Medellin Colombia, view of the city and high rise apartment buildings

What I’ve Discovered After 9 Years Renting In Colombia

Dipping A Toe In Your New Home Overseas

Living overseas doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For many expats we know, it’s been a gradual process…

Take Jeff Paschke, for instance.

Jeff started out simply looking for a winter escape from his home in Dallas, Texas. He began his hunt by reading Life Magazine’s “100 Places to See in Your Lifetime,” whittling that list down to just two places he thought might suit him: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Cartagena, Colombia.Continue reading

view across Cali, colombia. View from a mountain across a misty valley with the high rise buildings of Cali in the distance

7 Reasons To Consider Cali: The Salsa Capital Of Colombia

7 Reasons To Live In “The City Of Eternal Summer”

A couple weeks back, I ran a comparison of Medellín and Cartagena—the two Colombian cities most popular with expats.

With our 2018 Live and Invest in Colombia Conference just around the corner, I’d like to bring a third option to the mix today: Cali.

Renowned as the sports capital of Colombia, Cali is the country’s third-largest city—after Bogotá and Medellín—yet still relatively unknown to expats.

Digital nomad Jeff Paschke, who has lived in Colombia for over five years (spending time in all its major cities), says of Cali:

“Santiago de Cali, also known as Cali, is considered the salsa capital of Colombia and the ‘city of eternal summer.’ I have traveled to Cali several times and, considering the low cost of living and many things to do nearby, I don’t understand why more foreigners haven’t discovered this attractive city.

“In some ways, this city is like Medellín 10-plus years ago—before all the positive press brought many foreigners there. Cali has a warmer, summer-like climate that doesn’t change much during the year… but real estate can be up to 50% cheaper when compared to Medellín, and even cheaper when compared to Bogotá or Cartagena.

“While in Cali recently, I met a couple of expats living in the city. One said he had lived in Medellín for a few years until he discovered Cali, which he says he likes better, as he prefers a warmer climate with more sun, along with the lower cost of living, less traffic, and less pollution.”

To give you a quick snapshot, here are the seven top reasons the prospective expat should consider Cali today:

1. The real estate market in Cali is active and under-valued… Cali has a well-organized real estate industry with a fairly generous inventory of quality properties. Construction standards are high—even in older buildings—yet prices are lower than you’ll find in other Colombian cities… an amazing value considering Cali’s quality of life and amenities.

2. It’s near the Pacific Coast and the coffee region…  Cali is only about two hours by road from the Pacific Coast and only about three hours by road from Colombia’s coffee region, meaning you can go whale-watching or explore the Eje Cafetero (coffee region) on the weekends. Expats in Cali report that the city frequently clears out on the weekends, as there is so much to do within easy driving distance.

3. It’s a First World environment… Cali boasts drinkable water along with dependable phone service, electricity, and high-speed internet. You’ll find many shopping options, from mom-and-pop stores to upscale boutiques… as well as several large, modern shopping malls, including the Chipichape and Unicentro malls. The banks and financial services in the city are the same as you’ll find in Bogotá and Medellín, and they are solid and dependable.

4. It’s the salsa capital of Colombia… and is considered by many to have the best nightlife in the country. There are countless bars and clubs in Cali, many salsa-based, but also with other themes like rock and reggaetón. If you like dancing, brush up on a few steps before you arrive or take some classes once you get here. In Cali, knowing how to dance may even be more important than knowing Spanish.

5. It’s an enjoyable place to be… From the hole-in-the-wall shop selling homemade empanadas to elegant restaurants with fine cuisine, your dining experience will be varied in Cali with a tremendous number of options in the city. The sizzling nightlife draws visitors from the entire country.

6. It’s away from the typical gringo trail… Cali is not a typical tourist destination in Colombia (yet), and the city hasn’t gotten much press, so not many foreigners have discovered or visited it. This is currently changing, with foreign tourism in Cali growing at double-digit rates.

7. Cali is Colombia’s Pacific gateway… With its proximity to the Pacific port of Buenaventura, Cali has attracted a major multinational presence, with over 150 multinational companies including Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Unilever, and many more. The path of progress here is clear…

Again, this is just a sneak peek at the lifestyle on offer in Cali today. Our experts gathered in Medellín, Colombia, this June 6–8, will give you the full story on all your top options for carving out a new life—or a part-time escape—in Colombia.

And, remember, though the dollar has weakened recently, it still goes farther in Colombia today than it historically has. Thanks to the current exchange rate, you have about 50% more buying power today than four years ago. And, in a place like Cali, you can find some outstanding bargains—with the added benefit of living in a sophisticated city. This type of opportunity is rare… and it can’t possibly last long.

If you’d like to join us in Colombia, but haven’t yet reserved your seat, I urge you to do so this week… because our Early Bird Discount of US$250 expires this Friday.

Also, remember to use your exclusive coupon code PRECOL50 to save an extra US$50.

That’s a total of US$300 off your seat when you book before midnight this Friday.

I hope to see you in Medellín…

Valentine Fouché

thumbs up one hand in colombia colors one hand in U.S. colors

Everyone Is Hot On Colombia, Even The U.S. State Dept.

From “Bad-Ass Town” To Latin America’s Most Sophisticated Lifestyle Option

You may have missed this announcement. It wasn’t shouted about in the press…

But, on Jan. 12, 2018, the U.S. State Department raised Colombia’s overall travel advisory status from “Level 3: Reconsider travel” to “Level 2: Exercise increased caution.”

So, “increased caution” is good? Well, yes…Continue reading

2018 global property summit

Global Property Summit: Real Estate Overseas Made Easy

How To Buy Your Dream Home Overseas

Why would you want to buy a piece of real estate overseas?

This is the first question we tackle every year at Lief Simon’s Global Property Summit. And, it’s an important one whether you’re looking for a full- or part-time home in another country… or shopping purely for an investment opportunity…

The big advantage of real estate anywhere, of course, is that it’s a hard asset—a real and long-term store of wealth. But why real estate overseas, specifically?

In a nutshell… you’re giving yourself the gift of diversification. When you purchase a piece of property in another country, you’re achieving diversification of market, of economy, of political regime, and of currency. Everything everywhere is cycling all the time, but the cycles are all different. Some markets are booming while others are in crisis. Currencies are always up or down one to the other, but the ups and downs are ever-moving targets. By spreading your property portfolio around, you can insulate againstContinue reading

Why Medellin Is Attracting Everyone

Why Medellin Is Attracting Everyone (Including Serial Expats)

Serial Expat Calls This Place “The Best Of The Best”…

You may know Lee Harrison as our Latin America Editor or as editor of Overseas Property Alert… but he also holds the position of “serial expat”…

Lee, who retired at 49, spent his early expat years in charming, affordable Ecuador before moving on to a beach lifestyle in Punta del Este, Uruguay. During these years, he and his wife Julie also enjoyed visits to their vacation homes in Granada, Nicaragua, and Fortaleza, Brazil. (Simply reducing their cost of living by retiring overseas meant they now had funds available to invest in more property.)

Traveling as a freelance writer and property scout, Lee spends weeks (even months) on the road every year moving mostly around Latin America on the hunt for new opportunity. So, when he defines a place as “the best of the best,” it’s time to sit up and take note.

On landing in Medellín, Colombia, some years back, Lee was seriously impressed. Like Ecuador and Uruguay, this had the the ideal climate he and Julie had become accustomed to (with no need for heating or air conditioning)… Continue reading

It’s Going To Be A Big Year In Colombia

It’s Going To Be A Big Year In Colombia: See It Firsthand

As Good As It Gets In South America

We’re not the only ones who believe 2017 is going to be a big year for Colombia.

Lonely Planet has listed the country among its top 10 places to travel this year. Here’s what its editors had to say:

“Decades of civil war and violent crime meant Colombian passport stamps were once for hardcore travellers only. Fast forward to the present day, and the lost years seem but a dust speck in Colombia’s rear-view mirror. There are no world wonders, but the country’s mix of vibrant culture, nature and hospitality is a rich tapestry woven by welcoming arms. Over a decade into its dramatic about-face, this South American jewel is even expecting a visit from the world’s number-one Catholic. When Pope Francis kisses Colombian soil in 2017, it will mark the Andean nation’s first papal visit in 30 years.”

While no official date has been agreed upon for the Pope’s visit (it hangs on the completion of the peace process), our own dates for Colombia have been firmly set. We’re looking forward to being in the country April 19–21 for our sixth Live and Invest in Colombia Conference—your one and only chance to be in the room with our full team of Colombia experts and expats in 2017.

The main focus of our interest in Colombia is its second-largest city, Medellín—our base for these threeContinue reading