The Four Countries with the Best Weather in the World—

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In compiling the climate rankings for the 2016 Global Retirement Index, International Living assessed not only the hard data, temperatures, rainfall and humidity, but also the comfort level of each destination’s climate by talking to resident expats and retirees.

Four Countries with Best Climate

For many retirees thinking of moving abroad, climate is a crucial factor.

For many retirees thinking of moving abroad, climate is a crucial factor. The climate rankings in International Living’s annual Global Retirement Index is one of the first comparisons many potential expats and international retirees will make between possible destinations. Here are the top countries ranked for climate on the 2016 International Living Global Retirement Index.


Ecuador’s location directly on the equator but along the spine of the Andes means the country’s highland weather tends to stay cool, with temperatures changing little throughout the year. This earns Ecuador the reputation as the Land of Eternal Spring.

In Ecuador, weather changes with altitude. In the expat hot spot of Cuenca, temperatures average a high of 70 F during the day and drop to around 50 F at night. Drop from the 8,400-foot elevation of Cuenca to the 5,000 feet of Vilcabamba and the weather is still mild and comfortable, but warmer with highs running in the upper 70s and nightly lows of 60 F.

But eternal spring isn’t all Ecuador has going for it. The country has four distinct zones (Andes Mountains, Amazon Basin, Pacific Coast, and the Galapagos Islands), and the lower the elevation, the warmer the weather.


Situated close to the equator, Panama enjoys a year-round tropical climate. And since Panama sits outside the hurricane zone, extreme weather is rare.

Although Panama is small, you have a variety of comfortable climates from which to choose. Some prefer to live in warmer parts of the country, such as Panama City and David. Daytime temperatures in the low-lying areas throughout the country range from 75 F to 90 F, with a country-wide average of 84 F. Night-time temperatures range from 65 F to 75 F.

The highlands of the Cordillero Central mountain range have cooler weather. Towns in these highland areas—such as Boquete, Cerro Azul, El Valle, and Santa Fe—feature a noticeably fresher climate due to their elevation. For many expats and retirees these places have the perfect spring-like climate, with daytime temperatures ranging from 65 F to 80 F and nights as cool as 55 F at the higher elevations.


Thanks to its geographic location, with the Tropic of Cancer running right across the middle, Mexico offers a wide range of climates. Add to that its varied terrain—with mountains, desert, jungles, and everything in between—and you have a country with every sort of climate you might want.

Much of northern Mexico—the region directly south of the United States—has a dry desert climate, with hot summers and chilly winters. But the northern part of the Baja Peninsula, along the Pacific Coast, enjoys near-perfect weather, like that of San Diego, California.

Central Mexico enjoys a temperate climate. The mountainous interior is home to numerous Spanish-colonial cities, most of which sit at elevations between 3,000 and 7,000 feet. For much of the year, temperatures here range from the high 60s F to the low- to mid-80s F.

Along most of Mexico’s coasts, as well as in far-southern Mexico (the Yucatán Peninsula), the weather is semi-tropical—humid and hot. May to October is the rainy season in these areas, with hot, sometimes-cloudy days punctuated by brief but intense rainstorms. (It seldom rains steadily all day.) Winter is the dry season, with lower humidity, lower temperatures, and sunny days.


On Spain’s long coastline temperatures tend to be mild, with no temperature extremes. Weather is generally hotter in the south and cooler in the north…but nowhere along the coast are the average summer highs and average winter lows more than about 25 to 30 F apart. This reliably mild weather is one reason why Spain’s coasts are so popular with expats.

On the southern coast—the Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz, for instance—average temperatures vary from the 80s F in summer to the 60s F in winter. These coasts are famous for offering more than 300 days of sunshine a year, with low humidity. This means you can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle year-round.

The full report on the top four countries for weather in 2016 can be read here: The World’s Best Climate – the Top 4 Countries: The World's Best Climate: The Top 4 Countries.

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Media Contact: For information about content republishing, available source material or to book an interview for radio, TV or print with one of our experts, contact Associate Editor Carol Barron, 772-678-0287 (US), CBarron(at)InternationalLiving(dot)com or visit the Media Center.

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