Retire in Central America with a low cost, relaxed lifestyle

By Patrick | Central America

Central America Panama

To retire in Central America offers retirees a wide range of options of environments and lifestyles. From tropical beaches to rain forests and mountain retreats - there's something for everyone.


The Countries and Attractions

Central America includes the seven countries stretching south from the Mexican border are Belize and Guatemala, on south through El Salvador and Honduras, through Nicaragua and Costa Rica to Panama. Bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

With the mystical cloud forests of Costa Rica,birds and animals of Belize, Mayan ruins hidden in the jungles of Guatemala, active volcanoes in Nicaragua spewing hot magma from the depths of the Earth, primeval rain forests, cool mountain retreats, pristine beaches and islands, and thriving indigenous Indian cultures it's no wonder that Central America is seen as an ecotourism paradise.

In the west there is the dramatic Pacific coastline; and in the east long, gentle Caribbean beaches with freshwater lakes dotting the hilly inland. There are stunning craft markets, offering just about anything that's hand-crafted.

Boredom will never be on your agenda if you decide to retire in Central America as there is an endless variety of things to do and places to see.

From exhilarating deep sea fishing, birding, river rafting and rain forest experiences. Together with glorious beaches and spectacular surfing, kayaking and diving to hiking and mountain biking.

Central America has many mountain ranges. Most of the population of Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala live in the mountain valleys which are ideal for the production of coffee, beans and other crops.

To retire in Central America is attractive for several reasons.
  • A number of these countries have recognized that retirees are an attractive immigration market. They are self sufficient and relatively wealthy and in addition have expertise and skills which can benefit the local communities.
  • Most of the governments are stable. In order to attract people to retire in Central America a number of countries offer enticing financial and relocation benefits. In addition they also offer excellent incentives for starting or relocating businesses.
  • Central America is close to the USA with regular air flights available.
  • Many of these countries have tarnished reputations. They are relatively unknown to most people and usually misunderstood. However they offer some of the cheapest places to retire.
  • They have some of the most attractive real-estate opportunities on earth... especially for waterfront properties. In addition their cost of living in a fraction what you'd pay in a First World country.
  • Central American countries are relatively safe although they do suffer from the normal petty theft and tourist scams found in third world, urban, tourist havens. Many of the major cities are rapidly taking on first-world characteristics. But like any country, some poverty stricken urban areas of the cities should be avoided.

Whether you're simply in the market for a place to relax and spend a few months a year or to permanently relocate, they are well worth considering.

Climate and Weather

Climate and weather in all of these countries is broadly similar. Situated north of the equator within the tropics they have a typically tropical climate with year around high temperatures at low altitudes.

However temperatures vary significantly with altitude. From sea level up to about 3 000 feet, temperatures are hot throughout the year. Near the coast humidity is high but relief is provided by the temperate sea breezes.

In the 3 000 to 6 000 feet altitude range the temperatures are cooler. With many local differences in the amount of rainfall, depending on altitude and the aspect of the mountains in relation to the prevailing winds.

The mountain areas with altitudes of 6,000 to 10,000 feet are limited in extent. Conditions here are quite cool and typical of temperate latitudes. Frost and snow may occasionally occur but the mountains are not high enough to carry permanent snow.


Over most of this region the season of maximum rainfall is between May and September. Places on the Caribbean shore tend to be rather wetter and have a longer rainy season than those on the western Pacific coast.

Another feature of the weather in Central America is the possibility of hurricanes between June and November. The coastal regions of Central America are affected less frequently and less severely than the islands farther east.

Sunshine hours are quite high throughout the year in most of Central America. Average daily sunshine hours range from six to eight in the wetter months to as many as ten hours during the dry months. However Costa Rica and Panama have a rather more cloudy climate with more frequent rain.

There are many options and reasons to retire in Central America - take your choice

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About the Author

A "nevertiree" facing the same retirement challenges as many others. Let's discover how retirement planning can put you on the path to a create the retirement lifestyle and happiness you deserve and dream about.

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