Things to Know About Living in Colombia


Are you thinking about moving to Colombia? If so, then the six features listed below may help you make your decision.

Very Functional Infrastructure

According to some people, Colombia suffers from bureaucratic problems with the government that go back to the ’80s.

Maybe that has recently changed, or maybe some people’s anecdotal evidence has been blown out of proportion, but you’ll find that most expatriates have nothing to complain about in terms of bureaucratic efficiency.

While there will always be some hurdles involved with moving countries, you don’t have to worry about too much red tape here. Colombia is very happy to welcome new people.

Clean and Orderly

Another rumor you may have heard is that Colombia’s streets are absolute chaos. This actually isn’t completely false. Rush hour in the bigger cities will definitely take some getting used to. People often squeeze their cars through traffic or even honk their horns to let people at an intersection know they don’t plan on stopping.

That being said, it’s not as out-of-control as you may think. The vast majority of cities throughout Colombia are extremely clean and taken care of well.

People Are Very Friendly

Likewise, the people here are very friendly and generally love foreigners who come to explore their cities, which they take a lot of pride in. They are also very well-mannered, so be sure to respond to them in kind.

You Don’t Need to Speak Spanish, But It Helps

If you plan to move to Colombia, you should probably learn to speak Spanish. It will go a long way toward ingratiating yourself to the people there and will definitely make it easier to experience everything the country has to offer (which is a lot).

However, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a priority at the moment. If you really want to move to Colombia, then do so. As long as you’re moving to Medellin, Bogota or another major city, plenty of people  there will speak English or speak it well enough, at least, that you’ll have no trouble communicating with them.

Still, you should consider taking Spanish lessons. You’ll have an easy time learning because of the immersion experience you get from living in Colombia.

Smoking Is Not Common Here

All over South America, smoking is very common. Colombia is an exception, though. There are very strict rules about where you can smoke inside and just not that many people who do it in general.

Your Money Is Worth a Lot More, But…

If you’re coming from the US, the UK or other Western countries, your money will be worth a lot more than the Colombian peso. This kind of exchange rate probably comes as good news.

Nonetheless, you have to remember that many items you take for granted will cost more because they have to be imported.

This can be a good thing, though, as far as your diet is concerned. A lot of people find they lose weight and feel better by ditching all of the grains they used to eat and choosing fresh fruit and other local items instead.

Though there will be a number of changes involved with moving to Colombia, these six features of the country should make the decision a no-brainer.