Moving to Central and South America
Central and South America is one of the most interesting places in the world to live, with a rich cultural heritage and where the people have a passion for life.
So what can you expect if you’re thinking of moving to Central and South America?
One of the main things you can expect is to have your senses dazzled. This region of the world is known for its music, cultural highlights and array of food, so you are encouraged to get involved and make the most of it. Try something different, such as dance classes (or just join in on the street), and you’ll soon get a feel for the Latin way of life.
Obviously the experiences you’ll have living in Central & South America will vary dramatically depending on which country you plan to live in. Outlined below are just some of the places you might be thinking of relocating to.
Mexico has an extensive history and a culture rich in the arts, music and food. Situated immediately south of the United States, the country has a population of nearly 110 million people.
Mexico City, the country’s capital, is truly one of the most interesting and diverse cities in the world. For the most part, newcomers find Mexico City to be an exciting place filled with cultural complexity, making it a fascinating place to live. It is not the violent, arid desert portrayed by Hollywood but, on the other hand, it isn’t the beachside paradise many foreigners imagine it to be. From slums to mansions, street markets to modern shopping malls and corner taco stands to elegant restaurants, Mexico City offers options at both ends of the spectrum and anywhere in between.
Costa Rica is a peaceful country and its beautiful scenery has seen it dubbed the ‘Switzerland of the Americas’. The country is characterised by a mix of protected areas, social and political stability, high education levels and a very efficient infrastructure.
The country's strategic position reflects the government's positive attitude toward foreign investment. If you move to Costa Rica you’ll find that people tend to talk slower than in other parts of Latin America. They will be patient and encourage you to learn the language, so if you don’t already speak Spanish take some lessons and give it a go.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and borders every country in the continent except Chile and Ecuador. If you move to Brazil you’ll find that it is a country of contrasts, from the mad passion of Carnival to the dark Amazon. The capital city, São Paulo, is Brazil in a microcosm and shows perfectly the striking contrast between opulent towers and grimy shacks, gaudy riches and grinding poverty, striking success and endemic failure.
Living in Brazil will undoubtedly be a challenging and rewarding experience. You are encouraged to learn as much as you can and make the most of it while you’re there. The official language is Portuguese and Brazilians tend to look favourably on anyone who tries to communicate in their language.
A long, narrow country in the west of South America, Chile sits between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains. Around 80% of the population lives in Santiago, Chile’s capital city. Typically newcomers will find that Santiago is one of the most modern cities in South America, although it hasn’t forgotten its unique heritage. And of course it also has easy access to both world-class ski slopes and beautiful beaches.
The climate here is also very agreeable. During summer (December to March) it can get very hot, but spring and autumn are the best seasons even though rainfall is frequent. Temperatures in winter (June to September) do drop, but it isn’t unbearably cold.
The second largest country in South America, Argentina is situated in the southeast of the region. With a population of around 40 million people, a large majority have descended from Spanish and Italian backgrounds. This has helped to give the country a very European feel, with the capital city, Buenos Aires, being called the ‘Paris of South America’.
Argentina has a little bit of everything, from culture, architecture and art to music and never-ending nightlife. And, of course, Argentina is also home to the tango, the dance of love and seduction. You’ll quickly find that kissing on the cheek is a common form of greeting here, so you’ll need to get used to it!
Find out more about moving abroad
Continue exploring the rest of this site to find out more useful information about moving overseas. There are a number of guides and tips to help you begin to plan your relocation, but also make sure you do some research of your own and try to seek the views of others who have been before.
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