The New York Times

House Hunting in ... Colombia

Sept 09--The 1,140-square-foot apartment has views of the city walls (which date to the 16th century) and San Felipe de Barajas castle, a fort built by the Spanish in the 17th century.

9 de septiembre de 2009

The apartment is on the second story of a three-story, walk-up building, constructed of concrete about 40 years ago. There are tile floors throughout and the interior doors are made of solid hardwood. The kitchen was renovated in 2007 and has ceramic tile and steel countertops. The rear of the apartment has two bedrooms and a bathroom; the master is the slightly larger of the two, with a window overlooking a small park. There is a 10 by 3 foot balcony off of the living room.

The apartment is in Cartagena’s historic center, a Unesco World Heritage site known for its Colonial buildings. The old city is Cartagena’s tourist and cultural center; shopping, dining and public transportation are within walking distance. Beaches are about a 15-minute walk away; Bocagrande, Cartagena’s most popular beach, is about 10-minute drive; the airport is about 12 minutes by car.


Over the past five years, prices in Cartagena have skyrocketed by as much as 300 percent—and even 600 percent in some cases, said Patrick Enste, general manager at La Heroica, a luxury travel and real estate company.

“Cartagena is the most dynamic and expensive real estate market in Colombia,” said Brian Requarth, a founder of VivaReal Network, an online real estate portal that specializes in Latin America. “There’s been a lot of construction, a lot of investment, a lot of development.” Renovations of Colonial buildings in the old city are commonplace, while new high-rise condominiums flank the beaches to the north.
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