View of the outside of Botero museum in Medellin, Colombia.

Exploring Medellin, The Best Art Scene In Latin America

Why Medellín Is The Cultural Capital Of Colombia 

After graduating university, my plan was to move to Medellín, Colombia.

First, though, I wanted to spend a few months in Panama where my then-boyfriend Harry was living and would continue to be based most of the time.

Sadly for me, fresh out of art school, Panama didn’t present much of an art scene.

But Medellín was a whole different story…

With some dozen museums boasting art spanning Neolithic to contemporary, plus countless galleries of all types, Medellín is a true art haven in South America. The field is both well developed and sophisticated—the museums rival some smaller ones I’ve visited in Europe in both curation and collection. It’s a serious industry in this city that’s often called Colombia’s culture capital.

Aside from art, the botanical gardens, science museums, and seriously refined literature scene in Medellín make it one of the most culturally appealing cities I know of south of the border. And with the springtime climate making every day a perfect day to go out exploring, moving here seemed like a no-brainer.

Back then, though, I didn’t speak Spanish, so the odds of being hired in a Colombian museum weren’t great. But, I figured, if I started learning in Panama and continued the immersion in Colombia, maybe by the time I was ready to start applying, I’d have enough of a foundation to get me through an interview.

My backup plan was to start a tour business catering to English-speaking tourists. The number of North American tourists coming to Medellín back then wasn’t nearly as high as it is these days, so that idea wasn’t likely to pay a full-time salary. But it would have been an easy way to get my foot in the door. I even had a business plan. I was ready to hit the ground running…

Then, life dealt me a different hand. I ended up staying in Panama. But I took the chance to visit Medellín whenever possible.

It’s a city that never ceases to surprise…

Its antique stores house treasures and oddities that I would never expect to find in South America. The local crafts are of such high quality that my brother and I would buy them in bulk to sell Stateside. Shopping for them was as much fun as it was explaining their origins to new buyers.

The food scene is the best I’ve had in Latin America. (They say Lima is South America’s gastronomy capital, but, after sampling it, it’s pretty fish-centric. I’m not a seafood fan, so Medellín’s fare is much more to my taste.) The restaurants here are sophisticated and trendy enough to be in Manhattan or Paris—and I say that from experience of living in both cities.

And within just a few hours of Medellín, along pleasant mountain roadways, you can find yourself in a totally different world…

A quaint woodworking village at a sea-level lake famous for its natural loofah (with weather that’s more desert-like—if you ever want some more heat than Medellín has to offer)…

Or at the lakes at Guatapé that remind me of an Alpine wonderland. Climbing El Peñón, the giant rock that juts out of these lakes (along with countless islands of all sizes), is a great workout and leads to some of the best views I’ve ever seen. The village streets nearby, where many residents still get by on horseback, are lined with candy-colored homes…

Whenever you need a break from the modern city, it’s easy to get away.

If you’d like a chance to explore the sophisticated charm of Medellín firsthand—while also learning about other top lifestyle and investment opportunities around Colombia—your best chance to do it this year is just around the corner…

If you’re not already on the list to join us this July 17–19, it’s not too late. We still have a number of seats left… and, as long as you book here before midnight this Friday, June 21, you can still get in at the Early Bird price and save US$250 off your registration.

Our mission as always is for you to come away from this event knowing if Colombia is right for you… and whether you’d be happy living or investing here.

And should you fall under its spell, you’ll have all of the information and local contacts necessary to help you follow through on your own plans.

The good news with Colombia is you’re not too early (the path has been paved and help is available to guide you through your move). Nor are you too late. The exchange rate here is still in your favor.

All that’s left is for you to come down and see it for yourself…

Kat Kalashian

Posted in Live And Invest Overseas Confidential.