‘A unique place to watch the sunset’

Andres Felipe del Rio (30) is originally from Bogotá (Colombia). A design and marketing professional, in 2014 Andres moved to the Algarve, where he now lives near Loulé with his mother, father, sister and nephew. Together, the family runs a guest house, Casa Nostra.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine September 2017



What inspired you to move to the Algarve?

Andres: Actually, my inspiration was my family – because to me, family is the most important thing in life. After finishing my design studies in Italy, I had to decide where to go. Since my sister was already living at the Algarve and told me about the beautiful landscape and the large international community in Portugal, I moved here as well.


When did you feel at home here?

Andres: I really started feeling at home this April, because that was when my parents were finally able to move here as well. This made a big difference, because the Algarve is beautiful, but with my whole family around, living here feels completely different. You don’t feel like a foreigner anymore, as you always have the support of your loved ones.


Was it hard to get accustomed to the Portuguese lifestyle?

Andres: I think that as a foreigner you never really get accustomed to everything, because you have your own traditions and those of course differ from the Portuguese lifestyle. You’ll need a lot of time to really get accustomed 100% and, even then, you’ll never forget your roots.


How does your life differ now you live here?

Andres: In Colombia we used to live in a huge city, Bogotá, whereas now we live in a house in the countryside. Moving from a busy town to the calmness of Algarve was a big change. Also, we recently opened our own family business here, a guest house with four rooms.



What is your favourite Algarve moment?

Andres: The Algarve is a unique place to watch the sunset, since you have nothing blocking your view. For me it’s always special to see the sun going down at the seaside. One of my favourite moments here in the Algarve happened on my birthday last year at Ponta da Piedade where I watched a mesmerising sunset.


What annoys you here?

Andres: The excessive laid-back attitude. This is fine when you’re on holiday, but for living and running a business it can be hard sometimes. Some people don’t keep their word, for example if they promise to call you, especially in the governmental institutions, they don’t.


What do you miss most from Colombia?

Andres: Actually there a two things: firstly I really miss the variety of fruits. In Colombia, for example, there is a huge offer of fruit juices in every restaurant. The second thing is the party lifestyle. The concept of celebrating in Colombia isn’t necessary drinking a lot of alcohol; it’s more about dancing together. Even though there’s a lot of Latin music here as well, people don’t dance as freely as we do in Colombia.



Which 5 words would best describe the Algarve for you?

Andres: Beach, seafood, holiday, tourism, sun.


What’s your favourite spot?

Andres: Our home. In our guesthouse near the active town of Loulé, we have an amazing pool and a terrace where we enjoy the warm summer evenings together with the family and our guests.


In what way does the Algarve inspire you?

Andres: It actually inspired me to open our own family business. Because of its large international community, the Algarve offers a lot of possibilities for foreigners. You don’t need to travel far to get to know a variety of personalities from everywhere around the world that inspire each other.


How’s your Portuguese coming along?

Andres: Well, since my mother tongue is Spanish, it’s not that difficult. By now I’m quite fluent, but there are still some similarities between the languages that are confusing.


Do you have a secret tip for our readers?

Andres: The Algarve has more to offer than beaches – for example a beautiful countryside where you can hike or cycle. While being not far from the beaches, the countryside offers you the possibility to really calm down and take a proper rest from your daily life.


Words and pictures courtesy of Andres Felipe del Rio.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine September 2017

Posted in Algarve expat stories.