The Top Three Best Places to Retire Overseas and Enjoy a Great Climate

Ecuador enjoys a spring- like climate all year round.

Many places all over the world have great climates, but those that took the top three spots in our Annual Retirement Index 2013 are three of the best.

The country taking the number one spot not just in the climate category but overall in the Retirement Index lies directly on the equator. It enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year.

Ecuador is often referred to as the “Land of Eternal Spring.” However, the climate you will experience depends largely on where you are in the country, since there are four distinct geographical areas—the Sierra (mountains), the Oriente (eastern rainforests), the La Costa (Pacific coastal plains), and the Galapagos Islands.

For example, Ecuador’s capital, Quito, lies in the Central Valley between the Andean Mountains’ eastern and western ridges. The equator is less than 20 miles north of the city and Quito’s climate is spring-like year around: about 50F at night and as high as 76F during the day thanks to its high altitude.

The sun makes the difference. You can comfortably stroll out on a glorious Quito afternoon in shorts and a T-shirt, but you’ll need to take your wool sweater in case the clouds roll in. The equatorial sun is intense, but when it’s obscured by clouds, you realize how high in the Andes you really are. In fact, cold weather gear is needed for high altitude hiking and mountain climbing.

The beaches and rainforests, on the other hand, enjoy the tropical temperatures that you would expect from equatorial lowlands, with highs ranging between 80F and 90F. Between these two extremes, just about any type of weather can be found in this country.

Ecuador is beautiful, from snow-capped volcanoes to dense Amazon jungle and everything in-between, it is a place of astounding natural beauty. There’s plenty to explore and as an expat here, you’ll blend easily into the community. You’ll also be treated with respect, and the people will be eager to get to know you.

Uruguay, which came in sixth position overall in the Retirement Index, is runner up in the climate category. The country is located in a temperate zone the weather remains quite uniform. Uruguay enjoys average temperatures for the mid-winter month of July, ranging from 48F to 54F, while the midsummer month of January varies from 72F to 79F.

There is a big difference in temperatures and sunshine between winter and summer months, but things never get too extreme in either season—it’s never too hot or too cold. There can be substantial shifts from one day to the next in any season because Uruguay does not have any mountain ranges that might stabilize the weather.

The climate in Uruguay is subtropical, partly humid, and endures occasional rainfall. There are no major climatic variations from one region to another, even though they do exist between seasons. September to April are the most desirable months with respect to climate. Uruguay is not subject to snow, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, or extreme cold.

Panama comes third in the climate category of IL’s Annual Global Retirement Index. The cities have the usual problems of sultry heat, but for the best climate in Panama head to the highlands. Boquete offers Panama’s best climate due to its location. It offers a year-round spring-like climate along with beautiful surroundings.

Locals in Cerro Punta are known for their long lifespan, which many put down to the combination of the “eternal spring” climate and the many cancer-fighting vegetables they grow here. Volcan offers the same climate as Boquete, but at a fraction of the price.

If climate is playing a big part in your decision to retire overseas, then these three countries are the best places to retire. Put away your snow shoes for good and check out the best places to enjoy a great climate.

Editor’s Note: Sign up now to receive IL’s free daily postcards and immediately receive a free report on the World’s Top 10 Retirement Havens .

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