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The Gringo Search for Ideal Climate in Latin America

Published January 12, 2022 in Colombia , Personal Stories & Opinions - 1 Comment

Being born and raised in Iowa, you tend to get extreme temperatures for a good deal of the year.

During some winters in the last decade, you might not even have a white Christmas oddly enough.

Then, during other winters, the conditions outside the house are so bad with snow and ice that you absolutely should not be outside.

Roll the clock about 6 months and now here’s summer.

During that time, it can become very hot outside with temperatures nearing or over 100 degrees.

Not to mention the crazy shit from tornadoes and all.

Anyway, because of that, I might be a little more adaptable to new and crazy weather.

Truth be told, blazing heat outside that makes you sweat your ass off like what you might find in areas like northern Argentina, Paraguay or Southern Brazil isn't the worst thing in the world to me. 

Granted, I prefer not to sweat my ass off but I’m OK with it. 

On the other hand, I wouldn’t find it terrible to live in a place with a tiny bit of snow like what you might see in the south of Patagonia around Punta Arenas in Chile or something.

Though, on that note, I would generally prefer not to have too much snow during any year (except just on Christmas day obviously).

Really, when it comes to strange weather, my strongest preference is just a place that doesn’t have too many natural disasters that will kill me.

Which sounds ironic since I live in Mexico City with all its earthquakes.

But I don’t really mind earthquakes whatsoever.

The only minor thing that I would change about Mexico City when it comes to weather or natural disasters is that I would probably make the rain less intense during the summer.

But going back to natural disasters….

Despite being from Iowa where flooding is common in some parts of the state, I don’t mind flooding so much that you see in other parts of the world.

The only things I really wouldn’t want to live around are tornadoes and hurricanes.

As long as neither one of those is a real issue, then I’m cool.

Still, having said that, if I could pick an ideal weather to live in, it’d probably be something that feels spring like.

Everyone says Medellin has spring like weather but I’ve never been there as of this writing so I can’t say.

Either way, it’s a small detail to the expat life in Latin America.

What type of temperature do you prefer?

After all, not all of Latin America is some giant desert or big tropical jungle.

It’s a huge region with a wide variety in temperature.

While I have yet to meet any expat who craves the snow in Patagonia (though I’m sure some exist), you do see preferences vary quite a bit depending on the person.

Let’s briefly look at some examples.

Love & Hate for Heat in Quilla

When I lived in Barranquilla, I was part of some group of Americans living in the city.

In the group, I remember the topic of Barranquilla’s heat being a point of conversation briefly in some office space.

To keep it short, you basically had two dudes disagree about how bad it is.

One of them being this Latino dude with Bolivian and Colombian heritage who loved the heat in the Caribbean Coast of Colombia.

Would say that it was one of the things he liked a lot about the city.

If he could sit in a lake in Hell with Satan where it’s 1000 degrees, he’d be content.

Could never be too hot!

And there was a black dude in our group whose name also escapes me right now who didn’t like the heat.

He didn’t seemingly hate it but he just felt it was too much.

Either way, I think this also brings out a side point about life in Latin America.

When some people think about living down here, they think of choosing a beach like destination.

While countless people enjoy living by the beach, you do hear about others who reconsider the beach life after enough time in some specific area.

The reasons can vary including getting tired of being hit by hurricanes to not enjoying how hot it might be wherever they are.

But, as we all know, not all of Colombia is the same with hot temperatures.

Yearly Spring in Colombia

Deeper into the interior of Colombia, you have cities that are described as having yearly spring.

Medellin is the most obvious example of this.

However, you got other cities that some people describe as having spring like conditions.

One of them being a city called Pereira in the Coffee Triangle.

As you can read here, the climate in Pereira isn’t much to complain about.

“In Pereira, the average daily high temperature ranges from 78.3 to 80.8 ° F (25.7 to 27.1 °C) and the average daily low ranges from 61.7 to 62.6 ° F (16.5 to 17.0 °C).  I

n both cities the temperatures are fairly constant year-round, which is why both are known as cities of “Eternal Spring”.

When I visited Pereira, I did meet a few others who seemingly enjoyed the weather.

I did also actually.

It was really nice.

The Rain of Bogota: Enjoy the Capital With a Second Option?

Sticking to our Colombian theme today, let’s now look at Bogota as an interesting example that can give us an idea of how to live in Latin America ideally for some people.

When I spent time in the city, I remember it being a tiny bit chilly and windy.

And, as you can see here, it gets plenty of rain!

“Bogotá has an average of 181 rainy days per year. Monthly rainy days vary between 21 rainy days in October and 9 days of rain in January. The fog is a very common event and it is present on average for 220 days a year.”

Though, as you can see here, apparently the rain is a more common issue during the summer months like in Mexico City.

“Bogota sees most of its rainfall during the summer months, even though it can rain here during any month of the year. Primarily, however, April and May usually have the highest amounts of rain, with June and July following. December, January and February are traditionally the months when it rains the least.”

I imagine anyhow someone looking to escape the consistent rain from Seattle would be a little bit annoyed if their expat dream was dampened a little bit upon realizing that their expat location has lots of rain also.

The thing though about these cities is that the rain is mostly an issue during certain months.

So, as an idea for aspiring expats, it’s not the worst idea in the world to combine your time with another city during those months.

There are various expats who do this where they spend certain months out of the year in one Latin city and certain months in another Latin city.

For example, I know of one guy who spends a good portion of the year in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and then spends a certain portion of the year in ay other city (usually a Colombian one like Barranquilla, Cali, Bogota, etc).

His reasoning though is more for legal reasons – he’s maxxing out tourist visas in both countries each year and basically lives in Latin America full time.

Though he does appreciate the change of scenery also by having that new city to enjoy every other 6 months.

So, be it for weather or legal reasons, it’s something to keep in mind if you choose to live in Latin America.

Maybe you like Bogota for reasons like how comfortable or more developed it is but can’t stand the rain during the summer.

Pack your bags and head to Barranquilla for a few months then before returning to the capital!

That’s one way to live.

Anything to Add?

In this article, you should keep in mind that we only touched one country as an example: Colombia.

With some minor mentions for Mexico City and the state of Iowa.

Still, it just goes to show how, even in just one Latin country, weather and temperature can vary quite noticeably.

Now imagine the differences you got across the entire region from Mexico to Chile and all of the differences in between those countries like the differences we can see in Colombia.

As an aspiring expat to Latin America, you got a wide range of options to choose from when considering where to relocate to.

As I said, I personally go back and forth between preferring that spring like weather and a very tiny bit of snow as it reminds me of home.

Not too much snow!

Just some for Christmas and New Years.

That’s it!

If I could live in a part of the world with spring like weather, where we can turn the snow on and off like that and with no tornadoes or hurricanes, that’d be perfect for me.

But, as I said, temperature isn’t the biggest motivation for me as to deciding where to live because I consider myself fairly adaptable to different climates.

You know, several decades of Midwestern weather has prepared me for the worst and craziest weather. You ain’t got nothing that’ll scare me.

Anyway, drop a comment below if you wish.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


1 comment

Dazza - January 12, 2022 Reply

I was in Pereira for awhile and I loved the weather – it always rained at night! And the thunder and lightning at night too! It made the place better with all those lush palm trees everywhere. I hate the cold crappy rain in the UK but didn’t mind it in Colombia – it was nice and refreshed the place everywhere.

There is a place similar in Malaysia called Ipoh, it is sat in the Cameron Highlands so it has that nice breeze with sunny days and though it does rain – it is very similar to how it is in Pereira – I would live in Colombia easily and it would be around the Coffee Triangle – for me, that’s as good as climate gets.

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