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permatourist posted on the thread Need help on Accommodation on the Colombia forum

Absolute Musts: Old city of Cartagena, Tayrona national park
Other Good bets: Cities: Medellin,Bogota,Santa Marta

Side trips: small historic towns such as Santa Fe and Jardin in Antioquia, and villages in Boyaca. Armenia and the eje cafetero (coffee growing area).

Inform yourself well about an area's safety before venturing through it. Flying is recommended way to travel between cities. Usually okay to travel by ground to villages that are near cities.

A lot of info can be found in expat blogs, including my own: O Colombia

permatourist posted on the thread DESTINATION BARRANQUILLA by JULY 2010 on the Barranquilla forum

Honestly, Barranquilla wouldn't be my first choice. It's a noisy, messy city. If what you want is a coastal city, beaches and all, your best option is Cartagena, although be forewarned that housing costs rival Miami's. I prefer Santa Marta myself, which is less touristic and is very close to the incredible Tayrona national park. Other, more rustic options are Tolu and Coveņas, to the west of Cartagena. Wherever you settle down on the Caribbean, you'll roast! It's 5 shirt a day weather, year-round, and there's no relief at night! Water shortages are common, service cuts sometimes lasting weeks.
If you don't mind changing the sea for the mountains, there's lots of options in the interior, starting with Medellin. I could go on, but maybe you can just visit my blog for more answers.

permatourist posted on the thread VIVO EN ESPAŅA Y ME GUSTARIA VIVIR EN COLOMBIA on the Colombia forum

Hace 2 aņos y medio que vivo aqui y no me ha pasado nada mal. La situacion esta muy cambiada en los ultimos aņos. Uno puede vivir en seguridad en las zonas buenas de las grandes ciudades y viajar por la mayoria de las rutas principales sin riesgo de terminar secuestrado, como hay mucha presencia militar, aunque si desvias del camino, podrias toparte todavia con la guerilla en muchas partes. Doy muchos detalles en mi sitio web, O Colombia,  (en ingles). Si tienes mas preguntas, podes contactarme a traves de mi pagina o aqui.

permatourist posted on the thread SAFE DEPOSIT BOX IN COLOMBIAN BANK on the Medellin forum

I live in Medellin and wanted to get a safe deposit box at Bancolombia, the biggest bank in the country, but there's no such thing, I was told, at any branch. I didn't check with other banks, but I suspect it's not something very common here. One reason may be  because they worry about the illegal things that might be stored in them. Remember, Colombia is a country with a peculiar history!

permatourist posted on the thread Rentals in Medellin on the Medellin forum

Funny you should say that because I've posted several times recently including a reply to one of your previous queries!
Now, about coastal living in Colombia...
You probably want to avoid the Pacific coast, which is underdeveloped and the launching pad for drug smugglers. As for the Caribbean coast, there's Cartagena where a lot of foreigners have made their homes. It's very costly living! A more rustic option is Coveņas, east of Cartagena. Barranquilla is a messy city which most expats dislike, and finally my favorite, Santa Marta, which is a medium sized city right up against Parque Tayrona, the national park which should not be missed.

Be forewarned that the heat and humidity is extreme in this part of Colombia, with highs in the mid to high 30s C almost every day. Despite the humidity, water is scarce and it's not unusual for private homes to not have a drop for days on end, and just a trickle at others, unless you're in an upscale neighborhood. Also, you have to like loud music, because it's a tradition among "Costeņos" to have the biggest sound system possible and have it blaring night and day!

I'm also Canadian, and I've been living in Colombia for the last two years. It's mostly a humid country,  so probably not for you. I also lived in Argentina, which has a variety of climates, verging on bone dry in some of the northwestern provinces. You could relocate to Cordoba or  Catamarca, or even Mendoza, though the latter does have its cold season, though nothing even remotely like Alberta's. Be forewarned, however, that Argentina has a new tax aimed at Canadians -- they'll ding you for 70 USD every time you enter the country. I wrote about that tax in my blog if you want more info on it: here. Good luck!

Except for Guyana or the Falklands (!), you're not going to find a lot of people who speak English, let alone who can work as seamstresses. As for the best countries with beaches, Uruguay is the most stable and secure, next Chile, although the Pacific tends to be colder in that area.

I've been living in Medellin (well, Envigado, same thing!), absolutely nothing bad has happened to myself or my family. There's a very high murder rate in Medellin, but it's almost all drug related and usually happens in the barrios where you would be crazy to go anyway!
That said, it's impossible not to be affected by crime here. 3 months ago, a successful entrepreneur I befriended was executed by "sicarios" for reasons I'll never know, and just about any resident you talk to has lost family and friends to violence.
Still, I would say it's far less dangerous to live here than in Rio, Sao Paulo, or even Buenos Aires, simply because foreigners are not generally targeted by criminals here.
If you follow a few basic rules (good anywhere) you'll stay out of trouble: Don't walk at night; Avoid "barrios"; don't wear fancy clothes or baubles; Know where you're going and how to get there.

permatourist posted on the thread need books (english) on the Cali forum

While I live in Medellėn, I'm also looking to hang with other expats, of which there are very few here. I'll be moving to Manizales in April, a lil' bit closer to where you are. I usually bring back a ton of paperbacks when I head back to US/Canada. Anyhow, write me back if you feel like it!

permatourist posted on the thread Rentals in Medellin on the Medellin forum

There's lots of 2-3 bedroom unfurnished apts in secure apartment buildings in good areas like Laureles or in Envigado/Sabaneta, for around 700-800,000 COP. Probably a bit less for 1 bedroom. The problem is that most owners use real estate agencies and they ask for 2 local guarantors, which most foreigners can't provide. I have a post about this on my blog if you want more details: … nting.html