How To Move To Colombia in 2018

Colombia is on the tip of everyone's tongue, and has been for some time.

Based on the emails I receive on this blog, it is by far the number one choice for folks looking to expat to Latin America.

If you want to figure out how to move to Colombia, here are the best ways to do it in 2018.

Learn Spanish. Get Girls. A Review Of Pickup Spanish

My journey to Spanish competency has been long and tumultuous. It started with Spanish classes in Mexico (which I promptly quit after just a week), then moved on to audio courses (most of which I slept through) and finally to Latin music and telenovelas, with which I finally began making some progress.

Initially, my goal was simple: learn Spanish to meet women. But it took me months of stumbling through learning methods before I was finally able to hold down a basic conversation on a discotec dance floor (discotec is Spanish for "nightclub," by the way).

If only I had discovered a course tailored to my *ahem* ultra specific needs at the time, I would have saved myself a lot of fruitless effort, valuable time and money.

Bring in El Conquistador's Pickup Spanish course.

What Happens If You Overstay Your Visa In Peru in 2018?

 

So, you came to Peru, loved it and stayed. Lost track of time. It happens.

Now, you want to head back home to visit family, or leave the country to explore new lands. 

Only one problem: you've overstayed your tourist visa for Peru.

So, now what happens? Will you be barred from the country? Charged a crazy amount of money? Thrown into a Peruvian jail?

Not to fear, you're friend Vance is here to answer all of these questions and more!

overstayperu

 

***Updated for 2018

First, A bit of info about tourist visas in Peru

Up until recently, tourists were allowed 183 days in Peru per trip. After that time was up, they could just hop the border into a neighbouring country for a few hours, come back and BOOM, new tourist visa.

However, in March of 2017, a new law was passed stating that tourists would receive a maximum of 183 days per calendar year, meaning that once these days were up, said tourist would have to leave the country for 6 months before being allowed back in.

In effect, that means no border hopping.

 

The good news is that this law isn't being uniformly enforced.

The bad news is that...well, this law isn't being uniformly enforced.

 

Let me explain.

Although on paper you're technically not allowed to border hop and get a new tourist visa once your old one is up, in practice, many tourists have been able to do so like the good ol' days.

Many others have had a stern talking to about not being able to border hop, and as a consequence, have only received 30 days upon re-entering, as opposed to the typical 90 or 183.

An unlucky few have been straight-up turned away at the border when they attempt to re-enter.

This just makes things confusing.

Since tourists don't know if they'll be let back into the country if they try the border hopping route, many who wish to stay in Peru long term now just opt to overstay and pay a fine when they finally depart.

I'm here to tell you how the Peruvian authorities deal with such people.

 

 

What to expect if you've stayed too long in peru

If you've gone over your 183 days in Peru (or however many you were granted/asked for upon arrival), you will be fined about $1.00 USD (some says it's $1, some say it has changed to $1.25...I haven't been able to confirm). So, if you want to stay an extra 6 months, you're looking at at least $180.00 USD. The process for paying this fine is very straightforward. If you're leaving through Lima's airport, the border guard will simply direct you to the booth that is farthest on the left to pay the fine. They don't give change, so make sure you bring some small bills/coins. 

Once you've paid the fine, you're free to go! Carry on to the departure gate as you normally would.

perutouristvisa

Now, if you're crossing a border by land, things might be a bit different.

If you're lucky, they may not even notice you've overstayed (customs authorities on the border aren't as on the ball with this sort of thing).

However, if they do notice, you may be in for more trouble.

For whatever reason, border guards at land crossings are always a bit dodgier. They may try to get more money out of you than $1.00 or $1.25. And you may have to do some tedious negotiating.

 

But, all and all, the only punishment you'll face when overstaying in Peru in 2018 is a fine. You won't go to jail or be beaten or anything like that.

 

 

What About Re-Entering The Country?

You might be wondering what will occur if you violate the terms of your tourist visa, and then try to re-enter the country.

Well, that depends.

If you overstay your visa, pay your fine and try to re-enter Peru a week later, you may run into issues. Either they won't let you back in on the basis that you've already used up your 183 days in the calendar year (unlikely - it's rare that they won't let you back into the country at all), or they will let you back in and only give you thirty days or so to get your ducks in a row and get out of the country. If you get a particularly nice (or ignorant) border guard, they may let you in no problem and give you another 90 or 183 days.

***Keep in mind that, regardless of how many days a border guard issues you when you arrive, you are entitled to 183 inside the country each year. So, say the border guard gives you 90 days (indicated by a "90" written by your passport stamp), and you decide to leave after 88 days to visit family for two months. When you come back, you should still be allowed 95 more days in Peru.

In other words, it isn't clear what happens if you try to enter Peru right away after you've exceeded your 183 days. A lot depends on the border guard. I suspect that they'll let you back into the country, but I doubt they'll grant you another 183 days.

 

 

 

What is the best way to stay in Peru longterm?

Well, the absolute best way is to get some sort of renewable work or residency visa that allows you to stay in the country.

But, that's easier said than done...and beyond the scope of this article.

The second best way is to follow the law. That is, stay for six months and leave for six months before coming back.

But, I know not all of you naughty rascals will do that.

So, the third best option is simply to overstay. As I mentioned before, 6 months will cost you an extra couple hundred dollars. That's about what it would cost from Lima for a trip out of the country anyway (unless you like long bus rides). My advice is to just suck up the cost of the fine when you're sure you're ready to leave Peru.

If you choose to come back 6 months later, you'll have a clean slate of another 183 days. They won't hold your previous violation against you (unless they noticed that you've done it numerous times...then they might throw you some grief).

And if you try to come back immediately after you've overstayed, please let me and the other readers know about your experience!

 

I hope this has helped clarify things. Bottom line is that it seems Peru is cracking down more each day on tourists that exceed their 183 day limit.

Annoying for folks like us, but entirely within its right to do so as a country.

 

 

 

Until next time,

Vance

What Is It Like To Live In Mexico?

There are many different Mexicos. There is the Mexico of American media, consisting mainly of drugs and violence on the border and along the coast.

There is the Mexico of spring break - the endless beach-drinking and partying of college students.

And there is the Mexico as it's depicted by the country's own marketing campaign, a Mexico of rich culture and tradition.

It's all true. And, apart from the drug violence (hopefully!), you're likely to experience all of it if you take a week-long vacation down south.

But what is it like to actually live in Mexico?

How To Move To Peru in 2018: The Easiest Ways To Stay

Peru is an easy place to fall in love with.

Rich history, incredible food, friendly people and one of the strongest economies in the region.

But how can you live here? If you want to move to Peru, there are a number of options available.

What Happens If You Overstay Your Visa In Mexico in 2018?

***Updated for 2018

For most folks, overstaying a tourist visa in Mexico will never be an issue.

The FMM tourist card that all travellers must fill out upon arrival is valid for a generous 180 days, meaning that you can legally spend nearly half the year south of the border.

That's plenty enough time for your average vacationer, who only pops down to Puerto Vallarta or Playa del Carmen for a week or two.

But, maybe you're not the average traveller.

Let's say that, for whatever reason, you've stayed longer than six months down here and broken the rules of your visa. 

What happens when you try to leave?

Well...it depends.

 

What Happened To Venezuela? An Explanation Of The Current Crisis

You may have seen some crazy shit on the Internet recently about Venezuela.

Mass protests, moves by President Maduro to rewrite the constitution and, of course, the perpetual food and medical shortages, crime waves and violence.

So, how did all this happen to a country that was once among the richest in Latin America? 

My Latin Life's Guide To Mexican Drug Cartels: 2018 Edition

Since 2006, the Mexican Drug War has claimed nearly 200,000 lives.

And 2017 has been the bloodiest year yet, with over 20,000 recorded murders.

Drug smuggling is old hat in Mexico, dating back to the 1800s when Chinese immigrants first introduced the Opium poppy to the Sierra Madre mountains.

But why the sudden spike in violence? To get the answer, we must travel back to the 1980s.

US Visa Requirements For Latin America - 2018 Edition

Visas are a pain in the ass.

Fees, restrictions and local bureaucracy can make planning a headache. If you're not prepared, you may end up paying more than you have to, find yourself in trouble with local authorities or even being barred from the country.

The good news is that Latin America isn't as harsh as some regions when it comes to allowing Americans to stay for extended periods of time.

That being said, there are many nuances that you MUST be aware of being heading south, especially if your plan is to stay longterm.

Men's Fashion In South America: How Should You Dress?

Two friends from Canada came to visit me when I was living in Mexico City. It was their first night in town and they were after some fun and some women.

"Let's go out," one of them says.

I agree.

"Let me get ready," I reply, expecting them to do the same.

After a few minutes, I exit my room, surprised to see them wearing the same things as when I entered.

"...you guys going to change?" I ask

"Isn't this good?" The other one says.

I observe them. One is wearing an Under Armour shirt and Under Armour shoes, with jeans two sizes too big. The other is sporting Cargo shorts and donning a teeshirt with some metal band on it.

"Jesus Christ," I mutter under my breath.

The Best Cities To Travel To In Latin America - 2018 Edition

Times have changed. Latin America has changed. I've changed.

Cities in Central and South America have a tendency to go through ebbs and flows. A great city to live in today might not be a great one tomorrow.

Take Medellin for instance. In the early 2000s, this was the place to live in Latin America. If you were brave enough to venture down to recently drug-war torn Colombia, as one of the few foreigners, beautiful women would be throwing themselves at you as you enjoyed an incredibly low cost of living and year-round spring temperatures.

And then word got out.

Are Mexican Girls Easy? A Look At Sex South Of The Border

I know I know, I've beaten this topic to death, but two different emails this week got me thinking that maybe I've been approaching the subject the wrong way.

The gist first email went something like this. It was a rant and didn't merit a response.

Email 1: Hey Vance, based on your advice I went to Guanajuato in Mexico...and let me just say you are completely wrong! Girls in Mexico are far from easy. They are standoffish, impossible to get on dates, etc, etc.

And the second one...

Dating And Meeting Nicaraguan Girls: Advice from an Expat

**This is a guest post from a Canadian living in Nicaragua

Nicaragua isn't a country that most people think of when it comes to girls in Latin America. Many people couldn't locate it on a map and some people don't even know it exists!

But along with low prices and lots of sunshine, Nicaraguan girls are one of the bonuses about living here.

I've been here in Leon for almost two years now and I have loved every minute of it.

And I'm happy to share everything I know with you about the women of this country.

The Best Places In Latin America To Find A Wife

Back again, folks!

Today I'll be talking about the best places to find a wife in Latin America...or at the very least, a serious girlfriend.

You see, as much as I like hooking up with and casually dating Latinas, I acknowledge that I'm getting a bit older and more mature (relatively, at least). And, as I'm sure many of you know, after reaching a certain number of notches, the whole chasing women just for the sake of it tends to turn to ash in your mouth.

With that in mind...

Let's Talk About Expats In Latin America

Mexico City, 2016

I was finishing a lunch at KURA, a fancy Japanese spot in Colonia Roma Norte.

We were an eclectic group of patrons: an Egyptian girl, who originally moved to Mexico for her boyfriend and decided to stick around after they split, a Mexican woman with her own small advertising agency, my Japanese roommate, who worked at a bank, an American friend who sold security systems throughout Latin America and was based in Mexico City, and myself, a Canadian who no one really knew what the fuck was doing exactly...

Are Colombian Girls Easy? Let's Cut Through The Rumors

I want to talk about sex in Colombia.

Since about the mid-2000s or so, this South American nation began to skyrocket in popularity among tourists. What was once a no-go zone for travellers 10 short years before due to extreme rates of narco violence, terrorism and political instability, all of a sudden became a hotbed of drug and sex-craved backpackers.

It wasn't long before word got out about the beautiful women and their alleged preference for foreign men.

Annnnd the rest is history.

12 Underrated Cities For Meeting Mexican Women

Ah, Mexico.

As late dictator Porfirio Diaz once said: "So far from God, so close to the United States."

I suspect I've spent a total of three years here. That includes living in Mexico City for about 20 months, along with a handful of shorter stays in various parts of the country.

If you want to meet Mexican women, here are some of the lesser-known cities I'd recommend.

What Are Bricheras? (And Other Things You Should Know About Dating In Lima)

Hello!

I will likely be heading down to Peru again in February or March.

As some of you may recall, this wasn’t my original plan.

In 2018, the idea was to choose a place to settle and stop this nomadic shit.

But, alas, I was playing with a bit of business while I was in Lima...

The 5 Safest Capital Cities In Latin America

No one is ever going to entirely agree on a "safest cities" list.

First of all, it's hard to get a read on these things. Official crime statistics simply can't be trusted in Latin America. I raise my eyebrows in amusement when journalists claim that Mexico City has a lower murder rate than cities like Washington D.C or Boston, erroneously assuming that Mexican law enforcement agencies report murder rates with the same accuracy as American law enforcement agencies. Also, many people in Central and South America don't bother to report crimes such as robbery (or, in some cases, even murder) because they either don't trust law enforcement, or they know that law enforcement is so inefficient that the perpetrators are unlikely to ever be caught anyway.

Second, personal experience tends to color perception.

How To Rent An Apartment In Bogota, Colombia

Hello, friends!

This post is for those of you that are wondering how to rent an apartment in Bogota, Colombia.

One of the most frustrating things about heading to a new country for a short or long term stay is finding an ideal place to live; the rush and excitement of arriving in a new place is quickly moderated by the reality of needing to hustle to find an a place to live, unless of course you're comfortable paying for an overpriced Airbnb or living in a hotel for months on end.

I'm here to help make the process of finding an apartment a bit easier.