Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - A new report from the editors of International Living details 7 idyllic destinations around the globe for North Americans to escape to when the weather outside is frightful. These winter havens offer warm weather, good value for money, and are ideal spots for a part- or full-time retirement.
"Winters in the U.S. seem to be getting less and less predictable each year," says International Living Executive Editor Jennifer Stevens. "But in plenty of great-value retirement destinations around the world, the weather stays warm and sunny year-round. These are perfect places to escape to for a break from the cold - or to move to if you want to say goodbye to winter weather for good."
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Culturally rich, there's always of plenty of entertainment choices, as well as great dining options. With superb medical care and a large international airport offering plenty of direct flights from numerous cities in Canada and the U.S., the dynamic coastal town is an easy, attractive escape for retirees.
Another big attraction is that it's never cold in Puerto Vallarta. "With high temperatures in the 80°s F and lows in the mid-60°s F, Puerto Vallarta is a long-standing favorite for winter escapes," says Don Murray, IL Riviera Maya Correspondent. "Leave your boots and parkas up north and enjoy sunny days and romantic nights in this seaside hotspot." A typical retired couple can live well here for under $3,000 USD a month - all in.
Uruguay has a warm temperate climate in which cold weather is almost unknown. This wonderfully mild climate is due to the fact that the whole country is located within a temperate zone.
"Springtime comes to Montevideo from November on, with daytime temperatures in the low 70s F," says Jim Santos, International Living Correspondent. "Flowers bloom, and the long Rambla along the Atlantic starts to see more Uruguayans out enjoying the weather. By December, temperatures are in the 80°s F, and now beach umbrellas are blooming on the 10 public beaches."
Most expats are attracted to Uruguay for its tranquilo (calm) lifestyle - a healthy, stress-free approach to living. Two people can live in Montevideo on $3,200 USD a month.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
"December is the best month to visit Tamarindo in terms of weather," says IL Coastal Costa Rica Correspondent, Kathleen Evans. "The seasonal rains are finished in November, so everything is lush and green. The chance of rain is nearly zero. The days remain deliciously warm, but not hot, and the evenings cool off comfortably for that sunset beach walk and open-air dinner.
Temperatures range from 84° F for a high to 73° F for a low."The coastal town is accessible for a couple on $2,500 a month (housing included), and in addition, Costa Rica offers high-quality but low-cost medical care, good-value real estate, established expat communities, and welcoming locals.
Deemed the birthplace of modern ceviche - typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers - Huanchaco is still considered one of the best places to sample this Peruvian delicacy.
For most of the year, temperatures hover around the low to mid 70°s F and rainfall is virtually non-existent. "Pretty much the whole coast of Peru is sunny at that time," says Steve LePoidevin, IL's Peru Correspondent. "Springtime starts in late September, early October, so there's plenty of time to start planning to avoid the severe North American winters. And it's reasonably priced. Here, a couple could easily live on a budget of $2,000 or less."
"Coronado is located in Panama's Arco Seco or Dry Arc Region," says IL Panama Editor, Jessica Ramesch. "Most every single morning, you can enjoy bright rays of sunshine and a sky that is a deep shade of cornflower blue. When it does rain, it's usually just for an hour or two in the afternoon. Temperatures rarely climb above 88° F during the day, and it's usually about 10 degrees cooler at night. With ocean breezes and plenty of sun, we're talking mild, happiness-inducing weather."
Depending on lifestyle choices - many retirees hire maids and landscape gardeners - a monthly budget for a couple in Coronado could run from $1,750 to $2,975 USD.
The idyllic, postcard-perfect surroundings also help make Placencia one of Belize's most sought-after places to retire.
"One reason Placencia, Belize is so popular starting in November, which is the official start of high season, is that the weather in southern Belize is usually perfect this time of year," says Laura Diffendal, IL Belize Correspondent. "Low 80°s F during the day, and 70°s F at night combined with sea breezes - you won't need anything more than one long-sleeved tee-shirt."
Placencia is one of the more expensive places to live in Belize due to its popularity with tourists and expats alike but the cost of living here is still much lower than in the U.S.A. couple can live comfortably here for $2,500 a month.
The Algarve is famous for its golf courses, fresh seafood, and the hot and spicy chicken called Frango da Guia. The area is very expat-friendly, and retirees can get by with English due to generations of British influence.
The region is striking. The crashing waves and steep cliffs of the western-most tip, in Sagres, quickly become long, sandy swaths of beaches and coves stretching for miles to the east, all the way to Spain.
"It's hard to find fault with the climate in the Algarve," says Tricia Pimental IL Portugal Correspondent. "You can count on sun most of the time. During the 'rainy season' of October through April, it's still sunny around 2/3 of the time. December is the wettest month, during which you can expect about 4" of rain to fall over the course of the month. But on any given day, the precipitation is more likely to come in a heavy, brief shower, and then the warm Algarve sun reappears."
Here, a couple can live well on a monthly budget of $2,000-$2,400 USD depending on the housing they choose.Source: 7 Warm Weather Spots to Avoid the U.S. Winter, on InternationalLiving.com, which has more than 200 international correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate and investment.