So what’s so great about Medellin, Colombia?

Retire in Medellin ColombiaThe food is unique and wonderful. There are indigenous (Comida Tipica) foods, international cuisines and local beers and liqueurs that are superb. Fresh juices and fruits are available everywhere on the streets, in shops and elsewhere. Sample or guzzle the best coffee in the world… in the opinion of many aficionados. You can try the roastings of different provenances and visit local growing regions near Medellin. A three-ounce espresso costs $0.87 everywhere.

Biking is a passion as are sports and swimming in venues all over the city. Major roads are closed to traffic on Sundays for bikes and hikes.

Modern brand new malls provide for “super shopping” experiences. Medellin is THE fashion center for Latin America. Colombiamoda is a stop on the European and American fashion circuit in July.

First-rate inexpensive out of pocket medical care is available in Medellin. An ophthalmologist treated my scratched cornea in her modern office-building clinic. The visit included a complete workup, glaucoma screening, prescription for new glasses, vascularization check, eye drops and antibiotic drops, and a follow up visit for forty US Dollars. I made the appointment about thirty minutes before the visit. She spoke perfect English and since I was in pain she pushed me to the head of the line.

Retire in Medellin ColombiaYou can find low prices everywhere. Five star luxury hotels range from $59 to $150 per night. Private rooms, very well appointed and safe in homes with private bath, begin at $20 per night. And no car is necessary. Metered cabs are plentiful and easy to hail on the street or available by phone. The Metro and buses and walking everywhere make getting around a breeze. No payments for gas, insurance and parking. It’s hassle-free transportation.

Exploring Colombia’s colonial past, scenic greatness, natural and human diversity, ecology, coffee regions, rivers, mountains and forests are all possible within short excursions outside of Medellin. Also because of its northern most position in South America a flight back to the States is fairly short. A flight from Medellin to Miami is only a few minutes longer than a flight from NY to Miami.

Medellin is a beautiful city, well-maintained and the people are proud of their many recent successes. Come visit. You do not need any sort of visa to visit Colombia as a US, Canadian or EU citizen. Your passport is good for up to 90 days. See if it’s right for you. The city of eternal spring will welcome you and as they say, the only danger is that you will want to stay.

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  1. I’ve been living in Medellin for the past four years. At first, I loved it. Now, it’s going downhill. First the pluses:

    1. People…Colombia has the nicest people in the world.
    2. Weather – Very warm, but never humid.
    3. Health care – fantastic private and public systems (I’ve used both).
    4. Women – the most beautiful in the world.

    1. More dangerous. El Colombiano published murder rates earlier this week and those in El Centro (downtown) rival Honduras (the country with the highest murders per capita in the world). Earlier this week, a bomb went off a block from my apartment (close to Parque Bolivar). Not a mention in the press about it. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint too. Okay, this can happen anywhere but what differentiates Europe and the US is that the police will do something. Here the police did nothing, not even accept evidence that the robber left behind (every Colombian is fingerprinted so it should be easy to id the suspect).

    2. Expensive – When I look at the prices in the supermarket, it shocks me how much more expensive everything is than in the US. Fruits, veg, and milk are less expensive, but everything else is $$$.

    3. Drug use – okay, the days of Pablo Escobar are long gone. But in places like Envigado, gangs of dealers hang out on streetcorners and police do nothing (for some reason, I’ve been shaken down and asked for my cedula by police more frequently without reason). El Centro, Buenas Aires, Boston, Laureles are increasingly filled with zombies shooting heroin and smoking crack in public.

    In short, Medellin used to be paradise, and for many foreigners who live in El Poblado (Medellin’s Beverly Hills), life is better. But more an more, I see the city as getting more dangerous and more unruly. My girlfriend, who is from El Poblado, agrees and wants to leave the city.

    If foreigners want to experience paradise, Cuenca, Ecuador is the place to go. Better food than Colombia, way cleaner, a lot more quieter, less expensive (about 1/2 of Medellin), great expat community, good bars, and less polluted.

  2. Dave’s comments are wy off base. The city just won the Singapore Prize which is the Nobel Prize forv cfities based on Livability, Potential, Sustainability… and many more such awards. So his experiences are his experiences much of what he said about crime and costs are simply not true. Cuenca??? Yawn.

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