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Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia and one of the best places to live in the country. Although most foreigners still relate Medellín with the drug trade, the city has left much of this violent pass behind. In fact, Medellín is rapidly becoming one of the fastest developing Latin American cities.


These radical changes are a result of an economical boom which have transformed it into one of the most cosmopolitan cities in South America; but without erasing the traces of the local Paisa culture, centered on coffee production - much of which is cultivated on hills close to the city.


Medellín is a place that continues to develop, and many new residential areas being constructed every year. In fact, some of its best neighborhoods, like Poblado and Laureles, have become a magnet for expats that wish to live in a well-organized city with a favorable exchange rate, vibrant nightlife and beautiful scenery.


There's too many benefits of living in Medellín to list them all here. That's why I chose my top 5 things that I love about Medellín to show you why this city is so special. And why I think it will leave behind other popular Latin American destinations, like Panama or Costa Rica, in the future.

THE CITY'S ECONOMY IS BOOMING

Medellín is at the forefront of Colombia's economical development. Not only does its Metropolitan Area contribute 11% of the national Gross Domestic Product, but it's also the scene of a technological revolution in Colombia. The city has been called "Latin America's Silicon Valley" due to its concentration of tech companies.


But even if you're not a techie you are sure to find plenty of job opportunities here. The city is home to the Antioquian Enterprises Group (Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño), which is a consortium of some of the most successful private companies in the country; and has made it one of the most attractive job markets in the continent.


Medellín is also a popular destination for thousands of tourists from all over the world. A big reason behind its popularity amongst foreign tourists is Medellín central place in Colombia´s fashion industry. The city hosts Colombiamoda, which has become the largest fashion event in Latin America.

MEDELLÍN OFFERS EXCELLENT LIFESTYLE VALUE

Medellín is one of the least expensive cities in South America. According to the Numbeo cost-of-living index is around half of that of New York. In fact, you can live comfortably in the city's best neighborhoods with just $1,500 per month. The prices on many services is also very low, which is why Medellín has continued to attract expats from Europe and America.


Although the costs of living have been rising slowly (a sign of the booming economy), Medellín still continues to be one of the cheapest cities in Latin America. Urban transportation is both easy and cheap, and the city's streets are well kept and mostly clean.


Public services in the city are also excellent. Not only is clean water and electricity widely available, but Medellín also has some of the best hospitals in South America. The city also is also home to more than 30 major universities which is the highest concentration of universities in any Latin American city.

MEDELLIN HAS AN EXCELLENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

Transportation inside the city is well organized, so you can move from one place to another without having too much inconveniences with traffic. Several lines of busways, metro and gondola lift lines allows passengers to move to anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes, while spending less than one dollar per ride.


Traveling to the rest of the country is also simplified by several highways and roads that converge on the city. You can easily travel to anywhere in Colombia, whether it's Bogotá, the coasts or even out of the country. The city is a forced step for many routes that crisscross the country.


Medellín also has a world-class airport, the José María Córdova International Airport, which is the second largest in Colombia, and has direct flights to every continent in the world. It also houses several airlines which cover the most popular national routes.

MEDELLIN HAS A PERFECT CLIMATE

While other cities in Colombia vary between being too hot, too cold, or too rainy, Medellín enjoys a cool climate which remains fairly stable through the year. This has earned the city the sobriquet of "the city of eternal spring" and through the day the temperatures fluctuate between 26ºC, at daytime, and a minimum low of 15ºC at night.


Rain is frequent but minimal, and since it mostly occurs at night it never becomes more than a small inconvenience for people who stay out late.


The city's pleasant climate is largely due to its location in the middle of the Andes Mountains, which are also a popular tourist destinations for both locals and visitors. Hiking through the nearby mountains is a common weekend pastime that provides impressive sights and an opportunity to enjoy fresh mountain air.

MEDELLÍN IS FULL OF THINGS TO DO

Medellín is a vibrant city full of culture. In almost every street you can smell the strong fragrance of locally produced coffee, and there's plenty of restaurants where you can try some of the mouth-watering local dishes, or have a taste from international cuisines from all over the world.


Most of the times eating on the street is preferable to stopping by on a restaurant. Not only will you save money, but you will also get a taste of delicious Paisa dishes like Arepas, Bandeja Paisa or Posta Sudada, prepared using natural ingredients.


The city is also full of green spaces where you can spend a pleasant afternoon, and just take a rest from the busy urban environment. Many parks are sprinkled through the city and are frequented by the inhabitants everyday. But if you love to shop you should pay a visit to downtown Medellín to see some of the most exclusive boutiques in the country.


Medellín is a hub for fashion and innovation. Thanks to Colombiamoda the city has becomes one of the most important fashion centers in Latin America. Many talented designers live in Medellín, while most streets downtown are adorned by colorful fashion boutiques that resemble those found in Paris or Milan.

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