San Miguel de Allende is arguably the best-known Spanish-colonial town in Mexico…and for good reason. It’s beautiful (and beautifully-preserved), it has great shopping for arts and crafts, fine dining, plenty of English-speaking locals, a huge expat community, and it’s relatively easy to reach.
It might seem strange to say that I’m a beach person, having spent much of my adult life as a desert dweller. But every vacation during those years was to the ocean, because while I loved life in New Mexico, I craved the ocean and needed at least one week of soaking myself in salt water to regenerate.
Day-Glo purple, tuscan yellow, lipstick red, and electric hues I don’t have names for—these are the colors that hug the roads of the Orosi Valley. They are housed in the stories-tall bougainvillea, pendent heliconias, and multi-shaped bromeliads that cover the region, owing to the year-round perfect climate.
From sun-kissed islands surrounded by the crystal clear Caribbean Sea…to charming villages nestled in the foothills of the Maya mountains, surrounded by pristine rainforest jungle…Belize is a diverse country of natural wonders. Travel through it and all over you’ll meet content expats who are living their dream lifestyle.
A nickname like the Valley of Flowers and Eternal Spring is pretty hard to live up to. But the area around the small town of Boquete, high in the green mountains of the Chiriquí province in western Panama, certainly does. This bustling town of around 20,000 sits at an elevation of just below 4,000 feet.
Imagine waking up each morning to the sound of gentle waves lapping up the shore of a white-sand beach. The warm Caribbean waters are clear, in shades of turquoise and azure. Down the road is a community with shops, restaurants, and, most importantly, lively beach bars. This is what it is like to live on the tropical island of Roatán.
Although my husband and I now live slightly inland in a small village called Matapalo, Tamarindo is still our “town.” We lived in Tamarindo proper for the first two years of our time in Costa Rica and still consider it to be our home base.
If you enjoy fabulous sunsets, the sound of the surf lulling you to sleep, a great choice of international restaurants, a laidback lifestyle and no stress, put San Juan del Sur on your list of places for retirement. Few beach locations are as charming, quirky or as fun as this town on Nicaragua's Pacific coast.
Rent overseas before you buy. That’s good advice for anyone looking to try a new country on for size. Despite its incredibly low real estate costs, Ecuador is no exception. Fortunately, rental costs in Ecuador are very affordable, too.
The colonial city of Antigua in the Central highlands of Guatemala has a thriving expat community. It’s no surprise that foreigners choose to live here full- or part-time. They enjoy the history-steeped cobbled streets and a vibrant culture. Visitors often extend their stay, swapping family home stays or hotel accommodation for short or long-term rentals in Antigua.