the other thread comparing Ecuador to Colombia got me thinking about why some of us choose to live in pueblos and others choose to live in cities. why is that?
I live in pueblos because I like the less hectic lifestyle, it is usually quieter, the people are more friendly and less stressed, costs are lower, often by as much as half, and its just plain fun to walk everywhere I want to go. Rarely do I use a taxi here in the pueblo, and hardly ever use the local bus.
The best part is, Pereira is only 30 minutes away whenever I need a city fix. probably going to Price Smart tomorrow to stock up on American products :-)
I live in a pueblo in southern Huila and I wouldn’t trade my life here for anything. I love the fact that I am totally immersed in the local culture. I lived in Cali and made very few friends there. Here in this small town I have more friends than I had in the US. Most of the people are proud to have a gringo friend and look out for me. I was in the local ferretería yesterday to buy some hogwire. When the guy quoted me a price a total stranger stepped in and the price was cut in half. I now have one more friend. I agree completely with cafetero. Life in a pueblo is so much less hectic. I can breathe clean air here. No gringos here to spoil the experience. And Pitalito is 20km if I need that “big city” experience. (Pitalito is not a big city but they do have ab Exito)
I hadn't hear of Santa Rosa but it looks interesting. The climate looks like what I'm after. If I went to a place like Santa Rosa where do I stay for a few days to get to know it? A hotel? What if I like it and I want to rent a place for 6 months? Is it the same story as the larger cities: walk up to a building and ask the portero if any units are for rent?
Santa Rosa has a climate similar to Pereira only a wee bit cooler and a wee bit more rain because of the position at a higher elevation. I can feel my ears pop on the bus ride about halfway between Pereira and Santa Rosa as we climb the mountain. Month to month rentals are fairly common, six month leases are fairly common, probably half the places I've inquired lately have asked for a fiador, but there are plenty of rentals available without fiador. there are dozens of hotels, and several Airbnb rentals. Finding a place to stay temporarily is not difficult, and finding an apartment or house to rent is just a matter of walking around and looking for vacancies and talking to porterias and inquiring at corner stores.
In Santa Rosa de Cabal, Risaralda, 30 minutes outside Pereira.
Hotels start at 35,000 for one person, including hot water and wifi. For parking and more upscale room add 10,000. For 2nd person add 10,000.
Airbnb starts at 70,000 for 2 bedrooms 2 baths, 2 guests, equipped kitchen, totally furnished, 7 blocks from main park and shopping.
Apartments I have seen this week:
Second floor, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, quiet neighborhood, thru street that has very little traffic, completely remodeled, new kitchen, instant hot water, 550,000 month to month, no deposit, no fiador
Second floor, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, large balcony, large windows, corner lot with nice views, side street location in small barrio with very little traffic, no buses or trucks, 500,000 month to month, no deposit, no fiador
Gated community at edge of pueblo, Fifteenth floor penthouse with elevator, 270 degree views of mountains and valley, 3 bedroom, 2 baths, instant hot water in both baths and kitchen sink, rooms are small but still plenty of room, balcony, 650,000 month to month, no deposit no fiador. Includes administration fee. 30 minutes walking to main park and shopping. Taxi takes 10 minutes and costs 4300 pesos. Bus takes 15 minutes and costs 1,800 pesos.
Gated community at edge of pueblo, Fifteenth floor penthouse with elevator, larger rooms, nicer finish, 3 bedrooms, balcony with 180 degree views, 2 baths, instant hot water in both showers and kitchen sink, 750,000 month to month, no deposit, no fiador. Includes administration fee.
Gated community at edge of pueblo, Fourth floor with elevator, views to the north of the hills and adjacent barrio, 3 bedroom 2 baths, large rooms, instant hot water in both showers and kitchen sink, 700,000 month includes parking spot in front of apartment (50,000 value) and owner provides Internet 10meg UNE and fixed telephone. Six month lease, no deposit, no fiador. Includes administration fee.
Fourth floor, brand new gated community, next door tower still under construction, Estrato 5, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, instant hot water, 750,000 month, six month lease, no deposit, no fiador. Includes administration fee. Only 8 blocks to main park, very convenient.
Any of these apartments would cost twice as much in Medellin or Bogota. Or more.
I looked some more at your reply. That sounds like a real possibility for me. I want to visit Pereira later this year; probably with my Colombiana if we don't implode first. :-) Or I'll go alone, if necessary. From there I think it would be an easy trip to explore places like Santa Rosa. I have a few more questions, if you would be so kind.
On the apartments you write "no deposit, no fiador". Is that more common than in a larger city, or is it the same in Pereira? Even the high rents you listed are very affordable. And those are month to month? Wow, you can't beat that with a stick (as we say in Texas). Are those apartments furnished? If you say 'Yes' I'm going to start to believe it's "too good to be true".
DallasSteve, yes, it is more common in pueblos to be able to rent without a deposit or fiador.
In Pereira it is much more common to have to sign a one year lease and have a Fiador. However, you can still find plenty of rentals in Pereira without a Fiador and without a deposit.
Yes, the rentals I listed above are month to month except in the case of the six-month lease.
I have never seen or heard of a furnished apartment in Santa Rosa or in Pereira. I imagine they exist, but I've personally never seen or heard of one. I don't think they are very common.
I hope I am not making this sound too easy. It takes a lot of work to find these apartments that I listed above. My exercise routine is to walk a minimum of one hour each day. As much as 40-50 blocks per day.
I take a different route each day and for entertainment and out of habit I keep an eye out for apartments with Se Arrienda signs, or apartments that are vacant with no curtains or furniture.
I stop and ask the neighbors if they know if the apartment is for rent. It is just my way of entertaining myself as I walk around getting exercise.
For someone visiting Pereira for the first time I would suggest hooking up with a person who lives there who can drive around with you in a taxi and show you the various neighborhoods. When you see a neighborhood you like, start looking for a rental.
Stay in a hotel or airbnb for a week and give yourself plenty of time to see the various neighborhoods. Same thing applies to Santa Rosa and all the other pueblos. Get a taxi to drive you around for the big picture, then focus on the neighborhoods you like to find the rental you need. Good luck :)
@littlebhuddha If they go ahead with the hydro development at Pericongo and the bypass highway it will totally change the ambiance of the place. I'm not sure if that will be for the worse or for the better. Pros and cons. Most of the businesses and street vendors are apprehensive. But less heavy trucks and stinky buses trundling through the heart of town might make it a more attractive stopover for tourists/travelers.
Pocopelo Most of the people I have talked to about it are all for it. I think it will change things for the better. The commercial traffic through town seems to get worse everyday. Faced with the current wait times at Pericongo, they try to make up time by barreling through town. I don’t see the vendors making much from through traffic anyway. Most travelers just jet through trying to make up time getting San Augustin thanks to the Pericongo mess. I think the bypass will, like you said, make it a much more attractive place to visit. That having been said, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime and i plan on being alive for another 40 years. Jajaja You know how fast Colombians complete projects
@littlebhuddha Yes, you are correct, construction of any sort is painfully slow. Then there are those projects that seem to never reach completion. On many occasions taking bus trips over the winding mountain roads I was awestruck to see an adjacent elevated highway. Vacant, however, with shrubs growing through the cracks.
I'm not surprised that the apartments are not furnished. Does Colombia have any businesses like Rent-A-Center in the US? Probably not. If not, and if we bought furniture and wanted to go somewhere else for 6 months does Colombia have storage warehouses like in the US? If so would our furniture probably get stolen? If so, maybe it would be better to pay some local youths to steal some furniture for us. Just joking. Maybe our first 6 months of testing the waters it would be better for us to do a long-term deal with someone on AirBnB or an apartahotel. I think both of those are usually furnished.
Yes, Dallas Steve, the Airbnb and the apartahotel are furnished. You can get good deals by the month. If I was coming to Colombia for the first time I would rent by the month Airbnb and live in different cities to get a feel for where I would like to settle permanently.
If you want to furnish an apartment yourself, you can do it for about 3,000,000 on the cheap up to about 10,000,000. Then if you want to be gone for 6 months you can rent a garage to store your stuff. and Yes, I would rent a garage and be confident my stuff would be safe there.
I've probably got about 5,000,000 invested in my furnishings and appliances over the past 9 years for a one-bedroom, two-person household..
I´ve moved 25 times in the past 9 years so none of my stuff owes me anything.
If I had to flee the country I would just donate my stuff to a good family and not lose anything.
There are many rental businesses in Colombia - more than in the US, because Colombians are poorer and cannot always afford to buy furniture etc. if/when they need it, or for parties and family gatherings, etc.
Expats living in Medellin, Colombia report that there are safe places to live - and that the nightlife is fun, too. Read about how to live in Medellin - a city that has become quite a popular destination for expats.
Expats living in Medellin, Colombia report that there are safe places to live - and that the nightlife is fun, too. Read about how to live in Medellin - a city that has become quite a popular destina...