Colombia guide for digital nomads

Colombia for Digital Nomads: Visa, Cost, Best Places & More

What does it mean to be a digital nomad to you? Many of us associate the lifestyle with living for extended periods in different parts of Asia or traveling around Europe while we work. However, one area that is arguably somewhat overlooked as a potential digital nomad hub is South America.

 The continent as a whole boasts fantastic natural landscapes and a relatively low cost of living, but this does vary from country to country. Also, it’s essential to consider that some countries in South America are not that safe to live in, especially for extended periods. Depending on how adventurous you are, you might not want to spend a lot of time in a country where it’s potentially too dangerous for you to be outside of your accommodation for too long.

One country that is rapidly developing in South America is Colombia. While it may not be as safe as other parts of the world, the country is quickly industrializing, and lots of money is being put towards infrastructure and travel. This means the quality of life in Colombia is continually getting better, especially in certain cities. It’s becoming a more attractive destination for digital nomads for this reason, too.

Unfortunately, Colombia has something of a tainted reputation due to its past (and, to some extent, current) struggles with drug trafficking, violence, and turbulent politics. However, the country continues to move away from this history towards a much brighter future, which makes now a fantastic time to explore the place.

Warm weather, dense jungles, and pristine beaches are just a few of the things that Colombia has to offer. In addition, the food is delicious and varied, locals are friendly, and the culture is a fascinating blend of Spanish and local traditions and language.

Colombia for digital nomad at a glance

A beautiful country with a varied landscape; forests, pristine beaches, and buzzing cities that offer a rich cultural experience Suboptimal Internet speeds, which might be an issue for digital nomads whose work requires them to upload and download large volumes of content
Relatively cheap cost of living and transport makes it easy to sustain yourself and move around- cheap food, accommodation, and travel Safety issues are a legitimate concern in some regions
There are many digital nomads in Colombia- especially in cities such as Medellín- offering coworking spaces, and a community of like-minded people Women traveling or living alone may have particular safety concerns.
Relaxed immigration laws and specialized Digital Nomad Visas allow you and your partner/children to reside in Colombia for up to 2 years.

Visa and Legal Requirements 

Types of Visas Available 

One of the most commonly, and most importantly, asked questions is about Colombia’s visa requirements. 

In the past, people made use of the 90-day tourist visa, which could be extended for up to 180 days. 

However, the Colombian Government has now introduced a special visa for digital nomads, called the Visa V Nómadas digitales, which allows you to work in Colombia for 2 years. 

Applying for Visas 

Applying for a visa in Colombia is relatively straightforward. You can apply online here. The best visa for digital nomads to apply for is the Digital Nomads Visa

In order to apply for the digital nomad visa, you will need to meet these requirements:

  • Be a holder of a passport from approved countries 
  • A letter issued by your employer, proving that your work is carried out remotely OR a letter outlining your entrepreneurial project 
  •  A bank statement proving your income from the last 3 months, which needs to exceed 3 times the minimum monthly earnings in Colombia (around $860) 
  • Provide evidence of paid health care insurance 

The Visa will take about 30 days to be approved. Once the fee has been paid, it will be issued to you within 10 days. 

Note: Even if you reside in Colombia for 2 years, you are unlikely to qualify for residency in the country. 

Cost of Visas 

  • Application fee: Approx $52 to be paid when you apply
  • Visa fee: Between $170 and $230 to be paid once your visa has been approved. 

Legal considerations 

As non-Colombian residents, digital nomads are not required to pay income tax. 

However, if you work in a coworking space, you may have to declare the income generated in this space. 

Additionally, if you intend to stay for over 183 days, you may be required to declare your income, as you will be considered a tax resident.

The cost of living in Colombia

Cost of living in Colombia

One of the reasons Colombia is so popular is due to its low living costs. In most cases, food, accommodation, and transport options are significantly cheaper than in Western countries!

We formulated a table with monthly cost estimates: 

LocationRent (1-Bedroom Apartment)UtilitiesFoodTransportationOthers
Medellín$300 – $600 $50 – $100 $150 – $300 $30 – $60 $50 – $100 
Bogotá$400 – $800 $60 – $120 $200 – $400 $40 – $80 $60 – $120 
Cartagena$400 – $700 $50 – $100 $200 – $350 $30 – $60 $50 – $100 
Cali$300 – $600$50 – $100 $150 – $300$30 – $60$50 – $100
Pasto$250 – $500$40 – $80$120 – $250$20 – $40$30 – $60
Bucaramanga$300 – $600$50 – $100 $150 – $300 $30 – $60$50 – $100
Barranquilla$350 – $700$50 – $100$180 – $350$30 – $60$50 – $100
SalentoLimited availability$30 – $60 $120 – $250$20 – $40$30 – $60
Santa Marta$350 – $700 $50 – $100 $180 – $350$30 – $60$50 – $100 
MincaLimited availability$30 – $60$120 – $250$20 – $40 $30 – $60

Internet Facilities in Colombia 

Internet access, and speed, are some of the most important considerations when deciding to make the move to Colombia. It may also be the deciding factor when deciding which city to live in. 

Here are the average costs, and internet speeds you can expect in Colombia:

LocationAverage speed (Mbps)Cost (USD/month)
Medellín20-100 $20 – $50
Bogotá20-200$20 – $60
Cartagena20-100 $20 – $50
Cali20-100$20 – $50
Pasto10-50$20 – $40
Bucaramanga20-100 $20 – $50 
Barranquilla20-100$20 – $50
Salento10-50$20 – $40 
Santa Marta20-100$20 – $50
MincaLimited access$20 – $40

The weather in Colombia

weather in Colombia

Colombia is a vast country, so the weather often depends on the region you reside in. 

For example, Northern Colombia is generally very hot and humid, whereas the climate in Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá, is often a lot more temperate and usually somewhat dry and cold.

Medellín is arguably the digital nomad capital of Colombia, and the weather there is desirable. 

People often report that the weather in Medellín is almost perfect all year round; for the most part, the city’s climate is warm and sunny without being too hot.

If you’re looking for the perfect not-too-hot-not-too-cold, we’ve formulated a table to help you out: 

LocationAverage annual temperature Average annual humidity Average annual precipitation
Medellín22-24°C65-75%1,600 mm
Bogotá14-18°C70-75%800 mm
Cartagena28-30°C80-85%1,000 mm
Cali24-27°C65-75%1,000 mm
Pasto11-15°C75-80%2,000 mm
Bucaramanga23-26°C70-75%1,000 mm
Barranquilla27-29°C80-85%900 mm
Salento17-21°C80-85%2,000 mm
Santa Marta27-29°C80-85%900 mm

Finding Places to Stay in Colombia

accommodation in Colombia

As with much of the world now, it’s pretty easy to find a place to stay in Colombia via Airbnb!

The platform works well both for shorter and longer-term stays in the country. You can also choose to find a place to rent via an agency or a similar platform. 

A lot of people use the Whatyawant agency for longer-term rentals in Colombia very successfully.

You can also try to use the existing digital nomad community in Colombia to find a place to stay.

Some people arrive just with accommodation booked for the short term (e.g., a room in a hostel). Additionally, a lot of people find a place to rent long-term via Facebook or social media.

Accommodation is arguably one of the best perks about living in Colombia long term. 

The apartments that you can rent are pretty cheap, and they are usually clean and modern to boot! Also, they typically give you access to excellent facilities and features.

Best places in Colombia for digital nomads 


Mild weather makes it one of the best spots to work all year roundLike any other city, Medellín has dangerous neighborhoods
Lots of culture, arts, and entertainment choices for the perfect work-life balanceAir pollution can be an issue because of the valley geography
Overall, the city poses a low cost of living

Without a doubt, Medellín is the most popular destination for digital nomads in Colombia. It is undoubtedly the country’s most cosmopolitan and relaxed city and has a lot to offer culturally. 

Additionally, it’s also the safest city in the state to live in, and you can have a much better quality of life in Medellín than you might in other parts of Colombia.

Poblado is probably the most common area for new digital nomads to the city to move to and start working out of! 

It’s perhaps the most pleasant and wealthiest part of Medellín and has a great selection of shops and restaurants. 

Furthermore, Poblado is relatively safe – which is important to consider in Colombia as this, unfortunately, can’t be said of the whole country. 

Poblado also has many parks and greenery, which makes it very refreshing and relaxing to go for a walk in the area.

As a city with a growing digital nomad culture, Medellín has coworking spaces and options that should cater to most people. 

One coworking space that we love in Medellín is WeWork! They have three different locations available in the city, so you can go to the office nearest to you. There are options for a private office or dedicated desks in shared spaces, so you can go with what setup suits you best. 

Aside from the standard Wi-Fi, printers, and phone booths, these offices also feature mother’s rooms and dog-friendly spaces!

If you’d rather be surrounded by the great scent of coffee, there are also a number of cafes around the city that’s perfect for the digital nomad lifestyle. Check them out!

  • Pergamino Café Vía Primavera: One of the best cafe haunts for digital nomads that’s bustling with many patrons. The outdoor setting is great, but can be a bit crowded.
  • Mija Masa Madre: The cafe presents incredible, Instagram-worthy aesthetics with a great selection of vegan food and drinks. There are also plenty of open spaces and patio options if that’s right up your alley.


Offers a very affordable cost of livingAlthough the weather is generally nice, it can be quite hot and humid at times
Incredible choice of food and nightlife options to let loose every now and thenPetty crimes are a problem, but you can avoid this by steering clear of tourist spots
The locals are quite warm and welcoming

While not as well-known as Medellin, Cartagena is a rapidly developing city and acquiring a reputation as a digital nomad haven in Colombia. The city is smaller than Medellin, and this makes it easier to navigate and get an understanding of. 

Most digital nomads in Cartagena live in three neighborhoods- Getsemani, Bocagrande, and the Old City. These neighborhoods are all safe, easy to get around in and have a nice variety of accommodation options.

For coworking in Cartagena, we recommend Tu Work Coworking Space. The space has a mixture of private and shared coworking spaces available, making it an excellent option for having meetings or just working on projects. You can also hire a private office at Tu Work if you want to!

Furthermore, Tu Work hosts lots of different events for networking and socializing, making it a great hub for you to meet others and find work opportunities in the city.

Here are some cafes around the city fit for coworking or being a digital nomad!

  • Cafe San Alberto: Easily one of the most popular options in the city when it comes to socializing or coworking. The ambiance is elegant, and there are loads of tasty coffee and pastries to boot.
  • Juan Valdez Cafe: The so-called Colombian Starbucks is a classic option in the city. With its wide space and options for standing tables, it’s one of the best coffee places for productivity.


Interesting and rich culture that would make your stay a real experienceAs there are unsafe parts of the city, it’s important to research diligently about where you should live
Relatively low cost of livingTraffic is a major concern, especially around peak hours
The city is easy to navigate so you can always explore and find new things to enjoy

With its cultural offerings and beautiful architecture, Barranquilla is another beautiful city of the arts in Colombia. 

As it’s not as well-known as Bogota and Medellin, Barranquilla has less of a digital nomad scene – but the city is certainly developing quickly and more and more travelers are choosing to make it part of their itinerary. 

We predict that Barranquilla is going to become another digital nomad hotspot as it continues to make a name for itself. 

Barranquilla hosts some of the most important cultural festivals and events in Colombia and has a range of beautiful and unique districts to explore.

A popular coworking space in Barranquilla is WeWork in Carrera. It’s conveniently located in the Carrera district of Barranquilla and features a number of bright, open spaces with comfy furniture.

You can rent a private office or a set of desks in a lockable office, or pay for a hot desk membership in the communal area. The space has a number of great and somewhat unusual facilities, like a dedicated barista service and a mother’s room for mothers at the office with their children.

  • Cafe El Diario: If you’re the type who gets pumped with a bustling atmosphere, this coffee is your best bet. It’s a well-loved spot with great coffee and pastries, so it’s a suitable place for coworking.
  • Juan Valdez Cafe: The ubiquitous Colombian coffee chain is still one of the best places for coworking. Many people come to work on their laptops. The cafe has an overall relaxed atmosphere and tasty but inexpensive coffee.


The climate is relatively cooler than in the other places we’ve mentionedThe cool climate means damp days are common, even during the summer
A true melting pot with lots of things to see and do, making it an international city that welcomes everyonePrices can vary wildly depending on where you are in the city, so research diligently
Despite the better comfort, the costs in Bogota are reasonable

The huge, sprawling capital city of Colombia is one of the most exciting and diverse places in all of Latin America. Almost 11 million people live in the metropolitan area of Bogota, meaning this city is absolutely full of life!

Bogota is a great travel hub to explore other parts of Colombia from – but there’s always something to do and see in the city, too. 

Bogota is home to some of the most impressive museums and sights in Colombia and has a great nightlife scene as well. However, you do need to have your wits about you in Bogota. Some parts of the city are dangerous, especially for travelers.

One of the most popular and highly-regarded coworking spaces in Bogota is Sectortic. It has spaces to work both inside and outside, and you can reserve desks, offices, and more. 

In addition, the coworking space has a bar and café service, meaning you can get something to eat or drink while you work. 

However, if you want to try some of the local fare, Sectortic is located in the upmarket San Patricio neighborhood. This is an area filled with local eateries and cafes, making Sectortic well-placed for you to explore the city further while you take breaks from your work!

In addition, the area is linked by a few different bus routes, so it’s easy to get here from other parts of Bogota.

  • Les Amis Pastry Shop: Ideal for digital nomads who are into pastries, coffee, and chic aesthetics. For fans of beautiful landscapes while working, Les Amis is a safe haven. Just a heads up — the menu is a bit more expensive.
  • Casa Cafe Cultor: If you’d like a spacious ambiance and lots of available tables, this coffee shop is your savior. There are also various coffee options and treats to match, so you can always keep coming back for more.

Ways to find a place in the country


Hostels are a great starting place when you move to Colombia. They allow you to meet other digital nomads, and provide a good base before you find long-term accommodation. 

Popular hostel websites: 


Airbnb is a convenient option for digital nomads, especially for those looking for a bit more privacy or those moving with their families. 

There are long-term accommodation options, with some Airbnbs allowing stays for numerous months. 

From treehouses to condos, there are numerous accommodation options on Airbnb!


If you’re planning on residing in Colombia for a year or so, or are looking for a bit more stability, an apartment is a great option. Finding an apartment is pretty straightforward in Colombia’s major cities. 

Some websites to try include: 

Facebook GroupsFacebook groups such as Digital Nomads Colombia are great ways to meet like-minded people in Colombia and find apartments, rooms, and people to flat with!

Where can you meet other digital nomads in Colombia? 

Colombia is a popular destination for Digital nomads thanks to its flexible visa options. Some of the best ways to meet digital nomads are out at social events, on the internet, and in hostels. 

Some great online groups include: 

Diverse and Delicious Food in Colombia 

Colombia is known for two things: rich culture, and even richer spices! 

Their vibrant culinary scene is characterized by a full range of flavors, drawing inspiration from indigenous traditions and the great abundance of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

Costa Rican dishes often feature staples such as rice and beans, tropical fruits, and an array of herbs and spices. If you live in Colombia, it is important to venture out from your usual – you’ll thank yourself for it!

Popular Colombian Dishes: 

  • Gallo Pinto: A quintessential staple in Colombia. This dish is made up of rice and black beans seasoned with cilantro, onions, and bell peppers. 
  • Casado: Another staple, this hearty meal includes rice, beans, plantains (cooked bananas), salad, and meat.
  • Arroz con Pollo: This classic dish features rice cooked with chicken and vegetables, seasoned with a blend of spices- comfort food at its finest. 
  • Ceviche: Costa Rican ceviche is made with the freshest seafood, such as tilapia or shrimp, and is marinated in lime juice, cilantro, and onions – perfect for a hot day.

Colombia’s Endless Entertainment Options

You’ll never be bored in Colombia, that’s for sure. 

Whether you’re interested in music, dance, sports, or exploring the arts, Colombia provides endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the country’s vibrant spirit. 

Options include: 

  • Music Festivals
  • Dance and Folklore
  • Carnivals
  • Football 
  • Art Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Theater
  • Cartagena Film Festival
  • Swimming at the beach 
  • Hiking 
  • Bird watching.

How safe is Colombia for digital nomads? 

One of the main concerns people have when considering the move to Colombia is safety; no thanks to the country’s history, and media portrayal, many people worry about the country’s safety!

Some places in Colombia can be unsafe, particularly for tourists. The most common crime types include armed robbery and pickpocketing.  Some of the highest rates of insecurity are felt in cities such as Cali, Bogotá and Cartagena. 

Medellín is considered one of the country’s safest cities according to the World Bank organization:

Today, Medellín is a progressive city, setting a global standard for urban development.

Health and medical considerations 

Healthcare facilities in Colombia are excellent. The country has robust public and private health care options – particularly in urban areas. 

Their healthcare systems provide high-quality services with modern equipment (and oftentimes English-speaking staff) at a fraction of the cost. 

It is important to note that your Digital Nomad Visa also requires you to show proof of your health insurance!

Recommended Vaccinations: 

  • Hepatitis A and B 
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies 
  • Malaria.


Planning a move to Colombia is an exciting new venture; it offers opportunities to experience a rich, new culture full of vibrancy and life!

It also allows you to reduce your living costs with cheap food, accommodation, and transport options across the country. Most people will comfortably spend less than 1,000 USD a month on living costs in Colombia’s major cities.

While safety is a concern for digital nomads, cities like Medellín are considered relatively safe and offer safe apartment options. 

With flexible visa options and opportunities for self-growth, what are you waiting for?

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