One of the questions we get asked is…
“Can you drink tap water in Medellin?”
Whenever you land in a new country, you can’t assume that everything will be the same as in your country. It’s no different when it comes to drinking tap water.
It’s important to be careful and rigid about making sure that it’s safe to drink otherwise, it can cause some serious health issues down the track.
Every year, thousands and thousands of tourists flock to the enchanting city of Medellin, Colombia. Whether you’re visiting for a few days or a few weeks, it’s good to understand if it’s safe to drink tap water in Medellin.
In this blog, we will answer that exact question and share more about drinking water in Colombia.
Quick Answer: Can You Drink Tap Water In Medellin?
Yes, you can drink tap water in Medellin.
It’s completely safe and we drank it for nearly 4 months without any issues!
But it’s not safe to drink tap water in every city in Colombia. For Medellin specifically, the water has been purified to the point that it’s safe to drink out of the running tap water wherever you are in the city. From the purification process to the ways it travels to your sink, it’s safe for drinking.
A lot of locals believe that the tap water in Medellin (and some parts of Colombia) are the cleanest in all of South America.
Should You Buy Bottled Water Instead?
That is completely up to you!
It’s safe to drink tap water in Medellin but some people still feel more comfortable buying bottled water. A small water bottle (around 600ml) costs around 3,000 COP ($0.65 USD) and a big bottle (around 1.5L) costs around 5,500 COP ($1.15 USD). So, if you prefer you can buy bottled water.
We were looking for those big blue gallon bottles that you can refill but couldn’t find them anywhere! When we were living in Mexico, this was how we got our drinking water in Playa del Carmen. That’s when we decided to do a quick Google search to see why not. Turns out they don’t sell them because well…you can drink tap water in Medellin!
Can You Cook With Tap Water In Medellin?
The tap water is safe to drink so it’s also safe to cook with tap water in Medellin!
We boiled our pasta using tap water plenty of times and never had an issue. If you don’t feel comfortable, you could try boiling the water first which can purify it (in theory).
Otherwise, you can buy a big bottle of water from groceries like Exito or Carulla if you really don’t want to use the tap water.
Can You Brush Your Teeth With Tap Water In Medellin?
Yes, it’s safe to brush your teeth with tap water in Medellin.
You can rinse and spit out the water and it should be fine. Again, if it’s from the tap – it’s safe to even swallow the water (but obvs wouldn’t recommend you swallow the water while brushing your teeth lol).
What About Ice Cubes In Drinks?
This is one of the most common ways to get caught out on bad drinking water.
We have heard some horror stories of people getting serviced an iced drink at a restaurant and end up feeling sick later. Yes – it can be as small as ice cubes that can cause a flare-up.
But is it safe in Medellin, Colombia?
Yes, it’s safe to eat/drink ice cubes in drink in Medellin.
Showering In Tap Water In Medellin
You should be fine to shower with the running tap water in Medellin. It’s safe to swallow and drink if you’re in the shower.
Making Tea & Coffee With Tap Water In Medellin
It’s completely safe to make coffee or tea with tap water in Medellin.
You can also boil the water before or you can buy some bottled water – it’s up to you!
Can You Drink The Water In Colombia?
It depends where you are!
The water quality is very good and it didn’t taste too different. Colombia continues to impress us – the fact that this developing country can provide safe drinking water to its citizens is outstanding! This is a totally different case in certain parts of Asia.
But not all cities have the right aqueducts to ensure easy access to safe drinking water. The largest cities in Colombia will normally have drinkable tap water while some of the more rural areas still won’t have that access like Santa Marta or Minca for example. If you’re in any of the major cities in Colombia, you can usually drink the water from the tap.
It’s best to always double-check. We’ve made a quick list of where you can and can’t drink the tap water around Colombia.
Here are some places that you CAN drink the water in Colombia:
Here are some places where you CAN’T drink the water in Colombia:
- Santa Marta
- Tayrona National Park
Most major cities in Colombia will have access to safe drinking water. It’s pretty common across Latin America for it to be unsafe but Medellin is an innovative city in every way!
Be careful with drinking tap water in Medellin because it isn’t safe everywhere! Make sure you always look it up beforehand before even taking a single sip. You don’t want to regret it later!
Is The Tap Water In Medellin Safe To Drink?
Yes, it’s safe to drink tap water in Medellin!
You don’t have to worry about the water being unsafe in Medellin. It’s safe everywhere within the city – no matter where you’re living!
While living as Medellin digital nomads, we enjoyed being able to just turn on the tap and drink from it. We didn’t like the inconvenience and waste that comes from drinking out of the bottle. It was the first time we have experienced being in a developing nation where we could drink tap water which was refreshing and incredible. We loved how Colombia was working to make it easy for their people to access safe drinking water!
We are very impressed with Colombia and the transformation that’s taken place over the last decade. The fact that you have access to safe drinking water from the tap is absolutely amazing!