Uruguay, Ecuador and Malta were named as the best three countries in the world when it comes to climate.
Their temperate weather throughout the year, moderate rainfall and little risk of natural disaster saw them rise to the top of the Climate category, one of eight categories in the Index, which details the top countries in the world for retirement in 2014.
With a perfect score of 100 and for the second year in a row, Ecuador comes out on top in the Climate category and is the overall runner up in this year’s Global Retirement Index. Situated directly on the equator, the country enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year.
“The best weather in Ecuador is up in the mountains in towns and cities like Cuenca, Otavalo, Vilcabamba, and Quito,” says InternationalLiving.com’s special projects editor, Dan Prescher. “The combination of altitude and amount and intensity of the sunlight makes the weather ideal in my opinion.”
Sitting between 30 and 35 degrees southern latitude is this year’s runner up in the Climate category, Uruguay. It is in a temperate zone and the weather remains uniform. Average temperatures for the mid-winter month of July range from 48F to 54F, while the midsummer month of January varies from 72F to 79F.
Uruguay enjoys four distinct seasons. InternationalLiving.com’s Uruguay correspondent, David Hammond, who has lived in the country for seven years, feels that the climate is perfect. “Uruguay’s winter is mild, and rarely ever gets below freezing. It gets enough rain to keep the country green, and during the summer when it’s warm, it’s nice to be on the Uruguayan coast where there are cooling breezes coming off the water,” says Hammond.
In Europe, Malta comes in third position in the Climate category and enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Located 60 miles from the Italian island of Sicily, Malta’s location means the climate in winter is relatively warm. High summer can be hot—that’s when expats and locals head to the many beaches.