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Top 57 Places to Live & Invest in the Tropics

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The Best Tropical Places to Live (and a Free 200+ Page eBook!)

Something we at VivaTropical get asked all the time is “Where is the best place to live/invest/retire in the tropics?” And the answer to that is…we don’t know.

I mean, we know a LOT of really great places down here. We just don’t know the one that’s best for YOU.

So, while we can’t tell you exactly where you should move or retire to, we can give you a lot of really great options. In fact, we recently did just that when we listed the “Top 57 Places to Live and Invest in the Tropics.”

It’s a free download of over 200 pages of facts and amazing photos detailing what we think are the best overall places to live your life, invest your money, or both.

It’s based on a lot of different factors, such as the cost of living, quality of life, and real estate outlook for each area. I suggest you check out the whole ebook, or at least the places that interest you in the table of contents.

Meanwhile, here are our top three picks, as well as a few others that we think are great up-and-coming destinations.


#1 Nosara, Costa Rica

Nosara, Costa Rica is the perfect example of development done right. When the town was first established in the 1970s, the developer had a master plan to make it a top notch destination, and the residents have carried it out for decades. Most notably, the beach remains free of any high-rises to block the incredible sunsets.

Nosara has top-notch surfing, first-world amenities, and modern conveniences you won’t find elsewhere. Yet it’s not overcrowded or touristy. It’s clean, healthy, safe, and has great schools, making it ideal for young families. And did I mention that it’s breathtakingly beautiful?



#2 Cuenca, Ecuador

One thing that attracts a lot of people to Ecuador is its affordable cost of living, but that’s far from being the main reason you should consider Cuenca. While it is less expensive than many expat destinations, it delivers big on amenities, culture, and community.

The best of both worlds, Cuenca offers big city conveniences in a quaint little small-town atmosphere. Its architecture is striking, and it’s rich in history. The town’s many colleges and language schools make it a virtual melting pot of unique people and ideas.

Dark Times Press

Dark Times Press

#3 Boquete, Panama

One of the neat things about Panama is its incredible infrastructure. And you won’t find many places in Central America as well developed as this expat haven. Decades of North American influence have paved the way for a first-world experience for expats living in Boquete.

But before you think it sounds too much like the U.S., consider the incredible nature that surrounds you in Boquete. Known as the “Valley of Flowers,” the hillsides around the town boast orchids and coffee farms. The rivers offer world-class whitewater rafting. And the rainforests are home to a variety of birds and other wildlife.

Some Honorable Mentions

photo by VivaTropical

photo by VivaTropical

#8 Boca Chica, Panama

Though it’s still relatively unknown, or more likely BECAUSE it’s so unknown, this destination scores off the charts on our Real Estate Prediction Meter. This coastal town and its 50+ islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui deliver all the things people love about ocean adventure and island living, but at a fraction of the cost.

As it becomes more and more accessible, we think this area is really going to take off. Its close proximity to David, plus new roads and a newly expanded airport mean big appreciation for real estate investors in Boca Chica.

#13 Dominical, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is truly an amazing place to visit or live. And Dominical has the best of everything this country has to offer. From the unparalleled surfing to the breathtaking panoramic views, this is one place not to be missed.

The town is really growing, but not in a manner that takes away from its natural beauty or the whole idea of what the place is really about. The incredible opportunities to experience nature, plus the renewed interest in the area make it a great option for expats and investors.

You can find out more about these and the other 52 destinations that made our list by downloading our ebook. Take a look! Which one of the top 57 places to live and invest is right for you?

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