In the western highlands of Panama, in the Chiriquí Province, is a little mountain town that has many smitten—Boquete. There’s a lot to like and many benefits that have made it a favored destination of retirees and other expats. Perhaps it’s the small town vibe that first draws you in.
Playa del Carmen lies about midway between the all-inclusive resort hub of Cancún and the up-and-coming, low-key, and still somewhat bohemian destination of Tulúm. It’s a happy medium between those two extremes and a favorite for those seeking to live an active retirement in an atmosphere that is sophisticated, yet laidback at the same time.
You look out from your terrace over a vast tropical garden. You're surrounded by heliconias and bromeliads in shades of vivid red, bright yellow, orange, and combinations in between, along with orchid blooms. Banana and mango trees are heavy with fruit. It provides the perfect backdrop to a life lived outdoors, thanks to a year-round temperate climate—mid-70s F during the day, cooling off into the 60s F at night.
The sky is blue with just a few clouds on the horizon, and the sun is high above me. But the constant sea breeze keeps things comfortable. This section of the Caribbean island of Roatán is all jungle-covered hills dotted with houses, sloping down to vivid turquoise water.
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.
White-sand beaches. Check. Turquoise, see-to-the-bottom Caribbean waters. Check. Warm weather and cooling sea breezes. Check. A laidback island vibe. Check.
Dozens of white-sand beaches...the clear azure Caribbean stretching to the horizon...and warm weather (and water) year-round... Mexico's Riviera Maya is certainly a haven for beach lovers. And this stretch of coast on the Yucatán Peninsula welcomes millions of vacationers seeking to soak up the sun every year.
Most days out of the month, his daily routine is up to him. As the publisher of The Swell Dealer, a newspaper for tourists and expats, he sets his own schedule. He keeps an eye on business but it doesn't take up much of his time.
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.
"I think commuting is a waste of time. And I don't like fluorescent lights or uncomfortable business socks," says Jon Anderson, who works remotely in the field of IT. "The internet came around when I was first starting my career.