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High-IQ LatAm Locales
A rarity, but you can find em'
Picking up my laundry one afternoon in the affluent neighborhood of Miraflores in Lima, Peru — I had a realization about, well, the lack of common sense and/or mental math ability in Peru.
I handed the owner of the laundry mat a 50 Peruvian Soles note. The price for two loads of laundry was $27 Soles.
As I was quickly running the mental math in my head, $23 Soles, she handed me the exact change without using a calculator…
Something that doesn’t always happens in Peru.
I made a comment about her doing that quickly in her head. She laughed and replied, “Yes, it’s kind of rare in my country. One of the reasons I own my own business!”
We both laughed and I headed out.
But her comment stuck with me, about how few people in the country could do mental math at the level a 7-year-old should be able to.
Walking into a restaurant in Bariloche, Argentina one evening around 7:00PM. My buddy and I had just hiked for 6+ hours. We were exhausted and looking to grab a massive steak or two before passing out at the hotel.
The place was huge, maybe 100+ tables. Around 30 of those were booths for four on the outside of the restaurant.
So we ask the waiter, “Table for two, a booth please.”
Mind you, there’s no one in this restaurant. Maybe a handful of tables have people in them. Argentinians do NOT eat dinner at 7:00PM…ever. More like 11:00PM. There is no dinner rush coming for hours.
The waited looks confused, “Do you have more people joining you?”
Waiter: “Oh, well we can’t give you a booth. Those are for groups of 4.”
Me: “Ummm, we’d like a booth. We’ll be out of here before anyone shows up for dinner.”
Waiter, mentally not able to comprehend seating two people in a booth during low hours and starting to get rude: “Ummm, I can’t do that. You have to sit at a table. I’m not giving you a booth for just two.”
Me: “Uhhhh, no thanks. Go fuck yourself.”
Then we proceed to the restaurant next door and get a big booth…for only two people.
These are just two of MANY situations I’ve encountered in Latin America over the years that highlight…
The lack of common sense found in many areas throughout the region.
One country where it’s common to use a calculator to do grade-school mental math. Another country where waitstaff cannot comprehend that treating customers in a friendly manner equals better tips.
Suffice to say, finding cities in LatAm where the local populace is fairly sharp isn’t always easy.
High IQ Cities in Latin America
Luckily, I’ve done the dirty work for you.
After visiting hundreds of cities in the region, I’m confident the cities listed below are home to some of the most competent people in the region.
Of course, there’s sharp people everywhere. In any big city.
This list is simply where I’ve found the most of them congregated in LatAm…
Budding tech hub in LatAm, I’ve been more than surprised at how sharp many of the locals are in GDL.
There’s tons of corporate jobs in this Mexican City, the second largest in the country. But more than that, this is where almost all Mexican doctors come to study.
As such, there’s a plethora of high IQ students, doctors, and specialists.
Almost everyone at my BJJ gym speaks good English. A handful also speak French. At least half have traveled to the USA and Europe before. Most are studying to be doctors or already have a nice corporate gig.
Panama City, Panama
The wealthy from all over South and Central America tend to congregate in Panama City, Panama. They buy real estate in PTY, bank in the city, and send their kids to study here.
Plus, the place is an international banking hub. Not to mention, there’s a growing crypto scene here — with locals doing dev work and designing their own projects.
You’ll find tons of sharp expats in the city too, especially from Spain.
Things just work in PTY, and for good reason, there’s a lot of sharp people from all over the world here.
Sao Paulo, Brasil
Sao Paulo is the biggest city in the Americas, not only in Brasil — with an economy that dwarfs many nations in the region.
There’s an insane amount of money here. And with money, comes competence and IQ.
Competence meaning Sao Paulo is one of the few Brasilian cities where everything actually works. Truly a rarity in the country.
Nice apartments, fast and reliable Internet in Airbnbs, modern amenities, and more. You won’t be missing for anything here, as SP has everything a man could ask for.
Banking, tech, crypto, medicine…you’ll find it all in SP. Millions of sharp people live here.
The cream of the crop often gravitates towards capital cities in LatAm. This is certainly the case in Bogota, Colombia.
Here you’ll find tons of sharp, successful Colombians living in the nicer neighborhoods.
Even the young women here generally are sharper than the average in Colombia, as many girls move here to study medicine, dentistry, accounting, etc. The opposite of Medellin ;)
While the weather is pretty shit, you won’t find the annoying lack of functionality and common sense in other places throughout the country.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
While I have my grievances with Argentina, especially outside the capital, there’s no denying many “Boludos” are pretty sharp.
The city is gorgeous with a very European vibe to it. Everything tends to work well here, in a very Argentinian sense.
While the government continually fucks the populace with ass-backwardness, the sharp locals continually adapt: buying real estate, investing abroad, and putting their savings into crypto.
You’ll also find some “bro-culture” here that is relatable to western culture. Making it easy to make local friends.
Cities I Suspect Fit the Bill…
There’s a few cities in LatAm where I’ve heard good things about the local populace and how functional the city is.
While I haven’t been to any of these myself, I imagine you’d find tons of sharp people in these spots:
Again, haven’t been to any of these myself. But reports from buddies over the years = highly functional cities where the local populace is sharp.
High-IQ LatAm Locales | Overall
The argument could be made:
why in the hell would you go to LatAm if you want to be around the best and brightest?
Go to the Bay Area, Miami, Dubai, Singapore, etc.
However, some of us just prefer living in LatAm. Shithole adventures abound, men act like men, women act like women, and the nature is truly stunning.
It’s just sometimes we want to have a conversation with a local that involves a bit of nuance.
Or maybe we want to live in a city where shit just works and people actually show up on time to things.