Home To A Colonial Gem

While most of Guatemala is still for only the most adventuresome of overseas retirees, there are a few places where you could consider settling down. 

Our top choice for living in Guatemala is Antigua, an overlooked colonial city in the heart of Central America with plenty to offer the would-be retiree. Real estate is affordable, the people are friendly, the climate is perfect with little to no humidity, overseas income is free of local tax, and you can live a very good lifestyle for less than US$1,400 a month, including regular entertainment eating out, and a furnished rental at US$800 monthly.

In fact, though, you could live in Antigua on much less…you could rent small and basic in this town for as little as US$250 a month. That’d make your total monthly budget but US$950. Own your own place, and you can do away with rent altogether…meaning you could enjoy life in this beautiful colonial city for as little as US$700 a month. 


Population13,824,463 (July 2011 est.)
Gross Domestic  Product (GDP)$70.15 billion (2010 est.)
GDP Per Capita$5,200 (2010 est.)
Inflation Rate3.9% (2010 est.)
Exchange Rate Versus U.S. Dollar7.78 quetzales (GTQ) per US dollar –
LanguageSpanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40% note note: there are 23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca
CapitalGuatemala City
Population of Capital City1.075 million (2009)
Time ZoneGMT -6 hours
SeasonsSummer (march-april) and Rainy season  (may-oct), Winter (Nov-feb), The weather in Guatemala City is also very windy; this may decrease the apparent temperature even more. Hottest month is April.
International Dialing Code502
Electricity110/220 V
System of Governmentconstitutional democratic republic
Name and Party Affiliation of Current LeaderPresident Gral. Otto Perez Molina (since 14 January 2012)
Income Tax Rate for Residents15%-31%
Property TaxProgressive rates up to 0.9%
Capital Gains Tax Capital gains earned by nonresidents are subject to a flat 31%
Inheritance Tax Inheritance and gift taxes are levied at progressive rates, from 1% to 25%.
Rental Income Tax Inheritance and gift taxes are levied at progressive rates, from 1% to 25%.
Transfer Tax12% (IVA) of the value of the property
Sales Tax12%
Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of PropertyNo
Local Chamber of Commerce
American Chamber of Commerce
Primary Exportscoffee, sugar, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom
Residency and Visa RequirementsNot all foreigners need visas to enter the country North American and European citizens need only their valid passport, and will be granted 90 days permission in the country.
Special Benefits for  Foreign Residents or RetireesRetirement program



About Author

Live And Invest Overseas

Live and Invest Overseas is the world's savviest source for top opportunities to live better, retire in style, invest for profit, do business, and own real estate overseas. Established in 2008, the Live and Invest Overseas' editors and correspondents have more experience researching and reporting on top opportunities for living well, investing for profit, doing business, and owning real estate around the world than anyone else you'll find.