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Short term (1-3 months) in Medellin?

 

in Medellรญn, Colombia by @jodie_taylor | 4yr  | 30 comments

Hello all,

Iโ€™m just interested on anyones experience of renting short term (1-3 months) accommodation in Medellin, Colombia.

I had a look on Airbnb of course, lots of places, on the more expensive which isnโ€™t a huge issueโ€ฆ Iโ€™m just wondering if in anyones experience itโ€™s better to take a room for a week and shop around when I get there or whether I should just book a month upfront? I recently had a bad experience with Airbnb so not dying to go down that road again just yet if Iโ€™m honest.

Iโ€™ll be arriving in Medellin from November onwards over the Xmas period and likely through till January, maybe longer. Another friend is coming with me so we could potentially rent a 2 bed apartment, or Iโ€™d also be happy in a studio or a private room in a decent house even. Iโ€™m thinking El Poblano or Laureles, as we are two girls with limited Spanish.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks

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@destituto | 3yr

Hi Jodi, I have to say I was in Medellin for the last 2 weeks, solo female. I stayed in 2 areas. Near Eafit and in Laureles. I really like the Laureles area. Itโ€™s vibrant and I met plenty of friendly people. I probably looked opposite the Colombian women (usually wear a tshit and jeans, high top sneakers, minimal makeup) and didnโ€™t constantly get harassed. When I got cat calls, it wasnโ€™t aggressive.

@gigigriffis getting followed sounds very scary. Sorry some of you had bad experiences and glad youโ€™re okโ€ฆ

I only went into El Centro with a group via the Real Medellin walking tour. I wouldnโ€™t recommend going to that area alone, but the tour was cool.

Overall, I felt safe, though uneasy once in Laureles on a Sunday afternoon, no less. It was surprisingly desolate (most businesses are closed) and I was wandering in the general area of Buddha Hostel Laureles. It seemed like an upscale area, nice apartments, but I noticed a few really shady dudes around. They looked like they were on the hunt for someone to rob. Maybe because it was an expensive area? Not sure.
Also, felt I was on display as the line at the Metrocables. I could tell people were looking at things like my ipod shuffle, earrings. Not necessarily to steal them, but it was uncomfortable. I would recommend riding the metrocables, but keep it as plain as possible.

In Laureles, I stayed near Parroquia San Joaquรญn. I never felt unsafe in that area, walking around Carrera 70 or taking the metro at Estadio. Near Eafit, I never felt unsafe anywhere in the area (restaurants/bars/supermarkets just arenโ€™t as accessible as Laureles).

I really liked Medellin, didnโ€™t have any negative experiences. So easy to take the comfy bus from MDE for $3. Donโ€™t bother with a cab. Found it very cheap compared to Panama. Nice, delicious food at El Atrio in Laureles (not the usual fried stuff) for around $4-5, beer $1 or less.
I would go back.
Hope you have positive experiences!

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@xdrewx | 3yr

@Brandon Thanks for taking the time to share your experience living in MDE. Sounds like a pretty cool city. I have heard from a couple other people about Laureles area of town, sounds promising. Glad to hear the weather is solid, that was a selling point when I was looking into it.

What was the name of your 1v1 instructor? Recommend him/her?

Do you remember the name of the immersion schools?

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@brmolin | 3yr

@drew sent you a message

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@brmolin | 4yr

Having been here for a bit over a month now, I can see what @wanderingdev and @gigigriffis were talking about. Iโ€™m actually living in an apartment with a local who works as a therapist for victims of sexual abuse, and she said itโ€™s a huge problem here. If youโ€™re a female traveling here, prepare to at least hear some catcalls. I have a local that is teaching me Spanish, and even when we were walking down the street together people were making comments at her.

That being said, I do really like it here. The (Colombian) food leaves a lot to be desired in the flavor department (I will never understand the appeal of arepas), but there are plenty of affordable non-Colombian restaurants that are good. Thereโ€™s a great community of expats thatโ€™s very well connected so itโ€™s easy to meet people and share ideas; and thereโ€™s a ton to see and experience throughout the city, as well as some awesome day trips.

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@startupdiaries | 4yr

Hey! A US/Colombian friend of mine has three free rooms in a 4 room apartment in Laureles. They are free from today on and cost between 250$ and 400$ / month. In case anyone is interested please send me a PM. I saw the flat yesterday and really liked it.

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@rudiments | 4yr

Hi @Jodie_Taylor @Brandon,

Would you guys mind linking to the AirBnBs you found? My wife and I are going back there in a few days and will be looking for a place for a couple months while I work on a mapping project. I havenโ€™t done a lot of searching yet, but I know the city and would like to stay in Laureles.
Maybe meet up while weโ€™re all in town.

FYI, I recommend Zeppelin Cafe and Revolution Cafe for coffee near the 2nd and 1st Laureles Parks, respectively.

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Howโ€™s your Spanish?

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@brmolin | 4yr

Mediocre at best. I have decent vocabulary but my ability to understand spoken Spanish is pretty abysmal.

But thatโ€™s part of the reason Iโ€™m going, since Iโ€™ll only be a block away from UPB I plan on taking Spanish lessons there. The airbnb Iโ€™m staying at has an English speaking host and appears to be a bit of a hub for travelers, so Iโ€™m hoping that will make it easier to get by for the time being as I learn Spanish.

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@xdrewx | 3yr

Hey @Brandon,

I am planning on heading to Medellin in a month. Staying there for a few months. Learning spanish is the goal. How was your experience in Medellin? Did you end up taking spanish lessons at UPB?

Thanks!
Drew

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@brmolin | 3yr

Hey Drew, no I didnโ€™t study at UPB. They wanted a pretty ridiculous amount for classes (something like $15/hour for group classes and $20+ for private ones). I just ended up posting on the digital nomads Facebook group asking if anyone knew a good private tutor, met an awesome one who did private lessons for $10/hour.

If you goal is to solely learn Spanish and you can put work on hold Iโ€™d recommend attending an immersion school. I learned loads from my tutor, but the main problem (I think) was that I was spending most of my free time hanging out/talking with other expats in English, and didnโ€™t spend enough time practicing the Spanish that Iโ€™d just learned through conversation.

Medellin was pretty great in general. I stayed in the Laureles area of town which was quite nice and not too expensive (though it got noticeable more expensive over the 6ish months I was there). Also thereโ€™s an excellent nomad community, and the weather is as consistently perfect as anywhere Iโ€™ve ever been!

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Is it owned by a guy called Paul by any chance?

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@brmolin | 4yr

No, host is named Ricardo.

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@brmolin | 4yr

Iโ€™ll be arriving in Medellin October 2nd and staying for a few months in Laureles as well, about a block from the university. Also not a lady so my experience may not be relevant, but weโ€™ll see what happens!

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Sweet! Would be great to hear what you think of the area once you arrive x

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

I appreciate everyones input, thanks for your messages. Itโ€™s funny as my friend Iโ€™m going with posted on another group and got nothing but positive messages so I wasnโ€™t really expecting such varied responses, but itโ€™s all good to know. After debating it we decided to stay in a share house of Westerners in Laureles as it suited our budget more and had a huge list of glowing reviews, even from solo women. I did look at accommodation in Pablado but there wasnโ€™t much available for November unfortunately. We booked to stay for 1 month, if we feel unhappy after that we will just leave and go elsewhere, I can only hope our experience is positive!

If anyone else if going to be in Medellin from November onwards feel free to shoot me a message so we can hang out!

Thanks for everyones input.

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@bradley | 4yr

I spent two and a half months in Medellin this time last year with my wife.

Iโ€™m in agreement with @wanderingdev and @gigigriffis, Iโ€™m not sure Medellin is ready for solo women travelers or women only travel groups.

But if you are going to go, I would definitely stay in Poblado. Itโ€™s more expensive, but the locals are more likely to take care of you there. We made some good friends there. We booked there for the peace of mind (we hadnโ€™t ever been to Colombia before), and the sheer number of other tourists walking around that area make it feel a lot safer.

We joined internations (gross) while we were there because we saw they were taking a day trip to Rionegro to ride some horses (which was amazing if theyโ€™re doing it again). We met some awesome Colombian women through internations that my wife stays in touch with. Talking to them is kind of what won us over on Colombia, because talking to them you could see how hard Colombians were trying to change Colombia and fix the problems the others have brought up.

There are definitely places you can find if you want to once youโ€™re in country that will be cheaper, you just have to meet the right people.

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Haha Iโ€™ve heard the same thing about Internations from others! Might be worth looking at though as a way to connect. Thanks for your message

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

i will say, i never really felt in danger. it was mostly that most of the culture as it relates to women is the complete opposite of anything i would find acceptable. plus it was stupid expensive. on par with living in the US without the advantages. so many better options for a fraction of the price.

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

just to back @gigigriffis up, sheโ€™s not the only one that didnโ€™t like medellin. i quit my job because i hated being there so much and couldnโ€™t wait to escape. unless you have local connections, airbnb is probably your best bet for short-term. just make sure to negotiate.

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Thanks for the input. Sorry to hear of your negative experience, what did you dislike about it so much?

Iโ€™m a bit scared now! I read several articles last night after reading @gigigriffis advice. Seems to be a mixed opinion, some people saying they felt unsafe, others saying they felt the danger was akin to any major cityโ€ฆ

Would you agree that itโ€™s better to stay in Pobaldo then Laureles? Just there really isnโ€™t much in Pabaldo for the time Iโ€™m looking whereas I found what looks like a decent deal on Airbnb on a room in a shared house run by a Westerner in Laureles that looks nice and has good reviews.

Thanks!

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

i stayed in envigado. iโ€™d likely stay there again (if someone pointed a gun at my head and said I must go back) but if you donโ€™t speak spanish it would be hard as it is even more local than laureles. personally, i disliked: the crime (someone sticking a gun in your face in broad daylight in the middle of the tourist zone to steal the phone youโ€™re talking on is a shruggable offense), the sex tourism, the fact that girls there get boob jobs for their 15th bdays instead of education (literally. the parents will stop paying for school so the kid can get plastic surgery instead) because a womanโ€™s appearance is much more important than her brains, the pollution, the horrible traffic, the dirt and grime, the shitty food, the expense (itโ€™s super expensive if you want anything resembling a non-shitty life), and so many other things. iโ€™ve been traveling full time for 8 years. iโ€™ve been to dozens of countries. colombia is at the bottom of my list of places to return to.

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@gigigriffis | 4yr

I really wouldnโ€™t recommend Laureles. Normally, I would always choose the local neighborhood over where all the foreigners stay, but I think in this case youโ€™re going to by much safer going with the tourist-loved area.; if something does happen, youโ€™re more likely to be near someone who would come to your rescue.

For what itโ€™s worth, my own experiences and the informal survey Iโ€™ve taken of other women indicate Medellin is much worse than other comparable big cities. Iโ€™ve been nomading for years and spent plenty of time in big cities and Iโ€™ve encountered some harassment along the way, but absolutely nothing like this. Basically, what Iโ€™ve found is that literally every woman Iโ€™ve talked to - including the ones who like and defend Colombia - has been harassed. Whether you like Colombia or not seems to depend on A) your tolerance level for harassment and B) how bad it gets. It seems that catcalling and street harassment are a best-case-scenario and the women who only experience this low-level harassment seem to like Colombia anyway and just shrug it off as being like any other big city. The women for whom it goes fartherโ€“Iโ€™ve heard stories of everything from being patted down at gunpoint to being drug down the street in broad daylight by a ponytail to having some stranger grind into your rear end while you wait in line for a gondola ticketโ€“or who just have low tolerance for that shit, we tend to be the ones who hate it there.

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@gigigriffis | 4yr

An example: one woman who staunchly defended Colombia to me turned out to have been robbed five times during her months there.

Others who defend usually admit they had a man with them most of the time (which totally changes the situation) or they got yelled at all the time, but were able to ignore.

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Ah cool. Yeah for sure would be interesting to hear some more in a couple of weeks. Hope things go smoothly for you x

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Oh really, funny you should say that as I was really keen to stay in Laureles over Pobaldo! More research required indeed. Thanks for the advice x

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@remster | 4yr

Iโ€™ve just booked myself to land there in 7 days and too aiming at Laureles owing to the proximity of Estadio (I am keen on lap-swimming). I havenโ€™t got a place booked yet, but will likely blaze my own trail and could share my experiences if you keen on hearing them. Imma bloke, so, putting gender relativism aside, I may not be such a good reference point after all. Wellโ€ฆ PM me in 2 weeks time if you keen to hear my fate.

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@gigigriffis | 4yr

Hi Jodie,

If you havenโ€™t already booked, Iโ€™d consider re-routing to Mexico or somewhere else in Latin America. Medellin is the only place in the world Iโ€™ve felt truly and daily unsafe as a woman. I had men try to follow me home, block my way into my apartment, scream at me at coffee shops, and try to grab me in line at the bank. I asked a lot of other women about their experiences as well and it sounds like harassment is pretty commonplace.

If you are set on going, I wish you well, but thought Iโ€™d let you know my experience because I seriously wish someone had cautioned me. Iโ€™ve been all over the world, to every continent, including quite a few places in Latin America and Iโ€™ve never ever had such a bad experience anywhere else.

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@jodie_taylor | 4yr

Thanks for your reply. Alas we have our flights booked already, but only cheap flights from Miami. Iโ€™m sorry to hear of your experience, that is troubling. Interestingly I havenโ€™t heard this from others, although Iโ€™m aware of the dangers in Latin America in general. Iโ€™m thankful that my friend is coming with me but I am definitely a teeny bit anxious about what it will be like. Iโ€™m a very cautious person which I hope will help me somewhat, but you really never know!

Thanks for your advice anyway, I definitely am going to read up more before we go as seems like it canโ€™t help to be extra prepared!

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@gigigriffis | 4yr

Good luck! I hope you have a much better experience than I did. One thing that may be helpful would be staying in Poblado. Laureles - the other popular neighborhood for expats and travelers - is where the majority of my bad experiences took place.

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@0frontiers | 3yr

thanks for the insight

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Can anyone recommend a good dentist in Medellin?


in Medellรญn, Colombia by @rudiments | 4yr 4 years ago | 0 comments

Iโ€™ll be in Medellin next week and would like to get a dental check up and maybe some work done before cycling into the mountains to the south. Does anyone have any recommendations for a decent and cheap dentist? English or Spanish speaking is fine.

Thanks!

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How do I get an Independent Work Visa (TP7) for Colombia


in Colombia by @matthieudrula | 4yr 4 years ago | 0 comments

I work as remote freelance developer (might become permanent) for US companies and I want to go back to Colombia. I already used my tourist visa. I have seen that itโ€™s possible to get a TP7 for independent work but I donโ€™t understand two points :

  1. Authorization or registration of the foreignerโ€™s activity, issued by the respective regulatory entity when appropriate. (What is the regulatory entity here?)
  2. Document certifying the address of the place where the activity or work is to be carried out, such as an authentic copy of the RUT or certification of existence and legal representation, issued by the respective Chamber of Commerce.
    At the moment Iโ€™m in Arequipa, Peru. Do I have to remotely create a company in Colombia? Do I need a contract as Independent with a Colombian company?
    I got a UK LTD too if that can help.
    PS: If you know some great intermediary companies that can handle all this against fees.
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What is the cheapest option to get out of Colombia for 1-2 weeks and come back


in Colombia by @matthieudrula | 4yr 4 years ago | 6 comments

Hi,
This is quite a specific question but can be generic in term of method.
I need to get some time out of Bogota so I can come on the remaining days of my touristic visa in order to enrol in a cheapest university to study Spanish.
So basically going out for 2 weeks, come back, do the papers during the 3 remaining weeks.
Iโ€™m trying to find the cheapest flight + hotel combination for this period of time using Nomadlist.
Anybody has a better method/experience?

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Is getting a work visa then quitting a possibility to stay long-term? (For Colombia)


in Colombia by @matthieudrula | 5yr 4 years ago | 0 comments

In Colombia, I have heard people telling me that once you have a work visa you can enter and not care about what happen if you get fired.
Unlike the USA where if you lose your job, you are *****ed.
Is it a possibility to get a job, get in, open a bank account(not sure if thatโ€™s a good idea since itโ€™s not going to receive a consistent flow of cash from a Colombian company), then quit and work as a freelance remote.

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Are there Nomad List meetups in Bogota or Medellin?


in Medellรญn, Colombia by @dcodyschm | 5yr 4 years ago | 10 comments

Iโ€™m currently looking to go to one of the two cities in the upcoming months (or both!) to do research for a documentary. Are there any shared workspaces or meet-ups for nomad anyone recommends? Iโ€™d love to interview people who have been living there for a while and do a bit of networking. For you veterans, whatโ€™s the best way to go about this?

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Ho Chi Minh City vs Chiang Mai vs Medellin?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @mementomoriblog | 5yr 4 years ago | 7 comments

Iโ€™ve realized that if I really want to be a DN entrepreneur, I need to get my ass to a DN hub.

My income (around $1000 USD/month) and some research Iโ€™ve done point to Saigon, Chiang Mai, and Medellin as 3 great choices to start out with.

I know some people who could โ€œplug me inโ€ to the DN scene in Medellin and Saigon, but not Chiang Mai.

The primary goal of me moving is to build relationships with DN entrepreneurs, and get great work done. Quality of life for $1000 USD a month is very important too, as I know how much a lack of money can degrade oneโ€™s quality of life.

Any advice from people who have lived in 2 or more of these cities? Any particular ways I should be thinking about this?


Right now my initial, probably wrong impressions are:

Medellin -
Pros: Culture and language are more interesting to me than Vietnamese or Thai culture.

Cons: More dangerous than SE Asia, not sure how much more. Higher cost of living than SE Asia. Thriving community, but not as much as SE Asia.

Chiang Mai -
Pros: Lowest cost of living. Very friendly, safe. Probably the easiest to integrate into, and least stressful.

Cons: Harder to connect with locals than in other locations (I know a decent amount of Italian, so Spanish seems easier, and apparently a decent amount of Vietnamese living in Saigon speak English.)

Saigon:

Pros: Seems to have the best community for what I am looking for. Very exciting entrepreneurial atmosphere. Cheaper than Medellin.

Cons: Pollution, could get old living in super urbanized area (stressful perhaps)

Right now I am leaning towards Saigon haha, but I am hoping for othersโ€™ experience based perspectives as I am just spouting theory right now :slightly_smiling:

Also, it seems like maybe I should be just thinking about Medellin vs either of the other two cities, since I could literally just fly between Saigon and Chiang Mai for cheap and see how I like either of them.

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Which bank can I use for my UK LLC in Colombia?


in Colombia by @matthieudrula | 5yr 4 years ago | 6 comments

Just phoned my current business bank in the UK(cashplus), they told me that I need to be in the UK to keep using their account.
Can I open a new bank account in Colombia and use it to trade for my UK LLC?
I have seen this : Non UK resident banks
But many requirements to open those bank accounts (having a UK resident shareholder, coming back to the UK, making a deposit of 20K).

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Looking for mid-term accomodation in Canggu (ยฑ3 months)


in Canggu, Indonesia by @tvrhe | 5yr 4 years ago | 11 comments

Hi,

any tips, suggestions? Itโ€™s for Jan-2015 through March-2015.

Iโ€™m ideally looking for a nomad house-style type of setup, in which 4 or more digital nomads all live together in a nice, modern villa. But Iโ€™m not sure if there are too many of those around in Canggu.

Otherwise a private room+bathroom or private apt. for around $600-800 will be fine (depending on the speed of the Internet).

Any help or tips are more than welcome : )

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