Bacalar, Mexico is a perfect family-friendly destination that offers an amazing array of activities for adults and kids. To make your family trip truly successful, it is important to plan activities that cater to the interests and needs of your children. We have three kids of varying ages (17, 10, and 8 years old) so we wanted to make sure we chose activities that would be fun and engaging for all of them!
Activity 1: Visit the Balneario Ejidal Magico Bacalar
Av 1 & Calle 28, Centro, 77930
Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico
+52 983 131 6427
Facebook Page for Balneario ejidal Mágico Bacalar
Balneario Ejidal Magico Bacalar is a fun beach club and full-service restaurant and bar that lies on the shores of the Bacalar Lagoon. They charge a small amount for parking (about 30 pesos) and they charge entry to the beach club, which is also affordable. The beach club stretches far alongside the lagoon, and kids can play, swim while parents can enjoy eating, drinking, and sunbathing. The club restaurant offers traditional Mexican dishes, including ceviche, and usually has live music or a DJ for entertainment.
There are water slides, swings, hammocks, diving platforms, etc, as well as little shops to rent life vests or buy floatation devices and other things, so don't worry if you forget your water shoes or sunblock. It's an affordable and good place to enjoy a day at the lagoon, don't expect anything super-fancy, but the kids will enjoy their day and you won't break your wallet!
It is imperative to bring towels and a change of clothes for the whole family. There are bathrooms and changing rooms for men and women.
Tip: It is advisable not to leave any valuable personal belongings unattended!
Activity 2: Visiting the Fort of San Felipe
Av 3, Centro, 77930 Bacalar, Q.R., Mexico
TripAdvisor Listing for the Fort of San Felipe
Fuerte de San Felipe de Bacalar (Fort of San Felipe of Bacalar) is a Spanish fortress that is located in Bacalar, Mexico. Visiting the Fort of San Felipe is an exciting way of introducing children to Mexico’s rich history. The fort was constructed by the Spanish military in 1729 to protect Bacalar from pirate attacks. Children will be fascinated by the cannons, pictures, and the architecture of the fort.
The Fort of San Felipe is open daily and cost to enter is 50 pesos per person (about $3 USD). It is located in the town center and can be easily reached walking or by bike. The best time to visit the fort is in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the intense sun. Wear comfortable shoes for walking over the uneven surfaces of the ruins. The fort is a fantastic spot for a photo op with a traditional Mexican background.
Activity 3: Discovering the Cenote Azul
Carr. Federal 307 Chetumal - Cancun Km 34, Bacalar 77930 México
+52 983 119 9948
Facebook Page for Cenote Azul
We went to the Cenote Azul and the Cenote Azul Restaurant (they are basically the same place) twice on this trip. By the second trip, our teenage son was trying to charm some local girls by diving into the Cenote head first!
The Cenote Azul is a natural sinkhole with crystal-clear water. It offers an extraordinary experience for families. Children can snorkel, swim, and learn about different fish species, while parents can lounge around and enjoy the beauty of the cenote. There is a full restaurant and bar. Sometimes they will have live music, but generally only on weekends. My wife ordered a cappuccino after lunch and said it was one of the best she had ever had.
Cenote Azul is located on the outskirts of Bacalar, and it is best to get there by car. Admission costs about 30 MXN per person, and snorkelling equipment and life vests can be rented by the hour.
It is essential to follow the instructions of the cenote staff, avoid touching any marine creatures and, limit the exploration to the indicated areas. You can bring your snorkelling gear or rent one at the venue.
Activity 4: Kayaking by Private Tour on the Bacalar Lagoon of Seven Colors
Kayaking in the Lagoon of Seven Colors is an exceptional experience for the whole family. The crystal-clear water and the beautiful natural surroundings of the lagoon are stunning and peaceful. The activity is safe for kids and also an opportunity to introduce them to a waterborne sport. Kayaking trips can be booked through several companies located around the lagoon. Most of the tours are around two hours, cost 200 pesos per person (about $10 USD at current exchange rates).
Life jackets should always be provided by the tour company! It is advisable to bring water, sunscreen, and wear comfortable clothes, longer sleeves helps prevent chafing from the life jackets (it happened to our daughter, lesson learned!). You can also bring an underwater camera or rent one to capture the beautiful views during kayaking.
Final Tips for Family Fun in Bacalar!
Exploring the town of Bacalar is an opportunity to know and explore rural Mexican culture in a beautiful setting. Bacalar, Mexico offers an amazing array of activities for families to experience together. From kayaking in the Lagoon of Seven Colors to enjoying the colors and flavors of hundreds of shops and restaurants, Bacalar has something for everyone.
We hope this guide has been informative and helpful in your planning, and we encourage you to experience the magic of Bacalar with your children!
We are currently in Bacalar, Mexico, enjoying the beautiful weather and the world-famous Bacalar Lagoon. We always look for good breakfast spots that are family-friendly and affordable. These are the best 3 that we have found on this current trip. Here are the three best breakfast restaurants in Bacalar, Mexico (according to our family!).
Ixchel Bacalar: Delicious healthy food options
+52 983 177 7827
Calle 26, Avenida 3 y 5, Mario Villanueva Madrid, 77935 Bacalar, Q.R.
Facebook Page for Ixchel Bacalar
Ixchel Bacalar: This was our favorite breakfast spot on this trip. The food was great every single time, and even our pickiest kid found something on the menu that she liked. Lots of healthy food options and free parking on the side of the restaurant, this restaurant offers an impressive breakfast menu. There are lunch and brunch options, as well. We had excellent toasted sandwiches which were delicious with marble toast (pictured below). Try them if you want a hearty breakfast option that will keep you going all day.
These are some of the best breakfast restaurants in Bacalar, Mexico. Make sure to give them a try if you're in town and looking for a delicious start to your day!
Address: Calle 18 Avenida 5, Bacalar 77930 Mexico
+52 1 983 210 1296
Facebook Page for Enamora Bacalar
Currently serving breakfast at any time of the day. Enamora Bacalar specializes in making great breakfasts. Our family ate here several times and the food and service was great. Great salads and sandwiches, too. The drinks are fresh and healthy, we tried the juices and the chia drinks. The outdoor seating is great, you won't feel stuffy and you can enjoy your freshly-squeezed juice in the morning breeze.
Mestizos Cocina Callejera
Calle 22 Av 3 y 5 Col. centro, frente al parque principal, Bacalar 77930 Mexico
+52 55 47758685
Website for Meztizos Cocina
We only visited Mestizos once, it was very busy so we had to wait a while to be seated. You may want to try during the week if you are in a hurry. It's a lovely place with a great atmosphere and delicious fresh Mexican food. We got breakfast, juice and coffee. The menu has a wide variety of great food served in the traditional style.
Don't Go Straight to Bacalar, Check out Chetumal, too!
Chetumal is the often-overlooked capital city of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The up-and-coming touristic destination of Bacalar, is 24 miles away, and often draws tourists straight from the airport, but don't miss out on Chetumal's fun places and great food!
Chetumal offers several budget-friendly activities for families. Chetumal has many attractive sights and things to do, tons of wonderful restaurants of all price points (from tiny taquerias to fancy fine dining locations), plus a beautiful bay and literally hundreds of off-the-beaten path swimming spots that your kids will love (our kids did!).
The Water is Warm and Great for Swimming!
As for the weather, we visited in July this year. The nights are usually pleasant and you can enjoy a comfortable breeze if you are close to the bay, even in the summer. If it starts to rain, it usually only lasts a few minutes. Although it is hot during the day, the nights are very nice. The best thing to do in the daytime is swim! We rented a small car and found multiple swimming spots just by driving around. Many spots have an attached restaurant where you can buy drinks and food, but they will often just rent a table for a nominal amount, and people often bring their own food.
The little swimming spot in a small village about 10 minutes outside of the main city of Chetumal. Parking and the entry fee cost less than 200 pesos for all of us (small children enter free, so our youngest was free) and although they did not offer food, we bought some bottled water, chips and snacks from a nearby convenience store and brought that in with us. The kids loved it! There were tons of other children there, (mostly locals) and we spent the entire afternoon there and it cost us less than $30 for the parking, snacks and drinks.
The second picture is a swimming spot is in Laguna Guerrero, also very close by. Dozens of these little swimming spots can be found all around the region.
Chetumal offers affordable options for accommodation and dining, so you can make the most of your budget while enjoying all that the city has to offer. We were able to find Airbnbs for less than $50 a night, although if you want a view of the bay, expect to pay significantly more. Make sure that whatever place you decide to rent has A/C as well as a place to park, if you decide to rent a car, which we recommend if you want to explore this bustling capital city.
We suggest you visit the Chetumal Malecon (the main Boardwalk) in the warm summer evening. Take a stroll along the Malecon de la Bahia, the boardwalk in Chetumal, to enjoy the beautiful waterfront views and experience local culture. You'll find various monuments and sculptures along the way, showcasing the city's heritage.
On the evenings and weekends, the main plaza is filled with little food stands, jumping houses, rides, and other games for small children. Dozens of vendors sell all types of things: toys, food, ice cream, pastries, etc.
There are also tons of restaurants, cafes, and shops, for any budget! Don't be afraid to explore! These are just a few of the fun activities and experiences you can enjoy while exploring Chetumal, Mexico. We hope you have have a great time!
Have you ever dreamed of escaping to a tranquil beach town away from the hustle and bustle of tourist-filled destinations? Look no further than Sisal, Yucatan. Located on the stunning Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Sisal offers an authentic and relaxing experience for travelers seeking a true getaway. In this blog post, we will uncover the hidden gems of Sisal and why it should be on your travel bucket list.
Enjoy Pristine Beaches and Clear Blue Skies
Before we delve into the present-day charms of Sisal, it's essential to understand its rich history. Sisal was once the main port for Mérida, the capital of Yucatan. It thrived during the 19th century as an exporter of henequen, a fiber used in making ropes and handicrafts. Although Sisal's glory days as a commercial port have faded, the remnants of its illustrious past can still be explored throughout the town.
Sisal is blessed with pristine beaches and breathtaking natural landscapes that will leave you in awe. As you wander along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, you'll be greeted by glistening turquoise waters and powdery white sand. The tranquil atmosphere invites visitors to unwind and soak up the sun. For nature enthusiasts, Sisal also offers the opportunity to discover abundant wildlife in nearby nature reserves and mangrove forests.
Explore the Old Town of Sisal
One of the highlights of visiting Sisal is exploring its charming town center. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and marvel at the well-preserved colonial architecture. The main square, or zócalo, is the heart of the town, where you can relax on benches under the shade of ancient trees. Don't forget to visit the San Francisco de Asis Church, a testament to Sisal's cultural heritage.
Sisal is a haven for water sport enthusiasts. Whether you are into fishing, kayaking, or paddleboarding, the calm waters of Sisal offer the perfect playground for your aquatic adventures. The town also serves as a gateway to the famous Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve, where you can witness thousands of flamingos in their natural habitat.
No visit to Sisal is complete without indulging in the flavors of Yucatecan cuisine. From delicious seafood dishes to traditional Yucatecan specialties like cochinita pibil, the local cuisine will tantalize your taste buds. Don't forget to try the refreshing local drink, called "khool," made from the green, naturally fermented henequen. Savoring these culinary delights is an essential part of immersing yourself in the local culture. We had some of the best ceviche EVER in downtown Sisal!
How to Get to Sisal from Merida
Getting to Sisal is relatively easy. The town is located approximately an hour's drive west of Mérida, the capital of Yucatan. From Mérida, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or hop on a local bus to reach Sisal. Alternatively, some tour operators also offer guided day trips to Sisal. The quickest way to get from Mérida to Sisal is to taxi which costs $440 - $550 (about $25 USD at the current exchange rates) and takes about 45 min.
The entire town of Sisal is walkable, and almost everything (shops, the beach, restaurants) is within walking distance of the town's center. You can also rent a car at the Merida airport if you want to explore the surrounding area, we recommend Leon Car rentals, across the street from Merida airport (do not rent from the car rental kiosks inside the airport! They will rip you off!)
Conclusion: Just GO!
If you are seeking an off-the-beaten-path beach destination in Mexico, Sisal, Yucatan should definitely be on your radar. Its tranquil beaches, rich history, and authentic charm make it a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Sisal. Plan your trip today and create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.
Retiring in Ixtapa, Guerrero on a budget is possible if you're willing to be flexible about how you spend your hard-earned dollars. Ixtapa has become an increasingly popular retirement destination over the past few years, and it can definitely be a great place to retire.
It's located on the Pacific coast of Mexico and offers beautiful beaches, tropical weather year-round and inexpensive food to satisfy any picky eater. The town itself has plenty of restaurants, shopping malls and other amenities for retirees who plan their budgets carefully.
Do simple things like walk, take the bus and cook your own meals, just like you would in a cheaper city.
It's a good idea to be prepared to do simple things like walk, take the bus and cook your own meals, just like you would in a much cheaper city. You can take walks along the beach or through town with friends and family. The ocean view is beautiful!
Go for bike rides around town (bikes can be rented at many places, but buying a used bike is a cheap and easy way to get transportation anywhere without having to pay for gas!). It's easy on flat streets with minimal traffic congestion because there aren't many cars in Ixtapa compared with bigger tourist cities like Cancun or Acapulco.
Rent a smaller house or condo, a few blocks away from the beach can save big bucks!
Rental real estate is a great option for people who are on a budget and want to stay in Ixtapa for an extended period of time. Renting is cheaper than buying, especially if you're not sure about staying in a certain area long-term. There are also advantages to renting over buying because it allows you more flexibility with your living situation. Renting will allow for easy moves without having any long-term financial obligations attached (like paying off a mortgage).
In addition to being affordable, many rental properties in Ixtapa are vacation condos that offer many amenities including pools and gyms which make them great options for retirees that some of the amenities of a resort but without the high price tags. A great way to find them is to check on Facebook, Airbnb, or even local real estate agents. You can also come to Ixtapa, stay at an Airbnb for a few days, then walk around downtown and look for "Se Renta" signs, there are many of them plainly visible on the street.
You can rent an apartment in Ixtapa that’s furnished or unfurnished. Furnished rentals are relatively easy to find and usually the first choice for snowbirds and retirees that haven't made up their minds yet on the location that they would like to live in.
Eat in local restaurants, instead of paying tourist prices.
If you want to save money, the best thing you can do is cook your own meals, or eat at local "family style" restaurants. There are a few ways you can do this:
Retiring on a budget in Ixtapa is 100% possible if you're willing to be flexible!
Retiring on a budget in Ixtapa is possible if you're willing to be flexible. Consider making some small sacrifices in order to have more flexibility with your money, especially when you first decide to move.
Zihuatanejo de Azueta, a beautiful coastal town in Mexico, is known for its delicious seafood and traditional Mexican cuisine. But if you are looking for traditional Mexican breakfast as well as a something like pancakes, that can be a little harder to find.
La Jaiba Feliz was our best find for breakfast on this trip, because it was affordable, family-friendly, and one block from the beach.
This spot has a lot of good breakfast choices, pancakes, eggs and ham, etc. as well as traditional lunch items like hamburgers and quesadillas. The omelets were good, as well as the fruit plate. The kids all got hamburgers and seemed to enjoy them. The orange juice is fresh-squeezed and they have coffee as well as other traditional drinks and foods.
Here are some traditional breakfast dishes to try at La Jaiba Feliz:
Pozole: Traditional pozole is made with pork, hominy, and a variety of dried chiles. It is often served with a variety of accompaniments such as chopped onion and radish, cilantro, and lime wedges. It is usually served in a large bowl and is meant to be shared among family and friends.
Chilaquiles: This is a popular breakfast dish in Mexico, and you can find it at many restaurants in Zihuatanejo. This dish is made from tortilla chips that are lightly fried and then simmered in a spicy tomato sauce with onions and other seasonings. They are typically topped with cheese, crema, and avocado.
Fresh Fruit, Granola, and Yogurt Plate: Zihuatanejo is known for its fresh fruits, including papayas, mangoes, and pineapples. We had a papaya and melon plate the day that we visited and it was very good. They will offer you yogurt and granola as a topping if you like.
Overall, there are many delicious local foods to enjoy for breakfast in Zihuatanejo. Whether you prefer sweet or savory dishes, you are sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds.
Isla Ixtapa, located in the state of Guerrero in Mexico, is a beautiful and secluded island that is perfect for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation. Playa Coral, one of the island’s most popular beaches, is a great place to spend vacation time with kids, and it is safe for swimming for young people (bring water shoes, though, there is coral and rocks the deeper you go and can be sharp on tender feet!).
Here are some tips on how to enjoy a fantastic family vacation in Playa Coral, Isla Ixtapa:
3. Enjoy Local Cuisine: There are plenty of restaurants on Isla Ixtapa that offer delicious local cuisine. Don't miss out on the opportunity to try fresh seafood dishes such as ceviche, grilled fish, and shrimp cocktails. We ate at several restaurants during our trip, but the best food was at Lili Cipriani, which had some of the best octopus ajillo that we have ever tasted! The prices were reasonable for the island and we were able to pay with a card, so we could get travel points, which was nice.
In conclusion, Isla Ixtapa and Playa Coral are the perfect destinations for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation. With beautiful beaches, crystal-clear water, and a variety of activities to choose from, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for a memorable vacation in Playa Coral, Isla Ixtapa!
Spain is new offering a Digital Nomad Visa, more than a year after it was first announced by the Spanish government.
A fantastic option for those who want to work remotely from one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. As a digital nomad, Spain is an ideal destination. With its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and beautiful beaches, it's no wonder that more and more remote workers are choosing to make Spain their base, and now almost anyone that makes a reasonable salary can apply for Spain's new digital nomad visa.
When it comes to working, Spain has a lot to offer.
The country has a fast-growing tech industry, with Barcelona and Madrid being hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship. And with a strong focus on work-life balance, it's easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle while working remotely.
Of course, there are some challenges to living and working in Spain as a digital nomad. The language barrier can be difficult to navigate, especially if you don't speak Spanish. And the bureaucracy involved in setting up a business or registering as a freelancer can be time-consuming.
But overall, Spain is a great choice for anyone looking to combine work and travel. With its beautiful scenery, affordable cost of living, and growing tech industry, it's no wonder that more and more digital nomads are choosing to call Spain home.
We get asked constantly about the most TAX-FRIENDLY state to transfer residency when you are trying to leave the U.S. (either permanently or temporarily), or in the case of RV explorers and part-time snowbirds, the best state for retirees who only want to spend a few months out of the year in one place and the rest of the year in a warmer tropical climate.
Note: This advice is coming directly from our accountant, who also took the plunge and became a digital nomad several years ago and now works remotely year-round. This is not intended to be legal or tax advice, just general advice that anyone can verify themselves.
Top 5 Tax-Friendly States for Digital Nomads
1. Nevada: Best privacy, no personal income tax, no corporate income tax. Allows anonymous LLCs. Shareholders in a NV corporation can also remain anonymous.
2. Florida: No personal income tax. Does impose a 5.5% corporate income tax.
3. Texas: No personal or corporate income tax, but does levy a gross receipts tax.
4. Alaska: No personal income tax. There is a corporate income tax.
5. Wyoming: No corporate or personal income tax.
Our Accountant, Chris: If you plan to live the life of a snowbird or be a digital nomad, the best state to establish residency is Nevada. Nevada has no corporate or personal income tax as well as the best privacy laws. Nevada collects most of its revenue through sales taxes, as well as taxes on the casino and hotel industries. Nevada is the only state that does not share information with any other state or the IRS, and Nevada is one of the few states that allows anonymous LLCs. Shareholders in a Nevada corporation can also remain completely anonymous.
This can prevent unwanted individuals from having access to your private information, and it also cuts down on spam, unwanted mailings, and solicitations from businesses and individuals trying to sell you things when you open a new business (one of my pet peeves!).
All the major cities in Nevada (Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City) host several popular incorporation and mail forwarding services targeted towards expats and snowbirds that make transferring residency and setting up a corporation or other entity in Nevada very easy to do. Corporations and LLCs do have to file an annual list every year, which costs several hundred dollars, but can be filed online. If you don't have a corporation or an LLC, then it is much cheaper. In Las Vegas, for example, a home-based sole proprietorship or general partnership costs nothing to set up, the business license is free. And there are no state-level tax return filings in Nevada.
Nevada also has the benefit of several big cities and a wide range of climate and terrain. In Tahoe, you can enjoy beautiful mountains, skiing, fresh air, and the beautiful Lake Tahoe for fishing or water activities. If you like nightlife, or if you like live events, concerts, parties and gambling, there's Las Vegas. And everything in between.
Florida and Texas are close seconds, and preferable to Nevada in terms of climate if you want to live in the states at least part-time. Florida and Texas impose no personal state income tax, but they do have some types of franchise/corporate tax on a businesses' gross income.
Florida imposes a 5.5% corporate income tax. In Texas, businesses with $1.18 million to $10 million in annual receipts pay a franchise tax of 0.375% on their gross receipts.
Alaska isn't a bad choice, either. There's no personal income tax, but there is a corporate tax. Alaska imposes a corporate tax ranging from 0% to 9.4%, spread across ten tax brackets.
It's also less accessible than any of the lower 48 states. Actually getting to Alaska if you need to do anything related to your residency requires a long drive and a border crossing, or an airline flight over Canada. And the harsh Alaskan winters are not for the faint of heart. But to be fair, there are many people who love Alaska's unspoiled wilderness. Plus, the summers in Alaska are rumored to be absolutely spectacular.
Wyoming is also another good choice, from a tax perspective. This state also imposes no personal income tax, but the landscape is isolated and rather bleak, (I've driven through the whole state and there isn't much to see in Wyoming). So if you're not planning to actually live there at least part of the year, Nevada is a better choice in terms of privacy as well as tax benefits.
Imagine a place where the sun shines almost every day, the water is crystal clear, and the locals are warm and welcoming. That place is Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
This beautiful town is located in the lush, tropical Mexican state of Quintana Roo and offers a wonderful mix of Mexican culture and Mayan paradise. It's conveniently located about 30 minutes from the state capital, Chetumal, which hosts every store with any modern amenity you could possibly need, including Wal-Mart, Costco, and Home Depot. There are also modern, affordable hospitals in Chetumal, in case you need medical care.
So if you're ready to say goodbye to cold winters and stressful commutes, it's time to explore retiring in Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Qualifying for a Retiree Visa
If you are planning on moving to Mexico to retire, the first step is to research the different visa options and requirements. The retiree visa is a very popular choice for those who want to enjoy their golden years in Mexico. A retired couple can retire very comfortably in Mexico with an average income of about $2,500 a month, or $30,000 a year.
For retirees who want to live in Mexico, the first stop is to visit the nearest Mexican consulate and apply for a permanent resident visa.
Finding a Home and Settling in Bacalar, Mexico
Although there are expensive hotels and pricey waterfront homes, Bacalar is a very affordable place to retire, if you manage your living expenses correctly.
Finding a home in Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico is relatively easy. With a wide range of housing options available, from waterfront condos to homes in town, you're sure to find something that suits your budget and your needs. Using a service like Airbnb or Facebook marketplace, you can find short term rentals as low as $19/night. Monthly rentals range from less than $500 per month for a small studio to several thousand for an entire home near the lake. The closer you rent to the Bacalar Lagoon, the higher the price will be.
You can choose to rent or buy and there are plenty of real estate agents in town who can help you find the perfect place. Some sample prices for a monthly rental on Airbnb are shown below. This search was for the entire month of April 2023 and it's just a sample of the range of different prices that you will see for a monthly and/or short-term rental.
Enjoying the Local Scene and Living the Good Life in Bacalar
You will find a warm and welcoming Mexican community in Bacalar. The locals are friendly and generous, always willing to share their local culture with foreigners. You will be able to experience the real Mexican way of life, from the fabulous local cuisine to traditional celebrations.
Eating out is affordable and you can find fresh fruits and vegetables at the local markets. Plus, there are plenty of activities like scuba diving, horseback riding, lake tours, diving and fishing trips and more that you can enjoy while living here.
If you’re looking for a place to retire that offers a lower cost of living, good healthcare, and plenty of activities and amenities, Bacalar is a great choice. And with a retiree visa available to those over the age of 50, it’s easy to make the move.
1. Easy Residency for Retirees: Costa Rica's rentista visa is the perfect option for retirees looking to move to Costa Rica on a long-term basis. The rentista visa, also known as retiree visa or pensionado visa in Costa Rica, allows its holders to stay in the country with no time limit and to work without limitation.
The rentista visa can be easily obtained by demonstrating stable, passive income such as rent or dividends from stocks and bonds. The rentista visa stands out among other visas because applicants do not need to demonstrate any form of employment in Costa Rica. To apply for the rentista visa, applicants must show a secure monthly income of at least $1,500 USD plus an additional $500 USD for each dependent over the age of 18.
The rentista visa also offers several benefits to its holders, such as access to healthcare and discounts on purchases from various retailers including restaurants, hotels, and entertainment services. Additionally, rentista visa holders are eligible to apply for permanent residency after being a rentista visa holder for three consecutive years.
Applicants are required to apply for residency at the Immigration Office of Costa Rica. It is recommended that you hire an attorney to go through the application process.
2. Low Cost of Living: One of the biggest benefits of retiring to Costa Rica is its low cost of living. With a lower cost for basic necessities like food, housing and transportation, retirees can stretch their retirement savings further than in many other countries.
3. Great Climate and Natural Beauty: Another great benefit for those looking to retire to Costa Rica is the country's climate. With an average temperature ranging from 66°F (19°C) in San Jose up to 80°F (27°C) along the coastlines, you won't have to worry about extreme temperatures or harsh weather conditions that can be found elsewhere around the world. And the country offers any type of scenery that you might desire, from stunning beaches on both coasts and lush rainforests full of exotic wildlife – there’s something to keep you entertained and exploring year-round.
4. Affordable Health Care: For retirees considering moving abroad, one of the most important factors is access to affordable health care services and treatments; fortunately, Costa Rica has both! The country offers quality medical care at a fraction of what it would cost in other countries with some procedures costing as little as 1/10th compared with US prices!
5. Tax Benefits: Costa Rica offers some of the most attractive tax benefits for retirees looking to move abroad. Retirees can take advantage of income tax exemptions, tax credits on insurance premiums, and other expenses that make living in the country much more affordable.
6. Friendly People: One of the great things about Costa Rica is its friendly, welcoming people. Locals are generally warm and accommodating to both locals and foreigners alike, making it a great place to meet new people and make friends.
7. Easy Accessibility by Air: Costa Rica is easy to reach via air travel with direct flights from the US and Europe to multiple destinations throughout the country. It's also easy to travel within Costa Rica with a variety of transportation options such as domestic airlines, ferries, and buses. The cheapest month to fly to Costa Rica is January, but affordable flights can be obtained year-round if you book in advance. There are many non-stop flight options to Costa Rica from major cities in the United States. British Airways has also recently launched direct flights from London (LGW) to San Jose (SJO).
8. Central Location: Another great advantage of retiring in Costa Rica is its central location. From here you can easily explore other countries in Central America or take a quick trip to North America or Europe when you need a change of scenery.
9. Low Crime Rate: One of the biggest concerns for retirees looking to move abroad is safety and security – luckily Costa Rica has one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America. Costa Rica has a strong social safety net, an emphasis on education, and a commitment to democracy and the rule of law.
Costa Rica has historically had one of the lowest homicide rates in the world, with only 4.7 murders per 100,000 people. This is a marked contrast to other Central American countries like Nicaragua and Honduras, which had homicide rates of 10.6 and 42.8, respectively. According to data from UN-Habitat, the country has a rate of only 7 violent assaults per 100,000 people. This is far lower than other Central American countries like Guatemala (50) and El Salvador (69).
The country also benefits from its geographic location; Costa Rica is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which can make it difficult for criminals to enter or leave the country. The country’s national police force is well-regarded and very effective at keeping crime rates low.
10. Stable Economy: Costa Rica has a stable economy and is one of the most affluent countries in Central America. The currency is strong, making it easy to budget for living expenses and plan for your future. Plus, you can count on the government to remain financially solvent so you never have to worry about your investments or savings.
Costa Rica is an amazing destination for retirees who are looking to make a new home abroad; with its low cost of living, great climate, affordable health care and tax benefits – it's the perfect place to start your life anew. Plus, its stunning natural beauty and friendly people will help you feel right at home!
Those looking to move their lives somewhere else without all the hustle and bustle and severe temperatures of Canadian or Northern U.S. winters, Panama may be one of the best destinations to relocate.
With its warm climate, welcoming culture, and low costs of living, this Central American nation is quickly becoming one of the most popular expat destinations in the world.
Another big benefit of Panama is its location. Situated at the crossroads of Central America and South America, Panama is an excellent base for exploring both regions. You can easily travel to Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, and other nearby countries. And with its highly developed infrastructure, getting around Panama is a breeze.
Panama is a great place for entrepreneurs and business owners. The country has a strong economy and a friendly business environment. English is widely spoken, and there are plenty of co-working spaces and other resources for digital nomads.
Every year a growing number of so-called snowbirds embark on their journey southward towards Panama in search of adventure and a different lifestyle. From applying for the dizzying array of different visas available, and physical relocation of your possessions, the process can be daunting; however there are many services available that take the stress off would-be expats looking to start a new chapter in Panama.
Several key benefits make relocating to Panama an attractive option for more and more expats. The country's vibrant culture, stunning scenery, and abundance of opportunities make it an ideal destination for anyone looking to live their best life! So if you're ready for more sun and sand in your future, read on!
Enjoy a lower cost of living in Panama!
In Panama, you can enjoy beautiful beaches, rich culture, and delicious food—without breaking the bank. In Panama, you can get more bang for your buck!
There are many reasons why retirees might choose to move to Panama. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the country's warm weather, which makes it a pleasant place to spend one's golden years. In addition, Panama is a very affordable place to live, with a cost of living that is much lower than in most other developed countries. This includes both living expenses and healthcare costs, which are often a major concern for retirees.
Panama has a much lower cost of living without sacrificing on quality or standard of living. Prices for housing, groceries, transportation and other amenities are significantly cheaper in Panama compared to the United States, Canada, and most of Europe.
Panama also offers a wealth of activities and amenities that expats can enjoy. The country is home to beautiful beaches and rain forests, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
If you prefer city life, Panama City is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with plenty of restaurants, theaters, and other cultural attractions. And thanks to Panama's strong economy, expats (especially retirees) can feel confident that their money will go far in this country.
Initial Entry into Panama
There are a few requirements for entry into Panama. You must have a valid passport, visa (if required), and proof of onward travel. You must also have a return or onward ticket. Canadians and Americans can enter the country without a visa and stay up to 180 days. Citizens of the European Union and many other countries can enter without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.
If you're not a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you'll need to get a visa before you arrive in Panama. The best way to find out what you need is to contact the embassy or consulate of Panama in your country.
Consider a Panamanian retiree visa if you qualify
A retiree visa in Panama has many benefits. This is also called the "Pensionado Visa." The retiree Visa only requires that applicant demonstrates an income or pension of only $1,000.00 USD per month and $250.00 USD for each dependent.
For one, it gives you permanent residency in the country, which means you can live there indefinitely. You don't have to worry about renewing your visa every year or so. Additionally, it gives you access to all of the social services that the country has to offer. This could include healthcare, education, and other benefits.
Panama is a very safe country with a stable government, making it a great place to call home. If you're thinking of retiring abroad, Panama should definitely be at the top of your list. With its many benefits and appealing lifestyle options, it's hard to go wrong choosing this Central American country as your new home.
Ecuador has launched a digital Nomad Visa (called the “Rentista” Visa) with one of the lowest barriers to entry in the world. This Visa is a two-year temporary residence visa for digital Nomads that have income from outside the country. It is available to Nationals of 182 countries and territories as determined by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism.
See the list of the 182 nations that qualify for the new Ecuadorian Digital Nomad Visa.
The Ecuadorian government is hoping that by inviting digital Nomads and remote workers, it will encourage more travel and foreign dollars to flow into the country. Remote-worker visa holders cannot perform local work in Ecuador.
This Visa is designed for people who want to operate remotely and live and work in Ecuador. It has one of the lowest income requirements and barriers to entry of any digital Nomad Visa program. you only have to earn $1,275 a month from outside sources in order to qualify. That's only $15,300 USD per year (this requirement used to be lower! But was recently increased in 2022).
Most remote workers who work for U.S. or Canadian employers will qualify, as well as many self-employed workers. You must also have a clean police record and then documents that confirm you are the owner of a company or a remote worker for a foreign firm.
If you are currently self-employed but do not have proof, a home-based business license, LLC, or even a corporation can be to obtained. For example, in a state like Nevada, which has no state income tax and is a great place to transfer residency if you plan to leave the United States for an extended period. If you want advice on how to transfer residency to another state, consult your financial advisor.
Ecuador in general has a lenient Visa policy, and one of the world's quickest citizenship programs. You don’t have to apply right away–most foreigners can enter Ecuador and stay for up to 90 days. So you can go, visit the country, enjoy the beautiful coastal areas end cool mountain cities, and then easily apply for residency if you like it well enough to stay.
General requirements and links for the Ecuadorian digital Nomad Visa:
According to official government sources it takes about a week the process the paperwork. family members can also apply after the principal applicant of teams their digital Nomad Visa the principal Visa holder must demonstrate an additional monthly income of at least $250 USD per dependent. so for example, a married couple with two kids would have to demonstrate income of $1,275 + ($250 + $250 +$250) = $2,025.
You can check more requirements on the official Ecuadorian Visa government website.
More resources and a well-known Visa facilitator for Ecuador: Joseph Guznay-Expats Ecuador
Everyone has been talking about digital nomad visas! These are also commonly called "remote worker visas" and more and more countries are starting to offer them. These are visas that are designed to encourage remote workers to bring their laptops (and their money!) to a new, exciting country. Digital nomads understand that there are plenty of opportunities to grow professionally while experiencing a different way of life in a foreign nation.
#1: Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa
Announced in October of 2021, the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa invites international residents to work remotely. A visa with huge tax benefits, as Digital Nomads will not be considered "residents" for tax purposes, and the income they receive from abroad will not be considered taxable in Costa Rica. You can use your country of origin driver's license in Costa Rica, and you can open a bank account, as well, two huge benefits.
Costa Rica also has a high degree of internet access, allowing digital nomads to keep in touch with their companies anywhere in the world. Costa Rica has long been a favorite for international expats to live. With its great weather and relaxed lifestyle, it is a perfect choice for nomads to settle and work remotely. Anyone that works as a freelancer doing remote work in Costa Rica could potentially apply for this visa, as long as you have proof of income.
The financial requirements are a little steep compared to other similar programs in Columbia and Brazil. To qualify for the Costa Rican digital nomad visa, you must earn at least $3,000 USD a month if you are single, or $4,000 USD a month for a family. And you cannot work within Costa Rica, although the income could come from multiple outside sources.
The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa allows digital nomads to stay in Costa Rica for up to 1 year, and the visa can be extended for an additional year (so, 2 years total). Before applying for the additional year, you must prove that you have stayed in Costa Rica for at least 80 days.
#2 Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa
Ecuador is one of the easiest countries to obtain a long-term visa. The Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa is relatively new, but immediately popular. With the Ecuador digital nomad visa, remote workers can live in the country for up to 2 years. This 2-year temporary residence visa allows foreigners to work remotely. Applicants must have the following documents:
It takes about three months to process Ecuador’s digital nomad visa. Digital nomads are not taxed on their foreign income sources.
# 3 Panama Digital Nomad Visa
Panama is one of the most developed and financially stable nations in Central America. Residents have a relatively high standard of living. The climate is warm and you can choose to live in a cooler mountain region, or a balmy beach.
Also known as the Short Term Remote Worker visa, this visa was introduced by the Panamanian government in 2021. This visa allows digital nomads to live in Panama for 9 months. It has an option to extend the visa for an additional 9 months (so a total of 18 months). To be eligible for this digital nomad visa, you must earn an income remotely and cannot work for a Panamanian company.
Panama has literally dozens of visa options. Navigating these generally takes the help of an attorney, and the short term worker visa is no exception. You must have assistance from an immigration lawyer to file your application. The fees for application are affordable (compared to, for example, the Cayman Islands digital nomad visa). There is a $250 application fee and a $50 visa card issuance fee.
#4 Colombia Digital Nomad Visa
In 2022, Colombia joined Argentina and Brazil in offering a short term temporary visa for digital nomads. This is a brand new digital nomad visa for Colombia and only took effect on October 22, 2022, so there is little information yet. The digital nomad visa will be issued for a period of up to 2 years.
But we know that Colombia's new digital nomad visa has one of the lowest income requirements of any nomad visa currently available. Eligible applicants only have to earn approximately $700 USD in income monthly. No other South American visa's requirements even come close to being this affordable and easy to fulfil.
Colombia has a low cost of living compared to other destinations in South America, and up to 80% less cost of living than the United States. Columbia has a large expat population in coastal areas as well as Medellín. These expats know that in Columbia, their foreign dollars will go much farther.
Since this visa is so new, everyone is waiting on the government for guidance on how to apply. But this one is one to watch!
#5 Brazil Digital Nomad Visa
Brazil's digital nomad visa is another new visa program, just implemented by the Brazilian government in January 2022. The Brazilian digital nomad visa is for remote employees as well as self employed digital nomads. Applicants cannot work for a company inside of Brazil. The visa allows one year of residence, with the option to renew for another year.
In order to qualify, applicants must earn more than 1,500 USD per month or prove they have at least 18,000 USD in savings, which can be proved with a bank statement.
You must have the following to apply:
#6 Belize Digital Nomad Visa
Belize is a small but lovely Central American Nation that boasts English as its national language, making your transition easy as pie if you are a native English speaker. The Belize digital nomad visa was launched as part of Work Where You Vacation Program, which aims to attract more visitors into the country, which suffered a great deal during the pandemic when tourism screeched to a halt.
Unlike some other visa programs, if you have children, this program also lets them learn in Belize. All kids under 18 are eligible to enroll in Belize’s outstanding school system. The cost to apply is $500 BZD per adult and $200 BZD per child under 18 years of age (this translates into abut $250 USD for adults and $100 per child).
To be eligible for this visa, you must:
#7 Mexico Temporary Residence Visa
While technically not a "digital nomad" visa, Mexico's Temporary Resident Visa is an easy choice for digital nomads who love the beauty of Mexico but aren't sure if they want to apply for permanent residency. This visa is designed for foreign visitors who intend to remain in Mexico as temporary residents for a period greater than 180 days and less than 4 years.
You need proof of economic solvency, showing an average monthly balance of $55,655 Canadian dollars during the past twelve months; or employment or a pension with a monthly tax-free income of over $3,339.00 Canadian dollars during the past six months.
The Temporary Resident visa is a renewable, long-term visa. After four years, you may apply for a Permanent Residence Visa if you wish to stay in Mexico. Applicants should generally consult an attorney if they wish to apply, as navigating the application process can be rather difficult. We used EDUARDO CHAVEZ FREGOSO as our attorney for this process and were very pleased with how easy it went.
#8 Dominican Republic Temporary Residence Visa
While technically in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is only a a short 2.5 hour flight from Miami.
Like Mexico, there is technically no digital nomad visa in the Dominican Republic, however, the country does offer a Temporary Residence Visa which allows you to stay for up to one year. You can renew and this for up to five years and then you can apply for permanent residency. Applications for renewal must be made within thirty days before the expiration date.
The Dominican Republic is one of the best countries in the Caribbean for digital nomads The country is friendly, Spanish speaking, and has good infrastructure and affordable prices for rent, food, and utilities.
#9 Antigua and Barbuda Nomad Digital Residence Program
The Antigua and Barbuda Digital nomad visa (officially called the "Nomad Digital Residence Visa") is for any digital nomad that wants to move to the country for up to 2 years. The application process is very easy as long as you meet the income requirements.
How to Apply
Before starting your application, please ensure that you have the following:
#10 Argentina Digital Nomad Visa
The Argentinian government launched a visa for digital nomads in May 2022. This visa allows foreigners who are employed outside of Argentina to work remotely. This visa will supposedly be available for a one-year term, but there are few details yet, and the government has not yet started accepting applications. But stay tuned!
Reader email: I'm a 55 year old Canadian and I've spent two winters in Mexico. One in Merida and one in Holbox. I liked Merida more, it has a lot of culture and beauty. Plus its a very safe, modern city. I want to move to Mexico permanently, and leave Canada. The vaccine mandates, the increase in the prices for everything, from groceries to rents, and the terrible "universal healthcare" which guarantees that I can't get a doctor's visit until I am nearly dead. In fact, the last two years I've done all my catch-up dental work in Mexico for a bargain price. And I get prescriptions filled in advance at a much cheaper price and take them into Canada. After a lot of research I am going to try to apply for permanent residency. I have some passive income coming in that will make it financially comfortable for me (although I am not wealthy by any means). Do you think this is possible to get this done in just a few months? Do you think I can manage the application process myself?
Thanks in advance for your advice
Answer: Welcome to our blog, William! First of all, Merida is a great choice for adult expats of all ages who want a modern, beautiful city. We spent a full month in the Yucatan this year and it was beautiful. We wish we could have extended our stay so we could see more of what Merida had to offer.
US citizens, EU citizens, and Canadians relocating to Mexico may easily apply for a Temporary Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa, depending on their financial status. We suggest the Permanent Resident Visa, if you qualify. Canadians can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days per year as visitors, but you won't be able to work or open a bank account. And you won't have the legal rights that a legal resident or Mexican citizen would have.
A couple can live comfortably in Mexico with an average income of about $2,500 a month, or $30,000 a year. If you live frugally, and away from the beach zones, it is possible to live on much, much less. Remember that the average Mexican family lives on less than $20,000 USD a year, and salary ranges for lower paid workers can be as low as $500 USD per month. The average cost of living in Canada is 150% more expensive than in Mexico. That includes rents, food, everything, except perhaps electronics, which happen to be more expensive in Mexico. So our suggestion is that if you want modern electronics, like a laptop, tablet, etc. use your luggage and carry-on weight to bring those with you. Things like clothing and shoes can be purchased in Mexico cheaply. So don't bother stuffing your suitcases with useless tchotchkes!
As for navigating the application process, we do not recommend doing this yourself. We TRIED to do it ourselves, and ended up having multiple problems with Mexican immigration. We hired a lawyer, Eduardo Fregoso, Esq. who did a great job for us, and saved us any future headaches. It was reasonable, too, only costing a few thousand dollars.
No website or company has paid a fee to be mentioned in this blog. Any suggestions you see are based solely on our own experiences and personal preferences.
Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
If you have a question for us, please contact us directly using our email here.