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Kenneth Kilpatrick
New member
Username: Vanman

Post Number: 17
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 10:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Everyone, Ran across some interesting info about a city in southern Bolivia, Tarija. It's about 170,000 population, spring like climate most of the year, nice scenery, nice people. It's about 3 hrs by bus from the Argentine border on a good road but pretty isolated from the rest of Bolivia. For that reason it is considered more Argentine in culture than Bolivian. Tarija is Bolivia's wine producing area, also alot of orchards and as of the late 90's Bolivia's biggest natural gas producer. Supposed to have great food with, like Argentina, great steaks. I've seen fairly recent posts on websites that suggest living there on $500 a month is easily done.

I'm concerned about Argentina staying affordable although I'm thinking outside of the more popular places I can live reasonably well on $1000 a month. I know cost of living has been discussed before but as things seem to change rapidly in Argentina I'm wondering what your opinion is of what it takes to live a basic but comfortable life in Argentina now, and your opinion of where prices are heading long term? Do you see Argentina returning to where it was the most expensive country in Latin America? From a retiree's viewpoint, what places have you considered that you believe offer a good, affordable quality of life?

Anyone been to Tarija? If so could you see living there? I guess what I'm asking is would I be better off living in Tarija which would allow me to save money to visit great places in Argentina, or are there similar priced places in Argentina that I should be considering? Thanks for any opinions and I don't mind you lowering the boom on me if it'll get me down the right path!
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Fergus
New member
Username: Fergus

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 11:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Ken,

This is my first post here... but something has been asked that I know (a little) about! I was in Tarija in 2007 and in 2008, travelling each time by bus from Argentina.

Tarija seemed quite relaxed, financially is was much cheaper than Argentina, I remember sitting at a restaurant on the main square drinking enourmous cocktails that were ridiculously cheap, and having decent steaks there too.

The "3-hours by bus on a good road" way to get there was quite an eye-opener, not just for my Australian eyes but also for my Argentinian friend who was with me. The culture and lifestlye is certainly Bolivian, quite different from Argentina (eg Jujuy, Salta). There is another bus too, through the mountains, that takes 8/10/12+ hours from the Argentinian border. It depends which border crossing you take. Go for the 3-hour option, trust me!

I saw some nice houses while I was there, and there are certainly some residents with significant money judging by the cars some teenagers drove... oil money perhaps? I have no idea what the real estate would cost you.

If you get the chance take a trip there, it will give you a feel for the place.

Cheers...
Fergus.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1911
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 1:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Fergus, thank you for the information. By any chance do you have any pictures you can upload? If so, just write a regular post in the box with this at the bottom:

\image{Text description}

where text description is your caption. After hitting submit, the script will present with a button to browse your hard drive to choose the photo. Then, you can upload simultaneously the picture and the message to the forum. It's a 2 step process.
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Kenneth Kilpatrick
New member
Username: Vanman

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 6:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Fergus! I'm definitely going to give it a look when I visit Argentina. One post I ran across was an American Peace Corps volunteer living in a village near Bermejo. He said his small 2 bedroom house on a plot of land with a nice patio was running 150 Bolivianos a month, about $21 USD a month! He had a friend in Tarija sharing a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 other foreigners. His friend's share was 460 Bolivianos, less than $70 a month and that included utilities. The Peace Corps guy had to leave Bolivia when the U.S. gov't evacuated everyone during last year's political crisis. Which is why if I lived in Bolivia it would only be as a renter. And only in a city like Tarija that's remote from the rest of the country with good access to the border. Seems to be a real possibility for more unrest, and not the usual peaceful roadblock kind.
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Fergus
New member
Username: Fergus

Post Number: 4
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 12:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Some pics from Tarija in July 2007. They're not much to look at (none of my shots are sadly!) but they give you the idea.

Tarija 1

Tarija 2

Tariaj 3

Tarija 4

Tarija 5

(Message edited by admin on September 01, 2009)
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Fergus
New member
Username: Fergus

Post Number: 5
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 12:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

From memory Bermejo is also the name of the river... if you cross the river on little (12-15') boats at the border, then you'll be getting the 3 hour bus. The 'other' bus goes from another border crossing.

Tarija is plenty safe, like most places. Never felt any problem there.

Cheers...
Fergus.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1916
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 1:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It looks very clean. If you can live in such low budget in a place this clean and interesting it might be worth trying.
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Kenneth Kilpatrick
New member
Username: Vanman

Post Number: 22
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 9:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Fergus, those are great pictures! I recently met a South African on the 'net who lives in Villa Carlos Paz. He's traveled all over southern South America the last 25 years and he sent me a bunch of pictures. I asked him about Tarija and he says it's one of the nicest cities he's visited. It's interesting that you say it's definitely Bolivian as just about everything I've read including guidebooks says it has a unique, Argentine influenced culture. That peace Corps guy says Tarija has the best run local government that he has seen in South America. I'm sure it's safe, my only concern is the serious unrest that happened about a year ago with a number of people being killed in another area of Bolivia. Tarija was one of the departments that voted for autonomy and threatened to secede over Evo Morales' socialist policies. Given it's isolation and quick access to Argentina I think it's worth a serious look. As Roberto said about it's cleanliness and cost of living, plus a very mild climate, makes it a well kept secret. I saw a travel blog where a couple spent a couple of hours sitting and reading in the main plaza there. They had experienced constant attention from beggars and shoeshine boys in other Bolivian cities but weren't bothered once in Tarija. I'm really hoping someone can point to a similar sized, similar quality city in Argentina where the cost of living is maybe not as low, but can be enjoyed for $700 to $800 a month. I like the idea of San Luis for it's central location. Maybe not an exciting place but it just looks like it's a good place to take bus trips from. And probably cheaper than more popular places.
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Kenneth Kilpatrick
New member
Username: Vanman

Post Number: 23
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 - 10:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

http://www.offtheroad.net/

Just ran across the above website. He has an interesting take on things under "Cordoba, Argentina." Also scroll down to the Tarija, Bolivia caption.

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