How Would Living in Mexico Compare to Colombia?

Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen

Yesterday I wrapped up a 5-week exploratory trip through Mexico. I arrived in Puerto Vallarta, and traveled across the country, mostly by bus, to Cancun.

Mexico’s proximity to the United States is exactly why I haven’t taken the time to visit in the past. It’s too close to be exotic, or so I thought.

In retrospect, that’s a self-limiting attitude. I much prefer to see a place firsthand, and then decide if it’s somewhere I’d like to spend more time.

Tip: Whether you’re looking to save money for a vacation, or extended travel, it’s possible to manage travel funds with separate current accounts. You can now find the best account for your needs online. To the degree possible, I always recommend paying for travel (or anything) in cash, versus credit.

Mexico left a very positive impression on me, and got me thinking about whether I’d enjoy living there as much, or more, than in Colombia.

Using the same 10 criteria Ryan used to size up Montevideo and Mendoza, here are my initial thoughts on a broader comparison, Mexico v Colombia…

1. Cost

Mexico. This is a close call, and made all the harder by the fact that I was always on the tourist trail in Mexico. I was eating at a lot of tourist-oriented restaurants, especially on the Yucatan.

I already know from friends that you can rent an apartment in Playa del Carmen for $300 a month, which is similar to what I’m paying for just a room in Medellin.

Of course you can find cheaper places in Colombia as well, but I haven’t found a beach town I’ve liked at first glance as much as Sayulita (north of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast), or Playa del Carmen.

We also know Colombia’s economy is on the rise, and the government is actually taking steps to weaken their currency as a result.

2. Culture

Tie. I can’t award this to Colombia simply because I’ve gotten to know its culture more deeply over the years.

I have a feeling if I delved into Mexico’s regional cultures, I’d enjoy them to an equal degree. Minus the tequila, I still can’t stand the stuff.

One thing I did notice is they have beautifully preserved and painted pueblos like Tequila and San Cristobal de las Casas, and historic city centers such as Puebla and Oaxaca.

Central Oaxaca is another potential place I could see myself living in Mexico.

3. Food

Mexico. This category is a slam dunk for Mexico. Tacos, enchiladas, moles, habanero salsas, chocolate. I could spend a lifetime exploring all the various combinations.

I ate an amazing meal at Pujol, a restaurant in Mexico City recently ranked #17 in the world. It’s one of a small handful of Latin American restaurants to make the list, along with Astrid & Gaston in Lima.

My taste for Peruvian food is part of why I spent 7 months in the country from 2011-12, and it might just be my stomach that leads me to do the same in Mexico.

4. History

Mexico. Also similar to Peru, Mexico has had a wide range of ancient civilizations set up shop throughout its history. While this isn’t something I’d encounter on a day-to-day basis, it does offer a lot of sightseeing opportunities.

I managed to visit 11 of Mexico’s 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While some of those are nature reserves, most are related to ruins and Mexican history.

5. Jobs

N/A. This category doesn’t apply to me, since I work for myself.

Broadband internet and Wi-Fi were easily accessible at decent speeds, and it cost about $45 to get a SIM card for my iPhone 4S, and 3 GB of data for 30 days (I actually used double that with no interruption in service).

Fusion beach bar and restaurant in Playa del Carmen
Fusion beach bar and restaurant in Playa del Carmen

6. Nightlife

Colombia. I love Colombian nightlife. I didn’t notice the same kind of ubiquitous bottle service in the Mexican bars and clubs, so I don’t think it’s cheap and normal like you find throughout Colombia.

I mostly drank Coronas, and strawberry daiquiris at the beach (dont’ judge).

I also didn’t dig the regional Mexican music and mariachi bands to the same degree I enjoy vallenato. I heard less salsa and reggaeton in Mexico as well, though it could be a different story in the non-touristy bars and clubs.

Playa del Carmen, for example, barely has a salsa-specific bar. One night I gave my phone to a bar manager to hook up to the sound system so I could give an impromptu salsa lesson.

If I were to live in Playa, I’d be missing Colombian-style nightlife for sure.

7. Safety

Tie. Both countries struggle with drug traffickers and street gangs. Peace with Colombia’s FARC would be good news, but I think most tourists face a greater threat from common street criminals.

If I were to live in Mexico, I’d be staying in either a beach town, or central Oaxaca. Without looking up stats, I think it’s safe to say such places would have much lower homicide rates than Medellin.

Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico

8. Scenery

Colombia. I traveled from Mexico’s Pacific coast to the Yucatan, and it was mostly hot and dry. I even so a brush fire along a highway on the way to Guadalajara.

To be fair, the rainy season is about to begin, and I know it can get quite wet on the Yucatan once the tropical rains start pushing through, but outside of the jungle in Palenque, the scenery didn’t do much for me.

At least not compared to what you get in Colombia with the mix of beaches, mountains, and jungle. It’s hard to find a greener city than Medellin.

I do have to give the Mayan Riviera and honorable mention, as there are some gorgeous beaches on Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum.

9. Sports

Colombia. FIFA currently ranks Colombia #6 in the world, with Mexico a distant #16.

Beyond soccer, Mexico has access to the second largest barrier reef system in the world, which leads to a lot of snorkeling and diving opportunities along the Mayan Riviera. But I’m not a diver, so that’s not a draw for me.

10. Weather

Colombia. I don’t know of anywhere in Mexico with better weather than Medellin, all year. If I were to live in Playa del Carmen, I’d have to accept much hotter temperatures, and air conditioning.


Colombia. I reached the end of the 10-point list, and realized Ryan didn’t list “girls” or “dating culture” as criteria. I didn’t talk to many (any) Mexican girls, let alone go on dates, but from looks alone, I have to give this category to Colombia.

Overall, it’s a close call, but I’m giving the edge to living in (Medellin) Colombia.

That said, I do see myself spending at least two to three months living in Mexico within the next year, probably in Playa del Carmen during the shoulder season when prices are lower, and there aren’t as many tourists.

It’s too beautiful a coastline to resist, there’s still so much I can do, and the food is amazing.

Where would you prefer to live, Mexico or Colombia, and why?


This post was written by Dave and brought to you by Lloyds TSB.

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  1. I had to laugh at this one: “I don’t know of anywhere in Mexico with better weather than Medellin, all year. ”

    You obviously didn’t head into the mountains in the center. I’ll take Guanajuato or San Miguel de Allende’s weather over Medellin’s any day. Almost always sunny, never too hot, never too cold, almost no pollution.

    Overall I’d say Mexico is FAR cheaper than Colombia in almost every respect. The fact you were mostly on the tourist trail really warped your impression I think. You were paying gringo prices all the way, which is never a good thing.

    • Hey Tim,

      Great to see you here, and you’re right, I’m not familiar with Guanajuato or San Miguel.

      Thanks for confirming what I suspected about the cost of living/travel.

      • The weather argument is silly. I moved here (from South Florida) expecting it to be hot and difficult I enjoy Medellin for having a pretty moderate climate in comparison so I couldn’t have been more wrong. Having spent time in Mexico he is right about the mountains, just like Bogota could seem cold as can be for people travelling from Medellin. It’s a matter of preference in the end. I always found “better weather” a silly argument as some people love the volatile seasonal changes and some like a steady climate.

  2. Interesting post. I’ve put off Mexico, but have grown more curious recently, especially because it’s a short hop from the US… When is the ‘shoulder season’ exactly?

    • I think it varies depending where you want to go. The Mayan Riviera is hugely popular, and I was mostly interested in Playa del Carmen as a potential base.

      High season in Playa is December to April (Americans and Canadians), then June/July for Europeans. After that, it’s hurricane season and it rains a lot, and sounds like a depressing place to be since it clears out of tourists.

      Based on my experience, April/May is ideal.

  3. I´m Colombian, and I would love to live in Medallo when I get back, BUT I love México. People, food, history, culture… Residence visa is not good for us so, I´m leaning towards Brazil so far. I´m in Portugal, I have all of that but its time to head home…

  4. My husband and I are heading to Medellin for the first time in July, but I have been to Mexico several times. I have never felt unsafe in Mexico, and yes – the beaches on the Riviera are wonderful (much better than the Pacific side), and overall, it’s just easy.

    We’ll see how we like Medellin as we are looking for a place to retire, and want to check it out. The progress made by the gov. and FARC is encouraging, but like you said, the trouble is really just from basic street criminals – something you don’t really worry about in Mexican Riviera. I spent a week in Guadalajara a few years ago – nooooo problems.

    • I was only in Guadalajara a short time, but enjoyed it. I met up with a friend of a friend there, and she mentioned that one of the reasons there’s not a lot of serious crime in Guadalajara (drug violence) is that’s where the cartel leaders live, and they don’t want a war in their backyard. Makes sense!

      It’s the same in Medellin. It’s really the gangs and cartels that control the level of violence. If they want to quiet things down to decrease attention from the cops, they do.

  5. Colombia is much safer than Mexico.

    In the past three years, 305 Americans have been murdered in Mexico while only 15 Americans have been murdered in Colombia.

    And as you point out, women and nightlife are also much better in Colombia.

    • Narco violence in Mexico is devastating ! In the last three years, more than 350 Americans, Canadians, foreigners in general, have been killed ! Killers first kidnap victims, then ask for ramsom money. Ransom is paid, but victims never come back, their remnains found decapitated, dismembered, and those parts are found stcocked in freezers, in houses of very posh neighborhoods….. Beaches have been plagued by murdering , and rape, of turists, and nationals, just this past year.

      • It’s really sad what’s happening there, for the Mexicans as well as the foreigners. Even worse, much of the drug demand is coming from the USA. Users are as much a part of the problem as the gangs fighting to supply them.

    • You’d have to share the tourism stats as well, otherwise it’s not a fair comparison. Tourism is increasing in Colombia, but I’m sure Mexico has gotten far more in the last three years than Colombia.

    • what an absolutely unfair and obtuse statement to make. As David lee mentioned you have to at least look at per capita incidents between these two. It took 30 seconds get some tourism stats on these two countries. In 2013, Mexico was visited by ~24 million tourists. Columbia, almost one million. So just looking at that alone you’re talking about a factor of 24 when comparing any numbers. Not sure how the American tourists numbers specifically compare to others nationalities of travelers, but you could easily argue that you actually have a better chance of being a victim in Columbia than Mexico (15 deaths X factor of 24 more travelers = 360).

      Then, many of these incidents are happening in the border towns of Tijuana and Juarez. Places not considered as points of travel in this blog and light years in opposite directions to places like playa or cabo.

      Past all those fundamentally obvious points, even in the most dangerous places in Mexico, what are you’re actual chances of being a victim. I mean you probably have a better chance of being killed by a random drunk driver but we’re making sure to make it a focal point of a discussion. I mean really: 305 deaths over 3 years / ~60 million tourists visits in those 3 years…so a .00005% of being a victim. And I’m not even going to wonder if those deaths were because of a stupid drunk frat kid in Tijuana who picked a fight with the wrong guy or was a tourist actually traveling on drug business.

      • Sorry Jake, but I have bad news for you.
        I’ve been living in Mexico for more than 7 years. I live in the lovely Ajijic, at Lake Chapala area, in the state of Jalisco.
        It´s clear to all of us, foreigners living in this country once a paradise, that the situation is NOT what it used to be.

        For the last two and a half years, we’ve been increasingly enduring kidnappings, extorsion and extremely bloody and cruel ways of killing (decapitating, dismembering, etc and, then, hiding the body parts in freezers in many luxurious, fancy neighborhoods , favorite areas chosen by drug dealers to live, of course).
        We, foreigners, are great targets for them since they’re dollars in the picture.
        Here in Lake Chapala’s area State of Jalisco, in Mexico’s west/center area, and this is just as a single example, those freezers with their horrifying, macabre contents, have been found in our own neighborhoods, as well as “casas de seguridad” (houses where kidnapped victimas are kept ) just NEXT DOOR (literally !) to our own homes, in our upscale neighborhoods. Not to mention our dear neighbors (an American/Canadian couple) who were murdered in their living room a few months ago (these are just the LATEST friends murdered, among so many others !!).
        Huge problems ? They´re essentially two :

        1- Police are involved in those crimes, believed or not, due to their known connection to drug dealers. A PROVEN fact…not just speculations !

        2- Media are not allowed to publish about this (specially about the most gruesome cases ….) to
        a) avoid panic b) Not to scare tourists away.

        It saddens me that this beautiful paradise has now come to this .
        Blessings to all.

      • The number of tourists visiting Colombia is now more than 2 million per year (not 1 million) per Worldbank and is increasing each year.

  6. I’ve made lots of Mexican trips, only one to Colombia.

    1. Climate: during my stay in Medellin I constantly compared its climate to Guadalajara, which I’ve visited several times. Other places on the Mexican central plateau also boast a pleasant climate.

    2. Music: not a specific category, bit Colombia wins easily (though I do enjoy mariachi).

    3. Oaxaca: I love this city. It also has a nice year-round climate.

    • Nice to hear Oaxaca has a good climate. I’d like to go back.

      I liked Guadalajara’s city center, but I already know it’s too big a city for me to want to live in.

      • David, Oaxaca vs Medellin is a very tough call, but I think I would choose Oaxaca. I would give music and climate (barely) to Medellin, food (though I had two superb dining experiences in Medellin) and colonial atmosphere to Oaxaca. Oaxaca is one of my favorite cities. Medellin feels more urban, Oaxaca more ancient. It’s a win-win.

        • Wil – yes, they’re two different types of cities, and I imagine, living experiences. I liked Oaxaca because it’s historic center reminded me of Colombian pueblos with the painted buildings. And I do like the feeling you get hanging out in pueblos.

          I’d also like to see more Mexican pueblos. The only one I really got to see was Tequila.

  7. The best town ever to live in is Richmond Virginia. We have 5 rivers to water ski in, the best mountain bike trials, clay tennis courts all over town, waves are only 2 hours away and we are getting a surfing pool with 10 foot waves soon, we are ranked as having the highest female population…..better than NYC. We have 6 universities and UVA is an hour away. Forbes ranks virginia as a great state to own a business…..thus why I have 7,000,000 in the bank! I have been to Medellin 15 times and I am always happy to be back home…..I have to work in san fernando plaza in poblado 2 weeks a year. I don’t like it at all………….ghetto.

    • Hi Gabriel,

      Thanks for introducing yourself. I’ve lived in northern VA 18 years (been to Richmond), and before that suburban NJ and NY. I have my opinions on all of them, just as you do on Medellin.

      Maybe you like to water ski, in which case Richmond rocks for you. I’m not saying Medellin or Colombia is right for everyone. But I do think it’s highly underrated, and has a lot to offer those willing to give it a try.

      At this point in my life, I’d prefer to speak Spanish every day and that’s only going to happen in Spain or a Latin country, not VA. I also prefer Latin music and dancing compared to what you get in the US (even though there are some excellent places to dance around DC, NYC, Miami, Vegas, and LA.

      For the most part, I just do not want to live in the USA right now.

      That doesn’t make where I do choose to live any better or cooler than where anyone else calls home. I’m spending time where I’m happy. As you are doing in Richmond.

      Maybe you think Medellin sucks, that’s fine, I respect your opinion, because you’re coming from a different place, and we care about different things.

        • For what it is worth, I also live in Richmond, Va. Been here about 7 years and I agree with the earlier comments about it being a pretty cool USA city. But regardless my wife and I are seriously thinking about retiring to Medellin. We’ve spent time in Oaxaca as well and looking forward to checking out David’s comparison.

      • admiration right there. I too live in Northern Virginia, have for 30 years and am tired of it. I desperately want to move, to either Colombia or Mexico (or 3rd place Italy). I feel Colombia is safer, but idk. I need to figure out how to get a visa to work, and get a job in those areas.

  8. I think the fact that you only know Mexico as a tourist really warped your perceptions of it. I’m mainly talking about the ‘Weather’ and ‘Scenery’ points. These two kinda boggle my mind here. Especially this line:
    “At least not compared to what you get in Colombia with the mix of beaches, mountains, and jungle. ”
    Um, first of all Mexico has also plenty of beaches, mountains and jungle. It is huge and it’s one of the most biodiverse countries , more so than Colombia and it has 9 out of the 11 climates of the planet.

    I think what happened here is that you traveled only through the Pacific coast all the way to Yucatán but pretty much left out the rest of the country. Mexico has several ‘sierras’ (mountain chains) and is forest in the center parts. Many of the central cities and towns and sierras make-up the more pleasant/temperate weather of the country (I understand Medellín has a semi-tropical weather)
    . Like somebody else mentioned, Guanajuato and similar central colonial towns. The mountain towns in Puebla (central-south) have a cold rainy climate. Not all the country is just ‘hot and dry’. Colombia is smaller and with its diversity closer together so it might give the impression that it has more variation, whereas in Mexico you have to travel longer distances to get to different regions. It’s a matter of perspective.

    A problem with Mexico being so big is that when tourists go they usually stay in the same area and extrapolate what they see to the rest of the country and think it’s all like that.. That’s like going to northern Brazil and think the whole country is a big jungle.

    Those are my main peeves. However I’ll add something else. Despite not being local styles, Salsa, Cumbia and other Caribbean styles are mad popular in Mexico. (Even reggaeton, actually) I suppose that partying in only tourist resorts is very different. But don’t forget, Mexico also shares a Caribbean coast and receives a lot of Caribbean influences thru it, mainly from Cuba (Salsa is originally Cuban), and also son cubano, merengue, bachata, etc. Lastly, soccer isn’t the only sport, for instance Mexico is world class in boxing and has produce more world champions than any other country.

    • You’re right. I made the comparison to broad.

      I should’ve been more specific, comparing my experience living in Medellín, CO with the specific cities I could’ve seen myself living in for at least a few months, including: Puerto Vallarta/Sayulita, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Playa del Carmen.

  9. I am taking a 2 week trip in February and have narrowed it down to Colombia or Mexico.

    If I went to Mexico I would probably fly into Mexico City and out of Cancun taking the gringo trail to get there.

    If Colombia I would fly in and out of Bogota. Make my way up to San Gil, then up to Santa Marta, Cartagena, Medellin, and back to Bogota.

    I don’t want to be on a beach the whole time, but definitely a portion of the time. I would like to take my scuba open water certification which I could probably do in either country. Colombia has whitewater rafting and the lost city trek. Mexico has surfing and ruins. I would definitely prefer the food in Mexico but I would prefer the nightlife in Colombia.

    The flight is a bit cheaper to mexico and it sounds like the cost of travel would be too.

    I realize that this is completely up to me and my travel preferences but any further input to help me make my decision would be greatly appreciated.

  10. I live in a small town one hour away from the capital of Bogotá, it´s mainly mountains where I live, Colombia has alot of wildness alot of trees you definitly see alot of green over here, we have hot weather, cold(where I live) if you go to villavicencio it´s very hot and its very straight there is no mountains so there is alot going on over here! I went to visit México 5 months ago, love it there culture, there people are very nice, except in México Df people werent as nice like in guadalajara or Guanajuato. San miguel de allende etc. I would obviously choose Colombia because people here are very nice we help everyone and we know how to dance not to mention how beautiful girls are over here! Our culture Vallenato if you go to Bogotá it´s crazy in transmilenios people get o to sing and rap , guitar etc. Every street has music, i can say music and God move colombia. what can i say we love to dance and have a good time. México was a great experience i went there for my quinces Guanajuato was my favorite there mumies and its a beautiful city very colorful ! I cant say about the weather because Colombia has very diferent weather depending on where you go. only three hours away from Bogotá is very hot. while bogotá is very cold. If you go to colombia see the minas de sal, it´s beautiful. I recommend Colombia anyway.

  11. The hot mexican girls usually are narco related but there are also the rich ones who are by far better than combian. Colombian girls have way too much sillicone

  12. From my experience, Colombia is quite a bit cheaper than Mexico, but I guess it depends on where you go. Mexico wins in the food department and has better beaches, but I think that’s about as far as it goes. Colombia is a far more interesting country to me. There is no American spillover, like you’d see in Mexico or Costa Rica. You can walk around Medellin on any given day (or Pereira, which is a cleaner, calmer version of Medellin) and not see another gringo. I travel to get away from the typical American lifestyle and I always get a little bummed when I see other goofy tourists like myself. Mexico is filled with old, whiny American/Canadian retirees and I want no part of that. And Latin women are beautiful everywhere, but Colombia is on another level than Mexico. Plus, Colombian women are generally more educated, take better care of themselves and age better than Mexican women. I think the people who believe Colombia is more expensive have only been to the North Caribbean coast (i.e., Cartagena, Santa Marta), which is quite expensive. But the rest of Colombia is very, very inexpensive.

  13. Reading this I feel like I have to step up and say something.. It is very evident that a lot of people commenting here dont know much about Mexico, and yet seem to have strong convictions on top of a lack of knowledge. First off, Mexico is huge. You cannot compare it to Colombia. Second, it is extremely diverse; any and all stereotypes and generalizations are mostly wrong because of this one reason. Also, if you dont know Mexican nightlife, you dont know Mexico. Mexico has one of the most top notch, exclusive nightlife’s in the world. If you don’t know this, its because you aren’t in with the crowd, or wealthy Mexicans. The truly fun and classy clubs and bars are for the high society of Mexico. Not the tourists. Lol. Go to colonial towns, big cities, and world-class beaches. And btw, I’m from NC, but have lived in Mexico City. I got to meet the kids from the suburbs and expensive neighborhoods. The girls there are insanely hot. Not what you would expect going off American Media and pop culture. So as far as Colombia taking the gold for hot girls, id have to say that Colombia is only size of a state in Mexico. You want to meet the hot girls, hang out with the right people. [redacted] Though there are some towns in Jalisco with very beautiful girls. So…having said that, visit southern Mexico city and neighborhoods like La Condesa, Pedregal, Lomas de Chapultepec, Perisur, Satelite, Bosques de Echegaray, etc… The nightlife there is cooler and hotter (at the same time) and more fun and with more hot girls than anywhere ive ever experienced in the US. Also, there is a peculiarly large amount of Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Jewish, and German communities. Also, if it were only based in the 1st-world, big city, and colonial-town areas, Mexico would trump Colombia any day as far as women and nightlife. But, again, Mexico is huge and very diverse, so generalizations are deceptive..

    • I’d argue that the higher class women in Medellin and Colombia in general absolutely blow away the high-class women from Mexico city and Mexico. Perhaps the latter are more accessible because they generally speak fluent english and dating foreigners doesn’t carry a stigma for them as it does in Medellin. But purely based attractiveness there’s no comparison.

  14. Also, I can guarantee Mexico is a lot more expensive than Colombia. You cant compare rural Mexico to urban Colombia. If you compare the urbanites of both countries, you would realize that there is a humongous difference in prices and wealth. Colombia seems like a great place with a lot to see, but comparing it to Mexico would be like comparing the Ukraine with Russia.

  15. Seems like a lot of people likes Colombia more than México, but then I wonder why Mexico has way too much more tourism than Colombia, if a lot of people prefer Colombia than México?
    I don’t get it.
    You can really compare México to Colombia, both speak spanish but are very different countries.

    • I am an Expat , Italian expat , I have lived 4 years in Colombia and 6 in Mexico , another 2 in Ecuador (the worst place in Latin America yes .. forget Ecuador). Mexico wins hands down. Much more cheaper than Colombia. If you live like a resident Mexico is more cheaper , house , personal care, cars , flights are till 30% cheaper , alcohol is 40% cheaper , restaurants , in some cases In Colombia are cheaper , but we are talking about a very little difference .About girls, more open , more easygoing , More sexual in Mexico, more natural in mexico . Nightlife , Cancun , Mexico’s city
      Wow !!! The capital of the night life in Latin America !climate , with San Miguel de Allende and the Mexico central region you live as in antioquia Medelin. Crimes , medellin and Colombia too much unsafe , very dangerous in comparison with Mexico. Mexico is a continent, 140 millions of people, 48 millions of tourist in 2017 , Colombia only 2… .You can fly from Cancun to bogota for 40 USD thanks to the Mexican Low cost Interjet , you can fly to Miami at same price , this is not possible in Colombia

  16. Hi☺I’m a 18 year old girl. I love both countries but I have to choose one for education. Which one is more safe for living lonely? What about rent an apartment?which one is more expensive? Sorry for my bad English ?

  17. Id say this was a good assessment having lived in Mexico and traveled a lot to Colombia. To make the best of both worlds I think having a Colombia wife or GF and living in Mexico would be the best of all combinations or opening a legit Mexican restaurant in Colombia.

  18. This post seems a tad biased. I stopped taking it seriously when you mentioned the nightlife in Colombia is better than Mexico’s. Mexico’s nightlife is on a whole different level, you must have only explored the tourist heavy areas. There’s a reason Mexico was the 9th most visited country last year. I encourage you to visit again and visit more places than the typical tourist hot spots.

  19. Lived in Both, 6 years in Playa del Carmen Mexico , 5 years in Medellin, Colombia. Playa del Carmen wins hands down.
    It is nos even possible to compare Mexico culture with the Colombian. Life style, especially healthy Life Style, is a pure Mexican way of Life , not a colombian one.Just see how terrific is air contamination in Medellin, and Bogota.Both cities are the two most contaminated cities in Latin America.Also look the time spent in traffic.Medellin and Bogota again have the primate in that category in all Latin America .Bureocracy : Mexico is north americanized, Colombia is South americanized, for each paperwork done in Mexico you must do 5x more in Colombia.Mexico is more open to international investments and foreigners.Just take a flight go to mexico and go to a bank, they require just your passport and open you a Bank account at HSBC. Do the same in Colombia.They need residency permit , proof of where are coming your money , working permit, rental contract, exct .Night life.This is something i should not talk about , as it is obvious Mexico is the King of Night Life in Latin America.50 Millions of tourist in 2018 .Colombia just 1.9 millions. Weather.I like Medellin but I do not like the winter in Medellin.No one write about this.But there are more than 6 month of daily rain in Medellin .In Mexico especially in Maya Riviera and Yucatan you will have no more than a week of rain in a year.Girls…have you ever seen Guadalajara girls??? If not take a flight an look with your eyes, then compare with medellin girls.Cost of living.. in Medellin I have paid a car the 35% more than the same model bought in Mexico.Same model but with manual transmission.In Mexico with automatic transmission.In Colombia that model has not an automatic one even If i want pay more for that.If you buy in Iphone in Mexico it will cost the same than in Miami, in Medellin it will cost till the 40% more.Yes Medellin is more latin than Mexico, but believe me Mexico is another world.People, in that aspect depend of the situation, customare care is better in mexico, very efficient and fast, not in Medellin and in generally Colombia.Amazon Prime in mexico is incredible and also you can buy on amazon USA and receive in just 24 hours to Mexico .In Colombia , Amazon ?? Really?
    Where? .COSTCO, WALL MART , OFFICE DEPOT , Home depot , are everywhere in Mexico.Not In Colombia they do not exist.Goods in Supermarket are cheaper in Mexico, and also there is a lot more variety than Colombia.Prices are bette in Mexico, generally fruit and fish is til 50 % cheaper in Mexico than Colombia.Homes are cheaper in Colombia especially Barranquilla and The costa, also in Medellin, homes are cheaper if compared with Playa del Carmen and Cancun, but if you go to Merida , Yucatan you can buy for 50k dollars a villa of 200 square metres , this is not possible in all Colombia.ROI on your home investment ? from 14 to 19 % each year in Playa del Carmen Mexico , against no more that 2/3% in Medellin.Just think what you want.But after many years spent in both I surely prefer Mexico .Also it is much cheaper and easier take residency in Mexico than Colombia.In Mexico they do not require paperwork or a lawyer to do this, immigration talk fluent english, in Colombia no one talk fluent English.Eating in Mexico is not comparable with Colombia .Just take a flight to Playa del Carmen, Cancun or Merida and see.What about Mexico City ? 20 millions of people and the most dynamic city in Latin America and not with the terrific traffic seen in Bogota.

  20. The post could be updated .. After living 9 years in Colombia, 4 in Bogota, 2 in Cali and 4 in Medellin, I have moved to Mexico. Actually living in Playa del Carmen, State of Quintana Roo. I have visited and lived in Mexico City, San Miguel del Allende and Merida. The big differences I can resume are these :
    Mexico is more safe and organized
    Colombia is still unsafe and socially unstable
    Mexico has an interesting nightlife especially in Playa del Carmen and Cancun and of course Mexico City .
    Colombia is not so interesting, night and social life end quickly and it not so difficult see that at 10 PM restaurants are all closed in every point of interest of a city .Simply Colombia has not an established nightlife culture like Mexico has.
    Woman , Colombia has a lot of beautiful woman, but many are simply a result of plastic surgery .Also many come with you for money . In Mexico forget plastic surgery, girls are more genuine and in some place famous for sex adventures like Playa del Carmen , you can simply find the best of the best Mexican girls, Colombian or Venezuelan or European or Argentinian girls without traveling all the world . You can simply find the best sex opportunities in Playa del Carmen . Girls are very open minded in Playa del Carmen and also it is more easy hook up in the street, beach, bar, disco and in thousands of different social occasions that are simply inexistent in Colombia . Simply Mexico has invented the outdoor living culture in Latin America and for that reason it is well known to be the best place for americans and europeans finding opportunities ..Weather, frankly , Playa del Carmen is HOT , too much sun . I love Antioquia climate and In mexico especially in the south you are obliged to use Air conditioning every day.

  21. Interesting post. I’m glad I came across this article while exploring my mini retirement destination options. Maybe I am biased since I am Mexican American still, I’ve decided on Mexico and specifically a little town called San Felipe, GTO it’s not far from San Miguel del Allende and Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato and Leon. There are so many great places to visit and the cost of living is affordable. I think most people forget about the non touristy areas. It’s like stepping back in time when visiting a colonial town and admiring the beautiful architecture. I’d still visit Columbia although not live there long term like I would in Mexico.

  22. Interesting take, though I disagree. Mexico has perfect weather and better food, the nightlife is great if you avoid tourist areas. The girls are also beautiful and more down to earth. Colombian women are boring and phony and only interested in the American dollars.

  23. Great thread. Colombia is an up and comer for Americans. It’s interesting too hear what people who have lived in both countries think. More people have been to Mexico so there’s definitely a bias in that direction. I’ve been to plenty of places in Mexico. Backstreets and non touristy areas. I love San Miguel de Allende and the state of Guanajuato….San Miguel does have considerable air pollution and crime by the way… Mexico is so huge that all the states are like other countries. Baja is completely different than Veracruz or San Cristobal Chiapas…Colombia looks beautiful. I’m sure it’s fantastic. Medellin looks very cool to me. The Mexico/Colombia comparison is like apples and oranges, both great. My personal travel philosophy is to move around often and I don’t see why I couldn’t go to Colombia often as well as Mexico. Why limit yourself?