Your guide to being an expatriate in Colombia

Caffeinate Your Colombia Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country mainly situated in the northwest of South America, with panhandle territories in Central America bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Venezuela, and the countries of Panama and Brazil. It is a republic composed of thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogotá. Colombia emerged from almost 52 years of internal conflict, culminating in a peace deal signed with the country's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in 2016. Now Colombia is widely considered a model of post-conflict transformation in Latin America. With natural attractions like the Coffee Triangle, paradise beaches, tropical jungles, and snow-capped mountains, Colombia is a destination that appeals to every type of traveler.


Expat destinations in Colombia

Demographics of Colombia:

Ethnic groups

Mestizo: 95%

Unknown: 0.5%

Multiple: 0.3%

Indigenous: 0.8%

Afro-Colombian: 3.4%


French: 0.1%

English: 1.7%

Italian: 0.1%

Spanish: 99%

Portuguese: 0.1%

Native languages: 0.1%

Religion Overview

Colombia is predominantly Roman Catholic, with the religion closely intertwined with its culture and customs.

Major Religions


Colombia's climate ranges from tropical to temperate, with altitude being a significant factor. The coastal regions experience high humidity and temperatures, while in the highlands, the climate is cooler.

Economy Overview

Colombia is the third-largest economy in South America and the 40th largest economy globally. The economy is driven by several key industries, including agriculture, mining, and technology.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Financial services
  • Commercial services
  • Technology
  • Major infrastructure projects

Major Companies

  • Bancolombia
  • Avianca Holdings
  • Ecopetrol
  • Cementos Argos
  • Pulses Corporation
  • Moody's Corporation

Culture and Language Overview

Colombia's rich cultural heritage is celebrated through its festivals, music, and food. The country is known for its lively dance scenes, such as salsa and vallenato.

Cultural Highlights

  • Carnaval de Barranquilla
  • Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata
  • Festival de Ibagué
  • Feria de Manizales
  • Semana Académica y Cultural a trois Jours
  • Festival Nacional de Cuisine Colombienne

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Colombia's diverse geography is characterized by vast expanses of lush rainforest, sparkling coastlines, and misty mountains.

Notable Landmarks

  • Los Nevados National Park
  • Canaima National Park
  • Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
  • Parque Nacional Puracé
  • Cocora Valley
  • Liévano National Park
  • Parque Nacional Natural Serranía de los Yariguíes

National Holidays

  • January 1: New Year's Day
  • Monday closest to January 10: Día de San Narciso
  • Carnaval de Barranquilla (February-March)
  • Tuesday before Ash Wednesday: Fausto Tuesday
  • April 2: Creation Day
  • April 9: Rubén Darío Day
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • June 29: Saint Peter'
  • July 20: Independence Day
  • August 7: Birthday of Simón Bolívar
  • August 15: National Mae capitán
  • October 12: Day of the Race
  • November 6: All Saints' Day
  • December 8: Immaculate Conception
  • December 25: Christmas Day

Political Stability

Colombia is known for its political stability and has made significant progress in post-conflict transformation. Having signed a peace deal in 2016 with the FARC, the country has taken strides towards peace and reconciliation. However, criminal gang violence remains a significant concern in certain regions.

Find out more about expats in South America

Latest articles for expats living in Colombia