New members of the Colombia forum, introduce yourselves here - 2018

Hi all,

Newbie on the Colombia forum? Don’t know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Colombia if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

Well... It seems that I'm the first one to post so... here it goes!

My name is José and I came from Venezuela, currently living in Manizales, Caldas, Colombia. I have some relatives who have helped me establish here and I'm currently looking for a job to settle and bring my familiy over from Venezuela. I've work in HR and have also taught English back there in my home country.

So far, Manizales has been really nice. Many people say it's hilly and they're not wrong! While looking for jobs or running errands, I walk instead of taking the buses there, and I turn the GPS on my phone on to get to places, meaning that I'm getting to know Manizales on foot and getting a lot of excercise!

Recently, I went over to Villamaría and fell in love! I hope both my new job and home end up in that place since it's very nice!

Well, if there's anything you need to know about experiencing Manizales, let me know. I'd be glad to help!


Hi everyone, i'm new to the forum but moved to Medellin back in 2007. I'm a business owner originally from Brooklyn, NY.

Obviously you must like or love living in Colombia.

Do you know if retired Expats from the US have to pay taxes in Colombia on their tax-free income that comes from the US?

dcasanares :

Do you know if retired Expats from the US have to pay taxes in Colombia on their tax-free income that comes from the US?

You may or may not have to pay taxes depending on how much your income is and other factors.  Consult with a tax professional in Colombia and crunch the numbers, that's the only way to know.

One thing is sure - if you spend 183 or more days in Colombia in any 365 day period, you are considered to be a tax resident of Colombia and are subject to filing a declaración de renta.  Spend less than 183 days and you are not subject to Colombia income tax.

As you might suspect, taxes are higher in Colombia than in the US and the brackets start at lower income levels.  You may have no tax liability in the US but may have to pay in Colombia.

Agree and this is the reason why I'm hesitant to retire in Colombia.

If you are an Expat in Colombia, it's impossible for you not to contribute to the local economy.

You have to buy or rent for shelter, you will be purchasing food, clothing, transportation and doing things that the average Colombian cannot afford so why not allow Expats to thrive there and keep everyone gainfully employed?

dcasanares, your questions are unanswerable in this forum - especially since this particular one is reserved only for introductions by new members.   So we've gone a bit off-topic.

I invite you to create a new thread on this topic and raise these questions.  I think many would agree with you but there's not much expats can do about it except complain!


I am a few tens of Kms north of and a few hundred M below my nearest neighbor on this forum!! 

Also in Nariño!!   Saludos!!!

I'm new here, so I'll introduce my self ..(sorry for my english!!)

I'm Maya, a french girl who have just moved to Cartagena :)
I am naturally curious and open minded and in constant evolution.  I like socializing, meeting new people, that's why I introduce myself here too

I graduated with a physiotherapist degree in France and i also do foot reflexology. My aim is to work here (self employed) and start a new experience here !

The human being is in the center of my occupation professionnally and personally.

It would be a pleasur to exchange !

Saludos !

Hi! I am a complete newbie to this website and this forum... however, I have lived abroad and traveled extensively. My husband is from Venezuela and we currently live in the USA near my family. My husband's family originated from Colombia and most now live in Cartagena. We are now considering the possibility of moving to Cartagena, but this is an idea we just hatched while visiting his mom in Cartagena, as she is ill. Anywho, any help anyone wants to throw my way would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I'm Brazilian and expect to retire in about five to ten years. The idea of living as an expat in Colombia is because everything is so much cheaper than in Brazil, the country is overall safer and the quality of life superior. I'm coming back next week for vacation and to know more about their way of life.

I am planning to move to colombia soon! My name is Laura!

Hi Laura. Welcome to Bogota. This forum isn't used much. Try also registering with You'll find a whole community in Bogota, and all happy to help in any way they can.

Hello from San Diego!  I'm a film and video game professional and my wife and I are going on a scouting mission to Medellin later this summer.  We have two young boys and we've heard great things about life in Medellin.  I look forward to hearing all the advice the expat community has to offer!  See you in the e-verse!

Welcome to the forum, Greg. You will find Medellin a fun and interesting place to visit. Airbnb is an economical way to go.

Agree and I'm pretty sure that my capital will be taxed in Colombia which is unfortunate because it seems that it would be an ideal place for me to retire but since I get the impression that Colombia wants to tax Expats on their retirement income that might not even be taxed in their native country sounds rather greedy.

If you are an expat, it's impossible not to intribute to the local economy simply by living there you are going to purchase or rent your home, shop for furniture, food, clothing, entertainment and the list goes on.....

Greetings to you all,

Coming to Cali in May 2018,  and  truly looking forward.

In the corporate world, and this is our 4th move, and Cali will sure be a great experience for us.

Coming alone first in May 2018, and then family will join after summer.

Appreciate your advice on the below please:
-Best gated compounds in the South of Cali, where they rent Villas with a garden ?
-Places where english folks hand out, as we do not speak spanish yet ?
- Best company to handle pet moves across countries , with door to door service.
- Where do expats hand out ?

Thanks for your support

Karim Kamel


Just moved to Bogota from Toronto! Looking to start a new career and find a job ASAP!

A welcome addition you are to the forum Elizabeth! Don’t neglect checking out other areas of Colombia! (Unlike Canada there are many cities and towns worth exploring (not just TO, Van and Montreal).😛

Medellin, the Zona Cafetera, and the Pueblos surrounding these areas are fascinating, with a climate welcoming to someone Used to being chilled for half the year.

Look into getting certified for ESL to tide you over until you become proficient in Spanish. Spanish will open more doors for you. Good luck!

Hola all !   I was in Colombia for 6 weeks this February/ March.   I am coming back in November and likely again in February as I love it. :).
Would be great  to get to meet some other expats that I can meet up with while there ! 
Looking forward to learning from you all and hopefully meeting up eventually

When I am there I take some time as vacation and as I work remotely I also do some work ! 

Look forward to chatting

Hi Nice to meet everyone.  My name is David, I am originally from Massachusetts which is where I met my wife.  She is originally from Colombia and we decided to move here.  I have been here since December.  We have a son that is 17 months old.  Love the country and great having a chance to meet new people.  I play lacrosse on the weekends at National University with some of the guys on the national team.  Still getting settled a bit but thanks for having me.


Hello y buenas tardes!

My name is Sandra, I just moved to Colombia from Washington, DC last month. Currently living in Cartagena where I have family on my mother’s side. I also have an aunt who lives in Medellín where I recently went to visit - fabulous place! I guess right now I am “vacationing” and getting acclimated to a new way of life, improving my Spanish, and looking for a job at an international school or English institute. I welcome any advice about getting a job as a foreigner! I am hoping to get lucky by way of family contacts, as well :) Thanks for reading!


My name is Paul, I just got married in February. My wife lives just outside of Bogota. I appreciate all the nice comments and help. Thank you so much.

I'm Mohamed , Egyptian expat in cartagena
Really I like living in this city although I don't have much friends here as my Spanish level is not very good, I expect to find a  good social network here with expats.
I'd look forward to have more friends here and sharing the experience of adapting with different cultures and societies.
Currently I work in cryptocurrency and don't have a stable job.
I'll appreciate any advice or help
Thank you all in advance .

Welcome to the site.  I’m brand new on here and don’t have it all figured out as yet.  !!
I plan to be back in Cartagena for a month in November if not before
Would be happy to meet up when I’m there !
Talk soon

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It will be my pleasure to meet you
Waiting for that meeting

Hi my name is Carolina
I have been living abroad for 30 years and I am back in Colombia.
Married to a British guy and we have a lovely daughter,
Any British people out there - How have you found the settling down here?
Any suggestions?

Hello. Very interested in meeting expatriots with interests in literature, philosophy, religion (Christianity/Catholicism) and current events, culture.

I am a US expat and have been living in Colombia for 6-7 years now (Quindio).

Hello there. I have been living in Colombia (Quindío) for over 5 years now. My interests are in philosophy, literature, culture, current events and religion (Christianity/Catholicism). I am interested to make contact with people who share intellectual interests who live in the region or in Cali.

Good morning everyone my name is Andrew my friends call me Wes I’ve been in Medellin for a couple of months came in from Arizona. I’ve met some wonderful people and hope to make Medellin my new home. I’m looking for some furniture for my new apartment if anyone knows if anything please let me know.



Hi my name is Carolina
I have been living abroad for 30 years and I am back in Colombia.
Married to a British guy and we have a lovely daughter,
Any British people out there - How have you found the settling down here?
Any suggestions?

Hi Carolina
A big welcome to the Forum to you and your family. You say that you are now back in Colombia, you don't say it, are you Colombiana? 

I am also a Brit, I am married to a Paisa (Medellin) and have been living in Colombia for six and a half years, with no intention of ever leaving voluntarily!

I actually found it very easy to settle here, thanks to my wife and her family, I think there are two types of Expat, the first comes, but needs to have like minded Expats surrounding them, as a buffer zone, so that they still feel safe, and then there are those who came away for a new life, and have no wish to live amongst, or socialise with Expats, but make their life amongst the locals.

I class myself amongst the latter, we live in a small finca in the mountains outside Copacabana, I only go into the city when it is necessary, and the only contact I have with ExPats is through this Forum, I was on others, but they turned nasty, can't be doing with abuse and back biting. Although I do have one Brit friend I meet up with, he is not yet  out here full time, which is useful when I want some cheese from home.  :)

I think that by cutting myself off from Expats, I have found it far easier to integrate, you certainly learn the language far quicker, although I already had a grounding in Spanish, having lived in Spain before moving here.

Good Luck with your move, and I hope that your Husband finds settling in as easy as I did!


I am Mario and currently travelling Central America for the last 8 months. I have heard so much good stuff about Colombia that I have decided to stop and live there for a while and get to know the country (do not know how long).
I am from Malta, but have lived in the UK for the last 15 years. I studied Software and  Electronics Engineering in Nottingham and have a PhD in Bio Engineering.
To be honest I am not much interested in Bogota and Medellin for now as the weather is too cold and am looking for sun and sea. You would appreciate this after 15 years in the UK believe me ;-). Thus I am looking at Cartagena to move to.
I would like to find a temporary job for now, just to see how it goes. If it is in something to do with Engineering or computers, then that's perfect. But I have worked in bars, carpentry and painting so it is not an issue. Do you think it'd be easy to get something similar? Any hints, places I can start to look? I set up profiles on glassdoor and joble.
I usually do not stay with expats when I travel. My Spanish is good so I prefer to mingle with the local people. I think you learn more about the country and culture by doing so. But in every community there are things to learn.
thanks and regards

Welcome to the Forum, and good luck with your travels. You obviously still have much to learn about the country, I am a Brit who has lived just outside Medellin for the last six and a half years, I have yet to wear a sweater, and only wear a jacket if it is pouring down.
As for getting a job, it will be hard, as Colombians will get first crack at the opening, unless you look towards an International Company, also you will have to register, and get your qualifications accepted before you could get a job in your Trade. You could try working under the radar, but if you are caught, expect to be on the first flight out.

Philco is right.  You can't work on a tourist stamp in your passport. You must have a work visa, but the problem is you have to find an employer to sponsor you BEFORE you arrive. I have known many folk who try to do it under the radar, but the wages for illegals are less than your rent will be,  and invariably end up seeing them washing windscreens at the lights, sleeping on a bench in some park, and unable to afford a flight out, or back home.

Hi Phil-
Thanks ever so much for your message. Great to see you have found a nice place. I am not familiar with that part of the country.
Yes I am Colombian although after living nearly 30 years in the UK I don’t know what I am.  I suppose people that travel for long periods of time collect experiences that make them less fixed on belonging to just one place and more open to living in foreign spaces.
My husband will most likely want to be connected with both locals and expats;  especially because we will only be here for two years.  We may want to travel around Colombia there is so much to see.
As for me well I have just been asked to be part of an interesting bit of research that requires talking to British expats about their experiences in Colombia and how they feel about returning to the UK; I will ask the moderator if and how I could ask anybody if they are interested.
All the best with your endeavours

Hello Everyone,

My name is Puneet and I will be shifting to Cartagena next month from India. looking forward to seek all the information about the wonderful city.

Hello everybody. I have been associated with Colombia for almost 35 years. I always planned to retire in Latin America. My wife is Colombiana so it was the natural choice.
We have owned a very nice home in Rodadero for close to 13yrs. and visit / live in Santa Marta area as much as possible. Im retired from United States Merchant Marine (small ships, Towboats, Oil Spill Response etc. I was also a Seamanship Maritime instructor for about 9 years. Clearly I love to ocean. I know the area fairly well and very familiar with the local culture. Wife still works (school system) so she is able to enjoy the Summer month here. Being retired now its a bit different for me. I'm here about 6 months per year and almost always will be in the "winter months".

It would be nice to mingle on occasion with someone who speaks my first language of English.

Maybe see you around


I am an Italian American disabled war veteran residing in the USA.

I will be in Cartagena from November 2018 thru May 2019, and would love to connect with any ex pats in the area.

I see there are a few ex pats in the area, a woman from France and a guy from Egypt.

Hit me up..............


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