Looking at the luxury beachside properties, the tour guide told me they were very expensive. A huge house with a 2 storey front window was the most expensive at 160,000 pounds. This was on an offshore island and purchases are all tax free. Total heaven.
Biggest problem with South America is that it can be risky out and about. Daytime is normally safe enough. Panama city is a place not to go into. We were in a large bus so safe enough. Police hang around to protect the tourists.
Most of the Caribbean is very safe and never had a problem out there. All nice local people and polite. Last time out there was 2 years ago. Its a long way to go.