10 Best Cities to Live in South America
Let me assure you that living in South America can be both fascinating and challenging, probably beyond what you’re used to in Europe or North America. Maybe you’re a remote worker desirous of relocating to a new base in South America. Whatever your circumstance, you’re in for a new lease of life that is both exciting and dazzling depending on where you live. After making thorough research, I hereby come up with a list of the 10 best cities to live in South America.
These cities are globally affordable and offer a reasonably high standard of living. The fact is that these cities offer you some kinds of life that you might not find in popular cities on other continents. Therefore, as we discuss them, think about which one of the 10 best cities to live in South America suits you.
- Lima, Peru
Lima, the capital of Peru, is certainly one of the best cities to live in South America. If you want to enjoy an endless variety of foods in different tastes and at a low cost, Lima could be your choice. Passing through different corners of the city, the aroma of varieties of food will always grab your attention.
Even if you’re not a foodie, Lima offers a lot for anyone living in South America. It’s a large Pacific city with thousands of years of rich history and a vibrant culture being enjoyed by an active expat community. It’s not a place for just work. Lima has access roads for visitors visiting famous places such as Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The estimated cost of living in this the “City of Kings” is $1600
- Cuenca, Ecuador
Well, I’ll talk about Quito later when I return to Ecuador. But Cuenca is a viable alternative for an expat considering the best cities to live in in South America, especially if your program favors Cuenca. This Ecuadorian third-largest city is a cultural hub where some of Ecuador’s major festivals take place. Beyond that, it offers various culinary options, scenery, and the best of ancient and modern architecture.
It’s a city where you don’t have to worry about the hassles of public transport. You can easily sightsee attractions such as the Andes mountains, Amazon rainforest, or Pacific Coast during your normal workdays. One major reason why this is one of the best cities for a foreigner living in South America is the low cost of living. The estimated average cost of living in Ecuador is USD700 per month.
- Joao Pessoa, Brazil
Joao Pessoa is not a world-renown city. So let me take some time to tell you about this city and you’ll agree that it’s one of the best cities to live in South America. Joao Pessoa is the capital of the northeastern Brazilian Paraíba State.
While offering you every infrastructure you need to enjoy a city, it’s a less congested city. Thus, the air is clean, the roads are free, and the services are adequate. It’s such a naturally beautiful city where you will always be greeted with sights that can make you wish to enjoy the rest of your life there. But one very big factor favoring it as a great city to live in South America is that living there is much cheaper as the estimated cost of living is USD650 a month.
- Cartagena, Colombia
The Colombian city of Cartagena with its residential population of some 1 million people is one of the best cities to live in South America. The country’s fifth-largest city, also the second-largest in the coastal region, covers an area of 221 square miles. Cartagena has been marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This alone should give you an idea of what awaits you if you choose that city as your residence. You can find everything you need including restaurants, worship centers, and stores on the cobble-stoned street of the old city that retains much of its original colonial architecture. One of the most attractive things about living in Colombia and its city of Cartagena is that the cost of living is very low, estimated at USD750.
- Salinas Ecuador
Let’s go back to Ecuador and check the city of Salinas if you’re planning on living in South America and you’re definite about Ecuador. This is one of the best cities to live in South America for someone who wants to live in a place with all of city amenities such as modern condominium buildings, restaurants, bars, coffee cafes, stores, and discos at the snap of fingers.
Still, this is a beach city considered to be a kind of resort. The cost of living there is cheap considering the quality of life you’d enjoy. Ecuadorians consider Salinas a fully-fledged beach resort and that’s the beautiful city you’ll live in. The estimated cost of living in Salinas is $1000.
- Mendoza, Argentina
We cross over to Argentina to see if one of the best cities to live in South America is there. Hurray! We find Mendoza, the Wine Capital City of South America. Why we consider Mendoza is that it’s quite a simple city for foreigners to quickly feel at home if they want to make their living in South America permanent.
Have you ever wondered why Mendoza is one of the most visited cities in Argentina? Well, besides the love of wine, it’s also because of its proximity to the Andes mountains and natural parks. You can be employed to work in one of the many wineries in Mendoza. But you can enjoy adventure tours during which you can hike to the base of the tallest mountain on the continent, Aconcagua. The estimated cost of living in Mendoza is USD750.
- Quito, Ecuador
The third Ecuadorian city on this list of best cities to live in South America is Quito. Well, what more can I tell you about this interesting city located right in the region of an active volcano? Why am I including it here? The diverse composition of Quito, its beautiful natural environment, and its conveniences make living, working, and retiring in this city worthwhile.
The Quito weather is clement year-round and the city experiences, not four seasons, but just two —raining and dry seasons —which are super predictable. The transport system is quite appealing that you won’t even need a car. Meanwhile, the fare is affordable. You can get the bang for your buck here. That makes it a haven for expats desirous of the affordable city with the modern conveniences of a home. The estimated cost of living in Quito averages $1,100.
- Montevideo Uruguay
You can find one of the best cities to live in South America also in Uruguay. The capital city, Montevideo, is a nice option for anyone who’s not so much bothered about the cost. If your focus is maximum security that’s rare in cities and you want to have that in a place where you’ll enjoy benefits that are uncommon in South America, consider Montevideo.
Montevideo is not as big as its counterparts in Brazil or Argentina. But it’s so close to those cities that you can expand your options if there’s anything you lack in Montevideo. The economy is more stable and the healthcare system is excellent. However, the cost of living may be higher, estimated at USD1000 per month.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hardly would you find a modern and balanced account of the best cities to live in South America that omits Buenos Aires. Some tourism experts will praise the Argentine capital to the heavens as the continent’s most exciting city to visit. But I will add that it’s among the best to live and work. There is no dull moment in this truly 24-7 place.
In Buenos Aires, you can get the best of all worlds. While it produces an elegance found in European cities, it also gives you the energy from the Latin American soul, such as the one you find in New York. Cultures, cuisines, socialization, restaurants and bars, and architecture plus all you long in an ancient and yet modern city are here. On top of all that, the cost of living is reasonably low. With an estimate of $1,200 per month, you can enjoy your life in Buenos Aires.
- Medellin Colombia
We’re back in Colombia to visit yet another one of the best cities to live in South America. Medellin, a city that has reinvented itself in this 21st Century, is the destination. Medellin has been on several lists of safest cities in South America. Apart from safety, the city is accommodative of virtual workers and expats.
I will vouch especially for the affordability of this city which is cheaper even by South American standards concerning renting accommodation in its very heart. The cost of living here is estimated at USD600 per month. You can try this city and feel the greatness of living in South America.
South America is a quite cheap and cool continent to live and enjoy a good quality of life. Life is generally cooler there than what you get in North America or Europe. But it seems that Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador have a greater number of the best cities live on the continent.