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7 Tips for Living in Cartago

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: Advice for people moving to Cartago or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Cartago or thinking about moving there.

Cartago, a city rich in history and culture, is a popular destination for expats and digital nomads. With its warm climate, friendly locals, and vibrant lifestyle, it's no wonder why many choose to call it home. However, living in a foreign country can be a daunting experience, especially if you're not familiar with the local customs and traditions. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in Cartago, Colombia.

1. Learn the Language

While many locals in Cartago speak English, it's highly recommended to learn Spanish, the official language of Colombia. Not only will it make your daily life easier, but it will also help you connect with the locals and understand the culture better. There are many language schools in Cartago where you can take Spanish classes, or you can opt for online courses if you prefer.

2. Understand the Cost of Living

Cartago is relatively affordable compared to other Colombian cities. However, it's important to understand the cost of living to manage your finances effectively. Rent, groceries, transportation, and entertainment are generally cheaper than in Western countries. However, imported goods can be quite expensive. It's advisable to live like a local to save money.

3. Explore the Local Cuisine

Colombian cuisine is diverse and delicious, and Cartago is no exception. The city is known for its traditional dishes like Bandeja Paisa and Sancocho. There are many local restaurants where you can try these dishes. Some popular ones include Restaurante El Solar, known for its traditional Colombian dishes, and Pizzeria Olivia, a favorite among locals for its delicious pizzas.

4. Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Cartago is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its unique charm. El Prado is known for its beautiful parks and colonial architecture, while San Nicolas is popular for its vibrant nightlife. La Isabela is a quieter residential area with a relaxed atmosphere. Spend some time exploring these neighborhoods to find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

5. Embrace the Local Culture

Colombians are known for their warm hospitality and love for celebrations. Festivals and events are a big part of life in Cartago. The city hosts the annual Festival of the Virgin of Poverty, which attracts visitors from all over the country. Embrace these cultural experiences to truly immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.

6. Stay Safe

Like any city, Cartago has its share of safety issues. However, by taking some precautions, you can ensure your safety. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas. Keep your belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings. It's also advisable to have the contact information of the local police and your country's embassy at hand.

7. Get Involved

One of the best ways to feel at home in a new city is to get involved in the community. There are many opportunities to volunteer in Cartago, depending on your interests. Whether it's helping out at a local school, participating in environmental projects, or joining a sports club, getting involved will help you connect with locals and make a positive impact on the community.

Living in Cartago, Colombia, as an expat or digital nomad can be an enriching and rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can navigate the city like a local and make the most of your time in this vibrant Colombian city.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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