Hacking Colombia: At Home

Whether you plan to live in an apartment or a house in Colombian urban areas, the way we live in our homes may differ a bit from what you’re used to in your country of origin…

  • Washing dishes: Almost nobody has a dishwasher. We wash our dishes by hand. Some homes don’t have hot water in the kitchen sink.
  • Washing clothes: Almost any home or apartment has outlets and space for a small washing machine. Usually only cold water washing.
  • Drying clothes: Almost always by air. There is usually a window with vents where you can install a wall mounted drying rack (extendedero) or deploy a foldable floor one.
  • Hot water: Almost always a wall mounted gas burning water heater. Some homes, mostly rural, do not have hot water. Sometimes hot water isn’t connected to all showers and sinks.
  • Cooking: Almost always gas burning stove. Might have one electrical element. Oven, if present, is also gas, but many use it to store pots and pans!
  • Bathing: Mostly not modular (not prefabricated) showers and no bath
  • Electrical outlets: All 110 V with American style 2 flat vertical prong plugs (one larger than the other) [see photo above]. Older homes might also have outlets for 2 round peg prongs.
  • Toilets: American-style commodes.
  • Bidets: None.
  • Air: Usually ceiling fans or none. Air conditioning is extremely rare.
  • Mosquito screens: None.
  • Car park /driveway: Almost always one or more parking spaces

Note: The above describes conditions in mostly middle class dwellings.

We also have these guides to help you find a home in Colombia:

Header Photo: Cali.

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