Posted by simon On March - 19 - 2013

There is no doubt that South America has come to the fore over the last few years after the financial disaster experienced by the US mortgage sector in 2008. More and more expats are now looking to move to South America and while on the surface it can sometimes be difficult to see why it is so attractive at the moment, if we delve a little deeper it soon becomes clear.

The area of South America includes the likes of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuelan, French Guiana and the controversial area which is the Falkland Islands. So, why is South America proving to be a very strong magnet for the expat community?

The economy

As you would expect with any move overseas to a new homeland there has to be some kind of financial reward and financial incentive. It will therefore come as no surprise to learn that the economy of Central America and South America has proved to be extremely resilient in light of the ongoing worldwide economic difficulties. Indeed, at this moment in time there are two economies within Latin America, i.e. Brazil and Mexico, which are in the top 10 largest economies of the world.

However, it is not just Brazil and Mexico which have benefited from the economic resurgence in the region but the likes of Colombia, Peru and to a lesser extent Venezuelan have all seen dramatic changes in recent times. Economic growth in the region is set to remain significantly above that of Europe and North America in the short to medium term and despite signs of a slowdown over the last six months or so there is no doubt that the region is still well-placed to attract more than its fair share of visitors.

Property prices

There have been some major changes with regards to property markets across South America and indeed it will come as no surprise to learn that some investors see the area as something of a “safe haven” during these challenging worldwide economic times. Even though many local property markets such as those in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, etc do not perhaps offer as good a value as they have done in recent times, there is no doubt they are still attracting more than their fair share of international investment.

As you might expect, as the influx of expats continue to descend upon South America, investment continues to pour in from around the world and governments in South America are in receipt of greater tax returns than they have ever seen before, we have seen significant growth in the tourism and travel industry. Tourism, travel and property development seem to go hand in hand where the expat communities are involved and this is certainly so in countries such as Brazil and Mexico, which continue to dominate the region. However, the likes of Colombia, Costa Rica and other countries in and around South America and Central America are also showing signs of significant growth.

Travelling around South America

The beauty of the ongoing economic growth in South America is the fact that this has opened up many more rural areas of the region which had until recently been “out of sight and out of mind”. We have seen a significant investment in infrastructure across South America, we have seen the re-emergence of the region as not only an expat hotspot but also a tourism hotspot and this is expected to continue for some time to come.

One of the more interesting developments has been the ability to choose between traditional holiday resort breaks or indeed some of the more adventurous treks into the wilderness and nature of South America which we hear so much about. This is an area of the world which is steeped in history, steeped in culture and very different to that on show in the likes of Europe and North America. This is an area of the world much of which remains untouched to this very day with indigenous tribes, the Amazon rainforest and climates and environments at the opposite end of the spectrum.

On one side the Internet now allows us to plan holidays and adventures with meticulous detail while on the other hand we can research various areas of South America, which until recently were in many cases unreachable, and plan with safety in mind the adventure of a lifetime but leave the details until we arrive. There are few areas of the world which can match South America for its range of flora, wildlife, climate, environment as well as culture. This is an area of the world which is changing dramatically, this is an area the world which is not only becoming an expat and holidaymaker hotspot but also an international investment arena – although surprisingly much of it remains relatively untouched.


In years gone by holidaymakers, investors and expats moving to South America saw the region as something of a basket case which was perfectly highlighted by the plight of Brazil in the 1990s and the fact that the country was on the verge of bankruptcy before being bailed out by the International Monetary Fund. However, the area has risen from the ashes over the last 10 years and indeed even the 2008 US mortgage crisis did not derail the ongoing economic recovery.

There are now opportunities to invest the region, there are more direct travel routes than ever before and the local population and local governments are very welcoming of visitors from foreign shores. So whether you are looking for a traditional hotel based break in the sunshine or perhaps you are looking to sample nature in its full glory, there are many options available across South America.

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