Why I Won't Live in Cartegena

by Karl Frisch

Karl Frisch will not retire in Cartegena, ColumbiaWhy not live in Cartagena?

I cannot speak for Bogota or Medellin but for me Cartagena is not the place to be. WHY?

Cartagena as a whole is very dirty. Trash cans do not exist and if they do, they will be stolen in no time as everything else is. I have never seen so much garbage in the streets as here. The centro is clean but not many people live there. There are some nice areas but they are very expensive and to walk the sidewalks is very dangerous.

Cartegena is life threatening. The streets are a pain, too. They are no good outside the downtown area. The people live for the most part in doghouses with no windows, no paint, no floors (cement).

There is a lot of noise everywhere. These people have an obsession with car horns and extreme loud radio music all night.

There are some nice areas with better houses but none has a garden or flowers. People are too lazy to clean or have any culture for such.

The beaches are the only good thing here and they are much needed every day with very high humidity and temps. about 90 degrees + or -.

There is no culture here. History, yes. Museums, one very small one. No zoo. All around it is very boring. The only entertainment are in the discos which are plentiful and good every week.

We have power failures several times. There is no water. One cannot drink the tap water. Besides, it is very warm. There is no hot water in the bathrooms or kitchens unless you live in one the many condos which are very modern and nice and near the beaches.

Restaurants in the centro area are good to very good. They are not too expensive. Do not buy anything in the streets. It is not good.

Cuban cigars are a fake. Buy only in stores and this goes for a lot of things. Plus do not show off your cameras and money in front of a Colombiano. It is a ticket to the hospital or morgue.

Taxis are ok, not too expensive, but beware. If they know you are a tourist they will charge you.

Most items sold in the streets have no price tag.

To visit is no problem. To live here one should come for 3-4 weeks and have a good look. The people are unreliable "mucho ." The medical system is very poor. Even private doctors have to be screened til you find a decent one. Hospitals are so-so. One or two are very modern and others not. It's hit and miss.

All in all, for me it was not a good decision to come here .

Oh, yeah, the meat is no good. It is very tough and dry. Chicken is ok. Fish is a gamble depending on the restaurant.

Share your opinions on Cartegena or tell others what you think is the best place to retire.