I have been here a couple of times, but this time it is now home.  I am hoping to connect with other expats who like to try new restaurants (we're foodies) and outdoor activities.  Additionally, since I am a "stay-at-home mom" I would love to meet other expat moms in Cali, my son is 1.  Looking forward to hearing from you.


Hola!   I was born in Cali to a Gringa mother and Colombian father.  Have lived in the US since my late teens.  Now 40++ years later, my husband and I and our dog  are considering retiring to Medellin (yes, we love Cali, but the climate in Medellin is so appealing!)

Where can we get information on rentals?  We would need something furnished intially for a short-term, followed by a long term rental once we get our bearings.  Apartments are ok for short term, but for the long term they are probably out as those middle of the night elevator rides for doggie emergencies are not my cup of tea.

Hello Everyone,

My name is Alex and my wife Hanh and I are considering the move abroad from the U.S.  We love living on the beach and have done a lot of research on several areas of Latin America.  Santa Marta is on our shortlist due to its locale and the cost of living.  I will probably still work online or even do something in town when I am there (bar, restaurant, etc.)

We are going to come down in the next month or so and would like to meet any Santa Marta Expats that are on this forum. 

Some of the specific things we would like to discuss are the best areas to live in and how to buy beachfront property with an existing home or to build a home on.

I speak enough Spanish to get by as I have worked all over Latin America over the years but my wife doesn't speak it at all.  She understands that immersion is the best way to learn a new language.

We look forward to the forum and making new friends.

Alex and Hanh

Hello Colleen, I'm from Canada also. Lived mostly in Hamilton back in the day but moved to Kamloops BC for about 10 years and loved it. I lived in Colombia for 4-5 years and have been back in Canada for about a year now and love to go back. I first lived in Bogota for a couple of months but found it quite cold, lol. Then El Rodadero for 4 months and loved it. I love the beach and the surrounding trees, the people, fresh fruits and vegetables etc. In all, I was in Colombia just over 6 months and had to return to Canada, but while I was paying for my overstay fine at the airport, the paper work took too long and I missed my flight. It was non-refundable so I was stuck in Colombia for the next 4 years. A friend of mine knew of my situation and invited me to stay with him in Cali where I lived for about two years. What can I say, I loved it there also but my Colombian girlfriend who I met in Rodadero was going to university in Cartagena, so I ended up moving there for about a year. The beaches are quite big and rough, so I didn't frequent there very often. I missed the Santa Marta area where you find El Rodadero to the west and Taganga to the east within minutes of each other, so I decided to move to Taganga for about 6 months since it was the cheapest to live. It's a small fishing village...very quiet, except for weekends the small beach can get quite busy. You will find that El Rodadero and the Santa Marta much cheaper than Cartagena. Anyways, food for many places to choose from. For me, I choose the Santa Marta area. As for any dangerous situations, I had not experienced any while I was in Colombia.

Hello all!

My name is Sami, a customer-centric professional with 8+ experience in project management, product management and customer success in both start up and large firm environments.

After spending 1 year traveling and working abroad, Latin American culture blew me away. Two months in Bogota in Medellin was all I needed to know that I wanted to make my way back to Colombia. I'm currently in San Francisco, seeking an opportunity which would allow me to relocate to Bogota. I can start as soon as Nov 1st, 2017.

Please contact for any tips in working and living in Colombia, or if you have any relevant job opportunities.


Hi Colleen,
I'm Brian, a citizen of Canada. The absolute best city all round in all of Colombia is Medellin..
I went there 5x in 2 years from 2010-2012 and absolutely loved it. I made lots of local friends there too. the City of Medellin (approx. population 3.8 million people) has everything, including a perfect climate, which is around  70F to 82F every day all year long. Medellin is considered to be the crown jewel of Colombia and the centre of the beauty and fashion industry in Colombia. Take it from me, a fellow Canadian, Medellin is the hands-down best city in all of Colombia by far..... Medellin Rocks !!!

Hello all,
My name is Ken and current!y living in the midwest, USA. My wife and I will be moving to Colombia here real shortly. We have done a lot of research and have decided on the Santander Department. If anyone is living in or around Bucaramanga, it would be nice to chat, actually any one else familiar with the area also.

Hi everyone,
My family and I ( husband and 2 daughters) will be moving to Medellin in 2018.- so soon!!  We are Canadian but have been living/working/going to school/opening a business  in small town China for the past 3.5 years.  My girls are getting older and it's time to leave (before they enter middle school here).  I'm looking for ANY information regarding family life- schools, social, after school sports, tutors etc.  I love reading all of your posts ( cool, single travellers and fun retirees,) but there MUST be someone with kids in school too, right?!
I appreciate any and all help

Hey I just move to Cali 3 weeks ago, my name is Julian and Im looking for friends to hang out witu, I love to travel and try new things, Im from Indonesia and Im going to live here in Cali for the next one year, Im a a volunteer and working as an english teacher in some school here

John B back in Colombia from the USA. Have spent 9 months of the last 24 here and dont have plans on returning any time soon except to fulfill any visa requirements. I live in Cali for now and will be here for a little while. You have to love Avianca, no? I have not been many places except for Cartagena, Bucaramanga and Pereira and enjoyed all of them. Can't wait to see Medellin and Santa Marta. I too teach English for extra money and look forward to more of a social life here. I dont recommend the dating sites for males if you are looking for quality friends but there are a lot of very cool people here.

Hola eveyone,

I am André from the province of Québec in Canada.
I am 60 and planning to retire in Colombia.
I am particularly interested by the Carribbean Coast, more specifically Santa Marta.
I would really like to visit Medellin, Bogota, Cali, Baranquilla, Cartagena and other place that I read about here.
I have lived in Peru 4 years so I have a pretty good idea about life in Latin America (that's why I want to go back).
I can get by in Spanish and I also speak French.
I've been reading the Colombia discussions for a little while and learned many interesting and useful things and connected with a few people as well.
Lastly I enjoy Sailing, Salsa dancing (Bachata and Merengue as well) and eating and drinking well (but trying not to absorb to many calories), and exercising (mainly walking).


It is hotter than Heck on the coast especially Cartagena. Very nice but very very hot. Maybe not like Tulsa, ok or Dallas or Pheonix but hot. OK you got that. Colombia is not Peru in my opinion. This is still the wild west and i think you should ignore the  "its dangerous everywhere" thrown around here. It is more dangerous here, especially in Cali and out of major cities but it shows signs of improvement.

Most calenos dont go out after dark. In Tulsa, ok last year we had 70 murders and here in Cali it was close to 1700 and close to 10000 stabbings. Coastal Buenaventura is similar so watch out. Taxis are nuts so take Uber. Santa Marta and cartagena are much more tourist oriented and security is tighter but only in coastal areas. The rest is beware. Not this is coming from a gringo who has been robbed while being extremel cautious and it was in a good area. As i wrote the bad guys ride in at nite and look for folks so use good judgement. 

You will likely enjoy yourself immensely. I live alone and dont live in tourist areas and am exposed to a bit more than most. If you stay tourist you will likely be just fine everywhere you go.

I've been to Cali many times to visit my wife's large extended family and it's not that bad, although you certainly must always be careful.

For 2016 Cali had a 7% reduction in homicides from the year past, to 1289 - not 1700.  Most murders are drug-related, and way behind in second place is domestic violence. … o-en-un-7/

Many caleños do go out after dark, a lot.  I've been out after dark a lot, there's great night life.  If you go with a group and don't get drunk, and stick to the more popular areas, chances are you'll not have any problems at all. 

With my family there we take taxis all the time - it's always better to call for one, especially at night so the trip is logged, but during the day there is virtually no problem to just get one on the streets as needed.  I've driven there but I don't recommend it - it's pretty crazy.  Of course, I always say my time living and driving in Memphis, TN trained me well to be able to drive in Puerto Rico, which time there prepared me for Colombia...

A brother-in-law and his family live in Buenaventura and I've been to visit several times for almost a week as well as day trips from Cali.  It's poorer than Cali with more crime but again, most of it is drug-related.  It is quite hot and humid, not a place I'd choose to stay for long.

Another relative by marriage, a German man who married one of my wife's cousins, regularly travels by bus all over Cali - he knows the routes better than my wife's family and most caleños.  He sticks out like a sore thumb, obviously not a Colombian.  He's never had any problems.  Probably one reason is that he speaks fluent Spanish and has a good feel for the city and its inhabitants.

ok you win. listen to him.

handymantulsa :

ok you win. listen to him.

It's not a question of that.  I've been traveling to Colombia since 1996 when things were much, much worse.  I think I have a basis for comparison that few have.  Being fluent in Spanish and with family ties there, with the extended family loosely consisting of 50+ people, along with their friends, I get to see and hear a lot.

Hi all,

As previously posted, the wife and I are seriously considering a move to the Santa Marta area.  I will be working online but I would also be interested in opening a business. 

I have a couple of ideas of what type business to open but I wanted to ask the Expats that are already in the area a couple of questions:

-  What services or goods that you were accustomed to back home do you wish they had in you area?  Some examples I have heard in other areas are expats saying silly things like they wished they could get Miracle Whip or Hellman's Mayonnaise, or good ole American BBQ,  E-cigarette Vape Oil, Gift Wrapping, Massages, motorcycle parts, Home Security Systems, Computer Repair, WiFi Extenders, etc.

I am open to almost anything and just want to make a good business decision.  I look forward to any input from expats or locals.


Alex and Hanh


Hope yall having a good day here. Love to read what others have to say about places in Colombia as I am moving there soon.

Hi yall. My name is Alex(26), I am IT industry expert for SaaS and app development. I am currently in Serbia working for MS as project manager also doing software development.

Been once to Colombia for 6 days and fell in love instantly. I decided to move there in next 3 months as soon as I hand over my position at work.

Hi Alex,
Just to let you know, a Colombian woman in Medellin named Daniela Ospina is looking for an IT guy in Medellin to work there in Medellin in the IT/Networking industry.  This job could have your name on it, Alex.


Hi Alex,

This woman in Medellin, Colombia - Daniela Orellana Ospina - is looking to offer a job to an American guy from the United States, the job is in the IT/Networking/Computer industry. Are you interested ?


Sure thing man. That sounds great. Lets talk over DMs.


Hi Coleen.

I do some online writing plus I'm constantly on the net. In Colombia it's not like S.Korea but it's adequate in Medellin and Barranquilla (which I know from personal experience) to watch YouTube and send files with no problem.

And BTW.... if you pick up any leads on affordable apartments, I'd appreciate you letting me know. I'm looking in Medellin and not having good results.

I lived in Barranquilla, by myself, for 2.5 years and found the people to be very nice and all but the worst of the city to be safe (I've lived on Calle 84 for a while then on Calle 65 Siete Bocas). I could tolerate the heat passably but I ran the AC in my second studio apartment most of the time. It was included in the monthly cost.

One thing unique about Barranquilla is that the local electric company is notoriously inept and, depending on what part of town you live in, the power does go out almost once a month for a little while.

The only thing good about it is that the rents are fairly reasonable. I'm having a heck of a time finding an apartment in Medellin (without a guarantor or deposit).

Best regards,
Art Williams

I can tell you that most cities in Colombia desperately need a decent dance club where single people can safely mingle. After being here for 3 years, I can honestly say that I think more people in the US do Salsa dancing (I mean actively) than in Colombia.

They've got great music here. But people go out, usually in groups, and then just sit on their butts and drink all night. It's not like in Salsa clubs in the US where a single guy can dance with 10+ girls, lined up one after the other, in a night.

Somebody would need to get some space, add a real dance floor, do some basic publicity, get a DJ who knows how to work the crowd and perhaps set up some social events or free lessons.

Cali might have something like that. I think I saw a video of a club with a real dance floor.. on YouTube. And I remember going to one small club in Bogota. But those kind of hard-core Salsa dancer (or Bachata or whatever) environments are very rare here.

My belief has always been that guys and girls want to socialize and get their hands on each other...safely and sociably. Dancing is the best way to do that.


P.S. I'm looking for an apartment in case anybody can help (310 842 8032)

I can verify that the social sites, e.g. ColombianCupid for Colombia, are drudgery. I've met a few girls but it was especially difficult because I'm 73 but young at heart. But it's just like sales prospecting...i.e. you've got to go through the numbers.

IMHO, the biggest asset in meeting women here is that you need to speak at least minimal Spanish. Beyond that, you've got to position yourself where they are. And that's difficult if you really don't like drinking and wasting time trying to look like you enjoy swilling beer and liquor (I don't...unless there's dancing going on and I'm part of it).

In Medellin, I can guarantee you'll find some hookers and/or gold diggers in most nice social spots. But if you just want to dance, and they do too... that's not a bad deal. Just don't expect a lot of depth in conversation or sincerity.

In the smaller towns, like Barranquilla where I lived for 2.5 years before I came to Medellin, nice single girls don't seem to 'go out' and put themselves in approachable situations (not like they do in the US). In Barr, you normally see girls in groups of some kind, and (for me anyway) it's hard to break into that group.

My guess would be that in a smaller city, e.g. Pereira (where I've never been) or Manizales or some of these other towns where foreigners are more of a novelty, it might be easier to meet Colombian women).

I'd be curious about Cali though. I'm thinking about trying to find a place to hang my hat there for a month or two to check out the dance scene. I like Bachata and I hear they do it a lot there.

Art Williams

Hi Julian:

I see you've been in Cali for a while. Could you give me any advice on finding a place to stay in Cali for a few months? I'm in Medellin for about 5 months in a shared-house situation now but if I can't find an apartment here (without requiring a guarantor) I'm considering going somewhere else in Colombia.

I'm interested in Cali because I love to dance.

FYI...I've got a budget of around a million COP.

Best regards,
310 842 8032
on FB: Arthur T Williams IV

I went to graduate school in Phonix (Glendale) and I'll never forget the day a bunch of us were going tubing on the river (can't remember the name) and I looked on the thermometer on that back door of the cafeteria where we were loading into cars...and it was 110 degrees! But it didn't really feel that hot...I guess because of the low humidity. We used to go out on the grass after class and play Frisbee sometimes past sunset.


I've seen the Google Images of Bucaramanga and they were amazingly beautiful.


Hi Jose.

You are familiar with Santa Marta?

I lived in Barranquilla for 2.5 years but never went to SM. I have two questions:

How easy is it to find a reasonable apartment (in the 1 million COP range...or less), and...

What's the 'single women' situation like there? Are there any dance spots in the town? Do they like Vallenato?

Best regards,
Art Williams

Hi Duffield

I think you can live in Colombia reasonably well on 1500$. Especially in non-Bogota or non-Medellin. You won't be a big spender but you'll be 2.5 times the national avg wage and you won't starve. You will of necessity learn Spanish...and that will be fun. You'll qualify for a TP7 Pension Visa which I understand can be done entirely or almost entirely online now.... but it's rather tedious I believe. Be prepared to a pain in the butt lot of paperwork. I need to renew mine too.



You are 'right on' brother about the deterioration in the moral fabric of 'the west'. I've tried to explain that to people in S.Korea, the Philippines, and Dubai and now here over the last 10 years. But they just don't 'get it'.

I lived in NYC my first 2+ years out of grad school in 73...and I liked it a lot. I think I would like Bogota too because I know they have some nice Salsa going on there AND the women seem to be pretty sophisticated (which I think tends to be the case in colder climates).

The only problem for me I think would be finding an affordable place to live. I hate going through that torture.... like I am right now in Medellin.

Best regards,

Why would a property owner want to rent without a deposit?

Posters, keep in mind please that this is a thread reserved for the self-introductions of new members.

For discussions about fiador motivation and the weather in Arizona, etc., please start a new thread or use the search-function at the forum welcome page to find a relevant existing thread. :)


Good Morning Marta,

We are settling nicely in Medellin.  After many glitches we finally closed on our apartment in Medellin.  We have found the people here very inviting and even my little schnoodle FiFi has made new friends .  It has been a wonderful experience and our visa's will soon be completed.  After spending more then 5 years in Panama this is a welcome change.  We will be here until May with a few trips scheduled out of the country but only for a few days.  I agree it's a wonderful place and it's a privledge to be able to call Medellin home.  Life is a gift to be treasured one breath at a time.  What better place to enjoy those moments. 

Where in Medellin did you settle?

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