Colombia is a country that has been struggling to throw off its history of civil war and drug crime. A country that was well off the radar of travelers even 10 years ago has undergone something of a transformation. The capital Bogota offers good living at an extremely affordable price with an ever growing expat community.
Today we talk with Karen Attman, a US native who has spent the last 19 years living in South America, initially in Venezuela and for the last 3 years in Bogota, her husband’s native city.
In today’s interview Karen shares her experiences of Bogota, its affordability and why it is no longer the crime enclave that people have associated it with in the past. If you’re interested in visiting Colombia or relocating there then you’ll find plenty of useful tips and suggestions in this chat with Karen.
To get in touch with Karen you can contact her via her blog at www.flavorsofbogota.com
What I learned from Karen’s interview:
- Bogota is more advanced than other South American cities. Karen found it had a cleanliness and orderliness about it that she hadn’t enjoyed since leaving the USA. There is a good and reliable transportation system and most of the modern conveniences you would want anywhere else
- Healthcare is good quality and extremely affordable. You can join a plan but much of it can be covered out of pocket. As Michael Kershaw can vouch Colombia is a pretty good place if you’re needing medical treatment.Colombia has excellent dental care and is becoming a popular place for medical tourism
- The old crime ridden Colombia is a thing of the past. Drug crime has been seriously reduced and Bogota now is on a par with most cities of its size. Common sense still applies and you need to wary where you go as you would in any western city. Watch for pickpockets which is a common problem.
- Owning a car in Bogota is expensive and not worth the hassle. Public transport is cheap and safe, even at night. Air travel to the US and within Colombia is also relatively affordable if you’re looking to explore other parts of the country.
- Visas are becoming tougher to get for permanent residency. That said work, if you choose to find some there, appears to be relatively easy to get.
- Cost of living is very affordable. $400 per month will get you a good standard of accommodation and you can pay even less if you move to some of the smaller towns and cities