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Cali, Colombia

aerial view of buildings and homes and green landscape with mountains in cali

Cali: Colombia’s City Of Eternal Summer (And Salsa!)

Santiago de Cali, also known as Cali, is considered the salsa capital of Colombia and the “city of eternal summer.” Cali is one of the oldest cities in the Americas, founded in 1536 by the Spaniards, the area having been inhabited by indigenous tribes before their arrival.

Cali is located in a valley with mountains to the west, the Cauca River to the east and plains to the north and south. It is situation at 3,340 feet (1,018 meters), with a warm climate and little pollution. The official language of Colombia (and Cali) is Spanish, used for all government transactions, as well as in most business situations.

If you are interested in moving to Cali and buying property, you’ll be interested to know that real estate prices can be significantly cheaper here than in Colombia’s more popular destinations, Bogota and Medellin. The property industry in Cali is fairly well organized, with a number of great deals always on the market. 

The city has a well built up infrastructure with reliable electricity, phone service, and high-speed internet. Roads and highways within the city are well-maintained, so owning a vehicle won’t require extra amounts of maintenance. You’ll find many of the typical conveniences that you’re used to back home, from shopping malls to boutiques, large banks with branches around the city, and tons of great dining options. With 150 multinational companies located in Cali, your job prospects are much greater than some of South America’s other top destinations.

In Cali, you can choose from a wide range of lifestyles. Whether you’re renting in the city center or purchasing a property on the outer edge, there are a great many options for every personal or family consideration. You’ll also be able to make friends with like-minded people, as there is a small but slowly growing permanent expat community as well as a growing “snowbird” expat community that are in the city to escape the snow during winter months up north.

And if you love dancing, the nightlife experience in Cali is second to none. 

 

Cost Of Living In Cali

Your cost of living in Cali could have a wide range, depending on your individual lifestyle and family size. The good news is that you can live a comfortable life, even modest budget. Renting will cost more than owning a home, of course, but this doesn’t factor in the substantial cost of buying a property.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Renting In Cali, Colombia
Budget Items Cost Cost Assumptions
Rent COP 1,500,000  Unfurnished, 80–90 square meter two-bedroom apartment (estrato 4–6).
Gas COP 40,000 Used for cooking, hot water, and gas dryer.
Transportation COP 150,000 Assume walking and light travel about town.
Electricity COP 250,000  Widely variable, assume air conditioning (turned off when not home).
Water COP 60,000  
Cable/Phone/Internet Bundle COP 142,000  This bundled price saves about 50% on these services.
Cell Phone COP 60,000 Two cell phones on postpaid plan.
Household Help COP 750,000  
Groceries COP 950,000  
Entertainment COP 900,000  
Total COP 4,802,000  

 

Monthly Budget For A Couple Owning In Cali, Colombia
Budget Items Cost Cost Assumptions
Rent COP 0  
HOA Fees COP 480,000  
Property Taxes, Monthly COP 250,000  
Gas COP 40,000 Used for cooking, hot water, and gas dryer.
Transportation COP 150,000 Assume walking and light travel about town.
Electricity COP 250,000  Widely variable, assume air conditioning (turned off when not home).
Water COP 60,000  
Cable/Phone/Internet Bundle COP 142,000  This bundled price saves about 50% on these services.
Cell Phone COP 60,000 Two cell phones on postpaid plan.
Household Help COP 750,000  
Groceries COP 950,000  
Entertainment COP 900,000  
Total COP 4,032,000  

 

Penny Pincher’s Monthly Budget Cali, Colombia
Budget Items Cost Cost Assumptions
Rent COP 1,200,000  Unfurnished, 80–90 square meter two-bedroom apartment (estrato 3).
HOA Fees COP 0  
Property Taxes, Monthly COP 0  
Gas COP 40,000 Used for cooking, hot water, and gas dryer.
Transportation COP 100,000 This assumes walking and buses, less taxi use.
Electricity COP 100,000 No air conditioning; fans only.
Water COP 60,000  
Internet Only COP 65,000  
Cell Phone COP 60,000 Two cell phones on postpaid plan.
Groceries COP 650,000  
Entertainment COP 600,000  
Total COP 2,875,000  

 
 

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