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Moving to Cartagena, Colombia | Expat Exchange
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Cartagena, Colombia

Moving to Cartagena, Colombia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 05, 2023

Summary: Moving to Cartagena, Colombia? Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to Cartagena.

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What do I need to know before moving to Cartagena?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Cartagena, they said:

"Before moving to Cartagena, expats should know that the city has a tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. Spanish is the official language, so learning it will make daily life and integration easier. The cost of living is relatively low compared to North America and Europe, but it's higher than in other Colombian cities. Healthcare in Cartagena is of a high standard, with several modern hospitals and clinics. However, it's advisable to have comprehensive health insurance. The city is generally safe, but like any other place, it has areas that are best avoided, especially at night. Petty crime such as pickpocketing can be a problem, so it's important to be vigilant and take precautions. Cartagena has a rich history and culture, with many festivals, music, and dance events throughout the year. The city is famous for its colonial architecture, and the historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cuisine is diverse and delicious, with a focus on seafood due to its coastal location. Public transportation in Cartagena includes buses, taxis, and motorbike taxis. Traffic can be heavy, and driving can be challenging for those not used to Colombian road conditions. The city is also very walkable, especially in the historic center. Expats should also be aware that Cartagena is a popular tourist destination, which can make the city crowded during peak travel seasons. Finally, it's important to understand the local customs and etiquette, as Colombians are generally warm, friendly, and polite, and they appreciate when foreigners respect their culture," replied a member in Cartagena.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Cartagena, Colombia

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SJB Global

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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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