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CARTAGENA COST-OF-LIVING AND FOOD BASKET PRICES
Because of increased real estate activity, we receive numerous requests relating to living costs in Cartagena. This information is particularly important to people living on fixed incomes such as retirees who can no longer afford medical, drug, taxes and insurance costs which raise faster than their pensions or Social Security COLA. Many are weighing the pros and cons of selling their currently high valued homes, and retiring to Cartagena. For many, Cartagena living costs enter into this decision.
When you compare costs, don’t forget to add airline ticket costs back home to visit family and friends. Once they see you in person, and learn firsthand about your personal safety, lifestyle and low Cartagena living costs, we’re sure that they will visit you-more than you visit them!
The U.S. State Department lies through omission,(there is no other word for it!) regarding personal safety, when they include safe Cartagena along with the Colombia mountains areas far to the south. For an honest appraisal, that does not harm the people of Cartagena, or their economy, look at this quote from the current Canada Government Travel Report:
“Cartagena tourist resort areas have the highest level of security in Colombia. Criminal activity and violence directed at tourists is low, and comparable to other Caribbean destinations.”
Housing - costs per square foot basis are 50-60% LESS.
Medical/Dental/Optical - costs are about 60% LESS.
Nursing Homes - cost about 70% LESS.
Burial or Cremation - costs are about 70% LESS.
Utility - costs are about the same.
Transportation - The very low costs and frequent schedules of public transportation, such as buses (.25 cents) and taxis ($1-2), means there is no need to go to the expense of having a private car. Once they find a favorite taxi driver or two, many residents use them exclusively for their transportation needs.
Clothing/shoes/accessories - cost less. Colombia companies manufacture a wide range of stylish, and well made shoes and leather accessories.
Dinning out/nightly entertainment - costs 50% LESS. CLICK FOR ACTUAL MENU’S AND CURRENT PRICES.
Insurance Costs/health/auto/fire - costs about 50% LESS. Insurance use is not prevalent. Construction is basically concrete and steel. Cartagena has not experienced violent: hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, or hale storms. There is a brief “rainy season”, but even thunder storms are not that frequent.
The prices recorded for the Food Basket, and the contents of this article were made by a U.S. citizen who, for the past 3 years, has lived and worked in Cartagena. When ever possible I have chosen name brands (which are highlighted in yellow) that you may be familiar with. Naturally, some of these products are higher priced because they are imported, but many are made by subsidiaries of U.S. companies located here in Colombia, or other nearby countries.
There are three major national food chains with stores in Cartagena. Small price variations exist within different stores of the same chain, depending on the economy of the neighborhood where the store is located. For this article, prices were gathered from the most upscale chain which stocks a higher number of foreign made products. This store is also located in economic Zone 6, which is the governments(1-6) rating as the most affluent neighborhoods. Native Cartageneros weekly food costs, from what I’ve been told, are about half to one third of what I (the spoiled Gringo) spend. They prepare their healthy meals mostly from “scratch”, where I, as most Gringo’s do, buy the prepared, quicker to eat food. Note: at my age (65), I am enjoying my life, and I buy, and eat what I like!
Peso Dollar prices converted at P2.700 = U.S.$ prices appear in turquoise.
The Cartagena Basket costs 37% LESS than the Florida Basket
MEAT, FISH, POULTRY
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Office: Bocagrande, Cra. 1 Calle 13 Edificio Cartagena de Indias - Local 1. Tel.: (57 5) 665 0515. Celular: (57) 311 660 2756. Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
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