An Interview Shaun & Herman founders of Digital Nomads Medellin.
Medellin has been a buzz over the past years, and one of the reasons is that my good friends Shaun and Herman who run the web design agency Hola Webdesign and Medellin Airport Transfer. They have put a lot of effort into building the Digital Nomad Medellin community and organized many large meet-ups over the last year.
In this interview, we’d like to speak with the founders of Digital Nomads Medellin to find out what the hype is about.
There has been a lot of buzz about Medellin recently. Why do you think Medellin is a great destination for digital nomads?
Medellin offers great weather, Latin culture and low cost of living in a very vibrant city. You can stay in an upper-class neighborhood like Poblado, which offers plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, coworking spaces, and bars or you can live in a more residential neighborhood like Laureles and experience the great Medellin lifestyle. There are lot’s of great day trips from Medellin to do fun stuff and escape the city, and because of our growing community, it’s very easy to get in touch with other nomads that are currently in the city as well.
What’s the cost of living in Medellin?
If you have dollars or euros to spend you will be able to get some really nice deals on apartments. In Poblado, you will pay around 300-400usd for shared and$800 for a private apartment for a month. Outside of Poblado, Laureles is a great option that is a little more affordable; it’s also getting more and more popular with digital nomads. A typical lunch is around $5 and going out for a nicer dinner around $15. Transport is also cheap, a 20-minute taxi ride is at around $5, and for $1 you can take the metro.
What’s the infrastructure in Medellin? Is it a great place to work?
Coworking spaces are popping up like frozen-yogurt stores at the moment, and there are lots of cafes with excellent quality Colombian coffee. The Internet at the coworking spaces is good. Overall, there’s a digital vibe going through Medellin; you will find many like-minded nomads or locals working online.
How much time do people stay in Medellin usually?
A tourist visa is valid for three months and can be extended for another three months at the immigration office. Most digital nomads initially visit for a few weeks, but many will extend this to the maximum of 6 months. As the national tourism slogan says: ‘The only risk is wanting to stay.’
What’s the best time of the year to visit?
Medellin is known as the city of eternal spring, meaning it has great weather all year round. Medellin does have two rainy seasons that normally fall between September and December and March and May, but this doesn’t mean it should stop you from coming. It might rain for an hour in the afternoon, which is usually a pleasant break from the warmth.
What’s the nomad scene like in Medellin? What type of people visits the city?
Compared to a few years back, the Nomad scene has grown really fast. The Digital Nomads Medellin Facebook Group has doubled in the past few months, and we organize a big meet up every month, as well as hikes outside of the city. We have a very active Facebook community that regularly organizes spontaneous drinks or lunch meet ups.
How do people spend their free time in Medellin? Any activities you can recommend?
Medellin can provide a lot of things to do for any visitor. If you’re an outdoors type of person, you could explore the surrounding mountains or visit the beautiful villages that dot the region. On the other hand, you could stay in the city and check out many of the cultural events going on, such as live salsa nights, open air cinema events, or a football game in the city’s main stadium. After a couple of weeks in Medellin, you will get used to when and where things are happening.
Where can digital nomads plug into the community? Can you recommend any events or groups for first timers?
Well, first of all, we would recommend the Digital Nomads Medellin Facebook group. We’re lucky to have a really active group that’s full of both Medellin long-termers and new visitors. We hold a monthly meet-up so that we can all meet in person. Anybody can organize meet-ups within the group so don’t be shy. You’ll find nomads lurking all over the city, so you’ll find like-minded friends super easy.
Where can people learn more about Medellin? Any tips for great websites and communities?
There are lots of great resources out there such as Medellinliving.com or various Facebook groups for expats. People in these groups are usually super helpful. If you need to know everything you could also download our Digital Nomads Medellin Guide here: http://www.digitalnomadsmedellin.com.
I’ve heard such great things about Medellin and recall watching a documentary about the city and the mayor two years ago and everything they were investing to attract more people. It was an ambitious plan and sounds like it’s paying off – at least with digital nomads.