The Caribbean island of Roatan, about 40 miles off the coast of mainland Honduras, is well and truly on the expat radar. But that doesn't mean there aren't real estate bargains to be had. Prices here dropped during the housing crash of 2008 but have since leveled off. Plus, due to the devaluing of their dollar, Canadians, a major percentage of buyers on the island, haven't been buying in recent years...
Costa Rica has been a destination for retirees and other expats going on four decades now. The benefits that drew those first pioneers all those years ago are still very much part of life in this little Central American gem. It ticks a lot of boxes. You can’t beat the weather, especially when you’ve just endured another chilly North American winter.
It’s Happy Hour in Roatan’s West End…or at least it’s five o’clock somewhere, as the saying goes. Eddie is serving up the drinks, and the blender is running. First-timers get a tequila shot—on the house.
For Ray and Michele, the year-round temperate climate of Costa Rica’s Orosi Valley leaves them with no need for heating or air conditioning. Temperatures stay in the 70s F most of the time, which means that they can get out on their farm all year-round.
As a busy carpenter and contractor in his native Canada, Steve Quinn relished his regular trips to Costa Rica to relax and unwind on the beach. After six years of short visits, he decided to make this beach lifestyle permanent. He took over a beach bar and restaurant in Tamarindo, a funky surf town on the country's northern Pacific coast. He's leasing the property for three years, with an option to buy, which is a great way to test the waters without committing to purchasing property right off the bat.
When Costa Rica got its start as an expat haven more than three decades ago, it was all about retirees. But over the years, the great weather, stable government, and low cost of living have also attracted those too young to retire (or those who never want to). And they've found plenty of ways to support themselves—and their families—while living in a tropical paradise.
Scott Dinsmore, 47, and David Russell, 52, keep busy running their Spanish colonial-style boutique hotel, El Castillo, on Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast. It sits 600 feet above the beach in the jungle-clad mountains that rise sharply from the deep blue waters. But they never forget to enjoy the natural beauty of their adopted home...
You wake up early for work. But you’re not slapping at the alarm clock in disgust, then rushing out the door for a long commute. You want to get up...you’re looking forward to the day. You get to enjoy that first cup of coffee as the rising sun makes the Pacific glitter...watch wildlife—toucans, parrots, even monkeys—make their morning rounds in the trees...and bask in praise from departing guests...
Thanks to its popularity as a beach vacation destination, Mexico is perhaps best known to most North Americans for its resort towns like Puerto Vallarta and Cancún.
It wasn’t the practical reasons, like lower cost of living, great—and cheap—medical care, and friendly people, that convinced Dave Scott to move to San Ramón, a town on the western edge of Costa Rica’s Central Valley region. Though the country has all those advantages and more, and while those were factors in the decision, it was something else that drew him. “It was like an invisible string around my neck pulling me here,” says Dave. “It’s more of a heart thing than a head thing. It’s hard to explain. It was just the feeling I had.”