South America Dominates List of Favourite Retirement Destinations, With Costa Rica Taking Top Spot

From time to time, we all catch ourselves daydreaming about our ideal overseas retirement destination.

Of course, many of us take things a step further and end up living that dream. There’s no doubt that the advantages a warmer climate, better healthcare, or a place where your money goes a little further demand serious consideration, and with the world getting “smaller” everyday, it’s never been easier to turn a dream of the perfect retirement lifestyle into a reality.

According to International Living’s Retirement Index, now in its 27th year, if you are thinking of retiring overseas, you should be looking at one continent in particular – South America.

South America dominates International Living’s top 10 retirement havens, with Peru in 10th, Nicaragua in 8th, Colombia in 6th, and Ecuador, Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica making up the top four!

What is it about the region that makes South America so desirable? There are many factor at play here and we are all different; some of us are sun-lovers, others on the lookout for fun and adventure, whilst we all have to think about our finances; but depending on circumstances, in very different ways.

To begin with Costa Rica. It’s hard to argue that the country does not offer nearly everything one’s heart could desire. Costa Rica is often spoken of as a model country and society. Tolerant, safe, diverse; especially geographically; and temperate. It has sun kissed beaches and white sand, but it also has tropical rainforest, and a huge variety of animal life; turtles, armadillos, sloths; that you will scarcely find anywhere else in the world.

Costa Rica is a hugely popular destination for retired North Americans, being more tranquil than some of its South American neighbours. The only drawback? Costa Rica is not especially cheap to live in; relative to other destinations your money may not go quite as far, but, that said, crafty budgeting can more than make up for slightly more expensive goods and services.

Nicaragua is one of South America’s hidden treasures; just being discovered; you may feel like a pioneer there, a wonderful culture and a bona fide tropical paradise awaits!

Mexico is a popular choice with its beaches and strong first-world infrastructure, whilst Panama is an interesting option. Rocked recently by the “Panama Papers” scandal, there is much to admire about this small, Central American country . Panama is constantly developing and has a sophisticated and accessible arts and cultural scene.

South America certainly gets the thumbs up from the travel experts. Whether you choose Colombia for its familiar climate and outstanding natural beauty, Ecuador for its laid back and diverse culture, or Costa Rica for its all round charm, it’s never too early to start investigating the possibilities. Starting, perhaps, with a “working” holiday there.

If you are curious to know which other countries made the top ten, it may not surprise you to learn that Latin countries feature prominently. Spain, and Portugal are the sole European representatives, with one Asian country, Malaysia, making the list.

If you would like to know more about Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and other destinations, you can read more in our Travel guide section. We are constantly adding new posts so don’t forget to check back from time to time, either.

Happy daydreaming!