RETIRING IN CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
life in Cartagena will have a different rhythm, balance and sense
of excitement. If you are the type of person who is inquisitive,
the explorer type, you can find the activities, new friends and
attractions you are looking for. The biggest difference will be
the bureaucracy whenever you deal with government, large companies,
and many banks. Do as the locals and hire a personal aid to stand
in line, pay your bills, do your banking, etc. The cost is minimal.
are at the beginning of a new span in your life, and your goal
is to get the most out of it while enjoying the pleasures that
a great city and her people have to offer. Greet passersby with
a big smile and a buenos dias, and the chances are very high,
that your greeting will be fully returned. Your on your way to
another good day!
Parks, History, and Attractions in Cartagena, Colombia
has many conveniently located parks with trees, flowers, statutes,
ponds, fountains, birds, comfortable benches, and of course: people.
Parks are a great place to meet new people, who can, if you like,
quickly become friends. The beaches share the same openness, and
their proximity to wherever you may live will never be more than
a ten minute walk. History is Cartagena. If your into genealogy,
you may even find roots back to your forefathers? When a city
such as Cartagena, is steeped in history, it seems to mellow the
people into a peaceful and slower pace, while instilling a pride
that is completely unique and "religiously" wholesome.
The museums, architecture, music, art, libraries, and the people,
can fill your time with a new awareness of yourself, and things
you want to do.
Adventure, Sports and Maintaining Your Health
islands are nearby, and for the adventurous, the fisherman, the
beach bum, the snorkeler/diver, they await. Local
Dive Shops offer day scuba and snorkel trips to the Rosario
Islands. Deep sea sport fishing, wind surfing, sailing, biking,
hiking, golf, tennis and more are close by. There are also good
tours throughout nearly all areas of the city. Health clubs
and spas can provide a complete program for your health improvement,
or maintenance. Conventional as well as alternative therapy and
medicine is practiced. Hospitals and clinics are many, and the
care offered is considered: adequate to good. Savings over N.
American or European prices in elective dental and surgical procedures
can be 60-70 less than you have to pay "back home".
Food in Cartagena, Colombia
cities are a smörgåsbord when it comes to varieties
of food. Restaurant
menus with current prices, offer dishes from around the world.
Restaurants and quick food places seem to be on every street corner.
Service and prices are good, costing about a half, to a third
of stateside prices. There are three large national chain food
stores in Cartagena, and their products and prices are comparable
to what you are used to. And, yes they take credit cards and have
cash advance machines. ATM's are all over the city. The national
beer, Agula, has a good full bodied European taste-about 30 cents
u.s., by the case and 50-75 cents in restaurants. Local cooking
is readily available from tablecloth restaurants, to portable
cooking stands, which like magic, appear on the sidewalks-both
day and evening. Plus there are all kinds of food and drink available
from peddle vendors, with food carts on wheels! Sidewalk cafes,
both upscale, mid scale and no scale, are also popular. Bars and
discos are a fun place to meet new people, dance, and if you like,
drink all night! The supermarket selection is comparable to many
back home, with special emphasis on: vegetables, fruits, and fresh
Learning Spanish in Cartagena, Colombia
German, French and other international newspapers, magazines and
books are available. There are also programs from these and other
countries, available on Cable TV. But your life in Cartagena will
be mostly in Spanish, and that's where your fun really begins.
You should consider learning some Spanish. Many
schools offer a variety of packages including basic language
classes, tours, or even room and board with Cartagena family.
This could be a good option to check out Cartagena, before you
move in? A retiree of either gender, (with their steady incomes)
can easily find a partner, either live-in, or casual. This lifestyle
can offer both company, and the sharing of each others language
Your Own Business in Cartagena, Colombia
a resident on a pension, you are permitted to run your own business
or invest in someone else's. You make take out profits on your
investment, but you are not permitted to earn a "salary".
You will have to become familiar with Colombia's laws regarding
foreign residents. To read an explanatory letter from a local,
bi-lingual business attorney-click
here. Becoming engaged in your own Cartagena business could
prove to be an exciting and unique experience-keeping you busy,
becoming a part of the local economy, while making new friends.
Establishing Your Residence in Cartagena, Colombia
you want to first check out the hotels?
Or perhaps rent, or buy a house, renovate an old one, or build
a new one? Perhaps an apartment, or condo is more your style?
Cartagena offers many options, and there has never been a better
time to pick up a bargain. It's best to use an intermediary such
as a real
estate company. The commission is generally 3%, or about half
of “back home” commissions. There are no license requirements
for real estate people, and Consumer Protection Laws, as we know
them, do not exist. However, anyone who holds themselves out as
a professional can be held liable for mis- representation or fraud
for a period of up to five years after the occurrence. Everyone
understands "fairness", and your dealings, if well documented
by a good
attorney, should keep you whole. Do not sign any type of legal
document without the advice of an attorney who speaks and understands
your language. Their fees are set by the government, and they
are reasonable. Always being "legally correct", is good
advice, no matter where you live!
and lease prices are far lower than those in North America and
Europe. Luxurious, completely equipped
apartments or houses, are more difficult to find, and therefore,
more expensive to rent. A good idea is to rent a place before
buying. In this way you should be able to avoid any "buyer's
prices of apartments and small homes begin as low as $15,000.
The options are many, and the price range is extensive. Land,
and labor are cheap. Building materials can cost less, or more,
depending on if they are manufactured here in Colombia, or they
are imported. Building times can be fast if the contractor uses
a large number of laborers, and the building type is typical.
Check around for a good contractor, and don't forget to use your
attorney. Overall your per square foot, turnkey price will be
about one third to one half of prices you will pay back home.
manufactures good quality
hard and soft wood furniture crafted in many styles, and again
the prices are very reasonable.
such as electricity, natural gas, bottled LP gas, water, sewer,
telephone, cable and Internet connection, are available throughout
most locations of the city. The prices are comparable to back
home depending on the “zone” where you live. Zone
1 are the very poorest neighborhoods and their rates are rock
bottom and supported by those who live in the higher zones, the
highest being Zone 6, the most upscale areas.
Transportation Options in Cartagena, Colombia
transportation in Cartagena, is a retirees dream! Cheap, clean,
cheap, frequent, cheap, and safe. Buses, taxis, motor scooters,
motorcycles, cars, bicycles, in-line skates, and even horse drawn
carriages, are everywhere. With fares so low, we don't know why
anyone would want their own transportation, but if you do, it's
no problem. You may want to rent
a car before you buy your own. For special occasions you can
even hire an English speaking driver with a mint, air conditioned
Rolls Royce! You can own and drive your vehicle with your existing
drivers license. Drive on the right side of the road. Insurance
is recommended, however, many locals do not carry insurance. Perhaps
this is the reason there are fewer accidents than in countries
where everybody, and everything, is insured? The pace is slow,
and the people will impress you as: cautious, friendly, and responsible.
Begin Your Search for More Information right here at: CartagenaInfo
good place to get "the feel" for all that Cartagena
offers, can be found on this unique web site with two thousand
photos, and more added every week. The owner, yours truly, is
a retired Gringo, who after the first couple of months, has come
to feel at home in Cartagena. With Spanish far from perfect, each
day I learn a little more-poco a poco. Most people are very tolerant,
when they see you are trying to speak their language! Nearly always,
you will find what you want, at a fair price, while receiving
a big smile. Cartageneros have a centuries long history as being
known as friendly people. The economy is tourist oriented, which
means the concept of service is understood-nearly always coming
with a smile, and at a slower pace. For a related topic for the
budget traveler, click on: Cartagena
On $10.00 A Day! Many of your questions will be answered on
our web site. However, if after reviewing CartagenaInfo, you have
specific question(s) that you think we can answer, give us a shout
and have a great retirement! I know that I am!