The Best Historic Cities in Latin America. Period.

Ols San Juan

Whether you’re looking to move, find a vacation home, travel, or simply invest, these Latin American cities should be at the top of your list.

It seems Latin American historical charm knows no ends. Between the vast jungles, high deserts, Native art, and colonial architecture, Latin America is a hot spot for tourism and investment seekers alike.

We are comparing three different old cities in three different lands to give you an idea of where your next short or long term trip should land and where to place your investment dollars.

We’ll dig into the architecture, historical significance, culture, costs and opportunities in each of these Latin American gems.

Take a look at Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena’s sixteenth-century Spanish sherbet walls fill this picturesque port town. The city’s center is home to two historic museums, around which you will find traditional dancers and musicians. Colonial churches pair with a mix of Spanish and Caribbean buildings, lined with sweeping palms. ceviche is on the menu in nearly every restaurant.

Since the U.S. implemented anti-drug trafficking policies over the last decade, peace and prosperity have flourished in the area. Five star restaurants and hotels, boutiques and shops, bars and nightclubs, and endless cafes fill the buzzing city.

Sightseers can take a tour of the tunneled Castillo San Felipe de Barajas or Convento de la Popa, a convent designed by Augustinian monks in 1607. Cartagena is a mere two and a half hour flight from Miami, and the UNESCO World Heritage Old City is a ten minute taxi ride from their airport, Rafael Núñez  International Airport.

The exchange rate is stable at around 3,000 Colombian pesos to every $1 USD. Dinner for two will cost you around $30 USD, and a drink at a downtown club will run around $5 USD. Spanish is primarily spoken, so you may need to brush up.

Property in the old city is the most expensive in the country, coming in at $350 per square foot.  Cartagena is a great tourist and investment location, but its real estate is rather pricey, out of reach of most investors.

Check out Casco Viejo, Panama

Though once the site of military conflict over the Panama Canal, and run by city gangs, Casco Viejo is Panama City’s historic district and a busy, booming town. White-washed colonial buildings line the downtown of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will find a plethora of modern art, music, indigenous crafts, and trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Of course, fresh fish and other mariscos are not hard to find. For the adventurous, the city boasts a stellar bike trail and paddleboarding.

Tourists will find that tourist attractions, lodgings, and meals are comparable to those in the United States. A nice meal for two will run around $45 USD, and a lunch around $10 USD. Spanish is also the main language there.

Real estate is comparable, too. Property costs around $300 per square foot. Real estate experts say that the prices have doubled in the last decade thanks to the influx of people moving to this beautiful peninsula.  

However, a law is in effect which allows businesses to take a tax exemption for investing in the old town, and other real estate tax cuts are available within a certain time-frame.

The balboa currency is linked to the U.S. dollar, and real estate is priced in dollars. You’ll also find a number of foreigners, expats, and second home owners buying here, which makes it ideal for those who wish to travel and invest without the currency changes.

What about San Juan, Puerto Rico?

San Juan is the capital and most popular tourist destination in Puerto Rico. It’s a small island connected to the mainland by three bridges. Though its population is under 500,000, it satisfies both the history and architecture buffs and luxury beachgoers alike.

San Juan is also the busiest cruise line stop in the Caribbean. Old San Juan delivers the romance of a historic district, while Condado is bursting with modern nightlife. If you love old Spanish castles, you’re in the right place and should check out Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal.

The city boasts museums, plazas, and beaches galore. A local art convention draws in many cultural art forms. San Juan houses all the amenities of luxury resorts with all the architectural, historic, and cultural charm of the old world.

As a Free Commonwealth of the U.S., no passports are needed to travel to Puerto Rico, and currency is the USD. Tourism is booming, and most restaurants, lodging, and attractions cost just under regular U.S. prices. However, hotel prices here are rather expensive. English is spoken, and U.S. cell phones will work here.

As far as business and tax relief, you really can’t find a better deal.  As of 2017, businesses that move to Puerto Rico enjoy a 4% Corporate Tax rate, and Puerto Rican residents pay 0% income tax.

For investing, price per square foot in San Juan is as much as half the cost of Cartagena or Casco Viejo, as low as $175 per square foot, while rental rates are often higher than the other historic centers.

Now is the time to invest in Puerto Rico, and, since its designation as an opportunity zone, you can invest any capital gains tax free in this city.

The current government is investment-friendly, and pouring money into tourism industry so it’s an ideal time to look at investing in Puerto Rico, especially in the old city of San Juan.

All three of these old cities are romantic, and house great opportunities. However, with the current ties to the U.S. and tax policies, you can’t beat the savings, not to mention the beauty, of traveling and investing in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

For more information on how you can make the most of the incredible opportunities in Puerto Rico, fill out the form below and an investment adviser will be in contact with you soon.

Puerto Rico Interest

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