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  1. #9492
    Quote Originally Posted by MojoBandit  [View Original Post]
    Playa Hollywood is about 800 to 1000 feet long, its not a jungle. Tony is only interested helping Tony so there is no guarantee he is going to show you the hottest chicas on the beach, but the ones he thinks he can hustle for the biggest piece of the pesos that you fork over. If I were you then I would do a little hunting first and then if you feel you have exhausted your effort maybe consider Tony but in the meantime I would avoid him like the plague.
    Sounds like a plan, that's what I will do. I'll talk to him only if I can't find what I'm looking for but if I talk to him he will need to bring me exactly what I want and then it will be worth it to me.

  2. #9491

    No Real Advantage To Using Tony

    Quote Originally Posted by AmorPorFavor  [View Original Post]
    Thanks Hill. If Tony can weed the chicas out for me it will save hunting time. I'm only interested in a certain type (muy guapa). I'm also thinking that the chicas he brings are less likely to pull some shit knowing that it will get back to Tony that they are un problema.
    Playa Hollywood is about 800 to 1000 feet long, its not a jungle. Tony is only interested helping Tony so there is no guarantee he is going to show you the hottest chicas on the beach, but the ones he thinks he can hustle for the biggest piece of the pesos that you fork over. If I were you then I would do a little hunting first and then if you feel you have exhausted your effort maybe consider Tony but in the meantime I would avoid him like the plague.

  3. #9490
    Quote Originally Posted by AmorPorFavor  [View Original Post]
    Thanks Hill. If Tony can weed the chicas out for me it will save hunting time. I'm only interested in a certain type (muy guapa). I'm also thinking that the chicas he brings are less likely to pull some shit knowing that it will get back to Tony that they are un problema.
    If you're going to seek out Tony then it behooves you to be on your guard. He is notorious for ripping off tourists.

  4. #9489
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltopper  [View Original Post]
    Okay, if you insist. Go to Playa Hollywood. If he hasn't already spotted you first, then ask one of the locals to point out Tony #1. Do you want to confirm that you have the Tony that you're seeking or a totally different Tony? Then watch the below video and at 2 minutes and 25 seconds in to 2 minutes and 45 seconds is the Tony that you seek:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGd8...yer_detailpage

    Now you know what Tony looks like and won't be misled by one of his many impostors, lol.
    Thanks Hill. If Tony can weed the chicas out for me it will save hunting time. I'm only interested in a certain type (muy guapa). I'm also thinking that the chicas he brings are less likely to pull some shit knowing that it will get back to Tony that they are un problema.

  5. #9488

    Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltopper  [View Original Post]
    Right hand meet left hand, LOL.

    That 'ole UrbanWildlife sure did "bring it" back-in-the day when it came to providing useful and accurate information about the Northern Coast of Colombia, especially Rodadero and Santa Marta.

    He sure knew his stuff!







    Pirate, thanks again for letting me know about Colpatria / Scotiabank. It's always handy to know another true "no fee" ATM. If you or Old Parr run into Urban Wildlife, send my regards for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
    Aha ole Urbanwildlife man who was a true monger with a wealth of info.

    Not only that but a man who in CTG I saw party hard for 3 nights almost non stop.

    Who knows when we see him again?

  6. #9487

    I don't need no stinking cabana

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltopper  [View Original Post]
    Okay, if you insist. Go to Playa Hollywood. If he hasn't already spotted you first, then ask one of the locals to point out Tony #1. Do you want to confirm that you have the Tony that you're seeking or a totally different Tony? Then watch the below video and at 2 minutes and 25 seconds in to 2 minutes and 45 seconds is the Tony that you seek:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGd8...yer_detailpage

    Now you know what Tony looks like and won't be misled by one of his many impostors, lol.
    How about the puta rates on the beach?

    Or was he talking in code?

  7. #9486
    Quote Originally Posted by AmorPorFavor  [View Original Post]
    OK looks like I got all the info I'll need on ATM's. Now can anybody please tell me exactly where I can find this Tony Montana character on the beach. I'll be staying right near there on the ocean front next week. I don't mind paying an extra $15 (price of a good cocktail here in San Diego) if he can bring me what I'm looking in a for in chicas and guarantee a BBBJ and overall good service. I would also maybe have some recourse with him if things do not go well or something gets stolen?
    Okay, if you insist. Go to Playa Hollywood. If he hasn't already spotted you first, then ask one of the locals to point out Tony #1. Do you want to confirm that you have the Tony that you're seeking or a totally different Tony? Then watch the below video and at 2 minutes and 25 seconds in to 2 minutes and 45 seconds is the Tony that you seek:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGd8...yer_detailpage

    Now you know what Tony looks like and won't be misled by one of his many impostors, lol.

  8. #9485

    Thanks for all the thorough replies

    Quote Originally Posted by MarquisdeSade1  [View Original Post]
    Can anyone say if there is a money changer that takes 5% or less?

    There must be at least one?

    Don't tell me there's a money changer cartel?
    Now back to are regularly scheduled discussion.

    Where's all the fucking cono hiding in Cartagena?

  9. #9484
    If you are from Europe use a starling card for no ATM fees or foreign transaction fees abroad and you get the Mastercard exchange rate. Then use bbva or Scotiabank Colpatria for no local fees. That's what I've been doing.

    I should be in Cartagena on the 24th for a week.

  10. #9483
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltopper  [View Original Post]

    If you are staying in Bocagrande or Laguito (someone else can speak for it if you are staying elsewhere), you'll have a handful or so Currency Exchange places within walking distance of your apartment. Ask a few of them what their rate is that day and use the best one. If you are exchanging more than a few hundred dollars or so, you can often negotiate a little better rate than the one they first quoted you. If a subsequent change house quotes you an exchange rate for less than the previous house, show him or tell him what the previous house quoted you and ask him to beat it. Remember, you're in Cartagena, so not accepting the first quote and asking for a better rate (negotiating) is commonplace.

    If you are renting a place from Juan or Mery, they both have been changing dollars week-in and week-out for over 15+ years and can tell you which one they typically use or think provides the best rate.
    Thought I'd add to acknowledge that an Exchange House outside of Laguito or Bocagrande could (may very well) offer a better rate, because I do know that both Juan and Mery go outside of that zone if they have a worthwhile amount of dollars to exchange. They've each mentioned where they (separately) go, but I've never committed it to memory or written it down. On those rare occasions when I've had dollars that I wanted to exchange for pesos (for example, from another monger who I helped out by buying their dollars from them when they were in a pinch, or who paid me their fair share of a split expense in dollars because they didn't have any pesos, etc. ), I did what I described in my previous post (walked around to a few exchange houses in the neighborhood and negotiated the best rate I could get).

    The only time or two in all the years/trips where I've had a worthwhile amount of dollars to exchange, I've gone to Juan or Mery or Mery's taxi driver to get pesos for me.

    I've also purchased pesos from guys departing that day or the next day who say they most likely will never have any use for the pesos, or when they've won a bunch at the Casino before they depart and would like to have the dollars. Those instances are the win-win situations for both of us!

  11. #9482

    Hollywood Beach

    OK looks like I got all the info I'll need on ATM's. Now can anybody please tell me exactly where I can find this Tony Montana character on the beach. I'll be staying right near there on the ocean front next week. I don't mind paying an extra $15 (price of a good cocktail here in San Diego) if he can bring me what I'm looking in a for in chicas and guarantee a BBBJ and overall good service. I would also maybe have some recourse with him if things do not go well or something gets stolen?

  12. #9481
    Quote Originally Posted by YippieKayay  [View Original Post]

    I'm going to make this easy on everyone. Money changers will take a big commission (10% or more). Most bank machines will charge you 1-2% in fees and exchange rate commission. You're looking at paying 5 bucks on a 200 dollar withdrawal at the end of the day. It's not an insane amount. You're going to get fucked a little. There's no real way around it.

    I use Davivienda and Bancolombia myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPage  [View Original Post]
    So we are back to the short answer that has been given so many times already:

    1) Use ATM, never money changers.

    2) ANY ATM will be much better than ANY money changer.

    Second-order considerations on fees, surcharges changing with the specific ATM or bank will change the picture by few bucks. Since most of us is going to burn many hundreds dollars for pussy, it is really not much worth to work to save 5 dollars.
    Hey, Black Page and YippeeKayay.

    Greetings! Wishing both of you a happy new year and safe travels!

    You both do a great job week-after-week taking the time to provide many of the visitors (especially the first time visitor) to Cartagena helpful information. Kudos to both of you.

    I don't spend much time on the forum (look at my number of posts over the 11 or so years of posting), but when I do, I always see both of you helping out many a monger and / or new visitor.

    I've highlighted a post from each of you that I'd like to see if I can get you to consider the flip side of the coin and not be so hard-headed. Now Black Page, you and I both know you can dig in your heels and not budge on something, LOL. YippeeKayay, you may have a similar personality to Black Page, but I can't say like I can for Black Page.

    The topic is the response provided to guys who come here seeking information about finding the best currency exchange house in Cartagena.

    I've kept quiet, but given that you both keep beating the same drum over and over, I thought I'd point this out:

    Since the two of you use ATMs such as Davivienda, Servibanca and Bancolombia (per your own recent posts), you are getting clipped pretty much or almost the same as the guys who take cash to a currency exchange house.

    The guys who bring currency down to exchange most often do so for a reason. It could be that they receive cash for services rendered back home and don't want to put that money into a checking account for whatever reason. It could be that they don't want a traceable transaction history on a debit card or credit card in Colombia for their own various reasons. I mean each guy has his own reasons; let's not always assume that he doesn't know he'd be better off using say a Schwab card at Colpatria / Scotiabank, BBVA or Caja Social.

    To the guys who inquire about the best Currency Exchange place in town, obviously the one at the airport will be on the worst end of it, so you may want to exchange for only what's necessary for the first day's expenses. Again, that's assuming that finding a change house that'll get you an additional say 2 - 4% better than the airport makes a difference over the course of your stay.

    If you are staying in Bocagrande or Laguito (someone else can speak for it if you are staying elsewhere), you'll have a handful or so Currency Exchange places within walking distance of your apartment. Ask a few of them what their rate is that day and use the best one. If you are exchanging more than a few hundred dollars or so, you can often negotiate a little better rate than the one they first quoted you. If a subsequent change house quotes you an exchange rate for less than the previous house, show him or tell him what the previous house quoted you and ask him to beat it. Remember, you're in Cartagena, so not accepting the first quote and asking for a better rate (negotiating) is commonplace.

    If you are renting a place from Juan or Mery, they both have been changing dollars week-in and week-out for over 15+ years and can tell you which one they typically use or think provides the best rate.

  13. #9480
    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMorgan  [View Original Post]
    Are you sure you read this forum. Or do you just ask questions? I think I have seen it all now. As in READ THE LAST TWO POSTS.
    Right hand meet left hand, LOL.

    That 'ole UrbanWildlife sure did "bring it" back-in-the day when it came to providing useful and accurate information about the Northern Coast of Colombia, especially Rodadero and Santa Marta.

    He sure knew his stuff!

    Pirate, you are correct about Colpatria / Scotiabank, and it is one that I had never used in the past. Thanks to you I've added it to BBVA and Caja Social as ATMs down here that are true "no fee" ATMs. Much appreciated.

    As you know, using the more popular ones like Davivienda (the worst in my experience), Servibanca and Bancolombia adds up for guys like you who spend a considerable amount of time in Colombia in any given year, year after year.

    I don't have to tell you this, but for the benefit of those who continually want to say that it's too much trouble to walk across the street to save the difference, I can provide an example (I've got a little time here while the coffee is brewing):

    Doing a quick scan, I found one occasion in 2019 where I used a either a BBVA or Caja Social on a Saturday or Sunday (currency markets closed so no fluctuation in rate after the Friday close), and then used a Davivienda or Servibanca later on that same night. Why did I use either of those two later in a night? Because I was out and about with no plans to spend pesos, ran into a working girl while out (Cartagena) or decided to go to casa (Barranquilla). In each instance I wasn't taking them back to my digs, but instead a love motel or on-site.

    Here's the difference: USD-COP X-RATE = 3346; BBVA gives me 3296 pesos, which is the 98.5% I expect (1% to the card network and 0. 5% to my issuing bank); Servibanca gives me 2987 pesos, which is 89.3%. I withdrew their max of 720 mil pesos.

    I also found where I used a Daviviendo in the early morning of Nov. 7th (before currency markets had opened) in Barranquilla. USD-COP X-Rate closed at 3308 on Nov 6th. Daviviendo gave me 2899 pesos, which is 87.6%. I withdrew the max of 900 mil pesos.

    So for guys like Pirate Morgan who spend a considerable amount of time in Colombia year-after-year, it can make a considerable difference to walk a block or two to pull from a true "no fee" ATM.

    Assume one spends on average 2,000 USD a month in pesos (currency) and is there all 12 months of the year or travels to Colombia each and every month. Not hard to do for a guy who pays for everything in pesos, such as his landlord.

    $24,000 USD a year and you get to choose receiving 98.5% of the true exchange rate by walking across the street to Colpatria / Scotiabank, BBVA or Caja Social, or receive around 88 or 89% by taking the "who cares it's just a few pesos" attitude espoused by some.

    That 10% difference in just one year = lots of dinners at El Santisimo for Black Page and lots of Black Jack sessions for YippyKayay, even though they may only visit 3 to 6 times a year.

    Now take that over 10 years, and well Pirate, I know you for one get the picture.

    How about the one time monger coming to Cartagena who will pull the equivalent of $1,000 USD out during his one and only visit? Black Page and YippyKayay have suggested or implied that it's too much trouble and / or doesn't amount to enough to make a difference.

    $1000 USD x 3333 pesos (this past Friday's closing X-Rate) = 3,333,000 Colombian Pesos. Go to Servibanca or Daviviendo and get clipped an additional 9 or 10% (compared to Colpatria/Scotiabank, BBVA, Caja Social) = 300 to 333 mil pesos = 2 sessions with a most any chica of your selection.

    So to the one-time visiting monger out there, it may not be worth your time to walk across the street or a block to get two sessions with a chica for free, but if it is, you'll use one of the true "no fee" ATMs as suggested by Pirate or myself.

    Pirate, thanks again for letting me know about Colpatria / Scotiabank. It's always handy to know another true "no fee" ATM. If you or Old Parr run into Urban Wildlife, send my regards for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

  14. #9479

    Rtff

    Quote Originally Posted by OldParr  [View Original Post]
    Is there a Scotia Bank in Cartagena?
    Yes it is obvious that you are not following the thread carefully but I am going to jump in here because it is Saturday and I am a little bored. It is my understanding that Scotia Bank bought a controlling share of a Colombian bank called Banco Multibanca Colpatria. Hence PirateMorgan's referral to Scotia Bank / Colpatria in the posts that he has made in regard to their "free" ATMs, including the one where he says if you go anywhere else you do not have the sense that God gave a pigeon and you are Stupid Stupid Stupid (okay PirateMorgan did not say that exactly, I am paraphrasing and adding some extra stupids). In Questner's post he supplied addresses to these Scotia Bank / Colpatria locations. I am going to take this one step further and give you directions and draw a picture (because I already told you that it is Saturday and I am a little bored sitting here waiting for my UberEats order and listening to Santana).

    The only part I am confused about is whether or not every branch / ATM of Colpatria is a Scotia Bank / Colpatria. PirateMorgan stated in his post ". You want to use the Colpatria / Scotiabank ATM. NOT the Colpatria ATM. Not the Scotiabank ATM. They are different".

    I cannot find any information that says that these two entities (Scotia Bank and Banco Colpatria) operate as separate banks. When I change the regional search in Google to Colombia and I search Banco Colpatria. I get www.scotiabankcolpatria.com - The wikipedia article for Scotia Bank states that they "merged" operations with Banco Colpatria. So I am not sure why PirateMorgan says that they are different but he must have his reasons. So I am going to point out this location with that grain of salt that I am not 100% sure that it is a Colpatria / Scotiabank ATM. It is for sure a Colpatria.

    This location is convenient to the Clock Tower. If you exit Plaza de Los Coches to the left (Northeast) of the clocktower where the wall ends you come out by Avenida Venezuela and turn left, on the opposite side of Avenida Venezuela than clocktower and about 450 feet (northeast) from where the wall ends (clock tower monument section of the wall) there is a Banco Colpatria. I say it is on the opposite side of Avenida Venezuela but technically it is on Carrera 9a becasause Carrera 9a splits off at this point although you can't really tell except that the road splits into three lanes and there is another row of those chunks of yellow concrete median things to seperate the lanes. I am including photos of how it looks when you are approaching and from the front (photos not necessarily in that order) because the signage is not obvious until you are right in front of it, and even then the signage is not obvious because it is still a little obscured by the concrete awning looking thing sticking off the front of the building.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails colpatria3.jpg‎   colpatria b.jpg‎   colpatria b2.jpg‎  

  15. #9478
    Quote Originally Posted by MrEnternational  [View Original Post]
    The verdict is in mfs. I arrived in Bogota last night and the first thing I saw when I came out of the bathroom downstairs after immigration was a damn Colpatria / Scotiabank ATM (I can't recall ever seeing one in my life). I had to see what it was about. I stuck my Schwab card in and it gave me the option of withdrawing 20 K. I guess that was the sucker option because I declined that, then the real amounts popped up. The highest was 900,000, which I chose. Then for some reason I did it all over again knowing full well that my dumb ass always uses my Amex Platinum in these parts. It will probably take me over 1 year to get rid of these 1.8 million pesos.

    So with each 900,000 pesos that I took out, $273 came out of my account for an exchange rate of 3296.70. There was a sign that popped up on the ATM saying that if you are using an international card, any fees that you get will be the ones charged by your bank.
    It's all actually very simple. You use a Schwab card, so at ATMs such as Colpatria / Scotiabank that give you the true exchange rate and don't charge any fees, the only fee you are paying is the 1% fee to the card network. Hence, you received 99%, which in my experience is the best possible outcome.

    I'll take your verdict one step further to address whether Colpatria / Scotiabank is the only bank that provides the true exchange rate and doesn't charge any fees on their end. How so? I just pulled 200 k pesos from each of Caja Social, BBVA and Colpatria / Scotiabank this morning, a Saturday when the currency markets are closed. Here is the verdict:

    Caja Social this morning, my account was debited $60.96 for the 200 mil COP.

    BBVA this morning, my account was debited $60.96 for 200 mil COP.

    Drum roll: Colpatria / Scotiabank this morning, my account was debited $60.96 for 200 mil COP.

    I pay the same 1% card network fee that you pay with your Schwab card, and I pay an additional 0. 5% to the issuing bank of my card.

    I received 3281 pesos per the dollar, which is 98.5% of the USD-COP X-RATE

    There you have it, Caja Social, BBVA and Colpatria / Scotiabank as advertised.

    The other ATMs and the banks behind them charge a fee, whether hidden or published.*

    *Note: Corpbanca is another advertised as "no fee" that I have used in the past, but since I haven't used them in over a year and they weren't included in today's trial, I've intentionally left out and noted here.

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