Part of Colombia’s coffee triangle (along with Manizales and Pereira). Known for, well…coffee, and not much else. I’ll say right off the bat that this is my least favorite out of the three aforementioned coffee cities. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad! Because Manizales and Pereira are great. It’s just that, if you’re in the region and are pressed for time, do Manizales and Pereira. Armenia will be much of the same.
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CULTURE IN ARMENIA, COLOMBIA
Classiccoffee triangle culture. People are much more polite than in the big cities of Bogota and Medellin. There is much less crime and tension. The pace of life is slower and more relaxed. It’s a nice city but the old part was totally destroyed by a massive earthquake in the late 90s, so the city lacks the old style colonial architecture of the other Coffee Triangle cities.
HOW TO RENT AN APARTMENT IN ARMENIA
Should cost around $300.00. With the strong US dollar, you should be able to get something basic for that. As I always say, spend more to get more. More Airbnb rentals are popping up around here: a convenient option for a short term stay.
BEST BARS & NIGHTLIFE IN ARMENIA
I’d give Pereira and Manizales the edge if we’re comparing the coffee region cities. I didn’t find any hidden gems in terms of nightlife in Armenia, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any! Some chain clubs that you’ll find throughout Colombia are here too. Take this with a grain of salt – I’m no expert on nightlife in Armenia. The two main bar areas are in the centro and along Carrera 14.
Bars that My Latin Life recommend:
Mariajuana Ale House Coffee (Maria Juana): Its a restaurant/bar it has a pool table and club type atmosphere. Down to earth friendly vibe.
Beer Station – Jardín Bolívar: Beautiful spot with ambiance. Great tasting buffalo wings and selection of beers.
Discoteka El Balcon De La 14: If you want to dance reggaeton, this is your spot.
THINGS TO DO IN ARMENIA, COLOMBIA
Check out the Parque del Café, the famous chocolate-themed amusement park.
Head south to Cali, Colombia, only a 3 hour drive away.
IS ARMENIA, COLOMBIA SAFE?
Armenia feels reasonably safe by Colombian standards but exercise caution. If you stand out as an obvious tourist you could be a target after dark. During the day you should be fine. Dress down and don’t be too flashy. Probably safer than Pereira. You’ll find Armenia to be significantly safer than upscale areas of Bogota, Medellin and certainly safer than Barranquilla or Cartagena.
COST OF LIVING IN ARMENIA, COLOMBIA
The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.
*Figures are listed in USD
You’ll need a minimum of $640 USD/month to live in Armenia, Colombia
The good thing about these places is that you can find work an English teacher in some capacity (private, public, freelance). Most teachers go to Medellin and Bogota, so the markets there are crowded. In Armenia you’ll have less competition.
Perhaps a 6.75 rating is a bit harsh. It’s really not a bad city. It’s just that considering you have Manizales and Pereira right next door, there is really no reason to go to Armenia. In my opinion it doesn’t offer anything special that you won’t find better in the aforementioned coffee triangle cities. A great place to live cheap, focus on work, get a nice girlfriend, and focus on work. There’s also tons of nature nearby to explore. As an expat or digital nomad you’ll feel comfortable here, although bored after a while.
Be sure to read our city guides to every city in Colombia’s coffee triangle – Armenia, Ibagué, Manizales, and Pereira!
OVERALL RATING: 6.75/10
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