Living In A Tiny House In Latin America

tiny house builders in latin americaMany U.S. and European expats are heading South of the border in pursuit of the paradise that can be found in many Latin American countries. The pace of life suits tiny house folks well because it’s more laid back and community centric than other parts of the world.

It’s also a part of the world where cost of living is less. You’ll find the simple life more affordable, government regulations are more relaxed, property taxes are lower, and the quality of life is regarded as higher by many expats.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

My love of tiny houses started by seeking freedom — and that’s exactly why they are becoming a very popular option for many. My tiny house has changed my life by giving me an affordable home to work from without being locationally restrained, and it’s doing the same thing for many others seeking the same.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

NAVIGATION

Click To Jump Directly To A Country

Living In A Tiny House In Latin America

Living In A Tiny House In Latin America
With remote work becoming the norm in the lives of millions in recent years, it has opened doors for traveling freely while on the clock. Young adults are able to country hop while simultaneously crunching numbers for their corporate jobs. Maybe we can finally have it all!

Central America, South America, and the Caribbean are alluring to young working expatriates and retirees alike who have a hunger for cultural immersion. My travel south of the border has been a bit limited, but I’ve heard from friends who have loved being in this part of the world.

However, you also may need to face the reality of language barriers, fewer regulations and government aid, and a slower pace which can affect things like paperwork turnaround and access to amenities.

There’s a lot to consider when trying to decipher if tiny living in Latin America is for you.

Why Live In A Tiny House In Latin America?

Why Live In A Tiny House In Latin America

I had the opportunity to speak with Patrick Hiebert of EcoVillages.Life to learn more about why living in a tiny house is a popular choice for those moving to Latin America. Patrick mentioned the following reasons as the top pulls for tiny homes in Latin America:

Benefits to Living in Latin America:

  • Lowered cost of living
  • Less upkeep in your house
  • Outdoor living spaces
  • Free time to do more
  • Affordable ownership
Iguazu Falls Brazil

Tiny houses are a phenomenal option for anyone seeking freedom, simplicity, and a more affordable, locationally independent lifestyle. However, not all tiny house builders and developers in Latin America will match the quality standards of EcoVillages.Life, so it’s important to do your own research.

An Expat Guide To Tiny Houses in Central America

An Expat Guide To Tiny Houses in Central America

Many Latin American countries don’t have building laws and regulations that address tiny houses specifically, but that doesn’t mean tiny house life isn’t possible in the area. Take a look at each country to see where tiny house living is most accessible.

Tiny Houses In Mexico

Mexican culture has undergone a fairly substantial transformation in the recent decade and is a highly popular destination for vacationers as well as expatriates and retirees.

Many locals live in urban cities, but smaller rural communities are also highly prevalent and appeal to those wanting a slower way of life. The country is known for its sense of connected community.

Expats may choose Mexico for many reasons, including nice weather, lively culture, and good food. The country is also known for a lower cost of living and affordable health care.

Mexico has definitely taken to the tiny-living trend. You can check out Tiny House Mexico on Facebook to connect with others who want to enjoy tiny living.

The country has several tiny houses to experience staying in. Building laws for the country of Mexico do not address tiny homes specifically, but they are more advanced than other Latin American countries.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Mexico

Tiny Houses In Guatemala

Expats often move to Guatemala to enjoy beautiful, expansive rural areas where the cost of living can be dramatically lower than many other countries in the world.

Living in a tiny house in Guatemala will look different depending on what area of the country you choose to reside in. Some locals are urban city dwellers, while others are farmers along the countryside. The country is known for its dramatic volcanic landscape and rich Mayan culture.

Keep in mind that the wealth gap and social stratification in Guatemala is stark. It is not uncommon to pass by impoverished areas sitting directly next to affluent areas. This dynamic is part of the give and take of going abroad and might be an opportunity for giving back.

Guatemala does not have any kind of national building code, however residential construction is regulated by their Federal Housing Administration, which can be accessed online.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Guatemala

Tiny Houses In Honduras

There are many benefits to being in expat in Honduras — community, culture and festivities, low taxes, and moderate property ownership regulations, to name a few.

Hondurans are quite family oriented. Family life and camaraderie is central to their culture, and there is a strong emphasis on family loyalty. Not only are family ties key to social culture, but they often show up in business and government as well. In short, family comes above all else.

Unlike many other countries, expats in Honduras are granted the same rights of ownership as any Honduran citizen, making it fairly easy to obtain permanent residency status. This makes Honduras a very attractive move for expats.

Beyond that, tiny house culture is growing in Honduras, and there are even several Eco Villages that can give you a quality tiny-living experience.

Building laws for the country of Honduras are developed, they have their own built-out code.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Honduras

Tiny Houses In Nicaragua

Nicaragua offers the lowest cost of living in Central America. It is known for its rich culture with very friendly people, relaxing beaches, and real estate investment opportunities.

Tiny houses are also up and coming in Nicaragua. Check out these Eco Villages for a dreamy tiny-living experience. Check out Tiny House Nicaragua on Facebook to follow the builders in the country.

Building regulations in Nicaragua are issued by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and are available in the online library.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Nicaragua

Tiny Houses In El Salvador

Merely a four-hour plane ride from the U.S., El Salvador is Central America’s smallest nation by size but also has the densest population. Salvadoran culture is made up of a mix of Native American and Latin American cultures that are still prominent in the country today.

There are many reasons why one might desire to be an expat in El Salvador — beautiful tropical weather, a low cost of living, expansive Pacific Ocean beaches, and kind, accepting people are a few.

Another huge advantage for American expats and remote workers is that the country uses U.S. dollars, which helps with inflation.

Unfortunately, tiny house culture isn’t yet popular in El Salvador. Access building laws and regulations are unclear, but try parsing through the International Code Council online documents to do your own research.

el salvador landscape

Tiny Houses In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a go-to choice for many expats, as living in the country comes with plenty of upsides. An extremely low crime rate, tropical weather, and numerous outdoor experiences make it an ideal place for many. When I visited years back, I remember playing tag football with a coconut for hours on the beach!

Costa Rica is often ranked one of the best Central American countries to live abroad thanks to accessible visas that allow expats to live in the country long term without proof of a steady job.

However, in order to obtain a visa, you will need to prove adequate savings or proof of a pension.
The country is also a popular spot for tourism. The influx of people in many of the must-see spots can get tiring for some expatriates. However, a plus side to the tourist craze is that the value of building property in the country has risen — there’s a lot of money in tourism throughout Costa Rica.

Tiny house life in Costa Rica has become more popular in the past few years. There are many vacation spots throughout the country like Tiny Homes Costa Rica, a tiny house micro farm near the beach.

Buying and building in Costa Rica has a lot of hoops to jump through, but the great thing for those looking to do so is that those hoops are clearly and directly defined.

There is a licensing body for Architects and Engineers, which also sets standards for the fees you’ll need to pay and permits you must obtain to start building. Get more information about building property in Costa Rica here.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Costa Rica

Tiny Houses In Panama

Residents of Panama benefit from a relatively low cost of living, simple residency laws, and beautifully warm weather. The country is a common pick for expatriates because it has infrastructure and amenities that more closely mirror North America than many other Central American countries.

Panama is attractive for its low cost of living and the value of its currency. You get what you pay for throughout the country — a little money can go a long way! Overall, the country has a fairly low cost of living and average health care compared to the rest of the world.

Tiny life in Panama is growing. Builder regulations are less controlled than in the U.S. The permit process can take some time, but that doesn’t mean its not worth attempting. Get more information about real estate development in Panama here.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Panama

Tiny Houses In Belize

Reasons people are attracted to life in Belize certainly include the gorgeous beaches and tropical jungles, but what sets it apart from other Central American countries is how easily accessible everything is!

As an expatriate in the country, you have the freedom to live there with only a tourist card. This is incredibly enticing to those who want to live on the beach long term without applying for a visa.

Additionally, you can apply for permanent residence in Belize after only one year of living there, which is fairly quick compared to other places.

Belize is a gorgeous and desirable location, but it does have a higher crime rate. The vast majority of residents live near or in a village or town to avoid the more dangerous areas of the country.

A recommendation for life in Belize is to stay where there is a police presence, lighted roads, other people, and avoid the need to travel alone late at night!

Belize is pretty advanced when it comes to tiny house living. There are several tiny house communities and developers throughout the country. The country has specific building codes and an advanced process to obtain building permits.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Belize

An Expat Guide To Tiny Houses in South America

An Expat Guide To Tiny Houses in South America

Even farther south, there are also many countries in South America that can provide a relaxed lifestyle, established expat communities, welcoming natives, good health care, and a warm climate.

Many of these countries don’t have building laws and regulations that address tiny houses specifically, but that doesn’t mean living in a tiny house isn’t possible in the area. Let’s take a look at South America country by country to see where the tiny life is most accessible.

Tiny Houses In Argentina

The major selling point for life in Argentina is an amazing climate. Living in Argentina can bring you the social and cultural benefits of South American life without the stark shift in weather you’ll notice in more centrally located countries. The weather is closer to that of Europe or the U.S., which can be a major plus!

That said, Argentina is a huge country with various climate zones, but the cities where expats are most likely to live are comfortable and akin to the U.S. Buenos Aires is one of the country’s most popular cities and has four distinctive, enjoyable seasons.

One common deterrent for many is the language barrier. Argentineans speak a unique Spanish dialect that sounds different from many other Spanish-speaking countries and uses different verb forms. However, many say it is actually easier to catch on and learn quickly, so don’t worry too much!

Tiny house culture in Argentina is growing tremendously. There are even several builders and developers in the country, like Tiny House Argentina, that can help you build a tiny house you love.

Argentina’s building codes are issued by the National Institute of Industrial Technology under the Ministry of Production.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Argentina