When looking for a Caribbean island to call home, it’s a great idea to figure out what your ideal location and lifestyle look like. When you determine what’s most important to you and your family, things tend to fall in line.
Home is where the heart is, and when you keep the important factors below in mind, you will know which is the best Caribbean island to live.
How to Choose the Best Caribbean Island to Live
Everyone wants and needs something different. Single people may want a lively city with a thrilling nightlife. A couple may prioritize locations with great real estate opportunities. A family may consider an island’s infrastructure to be the most important consideration.
Considering the aspects below when deciding on a place to live will put you and your and family in the best position to thrive in your new home.
A lower cost of living is the main reason the Caribbean attracts ex-pats from around the world, but to live comfortably within your means, you’ll have to include more than the cost of housing. The prices of food, utilities, gas, transportation, entertainment, and taxes are all just as important.
Culture, Community & Lifestyle
Starting fresh is much easier when you move to a place that complements you. Knowing you may need an active ex-pat community or a Spanish-speaking country can help you quickly narrow down your choices.
If you are moving to the Caribbean for employment, living on the main islands will give you a wider range of opportunities, but certain islands may be better suited for your specialty. For instance, the Bahamas and Aruba are growing tech hubs and Jamaica’s fashion industry is coming into its own.
Then there is the island culture. Are you comfortable living in a place with a laid-back vibe and a much slower pace? You may enjoy living in South Caicos, a sparsely populated island in Turks and Caicos. For those who want to immerse themselves in rich culture and nightlife, places like Honduras, Mexico, and Belize may be a better fit.
Families with children may want to live on a Caribbean island with world-class education systems. Retirees and families with ailing members may find that the best Caribbean island to live will have elite healthcare.
While the white sand beaches and swaying palm trees may be enough for some ex-pats, others may need a bit more. Golf lovers will fall in love with the Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Barbados. If snorkeling needs to be a part of your life then Turks and Caicos may be your new home.
Living in the Caribbean gives you the chance to really become one with nature, and luckily, there’s a perfect island for fishing, scuba diving, and everything else.
With lower crime rates than the United States in most Caribbean islands, safety is usually of less concern than the media makes it seem. There are plenty of gated communities that offer higher levels of safety or life away from the main islands and tourist attractions may work well for you. It’s also a good idea to find other ex-pats and see the areas they call home.
The Best Caribbean Islands to Live
Turks and Caicos
Providenciales is the main island and the most populated, with a well-established and highly active ex-pat community. North and Middle Caicos offer a level of seclusion you can’t find anywhere else while still giving you access to some of the most stunning turquoise waters in the Caribbean.
South Caicos, once a sleepy island, is now one of the best Caribbean islands to live, boasting reasonably-priced gorgeous and luxurious beachfront properties and expanded airports while maintaining its laid-back local vibe.
Prices are not always cheaper, but it is offset by the lack of income and capital gains taxes, attracting lots of interest in real estate. As a British Overseas Territory, it has a stable structure. Expats also enjoy the fact that it has clearly and enforced laws and low rates of crime. Affordable, fun, secluded, family-friendly and luxurious, real estate in Turks and Caicos has it all.
Grand Cayman is one of the best places to live in the Caribbean. Extremely livable, it has a ton of real estate options, like private islands, and enough variety in terms of lifestyle, culture, and history to suit a wide range of ex-pats.
It also is a great place for business owners, giving them the chance to benefit from tax mitigation and permanent residency.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Consisting of St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer convenient and fast travel to the United States mainland, and if you are from the U.S., a work visa or passport isn’t required.
St. Croix offers a residential experience as well as some nice golf courses. For those who want something a bit livelier, St. Thomas has vibrant nightlife and shopping that is completely tax-free.
St. John, of course, is known for its stunning beaches and palm trees and is a great option for those who want to spend their days in the sun.
Belize, Honduras & Dominican Republic
Ambergris Caye, Belize has reliable internet, cell phone service, power, and water along with an array of bars and restaurants. Roatan, Honduras is a haven of green, hilly land off the country’s northern coast – spectacular for scuba diving and snorkeling. You’ll have a quiet life with no spring breakers or big-name resorts.
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic has some of the most beautiful beaches, finest golf courses, and a chic, small-town feel.
When it comes to a low cost of living, it is hard to beat these countries. They may not have the high amounts of luxury, real estate opportunities, and access that the three above have, but you can live comfortably while still getting the nightlife, community, and beautiful beaches you want.
Not long ago, living on a beautiful Caribbean island was nothing more than a dream for many people, but today, more and more people across the globe realize how easy it is to make it a reality.