Colombia For Digital Nomads | Top 5 Hotspots

Colombia for digital nomads.

A country known for Pablo Escobar, salsa dancing, stunning women, and other “cosas” — most believe Colombia isn’t an ideal place to build an online business from.

They’d be wrong.

The reality? Colombia is one of the premier countries to build and grow an online business from in Latin America. The country offers fast wifi, low costs, stunning nature, and friendly locals. Plus, it’s not overrun with tourists and digital nomads — like many hotspots in Asia.

Colombia offers all the benefits of a great digital nomad destination, while still retaining that unique Latin culture that many travelers grow to love.

But enough of me fluff, let’s dig into this guide on Colombia for digital nomads. Below you’ll find everything you need to know on the topic, including my top 5 cities to work remotely in the country and more!


Colombia Digital Nomad


What I Love About Colombia

To get you excited about living the digital nomad lifestyle in Colombia, I wanted to start off this bad boy by talking about my favorite things in Colombia.

As one of my favorite countries in the world, there’s a whole lot to love about Colombia.

Hell, it’s a place many digital nomads now call home.

Lots of people come down to Colombia while building an online business and get “stuck” very quickly. That one-month trip to Medellin turns into years.

Here’s why:

  • Unique Culture

Colombia offers travelers and digital nomads a chance to interact and engage with a unique, strong culture. One that’s unlike many others.

The Colombian people are proud of their country, their culture, and all the improvements they’ve made over the last couple decades. The Spanish language, salsa dancing, and even the occasional “perreando” while listening to reggaeton is all a part of living in Colombia.

Hell, there’s even the machismo, infidelity, and the prevalence of plastic surgery around every turn.

But it’s more than that…

There’s the unique Colombian food, the soccer/futbol, and so much more. All these things blend together to create a unique culture. A culture that is different than anywhere you’ve ever been.

An intoxicating culture to say the least.

  • Friendly Locals

But the best part about the culture of Colombia?

The friendly people.

Colombians are an outgoing bunch and easy to make friends with. Chatting up strangers isn’t uncommon and most people are more than willing to help a lost foreigner figure things out.

You’ll have no issues interacting with locals and making friends while in Colombia — as long as you speak some Spanish. Or at least make an effort to learn.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that Colombia women are pretty damn attractive, as well.

  • Reliable Wifi

You won’t have any issues with Wifi in Colombia — if you’re staying in the larger cities.

Most Airbnb rentals in Colombia come with Wifi speeds of 10-50 mbps. More than fast enough for a majority of online remote workers and digital nomads.

While I always ask any Airbnb hosts about Wifi speeds before booking in Colombia, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how fast the Internet is here.

My penthouse in Medellin offered 100 mbps speeds during my last trip and didn’t go out once.

  • Stunning Nature

The truly stunning nature and how easy it is to get to…just another reason I believe Colombia is a digital nomads’ dream.

In some of my favorite cities in Colombia, like Cali and Medellin, you can easily be at the start of a hike into lush mountains within 15 minutes. Aka you’re living in the best neighborhood in the city and within 15 minutes you’re hiking up beautiful mountainside.

That’s pretty damn ideal.

In other cities on the coast of Colombia, you’ll have easy access to stunning beaches and more.

With some amazing cities located in the mountains and coasts on both the Pacific and Caribbean, the country is truly blessed with natural wonders. You’re never far from a natural adventure when living in Colombia.

  • Easy Travel Opportunities

Another amazing thing about living in Colombia as a digital nomad?

You can travel between cities in the country for nothing!

Cheap flights are easy to come by while living in the country. You can fly from Medellin to Bogota for $30-50 USD oneway. Cartagena to Cali for $40-60 bucks oneway.

Talk about cheap.

It’s easy to navigate between cities in Colombia, visit friends, and explore new areas — all by booking a cheap flight from the city you’re basing up in.

I’m a big fan of taking Thursday evening flights to cities I haven’t explored in Colombia and spending a long weekend. Exactly what I did when I visited Monteria, Colombia and Isla Fuerte while I was living in Medellin.

Cheap flights to Panama, Ecuador, and Peru are also available.


Isla Fuerte Colombia


Colombia Cons

No country is perfect, and Colombia certainly isn’t, either.

While I absolutely adore Colombia and plan to buy apartments in the country sooner than later, there’s a few downsides to living and working remotely in Colombia.

Namely…

  • Language Barrier

You’ll want to learn Spanish if you plan to spend some time in Colombia.

English isn’t widely spoken and you’ll have a much better experience once you learn some Spanish. Namely because the locals have a lot of respect for anyone who tried to communicate in the “love language” while in their country.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to learn Spanish these days. Just click here to learn more.

  • Not 100% Safe

Don’t get it twisted…

Colombia is a whole hell of a lot safer than many people think.

I rarely worry about much while in the country. I take my computer to cafes to work. I’ll film videos walking around in public. I even use my phone in the streets when walking around the nicer neighborhoods.

Colombia isn’t a “war-zone” these days!

But there’s still some danger here. Muggings happen often, especially at night and in less savory areas of the cities. Most people who have lived in Colombia for awhile have at least one petty theft story.

There’s also the whole scopolamine issue, which is certainly something to worry about when going out at night and dating.

However, I rarely feel unease or unsafe in the country these days.  Colombia may never be as safe as most western countries, but there’s no denying the place feels a lot safer than in the past. As a digital nomad, I wouldn’t worry too much about safety issues.

Colombia is safer than you think.

  • Distractions Abound

If you struggle to stay focused on your remote work, then Colombia may not be an ideal digital nomad destination for you. The country is filled with distractions.

There’s the enticing nature. The mountains just call out to be hiked. The beaches are ideal for unwinding and going for a swim.

Oh, and the parties. La rumba. It’s easy to get swept into the nightlife of Bogota or the salsa dancing in Cali. Not too mention how cheap certain “cosas” are in Colombia — a country known for such things.

Oh, and don’t forget about the good looking girls. Staring at a computer screen becomes less enticing when you could be staring at a stunning Colombiana.

You’ll need some will power and solid time management to ensure these distractions don’t get the best of you.


Medellin Girls


Top 5 Digital Nomad Hotspots in Colombia

Now that we’ve got the basics out the way, let’s take a look at some of my favorite places to base up and work remotely in Colombia.

As a country of nearly 50 million people (Source), there’s a lot to explore here.  So I’ve broke down my 5 top digital nomad hotspots in the country.

¡Vámonos!

Medellin For Digital Nomads

When talking about living in Colombia as a digital nomad, the first city that usually comes up is Medellin. And for good reason! Medellin, Colombia is one of the finest cities in all of Latin America.

Te lo juro.

You’ll find lush mountain views, great hiking opportunities, world-class neighborhoods, friendly locals, and one of the best metro systems in South America. Oh, and don’t forget about the year-round perfect weather. I’m talking 70s and sunny every damn day.

Not only that, Medellin is incredibly cheap and just a short, cheap flight back to the United States. The quality of life here is incredibly high and your bootstrapping budget can easily afford a good life here. Nightlife is decent and you’re a quick flight from anywhere else in Colombia from Medellin.

You’ll find many digital nomads and remote workers call Medellin, Colombia home. There’s a startup scene and a good community of tech workers here. It’s easy to get work done and there’s an abundance of co-working spaces too — including three WeWorks.

When to Go

There is no best time to go to Medellin, Colombia. The city offers amazing weather, sunshine, and more all year long. Seriously. There’s never a bad time to come here.

The locals refer to Medellin as, “The City of Eternal Spring” — and the name rings true. I always felt comfortable when walking around Medellin over multiple trips. Never too hot, never too cold.

Medellin Climate + Rainfall

Medellin Colombia Weather

Where to Stay

Medellin, Colombia is a large city of nearly 4+ million people in the metro. However, digital nomads and remote workers should only be concerned with a few neighborhoods throughout the city. You have these areas to choose from:

  • Poblado
  • Laureles
  • Frontera

These are the only three neighborhoods I’d recommend staying in while checking out Medellin. In all these areas, you’re sure to be safe. Plus, you’ll have ample amenities — including bars, clubs, restaurants, gym, yoga studios, co-working spaces, and more.

Poblado is the fanciest of the three neighborhoods listed above. It’s a large upper-class neighborhood that features high-rise buildings with impressive mountain and city views. It’s my first choice when coming to Medellin. You’ll find everything you’d ever want here — including some of my favorite restaurants in Medellin in the Provenza part of town. Highly recommended.

Laureles is a little more local neighborhood. While Poblado is high-class, Laureles feels authentic and Colombian. You’ll still find all the great amenities a digital nomad could need here — in just a slightly less pretentious area. Laureles is also quite safe, even after dark. Highly recommended.

Frontera is a small neighborhood on the borders of Poblado and Envigado. Here you’ll find some of the biggest malls in the city, along with great restaurants and co-working spaces. I found the apartment buildings here to be newer and chalk full of amazing amenities. If you’re looking to live a high-end life in Medellin, Frontera is a solid area.

My #1 Hotel Recommendation in Medellin: The Click Clack Hotel Medellin
Save $40 Off Your 1st Airbnb Rental: Just Click Here!

Wifi and Internet Connection

I’m 100% confident in this assertion…

You will NOT have any wifi or Internet issues while in Medellin, Colombia.

Or at least you shouldn’t. This is a modern city and pretty damn developed — when compared to other Latin America cities of similar size. There’s 100 mbps download Internet packages available from every provider in the city. My last Airbnb had 100 mbps download speeds.

Cafes in Poblado often have at least 50 mbps download speeds, and co-working spaces should have at least 100+ mbps.

Just confirm with your Airbnb host about the wifi speeds before booking any apartment.

Cost of Living

While there’s other cities in Colombia where you can live cheaper, Medellin is far from expensive. Expect to spend anywhere from $1,000-2,000 USD a month — depending on your lifestyle. At $2,000 bucks a month, you’re renting a modern apartment in a high-rise building that offers a view. You could have a full-time maid and go out to eat every evening. Yoga studio, co-working space, gym, etc.

For $1,000 a month, you’re looking at a cheap studio in the Laureles neighborhood, cooking a lot of your meals, and only going out a couple nights a week. Maybe only going to the gym or training outside at parks. Still more than doable and not a bad lifestyle.

Nightlife

Medellin nightlife is damn good. You’ll have to invest a few weekends finding your scene and getting to know the best bars and clubs — but that shouldn’t take to long. You’ll find reggaeton is the most popular music in Medellin, followed by salsa dancing. If you don’t like those two styles of music, you might not enjoy going out here.

Overall, it’s hard to have a bad time while partying anywhere in Colombia. Medellin is no different. Make some friends, get a group to go out, and be ready to dance a lot.


Medellin Colombia


Bogota For Digital Nomads

Here’s the thing that many a digital nomad doesn’t know…

Bogota is one highly underrated city.

Sure, it’s more than rough around the edges, the weather sucks, and danger lurks around a couple corners. But I’ve had more fun in Bogota than just about anywhere else in Colombia.

Bogota offers some of the best nightlife in Latin America, modern amenities around every turn, great parks in the best areas, and an electric energy that only a capital city can provide. With nearly 11+ million people in the metro area, it’s damn near impossible to get bored in Bogota.

Plus, you’re a $50-100 USD roundtrip flight to anywhere in Colombia. So if the grey skies ever get you down, it’s easy to pop over to Cali or Cartagena for a weekend of sunshine.

When to Go

There’s never a bad time to go to Bogota, either. The weather is pretty much “mas o menos” all year long. Grey skies, rain here and there, a brisk temperature that requires a jacket at night. There’s just not that much change from month-to-month and season-to-season in Bogota.

That being said…

Bogota can be a bit dead during the holidays in December and January. Most locals head to the coast for vacation during these months, so there’s just not a lot going on between December 15th to January 15th. Outside of that timeframe, Bogota is pretty awesome.

Bogota Climate + Rainfall

Bogota Weather

Where to Stay

Bogota is a massive capital city with more than a few dangerous areas. You need to pay attention to where you’re lodging to ensure you stay safe. This is not a city to go “cheap” on lodging and stay in an unsavory area.

With that in mind, there’s a few specific areas I highly recommend:

  • Zona T
  • Parque 93
  • Chapinero

Personally, I absolutely love staying in Zona T. This is the main “zona rosa” in Bogota, also known as a nightlife zone. Here you’ll find dozens of bars, clubs, restaurants, and more. There’s great gyms, yoga studios, co-working spaces, and even a couple of malls.

If you stay in Zona T, everything you need will be within walking distance. There’s also a solid police presence around here, so you can walk around 24/7 without issue. The area closest to Parque El Virrey is my preferred locale.

Parque 93 is an upper-class area just a bit north of Zona T. Here you’ll find some amazing hotels and apartment options. If you’re not too concerned with nightlife, then this is the perfect spot. Parque 93 is as safe as it gets in Colombia and filled with great local amenities and restaurants.

Chapinero is a hipster-ish neighborhood just a bit south of Zona T. It’s cheap than both Zona T and Parque 93 and still fairly desirable. Many expats and digital nomads prefer to live here, as the neighborhood has a more authentic feel to it — while still being fairly safe and offering solid amenities.

My #1 Hotel Recommendation in Bogota: Cite Hotel
Save $40 Off Your 1st Airbnb Rental: Just Click Here!

Wifi and Internet Connection

As the capital city of a large country like Colombia, you will not have any issues with Internet in Bogota. If you stay in one of the neighborhoods above, you’ll could have access to 100 Mbps Internet from your hotel, apartment, cafes, and co-working spaces.

Bogota is not prone to electrical outages, either. So no issues there.

Most nice hotels in Zona T and Parque 93 will feature lightning fast Internet. Ask any Airbnb host for a speed test before booking. Anything below 20 Mbps is a red flag.

If you’re concerned, there’s multiple WeWorks all around the city — which will feature rapid wifi.

Cost of Living

Bogota is the most expensive city in Colombia not named Cartagena. If you’re a digital nomad on a budget, this might not be the perfect spot. Medellin and Cali will both be far cheaper than Bogota.

If you don’t have a budget of $1,500+ USD a month, I’d look elsewhere. Bogota hotels and apartments aren’t cheap by Latin America standards and you’ll probably end up spending more money partying here than in other cities.

But if you can afford around $2,000 bucks a month, the quality of life in Bogota is quite high. You’re talking a nice apartment in Zona T, full-time maid, eating out whenever you please, partying, gym, co-working, etc. Hell, you could probably even squeeze in a trip to the coast once a month — which is needed for some time in the sun.

Nightlife

If you like to party…

Bogota is one of the best cities in the world. The nightlife in Zona T is wild, wild. Not to mention, you could also go out in Chapinero, La Candelaria, and Santa Fe.

Bogota nightlife is not for the faint of heart though. Expect a near all-night endeavor, lots of dancing, and more.


Chapinero Bogota


Cali For Digital Nomads

If you’re looking to bootstrap a business and/or are just starting out as a digital nomad, then Cali, Colombia is one of the best cities in Latin America.

Why?

Because you’ll find an amazingly high quality of life for dirt cheap in Cali. I’m talking an all-in budget of $900-1,100 a month will ensure you’re living good here.

Located in the south of Colombia, the city was once a “no-go” zone due to rampant violence. Lately, Cali has gotten a lot safer and the city has started to become livable again. But prices haven’t really gone up that much. Cali is still a great value and offers all the amenities a budding digital nomad would need.

You’ll find solid wifi, co-working spaces, gyms, yoga studios, and so much more. Cali, Colombia is also the world capital of salsa dancing, so you’ll always have an excuse to get out of the house and go dance.

When to Go

Just like most Colombian cities, there’s not really a “best” time to visit. Cali offers nearly the exact same weather year around. It’s hot during the day, little bit of rain a few days a week, and then cools off at night.

If you like warm weather, then Cali is an ideal spot for you. Although I never felt Cali, Colombia was too hot to handle like some cities. It’s warm — not blistering.

Cali Climate + Rainfall

Cali Colombia weather

Where to Stay

Since there’s still some dangerous areas in and around Cali, Colombia — you’ll have to be smart about where you stay. Personally, I’ve found a couple areas conducive to living good as a digital nomad:

  • Granada
  • El Penon
  • Parque del Perro
  • Ciudad Jardin

Granada is a nice neighborhood in the northwestern part of Cali. It’s my #1 pick if you’re on a budget, but still looking to live good. Here you’ll find bars, restaurants, and a few clubs. Along with gyms, cafes, etc. The selection of co-working spaces is lacking here, but the area tends to have everything else you need.

Plus, Granada is in a central location in Cali. You’ll have easy access to everywhere in the city except maybe Ciudad Jardin. You’ll also find there’s a couple of hikes starting from Granada, which is ideal when looking to get out into nature for the afternoon.

Next, we have the neighborhood of El Peñon. This is the BEST neighborhood in Cali, Colombia in my opinion. It’s upmarket, safe, and chalked full of bars and restaurants. You’ll find numerous cafes and a couple co-working spaces here, as well. The area is walkable and many apartments offer great views of the city. El Peñon is centrally located and offers easy access to everywhere in Cali, Colombia. If budget isn’t a concern, I’d 100% recommend living here.

Parque del Perro is a small park area just south of El Peñon. I recommend this area for one reason and one reason only: it’s the cheapest place to live a great life in Cali. You can rent a decent apartment for $250-500 USD here. There’s dozens of bars and restaurants around the park. They’re all cheap.  You’ll find cafes and there’s even one of the better co-working spaces in Cali right next door. You won’t find a better quality of life for under $900 bucks all in then living around Parque del Perro!

Ciudad Jardin tends to be where many of Cali’s wealthiest people live. The area is more residential than I prefer for digital nomads — except for a small area directly south of the university. This area is full of bars, restaurants, and more. You also have the university close by, two major malls, and all the amenities you’d need. Expect to spend a little more when living here, as Ciudad Jardin is upmarket. It’s also located pretty far south in the city, which can be a pain in the ass.

My #1 Hotel Recommendation in Cali, Colombia: Hotel Intercontinental
Save $40 Off Your 1st Airbnb Rental: Just Click Here!

Wifi and Internet Connection

You can find great 100 Mbps wifi in a lot of places in Cali, Colombia. You won’t have any issue finding good wifi as a digital nomad here. However, it’s not as common as in Medellin or Bogota.

You will 100% want to ask your Airbnb host for a speed test before booking in this city. As a few of the apartments I rented had 20 Mbps wifi and were great, but one was only pull 3 Mbps — which wasn’t acceptable.

Wifi at nice hotels shouldn’t be an issue and you can easily hit up a couple great co-working spaces here too.

Cost of Living

If you haven’t already noticed…

Cali, Colombia is CHEAP!

I’m talking living a damn good life as a digital nomad for under $1,000 bucks all-in. I dunno about you, but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Stunning mountain views, all the amenities you need, friendly locals, and so much more. Oh, and don’t forget the salsa dancing.

If you’re looking to save money while growing your online business as a digital nomad in Colombia, I’d make a beeline to Cali and not think twice. This is one of the cheapest big cities in Latin America.

Nightlife

I’ll be honest here. I far prefer the nightlife in Bogota, and even in Medellin. Cali, Colombia nightlife is popping. Don’t get me wrong. You’ll find people out and about nearly every night of the week.

My issue?

It’s almost always to dance salsa.

Caleños y caleñas, the locals from Cali, go out to dance salsa and socialize with their friends. People don’t mingle that much outside their friend groups — except to dance salsa. So if you’re not in love with dancing salsa, the nightlife here kind of sucks. You have to get creative finding the few spots that don’t just play salsa all night.

That being said…

It’s great to be able to go out Tuesday or Wednesday to some of the free salsa dancing classes. One of the better ways to socialize and make friends in the city without boozing heavy.



Pereira For Digital Nomads

Pereira, Colombia is one of the most underrated cities in Colombia. Commonly referred to as a ‘mini-Medellin’ due to how similar these cities are, Pereira offers a lot to the average digital nomad.

From perfect weather to low costs and solid Internet, you’ll find everything you need to live well and grow your business here. Gyms, co-working spaces, yoga studios, bars, clubs and so much more.

Oh, and don;t forget the stunning mountain views found throughout the Pereira!

This small city in Colombia’s coffee region is a bit off-the-beaten-path, though. So you’ll need to know some Spanish here and be prepared for a slightly slower pace of life, as this is also the smallest city on the list.

I plan to spend a good chunk of time here on my next trip to Colombia.

When to Go

Being close to Medellin, just a little bit south, you’ll find the weather in Pereira is eerily similar, as well. You’ll find spring-esque temperatures year around here. Pleasantly warm during the day, cools off at night. Light rains every now and then.

As such, there’s really no bad times to go to Pereira. The climate is fairly consistent year around.

Since the city isn’t overly touristic either, there’s not a low and high season for tourists. Basically, it’s always a good time to be a digital nomad in Pereira, Colombia.

Where to Stay

As a smaller city in central Colombia, there’s not a ton of neighborhoods to choose from in Pereira. In fact, I wouldn’t visit the city unless you plan to stay in one specific area:

  • El Circunvalar

This small areas and the neighborhood surrounding it, Los Alpes, is the premier location to stay in Pereira. Point. Blank. Period. I would NOT recommend staying anywhere else when in this city.

Here’s why:

El Circunvalar is where all the action happens in Pereira. It’s the main “zona rosa” in Pereira and features most of the best bars, clubs, and restaurants. There’s also ample cafes, a couple co-working spaces, and everything you need here. There’s even the biggest mall in the city right in the middle of Los Alpes. All walkable.

My #1 Hotel Recommendation in Pereira: Movich Hotel de Pereira
Save $40 Off Your 1st Airbnb Rental: Just Click Here!

Wifi and Internet Connection

I never encountered 100 Mbps wifi during my stay in Pereira, but that was a few years back. These days it’s possible. But I generally found 10-20 Mbps Internet speeds from my apartment, hotels, and cafes in the city.

The wifi in Pereira is consistent and I didn’t experience any power outages during my time there. You’ll 100% be able to find the Internet you need to manage and grow your online businesses from Pereira — especially if you head to one of the co-working spaces in town.

As always, ask any Airbnb host for a speed test before booking. This is even more important when going to smaller cities.

Cost of Living

Cheap. Cheap. Dirt cheap.

Pereira rivals Cali in terms of low costs and high quality of life. You shouldn’t spend much over $1,000 USD a month as a digital nomad in Pereira.

Expect to pay $300-600 a month for a nice apartment in Los Alpes with a solid mountain view. Food and drinks will be 15-40% cheaper than Bogota and Medellin. Ubers will cost pennies on the dollar.

If you prefer a little slower pace of life and love living cheap, then this is the spot for you!

Nightlife

For a city of less than a million people, I was baffled how good the nightlife was around El Circunvalar. People in Pereira like to party, and once the clubs clothes in the city, everyone crosses the bridge to finish the night in Dosquebradas.

People often party late here, but it’s more than worth it. I found the music selection to be ideal too. Solid mix of reggaeton and some salsa thrown in. ‘Crossover’ as the locals call it.

You’d probably get bored going to the same handful of spots after a month or two. However, you’d have one hell of a time partying in Pereira for this first couple months.


Pereira Colombia


Barranquilla For Digital Nomads

The reality is Barranquilla, Colombia will never become a digital nomad hotspot. Mainly because the city is just too damn hot. Oh, and the really isn’t much to do here — but that’s kind of the beauty of it.

If you’re coming to Barranquilla as a digital nomad, be prepared for hot temperatures and a lot of free time to work.

The largest city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Barranquilla is not a tourist destination, can be dangerous in areas, and there’s a lot of underdeveloped areas in the city. However, there’s benefits to spending a month or three in Barranquilla. You’ll have a ton of time to work because there’s zero tourism distracting you from your business.

You’ll also find the nightlife here on the weekends can get wild.

Plus, you can get to Santa Mart and Cartagena within an hour or two from the city. Barranquilla’s central location on the coast makes it cheap and easy to get to the beach when the weekend arrives.

P.S: I specifically did not include Santa Marta and Cartagena on this list of digital nomad hotspots in Colombia. Both cities offer too many distractions combined with a lack of consistent infrastructure. 

When to Go

Understand that Barranquilla is really, really hot and can be quite boring. I don’t recommend you go to Quilla’ unless you understand both those things and speak good Spanish.

If so, then have at it. I’ve always had a damn good time in Barranquilla and a couple of my friends love the place.

The only months I wouldn’t recommend going are September and October. This is the rainy season in Barranquilla, which combined with the insane heat, brings some of the worst humidity I’ve ever experienced.

Outside of those couple months, the place is great. Well, great and hot as hades. I truly can’t stress how hot it is here. All the time. I got a sunburn walking to the gym one day.

Where to Stay

Barranquilla is a pretty large city of 2.5 million people (Source), but there’s really only a few areas I would ever recommend a digital nomad stay in. That’s because half

That’s because half the city is fairly underdeveloped and dangerous. So you’re left with a small slice of paradise. Luckily, the good areas here are solid neighborhoods.

I enjoy staying in:

  • Alto Prado/Villa Country
  • Buena Vista/Santa Monica

Alto Prado is an ideal area to stay in Barranquilla. You’ve got a massive mall filled with stores and restaurants, a “zona rosa” called Parque Washington packed with bars, and there’s even plans for a WeWork here. Gyms and yoga studios are all around too.

It’s where I normally stay when heading to Barranquilla — mainly due to how central the location is.

The nicest area of the city is found in the north around Buena Vista Mall. This upscale neighborhood, often referred to as Santa Monica, is filled with high-rise hotels and apartments.

Plus, some of the best nightlife in the city can be found around Buena Vista Mall.

You really can’t go wrong staying in either area of Barranquilla. However, I wouldn’t recommend venturing too far away from the Buena Vista and Alto Prado neighborhoods.

My #1 Hotel Recommendation in Barranquilla: Hotel Dann Carlton Barranquilla
Save $40 Off Your 1st Airbnb Rental: Just Click Here!

Wifi and Internet Connection

Finding reliable, fast Internet can be an issue on the coast of Colombia. A major one in fact. The area is not a digital nomad hotspot and many hotels, Airbnb hosts, and cafes owners simply don’t think a lot about Internet speeds in this region.

While I do believe 100 Mbps is available in the nicer neighborhoods in Barranquilla, you may find few Airbnb hosts who offer it.

That being said…

I did have 20 Mbps wifi on my last trip to Barranquilla, but I had to request an Internet package upgrade from my host before booking. Luckily, he obliged and all was good.

At nicer hotels, you’ll find wifi to be solid — generally 10-20 Mbps. You’ll have to ask Airbnb hosts about Internet speeds before booking here. Oh, and this isn’t really a place to work from cafes. You’ll want to join a co-working space if working from home isn’t your thing.

Cost of Living

It always baffles me that Barranquilla is significantly more expensive than Medellin and Cali — as both these cities are far nicer and more livable. However, that’s not the case.

Barranquilla is not a cheap spot.

Expect to spend $1,500-2,000 USD per month here. A decent high-rise apartment will run you $600-1.000 a month and everything is just a little bit more expensive on the coast, when compared to the interior of the country.

I’d say cost of living wise…

Barranquilla is the third most expensive city in Colombia after Bogota and Cartagena.

You’re not going to break the bank here at all. It’s still Colombia, parcero. But you’d be living pretty rough here under $1,000 bucks a month — whereas that’s easily doable in Cali and Pereira.

Apparently, you pay for the heat here in Barranquilla.

Nightlife

While it might be hot and a little more expensive than other cities in the country, Barranquilla nightlife is a damn good time. Te lo juro.

If you speak a little Spanish, which is an absolute requirement in Barranquilla, and like to dance a lot, then you’ll have a damn good time partying in Barranquilla. I know I always did.

Make sure to stick to the northern parts of the city when partying, as the southern discos can be a little bit rough around the edges. I’m a big fan of Frogg Club a lot.

Oh, and dress nicely when going out here. People on the coast respect a well dressed individual more than most.

Last but not least…

The city is home to the biggest Carnival in Colombia every year!


Barranquilla Carnival


Do You Need to Learn Spanish?

¡CLARO QUE SI!

If you plan to visit Colombia and work remotely, I can’t recommend learning Spanish enough. As a digital nomad, you will have such a better experience in this country once you learn the local language.

Colombia is a unique spot for digital nomads because the country has a strong culture — one that requires Spanish speaking ability to truly get to know and understand.

Luckily, it’s not difficult to learn Spanish these days.

In fact, it’s downright easy with the advent of Skype and smartphone apps. There’s really no excuse not to pick up some of the language before you arrive.

My highest Spanish learning recommendation is BaseLang. 

BaseLang is a service that offers unlimited Spanish lessons per month. You can book as many lessons as you’d like over the course of a month for a monthly fee.

The curriculum is great and the professors are solid. For the cost, it’s by far the cheapest way to learn Spanish if you’re serious about speaking before you arrive in Colombia.

Hell, I had a buddy who paid for a month of BaseLang and took nearly 60+ hours of classes. That’s roughly $2.50 USD per hour long individual lesson. Cheap!

BaseLang is how I truly started to learn Spanish and I highly recommend them.

You can learn more about the service by clicking here.
You can also read my full review here.

If you’re just looking to dip your toes into the Spanish learning waters, then I have three other recommendations. These require less financial commitment up front and a couple of them can be done without scheduling anything.

  • Italki: If you only have time for a couple Spanish lessons each week, then you’ll save money booking individual Skype lessons with Italki instead of BaseLang. The online language learning platform offers fantastic tutors and I’ve been using them to learn Portuguese.
Click here to learn more about Italki.
  • Pimsleur: The old versions of Pimsleur sucked. You had to download them onto your computer and then upload them to your MP3 device and all that jazz. Now the company offers a slick app, which makes it incredibly easy to complete one of their 30-minute listening and talking exercises each day. I like to listen to Pimsleur while going on a walk. Ideally, if you’re just looking to get started learning Spanish on the cheap.
Click here to learn more about Pimsleur Spanish.
  • Duolingo: This is one of the most famous language learning apps in the world. It’s free and you can learn dozens of languages right from your phone. For some people, they’ve learned multiple languages just with Duolingo and traveling. I have never found the app to work that well. But it’s solid to pick some new vocabulary with 10-20 minutes of study each day.
Click here to learn more about Duolingo.

Being a Digital Nomad in Colombia? | The Verdict

If you’re willing to invest a little bit of time learning Spanish, I believe Colombia is the premier digital nomad destination in Latin America.

With cheap cities like Medellin and Cali leading the way, along with the electric capital of Bogota, there’s a number of great digital nomad hotspots found throughout the country.

Highly recommended!

Everything you need to know about living damn well as a remote worker or expat in Colombia can be found above. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to comment below, as well.

I’ll do my best to get back to you with a detailed answer.

Que te vaya bien,

Jake

5/5 (1 Review)
Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Ben Anson - December 3, 2019

Mate, really good article.
We’ve been in touch before, we chatted about Honduras. Where I’ve been at for a while now.
Looks like I’m off to Bogota with a lot of digital nomad goals in my head.
You sold it to me.

Reply
    Jake D - December 3, 2019

    Cheers, mate!

    Would love to hear more about your time in Honduras as of late. It’s still a country that intrigues me.

    You’ll certainly love Bogota if big city vibes is what you’re after.

    Reply
Leave a Reply: