Best Cities For Expats In Latin America – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Today, many cities in Latin America provide a high quality of life at an affordable price. In fact, your current income will likely stretch further if you’re willing to relocate to these Latin American countries. Not surprisingly, many of these countries that top the world’s ranking are located in Latin America.
With an impressive number of U.S immigrants, you’ll meet plenty of people from every part of the world. If you’re considering packing up and heading there yourself, you don’t have to move a muscle till you read our complete guide on the best cities for expats in Latin American. Does that sound interesting?
Of course, Latin America is widely considered the best place in the world. As the name suggests, Latin American culture is a series of ideologies, traditions, imaginaries, beliefs, and relationships that shape the complex vision of the world that characterizes Latin American society and its popularity.
This concept includes; formal cultural manifestations, literacy and official culture, relationship with foreigners, and many others, to mention a few. Aside from this fact, Latin American culture is considered part of those that form the western hemisphere of the world, limited to countries that form subcontinent, namely Spain or Portugal, officially Catholicism.
However, we have compiled this article to help you get the necessary details about Latin America. Not only but, but we will walk you through the characteristics of Latin American culture, the pros and cons of living in Latin America, and many others, to mention a few. Read further to get a glimpse of what it entails.
Interesting Facts about Latin America
Latin America is a multicultural and diverse region that has plenty to offer its inhabitants and visitors alike. They are rich in culture, art, history, as there are many interesting facts to find out about this fascinating region of the world. Without further ado, go ahead and read these interesting facts below.
Energetic Modern Dance
From its inception, Latin American dancing is known as one of the liveliest and energetic types of dancing. When it comes to choreography and music, their style is exceptional. Also, with each dance comes a different style of rhythms, steps, body movements, and many other skills, to mention a few.
With an estimated population of about 590 million people, research made it known that not all Latin Americans speak Spanish. However, Spanish and Portuguese are the two predominant languages in the region. Meanwhile, about 60 percent of Latin America’s population speaks Spanish as a first language, with several countries speaking different dialects of the language.
Exceptional Hand Gestures
Latin America is one of the areas or communities that you can find tons of people using hand gestures to communicate. So, if you’re not used to this system, you should be wary of the gestures you do to avoid unnecessary interpretation. For example, a thumbs-up sign does not mean great; rather, it implies the opposite. Also, it’s the same as giving someone a middle finger.
Carnival Season and Festival
The carnival season and festival in Latin America lasts from late January to early March in the days just before Lent. This festival has its origin in Roman Catholic practices and was introduced to Latin America by the Spaniards. Again, this carnival is about having a good time and celebrating the fun of life before the solemn deprivations and rituals of Lent.
Home to World’s Hottest Peppers
If you’ve wondered about the countries that own the world’s hottest pepper, look no further, as Latin America owns it all. From the red Savina chili to the habanero pepper, these are all included in various spicy and smoky dishes prepared throughout the world. More so, the most well-known and popular pepper, the habanero pepper, is today heavily grown and cultivated in the Yucatan region of Mexico.
Beautiful Places to Visit in Latin America
If you’re thinking of visiting Latin America, there’s plenty place or tourist attractions to look check. There are world-class universities, never-ending cultural offerings, delicious and wide-ranging cuisines, a thriving nightlife in the top student cities, and welcoming local people.
Furthermore, Latin America is a vast selection of historical, natural, traditional, man-made, and modern beautiful places to see. Nonetheless, we’ve attempted to narrow down the best and most beautiful places in Latin America. Without much talk, let’s quickly walk you through the beautiful places to explore.
As of today, Chile is known to be an incredibly diverse country located along the South American west coast, stretching from the tropics in the northern region. This place is as well considered to be one of the safest destinations in all of Latin America. While this country is worth visiting, you may want to explore Chile’s wild natural beauty, found in spots like Torres, glistening lakes, and the world’s driest desert.
Argentina is among South America’s second-largest countries, which shares its borders with Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. These countries are well known for their natural beauty and wealth of cultural attractions. Some of the popular tourist destinations include Buenos Aires and more.
Also, for outdoor lovers and adventurers, Argentina offers numerous national parks that host waterfalls, glaciers, rainforests, and an abundance of wildlife. Meanwhile, in the southernmost regions, penguins can even be observed in their natural habitat right alongside sea lion colonies.
Uruguay, located along the southeastern Atlantic coast between Argentina to the west and south, and Brazil to the north, it’s known for its wide expanses of beautiful beaches, wildlife, picturesque fishing villages, and many other things, to mention a few. Moreover, even the capital of Montevideo is safe and fun to visit; the country has one of the world’s longest river walks, a bustling market, and picturesque green spaces.
In our previous article, we discussed about the concept of moving to Costa Rica. Nicaragua borders the country in the north and Panama in the south. Also, it’s home to a lot of volcanoes, including seven that are active. Some of the outdoor activities include surfing, hiking, horseback rides, and many others.
Cuba is a country considered to be the safest in Latin America. In fact, it’s so safe that Cuba is even ideal for solo travelers. This is because; it’s fast becoming one of the hottest travel destinations on the planet. With this in mind, you can plan to relocate sooner rather than later to check the outstanding activities. Another highlight in this country is walking the Melecon, a five-mile-long seawall that runs along Havana’s Atlantic-facing coasts.
Peru is a country known to be one of the world’s most impressive ruins, Machu Picchu, perched high atop the Andes. And if you join the Inca trail trek, which involves a three-day hike to get there, be sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots and don’t panic if altitude sickness sets in. moreover, wherever you go, don’t miss sampling the country’s most famous dish, and other interesting facts.
While Paraguay may be landlocked, it still offers plenty of scenic landscapes, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, along with a wealth of attractions in its major cities. However, you can check out the train museum, located in the oldest train station on the continent. And this is just to get a glimpse at Latin America’s illustrious train travel past, and after the dark, you can take part in the vibrant nightlife style.
Ecuador may be a small country, but it has the lowest crime rates in the world. Of course, Ecuador also boasts the incredible Galapagos Islands, situated about 600 miles off the mainland in the Pacific. More so, many of the creatures that live in this country have never learned to fear humans and seem tame. But, as an expat, you’ll enjoy moving to this country.
Pros and Cons of Living in Latin America
In today’s blog post, we’ll be taking a slightly different approach to the pros and cons of living in Latin America. This is because; you already know the things that make Latin America a great choice. However, we will walk you through some of the pros and cons of choosing Latin America in today’s 21st century.
1. Low Cost of Living
The lower cost of living has contributed to one of the reasons people choose to reside in Latin America. While it’s damn so cheap, you can have more or less the same living comforts in the country as you’d enjoy in the United States of America. The benefits of this lower cost of living cannot be overemphasized. Moreover, a bit of extra money in your pocket can also help reduce some cons.
On the other hand, the ability to enjoy the country with a lower cost of living and still maintain a high quality of life is why many retirees find themselves happier and healthier in this country. In some cases, it’s better to prepare ahead before traveling to these countries to avoid unnecessary deportation.
2. Deeply Concern about Families
People that live in Latin America deeply care about their family and friends and even foreigners. Also, the bond between extended family is much stronger compared to other countries like Canada and Jamaica. Now, whether you want to tap into this culture or relocate to the country, you would need to have strong communities and social bonds to live and communicate with the locals.
3. Weather Conditions
Latin America has favorable weather conditions because you have lots of climates to choose from. Depending on your initial country of residence, this may not seem like a draw, but you can adapt to such an environment. Therefore, you can definitely pick whatever climate suits you while living in the country.
4. Happy and Healthier Lifestyle
There’s no doubt that the average person in Latin America is friendly and caring. Be that as it may, the countries have enough food to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Also, the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables is much more plentiful around the south of the border. Not to mention the fact if you’re in a smaller Latin American city, life moves quite slower.
5. Affordable and Excellent Healthcare System
Latin America has an excellent healthcare system. For those who choose health insurance coverage, you can get it in Latin America for as little as $50 per month for some coverage that pays 100 percent for in-network providers. In fact, many counties even offer free health care at public clinics and hospitals. As a result, many Latin American countries are beginning to emerge on the medical tourism scene, with patients traveling abroad to undergo procedures ranging from heart transplants to several facelifts.
6. Fresh Agricultural Produce
The perpetual spring-like weather in Latin America means that fruits and vegetables can be grown year-round. And they’re like nothing you’ve ever want to miss in different countries. Besides, farmer’s markets in such countries are loaded with the usual favorites, including plantains and mangoes. Meanwhile, these fruits and vegetables are fresh, organic, and widely available to everyone.
7. Unique Nature
The countries of Latin America are some of the most ecologically and biologically diverse places in the world. And rather than driving cross country to experience a different climate, all you need to do is drive down or up the mountain. Again, from beautiful beaches to active volcanoes to coral reefs and mountain waterfalls, you’ll enjoy the unique nature in the country. At the same time, the countries are home to sea turtles, sloths, snakes, toucans, jaguars, and many others, to mention a few.
8. Cultural Diversity
Latin American countries in no doubt have an indigenous culture. Depending on where you go in Latin America, there are a number of opportunities to experience the culture of the area’s indigenous people groups or even live with them. As of today, some of the countries still practice the religious ceremonies of the Mayans and turn to alternative healers for medical treatment.
9. Simple Lifestyle in Latin America
We’re not sure how or why, but in Latin America, the days seem longer. More so, things move slower, and there’s time left over for so many more things an expat could never fit into his/her schedule back in the United States. Also, the workaholic lifestyle is unheard of in Latin America. Besides, it has been replaced with 2-hours lunches and shorter workweeks.
1. High Crime Rate
While some countries are certainly safer than others, they have a real concern when it comes to violence and crime. Also, there’s the obvious drug trafficking and related criminal activity, which also constitute a gang problem. Now, the good news is that much of this violent crime often occurs in areas that aren’t necessarily as popular for expats to reside.
2. Inadequate Consumer Selection
While Latin America does have ample options when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, the selection can be inadequate or lacking in some areas. This means the dead set you are on having the products and goods, the more you’ll likely be disappointed in the options available for you. On the flip side, things could be cheaper, but you’ll have to understand the selection process in those countries.
3. Lack of Sophistication in Latin America
While Latin America offers plenty of cultures, it’s often in the form of local culture. However, you can find a variety of cuisines, especially in more populated areas, but larger cities, often modern ones, could be an advantage. In addition to this fact, roads are often poorly maintained, while contaminated water sources can be a great concern.
4. Poor Education
Although education isn’t a problem for many expat, particularly retirees, as the educational system in many parts of Latin America leaves a lot to be desired. However, while this educational system is free and compulsory in most countries, the classroom sizes are often large, resulting in a poor student-to-teacher ratio. In fact, some areas do have bilingual schools, and they could be expensive for foreigners.
5. Challenging Business Environment
While Latin America is a great place to retire, it seems to be a difficult place to do business. So, if you’re relocating to any of these countries as an expat, be wary of the kind of business you’ll do in Latin America. For starters, the type of visa you hold can also determine or cause limitations to what you do. On the flip side, if you’d like to do an open business in Latin America, you’ll have to meet certain conditions.
Best Cities for Expat in Latin America
Before going to talk about the concluding part of this article, it’s essential that we walk you through the main reason behind the blog post. There are many cities in Latin America, and we have carefully examined the best one for expat. I’m sure you’re ready to check them out? If that sounds like a yes, read further.
A central place to reside in Latin America is Medellin. This is because; the city is cheap even by South American standards, with renting great accommodation value. So, if you’re looking to live in the heart of the city with a low budget, Medellin is one of the greatest options for foreigners moving to Latin America for the first time.
At the other end of the cost scale, the Uruguayan capital is a great option for expat looking to move to Latin America. Montevideo is a great city and also a secure place to live with some benefits that expat seldom finds elsewhere in other parts of America. Although it’s a much smaller city, but it’s certainly nice when it comes to expanding your options to travel, as many major Latin American countries are isolated.
Quito is the most popular city in Ecuador with foreigners, but it doesn’t have one of the biggest communities. However, Cuenca is a really viable alternative, which in many respects is a much more livable city compared to other regions. However, the third-largest in Ecuador, after Quito and Guayaquil, Cuenca is the cheapest of the trio with its popularity. So, you can also consider this city if you’re relocating to Latin America.
Finally, Chile made it to the top countries with the best city in Latin America. Generally, Santiago is considered to be among the safest cities in Latin America. Besides, this city has grown into a modern capital and has everything one would expect to find in such a place. From historic districts to grungy alternative barrios, Santiago has many different sides to check out.
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
The Argentina capital is arguably the continent’s most exciting city for both expats and locals. This city is truly a place to explore since it’s home to late party culture, ensuring Buenos Aires barely ever gasps for breath. The blends of culture and influences, combined with the vast size of the metropolitan region, ensure you’ll be spoiled for choice in terms of cafes to work in.
Frequently Asked Questions about Latin America
What is so special about Latin America?
From the perspective of other parts of the world, Latin America has a single cultural unification. It’s rich in ethnicities and religions. Not only that, but you’ll likely enjoy immense importance in literature, music, and sports. Aside from this fact, other options like outdoor activities make this country unique.
What’s life like in Latin America?
Life in Latin America is quite different from what you’ve been experiencing in other parts of the world. The people are friendly, nice, and their culture is rich. Not only that, but there are also grim sides to the Latin American story, which no one seems to be talking about.
Is It Good to Live In Latin America?
Compared to the United States, the cost of living in Latin American states is quite low. On the flip side, it’s approximately 25 percent less in terms of the cost. This low-cost life living has helped a lot of people to live a high-class profile. Moreover, the work opportunities and chances of earnings are high.
Like many other American destinations, Latin America still remains one of the most affordable places for expat. This beautiful continent offers great value for expats, but many popular expat locations are expensive. Nonetheless, if you choose to relocate to this community, refer to this article for more information.