This blog post was updated on July 29, 2019.

Many people dream about retiring to a warm place. Even if retirement seems far off, it’s never too early to start planning (or at least dreaming). Latin America offers some great options just a few cheap flights away for people who are looking for a change of pace and climate. Here are four suggestions for where and how to spend your retirement in the southern hemisphere.


Santiago`s central plaza

One of the most geographically diverse countries in South America, Chile is a great option for ex-pat retirees. The capital city of Santiago offers just about as much convenience and culture as one could hope for. Roads and highways are safe and well-maintained, and phone and Internet services are reliable. Establishing residency is relatively easy and puts you on the path to citizenship. Given the dollar’s strength, finding a place to live in one of Santiago’s most desirable neighborhoods (Lastarria, Providencia or Barrio Italia, for example) is not too difficult. With fine dining and world-class museums within walking (or taxi) distance, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites within driving distance, and Easter Island just a short flight away, there’ll be plenty to keep you occupied during your retirement.

Don’t wait for your golden years! Enjoy these cheap flights now and start planning for a tropical retirement! 

Costa Rica

Older people walking along the beach. Costa Rica, tourist paradise

For those seeking La Pura Vida (the pure life), Costa Rica is the place. From the bustling city life of San José to amazing surf in Tamarindo, this small but mighty Latin American country has plenty to offer ex-pats. Access to quality, affordable healthcare is another reason retirees opt for Costa Rica. It depends on where you end up, but for the most part real estate is affordable for many retirees with US dollars. You can always opt for a clean, modern condo for easy living.


Casco Viejo in downtown Panama City, Panama

Not only is Panama one of the most beautiful places to retire in Latin America, but the country is also actively encouraging US retirees to move there. The Pensionado Program gives residency visas to US citizens with at least $1,000 per month retirement income. Once you have the visa, you can also access discounts on plane tickets to get there. Panama City is home to a diverse population, a variety of accommodations in all price ranges, excellent healthcare, and world-class dining, shopping, and museums. If you need a break from this fabulous cosmopolitan lifestyle, the beach is a short drive away.

You may also like: Retired? Here are Tips for the Solo Female Traveler Before Hitting the Road


Chair on beautiful island

If your lack of Spanish skills is one of the deterrents to moving to Central America, we’ve got the place for you. A former British colony, Belize is the only Central American country where English is the official language. Another bonus is that the US dollar is widely accepted. Belize City, located on the coast, offers a winning combination of natural beauty, rich history, and modern conveniences. But take in mind that, although it is quite possible to find cheap flights to take you there, the cost of living in Belize tends to be higher than other Latin American countries. For example, the minimum retirement income for a residency visa is $2,000 per month. However, once you get settled, it’s possible to find bargains on food and entertainment.

Are you planning your retirement? Tell us about it in our comments section below!

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About The Author

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing ( and Bouchard Design Co.