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The top 5 countries to move to (that are not Canada) if you hate the election results

Searches for "How can I move to Canada" have spiked during this presidential election.

Ever since the Vietnam War, Canada has been a beacon of refuge for castoff Americans. But there is a major drawback to moving north: Canada's winters often look like the "Star Wars" blizzard scenes on the ice planet Hoth.

So if you're hatching an escape-plan should your presidential pick not win, you might want to consider going south and follow the sun instead. Here are five of best options should your plan ever become a reality:


Panama City Beaches, Panama

Aerial view of the Bridge of the Americas at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal with Panama City in the background.
LisaStrachan | Getty Images
Aerial view of the Bridge of the Americas at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal with Panama City in the background.

Panama is one of the easiest and safest places for foreigners to establish residence. Their "Friendly Nations Visa" is both affordable and easy to acquire if you're from one of the nearly 50 countries designated as "friendly," including the U.S. and U.K. For retirees, Panama's "pensionado visa" gives you discounts on a long list of items, including movies tickets, restaurants, hotels, health care, utilities, and closing costs associated with real-estate deals.

With these benefits in mind, North Americans have been flocking to the Panama City Beaches along the Pacific coast just west of the capital city. Far from the big-city hustle and smog, there are miles of beaches, condos, and surf shacks. The main town along the stretch of beaches and towns is Coronado, a town with many modern amenities and services.


Cayo, Belize

Burns Avenue in San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize
Witold Skrypczak | Getty Images
Burns Avenue in San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize

Nowhere in the Western hemisphere will you be able to remove yourself from the long arm of government better than Cayo, Belize.

Far from the coastal locations that Belize is known for, Cayo consists of Belize's lush, mountainous interior. Water and sunshine are in no short supply, which makes it easy to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. With a few solar panels, Cayo is ideal for becoming self-sufficient and living off-grid.


Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia
John Coletti | Photolibrary | Getty Images
Medellin, Colombia

Who would have ever guessed that someday it would be Americans wanting to flee their internal politics and head to Colombia?

Colombia is far safer today than it was 20 years ago. Pablo Escobar is dead, the FARC are negotiating for peace and the country has moved on. You're more likely to be a victim of violent crime in Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit or New Orleans than in Medellin, Colombia's second largest city.

The lifestyle and culture in Medellin are bar none, not only in Colombia but the world. Theater, museums, festivals and fairs, clubs and restaurants and two professional football teams offer plenty to keep entertained.

Residency is easy to obtain and real estate is a bargain for buyers with U.S. dollars. The exchange rate between the Colombian peso and U.S. dollar has nearly doubled in the past three years, making Colombia's growth that much more attractive for investment.


Tulum, Mexico

Mayan structure called El Castillo with Caribbean beach, at Tulum Archaeological Site, Mexico.
Danny Lehman | Getty Images
Mayan structure called El Castillo with Caribbean beach, at Tulum Archaeological Site, Mexico.

Only an hour from Playa del Carmen, the town of Tulum is positioned nicely along the path of progress moving down the Yucatan Peninsula. Plenty of pristine beaches, coral reefs and nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites will likely keep the visitors coming for years to come.

The lifestyle in Tulum is calm and casual. Lying on the beach drinking a couple of cervezas is not out of the ordinary. For the outdoor adventurous types, scuba diving, fishing, visiting ruins, backpacking, surfing and yoga are some of the activities on offer.


Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Atlantide Phototravel | Getty Images
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

Las Terrenas may be in the Caribbean, but this beach town has a distinctly European feel. French, German, Polish, Swiss, Italian, Dutch, British — Europeans have been flocking here since the 1970s. Swiss cheese, French wine and German sausages can be bought in local stores and pétanque, a lawn game involving hollow steel balls, is a popular pastime.

Like many of these locations, the cost of living in Las Terrenas is surprisingly low. A couple could live comfortably here for just US$1,500 per month.

Whatever your choice south of the border, good luck with your post-general election moving plans.

Commentary by Kathleen Peddicord, the editor and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, a website and newsletter about living, retiring and investing overseas. She has covered the international beat for nearly 30 years and currently lives in Panama City with her husband and young son. Follow Live and Invest Overseas on Twitter @LiveandInvest.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.