Travel Planning for Retirement in South America
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Travel Planning for Retirement in South America

4 min read

Nov 20, 2012


By Kaitlin McMichael

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Popular choices for retirement destinations in South America

retirement in south americaOverseas Retirement has become a popular trend lately, as baby boomers get itchy feet and move beyond their home borders to a different, and often, cheaper place to retire abroad. Many North Americans and other senior travelers consider Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, and other destinations within South America as prime places to retire overseas.

But if you’ve got a hankering to move south, where do you start? Travel planning for retirement in South America can take hours of research, pouring over forums on TripAdvisor and dog-earing Lonely Planet guidebooks. Bypass the forums and guidebooks, and instead talk with an expert in South America travel, who can help you plan a “preview” trip to see if your dream to retire in the tropics of Ecuador or the beaches of Uruguay, really is a good fit for you. Here are some popular choices for retirement destinations in South America, to help you narrow it all down:

retirement in south america1) Ecuador

A beautiful, relatively stable, and friendly country, Ecuador is a very popular choice for ex-pats. Quite a few norteamericanos and British ex-pats have made the move to Ecuador, where the weather is agreeable all year long. Ecuador sits on the equator (thus the name) and enjoys tropical temperatures and a verdant landscape in nearly all regions. In the south, around Cuenca, Loja, and Vilcabamba, ex-pat communities have been especially successful. Ecuador uses USD currency, making the transition slightly easier for retirees from the USA. A bit of trivia: the “Sacagawea” dollar coin is in common use among Ecuadorians, ever since Americans seemed to reject the idea of a coin dollar. Read more about the use of the US Sacagawea dollar coin in Ecuador in this article. If you are interested in moving to Ecuador, check out the online ex-pat community and blog, It features tons of useful information for adjusting to life in Ecuador.

 retire in south america2) Uruguay

Although Uruguay is not as well known as other countries in South America, this country has several features that might appeal to those considering travel planning for retirement in South America. Located right across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, two of Uruguay’s important cities, Montevideo and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Colonia, are quiet getaways from the busyness of Buenos Aires. Plus, Uruguay has lots of farmlands and beautiful beaches, where the pace of life is agreeable to those seeking to retire. Check out the Costa de Oro, or Golden Coast, where there are 30 miles of beach communities that might have just what you’re looking for. It is fairly easy to gain residency in Uruguay, and the country is known for its economic stability (in contrast to that of its neighbor, Argentina).

retire in south america3) Peru

Peru might be an exciting experience for retiring overseas in South America. Peru is a large country with several different climate zones, and so there are several different places that you might want to consider when moving. Lima, the capital, is located on the coast and is a vast, sprawling city. There is a vibrant expat community there, and you might fit right in a coastal community, such as Miraflores, San Isidro, Barranco, or Chorillos, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Or you might prefer to live in a smaller town inland, Huanchaco near Trujillo, on the northern coast. Check out the South American Explorer’s Club for meet-ups, or There is also an excellent online English-only newspaper, And browse our Peru Tours, including Machu Picchu tours!

retirement in south americaBut first, book a vacation to try it out!

Remember: The best way to research retirement in South America is to first travel there! Plan a vacation to South America to get a feel for the country, it’s culture, food, weather, economy, and people. Meet some locals and ex-pats, and ask them about life in their city or community. And while you’re there, see the sights! Please note, we are experts in custom travel packages to South America. We can help you arrange a vacation to South America, book hotels, tours, and transfers, and put you in touch with expert real estate agents or guide you to ex-pat communities and resources. (We are not the place to go for legal questions about moving abroad – we can only plan a vacation for you).

Contact us to get a free quote for a vacation to South America. We can help you plan your vacation, and then you decide whether you’ll retire there!

Retirement in South America

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