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  • Writer's pictureMartin Cantet

Medellin Digital Nomad Guide

Digital nomads are blooming all around the world. With so many cities to choose from, it is no wonder why South America is a growing destination for them. In fact, many start with Colombia, a wonderful country with fantastic weather. So, if spring is your favorite season, you are all-in for incredible cities with hipster vibes, and Latin America keeps calling you, then come meet your fellow paisas here in Medellin as we present you with the Medellin Digital Nomad Guide.

Medellin Digital Nomad Guide
Medellin Digital Nomad Guide

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Is Colombia good for digital nomads?

First things first, Colombia is a beautiful South-American country, right next to Venezuela and north of Ecuador and Perú. From jungles to Caribbean beaches, digital nomads rush to live by the sea in this very diverse landscape. Development in infrastructure has led the country to receive increasing amounts of tourists as well as digital nomads, leading to a simultaneous increase in security, granting you a pleasant and comfortable stay.

Even though it is a great place to move your office to, Colombia has its drawbacks (which country doesn’t?) you might want to keep in mind before moving. Speaking of which, Spanish is the primary language in Colombia, and English is not as extended as some would expect for a longer-term visit. Sure, tourism is prepared to receive you, but if you are a Digital Nomad, you will probably need to practice your “por favor” and your “gracias” before you head south. Lucky for you, Spanish is a charming tongue to savor, and even though Colombians have their own accents and dialects, their use of the language is quite friendly for newbies when compared to other Spanish-speaking countries.

Is there a digital nomad visa in Colombia?

Even though there is currently no Colombian digital nomad visa, most remote workers from North America and Europe come to the city with a regular 90-day tourist visa. There is a visa available for digital content producers (i.e., video blogging or similar) which requires some paperwork, but it could allow your stay to be extended to up to 2 years.

Is Medellin good for digital nomads?

Located in the Aburrá Valley, Medellin is the second most populated city after Bogota (the capital of the country). A must-see destination for anyone visiting Colombia, Medellin has recently become a hotspot for digital nomads due to multiple factors. For starters, its weather is a dream: they call it the city of eternal spring. Its lowest temperature starts from 47 F° (8 C°) in December-January, whereas summers can go as hot as 85 F° (30 C°) in July-August. Digital nomads and all kinds of visitors would often check in during the holiday season (December-January), a dry moment to be in Medellin, but Medellin is a year-long destination, with a lot of rain pouring on and off between April to May and September to November. Still, pack your raincoat, as there is always a cloud right around the corner.

Medellin combines nature with culture. Full of vibrant cafes, restaurants, and artsy spots, while surrounded by green and sylvatic scenery, with mountains, coasts, and also skyscrapers, mixing urban and natural in a unique way.

Plus, connectivity is important for the city, on the top when it comes to offering free wifi hotspots throughout Medellin (within Colombia). This means you will find signs everywhere where the internet is available at no cost, so keep that in mind if you like exteriors while working on your pc, with an average price of US $18 for a decent connection. When it comes to fixed services, Internet providers offer a speed of 60-300 MBPS. If we are talking mobile, the GB packs range from 25 to unlimited usage, at a 3/4/5 G speed, on the average US $11 rate (depending on whether you prefer a fixed or unlimited amount of Gigas). Generally speaking, the connection is stable, with some bumps along the road, but nothing that will prevent you from facing your daily screen exposure.

How much does it cost to be a digital nomad in Medellin?

Currency-wise, Colombians own their Colombian peso (COP). You shouldn’t have any problem using your money from almost any country with your credit card. 1 US$ is about 3800 COP, approximately, but the stability of the latter is something that can vary. When it comes to the cost of living, Medellin is an affordable city for digital nomads who come from North America and Europe, generally speaking. There might be slight differences when paying in credit v. using cash, but we are speaking of nothing life-changing. So get some Colombian pesos for your daily life, but feel free to pay by card if you prefer to go with loose pockets.

It is safe to say that a US $1,500 salary should give you a comfy life. By comfy, we mean renting your nice place (US $270, on average), enjoying the occasional nights out, and getting some fancy yet budget holidays around. As always, this does not mean you cannot live with less, but when you do your internal negotiations on what you must have and what you can live without, you might want to keep the number above in mind.

Is Medellin safe?

Colombia is sadly surrounded by an old stereotypical aura of narcos and local terrorism. Though part of its history, Medellin is far from an unsafe destination. You can walk on Medellin’s streets as long as you are mindful of your belongings (as you would in any other Southern American city).

This is not to say Medellin is violence-free, but getting acquainted with the safer areas of the city will help you feel at ease while taking a lovely and sunny stroll. Local paisas are often tempted to use their cars to go everywhere, and their bus system is not as frequent as you would hope, but their metro, though not that extended, is a great place to move around to. If you are the walking or bike-type, just keep in mind Medellin is full of slopes, so you will surely work on your cardio! Public transportation is not Medellin’s best quality, but, as any local would say, “it is better than Bogota!”.

Though traffic is not especially fluid, the perks of owning and renting a car do exist. The greatest one is that Medellin has a lot to offer in its surroundings. Small and enchanting villages are something you will not want to miss, either as a tourist or as a digital nomad. If that is a kick for you, you will have to keep the vehicle leasing as an option.

What are the apps you must have in Medellin?

Car-hiring is not essential, of course. Local paisas move around Medellin with taxis or Uber, in case you want to keep the app at hand. If electric scooters and motorcycles are your means of transport of choice, the MotoSharing app helps you rent one at affordable prices.

But then, you are working late and you crave some tasty food. Even though most locals order directly via Instagram, you can find a lot of options on Rappi, an easy-to-use app for both desktop and mobile alternatives.

What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Medellin as a digital nomad?

You might be a Medellin digital nomad, but it is also nice to have a cozy home while you stay. El Poblado is one of the most popular areas of the city to live in. Filled with greenery and close to other key locations in the city, El Poblado is usually chosen by the local upper class for housing. Restaurants, shopping malls, and art centers are plenty to enjoy cultural activities.

If the above sounds too exclusive for you, Laureles is a great alternative. With nothing to envy El Poblado, Laureles offers tree-filled parks as well as cultural spots, but with a more hippie-chic vibe. A very bike-friendly neighborhood, Laureles offers everything, with beautiful and modern architectural sights.

If you have always dreamed of living within walking distance of the valley, Belén is steps away from Nutibara Hill (Cerro Nutibara). Just picture yourself as Maria from “The sound of music”, running around the green Colombian valley (between work breaks, of course!). If you walk enough, you will see the unique villages.

Maybe you are an urban art fan? If you were tempted to become a Buenos Aires Digital Nomad, but you were thinking of starting with Medellin, Buenos Aires is a great location to live in, with a very characteristic wall alongside the tramway painted with amazing graffitis. Plus, the local markets will attend to all your needs, buying less industrial and more local.

If you appreciate connection above all and you feel you will be taking your laptop to every corner of Medellin (and your 110v plug or an adapter for it, btw), Aranjuez has four metro stations as well as a cultural agenda. It used to be a place dominated by narcos, but it was transformed along the end of the XX century to be regarded as a cultural, sports, and educational location of Medellin.

Best 5 places to stay in Medellin:

  1. El Poblado

  2. Laureles

  3. Belén

  4. Buenos Aires

  5. Aranjuez

What are the best co-living places in Medellin?

If sharing is the experience for you and you want to make the best out of your buck, let’s discuss the best co-living spaces.

As usual, Selina is a great place to start if you want to do the research yourself. You can find plenty of options and find the right spot for you. Coliving also does the same trick, with a very friendly UX to get your booking sorted out.

But then, being a Medellin digital nomad, the fun is blending in with the locals, right? Casa Santafé, in the heart of Laureles, is renowned for its hospitality, leisure areas, and facilities. Inverso is also a great alternative, right in the Buenos Aires area, with its own personality and special events to receive its guests.

Talking about personality, Gastón Coliving is definitely a more humble and cooler experience, who takes pride in looking after you while you crash in their place. And for something really different, if you are in the content creation business, Indie Universe mixes shared accommodation with creativity, if not the only co-living creative experience, fulfilling both your working and co-living needs. And finally, the recently renovated International House is not afraid to call itself “the best co-living space” in Medellin. It might be their wifi quality or their supposedly comfortable mattresses. You will have you check it out yourself!

In a nutshell, the 5 best co-living spaces in Medellin:

What are the best coworking spaces in Medellin?

But enough chit-chat, time to get some work done! In the spirit of sharing, digital nomads in Medellin have multiple places to go-to when it comes to coworking. For instance, Circular (alluding to its shape and philosophy) has its own manifesto for digital nomads as well as a lovely spot surrounded by trees in the middle of Laureles. You would want to see the facilities for yourself. Noi offers a 360 virtual tour of their offices, in case you are the visual type and would rather fall in love with their desks and workstations.

More on the international brands' side, Impact Hub, one of the few with an English website, also has its own set of allies, national organizations, and brands, honoring their motto of a local ecosystem. And if we talk international, you should already be familiar with WeWork, a large coworking company that offers you the comfort of a global name, so you can know what to expect. And in case you were planning to come and go to Bogota for any reason, Tinkko has offices in both locations, something you can sort in only one reservation.

And for you, creative designers out there, Coworking Inspira has committed itself to inspire their coworkers, with a green and light-filled hub, being an ideal workstation for this kind of creative industry workers. And on the same note, did somebody say eco-working? Bloom stands out from the crowd by offering the space needed while minding its carbon footprint.

So, for the best 7 coworking spaces in Medellin, we have:

What are the best working cafes in Medellin?

When in Colombia...Let’s face it, if there is a justified stereotype in this country, it is their AMAZING coffee. And you need to earn your wage, right? For that matter, Quokka and Semilla synthesize coworking and coffee, creating special spots filled with digital nomads zipping their cups while they look at their screens.

Or maybe you are a fan of local and established brands. Pergamino has made its way to the US and Canada while staying true to its core, filling El Poblado with its coffee stores. Al Alma has also spread itself throughout the city, with modern and convenient facilities.

Looking for some conceptual cafes? Cafe Noir holds a refined French style while being American and Colombian at the same time. You will feel as if you were in the Parisian 20th century. And now that we are on the subject of Euro-Colombian cafés, Velvet has made its way to Belgium because of its premium taste, so you would not want to miss this amazing roast, also at El Poblado.

On the Laureles side of the city, Cielo Tostado promises you a coffee made in heaven. They also offer some courses on the subject, in case you discover you were born to be a barista. Hija Mia also has a barista workshop, right on the verge of El Poblado, in the lesser-known but equally charming Barrio Manila.

Now, for those hidden gems in the Colombian city, Perpetuo Café is highly regarded for its delicious coffee and snacks as well as its familiar environment for working. Or maybe you are more on the cultural side of things and, after work, you need something artsy to do. Casa Tragaluz is not only a lovely café but also a small publisher and bookstore, with various events scheduled every month. And finally, Matilde Café is a great choice if you are one of those who spend all day out when working, as they have a great menu that goes far beyond great coffee.

The best 11 working cafés in Medellin:

Closing thoughts on visiting Medellin as a digital nomad

So there you have it. As we close this Medellin Digital Nomad Guide, we strongly recommend this charming city to everyone seeking warm and sunny weather, amazing landscapes, and modern and cool scenery.

Medellin is a great option for digital nomads, a must-visit for anyone in Colombia. If you are looking to learn some Spanish, you need a city that balances green with concrete, or you are just a big fan of the Southern corner of the world, this is your place to be, at an affordable cost and lots of opportunities!

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