Many people are assured that the Caribbean is a cheap place to live, and it is often true. The prices in many jurisdictions are really low, while the conditions for rest and recreation are in many ways similar to those offered by the best Asian and European resorts. But does it mean that the Caribbean island with the most affordable prices is safe?
The question is not that easy to answer. It all depends on the particular person’s requirements and preferences, his habits, and the minimum income available. However, the Caribbean islands where life is cheap are not always safe enough.
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Therefore, the approach to choosing a place to live should be complex, and affordable prices alone are not a sufficient reason. It would be optimal to set the required balance of characteristics and minimum conditions that are critically important. It is only in this case that the cheapest Caribbean island will become a real home for many years ahead.
Caribbean Countries with Affordable Prices
The best place to live in the Caribbean is not always the cheapest one. In other words, you cannot have comfort, safety, developed infrastructure, and all conditions for a good rest or business free of charge. Prices may be affordable for a particular target audience and focused on guests that have a tight budget, but you should remember that the creation and maintenance of comfortable living conditions require costs. Consequently, it would not be quite correct to ask which island in the Caribbean is the cheapest place to live.
This is the only country in the whole of Central America that has an English-speaking population. It is an ideal place for history lovers (Belize is the heart of the ancient Mayan civilization). There are a lot of expats and digital nomads in the country, so you should have no problems with integration into the local society.
Exploring the cheapest Caribbean island to live: Belize.
- Two persons will live comfortably on USD 2,000 a month
- Excellent conditions for those who love unity with nature
- You will only need USD 150 to fly from the USA
- If the guest is looking for the best places to live in the Caribbean but has a tight budget, the minimum cost of accommodation is USD 30 to 40 (Airbnbs, affordable hotels)
- Simplified procedure of real estate purchase and rent, which means that investment in real estate is profitable as you have a short payback period and minimal risks
- Imported goods and food products are quite expensive
- Life in Belize will not require considerable expenses on food as the cost of the majority of dishes in local restaurants starts from USD 19.
The island’s economy is focused on tourists and the provision of financial services, and it is rapidly developing. If you are interested in the Caribbean residence permit, the Dominican Republic would be an excellent choice as the procedure for obtaining a residence permit is simplified, and the costs are not very high. Real estate prices are quite affordable, and you are sure to find some good low-cost options.
Exploring the cheapest Caribbean island to live: Dominican Republic.
- Flight from the USA will cost USD 100 (if you use low-costers or special offers)
- Hotel rooms: from USD 30
- Your gastronomic life in the Dominican Republic will not require considerable expenses as a lunch in a local restaurant costs USD 10 or a little more
- You will need at least USD 1,800 per two persons to live here. If your main goal is to find the best place to live in the Caribbean with affordable cuisine, the Dominican Republic may be a good choice.
Read our article on the residence by investment in the Dominican Republic.
The island’s tight connections with the Netherlands resulted in an increased level of comfort and safety. Curacao is not the cheapest place to live in the Caribbean, but it is still possible to find suitable affordable accommodation or a low-priced cafe. The island gives a lot of opportunities for informative active tourism and a relaxed rest on the beach.
Exploring the cheapest Caribbean island to live: Curacao.
- There are really few people on beaches, which is an unusual situation for most Caribbean islands
- There are excellent conditions for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing
- The island has a really good Caribbean climate: the weather in Curacao is good all year round
- The flight from the USA will be a little more expensive (USD 200)
- Accommodation is relatively expensive, but it is quite possible to find a hotel or a hostel that charges USD 30 per night
- The Caribbean cuisine in Curacao is delicious and inexpensive (from USD 20 per person), while prices in international restaurants are a little higher.
The second name of this Caribbean country is the Island of Enchantment. Puerto Rico is the world’s rum production center, so the price of high-quality strong alcohol is very low here. There are not so many noteworthy places of interest, but if a tourist or an expat is interested in the best Caribbean place to live by overall characteristics, Puerto Rico should be considered first. You are sure to be fascinated by the stunning nature of the place and finally fall in love with it – or maybe love it at first sight!
Exploring the cheapest Caribbean island to live: Puerto Rico.
- Flight from the USA will cost USD 125, and there are many special offers that will help you save on costs
- Good hotels near the beach cost USD 50, while accommodation located closer to the island center is low-priced
- There is a wide choice of bars to suit each taste
- A lunch for two in a restaurant will cost at least USD 40
This is a classic Caribbean island with nutmeg plantations, tropical forests, and hot springs. It has an underwater volcano nearby, so the water temperature in some basins reaches 35 degrees. There are wonderful flower fields in Grenada and a lot of places of interest for tourists.
Exploring the cheapest Caribbean island to live: Grenada.
- Flight from the USA will cost from USD 200. The price in high season is 1.5-2 times higher, but airlines often offer discounts
- Accommodation will be quite expensive if you look for it after you arrive, but Airbnb offers interesting options at USD 30-35
- Alcohol is not very expensive here (USD 1-2 per bottle of beer), and cocktails with local ingredients are even more affordable (it is characteristic of practically any Caribbean island)
- A three-course lunch will cost you around USD 20. However, if you move a little away from beaten tourist tracks, you can have a good meal at USD 10.
This is one of the most hospitable and welcoming Caribbean islands. It is considered an informal golf center of America. You can find entertainment to suit any taste in Jamaica, but some of them are focused on adults. The typical Caribbean life in Jamaica was adored by Bob Marley (Robert Nesta Marley who was born here) and Ian Fleming (Ian Lancaster Fleming, the author of novels about James Bond).
Exploring the cheapest Caribbean island to live: Jamaica.
- Flight from the US will cost about USD 200 (from November to January)
- Jamaica is not the best Caribbean island if you are on a tight budget: a hotel room will cost USD 30 or more without a conditioner (but with Wi-Fi)
- You can buy local alcohol at a low price (a bottle of RedStripe beer costs USD 2)
- Seafood-based cuisine is also quite affordable (you can buy a serving of lobsters at USD 10, and other dishes are even cheaper).
Towns Where Your Caribbean Life Will Not Cost Much
It is not that hard to choose a country to live in. You should set the main priorities, find out the conditions of getting a residence permit (permanent residence or citizenship), and move to the tropical paradise. However, the best Caribbean island to live in is an individual choice, so it’s better not to rely on the opinion of others. It would be more useful to come for a short stay and then make a final decision.
It is a little more difficult to opt for a particular city. The cheapest Caribbean islands to live in often have 2-3 well-known tourist centers where prices are quite high. Therefore, choose not only the country but also a particular city where the financial threshold is lower (on the condition that you preserve the desired level of comfort). The figures below are average and they may differ to some extent from the real cost of life.
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic):
- apartment (with 1 bedroom) – USD 355
- apartment (with 3 bedrooms) – USD 715 / USD 390 (center and outlying areas)
- total living expenses a month per 1 person – USD 1200
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Kingston (Jamaica):
- prices are about 40% lower than in Chicago and 45% lower than in Washington
- Jamaica is not the safest Caribbean island to live in. However, if you competently choose a district to live in (especially in Kingston), you will have no problems whatsoever.
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic):
- The minimum monthly budget for a comfortable life is USD 1,000
- Apartment rent (with 1 bedroom) – USD 185
- Apartment rent (3 bedrooms) – USD 371 (we mean the center of Puerto Plata in both cases. If you decide to settle in other districts, the rent will be about 40% lower)
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Colon Island (Panama):
- The average expenses that include everything (accommodation, food, transport, medical services, basic entertainment) amount to USD 1,400.
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Las Terrenas (Dominican Republic):
- Buying a 1-bedroomed apartment will cost up to USD 100,000
- A budget for a comfortable life of 2 persons is less than USD 2,000 a month
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Roatan (Honduras):
- A 2-bedroomed apartment on the shoreline costs just USD 175,000 (in a prestigious district)
- The general prices for everything are quite affordable
- Well-developed infrastructure and a decent level of healthcare
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Negril (Jamaica):
- Rent of accommodation (which is not low-priced according to local standards) – from USD 350
- Sufficient monthly budget starting from USD 800
- Negril is one of those towns in Jamaica that adds to the image of a merry and carefree life on the island that foreigners typically seek
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, San Pedro (Belize):
- If an expat or a digital nomad is used to a comfortable and prosperous life, the average monthly expenses will amount to USD 2,000 a month
- Those who love deep-sea fishing and scuba diving will have to spend a little more
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Isla Mujeres (Mexico):
- Your living expenses will amount to USD 36,000 a year if your needs are above the average
- The island guests on a tight budget who can do without 3-bedroomed apartments can reduce their expenses by USD 800-1.000 a month
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Magas Arriba (Puerto Rico):
- Rent of a good apartment will cost you around USD 330 a month
- Buying a small house for a family costs USD 75,000
- Magas Arriba is the cheapest place to retire in the Caribbean if you have no excess requirements for the level of comfort
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Punta Cana (Dominican Republic):
- The average cost of accommodation rent is about USD 400 a month
- If you want to rent a house or an apartment with an enhanced level of comfort in a prestigious district, it will cost you USD 900 a month
- Transport, food, and entertainment are affordable, too
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, San Pedro de Coche (Venezuela):
- A decent house for one family will cost you from USD 90,000
- Benefit from low prices of goods and services as compared to the USA
- This is an excellent choice for people interested in history who are on a tight budget
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Port Antonio (Jamaica):
- Accommodation rent – from USD 300 a month
- Minimum budget requirements: from USD 900 a month (the living standards will be quite high, and you will not have to save on anything)
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Ocho Rios (Jamaica):
- Apartment rent will cost you about USD 500, which is quite a high price. However, if the cheapest place in the Caribbean should be combined with a high level of comfort and service, Ocho Rios is surely worth considering as one of the options
- The minimum budget for a comfortable life starts from USD 1,000 a month
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Maunabo (Puerto Rico):
- The rent is quite low and costs about USD 370 a month (the accommodation is quite comfortable)
- You can buy a good house for USD 90,000
- Maunabo is the cheapest place to retire in the Caribbean if you take into account the balance of characteristics
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Montego Bay (Jamaica):
- A monthly apartment rent will cost you about USD 500
- Prices for food, goods, and services are not high, and USD 1300-1400 will be sufficient to live a comfortable life
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Luperon (Dominican Republic):
- The town can be recommended to tourists, expats, and digital nomads that want to get as far away as possible from the places traditionally visited by foreigners
- A good hotel will cost at least USD 53, but you can find much cheaper options
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Sosua (Dominican Republic):
- A monthly budget for a comfortable life is a little over USD 900
- A dinner for two in a restaurant will cost USD 45
- Sosua is one of the Top 50 cheapest towns in the world
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Placencia (Belize):
- The minimum cost of accommodation rent for one person is USD 500, and a couple will have to pay USD 900
- A well-equipped fully-furnished apartment practically on the shoreline costs USD 140,000
- A recommended monthly budget for 2 persons is USD 2,500
The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean, Corozal (Belize):
- The expenses on apartment rent will amount to USD 500-700 a month (1 or 2 bedrooms, good conditions), and there are options for a tight budget that start at USD 250, but these will be located out of town
- A dinner in a restaurant will cost at least USD 20 per person
- A house with 2 bedrooms can be bought at USD 50,000
The Safest Caribbean Islands to Live In
Affordable prices, the focus on tourists, and the status of a resort town often go hand in hand with increased risks due to an unfavorable crime situation. Potential threats are posed by the cheapest real estate in the Caribbean as such objects attract various fraudsters.
Can excellent living conditions (low prices, good climate, opportunities for rest and entertainment, an easy procedure of receiving a residence permit, and a developed service sector for wealthy people) be combined with a high level of personal safety? The cheapest places in the Caribbean in separate countries (Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Bahamas) are really unsafe, but we are talking about separate districts now rather than the territory of the whole jurisdiction. Therefore, think twice when you choose a place to live.
Here are the safest Caribbean islands to live in:
- St. Barts (Saint Barthelemy). No serious crimes have been recorded here for a long time, and the overall criminal situation is quite favorable. The only disadvantage is relatively high prices: life on the island will be suitable for people with income above average (a room in an average hotel will cost at least USD 200).
- Anguilla. Petty theft is registered here most often. However, security service works very well in resort areas, so the belongings of tourists and wealthy residents of Anguilla are reliably protected. The situation with prices proves one more time that the best Caribbean islands to live in require quite a high income.
- Cayman Islands. Theft is quite widespread, but there are very few violent crimes. The main reason is the focus on wealthy guests (at least those with an income above average) and very few firearms available.
- Virgin Islands. Residents and guests are most often subject to minor pickpocketing, but more serious crimes are extremely rare. There are episodes of violence in separate disadvantaged districts, but they are in no way regular.
- St. Lucia. This is the safest Caribbean island to live in if you comply with standard rules of conduct (you don’t walk alone late at night or show the level of your income at every opportunity). It is important to remember that same-sex relationships are prohibited in St. Lucia, so you’d better avoid showing your feelings or making outward physical contact in public.
You may be interested in obtaining economic citizenship in St. Lucia.
- Martinique. This is one of the safest islands of the Caribbean archipelago. The most serious crimes here are petty theft and fraud with credit cards. However, if you enter the districts that are not usually visited by tourists, you’d better do so in the daytime accompanied by someone.
- Montserrat. The island is not very popular with tourists, which ensures a high level of safety. Montserrat is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, so compliance with laws is a serious matter here. Serious crimes are very rare in Montserrat. An active volcano located on the island seems to carry more threat to the guests than the crime rate.
- Grenada. This is a classic Caribbean island in terms of safety. Petty theft happens, and episodes of fraud are registered quite often, but more serious crimes happen rarely.
Look at the conditions under which citizenship by investment in Grenada may be available to you.
- Turks and Caicos. This is a Caribbean offshore jurisdiction that includes 40 tiny islands. Small crimes are often registered in large towns, such as Cockburn Town and Providenciales. In remote districts, the main risks are connected with complicated access to medical services and the police.
- Guadeloupe. The French pearl of the Caribbean has a very low serious crime rate (though petty theft is widespread). However, you’d better comply with standard security rules.
- Saint Martin. There are very few serious crimes in resort districts. If the guest likes living in the Caribbean, Saint Martin will be a good choice. Relatively low prices would be an additional advantage.
- St’ Kitts and Nevis. These are the best Caribbean islands to live in if you focus on the overall balance of characteristics: safety, expanded business opportunities, developed resort infrastructure, and affordable prices. Keep in mind, though, that same-sex relations are prohibited by law in St. Kitts and Nevis.
You can get a second passport by investing in St. Kitts and Nevis.
- Barbados. This is the best Caribbean island for family rest. Serious crimes are rare here. Tourists, expats, and digital nomads suffer from petty theft, but this is the only danger you should be afraid of.
- Roatan. The tourist guides that describe the safest Caribbean islands to live in often exclude Roatan. But this is not because the island is too dangerous: it is not very popular with tourists, but expats and immigrants love it. What they adore is the stunning primeval nature of the place, low prices, and sufficient safety (if you comply with basic requirements, of course).
- Antigua and Barbuda. This is an excellent place to live and have a rest. The crime rate is closer to the moderate level, but all you have to do is to comply with basic safety rules.
- Dominican Republic. This is the safest Caribbean island to live in if you stick to the tourist areas. Remote districts have a little higher crime rate, but you can say that about almost any Caribbean island.
- Bahamas. The situation is similar to the one in the Dominican Republic. The guest is practically guaranteed a safe life in the Caribbean if he or she complies with basic rules of conduct and stays within tourist districts (it’s best of all to stick to those that border on large hotels). The further away you go, the higher are the risks, but they still remain absolutely controlled.
Life in the Caribbean does not require considerable financial resources. This is a safe, comfortable, and calm region where you will have a good rest and enjoy its good climate and well-developed infrastructure. The cheapest places to live in the Caribbean are mainly quite safe, but you’d better take care if you leave the tourist area (and this is true for any island).
If you are planning to change your place of residence, we recommend that you get in touch with the experts of Offshore Pro Group to discuss the strategy for comfortable relocation. Real estate in the Caribbean is quite affordable, so you will save a lot if you take care to get good accommodation and a personal bank account.