The Riviera Maya is a glorious stretch of sparkling white sand and turquoise-green Caribbean waters, bathed in balmy tropical sunshine. Beginning in Cancún at the northeast tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and running about 80 miles south along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, this spectacular stretch of palm-studded beach draws about five million vacationers from across the globe, each year, making it the Caribbean’s number one vacation destination.
Imagine living just a 20-minute flight from a world-class island destination…a 45-minute ferry from a tiny haven called the Island of Flowers…or an hour’s drive from an expansive, uncrowded beach that is home to an exuberant expat community.
Jutting out into the Pacific on the country’s northwest corner, the Nicoya Peninsula is set apart geographically from mainland Costa Rica. It’s more than an hour’s drive to the nearest sizable city, Nicoya. And from the capital, San José, and the main international airport there, it will take the better part of a day and include a mix of rough dirt roads and pavement winding through forest, farmland, and mountains. One route, to the southern tip of the peninsula, even includes a ferry crossing.
You’ll enjoy some of Mexico’s ﬁnest quality of living for a fraction of what you’d pay in the U.S. or Canada. All told, a couple can comfortably call this paradise home for around $2,500 to $3,000 a month. Simple meals in local restaurants will run you $5 or less. One of my favorites, ﬁsh tacos, can be had for $1.50 each in the no-frills beach restaurants. And in stores, you can expect to pay prices similar to those in the U.S. for imported foods, but fresh produce is a bargain…try a pound of tomatoes for 65 cents or two pounds of fresh fruit like mango for $1. There are big savings on property taxes and healthcare, too. And where else can you enjoy life in a two-bedroom condo a stone’s-throw from the beach, in a premier beach town, for under $700 a month rent?
My wife and I have been living the “endless summer” lifestyle in Salinas Ecuador for three years now, and I have to say it has been pretty fantastic. We love how the waves are the last thing we hear as we fall asleep, and that they are the first sound we hear when we wake up.
Once again, winter is on the way and you’ve realized that several months of dark cold days, shoveling piles of snow, suffering hazardous driving, paying increased energy bills, and shivering through freezing temperatures are things you no longer wish to endure.
Monica Sedgwick and her husband, James, wandered into the laidback Nicaraguan beach town of San Juan del Sur about nine years ago. They were immediately hooked on its gorgeous beaches…colorful, yet less stressed lifestyle…fun people…and the fact that it was cheap to live there.
People often ask me about a typical day in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. When my husband and I first movedhere, people asked us what we would do and if we would get “bored” of living in a vacation spot.
Stretching from along the eastern edge of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, from Cancún in the north to Tulúm in the south, the Riviera Maya is one of the world’s top vacation destinations.
I am a beachophile. Having grown up on Plum Island, north of Boston and lived in Sarasota, Florida for 10 years, salt water is in my blood. Florida appealed to me because as a veteran Northeasterner, I wanted to get away from the snow and ice.