In the face of crumbling markets and economic turmoil, the once romantic dream of owning a Caribbean hideaway has long grown beyond the reach. Or has it? Columbia offers an affordable Caribbean paradise for those willing to look past its checkered history. See the following article from International Living for more on this.
Foremost is the sunset. It caught me by surprise. When that huge orange ball drops slowly into the emerald-green sea, it brings the beach areas to a halt as everyone stops to watch.
And it isn’t the only thing to like about Santa Marta.
Warm, dry temperatures, days spent on the white-sand beaches under swaying palms…safe swimming and great diving…this Colombian city is a Caribbean hideaway—but without the usual Caribbean price tag.
It’s a place where you can still buy a three-bedroom apartment near the beach for less than $57,000…and a large, three-bedroom apartment right on the beach for under $130,000.
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Of all the super values in Colombia, I believe the richest opportunities are in Santa Marta. Here in Colombia’s oldest city, the potential is big and multi-faceted.
Santa Marta is carved into the Caribbean coast on the north side of the country. Its harbor is well-sheltered, keeping the waters clear and calm. The island of El Morro serves as the centerpiece of the area, rising from the blue waters just offshore with a handful of luxury homes carved into its rocky sides, and yachts moored around its perimeter.
Santa Marta is a unique destination in my experience. The dry heat is unusual for the Caribbean. Although temperatures were in the low 90s when I was there, the gentle offshore breezes kept me comfortable. And rainfall here is scant: around 13 inches per year.
The costs of living, entertainment and properties are low in Santa Marta…lower than any Caribbean outpost that I’ve been to in my travels.
Santa Marta is not glitzy, and it’s not a playground for the rich and famous. It’s simply a place where Colombians come to enjoy a holiday at the seashore, and to have a good time with friends and family. Colombians are most proud of Cartagena, and justifiably so…but when it’s time to vacation, they come here, to Santa Marta.
I see Santa Marta’s market appreciating for two reasons. First, more mainstream buyers will show up as Colombia’s tarnished image fades into history. This will increase the demand in Santa Marta, as well as throughout Colombia. The area’s broad appeal will attract second homeowners, retirees and investors.
And Santa Marta is a small market, so supply here is limited. Clean property titles on vacant land are hard to find, so new construction has been constrained. Even a moderate influx will move the market.
The market starts at $31,795 for a simple one-bedroom apartment under 500 square feet, three blocks from the beach in El Rodadero (10 minutes south of Santa Marta, with nicer beaches). The best buy in El Rodadero right now is a large 2,736-square-foot, 8th-floor apartment with two balconies, each offering a sea view. With three bedrooms and three bathrooms, the asking price is $128,200—that’s just $505 per square meter.
And right on the beach, I found a 10th-floor, 1,443-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath apartment with ocean-facing balconies in both the living room and the master bedroom, for an asking price of $143,500.
This article has been republished from International Living.