Digital Nomad: what does it mean?

It is important to specify that “Digital Nomad” is not a job but a lifestyle. A Digital Nomad can be a freelancer or a remote worker. Their particularity is that they don’t depend on a particular place, they can work from wherever they want all over the world. Therefore, they are enjoying a strong independence and freedom

Technological developments (high speed internet, numerical collaborative tools, etc.), the increase of new collaborative places, the softening of remote working laws, all that added to the deep need for autonomy, are making this way of life more and more popular. Today there are over 5 million Digital Nomads in the whole world.

The essentials of the Digital Nomad 

The rule number 1 is to have a high-speed internet connection to be able to work efficiently. The Digital Nomad likes comfortable places where they feel cozy. If the coffee is good, even better! It just so happens that Colombia is THE country famous for its delicious coffee.

More than that, what the Digital Nomad is craving for is to be part of a community. The loneliness of remote working can sometimes be difficult, that’s why they particularly enjoy coworking spaces, to be able to meet people, create, share and develop new ideas. Those last 5 years, a lot of coworking spaces appeared to answer that demand.

Colombia: the new favorite destination of Digital Nomads

Until now Asia was the destination number 1 for Digital Nomads, mainly for the low cost of living. But those last few years South America has become more and more popular. The cost of living is a bit higher than in Asia but is still very affordable. You can have a lunch, main course and drink (and sometimes even a desert!) for 3-4 dollars. Among all Latin American countries, Colombia is by far the one that attracts Digital Nomads the most. Why? From the Caribbean beaches to the jungle, the natural parks, the deserts and the colonial villages, Colombia is a wild country with an incredible diversity of landscapes.

For the last 10 years, Colombia has been experiencing an important economic development and new infrastructures that brought an increase of tourism, also because the security is insured in most of the regions of the country. That made Colombia the perfect destination for Digital Nomads, you can enjoy travelling around as well as settle down here.

Let’s talk about weather: if you are not totally convinced yet, let me tell you that the weather is really nice in the whole country, with many different climates for everyone’s tastes. On the Caribbean coast, the climate is tropical and wet, while in Bogota the air is much cooler. In Medellin or Bucaramanga for example you will find a temperate climate, between 20 and 28ºC.

What about visas?

For European and North American people, there is no visa required. You can stay 90 days in the country for a business or tourist stay and you can extend your stay for 90 more days. So easy !

Now that you are almost convinced that Colombia is THE country you need to come to, to fulfill your Digital Nomad experience, let me introduce you to the different attractive places where you could settle down. If you like big cities full of life and cultural options, you will enjoy Bogota, Medellin or Bucaramanga. But you will also love the smallest towns like Pereira, Santa Marta o Cartagena.

Here we go for the perfect itinerary of the Digital Nomad in Colombia!

Bogota

Situated at an altitude of 2 600 meters, the Colombian capital has a population of around 11 million inhabitants. No need to say that it is a city full of life. The climate is cool, it rains pretty often but the cultural life is overwhelming. Exhibitions, shows and the natural surroundings of the city offer you a lots of activities to enjoy your free time.

The good spots to work: 

  • Sectortic is the most popular coworking place in town. You can work inside and outside, book private spaces while enjoying your favorite drink. If you want to meet and share with other professionals, it is the right place for you.
  • Tierra Fime is another coworking space that tends to create a community based on the well-being of its members. Its goal is to create a place with social, economic and cultural impacts.
  • The Café Devoción, located in Chapinero neighborhood, is one of the best coffee places in town. The quiet, chic and cozy atmosphere allows you to focus on your daily tasks.
  • Abadia Café, is a tiny place but very cozy thanks to its sofas and big, comfortable chairs. You feel like home, the atmosphere is really chill and the Wi-Fi is really good. The staff is really friendly.

Bogota has a lot to offer, there are activities for everyone. If you wake up early you can climb up to Montserrate, by walking for the braver or by cable car, to enjoy a marvelous view over the city.

Then you can walk around the Paloquemao market and taste all the local specialties. The Candelaria district will amaze you by its street-art and all its colors. Go to the Plaza Bolivar and to the timeless Golden Museum. At night, you can have a drink in one of the many bars of the Zona Rosa, and have a delicious sancocho, the specialty of Bogota.

Medellin

Medellin is the Mecca of Digital Nomads. Year after year, its reputation is improving and a lot of people decide to move there. It was listed among the most attractive cities in the world for Digital Nomads (see Forbes and Hostelworld). We know it’s the best town in the country as the whole team of Terra Colombia lives here! Medellin is known to be the most developed city in the country and the most modern in terms of start-up incubators, social innovations and for its brand-new subway lines. In 2013, Medellin won the title of the most innovative city by the Wall Street Journal.

The city of the eternal spring has everything to appeal Digital Nomads. It is a cosmopolite city, its weather is nice, between 20 and 28ºC, with a few months of rainy seasons. The cost of living is really reasonable and the night life is great. Moreover, the special touch is the kindness of the Paisas, the inhabitants of Medellin. A lot of Digital Nomads are moving to Medellin, the community gets bigger every day. There is a Facebook group for the community for Digital Nomads that you can find HERE.

The good spots to work: 

  • La Casa Redonda is a coworking space located in Laureles, a nice and authentic neighborhood. There is a DIY workshop with a lot of tools for people who want to create prototypes of a product. There are also many events organized on the rooftop.
  • Ivy Coworking is also in Laureles. The staff is really nice and attentive.
  • Urbania is the coffee place you will love in Medellin, in the famous Poblado neighborhood. The place is cozy and comfortable to work and the WI-FI is very good. The coffee is excellent and produced with a positive societal and environmental impact. A special bonus for the great playlist!

To do in your spare time

Medellin has so much to offer. The history of the city is really interesting: how it fundamentally changed over the last 15 years and its incredible development. You can take the subway; you will be surprised to discover that it is the safest and cleanest place of the city. Then take an overview and climb in the Metrocable car to get to see the most beautiful views over the city.

When you get down, make a stop at the Comuna 13. A formerly dangerous neighborhood that literally transformed into a high place of music and street art.

During the week-end you can visit the Arvi Park, spend the day in Guatape or Santa Fe, sweet little villages in the surroundings of Medellin.

Bucaramanga

5th city of the country by its size, Bucaramanga is not very touristic. It is the perfect choice if you want to live an authentic experience in a really nice region of Colombia. The climate is temperate and pleasant.

The good spots to work: 

  • Espacio Komun, is without a doubt the best coworking place in town. The place is vast, welcoming and ideally conceived to satisfy all the needs of the Digital Nomads. The staff is helpful and attentive, which makes the place even warmer.
  • Coworking Ideas en accion, is the perfect place if you want to meet other professionals and develop new projects. This place was created by the city hall and is especially addressed to people who would like to develop projects in Colombia.

To do in your spare time

The Chicamocha Canyon is the second biggest canyon of the world. You can go paragliding there and believe me it is worth it! In the south, you can visit San Gil, the little town is the perfect spot for extreme sports fans (rafting, bungee, climbing, etc…). Let’s go then to Barichara, a colorful little village, there you can walk the Camino Real hike that will lead you to the village of Guane. On the way, try the local specialty: a grilled ant!

 

Big cities are not for everyone, you will find below alternatives of smallest towns but as pleasant to live as the bigger ones when you are digital nomad.

Pereira

Pereira becomes more and more attractive for its nice living environment. It is one of the main cities of the Coffee Region, lively and surrounded by nature.

The good spots to work: 

  • Social & Co was created to facilitate the interaction between freelances, to boost the productivity and creativity, in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere. Coffee and WI-FI connection are really good.
  • El barista Ruta del Café, is a coffee place that offers nice inside and outside spaces. The WI-FI is excellent. There you can try a lot of different coffee varieties, served by very kind employees.

To do in your spare time

When you need a break, go to Salento or Filandia, two beautiful villages where you can walk around the colorful streets, have a good coffee and discover local handcraft. After that, you can visit a coffee plantation where you will discover the whole process of coffee production and you will try the best coffee of your entire life!

Cartagena

Let’s go to the Caribbean coast to discover the beautiful Cartagena. Well-known for its colorful streets and its tropical heat, this city will charm you without a doubt. The good thing about Cartagena is that everything is at a walking distance. The historical center is lively and full of people, you’ll find lots of streets seller and many restaurants. Getsemani is the bohemian part, quieter than the center, where it feels nice to live. Finally, Bocagrande is the modern district, out of the city where you’ll find big buildings on the seafront.

The good spots to work: 

  • Selina is a hostels chain which exists in different places of Colombia. They developped coworking spaces, very comfortable, modern and cosmopolitan. It is located in Getsemani, into a splendid colonial house. You can enjoy every spaces of the place, the bar and restaurant and the relaxing areas when you need a break.
  • Tuwok is a coworking space that helps people connect between each other. The place is calm, the facilities are comfy and the internet connection is great.
  • Café San Alberto is the perfect place for a good working day. The WI-FI is good, the coffee is excellent and the atmosphere is chill. Ideally located in the heart of the historical center, when you finish working, you can have a walk in the fortification to see the amazing sunset.

To do in your spare time

Walk around the city, get lost in the colorful streets of Cartagena, follow the rhythm of the Colombian music. Try the street food specialties, you can enjoy a delicious arepa or an empanada for a very low price.

During the week-end you can travel to the Rosario or San Bernardo Islands to get out of the noisy atmosphere of the city. Snorkelling, diving, and getting tanned are the only things you will need to think about, we guarantee you a total relaxation.

Santa Marta

Less known that Cartagena, the small town of Santa Marta has a lot to offer. It is located on the Caribbean coast, next to the famous Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Santa Marta will offer you calm and serenity. It is a good choice for a Digital Nomad who loves small towns, sea and nature.

The good spots to work: 

  • Flamingo, is THE most pleasant place to work. The atmosphere is tropical and cozy, the WIFI connection is great, the terrace is perfect to take a break. The little bonus? You can take Spanish classes there!
  • For the ones who prefer the atmosphere of a café, you can work in one of the Juan Valdez. You’ll find a good internet connection, a nice coffee and a lot of free spaces to work.

To do in your spare time

The city center is two minutes away from the beach. In 30mn by bus you can get to the small village of Minca in the mountains, or on a white-sand beach. You can hike in the Sierra Nevada, meet the indigenous communities and even do the Ciudad Perdida Trek if you have a good physical condition.

Colombia is not the first choice that comes to mind when you think about a country to move to, but it is undeniable that it is becoming more and more popular. If you decide to move to Colombia as a Digital Nomad, the only risk for you is that you won’t want to leave it (famous Colombian saying). This country has so much to offer, for everyone: culture, food, hikes, beaches and above all its amazing inhabitants, always smiling and welcoming.

Now pack your flip flops, your swimming suit and your hat in your suit case, oh and don’t forget your laptop! We are waiting for you, hasta luego !