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...
Standing in the middle of Arequipa's central Plaza de Armas, it's hard not to be impressed. The magnificent, centuries-old Basilica Cathedral stretches the entire length of one side of the plaza. Behind it in the distance rise the snow-covered volcanic cones of Misti, Pichu Pichu, and Chachani.
Each morning, my alarm goes off at 7 a.m. but sometimes I lay in bed for a bit longer. No reason to rush. No one is in much of a hurry here at the tip of Mexico's most western territory, the Baja Peninsula. I like to start my day by taking a mile-long walk around the gated community my husband, Dan, and I live in. The houses are mostly three-bedroom and almost all provide a spectacular view of the famous arch in the Sea of Cortez.
Flick open my passport and you'll find stamps from countries all over the world. Look a bit closer and there's one country stamp that's in there more than any other...and that's Mexico. I've spent a lot of time scouting real estate in Mexico because of the real estate opportunities it offers. Here are three different destinations in Mexico that are on my radar right now.
Everyone has their own vision of paradise. Perhaps your perfect utopia involves sand beneath your toes, turquoise waves, and gently swaying palm trees. Or maybe you prefer the urban jungle where you're surrounded by the modern creations of man.
In 1999, I traveled to Fiji. For me, living in the mountains of North Carolina, it was a long journey but some of my friends thought I was heading to Mt. Fuji, Japan. After getting there, honestly, I was a bit disillusioned.
It's not unusual for expats to describe living in the Andes of Ecuador as "Little Switzerland," with its verdant mountains, deep river valleys, and charming towns with church spires dotting the countryside.
In 2015, when my wife, Brenda, and I told our two adult children and their families that we were buying a condo in Costa Rica, we did not get the usual guarded responses, nor the dreaded "What are you thinking?"
The colonial homes of Granada have secrets. Lush courtyards, cool plunge pools, fountains, and art. In their shade, old men in rocking chairs nod you a "buen dia." (It's how they say it here.) Their wives might look up from embroidery and smile.
When I awaken each morning to the sounds of the Caribbean surf rolling onto the sugary beach only yards away, and watch the pelicans and gulls plucking their breakfast from the waves, I realize my good fortune to live where I do on Mexico's Riviera Maya.