Remote work is so common nowadays. Why not just quit your day job and move to an island so cheap that you can Do Life Right and be on permanent vacation?
We’ve shared our piece on why you should live and work at the beach, and if you’re convinced like we are – here comes the fun part! Let’s talk about where to move.
Whether it’s cabin fever from being holed up at home too long or just wanderlust that’s built into my system, thinking about travel and exotic destinations always perks up my mood.
Whether you’re considering to make a big move soon, or still dreaming of it down the pipeline, join us as we explore the world in search of the best beaches and islands to call home.
To kick off our series on the best islands in the world to live on, we’re looking close to home. North America – the continent which the United States is part of, is also home to plenty of beautiful, livable islands, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean.
You could move to an island sanctuary that’s just a few short hours away by airplane in case you ever need to rush home for any emergency. It would also be easier for friends and family to visit.
Even though you’re not too far away from your old home, you’d enjoy a lifestyle that’s worlds away from what you’re used to.
If you’ve reached your breaking point from those noisy neighbors or you just want to enjoy a better view while doing online work, we’ve found the best value islands in the Americas to consider moving to.
1. Isla Colon, Panama
The Caribbean has always been known as a luxurious tropical getaway for the rich and famous, but there are plenty of hidden gems here where you can experience the same lifestyle for less. Panama’s archipelago close to the border of Costa Rica is home to a group of nine main islands and a hundred smaller islets.
The main island is Isla Colon, a seaside town with brightly painted homes on stilts. Surrounded by sparkling bright blue water, the highlight here is fishing, water sports and whale watching, set against the most beautiful backdrop.
The expat community in Isla Colon is very tight-knit and welcoming, and a couple can live here on a budget as small as $1,400 per month including rent.
2. Cozumel, Mexico
This world-class vacation destination will treat you with the daily experience of walks by the beach, with a cold drink in hand. The island of Cozumel sits on the warm, aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea.
The island is rich with marine life, making it an ideal destination for divers and snorkelers. It’s only 12 miles off the coast of Playa del Carmen and is located along the famous Riviera Maya.
Despite its popularity, Cozumel still offers great value for dollars spent even in terms of housing. Finding an apartment can be a challenge – as their mostly geared towards short-term rentals, but it can definitely be done if you’re lucky. A couple can live here comfortably for less than $1,900 a month.
3. Roatan, Honduras
What once was a divers’ secret getaway, Roatan is now a very livable island paradise. The smallest island on this list, at just 50 square miles, the long, skinny island is a stretch of white sand beaches surrounded by rich marine life.
Roatan is an island of adventure – home to mountainous jungle terrain surrounded by white-sand beaches. It’s home to colorful traditional fishing villages and has some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world.
Living comfortably in Roatan would only cost $2,000 to $2,500 per month for a couple, including rent.
4. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Las Terrenas lies in the northeast Samana peninsula of the Dominican Republic. Popular amongst the French, this tropical paradise has a fusion of European and Caribbean culture. It is home to amazing food, from fresh seafood along the beach to upscale restaurants and supermarkets. It’s a perfect place for an expat lifestyle.
It’s a small yet energetic island, with 19 miles of walkable public beach, palm trees and warm breezes. A couple can live here for as little as $2,000 to $3,000 per month depending on their lifestyle.
5. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Warm Caribbean waters and a soft sea breeze welcome you to Isla Mujeres, a popular choice for expats looking for a casual, Caribbean lifestyle. The island boasts clear waters and white sand beaches and is just eight miles away from the tourist hot spot Cancun.
While Isla Mujeres is no longer a secret and has become a popular vacation destination for beaches, resorts and scuba diving, it keeps a much more laid back atmosphere compared to other Mexican spots.
It’s also very affordable. At Isla Mujeres, a budget of $2,500 to $3,000 per month is more than enough for a couple to live a comfy island life.
6. Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize, is famous for watersports, scuba diving and Caribbean beaches. The island keeps a laid-back vibe as it’s not yet overly developed, making it ideal for those who want to escape the city grind in exchange for working with a view of turquoise waters.
From the US, it’s very easy to move to Belize as English is the main language and U.S. currency is widely accepted. There are frequent flights to Ambergris from Belize City, or the island can also be reached by water taxi.
A couple can live comfortably on a budget of $2,950 to $3,150 per month.
Living on the beach doesn’t need to be just a pipeline dream. These places show you that you can Do Life Right and enjoy excellent quality of life, for far less than you would spend on the same lifestyle in major cities.
Before you head off, you’ll need to prepare your wardrobe for the tropics. Say goodbye to your stuffy suit and shoes and get ready to feel free in shorts and flip flops around the clock.
Check out our flip flop reviews, recommendations and shopping guide to choose the best fit for you.