Relocating permanently in Colombia

Hi,I had never been in Colombia until I met a paisa lady in a web site.That was a short time romance but,surely,once I traveled for the first to Medellin,I just fell in love with the city.I am a 63 years old american citizen,widower and have decided to permanently moved to that beautiful country.The weather,the people and so many things are in my mind and in my heart.I am waiting to get my pension benefits and look for some legal advice to make that so wanted decision hopefully,for the rest of my life.

Medellin was where I fell in love with Colombia.  However, I was younger and single, and well, that doesn't apply to me now. I have lived in Colombia for a year now, been working here for 3 years.  I chose a much smaller community of 50,000 called Chinchina in Caldas. I like the capital city of Manizales which is about 400,000 and about 30 minutes away. Manizales is a small Medellin, much more calm, sufficient resources and access to healthcare, safer, more affordable. And in my case, Chinchina is even better in all those aspects.  Do not fear the smaller towns outside of the cities. Your dollars will literately go 2-3 times further. I can rent a 3 bedroom house for 200 bucks. You can't do that in Medellin anymore.

Glen - are you familiar with Santa Rosa de Cabal? If so, what are your impressions of that town as a place to settle?

The town itself is ugly, but if you go to a campestre location in the suburbs towards the termales itt is much better.

Any place that doesnt have a BodyTech gym fails for me

Yes, very.  Steve, it's really up to your taste and goals, as anything else.  It's not for me. It is touristy, it is more expensive, it's bigger and closer to a bigger city Pereira, therefore more crime.  I live in Chinchina about 10 minutes. The only tourists in town are those I bring. It's cheaper, smaller, cleaner, simpler. Chinchina is about 50000 and surrounded by coffee culture, tiny towns of 10-100 houses which I love to visit and where I do a lot of my work.    Come visit the region. Do not buy, prices are priced high because the rich people that have them do not really want to sell since they do not have any mortgages and do not need the money. Rent month to month.  A 3 bdrm house or a long-term hotel room in Chinchina goes for about 200 bucks. ***

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Like guido, I will be moving to Colombia. I will arrive on Nov. 3, in RioNegro and have booked a hotel for the first two weeks. I am not a South American virgin. I spent two years in primarily Ecuador with time in Colombia and Peru.
While in Ecuador, I fell in love with the horse culture and purchased three fine horses. I returned to the US in 2014 for what I hoped would be three months to take care of of closing out my life here and returning to set up life in Colombia or Peru.
Due to many complications I have been here for three and a half years now but finally have everything settled and my homes sold. I sold the horses to my friend who was caring for them and donated the gentlest one to a center for autistic children near Guayaquil because I was gone for such a long time.
I like being close to a medium to large city in a place where horses are a part of the culture and riding in the mountains, through pueblos and the like are acceptable and common. Once I find the area I am looking for, I would like to eventually purchase a few horses again with the appropriate facilities to keep them. Initially leasing one to get started is fine to develop the relationship needed with the individual horse.
I am a retired teacher, primarily math and science.
Any suggestions from others living in Colombia would be greatly appreciated. As far as Spanish goes, proper grammar and vocabulary are weak but I can get my point across. I can communicate but certainly need practice to improve.
Sorry for such a long post but want you to have a real feel for what I am looking for.
Thanks in advance for all of your suggestions and help.

But what's so special about a Body-Tech Gym?  There are so many gyms....everywhere....  Granted, I am not a gym maybe I don't get it.

Thanks for the input, folks.

Last winter I visited Armenia and surrounding area. As the bus passed through Pereira I realized it was much too much of a city for my taste, but I fell in love with Filandia. However, I came to realize that finding appropriate accommodations in a pueblo like Filandia wold be highly unlikely, so am looking around for something in between. This past week I made a short visit to La Ceja in Antioquia - very much liked it, but feel I need to explore the coffee zone more thoroughly. I am not yet sufficiently conversant in Spanish, so that is creating a bit of a problem for me in the medium term.

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Steve and Glen, Thanks so much for the info. I agree that in and around the towns of Pereira and Armenia it is lovely and offers possibilities. I was there in Nov. 1016 for a short time. Did not have the opportunity to visit the area around Manizales where I believe Chinchina, your town, Glen is located. I appreciate your offer and will contact you through Would like to explore the area. Thanks

Hi Glen and thank you very much for your so valuable information and beleive me,I will visit too.There is no other place for me to go.I was born in a smal town in Puerto Rico and I am looking for a similar place with a much better climate.Hope to meet you in person at any time....

I would like to go further and propose to get together at MingaHouse(those who can) in a future time.I believe we could have a great and unforgettable experience.We would need Glen's opinion on this....

Glen - email sent.   :idontagree:

Guido, I like your suggestion and am open to many possibilities after I arrive in Colombia on Nov. 3. I will be in Rionegro for at least the first two weeks checking out the area around there. After that I am open to check out other areas. The information I have seen from Glen about Minga House and the area around Chinchina and Manizales is very appealing. I am also always up for meeting new people and making friends so let's stay in touch and maybe we can coordinate a meetup. Thanks for the suggestion. Look forward to meeting.

Your response is really uplifting Uglas..let's see how many volunteers woul be comitted....

I am relocating to Pereira next may. I decided to tetire esrly. I have spent a lot of time in colombia . However, i have not lived there in 5 years. I love manizales but prefer the weather in pereira.  How much should i budget monthly to luve very well? I know the average income is less than 600 usd a month for locals. That is 7000 usd a year.  What type of housing can be expected in upscale Pereira for about 600-700 usd a month ? My monthly budget is 2700 Usd to 3200 Usd? I need to purchase a 7 passenger Kia sorrento as well? Any suggestions? I will be going for a week in December to start the relocation process.

Retire early is correct. I do not like this google auto correct. Smile.

I am also looking to retire early and I have Columbia as one of locations. Please keep me in your loop and I would like to visit this area to see what it has to offer.



I was reading your post about moving to Colombia and finding work. What channels did you seek to find employment. I am a former travel agent from the states looking for work. Any leads would be greatly appreciated

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Hello Glen,

I am a traveler exploring South America for the past 9 months. I plan on being in Colombia for the next several months. I am a native English speaker, however have some college experience, no degree. Am I still able to submit for a position?

Glen, you have an amazing thread here going for quite some time now. I too am relocating to manizales. I am just beginning to gather info and time frames. But I have begun enrollment for next fall at Caldas University for Spanish immersion courses. I have been spending so much time closing out all of my USA assets, propertys, ect.. that I haven't had time to really focus on Manizales yet. But I choose the city after travelling to Colombia and visiting several areas. I really love the weather there, the friendly, safe nature of the area and the lower cost compared to Medellin or Bogota. I will be visiting there in August to locate an apartment and while I am there I will try to visit your wonderful city of Chinchina and (Mingahouse).

Thanks, Rudy

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