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Best Places to Live in Latin America

By July 15, 2004

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Argentina, mejor país para vivir en A. Latina: PNUD (Reuters) reports the findings of the Human Development Reports and ranks Argentina as the best country to live in in Latin America, followed by Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Haiti.
The top five countries, worldwide, are Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada and Holland.
April 7, 2007 at 10:52 pm
(1) carlos says:

I’d like to see this people(those that desided that Cuba and Haity are good places to live at) living there but not as visitors no, living the day by day with their childrens, wife and all that for 48 years with the same “Comandante en Jefe” that’s in Cuba and what to say about Haity one of the poorest country in this Universe. I’m sorry I don’t agree with them in these ones!

May 16, 2007 at 1:18 pm
(2) Sylvia says:

This report is absolutely crazy….!!! El Salvador and Guatemala are the most dangerous countries in the world!

May 16, 2007 at 1:18 pm
(3) Sylvia says:

This report is absolutely crazy….!!! El Salvador and Guatemala are the most dangerous countries in the world!

May 16, 2007 at 1:18 pm
(4) Sylvia says:

This report is absolutely crazy….!!! El Salvador and Guatemala are the most dangerous countries in the world!

July 31, 2007 at 6:57 pm
(5) Matteo P. says:

Im from New York, used to live in Lima, Peru, 1st i think people have left a few exacerbated comments, so I just wanted to clarify a few thinkgs… Guatemala and El Salvador are far from being the most danderous coutries in the World, also I was curious as to why Argentina was first on the List??? and Peru as 11, here in my neghborhood in Lima I know people from Buenos Aires and various parts of Brazil, and there reasons for being here is that it is less dangerous. And if you are and internacional/South American news-watcher you’ll know this is true, also here its tourist friendly something that alot of the other places mentioned are not… A tip to new travelers to America Latina, dont believe everything you read on the web, talk to people from these places, alot of times they are where you are some a good reason. Personally Recomend- Peru, anywhere in here is beautiful.

September 22, 2007 at 1:32 pm
(6) Patrick says:

I am a european citizen and lived for the last 6 years in latin america, first I thought,Costa Rica, also known as Switserland of the americas was a nice place but after they robbed my house, stole my car, asaulted my wife(colombian) we went to live in colombia for a while, we lived very good in Cartagena de Indias, with less violence then in Costa Rica, people are mor educated and tecnologicaly far mor better then Costa Rica what is also very expensive to live in.
I compare Costa Rica with a very expensive restaurant but gives you poor quality fo food, the roads are bad, it is very dificult to own even simple thing such as a cel phone, we asked for a telephone line in our house and even after something more then a year we still didn’t have a line, it is soooo corrupt.Honestly is was the badest country i ever lived in.
Due to the very high temperatures we left Colombia and know we live very happy in Villa Carlos Paz,Cordoba,Argentina, a natural paradise where life is cheap,with a very good quality and many posibilities to work or invest.

September 26, 2007 at 2:14 pm
(7) Alyssa says:

I love it when people who have never been to someplace only take the media as a means of determining if a place is dangerous. Sylvia, have you ever been to Guatemala? I have–by myself–and I’m blonde and was 23 at the time. It’s definitely not what you think. It was beautiful and the people were very nice.

And I would like to put my vote in for Cuenca, Ecuador as an amazing place to live. I lived there and everybody I knew fell in love with it, just as I did.

November 9, 2007 at 8:23 pm
(8) Gabriel says:


What kinda crack are you smoking!

Are you kidding me ? COLOMBIA has the highest kidnapping and drug related crime rate of ALL AMERICA ( the continent, for those yanks who don’t get it )

COLOMBIA is a nation where their citizens live in complete and utter terror, due to the conflict of the FARC ( COLOMBIAN REVOLUTIONARY GUERRILLA WHO SELLS MOST OF THE COCAINE TO USA) and the PARAMILITARES ( counter militias)

You need to get your facts straight homeboy.

By the way, cartagena is the tourist part of COLOMBIA… why dont you mention CALI AND BOGOTA… yeah… hometown of Mr. Pablo Escobar… worlds most cruel druglord ever..


December 11, 2007 at 12:48 am
(9) chris says:

Gabriel, America isn’t a continent. It is actually the Americas, plural. And not to mention the fact that we are called Americans not just in English and not just by fellow Americans.

Apart from that, my wife is from Argentina and she never talked about anything other than petty theft. And another of my friends is a colombiano and he said that it really isn’t that bad…

December 11, 2007 at 12:49 am
(10) chris says:

he lived in Bogota

December 13, 2007 at 3:59 pm
(11) Mark Phillips says:

My wife’s family lives in Panama, and we are thinking of moving there. Do you think it is a good idea and if so any suggestions on where to live. My wife’s family lives in Balboa and Panama City.

December 18, 2007 at 3:13 pm
(12) Barbara PDA says:

Ehm. I personally recommend Chile. I lived in Santiago, and all was BEAUTIFUL. the landscapes, the people, the service , all was wonderful.

I now leave in Louisiana and I do miss Chile… the wines and the national drink “piscola”…

February 23, 2008 at 8:30 am
(13) Lakhi, Kotugoda says:

Even in the most dangerous countries, you can find places that are safer than London and New York. But then you have to look at other aspects like…how are the emergency services? What about the standard of hospitals? If you happen to get involved with the police are the even handed? Are the courts impartial? etc. One has to look at a lot of before moving to another country.

February 23, 2008 at 4:08 pm
(14) ann says:

I want to know if anyone has a recommendation for living in a particular part in el salvador. And upon their recommendation, when was the last time they were there or what personal experince they have.

February 23, 2008 at 4:11 pm
(15) ann says:

and by the way I totally agree with Lakhi

March 20, 2008 at 11:34 pm
(16) james bonham says:

listen characters……safest cheapest coolest most friendly country over-all in latin america is without a doubt in central america …and 2nd place is also in central america….#1 is hands down Costa Rica, followed by Panama….Stay the hell out of all the other countries in central america….as far as south america goes it’s either argentina or chili end of story. Im leaving New York for Costa Rica for good personally, i see no reason to venture all the way down to the bottom of South America when central america has all i need. Period

March 31, 2008 at 11:20 am
(17) diana says:

I find it funny how those who like to point fingers are the ones that dont take the time to travel and really see for themselves how these South American countries are really all about. I have lived in NY, VA, and TX and let me tell you the cops, the courts, the people are no more or less corrupt than those in El Salvador or Colombia. You can get a ticket or arrented but give them the right amount of money and off you go. As far as Colombia being dangerous that was many years ago. I have lived in Colombia for many years being that I’m native to it, but also live in the states as well. Never once have I been able to leave my front door in any state and not worry someone would break in. Now go to Acacias, or Meta and hell its a way of life to leave the door open. No worries of someone coming in and no worries of your stuff leaving. I find that the people are much nicer and yes like in all places there are those who willt take advantage of tourist, but doesn’t that happend in most places? From the guys in amusment parks taking your picture as you come in, to the guy selling you knock off shirts at a football game. Its all in perspective. No its not dangerous if you know the city, and the chances of you getting kidnapped in Colombia are slim, ofcourse dont walk around with thousands of dollars of gems and jewels either…I mean come on thats just asking for it~

March 31, 2008 at 11:56 pm
(18) Marcelo says:

I would have to say that the report is flaud. I did a bit of research on Wikipedia and found that Chile has the LOWEST unemployment, LOWEST poverty line and LOWEST public debt. Also, it has the best Gross National Income (GNI). Additionally, it has the best GDP per capita. Finally, Chile has the best Human Development Index (HDI)… I’m from Canada and when I visited South America I found Chile to be my number one choice.



April 9, 2008 at 6:10 pm
(19) Eduardo says:

Just spent 29 days in El Salvador with wife and son – awesome place ZERO danger ! Wanna get mugged – go to Miami, NY or better yet Washinton DC. Traveled all through El Salvador and found it to be an exceptinal place to visit. Would move there in a heart beat

April 14, 2008 at 11:48 pm
(20) Maria says:

Colombia is given a bad reputation, im not saying its safe but come on, dangerous? Im proud of being Colombian, the land is the most beutiful thing you could find in some of the listed countries and just because you read all the things that say its a dangerous country doesn’t mean its that bad. Ive walked thrue those streets and have never been robbed! I think all those countries listed are all beutiful in difrent ways, but colombia has great landscape and alot of culture.

May 11, 2008 at 12:47 am
(21) Ada Dixon says:

I’ve been living in australia for more than 30 years..but I was born in montevideo uruguay,and once upon a time this country was known as ”the Swiss of america”we had very rough times during the 1960′s and 1970′s first with urban guerrillas and it culminated with a miltary regime..but this country has always been one of the best to live in south america very similar system to western europe and sometimes like england 90 per cent european population quality of living is good if you have a good job,but like any other developed country if the person has not have the proper education your oportunities will very limited..many years ago when life was not as difficult as today european people living in uruguay they used to say ”uruguay the best country in the world”and it was in some respects..

May 21, 2008 at 7:08 pm
(22) Dean says:

There are many nice spots to enjoy in central and south america. There are also a few places to avoid, and like anywhere if your looking for trouble you’ll find it. Personally, there is something special about all of these countries. Go decide for your self. I love Nicaragua and Argentina, but also have very much enjoyed Guatemala,Chile,Uruguay. My list keeps growing because as long as you take a few precautions it is safe and as far as central and sa, I wouldn’t avoid any of them.

June 3, 2008 at 11:59 am
(23) Eric Velez says:

I’m a Canadian with Colombian parents, it was 14 years ago since I had went to visit my parents native land, and let me tell you theat I used to believe all the bad things that people used to say about and also all the sterio types, but since this 5 week vacation my perspective has totally changed. I lived in Miami for 5 years and felt that it was far more dangerous and say lots more poverty in U.S than in Medellin, Colombia. So for all you ignorant Americans take a trip there a have the shock of your life!!!!! I triple dare you

June 3, 2008 at 11:59 am
(24) Eric Velez says:

I’m a Canadian with Colombian parents, it was 14 years ago since I had went to visit my parents native land, and let me tell you that I used to believe all the bad things that people used to say about and also all the sterio types, but since this 5 week vacation my perspective has totally changed. I lived in Miami for 5 years and felt that it was far more dangerous and say lots more poverty in U.S than in Medellin, Colombia. So for all you ignorant Americans take a trip there a have the shock of your life!!!!! I triple dare you

June 12, 2008 at 4:27 pm
(25) Whatever says:

“So for all you ignorant Americans” Statements like that make you just as ignorant as those you are admonishing. All Americans are NOT ignorant.

Anyway, I have enjoyed reading this as I am planning to move out of the US. I don’t like where this country is going. And before long it will be just another Latin American country.

June 12, 2008 at 9:26 pm
(26) mitch durette says:

I went to Costa Rica for my first vacation in twelve years. I fell in love with it’s beauty, it’s people it’s ‘Pura Vida’. I go back to work (consulting) on saturday for two months, and I’m seriously considering moving there. Yes there are sketchy parts, but if you have life experience and use your brain you can avoid all that. I found no difficulty finding most comfort items that I wanted, much less the necessities. Leaving LA for CR might be the healthiest thing I have done.

June 13, 2008 at 10:56 pm
(27) Teodora says:

Hey, I have visited most of Latin America. My comment to you, all depends where you go and what you do. If you want to avoid trouble try to lern the language and remember “when you are in Rome do as Romans do…” or something like that. Argentina is not a good spot for living, is far away from every thing and people are not so nice.Chile is a beautiful country but for my taste people are “fascists”. Brazil is extremely dangerous and poor. Ecuador unfortunately used to be a decent country but not any longer.Peru and Colombia are the most beautiful of all, cultivated people and a lot to see but this is maybe not good time to visit or live there.Regarding Central America maybe the two safest countries are Panama and Costa Rica.

June 21, 2008 at 8:25 pm
(28) vogfsgsfd says:

El salvador is not a dangerous country to live or visit…please ignore those negative comments..salvadorians love international visitors.

June 27, 2008 at 3:56 pm
(29) Juan says:

You are wrong El salvador is not the dangerous country . get your facts right and never never ever put El salvador next to Guatemala. Mexico is the dangerous country. Long live El salvador

July 1, 2008 at 5:25 pm
(30) bren says:


July 12, 2008 at 10:07 am
(31) Julius says:

I don’t appreciate the “ignorant Americans” comment either. I don’t blame all Canadians for this, either. Just a handful of people who would be obnoxious in any country.

July 12, 2008 at 6:11 pm
(32) jorge says:

Asuncion(Paraguay) it sucks!, i mean after bolivia(wich is the poorest country in south america), is a peace of crap, corruption, poverty, injustuce, healthcare sucks, the roads are awfull, i want to get out of here :(

July 18, 2008 at 11:10 am
(33) Kent says:

Lots of opinions on Latin America and Central America, I am very confused?? I have a sailboat and I would like to stay at a marina that is safe, and I hope to find work. Is there any recommendations?

July 26, 2008 at 11:06 am
(34) hmmm says:

I’ve been and lived briefly in Asuncion PY – the poverty is great, the crime is high, the unemployment is almost 40% – Its not safe to stop at red lights at night through most of the town – however – people do live there and some happily live there. Food and housing is relatively cheap and there are protective bars on everything – you can get a guard for not much money – Its probably a nicer place to live for the foriegn educated as they get paid considerably better, as long as they know the language
overall i wouldnt recommend asuncion except for hummanitarian work or for someones with strong stomaches and little conscience

July 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm
(35) Mary says:

I just returned from Costa Rica, and although it was beautiful, it was ridiculously expensive.

Panama is much better. My family is from there and I go yearly. My husband and I are thinking of retiring there in a couple years.

My cousin just returned from El Salvador and loved it.

August 2, 2008 at 10:49 pm
(36) sasystuf says:

Whatever….I sooo agree.I never dreamed I wanted to leave the US but I hope I’ll be able in the next 12 months. Reading all these comments show that I should decide with some research and first hand knowledge

September 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm
(37) Jane says:

I am moving to El Salvador soon. If someone has recently lived there (Sep2008) could you please comment on what rents are like for apartments/houses in San Salvador or Santa Tecla. Also what are job prospects like? Would a spanish speaking hairstylist struggle financially? Would a non-spanish speaking Canadian be able to find a job say in tours?

September 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm
(38) jhon says:

argentina and chile are the best places be not only as a visitor… all the others are corrupt, dangerous and you never know if you will comeback home after shoping.

September 29, 2008 at 1:07 pm
(39) Gabriel says:

I live in Quito, Ecuador, and with certain adjustments you can live here the same american lifestyle, only much cheaper – with your own house and a car you will be thinking how to spend 1000 a month… I tell you what: you live in the Latin America for a year and will want to return to US only for a short visit.

October 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm
(40) harry says:


your talk sounds really interesting and push to move to make is own opinion.

personnaly I m a photographer from belgium, Actually I m into baby and pregnancy business, I m dreaming about to move on a sunny country with the beach where I can have a really good life level with my work. some Brazilian people I met told me Brazil was really good a place to live where once you have a regular job you can already afford domestics at home. I don’t care about to have domestics But I like the image.

What do you think about this? do you really think Argentina or chile is much better?

thanks in advance for your sunny answers !

October 11, 2008 at 9:06 am
(41) Harry says:

It is great to hear the different comments.I want to retire to to one of those countries.Differents views gives a more balanced opinion.THANK YOU ALL.Is it better than thailand?

October 13, 2008 at 10:07 pm
(42) EdMo says:

Chile is a great and safe place to live.Ive lived in Canada, US (Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale) and Santiago, Chile. Just like any new country use common sense and try to apply to those fortunate companies that can pay well. The range in salaries are very very broad anywhere in Latin America. I truly recommend Chile if you can get one of these gigs… Cheers.

October 20, 2008 at 7:02 am
(43) Steven says:

I’m British with colombian parents, to make things clear with the least biast opinion on Colombia to live in I think it has been victimized through it’s bad media press of kidnap. My parents left Colombia for financial purposes. But if you can afford to live in Colombia, then it is a great place. Fair enough, the kidnap rate is high on a political level and if you happen to go to the JUNGLE!!! just don’t. I was brought up with the perception that Britain say Colombia is just drugs, kidnap and corruption and that’s exactly what I told people and colombians themselves before I personally knew the country. Well I decided to visit colombia for the first time after I graduated and lived there for 6 months. I was very sceptical and concerned I was going to be kidnapped! but all that has changed now! the people are Colombia’s gold, I have never met such kindness and modesty. Bogota is very safe and modern, there’s everything you need at hand. It is cast as a developing country but it is definitely going to be one of the most developed without any influence from other counrties and certaily has a lot going for itself in terms of organic growth! I personally I think that London is much dangerous and corrupt!!!

best piece of advice… don’t judge a book by it’s cover!!!

November 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm
(44) Lorenzo says:

I want to learn the spanish language. I have traveled to Costa Rica where I studied for a month and I travel to Cuba every year. I am studying the language on my own and can hold a conversation but I would not call myself fluent. Mi espanol es muy malo ahora pero estoy conseguiendo porque soy eschuando a la radio y hablando con mi amigo. I am from the Bahamas. Which country can I go to to study that would be the cheapest and safest and can anyone help me out in finding someone to stay with. Thanks.

November 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm
(45) lb says:

The stats indicate that India, South Africa, Columbia, russia, and Indonesia countries are the most violent and dangerous. All of those countries have high murder rates. The US has a high crime rate, but it has such a large population that is not really comparable with the stats of the other countries.

November 20, 2008 at 7:38 pm
(46) Mica says:

Okay, to agree with some of the earlier comments, you definitely can’t judge a country by one city or one place. You also can’t completely judge a country by statistics because thats not related to the lifestyle exactly.

Right now I am living in Buenos Aires,Argentina with a study abroad program and I would really like to make this one of the best years of my life.
This is a wonderful city to come live in for a while. People are generally friendly and patient. There are some very sketchy neighborhoods but if you play your cards right you can be perfectly safe. Plus the night life is incredible! At night I have found that it is not too dangerous because there are always people out and about in the streets from dusk to dawn. It is very easy to get anywhere you need to go and you can meet a ton of people.
and GOOD food.
cheap as well.
BUT there are things that makes me really uncomfortable here is the lack of nature, and all the pollution. Some people are poor and not educated in a sense that they know how to walk three extra steps to throw away garbage. Also If you are a girl, especially with blond hair you will hear many dirty comments if you decide to go in public. Plus Its very dirty here.

So for my year here, I do have to stay in Argentina and I after four months in Buenos Aires I am a bit tired and want to know about cities in the south I may be able to move to.
I’m only in High school so maybe a place with decent secondary schools. And mountains would be nice

Anyone know of a nice city in South of Argentina that would be a good choice?

November 20, 2008 at 8:47 pm
(47) Jon says:

I agree the report is stupid. Only a dolt would rate Cuba so high, just as an example.
Anyway – it sure caused lots of people to respond (an indicator of how poorly researched the article.)
I am a US citizen retired in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is a wonderful place … reports of late are misleading.
I am developing several web-sites about touring and living (retiring here). One is http://www.googlecochabamba.com. Am doing another on Latin America as a whole. Would like to hook up with others. You can comment on my website so I can get in touch with you if you are interested. Thanks!

November 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm
(48) Silvia says:

Hola a todos,

I am from Peru and I have been living in London for over 10 years. South America is a beautiful continent, each country is different, you have to live in the country to make comments, been on holiday is a different matter, I have been in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Brazil…all are great! Maybe because I speak Spanish and Portuguese I might find easy to get along, the same happens in London, you have to speak the language to get along too…otherwise you are lost in translation.
I love South America and Central America!

Enjoy Latin America


November 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm
(49) Karen says:

I’ve been going to Costa Rica for 12 years now; owned property there for 3. It’s time to move on. Crime is rampant and it has nothing to do with being aware. It is not safe anymore and the government is doing nothing about it. I am looking at Columbia as the health care is ranked 22, costa rica was 37th.

November 26, 2008 at 12:58 am
(50) John Ruiz. says:

There is one thing that I have to say to all those that say Mexico is one of the most dangerous places. Mexico is the 12 richest country in the world (according to wikipedia). Mexico city is dangerous, yes. However there is so much more to Mexico than Mexico city. The rest of Mexico is very safe and enjoyable to live in. In fact, I never felt so unsafe until I moved to the US (Tacoma, WA to be exact). In zacatecas, Mex. I felt safe and happy. There is a reason more than 1 million americans call now Mexico their home. Guadalajara, san Miguel de Allende, Monterrey, Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Merida, tabasco, and San Luis Potosi are some examples where it is very safe to live in.

November 28, 2008 at 11:33 pm
(51) The one says:

I want to post a comment about Mexico. Mexico is one of the most beautiful places and what they are stating is wrong. I hate to sound somewhat racist but I must state. If you are an ignorant white american with a stupid hawaii 5′o t-shirt you deserve to robbed and stripped and made to wear better fashion. My point is you can get robbed or killed by the terrorist in America first. I think the whole point behind all of this is fear. If everyone here can agree than we would all say that the cost of living is usually cheaper. So, how can the people who sell cheap fun afford expensive technology. You are still only paying them pennies on the dollar. They get these dangerous equipment and toys from the US. Also, think of how is reporting it’s dangerous. Mostly, the news. And do you really trust the associated press? No, you don’t. These are the people who brought you 9-11, and Bush caught on camera. If they tell you a country is bad or dangerous maybe they don’t want you to go there so you don’t tell others the truth. Because next week they might need to conduct illegal transactions, and you the informed American might say wait a minute I just came back from there. You know druglords don’t like to be cheated, and dictators don’t like to be undermined. So, when the sheep say “NO” the druglords and dictators have to act really ugly and it’s best the american public don’t really meet there elected officals face to face. THINK PEOPLE. READ THE SLAVES DIED FOR THAT RIGHT!

November 30, 2008 at 10:08 pm
(52) brian says:

colombia is the best country on earth. All the bad news is to keep non colombians away from colombia. Ir you get the chance go to colombia jet blue from orlando 99$ go to medellin colombia la mejor city in south america

December 1, 2008 at 11:11 am
(53) sergio ceja says:

Mexico is now owned by the drug cartels. Stay away at all costs. I was born there and used to travel there twice a year. I was robbed three times on my last visit. I have not been back there since. There is a REASON border cities are avoided by the locals on the US side!!!

December 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm
(54) Marisa says:

I live in the heart of Mexico City, and yes, you do learn to cope with the insecurity. No jewelry, no fancy cars, no flashing money at the super market… but its hard to beat the global lifestyle, great restaurants and exciting people.

December 3, 2008 at 12:43 am
(55) Mark Montagne says:

I`m a 48 year old businessman from Az City, Az.I have traveled to most of the countries above and beyond ,I have friends that have retired all over the world that I`m in constant touch with them and each one of them say………Mark you need to move here!!
I will be retiring in about 2 years and moving to one of them.
Here is my take on it thus far.
MEXICO:Close to Az which is convenient but with all of the drug wars going on and the corruption I`m totally turned off!
NICARAGUA:Beautiful country but Daniel Ortega is in charge…do I have to say more!
Things can turn ugly there quickly, Google Seach ERIC VOLTZ and see what happened to this American living in San Juan Del Sur.
COSTA RICA:Just beautiful and if your single no matter what age you are, the women are to die for, you should have bought land in the 80`s there when it was cheap, its not cheap now and the cost of living is exspensive!
There is over 1 million Nicaraguans living in C.R. illegally, there is alot of resentment between the Tico`s & the Nico`s, ask any Tico about the situation and they will tell you there was never crime in C.R before the Nico`s invaded.
PANAMA:I have very good friends living in Boquete, a huge retirement area for Americans, They are totally in love with it, they want me to move there.
ARGENTINA & CHILE:I like both countries,My favorite top 2 countries, I will most likely settle for one or the other,my favorite is the Patagonia region that crosses both countries, you have never seen a more beautiful place, the economy is alot stronger in Chile thus a higher cost of living but the Patagonian land is cheaper to buy in Chile .
Again if your single the women of Buenos Aires are the most beautiful creatures on earth.
In March I`m going to check out the Azores, I have never heard anything bad about the Azore Islands, 5 hours flight from Boston, I heard it`s paradise on earth!

December 4, 2008 at 12:53 pm
(56) Urrman says:

Hola a todos,

Yo soy hindoestano o Indiano….. I don’t know much Spanish, but I definitely love America Latina. I was also researching a lot (and am still) till i got to this site, which is the one i was finding for personal perspectives. Anyways, I had put two cities on top of my list, which is Lima and Santiago de Chile. I am in the process of learning Spanish, and I will definitely learn it fluently, because I love the language, and i heard this somewhere, “it’s easy to be committed, when you are passionate,” so I would definitely commit mi vida a America Latina, la lingua de Espanol y la gente del America Latina. No matter how much the crime rate is, or whatever, the people here are just great, lovable, amorous, affectionate, friendly…. and more….. I would definitely post something here again, once i emigrate to America Latina.

Cuidate a todos y dios te benediga!!

December 8, 2008 at 7:42 pm
(57) Doug says:

An American In Peru- Peru is alot different now than it was 10-15 years ago. The economy is setting record highs, poverty rate is still high, but it is surly coming down. I have lived here for about 3 years and have had no regrets other than missing my home country. I choose to live here simply because VISA requirements for my fiance are too impossible at the moment. I have also been to Chile, Loved it! Its really like the USA in so many ways. No Matter what part of the world you want to live in, they all have the good points and bad. You gotta take it or leave it, or simply stay home!! ;)

December 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm
(58) Mike says:

I am originally from the US, Right now I’m studying medicine in Mexico City. Yes it has certain problems but it is a beautiful place. Crime exists everywhere and only a small percentage of people face a serious situation. I feel safer in most parts of mexico city than I do in Los Angeles riding the metro there. Anybody who wants to come vistit here should not worry too much about safety and just be careful. It seems to me the people who are very rich here are a bit paranoid. But this speaks to the deeper issue of the class problem in mex city, the social problems are just symptoms of a deeper injustice that is at the foundation of mexican politics.

December 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm
(59) Tom says:

I have lived in Argentina and Chile and like both. I had more trouble in Chile with being robbed and cheated. I had to learn a lesson on how to deal with those who consider “gringos” fair game for being cheated. I am fluent in Spanish. I would suggest that anyone wishing to live in any Latin American country learn Spanish well (Portuguese for Brazil). I would recommend Chile, but not Santiago due to smog. Perhaps Viña del Mar, which is not far from Santiago. Also, the Patagonia in both countries is extraordinary.

December 27, 2008 at 4:20 pm
(60) Sandrine says:

I am a translator working from home in Canada. I can work from anywhere in the world as long as I have access to the Internet. Before I got my degree in translation, I lived in Ecuador for two years and I married an Ecuadorian. We desperately want to leave cold boring Canada and go back to South America (preferably Chile or Argentina). I would like to talk to anybody who works on the Internet and lives in Latin America. I am looking for tips on taxation, health care, etc.
Take care

January 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm
(61) lilPrisci says:

Everyone take a deep breath. We have all had very different experiences living in different places. Heck, you’ll find corruption, petty theft, pollution, etc. anywhere in the world. No place is perfect.

The list was probably compiled by statistics taken from official reports from each country. Just because you know of someone (or even a dozen people) that had a bad experience somewhere doesn’t mean it represents the entire experience of the country.

January 3, 2009 at 12:50 am
(62) HelpingHand says:

What about volunteering and living?

I am looking for a place to volunteer teach or work with children for the next year. Being a 25 year old female US citizen I want to make sure I choose a relatively safe country and city.

I just got done working and living in Barcelona so I can speak Spanish on an intermediate level. Would appreciate any suggestions…

January 6, 2009 at 12:16 am
(63) Spearwell says:

I have been travelling to Latin America off and on for 25 years, and have considered buying property and retiring in a number of different countries. I have also been spending much time in S.E. Asia with the same retirement thoughts, but find myself drawn back to the Latin American culture and the friendliness and character of the people and culture. Here is my observations on the various countries that I have looked at:

Panama: decent place and safe enough, but a bit pricey and the beaches are not that good, also it rains a lot. There are some fine places no question, but the county is a bit too Americanized for my liking.

Costa Rica: a great place 25 years ago, however now too crowded, too expensive and dangerous. San Jose is a dump and the people are definately not the friendliest.

Colombia: Ive been to Catagena, Cali, Santa Marta on a few occasions and never had a problem and the people are very friendly. I concur with the above posters that Costa Rica is more dangerous. if you go by Stats alone and Robert Peltons book you would never go to half the countries in the world. Drug wars and guerilla activity and political strife do not really concern me as a traveller or living in any country as much as getting mugged, or attacked by some drunk in a bar or being falsely arrested on trumped up charges.Or my house been broken into. These can all happen in Costa Rica. It is very rare that you will be affected by these Political situations, certain areas of Colombia, kidnapping is a problem, so you stay away from those areas. I was in Sri Lanka touring the country on a motorbike while a civil war was in progress and didn’t see a thing.
Honduras: Same as Costa Rica 25 years ago when it was great but now too many economical problems.

Brazil: Wonderful place with energy but don’t be lulled into complacency as danger is just around the corner.

Mexico: A narco state and corrupt, however wonderful people, I have not travelled extensively through Mexico so the Mexican Riviera and Merida areas interest me Any comments ?

Dominican Republic: Stay away, too many negatives to mention

Cuba: The best place by far for safety, beaches, salsa, culture, Art, friendly people and diverity of topographical regions. (i haven’t been to Argentina and Chile yet). The food is not the best and it can be an expensive place to visit compared to other Latin American places.and unfortunately is not a place where you could retire to.

has anyone been to Margarita island Venezuela, Comments please.

January 19, 2009 at 1:00 pm
(64) S.Kennedy says:

Ecuador is my soul country in South America. The government has spent millions in the last few years to make it a safer place for tourists. Quito had similar crime (personal attacks, theft) as many countries do. Now, it is a safer city to visit. The historic old town is one of the best preserved in Latin America. An example is Ronda Street. It used to be a place tourists were to avoid. Now, its people have painted buildings, created small cafes and restaurants and art shops. Consequently, this has become a safe street for tourists. “New Town” is filled with international tourists. Renovated, Quito is alive once again.

In September, I will return to Ecuador again. It will be my fourth trip and my third Amazon lodge, Kapawi. Revisiting the Galapagos will be different since I explored it many years ago. What amazes me is the diversity of regions to visit: Amazon, Andes, coast, Galapagos and southern Ecuador. For its size (almost same as Colorado), it has such diversity in flora and faun, as well as cultures.

I have also enjoyed Uruguay, Argentina,Chile, Peru (taught there for a year) and I will find out about Bolivia in May. Each country is fascinating in its own way. As in the U.S., I am aware of my surroundings and learn places best to avoid. Crime, unfortunately, is in every country but with knowledge, fear doesn’t have to keep me from experiencing the world.

January 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm
(65) KarlT says:

Hello there! Everybody! I have travelled extensively and also lived in a few countries. I am swedish. What one says is hell the other one says is heaven. It all depends on time and situation how we judge the country! Anyway I believe that the continent of South America is a very exciting continent with a great future. I myself have found Colombia to be a pearl and its people. and yes i believe there is a democratic process even though it is far from being perfect. But few countries can offer (apart from the friendly people) all that Colombia has to offer, 2 oceans, amazonas, tropics, snowpeaked mountains and much more…Yes I have learned to love this country…Try it you might like it?

January 20, 2009 at 7:53 am
(66) Andres says:

I am an American who has lived in Latin America (mostly Peru) for 5 of the last 8 years. While there are differences from one country to the next, it is normal that people exagerate the good and the bad of a country based on limited experience. A balanced evaluation mentions the positives as well as the negatives. That said, Chile is by far the best place to visit and live in Latin America. There are few negatives. The Chileans take great care of both their cities as well as their national parks; they don’t allow their children to beg on the street; they keep crime low and education high. Almost all Latin American countries are worth visiting, but Chile is definitely the best of the lot for visiting or staying long term.

January 20, 2009 at 9:54 pm
(67) sydney says:

I have been to Brazil 4x without incident; but care must be taken, especially at night in the cities, although 2 trips to Sao Paulo we have not had one problem. They have 5000 miles of coast with thousands of beaches! My Brazilian girlfriend has become a permanent landed immigrant here in Canada and has been here for 10 months. We just bought a house in Ontario, because unfortunately, i must work a few more years.
However, asap/when we are able, we are buying a house near the beach in Brazil. Paraty or Ubatuba which are just south of Rio, and are the areas we like the most. Average annual temp of 23, day and night with incredible beaches, night life and food. Paraty is magic! The NE coast is extremely beautiful too, ie-Fortaleza to Jericoaquara and Canao Quebrada are great places to visit, but so far, we are trying to find something near one of Ubatuba’s 80 beaches. A 3 bedroom house can be found for under 50K. The food in Brazil is simply amazing! And Sao Paulo just might have the best food on earth! We only have taco bell or new york fries here our in food courts, but in SP they have grilled salmon, shrimp and dozens of different fish, all the carne *meat, you could ever want along with a million different salads and legumes etc..in their food courts next to the cinema! I was blown away! Best food on earth is in Brazil! The best beaches, music and women too! This is where i will likely die, but hopefully it is not for about 30 more years. I love my girl and love her country, realllllly alot! And can’t wait for our next trip. ps…our first date, have had a gorgeous cottage in Jericoaquara with a/c, breakfast and a house keeper for $35. a night, with sand streets and over 2 dozen restaurants and a thousand miles of beach!!
I found her on ‘amigo.com’. I was looking for an adventure that comes with a new friend. I found both. Brazil is enchanting!

January 22, 2009 at 9:29 am
(68) Roberto says:

AMERICA is a continent that goes from Canada to Tierra del Fuego. “Americas” is a term used to attempt to separate North, (Central) and South AMERICA into two distinct continents, and as to justify the term “America” for the USA. Read history, you yank, and not from your biased country.

February 2, 2009 at 6:57 am
(69) Rodrigo says:


Thanx for giving me the opportunity to post. First, I must say that Chile is best ranked than Argentina by HDI (Human Development Index.

Chile ranks 40. (???)
Argentina ranks 46. (Godhand makes fantastic goals and girls)
Brazil ranks 70. (The “Kitsh” Brazil as I like to call it is way too far)

Entonces, el mejor pais para vivir de acuerdo a las estadisiticas del sitio HDR es: Chile, dentro de Sudamerica.

Besides, Chile ranks way better than Argentina in most of the economic reports related to best economical practices. Moreover, the data is ranked at top among all countries within the region.

As you being a journalist, I´d expected more accuracy. Before going public with any of your headlines. What make it worst is the fact that you are linking it to a website which makes you look silly and not well informed.


February 4, 2009 at 5:03 pm
(70) Marcelo says:

Dear Chilean friend, you should not show so openly your resentments and frustration against Argentina and Brazil only because they are bigger or richer countries maybe.. who knows about your mind?

Anyway, this is a public blog which is aimed to help people get informed before traveling abroad. If you think Chile is the best country in the world, i congratulate you and hope you stay there enjoying your paradise. The rest of the world will be safe from another paranoid.

Greetings from “the jungle”..

February 7, 2009 at 9:41 pm
(71) Jorge says:

There is no such thing as the “best” country. There is only a best (or better) for you. Everything depends on what you are looking for, your particular needs and desires. All kinds of factors come into play: the type of cultures, the climate, whether you want a city or a small town, the highlands or the coast, whether there are other expatriates there or not, and so on, and on. It is best to have a clear idea of what factors are the most important to you and arrange them in order, and then do thorough research–including personal experiences of people. It’s all data that can be useful. Certain sites are particularly useful–I just went to Jon’s, for Cochabamba, and he’s done a great job. Just beware of opinions posing as objective and universally applicable. Some facts are irrefutable, and need to be known: climate, altitude, population, water quality, air quality, etc. They will all influence your decision. Then go and plan on staying at least 6 months and renting to see if the place you chose really is for you.
I was born in Mexico, have an Ecuadorian fathers, and a US born mother, and have lived in many countries. They all have their pros and cons, depending on what you’re looking for and what you need and want.
“Peace on earth to men of good will!”

February 13, 2009 at 10:38 am
(72) aa says:

If you are looking for paradise, there is none.
Stay where you are and make the best of it.

February 14, 2009 at 5:21 am
(73) Simon says:

I see that my home country of Australia is ranked in the top 5 countries of the world to live….well, we have kidnappings, rape, murder, gangland wars, arsonists, muggings, break and enters, corruption and all the other bad things that you are all talking about.
No country is free from danger, but I can honestly tell you that after having visited all of our planet’s inhabited continents, that latin america is the earth’s greatest treasure; beautiful, warm people, fantastic culture and scenery and just about everything you could ever wish for in a place to live.
I look forward to my next Latin American adventure so that hopefully I can decide on where I’d like to live over there….and this time I will be equipped with a profound knowledge of Spanish and an improvement in my Portuguese.
Buena suerte a todos y que encuentren su paraiso!

February 17, 2009 at 12:57 pm
(74) Jean says:

How about Puerto Rico. A mix of two worlds,beautiful beaches,mountains,waterfalls,scuba,fishing,hiking and close to the states. Check our Rincon,Aguadilla and Isabela in the west coast of the island. Plenty of americans and europeans have made it their home and it is beautiful. Crime rate is high mostly in the capital San Juan, but towards the west coast it is much safer. and remember the islands of Vieques and Culebra, two jewels in the caribbean.

February 18, 2009 at 7:14 pm
(75) Alyssa says:

Hi Everyone! In the next few years my boyfriend and I would like to move down somewhere in South America. I am hoping to teach English while my boyfriend is a scuba diving instructor. We were considering Brazil until we had someone who had lived there suggest not to because I am white and supposedly the people down there will think we are rich and break into our house, etc. I don’t really believe that, but I was hoping if someone could direct me in the right direction in regards to an area that’s friendly, safe, and near the ocean. thanks

February 23, 2009 at 11:37 am
(76) Eduardo says:

I’m from Puerto Rico and in my islan don’t kingnap peoples like others places. The only bad thing that I can mention is the corrupt goverment. But also I thinkg if the rich people help and there’s no corruption in the goverment all world would be greatest!

February 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm
(77) nikki says:


does anyone have any suggestions on where to study spanish for the whole summer? I will be by myself (as a woman) I was thinking about Ecuador..but obviously I want the prettiest place, the safest and friendliest..any suggestions?



March 6, 2009 at 8:49 am
(78) Andres says:

Hello Nikki, if you want to study Spanish in Ecuador I would suggest Cuenca. Avoid La Mariscal district in Quito, which has many tourist restaurants, bars and discos as well as violent drug addicts who prey on the tourists (Quito Centro Historico is much nicer, but Cuenca is wonderful!) Cuzco Peru is also a good place to study Spanish, with a very interesting history, archaelogy and art all due to the conflict between the Inca people and the Spanish 500 years ago. Chile is a very beautiful, clean, crime free country, as is most of Argentina outside of Buenos Aires. There are other places as well, such as Antigua Guatemala, known for studying Spanish (be sure to completely avoid Guatemala City). You said pretty, safe and friendly and mentioned Ecuador; thus I would say Cuenca is for you.

March 17, 2009 at 12:41 am
(79) Margarita says:

Great site, have enjoyed reading all comments. I am planning on moving soon, and am seriously looking at Ecuador. I have seen Cuenca and Quinto mentioned a bit, but nothing any Guayaguil…on the coast. Has anyone been there there? Right now I am leaning more towards there and Cuenca. Thanks everyone….there is a paradise to be found for everyone…and I will find mine…thanks for your help.

March 17, 2009 at 11:07 am
(80) chris says:

I married a wonderful woman from Colombia. She will be her in less than three weeks to live me with until I retire and then our plans are to return to Colombia and live. If you have not visited Colombia then you must make travel plans to see one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I have been to Bogota approximately 7 or 8 times now and I have never had any problems banditos, narcos or have I witnessed any crime. The Colombian people are very friendly, the food is unbelievable, thebest I have ever eaten and numerous fresh fruits to enjoy. There may be a problem with the guerrillas in the jungles but I work in Baltimore, Maryland and we have our own drug war here, the same in Washington, D.C. as well as many of the big cities in the United States. Colombia is committed to peace talks with the guerrillas to have them lay down their arms and surrender peacefully. I am very anxious to retire in a couple of years and move back to my wife’s homeland, invest in a business, be my own boss and enjoy retirement!

March 22, 2009 at 10:41 pm
(81) Jon says:

Hi Nikki,
Another good place to study Spanish is Casa Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua. I’ve been to0 Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and loved them all. I paid $200 US per week for homestay, food, and lessons 4 hours per day. In the afternoons were often excursions with the group that cost about $5. People in Nicaragua were fantastic, lost of culture aned history of the Sandanista revolution. I had no trouble, but heard from other people who wree victims of petty crime. I must say though, the food in Nicaragua isn’t very good. In Nicaragua is the island of Ometepe, one of my favorite places in the world. See it before it gets ruined.

March 25, 2009 at 7:53 pm
(82) G. Ryan says:


I’m sorry that I can’t be of any real help but I want to hop on the band-wagon of find it. My girlfriend and I are planning on moving from Boston, MA to Latin America. I make films and write and she writes and teaches. We need safety, warmth, the ocean and an internet connection (for my work). Salinas Ecuador is looking like the best place for us. I have done a ton of research and am really impressed by the people, activities and all else.

So.. Do people know about other locations that provide all those aspects of life that we should check out? We’re very open minded and are planning on moving in November so we have plenty of time. We’re obviously going to check out places first so would love some specific opinions. Thank you!

March 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(83) deepak says:

columbia is the safest place on the earth

March 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm
(84) j says:

I currently live in Guatemala. I can’t say it’s the “safest” place on earth…but I can definitively say IT IS BY FAR SO NOT THE UNSAFEST PLACE ON EARTH like most of you said!!!! Depends on what shoes your in. Of course there’s crime, robberies, assaults!!! but by no means we have any major attacks on cities, bombings, tortures, or killings of thousands of people like MANY OF THE “SAFEST PLACES ON EARTH” you might call. We have no serial-killers, and like any other country IN THE WORLD there is danger!!! on a lower scale than in several of the countries many of you are writing from! yes, it’s horrible to hear news from Guatemala, but no! IT IS NOT THE UNSAFEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!!!! Wrong!

April 5, 2009 at 6:55 pm
(85) JOHN says:

I have lived in colombia for 10 years and I have loved it and also traveled to a few latin countries. We have crime in the States but you dont get kidnapped and the police respond quickly and though cops in the states are assholes they are not currupt. Life in many of these countries has little value, someone will kill you because of an argument over a bender-fender. I always feel safer in the USA. Keeping a low profile and staying out of trouble helps.

Can I say that I found Panama and Panama City to be the biggest irony of all. Somehow some people say this is paradise I found this place to be a shit hole.

Everyone that has gone to Panama City will admit that the low tide takes the water out 2-3 miles and all that is left of the drained out rivers and bay is black muck … all the crap from the city and its sewers left to stink up your day … and crime is horrible and the very currupt police kept stopping us (they stop rental cars, feel free to give them $10-$20, you will save yourself a lot of time) Advise: dont ever give the police your passport … you will pay alot to get it back and it may not be for days.

I live very well in medellin colombia … i play it safe and do not travel out of the city. Take this advise for all of Colombia … you only get kidnapped once.

I look forward to visint Chile … I am happy to hear about Peru being so popular on this blogg ….

April 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm
(86) Heather says:

My famiy and I are thinking about moving to Mexico. We have a 7 year old who would have to go to school and we are all white and my daughter and I are blond. I would like somewhere with great beaches and lots to do and enjoy. We also dont speak very good spanish yet. Any suggestions on the place for us?

April 12, 2009 at 12:04 am
(87) Kirk says:

I have been living in Colombia now for 3 years. Yes it is still extremely dangerous here. I have seen 4 people shot in broad day light and no one does nothing. People getting hit by buses, Also it seems every Colombian has a story about a family member or friend who has been shot dead. I hear about a new murder everyday being here, Colombia is a beautiful country but it is dangerous so don’t let anyone tell you different because they are lying or haven’t spent enough time here.

April 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm
(88) Calvin says:

Few things what i would like to say about this article, and i do agree with some of it..

Colombia, i heard that there is a lot of dangerous places, but this is also ignorance, just like people saying El Salvador is dangerous country. Very ignorant. Just like every country there is safer parts.. Medellin and Cali being one of the safest places. Also just like El Salvador, Colombia has rich a culture, and a lot, for that matter..

Costa Rica, there is dangerous places, but not, so much as Guatemala.
Guatemala also has safe places to live and i heard that they are very friendly people.

El Salvador, according to America is one of the dangerous country in Latin America, but just like every country out there, El Salvador is no different, they do have safe places to visit and live. (I hate people who are ignorant, by saying El Salvador is the only country that is dangerous) Do not get me wrong, there is dangerous part just like United States and Canada. I am from El Salvador, but there is a lot of safest place to live. If you stay away from the poor spots in San Salvador your good, but i would recommend San Miguel, Sonsonate, Usulutan, Santa Ana..

Argentina, no i have nothing against them, nor have I heard anything bad, same goes with Panama.

Mexico has a pretty high crime rate, like a lot of Latin American country s, however there is a lot of safe places to visit, and live. Example, Guadalajara and Mexico City.

America is not a country, is a continent. God people take Geography. Just like Africa, everybody thinks is a country, but it is not a country, is a continent. America founded by Christopher Columbus is a continent.

April 25, 2009 at 8:59 pm
(89) Dave says:

Wow…I have been reading the blogs on living in Central/South America for years and last year I finally did it. I moved to Puerto Vallarta Mexico for the past year and absolutely loved it. Swimming with the dolphins, whale watching…decent (not the best by any means) beaches…It really is paradise on Earth. I had to return for business reasons but I am definitely looking to return to South America for my next and possibly final destination. Chris (#80) is from the same town as me (Baltimore, MD) and definitely is right on the money when he talks about drug wars. We have murders almost daily so what changes? I have to say Puerto Vallarta was wonderful but a little too much on the tourist side… I certainly don’t mind a little or even some..but my goodness..PV is overloaded and growing beyond its means. During high season (Nov – May) the streets can get so crowded with cars it takes you an hour just to make a 3 mile journey….in spite of that…it’s a beautiful place to live and the people are nice enough. Just use your street smarts and your common sense and you’ll be fine. I want to hear more from folks about Chile..which seems really nice…and also Ecuador..which seems optimum…does anyone have info on either..specifically any that has a decent internet connection..I need at least 4-6 mgs connection speed which was difficult so say the least PV. All/any comments are appreciated.

May 4, 2009 at 6:02 pm
(90) Marvo says:

Hi Heather, move to mexico is a great option. Im mexican and rigth now im living in Morelia, is a city in the center of Mexico, very touristic, there’s a lot of americans and canadians livin here, so a lot of people speaks english here, also some schools are bilingual, so for your daughter is good that.

The city is a lttle far from the beach, the nearest beach is Ixtapa, a good place, is like 3 hours and a half in car.

But if you want to live in the beach, probably cancun, veracruz or mazatlan are the best options, because in that cities are big malls, good universities and high standar of living.

There are another good beaches like ixtapa, cabo sanlucas, huatulco, coxumel ,etc, but there are not universities in that cities, so when you daughter grow up, she will need to move to another city.

But you can live in Hermosillo, a beautiful and industrial city, near to rocky point an amazing beach. You can live in Monterrey, is one of the most important cities in latinamerica, very safe, clean, industrial with history, is in the north of Mexico, and South padre island in texas is the nearest beach, like 4 hours in car. Guadalajara is another great great city, and puerto vallarta is near, like 3 hours in car.

So you don’t need necessarily live in a beach. You can live in a city in the north, south or center of mexico, in a city near a beach, that’s because the best schools are in the cities not in the beaches, and also the malls and stadiums are in the cities not in the beaches.

And remember mexico is more than only beaches, the cities are beautiful, with colonial and revolutionary history.

May 8, 2009 at 11:40 am
(91) sarah says:

Lorenzo, Go to La Lengue language school in Quito. They will assign you a personal tutor and find you lodging way way cheaper than Costa Rica.

May 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm
(92) Alejandro says:

I’m from El Salvador, my family and friends are upper middle class and we are almost never affected by violence, we are aware there are places we should just avoid and we stay safer by being a bit paranoid, I know any visitor could do the same, just get well informed, you’ll be treated nicely because salvadorans love foreign people.

I haven’t seen too many South American cities but I visited Buenos Aires and I loved it, I would agree with the article about it being the best, it was cheap, beautiful, cultured and had awesome food!
I also went to Rio de Janeiro and it felt a bit dirty and poor in comparison but it was still beautiful and it’s easy to find its better spots.

As the conflicting comments have implied, there’s not one country that is definitely safe or definitely dangerous. You can live safely in any of them but have your share of caution, I read some people here feeling very safe in El Salvador, which is cool but don’t let your guard down, so to speak.

Also, in response to a very old comment on here, no, not everyone calls americans “americans” …in spanish we use “estadounidense” which is equivalent to “unated-statian” or something of the sort… and we often use “gringo” which is just informal but not pejorative.

May 16, 2009 at 9:12 am
(93) Elisabeth says:

I would like to comment on Mexico, specifically Merida the capitol of the Yucatan. My husband & I bought a house there about 4 years ago, after several years of searching for the right place to move & start a different life. Previously we purchase a house in Honduras, on the island of Roatan, but we felt there was not enough culture & things to do. SO we kept searchng. Mexico was unbelievably our last stop, but we knew when arrived & began exploring the city that we had found our home. The people are very kind and very friendly. The city is fun & very safe. I certainly feel very safe there. We have been restoring our colonial home in the last few years and have been working with a wonderful architect named Henry Ponce. He made our experience a pleasure. Let me tell you restoring a old home and not being there can be very daunting. You are sending money and you are not there to see what is happening. There are many horror stories about these situations in all countries. We very very fortunate to have found Henry who gave us our dream home. Now we are are preparing to move in the next year. I cannot say enough about my newly adopted home. I feel that is my home more than the United States. It is not that I don’t love the United States, after all it is the country of my birth, but sadly it does not love me. It is to expensive, to taxed, lower quality healthcare, simply because it is such an ordeal to get it. I do not want to be a door greeter at Walmart when I am retired, or bag groceries at the local super market. Thus Mexico has given us the opportunity to retire and maintain a decent life style, for which we are grateful. There are good & bad in every country, you just have to find the right one for you. Get out there and explore. Happy Hunting!

May 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm
(94) alex says:

I have read a lot of comments and opinions on this site and have found it really interesting reading!

I just wanted to make a quick note to those thinking about moving or travelling to Ecuador.

I lived there for seven years before returning to live in England and in all that time i never really had any problems, I lived mainly in Guayaquil which is a huge city, biggest city in Ecuador, so the chances of crime are higher as with any big city. I found that it didn’t really have much to offer jobwise unless you have a professional job in the offices or had something to do with maritime trading and shipping! Some of the suburban areas are unsafe but you wouldnt really have any reason to travel to them, there are many safe places to live in Guayaquil with a lot of secure housing compounds, with security guards and safety precautions, the houses were really good value for the money as well, i saw million dollar mansions with swimming pools and marble floors going for the price of an average sized semi detached house in England! Also some more modest houses, but still better value for money! There was quite a lot of police and military presence around so i actually felt safe during the day. However i strongly suggest not travelling around at night as almost all that police presence is gone! A lot of the people were easy going but being a big city it was easy to get lost in it unnoticed like London or New York, but honestly it was mainly one big concrete city, there are some newly developed areas to try and attract tourists i.e new museum, redeveloped old colonial streets and shops and a really nice wildlife park, which i visited and really enjoyed, however i wouldnt live there for the lifestyle, Im not a city person anyway and prefer the country or coast. Guayaquil is more of a place to visit for a few days or unless you have work there waiting for you.

Quito was a really nice place to live, the climate is more familiar and the cooler temperature is more European friendly! It has a really good colonial feel and is a good place to go for the historical parts of the city. Again jobs are mainly of the office, admin, legal or banking variety. I actually preferred Quito, one of the best things was the markets,some of the biggest in South America! it would take hours to go through everything, probably a few days to do properly! Some of the locals were a bit uptight though, especially the younger ones but then thats typical of most places. Also the scenery of the Andes was amazing! Waking up to snow covered mountains was pretty breath taking.

Cuenca is probably the best preserved colonial city in Ecuador, it has some of the best looking buildings, streets and architecture, a beautiful city. Lots to do there, they have some good markets and local restaurants, should definately spend some time there.

There are a few coastal towns which are quite nice, Salinas being very touristy not really for living just holidaying, gets really busy in peak times. Playas another smaller version of Salinas, probably the quietest and slowest pace of life i have seen anywhere! The beaches are sandy, the sea is warm there are bars and cafes along the seafront, mostly family run who are more than happy to share a few bottles of wine with you as they bring out your food! I found the coast a much friendlier place to be in, made some local friends there, mainly due to surfing, they love it out there. Montanita is a very very tourist coastal town, i was there for a few days for the surf and it was literally filled with Americans, Brazilians, Spanish, Canadians, pretty much every other country except Ecuador! it is a party fan’s paradise, eat, drink, surk, sleep. I actually enjoyed it there, speaking to so many different people from different countries was a real culture learning experience. Young people should definately check it out, more mature people may find they get bored easily unless their into heavy partying, as there is not much there apart from a church and small park. Still at least a day or two should be spent here even just to see some of the best beaches and alcoves along the coast.

I’ve also been to the Galapagos for a couple of weeks, beautiful place, a true paradise, BUT you can only stay there on holiday i bealive for 3 months maximum, there are only 2 ways you can permanently live there, 1st if your a millionaire and can pay of the the government to grant you permission to stay OR if you marry a local and have children! And that is the honest truth because I asked. The 3rd way that may be possible is that you have to work there but it must be a specialised occupation they are in desperate need of that none of their own citizens can fulfill. The islands are amazing and a true nature lover’s dream, there are volcanic rock beaches, animals in every corner, volcanoes and mountains dotted all over the islands, beautiful, i was only there for two weeks and wished i could have stayed longer to see all of it!

Im sorry its been a long winded comment but I wanted to try and describe Ecuador as best I could in this brief comment and trust me I could definately go on! I’m aware I gave a rather biased view of the country but since i’v lived there for some time I believe its one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in South America both in appearance and people, yet never really gets as much attention as some of the better known countries like Argentina and Brazil. Iv been to other countries in South America but not really long enough to make a decent opinion of them. For any other Ecuador information however i’ll be more than happy to offer advice!

Hope this has helped!

May 27, 2009 at 8:53 pm
(95) DOMINICAN says:

I think the worst is DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

June 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(96) carolina says:

This is crazy!…Argentina the best country for living? Maybe to visit, but not for living.
I wonder if this lady has lived in all of the countries she named.

June 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm
(97) juan perez says:

tenia que ser argentina para hablar de esta forma; quiero que sepas que de la unica forma que va a la gloria o al cielo sin morirse es viajando a la republica dominicana

June 14, 2009 at 11:15 pm
(98) Traveler says:

They ranked all the countries in South and Central America. Indeed Guatemala and El Salvador are dangerous, therefore they are not listed high on the list. The list clearly just ranks all countries, no matter if they are the best or worst. No one is discluded (in regards to Spanish speaking nations).

June 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm
(99) George Bush says:


June 23, 2009 at 8:39 pm
(100) Maravish95 says:

Ithink the best country to live in latin america is Costa Rica becuase costa rica doesnt haue any violence at all but it does haue beautiful beaches, tourism places & moree ! ibeen there soo igot my reasons & el salvador & guatemala aint dangerous ! im from el salvador & aint dat dangerous so peolple get it straight ! el salvador is dangerous but not the most dangerous country in the world,!

June 24, 2009 at 1:59 am
(101) ms says:

I have lived in Costa Rica for 3 years and we are ready to get the hell out. Petty crime is horrible. I live on the same street as the president and we have a private guard that watches 10 homes. I can not keep light bulbs or potted plants out front. As a ¨stranger¨ most Cota Ricans are extremely rude. Especially driving. Also, I have never encountered so many rude woman in grocery stores. If they have something to gain from you, they can be very charming.

June 24, 2009 at 11:57 am
(102) ms says:

(Continued from above)
Also, Costa Rica is not inexpensive unless you can live on rice and beans. The costs associated with driving is horrible and public transportation is a joke.
With that said, the volcanoes and beaches are incredible to visit.

To Maravish who said: “Ithink the best country to live in latin america is Costa Rica becuase costa rica doesnt haue any violence at all.” All I can say is LOL!!!

I, suprisingly, fell in love with Nicaragua during a recent visit. The people are amazing! The beaches are said to be what Costa Rica was like years ago, “unspoiled.” I would just be a little uneasy about the political corruption.
I have recently heard many positive things about El Salvador. I look forward to checking it out myself.

June 25, 2009 at 12:30 pm
(103) Adam says:

a lot of people seem very knowledgable about central/south america.

i want to move to central america or south america for a few months (feb – may). i am looking for the following
-learn spanish (i took 4 years in high school)
-want to learn to surf
-not too many gringos
-would like to live in big city & surf if at all possible

i’ve done so looking on the web, but if you have any input, i would really appreciate it.

July 5, 2009 at 7:09 am
(104) Lorenzo Giancarlo says:

After reading all of these stories. I realize that everyone who is commenting is basing their ideas on their actual situation. This is not good at all. We all have different life directions and must follow our destiny. That means wherever you decide to go live your life, live it to the fullest. Above and beyond that you are a pawn in a chess game, played by the media hype and less experienced folks that have no clue as to what is what. We all have different preferences, wants and needs. None of this is based upon an opinion from someone who visited a country in a few weeks and or months. Get real people…u decide not this survey…Have you all ever heard of thou shall not fear…I grew up in chicago the windy city for the last 35 years. I am a Motion Pictures Film Writer. Why do you think I am a FIlm Writer..well probably because I have experienced alot and have seen alot in this city…I welcome crazy shit to happen cause only then will I test my true skills as a person….Death awaits us all…That being said…wake up go where you deem worthy of your physical existence…


July 10, 2009 at 12:42 am
(105) Monsy says:

Well, I have read several of the comments, and in reality, we live in a world where violence is everywhere. Anything can happen no matter where you are. I am from Ecuador raised in the USA. Visited Honduras few months ago and look where is at right now. Soooooooooooooo,

July 13, 2009 at 12:50 am
(106) john smith says:

OW my god MEXICO is like the funest and most beautiful country in the world! I have visited a great number of countries but MExico is just funumenal the food,people,culture, and there history is just amazing!

July 14, 2009 at 1:43 am
(107) hale says:

i am a mom of a 4 year old and have been thinking of moving to chile. i want someplace that is safe. i have travelled all over south america but only a little in chile. what places could i live not too far outside chile, that has vineyards?

July 18, 2009 at 11:29 pm
(108) EJ says:

I would probably agree with Argentina being at the top of the list, but I would assume that places like Colombia and Chile follow close behind. Both of those countries are safe, have decreasing rates of poverty, good infrastructure, clean water, and good urban systems of transportation (Like the Bogota transmilenio).

July 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm
(109) Jess says:

I have been living in Costa Rica for about 8 months now and I have to say that it most definitely isn’t a good place to live as a foreigner. The Costa Rican people have a bad case of xenophobia and you will feel it almost anywhere you go in the country. I live in a house with 4 other girls; we are from the U.S.A., South Africa, Paraguay, Peru, and Colombia and each one of us has our own story of discrimination, if not multiple stories. None of us are planning on staying for much longer. Ticos are completely convinced that all of their problems come from the outside and wont look at what is wrong internally. They are especially discriminatory with Nicaraguans and Colombians but I have found that the people from there are much more humble and kind towards others. Personally when I am thinking about which country to live in or travel to I don’t think about how good their economy is, I look at the people. Will they accept me and help me learn about their culture? Will they be my friends? A good economy doesn’t create good people. Sometimes it’s in the countries that have suffered the most that you find the kindest most humble people. From my own personal experience, I truly believe that Colombia is home to the nicest, most genuine people in the world; especially Medellin! I spent an entire year travelling and living in Colombia as a 20 year old blonde girl and never once had any problems. I went with a friend from high school that is actually still there. She never was able to pull herself away. :)
Best of luck to all those that have plans to live or travel abroad! Regardless of where you go, you will definitely learn something new and remember the experience forever! And even if you hear negative comments about a place here, go anyway! You benefit from any experience whether it’s positive or negative. :)

July 23, 2009 at 3:35 am
(110) jose says:

hello everyone ! i am jose from argentina life in argentina it’s ok buenos aires is very nice but you also you can find better places than the capital to live i would like to recommend you the south rio gallegos,mendoza in cuyo or san luis that are cities far safer than buenos aires and in touch with nature my country is really diverse and people is nice,if you wanna go out of argentina i will say that chili is a good option but be carefull in every place specially big cities santiago and buenos aires have a good life quality oh and if you visit san luis in argentina you will get free wi-fi in all the province good food and nice people for less money and really cool acommodation i hope to be helpfull

love from argentina

July 24, 2009 at 9:12 pm
(111) Alejandro says:

Don’t talk so fast, I’m from Peru but I also visited countries like Argentina, Brazil,Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. There is a good and bad places anywhere,you don’t see this just to visiting the country for a few weeks. All I know is any place is nice when you have money or you are the new kid in the block.
After you live for a few months you start seen the difference. Personaly there is no better place to live then a medium or high class neighborhood in USA. Did you show your nice watches,gold chains and nice diamond rings to everyone? The same way you do in this country?
We all love our countries, but there is a reason why we choose to live here. Watchout compadres !!!!

July 30, 2009 at 8:45 am
(112) Daniel says:

They are not saying that Haiti and El salvador a good places to live in…. its a ranking so ALL countries are mentioned, Argentina as number 1, and Haiti as the last one… get it?

August 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Best places to live in Latin America now -2009-? you have to update that report! you have to pay attention to the actual news: cuba is not a safe place to live in; Venezuela, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico are not as hazard and robbery-free as in the past century.

August 14, 2009 at 9:32 pm
(114) Gabe says:

Ok well im gonna give you this comment the best comment ever. Mexico is the richest country in latin america, and its closer to the United States. I mean this country was the closest to the first world than any other latin american country will ever be. Look at all the facts, mostly all latin american countries want to migrate to mexico, because mexico is another united states for them. It is also the one with the least crime(ive been to every single latin american country, Mexico City rich district is closest to USA that it will confuse you, also though properties are higher, but nothing compared to taxes paid in the US), and corruption, and most advanced technology in latin america. Also the best medical care, not to mention, and
Depending on what you want, if you want to retire, San Miguel Allende, if you want to learn Spanish, I recommend Mexico City (classes are being held for english speakers wanting to learn spanish). I mean, dont be dumb! Not ALL of mexico is pretty for Americans, but i can guarantee you. Mostly all of central america is very very very poor. You will become a prisoner of your own house! Take it from the best advice you will ever take!

August 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm
(115) sergio says:

I was thinking of moving to Montevideo, Uruguay. Does anyone have any experience or information about living there? I would love to hear about crime, food, culture (shock) or anything else you can think of.

Thanks in advance

August 27, 2009 at 11:51 am
(116) Tone says:

There are a couple of people that have made very good comments that truly capture the essence of this report. Thank you for your input and shared knowledge.

There are some other ones however that take this report as a personal offense and clearly display a grudge against other Latin American countries.

THERE MAY BE worst places to live in around the world, but this is just encapsulating the Latin American Countries, not the whole world. If you look at the best countries to live in (As listed by Forbes.com as of 27Aug2009), there not one single Latin American country in there.

Instead of thinking of how you are better than your neighbor, act as a pack to be BETTER than All…Period.

I agree, as some have written, that our experiences are indeed the methods by which we are shaped and biased.

With wishes to search for a greater truth, and Get out there.


August 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm
(117) Jay says:

This reports is wrong! I don’t know why Costa Rica(CR) keeps showing number after Chile. I’ve been in many countries in South America (SA) and I can guarantee you almost every country in there SA is safer and more developed tha CR. I know CR is totally developed compare to central America countries. I don’t know why Lima is 11th , Lima, Peru is a lot safer and economically doing a lot better than Colombia and Mexico.

August 31, 2009 at 11:00 am
(118) simone says:

I am in the early stages of thinking about a move to Belize. I am hoping to work out there with a small family. If anyone has any words of wisdom (or not) – it would be much appreciated. Also, what is it like buying property out there?

September 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm
(119) luis says:

Argentina… best place?
I visited that country on a business trip and on the first day there my wallet was stolen….. best place to live in LA is Costa Rica, friendly and humble people. Argentinean are not that friendly and they all think they are rich?????

September 7, 2009 at 10:01 pm
(120) Bob says:

OK, enough with the bashing on Costa Rica!! I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout Latin America from Mexico to Argentina and have visited most countries since 2002. I was based in CR for a little over a year and traveled a lot from there. It’s not the neatest city by any means; however, it’s almost like a US city in that the better areas are in the suburbs (mostly west, some east as well). That’s different than many big Latin American cities where the outskirts are dangerous.

The comments stating CR is more dangerous or on par with the likes of Nicaragua, Guatemala or Columbia are not just inaccurate, they are ludicrous!! Granted, there has been an increase in crime in the country – mostly property crime, but violence as well. However, you’re still roughly 8 times more likely to be murdered in Guatemala; 7 times more likely to be murdered in Honduras or El Salvador; and 6 times more likely to be murdered in Columbia or Venezuela. Caracas in particular, despite having so many gorgeous women, is a dangerous hell hole that should be avoided. Mexico is now the kidnapping capital of Latin America, surpassing Columbia. As Columbia gets a little less dangerous, Mexico becomes increasingly so. Even formerly safe places like Monterrey are not immune to the violence. Mexico City? Come on, even my friends from Venezuela are afraid to go there!!!

Back to CR, yes it’s expensive. And no, it’s not crime free. However, arriving there from a business trip to Caracas or Guayaquil or Guatemala City or Managua is like feeling freedom again. You can drive around without constant paranoia about being robbed in your car. To the person who prefers Nicaragua over CR, different strokes for different folks – but it’s certainly not ‘better’ which is my 1 million Nicas live in Costa Rica. And, yes, they do contribute more than their fair share of crime as do the Columbian immigrants. The Ticos are right about that – watch the news.

My personal experience has been that the Tico people made me “a gringo” feel welcome. Restaurant service isn’t the friendliest in LA – reminds me of the US in a way. If you choose a good area in which to live, CR is a nation in which you can be very happy because it’s beautiful, you can still move around without fear of bodily harm, and it is politically free. It’s a good place.

All that being said, Chile is my favorite Latin American country and probably the best place in the region. Argentina is nice, but not as safe or clean as Chile. It is more affordable and yes – if you’re single – full of attractive people. Initially, I found the Argentines to be brusque (particularly on the road), but once they know you’re a foreigner they open right up and are very nice. And the food is fantastic. Either country is a good place; I’d choose Chile myself. Haven’t been to Uruguay, but I’ve heard it’s nice too.

Basically, I’d say the ones I wouldn’t move to as a foreigner are Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador (nice people, but issues with gangs), Honduras, or Paraguay.

The middle set would be Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia (Cochabamba or Santa Cruz), Mexico (depending on where), the DR (not as bad as some have said), and the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (nearly in the next group).

Best of the group are Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, and Argentina.

Haven’t been to Uruguay, Paraguay or Cuba so can’t rank them.

By the way, the continents are North America and South America. They’re on different continental plates and originated from different parts of the original Pangaea landmass. I don’t know why schools in Latin America teach of “The American Continent” but it is scientifically inaccurate. The boundary is in the Darien Highlands of Panama.

September 10, 2009 at 2:12 am
(121) Faten says:

What is it you have against poeple, it seems to me that you are on a mission to send poeple to the most dangerous country!!!! Why dont you write something intelligent for a change or shut up!

September 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm
(122) Victor says:

Hi everyone, I´m a Venezuelan guy planning to move to Uruguay the next year, I´ve been traveling for several countryes in South America: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and I do know the mains political issues in the region (It´s a very important topic because of the stability of each country), Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador are very nice but actually they have many political and SOCIAL problems, Argentina is a beautyfull Country, there are crime, but not as many violence as in Colombia, Brazil or Venezuela, plenty of nice people, georgeous cityes and natural beautys, Chile is also very nice, safe and VERY stable (I think the best in S.A.) but expensive. Uruguay is a very charming country (in many ways similar to Argentina) with the advantage (for me) of being a small country, safe and not very expensive (I´m planning to live of my business in Venezuela). If you want any further information about a particular topic just let me know

September 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm
(123) gustavo says:


first of all have u been to Colombia idk but i am from colombia and i visit it ever year and its not how you say it so u get your facts right

September 15, 2009 at 4:40 am
(124) Anna says:

There is no such thing as a perfect place. Each one of us have particular needs,wants, and expectations. Moving to another country is not like picking a good of a shelf in a store. Maybe it is about you enjoying the locals lifestyle, their language, their food, etc. But I think it is about being able to be friends with them. I moved a lot, but prefer to be near friends and family who share my culture. But that is my choice. Moving to another country without means and hoping to make money there is a recipe for disaster, as is flashing your resources when they are much above the local means. I do believe that the best place in the world is where you heart is, and mine is in many places as a result of my moves (due to work). There is a perfect recipe for some people that I have met: part of the time in your country, then another renting (and eventually buying) abroad.They were having the time of their lives. That only work for flex jobs or retirees though, unless you are willing to be poor in paradise. But that should wear out fast. I have met many foreigners (and Brazilians) who sold everything they have to open Inns and businesses in Brazil. I am yet waiting to meet one who did not regretted it, even when the business were profitable. When the routine of working hard sets in they realize they do not have time to enjoy the things that attracted them in the first place. Guess what? If you have what it takes to succeed it will work anywhere, but working in an undeveloped country can be quite taxing. If it is just for fun for few years, go ahead! If it is supposed to be a lasting move, brace yourself for a rough ride.

September 20, 2009 at 12:39 am
(125) KATIA MIDENCE says:

Yo soy de Honduras, y les recomiendo visitar Islas de la Bahia, es seguro, es bellisimo lo unico es que como en general Honduras es peligroso, vuele directamente a la Isla.
Costa Rica es bellisimo, pero es muy caro para la calidad de vida, que puedes tener…..
Pero definitivamente es mas seguro que el resto de centro america

September 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm
(126) Gabrielle says:

ok well first thing is that I am from Guatemala and I know that yes there can be some places that my not be the best place to live. But Guatemala is poor and so if the other countries that have been mentioned. Central America is one poor country or has many poor countries. I have been in america for awhile and i am not going to say tbat the killing and the robberies are any better in america. Every country has there problems.

October 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm
(127) luis says:

all you people that talk bad about Mexico. F*ck You!

October 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm
(128) catracho69 says:

El Salvador is the most nasty and dangerous country in all latin america, no culture, no education, just a wasteland. Honduras might not be the best country to live in latin america, but by far is is the probably 3rd or 4th best.

October 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm
(129) lorena leon says:

Puerto Rico anyone? As to why is Haiti in this list and not PR is a mystery to me. And in the defense of Mexico and Colombia those are two of the most beautiful countries to live in. People are so blinded by stereo types and they dont even know what they are talking about! It all depends on LOCATION!!! Its like comparing the Bronx to a nice suburbs.

October 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm
(130) Dr. James Connery says:

COSTA RICA IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE AND THE MOST DANGEROUS catholic country in all of Latin America. Costa Rica has NO ECOLOGY standards. NONE! Costa Rica is the dirtiest filthiest Latin country! All good Costa Rican children are taught from the day they can first walk and talk to be good thieves and to steal eveyting your catholic neighbor has!
Costa Rica is a country of THIEVES! Costa Rica is
a giant public sewer physically and socially.

October 8, 2009 at 11:01 am
(131) jersy says:

el salvador is the best

October 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm
(132) Ponzu says:

This is a message for catracho 69:
How can you say there is no education in EL Salvador??,have u even read economic statistics or analyze indexes to support your ignorant comment, El Salvador has for years rank way above Honduras as for education, health, longevity, economic development, infrastructure, technology, so it seems that the most nasty person here is you, you should educate your self before posting a comment with not empirical support at all..but, oh well, what can you expect if you are from Honduras, a total and complete sh#t hole were they barely have schools and all the roads are dusty and deteriorated, and I DO have theory to reinforce that

October 20, 2009 at 12:06 pm
(133) Jaz says:

Ok guys…that’s true…Crime is becoming a serious issue in Costa Rica but in the other hand Costa Rica has a high standard of life, economical situation, and very good national system of health and education.

So why is everybody against CR. Crime there is everywhere in LA and yes, we are right? In the 80′s and 90′s CR was a very safe country…since our neighbours came to CR at the beginnig and at the end of the 90′s CR … became a dangerous place…thought just in San Jose and Limon.

There is not reason to offend anybody, specially not the ticos. If you are in this blog I guess it is because you are considering to live in anycountry of LA. If you do not want to live in country with crime..then what are you doing here..please check a blog with Info for Europe…

October 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm
(134) Patrick says:

As I soon plan to retire south from the US, and I am a compulsive infoholic, I can perhaps offer a few useful thoughts and questions.

Currency of information is important. Many web sites and articles are not dated. Economically at least, and often in other ways also, many things have changed over the past 12-18 months *and will continue to do so*.

If you lack first hand information on a particular locality, try a mental exercise: Imagine getting out of bed on a typical day. Walk through your activities. Do you want to be concerned about accidently ingesting water when showering or brushing your teeth? Is plenty of hot water with good pressure important? Are you comfortable cooking with bottled gas? When you walk out the door, what kind of weather is acceptable, or desired? Have you ever used public transportation on a regular basis? Is bargaining in a local market something you would enjoy, or dread? Is it noisy, polluted, smelly? Is the air thin? Why are you there, if not compelled by work? What are you looking for – imersion in a new culture, or a duplicate of your current life only cheaper? Are you patient, flexible, adaptable? Are large cities attractive, small cities, little towns, water, mountains, rolling grasslands?

What governs your financial means? If you plan to work, expect wages commensurate with the local cost of living. Your nice US salary is not to be had in most Latin American locations. And there are usually taxes. Do you have an ex-pat income from home? Some countries will tax you if you become a “tax citizen”, some will not. How is the local currency changing against your current home currency. The US dollar is suffering in some countries, but not in all.

What is the local inflation rate, independent of currency fluctuations? Both factors can radically alter your adopted new lifestyle.

Everyone eventually needs medical and dental care. How good is it, how available, how expensive? Will you need to buy insurance, or can you afford out-of-pocket payment as needed.

How politically and economically stable is the country, and how do you know? This may seem like a dull subject, but it will be a pervasive part of your new environment.

Do you know the various residency requirements for your prospective new home? Some countries are immigrant friendly, some less so. And what are the requirements for a work visa if you plan to do that? Again, requirements vary.

OK, I’ve probably bored you to death. Point is, a simple list like the UN Report (unless you want to wade through all the underlying data, which might not even be relevant to you in the end) is essentially useless because it will not even begin to help you evaluate the myriad of factors that will impact your new life in very personal ways. The best advice, which I can only repeat from many sources, is pretty simple (assuming you have the choice): Do your homework, make an *initial* decision, sample the new environment (preferably for 9 months to a year minimum), then commit or move on to Plan B.

Good luck to us all.

October 31, 2009 at 11:42 am
(135) Lucas says:

Hi everyone.
Maybe it’s good to focus at RETIREMENT options here.
If you’re looking at a place for retirement you will have your criteria like:
1) Why do I want to leave the place I am living now?
2) What is missing, or what is the an abbundance of where I live?
3) What climate do I want/need (year round), look at altitudes in Central America and yiu can find spring like temperatures year round (so if you like that….no snow)
4) personally I think SAFETY is very important. Not just looking at the numbers of people getting killed/robbed etc. but also at traffic accidents etc.
5) What do I expect back from the place I will move to like, good hospitals, low cost of living, stable country, good services etc., and maybe not too far away from where I live now (USA, Cananda) as you might like to visit friends and family (or have them visit you).
6) Very important is learing the local LANGUAGE! Don’t expect everyone to speak English. Do your own part.
7) What can you do in the country you want to move to? What activities do you like to do and can you find them there (you just want to sit and look TV, you can do that in any place, or do you want to be active, in the local community, do you still want/need to work, etc.)
8) Good food anywhere? Is it clean food/water they are serving etc.

Good luck all of you.
I would suggest to think of the following countries (each might be nice for different reasons): Costa Rica – Panama – Chile – Peru, and of course Italy, but that’s a bit out of the focus area….

Hasta entonces

November 15, 2009 at 8:21 pm
(136) Rico Costa says:

Interesting but not wisely the comment on the best Latin American countries to live. This investigation is based on figures of 10 years back. Also, I want to respond to Gabriel about his comment number 8. You are so ignorant and stupid. Don’t know a crap about Latin America. Colombia is one of the countries with more progress in Latin America and social economic Stability. The violence and delinquency per capita are lots smaller than Costa Rica, Uruguay, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela without including the remainder of Central America.

November 20, 2009 at 12:16 pm
(137) Marc says:

I’m American and have been to Guatemala many times
(my wife is Guatemalan)No way is it the most dangerous place..I Live in Chicago and theres plenty of areas here i wont go to. Like others have said you dont flash money around and just be aware of your surroundings. I’ve traveled all over Guatemala and never had one problem, the people are very friendly and I cant wait to go back

November 24, 2009 at 11:08 pm
(138) Markhus says:

I lived 13 months in Costa Rica and had the worst experience. Volunteered 5 months in Venezuela and had a good time. According to the International Living Magazine, Ecuador (Cuenca) was rated the best city in latin America to retire.

November 25, 2009 at 10:47 pm
(139) Gabriel Amaro T says:

HOLAAAAA a todos!

I’ll introduce myself first.
My name is Gabriel Amaro, and I’m a 19 year old student currently studying to become an architect. I live in Santiago de Chile and feel glad for all of the people giving such great comments about my country.

The reason why I’m posting here is to let anybody with the intentions of coming to SA to feel welcome and inform them about certain details like education, safety, fun and gettin through a day all right…:)

1) Education; I studied in Santiago College “www.scollege.cl” . The school itself is great, it provides one of the best educations you can get in chile and has strong values and does´nt condole any sort of bullying which I know is a thing to consider now a days….

2) Safety; Santiago being the capital of Chile is divided into “provinces” known as “comunas”. In these comunas there are some which are of the higher social class; lets say (las condes, lo barnechea) others like the one I live in which are consider not low society but the granny´s comuna for being less noisier and safer( Ñuñoa, La reina) etc…. so when you choose where to live think it through.

a side note on the safety issue. I myself have never been robed and feel confident about my chilean compatriotas. Though as I said before. be warned about some of these comunas which are better to avoid…

FUN!; Perhaps Chile is not the crazy animal party u may find on some other countries but there is plenty to do… Santiago is full of Pubs and cafe´s which are usually open till 4 or 5 am. Vitacura is a great comuna to explore at night. But if you are more into the wild, being such a loooooong cuntry you´ll find all kins of outdoor activities without having to travel long distances.

another side note. The Andes mountains are a great scenery all year around, and during winter u can go to the ski lodges only an hour and a half away from the capital… or go to the beach in less than an hour!

Getting around; Finally some advises of life.
-El transantiago is the bus system which makes your day when a funny guy gets in and tells a joke, sells ice cream or candy, offers massages, sings a song, or does dorky things for the sake of being dorky.
You can plan your trip through santiago in http://www.transantiago.cl.
-El persa is a place where you will find the cheapest clothes, cd, movies, accesories, games, etc… ask anybody how to get there… they all know…
-Parque Arauco is one of the best shooping malls there is because if you are tired of looking around the shops, there is a pretty cool boulevard outside with great food, and music at night and an arcade underground.
-try to avoid moving around on taxi´s because unless u pass for chilean or look like a scary guy, some have fixed the fee meter to charge u more than it should for a short distance.
-If u come to study and work there are alot, and I mean alot of places to work and chileans love to employ outsiders…jejeje all u have to do is ask…

There are so many things I would like to tell u all about my country but I´m sleepy so all I can say is that U ARE ALL WELCOME! and I hope that even if some of u decide for another country to live for the rest of your days, I invite u to take the time to visit us and i will give u a tour through some cool places free of charge.

my email is amaro15@gmail.com!


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