Best cities for retirement in Colombia

Hello everyone,

An increasing amount of people want to spend their retirement abroad. Would you consider giving a few tips to those looking into Colombia for their retirement?

What are the most attractive cities for retirees in Colombia?

Why are these the best cities in Colombia for retirement (quality of life, cost of living, climate, health, security, etc.)?

Are there any specific areas in Colombia where there are special retirement schemes or retirement-friendly residential areas?

Are there any activities suitable for retirees in Colombia?

Do you have any tips on where to start looking or how to choose a suitable city for one’s retirement in Colombia?

If you have, yourself, chosen to spend your retirement abroad, please tell us what city you have chosen and why?

Please share your experience.


From first hand experience I recommend staying away from Cali. It isn’t the same city from a few years ago. I have my eyes set on the “eje cafetero” región, made up of 3 main cities, Manizales, Pereira and Armenia. Armenia being first on my list for the moment. Safety is my main objective, quality of life comes second. This region has both to offer.

Cali is pretty safe - unless you do drugs, or are a drug dealer, or are involved in other illicit activities.  Or if you wander about in bad areas alone late at night, unconsciously displaying your wealth and being unaware of your surroundings.  It's a big city and has big city dangers - many Colombian cities have the same problems and pretty much to the same degree.  But by staying alert and using common sense, you are in less danger than you would be in many areas of many big US cities.

Here on is a comparison of attitudes about crime, comparing Bogotá to Cali.  They are pretty much the same.  Note these numbers are about how the people responding feel, not necessarily the actual statistics: … city2=Cali

You must realize that anywhere in Colombia, as a gringo you stand out and are often at greater risk because you are perceived as "rich".

Thank you your "No Non-sense" explanations. Common sense is not so common.
Thus, reminders are always of benefit.
Caution and care are of the essence.
I am interested in somewhere close to Venezuela, and / or a more remote country setting near the Border of Venezuela. Also, able to have access to food markets etc.
Are such things as having a water well drilled possible? I would prefer Solar power and/or generator etc.

I have spent 4 months in Chinchina, and 4 months in Manizales, and 2 months in Riosucio.  My first choice is Riosucio/Supia, followed by Manizales.  Riosucio is a much smaller place, roughly 65,000 but its clean, safe, and quiet in my experience and the cost of living is quite reasonable if you are willing to go native just a bit and know some Español.

Thanks for the reply. Sounds frank, honest and balanced in your appraisal.
I am living strictly on SS and a small VA pension (served during active conflict). I barely manage in the USA, as you may imagine. Will you provide me a ball park for modest income folks?

I am a paraglider pilot and have been visiting / exploring the Roldanillo area - a 2 hr drive NE of Cali. Small town. Safe. Friendly locals, lots of activities to keep you busy. Cost of living is extremely low. 4 Bdrm homes can be rented for $200-250/month.  Personally I prefer small towns in the mountains to large cities like Cali or Bogota.

Amen to that.
That sounds down my alley. Is it possible to contact someone their to arrange a look-see and pricing?
Also, am I safe to assume the possibility of an area for takeoffs/landings of conventional single engine and multi engine aircraft?

You asked about an area close to Venezuelan border. Try Bucaramanga area, same temps as Medellin with a little higher humidity.

Actually quite a bit hotter tham Medellin

Between Medellin and Cali in climate

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