King of Barranquilla

by Gene
(Barranquilla, Colombia)

I looked at Mexico, Central America and then Colombia. Closest thing to USA in molls, cars and great place to be. Barranquilla is ideal because it is located on Magdalena River and very close (20 minutes) to beaches, beaches here consist of waiters, bringing food and drinks with ice. Also central to two other great ocean cities, Santa Marta and Cartagena. Reason Barranquilla is better choice: Two great areas, Villa Country and Buenavista in city. Never worry of safety when living where there money.

Well protected with security. Everyone seems to believe Colombia is not safe. Well, I am from suburb of Detroit... convinced, safer here. Security in banks and any public moll with inspections before entering, can't find that in USA.
Now Cruise ships come to Cartagena with security and less problems over last 5 years. Many tourist in Cartagena and Santa Marta. While prices for dining or having a simply drink are low, it is because the Gringos (which is not an insulting term) have not arrived in droves... when the Gringos come, prices all rise from food to housing.

Another reason this is ideal location for retirement. Many casinos, many bar/restaurants, no need for car, as taxi and bus service is $2.50 to any location. Thus, when out drinking, you have a private driver and taxi is easiest thing to obtain. There are too many, one every 30 seconds will appear no matter where you are. Buses are very easy and plentiful. Air conditioned buses costing 70 cents. I love my 18 floor apartment.

It is 85 usually every day and now it is almost May, saw no rain since January. There are months which do rain (winter months), from about 1 Pm lasting into the night when they do come.

Getting here is cheap with Spirit, I fly from Northern states here in two planes (Ft Lauderdale to here is 2.5 hours) costing less than 400.00 round trip.. or 200.00 round trip from Ft lauderdale to Cartagena. Then 65 minutes for 12.00 in a 8 seater air cond. van. Disadvantage is language, and I know many GRINGOS are simply lazy when it comes to memorizing a few hundred words in Spanish to make it very easy to get around. Most under 30 know some English, but it is only spoken in some hotels and not in the malls...But, you want to retire to a foreign country, why not learn to at least read and write some Spanish,, You do not need to be fluent and it is almost impossible to understand full conversations in Spanish,, but it really helps simply to ask for a glass of water, where the bathroom is,, which bus goes to Buenavista..etc...

For Americans coming to Colombia, learn a little Spanish and enjoy.

For me, it was an experience and fun to learn and use...

Good Luck coming to Colombia, in my opinion better than Ecuador , Peru or others further south.

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Apr 05, 2012
a focal point for north, and south American trade.
by: Anonymous

Yes I think you opinion of Barranquilla is up to date, even though some gringos might feel more alone then others depending on certain circumstances, and there particular situations of the moment, being a new comer, but I am in agreement about livability improvements made there, after all many Americans and the U.S. government have made much investment in differnet aspects of business affair, from improving tourism related business, to better trade relations. Supply and demand from other countries will force the issue more as time goes by, just because every one likes a more central location for the flow of goods and services and I think Barranquilla is very well located for this reason. I, and a friend are really interested in moving to, and living in Barranquilla as permanent residents, just because they will need more human relations support and volunteer help as the need calls for it, and of course the weather makes it all worth the effort, time, and money! For us it will be a way to see a brighter future existants, and better lifestyle overall, and that is a welcomed thing at our ages. Thanks for the good read, and remember to be greatful for bananas, mangos, and coconuts. I think with a giving attitute in mind, this will help the natives believe that change is a good thing...B.P.II.

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