Last updated on Jul 02, 2023
Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Cartagena, Colombia. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.
What do I need to know about living in Cartagena?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Cartagena, they said:
"Before retiring in Cartagena, expats should know that the cost of living is relatively low compared to many Western countries, making it an attractive option for retirees. However, healthcare can be a concern, as the quality varies greatly and private health insurance is recommended. Expats should also be aware that while many locals speak English, it is not widely spoken outside of tourist areas, so learning Spanish can greatly enhance your experience. Cartagena is known for its hot and humid climate, which may not be suitable for everyone. It's important to visit first to see if you can handle the weather year-round. Safety can also be a concern in certain areas of the city, so it's important to research and choose your neighborhood carefully. The process of obtaining a retirement visa in Colombia is relatively straightforward, but it does require proof of a steady income. Finally, while Cartagena is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture, it's important to remember that it is still a developing country, and infrastructure and services may not be up to the standards you're used to in your home country," said one expat in Cartagena.
What do I need to know before moving to Cartagena?
About the Author
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.
- What do I need to know before moving to Cartagena?
- What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Cartagena?
- What is the average cost of housing in Cartagena?
- How do I meet people in Cartagena?
- What do I need to know before retiring in Cartagena?
- What should I pack when moving to Cartagena?
- Where should I setup a bank account in Cartagena?
- Will I be able to find a job in Cartagena?
- What is life like as an expat in your area?
- What do people like (and dislike) about Cartagena?
- What type of social life can someone expect in Cartagena?
- What is the social scene like in Cartagena?
- What advice to expats in Cartagena have about housing?
- What are medical services in Cartagena like?
- Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Cartagena?
- Is the cost of living in Cartagena high?
- What are the visa & residency requirements in Cartagena?
- Why do people move to Cartagena?