Medellín vs Algarve: Which is the Better Place to Live? - Medellin Guru
Medellín vs Algarve, Portugal. We comprehensively compare the two places in 21 categories to see which is the better place to live in for expats.

Medellín vs Algarve: Which is the Better Place to Live?

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18 thoughts on “Medellín vs Algarve: Which is the Better Place to Live?”

  1. Geoffrey August 11, 2021

    According to the latest data supplied by Numbeo.

    Consumer Prices in Algarve are 107.07% higher than in Medellin (without rent)
    Consumer Prices Including Rent in Algarve are 115.45% higher than in Medellin
    Rent Prices in Algarve are 145.23% higher than in Medellin
    Restaurant Prices in Algarve are 169.91% higher than in Medellin
    Groceries Prices in Algarve are 92.03% higher than in Medellin

  2. Edward W Hall November 17, 2020

    Trying to get your publication and pay for it but for some reason I am going around in circle. HELP

  3. Wow that is a comparison I have not come across. While Algarve is popular, I was not aware of Medellín as a retirement destination for expats. Cool info you presented here and impressive data on education options – 40 universities – WOW!

  4. Jeff, you mentioned that Colombia no longer taxes foreign pensions. Is there a limit to the amount earned and when did this take effect?

    • Hi Jason, this went into effect this year according to my Colombian accountant. There is a limit but I understand it’s pretty high. I plan to write an updated income taxes article after I find time to meet with my Colombian accountant.

      • Jeff,

        You were absolutely correct. Just had an appointment with an accountant here and the first 120k of a foreign pension is tax free. The change was passed in December of 2017

  5. Very nice comparison. Could you do another one comparing Medellin with Chiang Mai, Thailand? It’s another top rated foreign retirement location.

    • Hi Mark, thanks. Some other readers also asked for a comparison to Chiang Mai, so it has been added to the list of future topics.

  6. Hi Jeff,
    thanks a lot for your well researched article. Here are my two cents: The opportunity to use my convertible 10 out of 12 months in Portugal (vs zero out of 12 months in MDE) plus virtual non-existence of violent crime plus lack of shopping malls 🙂 would easily convince me of Algarve (you really got me thinking here)! Some other facts worthwhile to consider: Portugal is incredibly rich in history (think places like Evora, Batalha, Tomar, Braga, Sintra, to name just a few) and Lisbon is arguably one of the most charming capitals of Europe. Which means you have abundant places for weekend trips. Then there is Spain around the corner. And while certainly the Algarve is, geographically speaking, on the fringe of Europe, most European regions with their rich and varied cultural highlights are a mere two hour flight away from Faro. If you don’t speak either Portuguese or Spanish, both are equally easy (or difficult) to learn. As I said, just my two cents

  7. Gregorio Puro December 12, 2018

    Yeah Jeff ,, you’re right about that ,, but I was referring to Lisbon ,, anyway to me the distance of the flight is not my deciding factor .. lifestyle and pollution is at the top of my list. I lived in Medellin for 22 months ,, Laureles, Poblado, Envigado AND Sabaneta ,, got tired iof the congestion and the dirty air ,, always had a cough ,, now living in Armenia ,, Coffee Triangle ,, beautiful ,, Tranquilo.

  8. Gregorio Puro December 12, 2018

    A flight from New York to Portugal is maybe one or two hours longer than a flight to Medellin or Bogota.

    Not a big deal.

    • Sorry, there are NO non-stop flights from New York or anywhere in the U.S. to the Faro airport in the Algarve.

      So, you have to connect somewhere, which will make the trip at least 10 or 11 hours. It’s 6 hours non-stop from New York to Medellín. So, 4 or 5 hours longer to Faro.

  9. No way I am traveling all the way to Europe for retirement when there are places like Medellin. The easy choice for me was Medellin after I checked out Panama and Costa Rica.

    • Hi Peter, thanks for your comment. Yes, IMHO not many from the U.S. will travel all the way to Europe to retire.

  10. I spent about six months in Algarve. Many of the restaurants and bars close in Algarve during the winter and it becomes like a ghost town and in the summer it is swarming with tourists. And I agree you need a car there as the buses don’t run very late and buses don’t run frequently.

    Live & Invest is a joke recommending Algarve as the best place in the world to retire. Algarve has seasons and it gets cold and hot. Properties there are pretty expensive due to it being popular with Europeans moving from colder countries and being popular with Europeans on holiday in the summer.

  11. The biggest advantage the ALGARVE has over MEDELLIN is the Atlantic Ocean and Fresh Air ,, not even close.

    Day after day ,, Medellin is becoming more congested and more polluted.

    While admitting that no place is perfect, I’ll take the ALGARVE and the Atlantic Ocean.

  12. Nice comparison. How can Live & Invest Overseas select Algarve as the best place in the world to retire? Looks like a tourist trap to me that is overrun with tourists during the summer. The retirement publications are a scam and just talk about places with rose colored glasses.

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