Endless days of sunshine, delectable cuisine, a picturesque landscape, world-class beaches, rich art and architecture, natural beauty, excellent infrastructure, and more make the Caribbean one of the most attractive places to live. In addition to these factors, the cost of living in the Caribbean islands also strongly influences the decision to move to the region. This may have you wondering, Which is the cheapest Caribbean island to live on?

If you are planning to relocate to the Caribbean for business, work, or post-retirement, you should definitely take into account the amount of money required to enjoy your ideal lifestyle on the Caribbean coast. In this article, we will take you through the cost of living in the Caribbean — including the cost of rent and real estate purchase, food and drink, and more — and help you discover the cheapest Caribbean island to live on.


Cost of living in the Caribbean - Important Factors for Consideration

Before determining the cost of living in the Caribbean, you must consider the general things you need to go on with your daily life, such as food, rent, transport, entertainment, and other utilities and activities. Once you have considered the cost of all these factors, you can then calculate your monthly budget. Please keep in mind that these are variable costs and can change based on the specific island you decide to relocate to.

For example, if you’re considering shifting to the secluded side of the Bahamas, your cost of groceries can shoot up as they will be delivered to the place either by an aircraft or a ship. On the other hand, the rent will be relatively low due to lower demand.

Buying Property and Renting in the Caribbean islands

The Caribbean region has a thriving real estate market. The real estate prices you encounter, however, will depend on your ownership of the property – in other words, whether you want to rent or buy it. If you are looking for affordable property in the Caribbean islands, you should consider places like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Honduras, and Belize, as they offer some of the most economical real estate options for you to buy or rent. To rent out one-bedroom properties in these locations, you will have to pay rent of around $700 to $1000 each month. Please note that these properties will not be beach-facing.


Places like Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands have more expensive properties than the ones mentioned above. However, since the Turks and Caicos Islands are a tax-neutral jurisdiction, it levies no annual property taxes, income tax, or capital gains tax on residents. People living in the Cayman Islands also don’t come under direct taxation by the government.

So if you plan to move to the Caribbean permanently, please keep all these factors in mind and assess them before making your big move.


Cost of Utilities

To live in your home comfortably, you need to manage a few essential utilities like water, gas, electricity, telephone bills, air conditioning, and so on. The cost of all of these can differ significantly depending on where you reside in the Caribbean.

Places like the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Curaçao have the highest cost of utilities compared to the other Caribbean islands. The expenditure on utilities in these places can range between $200 – $350. Please note that this is the average cost of utilities if you live in a small apartment. When you get a bigger space, the utility cost will automatically rise since you will tend to use more water, electricity, and air conditioning.

If you are looking for a place in the Caribbean with a low cost of utilities, then you should consider moving to the Dominican Republic, Belize, Costa Rica, or Panama regions.

Cost of Food and Drinks

Owing to its location and island life, most of the groceries on the Caribbean islands get delivered by air or water transport. While this may sound exciting, this method of delivery tends to cause the price of the commodities to increase, as there is a delivery charge for almost everything. The cost of everyday items like milk, bread, eggs, and chicken is higher across the Caribbean than in the United States. If you are looking for somewhere more affordable, check out places like Grenada, St Lucia, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

If you are fond of having fruits and vegetables, it would be wise to purchase them from the local markets or roadside stalls, as this is often a cheaper option.



On the other hand, luxury items like beer, wine, and cigarettes are cheaper in the tropical islands than in the United States. Although destinations such as the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands are attractive tourist spots, the cost of living, food, and drinks are slightly higher than in the other parts of the Caribbean. The reason for the higher price is that these places offer a greater variety of imported goods that are readily accessible to you.

To give you an example of the cost of living, two people sharing a home would find themselves spending around $600 on groceries. But please keep in mind that this is an estimate for you. Your budget can go up if you indulge in good wine and food more than once in a while.


Restaurant and Entertainment Costs

The prices of restaurants and entertainment options vary from place to place in the Caribbean. For example, let’s take a look at the cost of a McDonald’s combo meal in the Caribbean. According to Numbeo, this will cost you around  $7.27 in the Dominican Republic, while the same meal will cost you around $8.56 in Grenada, $10 in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and $12.77 in the Cayman Islands.

Eating out in the Turks and Caicos is expensive compared to all the other places in the Caribbean. For example, a regular meal in an affordable restaurant will cost you around $25, according to Numbeo.

The Cheapest Caribbean Islands

In this section, we will take you through the cost of living in the cheapest Caribbean islands.



Compared to the United States or Europe, the cost of living in Dominica is low. Whether renting, buying property, or purchasing things from the local markets, prices are lower than the other islands in this Caribbean paradise. If you are planning to retire in the Caribbean but are worried about the expenditure, then Dominica is the perfect place.

For example, the monthly expenses come to around $4,014 for a family of four, excluding rent. If you stay alone, your monthly expenditure will be around $1,318 (excluding rent).

Check out our article: The Cost of Living in Dominica.

St Lucia


Like Grenada, St Lucia is an affordable country in the Caribbean, and the cost of living in St Lucia is cheaper than in the United States or Europe. The country is tax-friendly and levies no capital gains, inheritance, or wealth tax on worldwide income. Not only is the country affordable, but it also provides its residents with a very high quality of life.

Check out our article: St Lucia Taxes – A Guide for Individuals and Businesses.

The cost of groceries in the country depends upon your consumption of local or imported food. The cost of local produce is relatively cheaper, and the cost of imported products is more expensive than in the United States. The rent prices here also depend on the location. For instance, if you rent a one-bedroom apartment in Castries’s city center, you will pay around $515 per month. In comparison, renting a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center will cost around $250 each month.

Check out our article: The Cost of Living in St Lucia.

 Antigua and Barbuda


Renowned for its white sand beaches, tropical weather, and relaxed lifestyle, Antigua and Barbuda is a popular destination in the Caribbean. The country offers all modern conveniences to people and is around 20 percent cheaper than the United States and the United Kingdom.

As per Numbeo, the monthly expenditure for a single person is around $1,100 (without rent). For a family of four, the cost of living in Antigua and Barbuda will be around $3,900 (excluding the rent) per month.

Check out our article: The Cost of Living in Antigua and Barbuda.



Grenada is also among the cheapest places to live in the Caribbean. Compared to the US, and other Caribbean islands, the cost of living in Grenada is lower, be it education, real estate, groceries, or restaurants. In Grenada, a meal in a local and inexpensive restaurant will cost you around $7. A three-course meal in a mid-size restaurant will cost around $79 for two people.

In terms of rent, you need to pay around $599 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. Outside the city center, however, it will cost you around $363. If you are planning to buy a property in Grenada, the price can vary from $160,000 to $7,000,000.

Check out our article: The Cost of Living in Grenada – The Complete Expat Guide.

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As you can see, you will need to explore the different options available when deciding to relocate to the Caribbean. No matter which of these islands you choose, you’re guaranteed to find excellent weather year-round, crystal blue sea, beautiful beaches, and — most importantly — a very nice life. So why not make your dream a reality and find your perfect island getaway in the Caribbean today?

Frequently Asked Questions about the Cheapest Caribbean Island to Live on

What are the cheapest places to live in the Caribbean?

Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica are a few of the budget-conscious places in the Caribbean. To find out more, check our guide on the Cost of Living in St Kitts and Nevis.

What is the most affordable Caribbean island to live on?

Dominican Republic, Belize (the only English-speaking country in Central America), Costa Rica, and Panama are a few of the most affordable islands to live on and double up as top destinations to visit. The best option for you will depend on the type of lifestyle you intend to lead.

Check out our article: Living in the Caribbean – The Pros and Cons You Need to Know.