Renting an Apartment in a Quiet Area for Under $200

A just-posted video at YouTube's Gran Colombia channel contains an apartment tour and an interview with the unit's new tenant -- who used to live in California, USA -- who explains he pays rent of only $160 US per month in the Coffee Zone.

How does he do it?

1.  He chose a two-bedroom apartment in a large development on the south side of Armenia, Quindío, not the fancy side of town.

2.  He pays additional for utilities and Internet.

3.  The unfurnished apartment comes with minimal appliances.  The rental includes a cook-top, no stove.  There is an outdoor swimming pool at the complex.

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       $160 a month gran colombia

Personally I would not do it, security is extremely important in Colombia, living in a low rent area means you are not going to have security and will be exposed to thievery or worse, especially if you are an obvious gringo.

I disagree with the idea that $650,000 peso is low rent. Away from the biggest cities that is a reasonable rent for a small unfurnished apartment.

Security depends very much on the apartment management but most will have a secure entry and a doorkeeper.

I lived in the west/south area of Armenia for 6 months in the La Clarita barrio. The apartment complex was secure, the apartments ranged from unfinished but people lived in them to fully finished with the only appliance being a gas cooktop (which is normal in Colombia).

It wasn't bad and I never had any conflicts/problems with anyone. I am a runner and I ran in the mornings/afternoons/and just before dark. Never a problem. I used buses to get around, and occasionally a taxi, though I also walked to el centro quite often.

The south side of Armenia gets a little less rain than the north side. Some say it's dangerous. It is the "lower rent" side of town, for sure.

The apartment I had was 500,000 pesos a month not including services. It was really well finished inside. I looked at one of the penthouses for only 550,000 a month (in the same apartment complex, 8th-floor penthouse, incredible view from 2 big balconies), but it was in terrible shape. It had never been refurbished, there was also a height issue in the stairway from the first floor to the second, for me even though I'm just a tad under 6 feet tall.

Now, I'm in Roldanillo and in a 2-story house in a secure conjunto about 2 kilometers outside of town. It is beautifully finished inside and the rent is only 530,000 not including services.

For your US$160 you have many options available all throughout the cafetera.

I am very familiar with the Zona Cafetera as we had an apartment in Pereira for fifteen years which we just sold a few months ago.  In general this is a safer part of Colombia compared to places like Bogota and Cali.  In this part of Colombia a gringo can live in almost any small town and be relatively safe in a low cost apartment..  Part of your security depends on your age and how much you look like a Gringo.  I am older and look very Gringo so I would not feel that safe jogging in a bigger city of say a half million or more.  Also if I am renting in Manizales, Pereira or Armenia, I would not want to live in less than a stratus five or six area, again because of the safety concern.  As I mentioned in another post I have been kidnapped, not in Colombia but rather Argentina, and the first thing my kidnappers  wanted to do was to take me and my credit cards to the nearest ATM for a funds withdrawal.

@ cccmedia
I can confirm that monthly rent in Armenia.
I have a 2 floor condo next to a bamboo jungle and away from road traffic for less than 120 USD a month.

this is the apartment I rent in San Cristobal........a corregimiento-barrio of Medellin.  I pay $800,000 plus services...........

4 bd ........2 bath........2 patio plus the usual

Everyone makes their own choices, personally I would not want to live in an apartment like that.  Also I would not have all my electronics in the front room where anyone can see them from the street.  A pistol in your front window and they would all be gone.

Laker4115 wrote:

I would not want to live in an apartment like that.

Why not, Laker?

Too much space?  Too many rooms?  Size of the rooms?  Don't cotton to the neighborhood?  Lack of privacy on the low floor?  Too many vaqueritas potentially trying to lasso you into matrimonio?


With the strong Dollar, such an 800K (pesos) apartment has a rent that is equivalent to about $197.50 US per month.  Apparently the apartment was renting for 650,000 pesos when the video was made in 2018 .. and has had rent increase(s) since then.  But with the Dollar so strong, the nominally higher rent has been more than offset by the Dollar-favorable currency exchange.

cccmedia in Santander

Reminds me too much of where Pablo Escobar's soldiers come from.

Too many vaqueritas potentially trying to lure you into matrimonio?


Looking for a country house or apartment in the Barbosa, Antioquia area...............a little over an hour outside of Medellin..............Would consider a male or female roommate.

I am thinking of renting an apartment in the outskirts of Medellin, possibly Sabineta or La Estrella and I would like to know if someone has an opinion of these areas. I would like to be near Medellin yet away from the hustle and bustle.

Impressions and assumptions of other countries, driven by Western Media, are often myopic (and sometimes flat-out wrong). I'm not saying that your fears are unfounded - far from it! But basing such potential life decisions like international relocation on assumptions and "feelings" isn't necessarily the smart move, y'know?  For sake of actual data, perhaps it's worth listening to the people who live there (the more people the better the data) or, getting the experience first-hand.

If you haven't ever lived in Colombia, would you consider visiting the town shown in the video, staying at least a week in a hotel or AirBnB, visiting various parts of said town, making tons of observations, and taking notes?

It might be a horrible drug-ridden pueblo, OR it might be a Hidden Gem that's PERFECT for your budget and lifestyle. Point is, you won't know for sure... and Mainstream Media (including sensational TV shows and movies) have zero incentive to tell us the real, mundane facts from a "living there daily" POV.

Just a thought. Feliz domingo.

Been married to a Colombian 56 years, have lived there and visited there countless times, and am fluent in Spanish.  So I am not reading tourist brochures about the country.

Hello, your post caught my attention as it is the lowest rent quote I have read for rent rate, so far.

I'd like to know more about the apt. Is it an old building?
I read there are areas in Medellin which are high in pollution , how is your area?

How would you describe the area, mixed, homes, businesses, etc?

@Laker4115 OMG, kidnapped in Argentina? Mind if I ask what part and if maybe in retrospect whether your actions/behavior made this more likely (seriously not judging but I'm currently in Cordoba traveling to Mendoza and Salta over the next few weeks and just extra curious, lol).

Also I'm planning on moving to Colombia and have my sights initially set on Pereira, and am finding information about which parts of that city are best/worst for gringo transplants hard to come by. Like many I'm on a budget and would love to find a nice secure place, small/modest but furnished, in a quieter part of town for $200 more or less, any suggestions?

@cymerax Downtown Buenos Aires, was carrying a large briefcase they thought was full of cash.  Picked up by a yellow cab working with them.  They were in their forties short hair, I think they were military or police related doing kidnapping for extra income.

We had an apartment for many years in Pereira in the area near the Universidad Tecnologica called Los Alamos.  It is safe and quiet in that area, it is also safe around the Parque Arboleda.  I would not get an apartment in the downtown area nor in points west of there.  We sold it because of the change in government to the left.  Manizales is another nice city nearby and it is a little cooler there.  I like Manizales more but my wife has family in the Pereira area.

A just-posted video at YouTube's Gran Colombia channel contains an apartment tour and an interview with the unit's new tenant -- who used to live in California, USA -- who explains he pays rent of only $160 US per month in the Coffee Zone.

I may be wrong, but I thought I heard that Mike moved to a different sector in recent weeks which Qi considered moving to as well, except for the fact he was unwilling to accept a downgrade in internet quality due to the fact he in an YT influencer.

Regardless, I think we may see an apartment tour if Qi makes it out there for a visit.

@Laker4115  Thanks man, really appreciate the 411 ;?)  And I've also heard good things about Manizales, just wondering if the cost of living is similar to Pereira, seen some info on Numbeo but was from rather thin amount of data site said.  Really getting more excited as the date nears ;?)