Lesser known Caribbean islands make the perfect expat retirement hideaways

Lesser known Caribbean islands make the perfect expat retirement hideaways

Lesser known Caribbean islands make the perfect expat retirement hideaways

Finding a less well known Caribbean island for your expat retirement years could be the best thing you’ve ever done.

When people consider the Caribbean as a retirement destination, they normally concentrate on the more expensive, larger, better-known and far more touristy islands in the archipelago, rightly rejecting all on the grounds of cost and crowds. What many would-be expats don’t realise is that the Caribbean has a great selection of smaller, more peaceful islands just waiting to be discovered.

The Caribbean Sea’s stunning coastline extends to encompass Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Belize, all offering the same dramatically blue waters and white beaches famed in tourist publications. The lesser-known islands tend to be smaller but no less stunning than their larger neighbours, as well as far less expensive in everything from accommodation to food.

Ambergris Caye lies offshore from Belize and has just one town, San Pedro, as well as the Belize barrier reef with its living corals and shoals of fish. Even less well-known is Roatan with its 50 square miles of luscious green foliage, white-sand beaches and laid-back, inexpensive lifestyle. No high rise developments and no big-name resorts spoil its ambience, and English is commonly spoken, making it a dream destination for a comfortable retirement.

Isla Mujeres lies just off the Mexican resort city of Cancun, but is as unlike its touristy onshore neighbour as is possible. Its warm, tropical temperature is perfect for expats allergic to their home country’s freezing winters and golf carts are the major mode of transport. Reputedly first discovered by Christopher Columbus, the island of Las Terranas lies offshore from the Dominican Republic. Columbus loved its beaches and so do the many expats who’ve chosen it for their retirement haven. Small, friendly family-run hotels back the stunning beaches, and real estate prices are amazingly cheap.

The island of Isla Colon lies close by the Costa Rica border, forming part of a mini-archipelago of several hundred smaller islands. Ramshackle Bocan Town is the hub, with many of its colourful homes set on stilts over the waters and an established expat community waiting to welcome incomers. Any one of these lesser-known, delightful tropical havens can fulfill expat dreams of a retirement filled with sunshine and sheer natural beauty.

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