The 6 top destinations for retirement in Guatemala Pros and Cons

This post is well due after my first one defining them in a the following post 5 years ago titled Guatemala 6 best retirement destinations.

Particularly with the new perception of Guatemala you can find on the Net.
like this recent post about some of the myths Guatemala is still affected by the general perception. More and more the country is better equipped in terms of security, stability, connectivity.
House Hunters International have done already check this episode where I appear as an architect..

House Hunter International Episode 13 season 81
or this episode where I'm doing the realtor for this couple coming from Sacramento

All this new exposure is giving some traction to Guatemala as a potential retirement, relocation and/or real estate investment.

Now regarding the 6 destinations I had defined in my previous post I would like to come review them with some new perspective.

Guatemala City.. It is the first place you will arrive most probably as 35% of the arrival are through Guatemala International Airport La Aurora... The airport is ideally located only 5 minutes drive to the best area (for me). Zona 10 or Zona Rosa where you will find most of the big Chain Hôtels like 
Easy to get in most of the hotels have free shuttle from and to the airport. 
Why I would consider Zona 10 a destination for retirement, relocation and/or investment? 
Well basically for me, who I have lived sporadically there and nearby it is all about location, location, location. As if you want to live in a big latin city this is the place of choice for me.
First of all, as it is always in Guatemala, the weather is the top reason.  No need for air conditioning like in Panama, Costa Rica or Managua.
Zona 10 which is mostly a business and tourist destination doesn't suffer from heavy car traffic. It is the least inhabited zona in the city. I like it because everything is walking distance you can walk to movies theater, modern malls, gastronomic restaurants, hospital,...  And during week end it is empty.
And the cost of living is effectively productive.

Now not everybody like to live in a big city, so if you want to be close to the airport but still feel you are living in a latin city... Antigua Guatemala is your next choice... Considered as one of the most beautiful city in the New World in the 16th century equal as Mexico and Lima.. Antigua Guatemala is the favorite destination of many. You will find a great mix of expat restaurants and local ones, great social life. Now it is, because its popularity among the Guatemalan as well, very expensive to find a decent place to live either renting or buying if you don't have a substancial budget. More and more expats are looking to the small town just around Antigua where great houses can be found at a much better price.
One of the thing I don't appreciate in Antigua Guatemala is the tremendous affluence of visitors during the week end and the hollidays.Located at the same altitude as Guatemala city it has the same weather. It is a great city with a gorgeous colonial back ground, becoming one of the favorite destination for weddings (for the quality and the cost)
Antigua the New Destination for weddings

Antigua Guatemala is to busy for you well just drive 2 1/2 hours north deep into the Highlands 
and visit Lake Atitlan where you would find a very different set up..

Panajachel is the entrance of the lake where you will find mostly the biggest concentration of expats. Lake Atitlan offers a lower key in terms of life style. Not so social as Antigua, still some interesting expat festivals there and there during the year. Some choose the other villages more remote still not being completely isolated.
The road to Atitlan is soon to improve a lot with the new by pass of Chimaltenango that will shorten the drive by half hour putting Guatemala city around 2 hours drive. Housing is affordable and a lot of house under $100,000 like this one in San Marcos La Laguna, right on the main pedestrian street with a garden.. hard to bit..

 If the weather of Lake Atitlan is too cozy for you then you might like to visit Quetzaltenango, the 2d city of Guatemala. A newly build 2 divided high way will take you through a magnific scenery curving through the moutain and the deep valley passing at 3,000 mts ASL, the highest point of the CA 1. Quetzaltenango (also known as Xela, pronounce chela). The weather is still very comfortable but during winter the temperatures descend under zero degree centigrate. And still no heating system in the houses like we have up North. A buyant town with an interesting center, rich in architectural building. Everything walking distance. I like the fact that you can drive shortly to find hot springs, hike along volcanos or highland tipical mayan village. Not to mention a short drive to the best water theme park in central america Xocomil at the Pacific Coast where you will encounter tropical vegetation and temperatures.

Now if you like more the beach and the tropical temparetures you will be heading toward Monterrico and the black sand volcanic beaches of Guatemala. This area is a short drive from Guatemala city and it is not the most look after destination for retirees because until then it has been pretty much underdeveloped. But nowadays you can find great appartment in residencial compound at a bargain price (if you compare to what you can buy souther like Costa Rica - Panama). I like particularly this new project which is a mix of Villas and Small appartment towers offering you all the commodity of a private house without the maintenance and to worry about anything. Plus the compound is mostly empty during the week making it an ideal destination for the one looking to enjoy the beach,the ocean. Still you are an hour drive to Antigua or Guatemala City as new toll high way is linking the cost to the highland.

Little know fact, the Guatemalan Pacific Coast offers one of the best world destination for fly fishing.

And now the final destination for relocating in Guatemala is Rio Dulce... the tropical destination by excellence. If you are a sailor you will love it. You can park your boat in one of the numerous Marinas at a competitive rate.. It is hard to find long term rental and to buy is as well expensive. But if you want to live further from civilization you can find hidden gem. Now be ready to endure more mosquitos then any other part of Guatemala, long rainy days when it is rainy season.  From Rio Dulce easy to visit the Verapaces the North East part of Guatemala with destination like Semuc Champey, Candelarias Grottes as well the Belize Keys which are hours boat drive from Fronteras.

Now for sure Guatemala is much safier, easier to travel with the new network of highways. Don' t hesitate to consul the Guatemalan Tourist web site for information.
And finally contact me if you one on one conversation. Come and check for yourself.. or call me from the US 001 3055177760.

Entradas populares