Free 200+ Page eBook

Top 57 Places to Live & Invest in the Tropics

Quickly find out which country is right for you.
No-hype updates & resource guides. No Spam. Ever.
Limited offer. Instant Download.

Join More than 58,187 people who are breaking free

we value your privacy

8 Facts You’ve Got Wrong About Life in the Latin Tropics

Quick! What are the first five adjectives that come to mind when I tell you to think about the Latin Tropics?

All done? What were they? I’m guessing most of them were probably pretty positive. Words like “breathtaking,” “eco-diverse,” and “relaxing.” And those all describe the region quite well.

But there’s a small chance there may have also been a few negative attributes that popped into your head. Things like “unfamiliar,” “expensive,” or “muggy.” And those can certainly be valid descriptions of certain parts of the area as well. However, many of them might not be quite as prevalent (or even accurate) as you might think.

Let’s take a minute to debunk some commonly held misconceptions about living in the Latin Tropics. This should help you banish those negative terms from your vocabulary in favor of some more positive impressions about this incredible region.


1. The climate is unbearably hot and humid.

A commonly held misconception about the Latin Tropics is that it’s unbearably hot and humid everywhere you go. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Beating the heat in the Latin Tropics is as simple as changing your altitude.

While it’s true that most coastal cities can get pretty warm, there are plenty of fantastic places to live in the inland mountains and valleys that are so mild that most homes don’t even require air conditioning. All you need to do is open a window and let in the tropical breeze.

2. Everything is really expensive.

If your only experience in the Latin Tropics was at a fancy resort or in a highly developed city that’s popular with expats and tourists, it’s easy to think why you might hold this belief. But when you live like a local, it’s actually a very affordable place to call home.

In fact, the low cost of living is a factor that attracts many people, retirees in particular, to the region in the first place. Housing and utilities are inexpensive. Fresh produce is dirt cheap. You can even splurge on the services of a domestic helper, like a maid or gardener, for a fraction of what you’d pay for the same services in the U.S.

3. I can’t own real estate in the Latin Tropics.

This is another fact that many would-be expats incorrectly assume. In most countries in Latin America, foreign buyers have the same rights as citizens. They can buy property outright and, in some cases, even obtain financing.

There are some exceptions, though, like beachfront property and land within a certain distance from national borders. If you decide to buy, you’ll also need to be aware of property laws governing issues like “squatters” and other things that aren’t a concern in the U.S.


4. I need to learn Spanish before I can move there.

While it’s a good idea to know at least a few key phrases before beginning your expat journey, being fluent in Spanish is hardly a requirement. Most cities that are popular with expats and tourists are very friendly to English speakers. You won’t have a hard time getting your questions answered.

Once you’re settled in, you can start focusing on broadening your vocabulary. There are also plenty of language schools, tutors, etc. who can help you learn the lingo after you arrive. Not to mention, there’s no better way to learn than being immersed in the culture day in and day out.

5. The Latin Tropics are “disconnected” from the rest of the world.

Yeah, I get it. Quaint fishing villages and ethereal cloud forests don’t exactly scream “high-speed connectivity,” but you might be surprised by how far this region has come in recent years when it comes to things like Internet access and cellular coverage.

Many countries have seen government initiatives targeted at improving infrastructure and Internet connectivity. Most mid- to large-sized cities have cafes and other businesses that boast free wi-fi. And with all the technology available these days, it’s never been easier to keep in touch.

6. Locals don’t care for North Americans.

This could be the most ludicrous assumption that North Americans make about the people of the Latin Tropics. They’re an incredibly welcoming culture, eager to make new friends and share stories.

As long as you’re open to new people and ideas, you’ll fit right in with the locals in the Latin Tropics. Come across as an arrogant gringo, on the other hand, and they likely won’t give you the time of day.

7. It’s not safe there.

Unfortunately, the Latin Tropics has earned itself a bit of a reputation as a haven for crime and corruption. The reality, though, is that it’s cleaned itself up quite well and today is no less safe than your average North American city.

What crime that does exist is mostly drug- or gang-related and generally only affects those involved in those activities. The rest is mostly minor offenses like petty theft. In general, just stay away from the bad parts of town after dark, lock your doors, and don’t leave valuables lying around to tempt would-be thieves.


8. The Latin Tropics are not open for business.

Many people steer clear of moving to the Latin tropics because they’re afraid they couldn’t get a viable business up and running in order to sustain their livelihood. This is yet another false assumption. For the entrepreneurial expat, there are plenty of options for making money.

As more and more people move to the region from all over the globe, there’s a growing need for more businesses catering to expats and tourists. Everything from boutique hotels to dry cleaners. Investing in real estate is another popular option, as the savvy buyer can often score a great deal on land or homes.

Whether you’re worried about making ends meet, swatting at mosquitoes, or learning how to order a sandwich the way you want it, there’s no reason to let those fears or misconceptions keep you from realizing your dream of living in the Latin Tropics.

Plan a trip down to check things out for yourself. Get to know some locals. Have them show you where they buy their groceries. Ask them where it is and isn’t safe to go at night. Then pop into an Internet cafe to email your family and friends back home. Tell them to start getting excited about coming to visit you in your new home.

Up Next

7 of the Top Places U.S. Expats Are Living in Latin America (and Why)

New data shows where U.S. expats are residing all across the globe. Many of the top destinations are in nearby Latin America. Find out why. (Read It)

Central America's Best Real Estate Buy

Don't miss this up and commer. It has the tropical lifestyle, stunning beauty, and smokin appreciation potential. (Read It)

The World’s Top 10 Best Places to Put Your Money

Offshore banking isn't just for the super rich. But how does the average Joe decide where to put his money? Here are the world's top banking jurisdictions. (Read It)
panama city panama real estate update

Panama City, Panama Real Estate Market Update

Today we have a guest post written by Kent Davis, owner of one of the most successful real estate brokerages in Panama City The Panama City real estate market may have finally taken a turn in …

(Read It)
costa rica websites

Top 133 Costa Rica Websites for Expats and Investors

Did you know there are dozens and dozens of great resources on Costa Rica for expats and investors? Sure, we have a ton of resources for Costa Rica on our site, and a whole bunch …

(Read It)

The Truth about Living in Costa Rica: The Good, the Bad, and the Muddy

It's easy to find tons of articles and information out there highlighting all the great benefits of living in Costa Rica. But it's also easy to read those blogs and marketing pieces and think, "Yeah, it …

(Read It)

Why Nosara, Costa Rica Is Not Your Average Surfing Town

A deeper look at Nosara and its history will quickly reveal that this long-time mecca for surfing enthusiasts offers so much more than just the sand and sea. The increasing interest in the area as a …

(Read It)

Expats Are Still Falling in Love with Nosara and Here’s Why

What was once the up-and-coming expat haven of Nosara, Costa Rica, has blossomed into one of Costa Rica's most established expat communities that continues to be ranked near the top of the list of most desirable destinations in the Latin …

(Read It)

How Nosara Strikes the Perfect Balance of Rustic vs. Connected

When you hear people applaud Nosara for its laid-back rustic vibe, what you may not realize is that despite it's off-the-beaten-path atmosphere, Nosara is also surprisingly well connected. As such, this Costa Rican hotspot continues to be one …

(Read It)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hot Real Estate Offer

Real Estate In The Area

Looking for a charming lot in Playa Pelada, Nosara? Look no further! This 1000m2 lot is the perfect location for your dream home. With its easy-to-build-on terr...
Land Size:0 acres
Costa Rica
This rare and unique property is located in the heart of Nosara, Costa Rica. Adjacent to the Ostional Wildlife Refuge and a short walk from Playa Guiones and Pl...
Land Size:0 acres
A newly constructed home in the highly coveted K section! The two-bedroom house is perched above the tree canopy, which provides stunning jungle views and a bre...
2.0 beds
2.0 bath
Land Size:0 acres
See All Listings In The Area
Free Tropical Toolkit
Free 200+ Page Report: Top 57 Places to Live & Invest
  • The only book in the world that ranks investment and lifestyle in one place.
  • Over 200 information packed pages with hundreds of beautiful photos.
  • Download the book instantly (for free!) with this limited time offer.
*We value your privacy. No spam. Period.