Anyone have any thoughts about the living conditions in Rio Negro?  Want to know if it's safe to live there and what activities for the Old Texas Boy can do in the town?

Well... as far as good ole boy activities.. hunting is definitely a no and as far as the fishing goes.. its kind of so so as the rivers are not stocked and the nearest lake (Guatape) is an hour and a half out.  That being said, Im not sure what types of activities you are looking for or how you prefer to spend your free time.   Keep in mind Rio Negro is  very close, appx 45 mins to an hour by bus to Medellin.. so, if you are ever in need of a city fix your only a short distance away.  Also, living within Rio Negro proper may or may not be your thing, however, there are pueblos just outside the city that may be more attractive to you depending on your likes/dislikes.  Rio Negro is not a dangerous place, per se.. however, as with most areas in Colombia you do need to use common sense and avoid the seedier spots come night time.  We have had a house in a smaller pueblo outside of Rio Negro for a couple of years now and i use it as a retreat from City life (Medellin).  How is your Spanish.. keep in mind there are not many foreigners living in Rio Negro so your ability to communicate is going to depend a lot on your level of Spanish.  Where we have our house there is a small community of ex-pats so we do have some friends who are always around who speak English and are always available to spend some time.  Rio Negro is appx 6k feet up in the mountains so the weather, especially at night, is significantly cooler than that in the Valley of Medellin... just another thing to keep in mind.  Anyway, hopefully my two cents helped out a little :)

If you are speaking about Rionegro, Antioquia, let me tell you that you are taking a good decision. Let me elaborate:  Rionegro is a countryside city of around 100k population, including the the rural area; it is where the first constitution of Colombia was signed; is about 40 min from Medellin and around 20 min from the airport; one of its counties, Llanogrande, is the most exclusive area in whole Antioquia (think of Orange County, C),  Ex-president Alvaro Uribe and several politicians/rich live there. Safety? If you are worried about guerilLa, just don't because guerilla is only where natural resources are (oil, gold, etc). If it is about normal crime... I would suggest you to stop watching Vice News and go to Detroit to feel what real insecurity means. medellin, as a 2.5 million pop city, has crime but it's no higher than in cities like Miami, or Denver. Rionegro is as dangerous as living in Winnipeg.

Hello, Old Texas Boy!

I've lived in Dallas, Duncanville, and Spring.  So, we have a little in common.  I currently live in the small town of La Ceja, with my wife and daughter,  which is about 20 kms from Rionegro and I go into Rionegro at least once of twice a week.

Yes, so long as you watch where in Rionegro you go, it is quite safe.  When I first arrived in Colombia, about 8 years ago, I lived in Llanogrande, which is part of Rionegro and very upscale.  There are lots of North Americans living in the Rionegro area and more arrive all the time.  The reason we moved from Rionegro to La Ceja was cost.  Llanogrande is very expensive, by Colombian standards.

I think you'll find just about anything you might want in Rionegro.  There's good shopping and markets, where you can find most of the things you're used to up north.  San Nicolas shopping center is just like the upscale shopping centers up north and there's even an "El Exito", which is just like a Super Walmart, with higher prices.  There's also a "Jumbo", which is even more like Walmart, with Walmart prices.  You'll also find a lot of restaurants, that remind you of "home" and a lot that are pure Colombiana.  For a Texas Boy, you'll find more bars than you can patronize, especially in San Antonio, which is also in Rionegro. 

There's also a small amusement part (Confama) and an "old town" called Tutucan.  Of course, you can also find yourself a finca, where you can go horseback riding, etc.  Once you get here, just let me know, and I'll fix you up with a list of places to visit and things to do.  Don't know if you're married or not but, Colombia has more than its fair share of beautiful women and they seem to love gringos, especially if you try to speak a little Spanish.  I should warn you, very few people speak English down here, except for the younger, better educated (privately educated).

Again, let me know when you've arrived.


I guess I should define "Rionegro".  Rionegro is a "municipio", as well as a town.  A municipio is sort of like a county, which is usually named for the main town and frequently has lots of smaller named town, villages, and areas in it.

Hi.  Thank you for your comments on Rio Negro.  I have sort of an off-beat question.  I like to play golf and I noticed that the golf courses are in your neighborhood: Rio Negro.  But I also noticed that the Medellin airport is also near Rio Negro and I don't like to play golf with airplanes and jets overhead.  I don't like the noise.  I was wondering if you have noticed a lot of airplane traffic in the Rio Negro area.
I know it is an odd question, but I thought I would ask.  Thanks, Stan

I live on a farm between Rionegro and Marinilla and we never had serious security issues whatsoever. Just lsiten to the locals where to go and not to go and you will be fine. Do not buy a property just anywhere, good neighbours are more important here then in the USA or Europe. I'm Peter frpm Belgium and we have a Restaurant in Marinilla Most foreigners of the regions are customers especially in the weekends. So let me know if you want some more information on whatever, will try to answer.

There is the Golf Club "La Macarena" and the bother from planes is very low since it is on the road to Marinilla, far away fron the airport. This is one of the nicest gold courses in the Americas. You should contact Paul Cates living in Rionegro/llanogrande who can invite/ introduce you there.

Hi. Thanks for getting back to me.  I really appreciate it.  When you say I should contact Paul Cates, is he a member of this forum? or of the golf club?  How would you suggest I contact him?  Thanks, Stan

Get in contact with me on Facebook and I will send you his contact. Please say that I sent you and he will take care, he's American, a good friend of mine. Look me op on FB with my email peter.henderickx[at]

Hey PeterfromAntwerp

We have a private message system here too, why ask to join you on facebook?

Kenjee Team

Contact Paul for the Golf in the Macarena Golfclub in Rionegro , here is his FB usid : fb/paul.cates.92 I live just a few miles from there.

Hi.  Yes, I wrote him.  Hopefully, he writes back.  Thank you very much for your help, Stan

It's a pleasure, happy to provide you more info if needed.

hello peter,
I want to find a low cost apartment or house in Marinilla.  I tried 2 months ago, but no luck how should I proceed?
FYI, I am in USA now, but will return to colombia in September.
The best way to reach me is e-mail ...

Moderated by Julien 3 years ago
Reason : for your own safety, please use the private message system to share your contact details
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

You want to rent or to buy ? I have a friend who has a serieus immo agency over there and she has a lot of places for sale/rent some are on the internet. Let me know what you are looking for pricerangen and so and and when you need it. Anyway I can do some scouting for you no problem I live there in a Finca.

Thanks for your reply. I want to rent.  Looking for a small apt or house or finca ... live alone ... $400000 to $600000 COP per month.

Wanted to thank everyone for your replies.  Decided to take early retirement.  Hope to be living in Rio in early October.  Hope to join the club to ply some tennis.  My golf is something to be laughed upon but i look forward to getting out on the course.  Going to need to buy some clubs so i hope there's a good sporting store?  How's the fishing?  Been working so much i just about forgotten what it feels like to have a fish on the line. 

I am married to a fine Colombian woman.  But i think she let me out of the house? 

Look forward to meeting up with folks later in the year.

I need to immerse myself in learning spanish.  Anyone have any recommendations on who teaches in Rio Negro?

Here in Marinilla you find for 500.000 pesos very nice accomodations.

I have started a free English program here in Marinilla, and we currently have about 60 students enrolled. If you are interested in helping as a volunteer English teacher, please let me know flywithspanish at sign gmail punto com

Hi Tex,
             I lived in Rio Negro for a couple of years and I agree with most of what people are saying about it. Dark things do happen though. While I was there a priest was killed. Don't remember the details. Recently I was told that 3 students were killed there. Again when I was there some out of town crooks on motor cycles robbed  a person that  was coming out of a bank with a lot of cash. There was, they say,  someone inside the bank that gave a sign  to the outside thieves. generally though very safe and a good climate . Very quiet at night, clean air all day, every day.  Aside from all the Exito, Jumbo and the San Nicolas mall, there is a Carulla grocery store in LLano Grande up the road , which I liked as it had some out of normal items available like trout and salmon. Catch the bus across the street from Jumbo and ask if he goes to Carulla before you pay. Distrimar is a nice little grocery store in the Porvenir area of Rionegro. In the rainy season, sometimes it rains all night. Good place to live if you have kids.


Well Tex, I just joined this forum and have been reading your post and replies.  Did you make your move?   What do you think about Rio Negro


I did move and loving the town and people

Good to hear. Are you in rionegro itself or one of the nearby communities?

I've heard they teach at the university of EFIT in Rio Negro


1.  Is MDE airport noise a problem in residential areas?

2.  Do some of the Rionegro casinos offer blackjack and other table games .. or just slot machines?

3.  What are the daytime high temperatures in the summer months?


slopezcastano :

If you are speaking about Rionegro, Antioquia... I would suggest you stop watching Vice News and go to Detroit to feel what real insecurity means.

Nobody from Texas goes to Detroit to figure out
the safety factors of Colombia. ;)

The jet noise bothered me at first but have gotten used to it. The positive out weighs the negative here. Sorry can't tell u about casinos. Temps are pretty constant here year round. 70-75 during the day. 60 at night. Warms up quickly in the morning. Often rains at night. Sunny during the day. We're at approx 6k feet.

Thank you, Ginger.

I suspect that the online weather sites may often confuse their readers by possibly using the MDE airport (Rionegro) temperature readings at 6,000 feet  to represent Medellín’s temperatures.  As a result, especially in summer months, Medellín at 5,000 feet may be represented as having springlike high  temperatures of about 80 degrees F. instead of the true Medellín temperatures which can reach 90 degrees on many days.

Worldwide, a city’s airport temp readings are generally used for the city’s readings .. but this practice would be misleading in Medellín’s case.

Having been in Medelllín this summer, I experienced the fact that Medellín is not / is no longer a City of Eternal Spring.  There are just too many hot, hot days in July (when I was there) and perhaps other summer months for that nickname accurately to apply.

Going forward, the Eternal Spring title may be more applicable to Rionegro or La Ceja.


Yes every place on earth is warmer now than it used to be. I don't use on line weather sites and look forward to getting an outside thermometer. I was told they have dry seasons and wet seasons not summer winter spring fall as we know it. Yes the eternal spring is in Rio Negro now. And all other places at 6k feet too.
Medellin has a lot more black top, buildings and cars to heat up the valley where the heat gets stuck. They've tried to keep the trees and plants which is so beneficial and wonderful for a large city. They've been having some landslides lately in this rainy season and 11 people died between here and Medellin. There's no water shortage anymore for Medellin.

We're in Llanogrande in the country

Rio Negro and La Ceja sound great.Is it possible to rent a furnished 2 bdrm-1 ba house in a safe area for 800,0000 or less? Thanks

Yes I would think so. You'll have to contact a realtor to find out for sure. Good luck!


frankg69 :

Rio Negro and La Ceja sound great.  Is it possible to rent a furnished 2 bdrm-1 ba house in a safe area for 800,0000 or less?

Perhaps you inadvertently added an extra zero, Frank.

800,000 Colombian pesos is $259 USD (per month) at the current exchange rate.


Frank anybody tells you youre gonna get a nice safe place in rionegro for  800mil is imo just ignorant or not telling you the truth. And youve got to consider whether youre speaking about rionegro proper or the pueblos. I live in a larger place than you mentioned in an actual safe neighborhood in san antonio, rionegro. Yeah i pay more but i got a really good deal because i have a really good colombian friend who negotiated the price down. If you use an agency like some people i know here recommended youll pay even more. Not only do these agencies tack on their fee to original deal but add on a fee every month. Dont fall for it. And a lot of these people recommending an agency get a kickback.
And some places look really good and cheap but if you cant walk the streets at night safely who'd want to live there? Not me. My neighborhood san antonio no prob anytime but like anyone with a brain i do watch my back. Llano grande nicer. But not much there within walking distance and like san antonio youre not gonna find anything 800mil. hope this helps.

Floridaray :

If you use an agency like some people i know here recommended you’ll pay even more. Not only do these agencies tack on their fee to original deal but add on a fee every month. Dont fall for it. And a lot of these people recommending an agency get a kickback.

Knowledgeable posters on the Internet have given yet another reason to rent directly from an owner and not an agency:  in some places in Departamento Antioquia, agencies protect themselves by requiring one or two fiadores or guarantors.

The likelihood of a Gringo arrival being able to line up local Colombians to guarantee his rent for the term of a lease .. is probably small in most cases.

According to my research, a common way to get around the agencies' fiador requirement is to pay up to six months of rent in advance.  That’s not an acceptable solution for many if not most new arrivals.


Exactly cccmedia! Another reason get in touch owner not some real estate or agency. Big mistake. Yeah they're super nice when you're signing and paying that deposit or as called here a fiadore (sp?) . All that does is protect ur friend at the agency not you. And just wait trying get that money back! They'll mañana ya to death. Only way out use same agency for another one of their places or stay same one. But that's just delaying the grief when you again try get your deposit back. Cccmedia is offering best advice IMO. Pay 6 mo upfront and the fiadore issue usually goes away if you're dealing with owner direct-which is what the agent is going to he/she can get their middleman fingers between you and the owner. Somebody tells you go to an agent...wait I had a comment removed yesterday regarding what I felt truth but how about this at least try find the owner. If you're moving San Antonio area I (or my best Colombian friend here can help you out) because she knows practically everyone here and great reputation for her honesty. She's not and doesn't work for an agency. It's not free but just about and it's one time not a fee tacked on every month or a deposit. She's saved me thousands and without getting me near a fiadore. Plus got me my visa, sura comfama insurance Colombian DL and my way nice 3br 2bath 2 huge balcony and large patio with 10' concrete wall surrounding it placefor way less than going price because asCCC said she searched and found the owner. I pay 1.2 mil but I do live in a SAFE neighborhood. I know people paying way more in this pueblo but that's because they used an agent and I've yet to see a deposit returned.
There may be some places here 800 but I doubt you'll like the surroundings especially at night. But I can't imagine paying that llano grande unless it's the maids quarters. Marinilla is cheaper than San Antonio and if you're from Texas and the smell of a cattle auction or slaughterhouse doesn't bother you you'll prob be ok. But San Antonio while they roll up the sidewalks during the week is the happening place on weekends. Must be thousands coming every weekend to get away from smog congestion of Medellin. And many have their fincas couple miles away frm here including former pres ulribe. So plenty policia military and everyone I've met is super nice and unlike some mex federales no bribe wanted. But point there is this place really safe. And like Medellin beautiful and surrounded the Andes.

I agree that Rionegro is a place to live.  I've lived in Medellin for about six months and I told my wife that we will never live there.  Too much traffic and the hot climate is more than I can stand.  Plus you have La Ceja close by with the beautiful country surroundings.

I agree. La Ceja beautiful. Little too far out to live...for me i mean. But since we have such great and cheap transit here not impossible. Ive lived and worked a lot of countries. But ive always been happy to get back home to florida. But honestly since i moved this area...the thought never occurs to me. Yes i want to see my family but they can damn well jump on a plane as easy as i can. And as far as my kids cheaper...since obvisously theyll hand me the bill. And theyre both in college so not like i can see them all time anyway. And theyre typical college kids love to drink and never seem to have any money. Some things never change. whoops sorry for the tmi.

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