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Discover the Top Reasons to Live and Work in Barranquilla, Colombia




Barranquilla, Colombia, is a vibrant and bustling port city located in Northern South America. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, lively music and dance scene, and friendly locals. With its warm and sunny climate, it is often referred to as the "city of eternal spring," making it an ideal place to live for those who love the outdoors.


For those looking to retire or work remotely as a digital nomad, Barranquilla offers a low cost of living and a thriving expat community. The city is also well-connected to major cities in Europe and the United States, with direct flights available from Miami, New York, and Madrid. With a population of over two million people, Barranquilla is a hub for manufacturing and commerce, providing ample job opportunities for those seeking to live and work in Colombia. Plus, Colombia just recently approved a new "digital nomad"


Cost of Living


Barranquilla, Colombia is an affordable city to live and work in. The cost of living is lower than in many other cities in Colombia and the United States. According to Numbeo, a family of four can expect to spend around 5,919,865.1 Col$ ($1,298 US)per month without rent, while a single person can expect to spend around 1,773,092.3 Col$ ($388 US) per month without rent. This is significantly less expensive than living in New York City.


In general, the cost of living in Barranquilla is 60% to 70% less than in the coastal U.S. cities of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. The savings is the same for the northern cities of Boston and Chicago. According to Expatistan, a family of four can expect to spend around COL$ 8,688,077 ($1905 USD) per month, while a single person can expect to spend around COL$ 3,719,745 ($815 USD) per month. These estimates are based on only a few data points, so they should be treated as a best guess.


One of the reasons for the low cost of living in Barranquilla is the availability of affordable housing. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around COL$1,021,000 ($223 USD) per month, while rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around COL$750,000 ($164 US) per month. Food and transportation costs are also relatively low, with a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costing around COL$13,000 ($2.85 USD) and a one-way ticket on local transportation costing around COL$2,200.


Overall, the low cost of living in Barranquilla makes it an attractive option for those looking to live and work in Colombia. With affordable housing, food, and transportation, residents can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.


Transportation


Barranquilla has a well-developed transportation system that makes it easy for residents to move around the city. The city has a mix of public and private transportation options that cater to different needs and budgets.


Public Transportation


The most popular form of public transportation in Barranquilla is the bus system. The city has an extensive network of buses that operate on fixed routes and are color-coded for easy identification. The buses are affordable, with fares starting at COP 2,000 (less than $1 USD) per ride. The city also has a rapid transit system called Transmetro, which operates on dedicated bus lanes and has its own stations. Transmetro is a fast and efficient way to move around the city, with fares starting at COP 2,500 (about $1 USD) per ride.


Taxis


Taxis are another popular form of transportation in Barranquilla. They are readily available throughout the city and can be hailed on the street or through ride-hailing apps like Uber and Cabify. Taxis in Barranquilla are metered, and fares are affordable, with the average ride costing around COP 12,000 (about $5 USD).


Driving


Driving in Barranquilla can be challenging, especially during rush hour. The city has a high number of cars on the road, which can lead to congestion and traffic jams. However, if you choose to drive, there are several car rental companies in the city, and gas prices are affordable, with a liter of gas costing around COP 9,000 (about $3 USD).


Overall, Barranquilla has a reliable and affordable transportation system that makes it easy for residents to move around the city. Whether you choose to take the bus, taxi, bike, or drive, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs and budget.


Safety


Barranquilla is a generally safe city to live and work in, but like any other city in the world, it is important to take precautions to ensure personal safety. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:


Neighborhoods: It is recommended to live in the northern part of the city, which is considered to be safer than the southern part. Some of the safest neighborhoods in Barranquilla include Altos de Riomar, Villa Country, and El Golf. As you travel around the local community will help with highlighting safe areas for sure!


Street Crime: Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching can occur in crowded areas, so it is recommended to keep valuables such as phones and wallets secure and out of sight. Avoid carrying large sums of cash.


Nightlife: Barranquilla has a vibrant nightlife scene, but it is important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night. Stick to well-lit areas and avoid accepting drinks from strangers.


Overall, Barranquilla is a safe city to live and work in, as long as you take the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Just remember the norms that you would live by as if you were traveling in any part of the world.


Cuisine


Barranquilla is a food lover's paradise. The city offers a diverse range of cuisine that reflects its cultural diversity. Whether you are looking for traditional Colombian dishes or international cuisine, you will find it all in Barranquilla.


Restaurants


Barranquilla has a vibrant restaurant scene. There are plenty of options for eating out, from budget-friendly street food to high-end restaurants. Plus, did we say "budget-friendly" already?! You are going to be shocked at how cheap it is to eat at a restaurant. Some of the popular restaurants in


Barranquilla include:


  • Narco Bollo: A very popular restaurant that serves traditional Colombian "fritos."

  • El Gran Chef: A seafood restaurant that offers fresh and delicious seafood dishes.

  • La Cueva: A cozy restaurant that serves local and international cuisine.

  • La Brasa Roja: A chain of restaurants that serves roasted chicken and other grilled dishes.


Cuisine


Colombian cuisine is known for its bold flavors and fresh ingredients. Some of the popular Colombian dishes that you must try in Barranquilla include:


  • Fish: We can't put one specific type because there are several that are REALLY good!

  • Arroz de Coco: A rice dish that consists of rice cooked in coconut until golden brown.

  • Empanadas: Fried or baked pastries that are filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables.

  • Ceviche: A seafood dish that is made with raw fish, lime juice, onions, and herbs.


Eating Out


Eating out in Barranquilla is affordable and convenient. You can find street food stands all around the city that offer delicious and budget-friendly food. If you are looking for a more upscale dining experience, there are plenty of restaurants that offer a fine dining experience. The cost of eating out in Barranquilla is relatively low compared to other cities in Colombia. You can get a healthy lunch menu on the coast containing fish, rice, plantain, and a little salad with avocado for less than USD 3.


In conclusion, Barranquilla is a food lover's paradise. The city offers a diverse range of cuisine that reflects its cultural diversity. Whether you are looking for traditional Colombian dishes or international cuisine, you will find it all in Barranquilla.


Healthcare


Barranquilla has a wide range of healthcare options available for its residents. Colombia's healthcare system is known for offering high-quality services at affordable prices. The city has both public and private hospitals and clinics that can handle anything from regular checkups and diagnostics to high-tech procedures and medical specialties.


Public Healthcare Plan


Colombia has a public healthcare plan called EPS (Entidades Promotoras de Salud) that provides coverage for all residents. The plan is funded by the government and employers through payroll contributions. The coverage includes basic medical services, emergency care, and hospitalization. However, the waiting times for appointments and procedures can be long, and the quality of care may not be as high as in private hospitals.


Private Hospitals


Barranquilla has several top private hospitals that offer high-quality healthcare services, including:

  • Clínica Portoazul

  • Clínica IberoAmerica

  • Clínica del Caribe

  • Clínica Reina Catalina


These hospitals have modern facilities and state-of-the-art equipment, and their staff is highly trained and experienced. They offer a wide range of medical specialties, including cardiology, oncology, neurology, and orthopedics.


Cost of Healthcare


The cost of healthcare in Barranquilla is significantly lower than in the United States and other developed countries. The prices for medical procedures and treatments are generally affordable, and the quality of care is high. Private healthcare insurance is also available in Colombia, and it can be purchased at reasonable prices.


Climate


Barranquilla has a tropical climate with an average temperature of around 80°F (27°C) throughout the year. The city is located on the Caribbean coast, which means that it is hot and humid all year round. The average humidity is around 80%, making it one of the most humid cities in Colombia.


The city has two seasons, a dry season from December to April, and a rainy season from May to November. During the dry season, the temperature can reach up to 94°F (34°C), while during the rainy season, the temperature can drop to around 75°F (24°C). It is important to note that during the rainy season, the city experiences occasional thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding in some areas.


Despite the high humidity, the sea breeze provides some relief from the heat. The breeze is especially strong during the afternoon, making it a great time to head to the beach or enjoy some outdoor activities.


Overall, the tropical climate in Barranquilla is perfect for those who enjoy warm and sunny weather throughout the year. However, it is important to take precautions to protect oneself from the strong sun and high humidity. It is recommended to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when outdoors, and to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.


Here are some key takeaways about the climate in Barranquilla:


  • The city has a tropical climate with an average temperature of around 80°F (27°C) throughout the year.

  • The dry season is from December to April, while the rainy season is from May to November.

  • The city experiences occasional thunderstorms and heavy rainfall during the rainy season.

  • The sea breeze provides some relief from the heat, especially during the afternoon.

  • It is important to take precautions to protect oneself from the strong sun and high humidity by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when outdoors, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.


Quality of Life


Barranquilla has a lot to offer when it comes to quality of life. The city is known for its warm and welcoming culture, which makes it easy for expats to settle in and feel at home. Here are some of the reasons why Barranquilla is a great place to live and work:


Affordable Cost of Living: Barranquilla has a low cost of living compared to other cities in Colombia and Latin America. Housing, food, and transportation are all reasonably priced, which makes it easier for expats to save money and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.


Great Weather: Barranquilla has a tropical climate, which means that it's warm and sunny all year round. The average temperature is around 80°F, so expats can enjoy outdoor activities like going to the beach or taking a stroll in the park.


Cultural Diversity: Barranquilla is a melting pot of cultures, which means that expats can experience a variety of traditions and customs. The city is known for its carnival, which is one of the biggest and most colorful celebrations in Latin America.


Good Healthcare: Barranquilla has a modern healthcare system that provides high-quality medical care. There are several hospitals and clinics in the city that offer a range of services, from routine check-ups to specialized treatments.


Safety: Barranquilla is considered to be one of the safest cities in Colombia. The local government has implemented several measures to improve public safety, including increased police presence and surveillance.


Overall, Barranquilla offers a great quality of life for expats who are looking for a welcoming and affordable city with a rich cultural heritage and good healthcare services.


Diversity


Barranquilla is a city that boasts a rich cultural heritage and a diverse population. The city's location on the Caribbean coast has made it a melting pot of cultures, with influences from indigenous, African, and European traditions.


The city has a significant Afro-Colombian population, and its influence can be seen in the city's music, dance, and cuisine. The city is also home to a large number of indigenous people, who have preserved their traditional way of life and continue to practice their customs and beliefs.


Barranquilla's diverse population has also contributed to its vibrant arts and culture scene. The city hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the famous Carnival of Barranquilla, which is the second-largest carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro.


The city's diversity can be seen in its food as well. Barranquilla is known for its delicious seafood dishes, but visitors can also find a variety of international cuisine, including Spanish, Italian, and Asian.


In summary, Barranquilla's diversity is one of its greatest strengths. The city's unique blend of indigenous, African, and European traditions has created a vibrant and dynamic culture that is celebrated throughout the year in festivals and events.


Entertainment


Barranquilla is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of entertainment options for its residents. From music festivals to cultural events, there is always something happening in this lively coastal city.


Events


One of the most popular events in Barranquilla is the Carnival of Barranquilla, which takes place every year in February. This four-day festival is one of the biggest carnivals in the world, and it attracts thousands of visitors from all over the globe. The carnival features parades, music, dancing, and colorful costumes, and it is a celebration of the city's rich cultural heritage.


Another popular event in Barranquilla is the Barranquijazz Festival, which takes place every September. This festival brings together some of the best jazz musicians from around the world, and it is a great opportunity to enjoy some world-class music in a beautiful setting.


Entertainment


Barranquilla is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Whether you're looking for a quiet night out or a wild party, you're sure to find something that suits your taste in this bustling city.


For those who enjoy the arts, Barranquilla has a number of theaters and performance venues, including the Teatro Amira de la Rosa and the Teatro Jose Consuegra Higgins. These venues host a variety of performances, from plays and musicals to dance shows and concerts.


Museums


If you're interested in learning more about the history and culture of Barranquilla and the surrounding region, there are several museums in the city that are worth a visit. The Museo del Caribe is one of the most popular museums in Barranquilla, and it features exhibits on the history, culture, and ecology of the Caribbean region.


Another museum worth checking out is the Museo Romantico, which is dedicated to the history of the romantic period in Colombia. The museum features a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the art, literature, and music of this fascinating era.


Overall, Barranquilla is a city that offers a wealth of entertainment options for its residents. Whether you're interested in music, art, or culture, there is always something to see and do in this vibrant coastal city.


Neighborhoods


Barranquilla is a vibrant and diverse city with many neighborhoods to choose from. Each neighborhood has its own unique character and charm, and offers something different for residents. Two of the most popular neighborhoods in Barranquilla are El Prado and Alto Prado.


El Prado


El Prado is a historic neighborhood located in the heart of Barranquilla. It is known for its beautiful architecture, wide streets, and tree-lined avenues. The neighborhood is home to many of the city's most important cultural institutions, including the Teatro Amira de la Rosa and the Museum of Modern Art.


El Prado is also a popular residential area, with many beautiful homes and apartments to choose from. The neighborhood is known for its peaceful and quiet atmosphere, making it a great place to live for families and professionals.


Alto Prado


Alto Prado is a more modern and upscale neighborhood located in the northern part of Barranquilla. It is known for its high-rise buildings, luxury apartments, and shopping centers. The neighborhood is home to many of the city's wealthiest residents, as well as many expats and international professionals.


Alto Prado is a great place to live for those who value luxury and convenience. The neighborhood is home to many of the city's best restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as some of the best schools and universities in the country. It is also a great place to work, with many international companies and businesses located in the area.


Overall, Barranquilla has many great neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own unique character and charm. Whether you are looking for a quiet and peaceful residential area, or a more modern and upscale neighborhood, Barranquilla has something to offer for everyone.

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