Blog
9 Colombia Downsides: Drawbacks to Living in Colombia

9 Colombia Downsides: Drawbacks to Living in Colombia

Colombia has been ranked as one of the leading foreign retirement locations by foreign retirement publications. However there are drawbacks to staying in Colombia.

Colombia is the 2nd most bio-diverse nation on the planet, after Brazil. Colombia has a diversity ranging from snow-capped hills to coastlines, thick jungles to substantial plains, little pueblos to dynamic cities. Likewise, Colombia is the only South American country bordered by two oceans.

I have taken a trip throughout Colombia over the previous 10+ years and most of the landscapes in Colombia are spectacular. I even wrote about the leading 20 tourist destinations in Colombia based on my experiences.

Additionally, Colombia has a reasonably low cost of living for many foreigners. And there are lots of sites with write-ups promoting Colombia as a great location to live.

To me, there are a variety of benefits to residing in Colombia. And I previously wrote about 27 reasons why I wound up picking Medellín in Colombia as an excellent area to live.

Nevertheless, many publications I have seen have a tendency to only review these positives as well as benefits concerning staying in Colombia. And the downsides are glossed over or might not be stated. So, Colombia has a tendency to be represented by some magazines with rose-colored glasses.

On this site, there is no sugar-coating or checking out things just through rose-colored glasses. We cover both the advantages as well as the drawbacks or the benefits and drawbacks concerning staying in Colombia and also taking a trip in Colombia.

I have lived in Medellín for over eight years and also the following listing of disadvantages is based upon my experiences residing in Colombia and taking a trip throughout Colombia. I’m an expat originally from the UNITED STATE, so this is an expat’s point of view.

Bogotá has several downsides

Bogotá has numerous drawbacks Drawbacks of Residing In the Cities in Colombia Each city in Colombia is different with various benefits as well as additionally various disadvantages– the benefits and drawbacks are various for each city.We previously checked out the drawbacksto staying in Medellín, disadvantages to living in Bogotá, drawbacks to living in Cali as well as disadvantages to living in Cartagena.

Each of our write-ups about the drawbacks of staying in cities in Colombia also include some disadvantages that actually put on any city in Colombia. Also, we have actually taken a look at the drawbacks to living in El Poblado, which is one of the most pricey community in Medellín.

Downsides to Living in Colombia

A number of viewers asked what the total drawbacks to staying in Colombia are– the drawbacks that apply to any kind of city in Colombia. So, we now look at Colombia disadvantages– the disadvantages to staying in Colombia.

The following list of drawbacks to staying in Colombia is in no certain order. Furthermore, not all of these drawbacks apply to everyone. As well as some of these disadvantages can be gotten rid of or prevented.

Colombia income taxes and IVA tax

Colombia earnings taxes and Individual Voluntary Agreement tax obligation 1. Need to Submit Taxes Two Times and also High Individual Voluntary Agreement Tax Obligation If you are an expat from the U.S.

living in Colombia, you likely will have to submit taxes in both the UNITED STATE as well as Colombia. You are considered a tax obligation local in Colombia if you stay in the country for greater than 183 total days during a year, whether this time around is continual or otherwise. Additionally, Colombia taxes the around the world income of tax obligation locals. Just because you have to file taxes in Colombia does not always mean you need to pay revenue tax obligations. Colombia has numerous reductions plus you can deduct some income tax obligations paid in an additional nation from revenue tax obligations due in Colombia. We previously took a look at declaring revenue tax obligations in Colombia.

Colombia likewise has a 19 percent IVA tax(a value included tax obligation– VAT) on several items, which makes getting lots of points more costly. The Individual Voluntary Agreement tax obligation made use of to be 16 percent but was enhanced to 19 percent in February 2017. However some grocery items such as milk, eggs as well as fruits and also a number of other things are excluded from the IVA tax in Colombia.

2. Spanish is Called for

I have fulfilled some immigrants that have been residing in Colombia for numerous years that do not talk much Spanish. Yet most Colombians typically do not speak much English. So, to be independent when staying in Colombia you will need to talk some Spanish.

It is tough to manage residing in Colombia without talking some Spanish. Just a few of the residents talk English. A lot of the people that you will certainly engage with on a common day, such as shop staffs, cabby and also waitress will speak little to no English. In addition, Education and learning First rankings the English efficiency in Colombia as reduced at 48.90 on a 100-point range.

I took 10 Spanish classes at Universidad EAFIT, so I speak Spanish at the intermediate level. And I am remaining to study to enhance my vocabulary as well as pronunciation.

Nothing has aided me enjoy my time in Colombia greater than the ability to effectively communication. And I had the ability to obtain two Colombian pupil visasthat allowed me to be in Medellín permanent.

Also, the English-speaking deportee neighborhood in cities in Colombia is relatively small. In Bogotá and also Cartagena, you are likely to discover even more English audio speakers than you can in various other cities in Colombia. Yet even in Bogotá as well as Cartagena most Colombian do not speak much English.

3. Corruption prevails in Colombia

Openness International’s corruption score has Colombia rated as 99 out of 180 nations in regards to corruption perception.

If you wish to obtain some things done in Colombia it can require a kickback. I have actually spoken with a number of deportees that have actually depended on regional attorneys to look after bribes so the expat can have “deniability”.

I understand from experience the court system is corrupt in Colombia and prefers those with cash with lots of points being done “under the table”.

However, Corruption is a problem in numerous Latin America nations and is taken into consideration even worse than in Colombia in some nations. For example, Brazil is placed 105, Ecuador is placed 114 and also Mexico is rated 135 by Transparency International, all worse than in Colombia.

USD to COP 10-year exchange rate history, source XE.com

USD to POLICE OFFICER 10-year currency exchange rate history, source XE.com 4. Exchange Rate is Volatile When residing in Colombia pretty much all of your expenses will certainly be in the local money–

Colombian pesos(POLICE OFFICER). The exchange rate over the past 3 years has been extremely advantageous if you have UNITED STATE dollars (USD) or an additional Western money. However the currency exchange rate has actually fluctuated considerably throughout the years. So, it hasn’t always resembled now.

Over the past one decade the exchange rate has actually ranged from 1,745 to 3,438 pesos to the USD. So, your price of living in Colombia in regards to USD will fluctuate. Over the previous three years the exchange rate has actually ranged from 2,711 to 3,438 pesos to the USD. This is a much higher exchange rate array than the previous seven years.

1,000 new police in Medellín in 2014, photo by National Police of Colombia

1,000 brand-new authorities in Medellín in 2014, photo by National Police of Colombia 5. Colombia Can Be Hazardous There become part of Colombia and also parts of each city in Colombia where you really should not go. And you ought to learn these. Parts of Colombia are still ruined by a battle in between guerillas (the ELN et al), paramilitaries as well as federal government pressures. And also while Colombia authorized a tranquility contract with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), some unorthodox groups refused to demobilize.

The U.S. Division of State has a Colombia Travel Advisory that is currently at Level 2– exercise enhanced care. In this travel advisory, it is recommended to reassess traveling to a number of departments in Colombia including Arauca, Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Norte de Santander Departments, with the exemptions of the cities of Popayan (resources of Cauca) and Nuqui by air.

Police in Cali, Colombia, photo courtesy of National Police of Colombia

Cops in Cali, Colombia, photo courtesy of National Cops of ColombiaLikewise, Canada has traveling suggestions as well as advisories for Colombia that says to”work out a high level of caution”. It also advises staying clear of all traveling within 20 kilometres of the boundary with Venezuela, within 20 km of the boundary with Panama and the ports of Buenaventura and Tumaco.

While the reported homicide rates in some cities in Colombia can be less than in some cities in the UNITED STATE, these reported rates need to be taken with a grain of salt; there are additionally some disappearances that are not counted as murders.

While safety and security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years road crime is still common. So, there is a requirement to take specific standard preventative measures and being watchful about your individual security. We have a separate post regarding safety in Medellín with security tips that also put on various other cities in Colombia.

Honda Civic costs about $39,900 in Colombia

Honda Civic costs regarding$ 39,900 in Colombia 6. Vehicles are Expensive in Colombia Cars can be quite costly due to import responsibilities in Colombia of as much as 35 percent. Apparently over 60 percent of the lorries sold in Colombia are imported. So, several models of cars sold in cities in Colombia can be a lot more pricey than in the U.S.

Colombia has an open market agreement with the U.S. that entered into impact in 2012. The agreement is eliminating the import obligation for lorries over a 10-year duration however there are still import duties.

Additionally, Colombia has free trade contracts with a number of various other countries. These other arrangements are also terminating import responsibilities for automobiles. Gradually this will help reduce the costs for imported lorries offered in Colombia.

When residing in Colombia, you must expect to pay even more for a cars and truck than in the U.S. Additionally, there are additionally recurring costs with owning a cars and truck including insurance policy, maintenance, tax obligations and also fuel.

However it is feasible to reside in several cities in Colombia without a car. For instance, Medellín has a detailed city system and numerous cost-effective bus paths. So, it’s possible to conquer this downside by not owning a cars and truck.

Vehicles are not the only expensive things in Colombia. We formerly considered 9 pricey points in Medellín for deportees. Yet there are extra economical things discovered in Colombia and we considered 14 inexpensive things in Medellín for deportees.

7. Client Service is Doing Not Have– Persistence is Required in Colombia

You will need perseverance as well as resistance living in Colombia. If somebody claims they will certainly exist in 30 minutes it might remain in 2 hrs, tomorrow might suggest sometime later on in the week and so forth.

Also, don’t expect somebody to be on schedule for a date. It’s a positive surprise when they are. Colombians don’t originate from a service-oriented society. So, customer service can sometimes be really slow. And cashiers at groceries stores can be frustratingly sluggish in Colombia.

North Americans and also Western Europeans made use of to their even more well-oiled facts will run up against their share of lack of organization, bad solution, lengthy lines as well as bureaucracy in Colombia, which can vary from mildly aggravating to irritating.

Nevertheless, this is no different than many various other countries in Latin America. I have experienced similar problems in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru as well as several other nations in Latin America.

8. Jobs in Colombia Do Not Pay Quite

Don’t concern Colombia expecting to discover a job that pays extremely well. It is very hard for an immigrant to make a living in Colombia unless you’re a deportee that benefits a multi-national company. Or it’s feasible to have a location independent task based in the U.S. or other much more rich country as well as work remotely.

Remember the minimum monthly wage in Colombia is only 828,116 pesos ($251 USD) per month in 2019.

Arepas cooking on a wood-fired stove, photo by AmethystCosmos

Arepas food preparation on a wood-fired oven, picture by AmethystCosmos 9. Colombian Food Isn’t the very best While some foreigners claim to enjoy Colombian food, I don’t really like a few of the normal Colombian foods. As an example, Arepas, those starch-laden answer to the tortilla common in Colombia, to me do not have any kind of flavor. So, you need to add cheese to them or another thing to make them edible.

However there are a number of common Colombia foods I like. And I also such as much of the common road foods in Colombia. Likewise, I such as the substantial selection of exotic fruits located in Colombia.

However some food in Colombia to me is also dull as well as leaves much to be wanted. While there are a number of foods in Colombia I like, they are the exemption, not the regulation. I directly choose the food of Peru as well as Mexico in Latin America.

Traffic is a downside of Medellín but isn't a downside in all of Colombia

Website traffic is a downside of Medellín yet isn’t a downside in all of Colombia Various Other Disadvantages That Don’t Put On All Cities in Colombia There are several various other disadvantages that really relate to specific cities in Colombia. For instance, Website traffic and also pollution are troubles in both greatest cities of Colombia: Bogotá as well as Medellín. Yet website traffic and pollution aren’t that huge of a trouble in various other cities in Colombia. So, web traffic as well as air pollution aren’t actually downsides of Colombia, as some messages and video clips on the net insurance claim. Website traffic and also air pollution are disadvantages of cities like Bogotá as well as Medellín and also not the total nation of Colombia.

All-time Low Line: Colombia Downsides– Disadvantages to Living in Colombia

No nation is best and also there are drawbacks to living in any kind of country. For me the positives and also advantages of a deportee living in Colombia considerably exceed the drawbacks as well as negatives. I have traveled to over 40 countries as well as decided to reside in Medellín in Colombia.

Yet before deciding to live in a nation like Colombia it is very important to recognize the downsides.

Some magazines often tend to applaud Colombia as a leading international retired life location however they don’t actually review all the drawbacks. So, hopefully the above short article will certainly assist communicate some of the disadvantages of staying in Colombia from an expat’s viewpoint.

What various other downsides have expats knowledgeable living in Colombia?

Sign up for the Free Medellin Master E-newsletter — You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters as well as subscribe below.

Liked it? Take a second to support Medellin Guru on Patreon! The future of Medellin Expert needs the assistance of visitors to continue to be ad cost-free.




< img src="https://medellinguru.com/wp-content/plugins/patron-button-and-widgets-by-codebard/images/become_a_patron_button.png"/ > Resource

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *