If you’ve decided to retire in another country, and now you’re stuck on what to do next, you’re not alone. Not only is the transition from rat-race to slow-paced a tough one, but in a whole new country, it could feel overwhelming. Keep yourself busy by following the traditional advice of choosing a new hobby, exercising, and cooking – but remember to also think outside of the box a bit. After all, you can only do so much fishing or golfing.
Your new list of goals should reflect what kind of experiences you’d like to cross off your to-do list. What have you always wanted to see? What have you always wanted to try? Are there any exotic foods you’d like to taste? Any specific sights you don’t want to miss? Here are some of the popular must-see and must-do things, if you’re retiring to Central America.
You could be settling in Mexico, Guatemala, or even Belize and still have access to these amazing structures. In some areas, they’re referred to as Mayan temples, because they are still mostly intact. The best places to visit the ruins are in Tulum, Mexico, and Tikal, Guatemala. You’ll find the Temple of the Jaguar in Tikal and the City of the Sun in Tulum – both sites have nearby airport access, so they shouldn’t be too hard to reach, even if you don’t live close enough to take a bus ride over.
This lake is largely untouched by development and offers a certain rustic charm for those who wish to step outside and take in some truly magnificent views. The lake itself is Nicaragua’s largest, and it is also home to many small islands and views of the Mombacho Volcano that you won’t want to miss.
The lake and islands are also home to wildlife, including howler monkeys on the land and bull sharks in the fresh water. The city of Granada is located on the banks of the lake and is also worth a trip. It harbors colonial buildings, boutiques, local art, and street carts. It’s known for being a truly charming city.
Located in Belize, Hummingbird Highway is one of only a handful of main roads in the country. This one, in particular, is special due to its breathtaking views of the country. Rather than taking a bus, you might prefer to rent a car so that you can make stops along the way and take in the scenic views. The highway is 55 miles long, and there’s something to do every step of the way. There’s a stop where you can take a cave-tubing side trip, a stop where you can get out and walk down to the famous Blue Hole, and then there are lots of villages and shops to try along the way. Aside from that, you can enjoy untouched jungle scenes all around you.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
People are known to travel from all over the world to see this reserve in Costa Rica. Monteverde is considered the most well-known cloud forest in the world, because of its variety of biodiversity. In fact, Monteverde houses 2.5% of the biodiversity in the world. It sports a delicate ecosystem, in which the clouds are caught in the trees, and the dew drips down into the forest to the plants. This is the location of the Continental Divide, so you can step one foot on the Caribbean side and the other on the Pacific side.
Views are breathtaking; you can walk along bridges high above the forest, visit the bat jungle, and see the San Luis waterfall. You’d need to set aside a few days to have the time to make sure you don’t miss anything here.
The Galapagos Archipelago
The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador are a must-see destination on nearly everyone’s list – and for good reason. It consists of about 19 islands off of Ecuador’s coast and both the land and sea are protected for wildlife conservation. You can tour here to see sea lions, giant tortoises, and even penguins. You’ll get to see many different landscapes among the islands, ranging from black volcanic rocks to white sandy beaches and everything in between.
Sure, the location of your retirement overseas may not be close enough to allow for every one of these things, but this is a good list to get the ideas flowing. Soon, you’ll realize there’s plenty to do, and you’ll be so glad you finally have the time to do it!
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