GeoBlue International Health Insurance

7 Best Places to Live on the Beach in Central America

By Betsy Burlingame

Summary: Want to live on the beach without breaking the bank? Central America is home to dozens of beach towns and cities beloved by expats and global nomads. From Belize down to Panama, we explore 7 of the best places to live on the beach in Central America.

Living Overseas - 7 Best Places to Live on the Beach in Central America

Expats love Central America for its beautiful beaches, lower cost of living, laid-back lifestyle and friendly people. In this issue we explore 7 of the best places to live on the coast in Central America according to expats.

1. Playa Jaco, Costa Rica

Playa Jaco, Costa Rica

"Foreigners move to Playa Jaco for the beaches, fabulous sunsets, close proximity to an international airport (SJO) and convenient shopping. Additionally, the community has a relaxed vibe, full of great restaurants, plentiful beach access, recreational activities and other expats to socialize. Many beach locations in Costa Rica are expensive. However, Playa Jaco has a strong mix of locals and tourists which helps to keep the cost of living lower. You will find many types of housing here from single family, condominium complexes and beachfront homes in a multitude of price ranges to fit all budgets. The community has a local farmers market (feria) which is always a good deal to purchase locally from regional farmers. The price of fresh fish is an incredible value," wrote one expat living in Playa Jaco.

Read More about Playa Jaco

2. Placencia, Belize

Placencia, Belize

One expat described why he chose to live in Placencia, "We visited Placencia for the first time last spring and absolutely love it. The beaches are beautiful and much less crowed. Investing in Ambergris was probably a good choice, but not a fit for us long term. Because each district is so different, I would definitely recommend a visit to each before settling down. We loved the proximity to Mexico from Corozal area, but like the beaches and village atmosphere in Placencia better."

Read More about Placencia

Expats and global nomads may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats and global nomads may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

3. Ojochal, Costa Rica

Ojochal Costa Rica

Just south of Uvita, you'll find Ojochal. "I just spent a month in Ojochal housesitting. It is a small village, with several nice features including a great ex-pat community, who pride themselves on contributing to the area and the people in many ways," remarked one expat in Costa Rica. "There's a large US, Canadian and French contingent there, but you can also find residents from every continent," added another. "Ojochal has a great international community with nearly every continent represented in restaurants alone. The geography in the area is stunning with the largest mountain backdrops closest to the coast in the entire country. Zoning laws have been strictly upheld in the area with limits on height so NO high rise buildings and less deforestation than elsewhere in the country," described one expat.

Read More about Ojochal

4. Nueva Gorgona, Panama

Nueva Gorgona Panama

"There are a lot of expats in our area in Panama and a lot of opportunities to join groups for fun or community serice. A retiree can be involved in as much as they want here or nothing at all. There is a wide variety of restaurants nearby and some nightlife. Panama City is about an hour away and has everything anyone could want. We occasionally spend a night or two in the city. We have water aerobics, game nights and various group activities. The expats are a good community here. We all help each other and especially help the new people. Paying it forward is part of the process," wrote one retiree living in Nueva Gorgona, Panama

Read More about Nueva Gorgona

5. Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro Panama

"Besides the multicultural Panamanians there are people from all over the world here in Bocas del Toro and seven different Indian tribes. For the most part everyone gets along great. There are occasional clashes in any community and this is a tight knit one where people help their neighbors. Panama welcomes people from many countries with great expat laws and easy residency," explains an expat living in Bocas del Toro. Tip: If you're on a look-see visit to Bocas del Toro, take a 10 minute boat ride to Isla Bastimentos and check out Red Frog Beach.

Read More about Bocas del Toro

Moving Overseas? AGS Worldwide Movers is a leader in the international moving industry. Their experience and expertise allows them to guarantee their clients the best quality moving services. Get a Moving Quote

Moving Overseas? AGS Worldwide Movers is a leader in the international moving industry. Their experience and expertise allows them to guarantee their clients the best quality moving services. Get a moving quote today.

6. Roatan, Honduras

Roatan Honduras

"We personally have fallen in love with Roatan. We were there in July and it was not overly hot. There is usually a breeze , lots of shade. I will say building our home in July heat was at times sweltering but I am sure that is the case most anywhere in July. We are all in with our retirement from the states, transferring our assets to where we want to be rather than hoping there will be retirement money left when we are ready for it. There is a great expat community and the island is very safe compared to most of the main land," said one expat mom.

Read More about Roatan

7. Ambergris Caye & Caye Caulker, Belize

Ambergris Caye

"The two main cayes that expats like to settle on, which are also among Belize's main tourist attractions and sources of income for the government, are Ambergris Caye (pronounced am-BUR-gris or am-BUR-grease KEY) and Caye Caulker. These beautiful palm- and mangrove-fringed, idyllic islands lie just off the coast of Belize surrounded by turquoise seas and white beaches. There is a Caribbean feel to both islands, with wooden buildings painted in all the colors under the sun. The pace on the islands is laid-back and relaxed. There is a local slogan of “no shirt, no shoes, no problem.” There is excellent diving, snorkeling, fishing, and all manner of other water sports at the Belize Barrier Reef," wrote Victoria Day-Wilson in her article, Living in Belize: Life in The Cayes

Read More about the Cayes

International Health Insurance

Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

First Published: Aug 05, 2020

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: Portugal Tops 2022 List of Best Countries for Expats

Expats, digital nomads and retirees have chosen Portugal as the best country to live in for 2022. Find out what other countries made it into the Top 10 as decided by our worldwide expatriate community.

Expats, digital nomads and retirees have chosen Portugal as the best country to live in for 2022. Find out what other countries made it into the Top 10 as decided by our worldwide expatriate communit...

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: 95% of Expats in Portugal Love Living There

Our survey to determine the Best Places to Live in 2022 found that 95% of expats are either extremely or very satisfied with their life in Portugal.

Our survey to determine the Best Places to Live in 2022 found that 95% of expats are either extremely or very satisfied with their life in Portugal....

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: Almost 90% of Expats in Spain Enjoy Their Life Abroad

Nearly 90% of expats in Spain report that they are enjoying their expat experience and that they love the international lifestyle found there.

Nearly 90% of expats in Spain report that they are enjoying their expat experience and that they love the international lifestyle found there....

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: 85% of Expats in Panama Love Living There

Our survey to find the Best Places to Live in 2022 revealed that 85% of expats in Panama report that they are happy with the expatriate experience there.

Our survey to find the Best Places to Live in 2022 revealed that 85% of expats in Panama report that they are happy with the expatriate experience there....

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: Nearly 90% of Expats in the U.K. Report Loving It There

Expats in the U.K. report a high level of satisfaction with their expatriate experience and the lifestyle afforded them there.

Expats in the U.K. report a high level of satisfaction with their expatriate experience and the lifestyle afforded them there....

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: 85% of Expats in Italy Report Being Happy There

Our recent survey of expatriates found that 85% of expats in Italy love their experience living in the Mediterranean nation.

Our recent survey of expatriates found that 85% of expats in Italy love their experience living in the Mediterranean nation....

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: 82% of Expats in Colombia Love Living There

Our recent survey found that 82% of expats in Colombia love their experience living in the South American nation.

Our recent survey found that 82% of expats in Colombia love their experience living in the South American nation....

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: More than 80% of Expats in Mexico are Happy There

Expats in Mexico once again professed their love for their expatriate experience and international lifestyle. More than 80% agreed that it's all it's advertised to be!

Expats in Mexico once again professed their love for their expatriate experience and international lifestyle. More than 80% agreed that it's all it's advertised to be!...

Expat-SurveyExpat Survey: 80% of Expats in Costa Rica Love It

Our survey to find the Best Places to Live in 2022 revealed that 80% of expats are either extremely or very satisfied with their life abroad in Costa Rica.

Our survey to find the Best Places to Live in 2022 revealed that 80% of expats are either extremely or very satisfied with their life abroad in Costa Rica....

Copyright 1997-2021 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal