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Relocating to South America Near Surfing Spots


South America is full of amazing surf spots, so it should come as no surprise that it also boasts some of the most desirable destinations for ex-pats. Determining where to live is the fun part, though. For anyone who wants to relocate to South America to be near better surfing spots, there’s also some work to do. Read on to find out how to get started.


Finding the Perfect Spot

It’s important for future ex-pats to note that even the best surf spots in the world won’t make up for crowded beaches, unfriendly locals, or an exorbitantly high cost of living. Whether they’re looking for a vacation home or trying to relocate permanently, people should look for a good balance between affordability, access to necessary amenities, and proximity to all of those coveted amazing waves.

Determining Residency Requirements

Some locales are more open than others to accepting foreigners, but the actual immigration laws don’t vary much between South American countries. Many countries, including Nicaragua, have specific programs in place to make it easier for retirees and the independently employed to obtain residency. In all cases, though, future South American residents will need to provide certain forms of documentation. The most common requirements for residency include the following items.

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of income
  • Passport photos and a valid passport
  • A certified criminal record from the country of origin
  • An original birth certificate
  • A certificate of good health

In most cases, these documents must be submitted with an application for residency to the consulate in the person’s home country. When in doubt about residency requirements, reach out to the appropriate consulate for information.

Getting to Know the Local Culture

No matter where surfers decide to move, they should try to learn at least a little bit about the local culture before putting down roots. It’s not just that learning local customs and some of the local language or dialect is an issue of respect. It can also open doors to new residents that would otherwise remain firmly shut and make it easier to find friends who might be willing to let them in on those locals-only surf spots.

Factors such as language and cultural norms also vary by region. The good news is that most people planning to relocate to South America for better surfing options have already visited their target areas, giving them a head start. It’s often possible to use both good experiences and accidental blunders that occur on vacations as a blueprint for understanding what to expect.

Planning the Move

Planning a move can be challenging even when it’s just to the next town over. For those who want to relocate permanently to South America, it can become a nightmare if not enough time is left to sort out all the details. Remember that a permanent move requires significantly more planning, packing, and making arrangements than a brief vacation, and plan accordingly.

It can also help to purchase a vacation home in the target country while holding onto the main residence in the country of origin. Taking this approach will give future South American residents more time to sort out the details and decide whether the target country really is a good fit for permanent residency.

Think Nicaragua

Any surfer planning to move to South America should seriously consider Nicaragua. This nation offers a low cost of living, few barriers to residency, and some truly amazing local surf spots that will never disappoint.