Can you comment? I know that some gay travelers have spent time there, like Dani from Globetrotter Girls, and it might be good to seek out their thoughts on it. do not forget to add these. Merida is regarded as one of the safest places to live in Mexico as it has low rates of both property crimes and violent crimes. – They are both very popular expat spots. This bit surprised me some, I knew that many Americans headed south of our border to live but I never really understood why until I stopped and spent four months on the Pacific coast taking in the truly stunning sunsets, the relaxed atmosphere and the affordable lifestyle. I’ve honestly discussed the question of safety and danger in travel. I am in Oaxaca right now living and it’s intriguing how some of the quality of life is different in the various areas of Mexico. Oaxaca is the name of both a city and the state of which it is the capital. I would be willing to pay for good internet and as far as power is concerned I am adept at setting up solar/battery/generator to make sure I always have enough to meet simple energy needs to so although it might take a bit of work and money to get it right, maybe it would work out. PV or Bucerias would have it year-round, and in San Pancho there are times the town is without power for a few days because of summer storms. It is the capital of Michoacan, which is a central Mexican state. My knowledge of Spanish and English is limited. living full time in PV, so you are at 3,500/mo. Mexico is filled with gorgeous beach towns that beckon global tourists year-round. If you want to avoid the well-known tourist locations and live in one of Mexico’s hidden gems, then Campeche is an excellent place to consider. One, sometimes two, coffee shops. Now, when I say that I have a low-budget for alcohol and partying you can adjust it accordingly for yourself. Look forward to reading more of your posts., There is a combination of traditional and modern properties available in this area, and expats are attracted by the beautiful surroundings and the low crime rates. Cheapest Place to Live in B.C.. She even watched me to ensure I was doing it right (she didn’t believe me that I knew the process! My reasoning behind this is I look at Sayulita kind of being out of the way. More of a nightlife than San Pancho (a later nightlife I should say). You may expect to set $150 to $200 per month for apartment rentals here in Mexico for the mid-class apartments. A mere 10 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but in the scorching heat I was happy to have use of a bicycle from the family compound. One could take busses, but I prefer a taxi. I have a 3 year old and 1 year old, so i am worried about their health and want to make sure i take the right precautions. usually during summers – they’d cost twice that during tourist season. I think the town that I stayed in would be ideal for you. San Carlos, Sonora This city was born as a well-planned tourist destination in the mid-1950s. I could deal with local travel agency as well. Skip to main content ... Livability explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live. Im from Houston.. This woman does a good job describing the process. During high season it can be hard to find really affordable rentals anywhere, but if you time it right (at the beginning of the expat season, which is Sept/Oct) then you can surely find affordable places that you can negotiate for a good price since you’d be renting long-term. What are your thoughts on Baja California, Cabo, Ensenada and Rosarito? My wife and I are planning on becoming snow birds next winter. :). 7. Before settling on living in Mexico, I lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for five months and loved it enough to move back the following year. Hard to say Bill, this is certainly not my area of expertise. It is estimated that there are approximately 56,000 residents and 1,000 of these are expats who own property. ideal would be to have near the beach, supermarkets and some bars and restaurants. Airport to SP: Cheapest is the bus, by far. I give them credit for their amazing skills. Those who have moved to this city enjoy a high standard of living that allows them to absorb Mexican culture in pretty surroundings. It’s things like giardia, dysentery, etc that you are disinfecting against, which is in much higher rates in developing countries. The city is exceptionally clean with an outstanding infrastructure and a thriving central market. Whew, glad we got that out of the way. It is a bustling metropolis with a large population that is best suited to those who are accustomed to urban living. This attractive port city can offer an amazing lifestyle as residents can enjoy shopping, dining out, theater, ballet, and lively nightlife. Great explanation! Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Unfortunately I don’t have any experience in that area. We have recently lived in Ethiopia and Ecuador. Are there any apartments with pools in Sayulita or San Pancho that are also close to the beach? My fiancée is from a remote town in Chiapas and doesn’t have much knowledge to offer. – For Thailand, you would need to prove a certain retirement income (you can look this up), and then it’s mostly a cinch to get the residency/retirement visa. I loved the family compound I lived within (they had a separate house with three rental apartments within their lot) and it’s one of the things I value living solo … I like having other people nearby who have my well-being in mind in case something happens. To get these gigs you will definitely need to be in town and getting to know the people, places, and other expats. Both of those were included in my rent. Luckily, there are still some cities in New Mexico that qualify as affordable. (translation with Bing Translator). It will be my first time solo, so I am scared to start but I need to break the ice. A single person is hard-pressed to spend more than $1,000 here on a modest budget. This is such a wonderful post. Lots of musicians and something going on each night of the week in high season at one of the pubs/bars. Expat Exchange: 5 Best Places to Live in Riviera Maya, Mexico Riviera Maya is a gorgeous stretch of Caribbean coastline in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. How Do You Even Pronounce Patek Philippe? we go to Oxxo which is like a 711. It’s even cheaper if you’re single. Locals though are obsessed with turning out lights and lowering the electric bill. There is a large expat community in this location. Great article. 4. (It is called San Francisco on the map, but locals call it San Pancho: ) And near San Pancho is a town called Sayulita, which is a little big bigger and has a few more amenities (it’s only 20 minutes from San Pancho and you could use a taxi to easily get between the two towns). Hi Shannon. Taxis are going to run you a fair bit more. Some Safe Places in Mexico to Live in 1. Still researching the right spot to live? There is also a bus that runs toward Puerto Vallarta where there are big grocery stores and everything you could possibly need (that is about an 40 minutes to one hour away). Respectfully, Paul. Both Tulum and Puerto Morelos are medium-sized beach towns, not too small and you can find good food and drink options — go further down the coast to Mahahual for a much smaller town that is more similar to San Pancho — nice local feel, a few good restaurants, and a slow pace of life near the beach. Otherwise I would have already gone back to live and work in SE Asia had it not been for the time difference. Once, Cancun was little more than a fishing village. I’m definitely going to follow you here. There are no “curb your dog” rules, so I was always dodging dog poo, trucks pull up onto sidewalks and leak oil. For a midrange hotel in Puerto Vallarta, look at Hotel Mercurio. The cost of living in this port city is far less than in most cities in the United States, which is another factor that appeals to many people. It’s no secret I’m a vegetarian, so for me, a country gets bonus points for not only the accessibility of vegetarian food, but the understanding of the concept of vegetarianism. I lived in Chapala, Jalisco for 2 years and my wife and I are looking at moving back this winter. I have many illnesses and I do not have the driving license. No, it’s not that level of bad in most places. Hi Shannon and thank you so much for your wonderful blog! house rent, food, transportation and entertainment) as compared to other states in USA. Even if you don’t find expats owning horses, many will have insight about if there are stables in their town/city. Switzerland is extremely expensive though…… I remember being in Lagano and choosing dinner – $30 for a buffet and $5 for McDonalds – I took the later despite hating McDonalds. I personally love it there, have met some wonderful people, and have not ran into any trouble. However, this city is not for people who want a peaceful life as it is better suited to those who want to live somewhere with an exciting vibe and to enjoy a busy lifestyle. :). My fiancée is a Mexican national and we are prepared to move to Mexico if things don’t work out immigration-wise in the US. Known by the locals simply as Playa, HuffPost says that Playa del Carmen is one of the chicest places in Mexico, and it is less than an hour south of Cancun. Yucatan: Hugely popular with expats (and spring breakers), a bit pricier than the west coast, gorgeous beaches and diving. Mexico is much cheaper than living in say, the US or Canada, but it’s not just about money. But why Mexico and not other popular places in Central America like Costa Rica or Panama? (I am Canadian) . Thank you for your feedback it has been very helpful. It is a thriving town that can make a fantastic place in which to live. Dear Shannon: I remember reading about your travels. Given that the U.S. has its own social injustices, and given that housing is skyrocketing, many expats look to Mexico as a place where they can afford to live the type of life that feels less attainable in the U.S. right now. 4. It has an excellent Internet connection, which is ideal for those who plan to work in the city and for people who want to stay connected to friends and family. Thanks. I have traveled extensively throughout Mexico and find it a wonderful country – the more one learns the more fun one has, for certain!!! Guanajuato is a very nice place I’d recommend. But all the baseline costs are all included in my totals, and really unlike the Thailand post, this total includes toiletries and any expenses inside Mexico that cropped up—I never withdrew more than USD $750 from the ATM each month. Very few Ecuadorians speak English- not even the vast majority of university professors- and it’s tough with only basic Spanish skills. There is lush rainforest throughout, but also amazing quiet beach towns too. Not included in this breakdown of living costs: medical/health insurance, my plane flight to Mexico, or any expenses I incur outside of living (running this site, insurance, work, etc). Here are the 20 best places to live in Mexico. COST DIFFERENCE. I found my monthly expenses were about $650 US: $230 US to rent a furnished apartment, maybe another $70 for monthly utilities and internet. Did you use the “solution” that “disinfects” from the commercial grocery store? There are plenty of ways to spend your time, so it is a good option for those who enjoy being busy and don’t want to just relax on the beach every day. Do you think this is a bad idea and that Sayulita is not to be missed? Although it is only a small town, Huatulco has an international airport and a four-lane highway, so getting around is easy. The rents are still very affordable and I found something in that range in Oaxaca just last year. But lately I have considered skipping Sayulita and just start in Mexico City. near the Zona Romantica or maybe the South Shore. Safe travels !!!! How Much Does a Patek Philippe Watchmaker Earn? You’d be surprised that there are people that can pay $100 for a two-bedroom flat here. San Miguel de Allende - Mexico Read More . As the months passed, I was so surprised by how affordable living there was that I shared a cost of living post … mostly for the readers in the A Little Adrift community who had written me over the years wondering how they could afford to live or retire abroad. In San Pancho, one issue in the wetter and stormier summer months that crops up has been power issues… so if you depend on internet for work, you would want to talk to locals about connectivity—I am not sure if it’s gotten any better in the past few years, but I know that there were sporadic summer power outages back in 2013 to 2014. thanks for the info and your opinion. I was lucky to have friends in town so I could split one of the big pizzas for our weekly Friday-night gatherings, and my friends Victoria and Steve often hosted potlucks. After that, then making my way down to Oaxaca (Zipolite), and San Cristobal de las Casas. The housing options available vary from traditional Mexican homes to luxury property developments. Do you know expats with children? It lies by the Caribbean Sea around two hours south of Cancun, and it has undergone some major developments to fulfill the demand for housing in this interesting town. Did you use a law firm? What’s your rent? So, when you’re ready to return, there is surely going to be an affordable quiet life still there and waiting. I’ve also lived in Oaxaca too, and it’s even more affordable (I spent well under $600 per month). The U.S. minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, meaning if workers can send even a portion of their daily earnings home to family in Mexico it represents a huge sum. One of the perks of living in a one-street town is that you don’t need a whole lot of transportation! In April I’m planning on traveling from Mexico all the way down to Chile. Most people get around on foot or by bicycle, so it is a good place to live for those who do not drive. There are also plenty of leisure options, with popular activities including swimming, scuba diving, golf, tennis, and sunbathing. I am looking at Alamos, Mexico because its a small town, and Huffington Post says its a nice place to ex-pat. The chart shows the basics you’ll need to cover when living in most parts of Mexico. There is a growing expat community thanks to the modern condo developments in the area, and the population is gradually growing. I lived in a beachy expat town one season, and there were so many expats that it was easy to have a social life all in English if you want. We have considered the Yucatán as a possible next stop. Thanks a great point James, there is a completely different vibe once you get to Mexico. Like in any country, there are some places to live that are better than others. While housing prices continue to rebound and general goods and services continue to rise, it feels like affordable living could be a thing of the past. They handle rentals too and are fantastic resources on any city mentioned. Hmm, I don’t think SP is the best place for a night owl. This is the story of a Florida girl (that's me!) Certainly, smaller towns are cheaper, because they don’t have a lot to spend your money on and restaurants are more questionable. No, I’ve never really used AC while living there — I have never rent a place with heat and air (I am a native Floridian so have fared OK… and winter high season in some places is downright cold — I wished for a heater when it was low 40s in Oaxaca for ages). I am far from an authority on this topic, but the Yucatan in general is among the more progressive areas of Mexico and I cannot envision you facing major challenges. According to Nomad List, Hermosillo is a great place to live because it scores highly for the low cost of living, safety, and the fun factor. I want to live in the cheapest places in the world because I want to experience them! I suppose the best fit and comfort level with cost of living intertwined are huge considerations and I would appreciate your insight between the two countries? It’s nice to be inside a bay for safe swimming. :). If you are already in the area, the bus is straightforward and takes 45 minutes to an hour from downtown PV. When I lived in San Pancho, which is just north of Puerto Vallarta, there was a Polo Club in the town with active polo matches and such. It’s located below most of the United States, so imagine driving from Texas to Seattle and you have an idea of what it might take to get to another area of Mexico. 3. climate The community is different than what you find in San Miguel or PV, it seems there are more opportunities to integrate into Mexican life. Hi Shannon, thanks so much for writing back. Just like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta was once a quiet fishing village. For an idea of costs, I recommend that you look up rents for apartments or houses using a site like Zillow ( However, it is a wonderful place for those who want to experience true Mexican culture in beautiful surroundings, and it offers a high standard of living. Not sure if this applies to your case, but did you pay any one-time costs to establish residency in Mexico? If you’re in Sayulita, my friends rented a nice place from Villas Vista Suites for three months— I would start there for online hunting. So, the apartment was 4,500 pesos per month ( $375 at the time) which is on the high-end for a studio in my town but the price included all utilities and really strong internet, which is essential for my online work. Why You Should Follow Patek Philippe on Instagram. The cost of living in Mexico City is at the higher end of the scale, but it is far from the most expensive place to live in Mexico. I often bought organic veggies (expensive) at the Friday market in Sayulita, so the food budget is generous for a range of eating styles. Plus the fact that Central and South America are pretty much on the same time zone as the US (give or take an hour or so) makes it possible for me to do this. Shannon, do you have any knowledge surrounding keeping horses in Mexico (either in the areas you experienced or otherwise?) As I love lush nature and palm trees on the beach and not mass tourism, would you advise me, a village or a place where I can get close to you? I wish I had some better recommendations for you, but I don’t the country as well as some other expats. Hi Mel, sorry this took me weeks to get back to you, but Mexico can have fast speeds, but you pay for it. Expats have a position of privilege, particularly retirees able to use the culmination of a lifetime of working in a more expensive and better paid economy, and then basically use geo-arbitrage to spend their money and social security checks in a country where the USD goes a lot further. I make a small commission on purchases you make through a select few product links—this keeps ALA ad-free and never affects my recommendations. :). Do you not have power? With miles of coastline and gentrified streets, Mazatlán is an ideal place for snowbirds during the winter months. I would fit right in working in a tourist-type facility, which would be ideal. I’m on the fence between Asia and Latin America, I love them both for different reasons, so rather than compare these aspects of life to each other, below is the food, life, and culture you get for that budget living in a beach town on Mexico’s Pacific coast. When we need milk etc. Hi Jude, thanks for writing. :). On the whole, Mexico City is a safe place, and it has plenty to offer to those who live there. Hmm, that is an interesting question. Consider floating this question in some of the Facebook groups linked in the post as they might have other ideas. We have internet, telephone etc. 1. This town dates back more than a thousand years, and many who live there say they can still feel the ancient Mayan roots. Compared to Thailand, Spanish is easier to learn, and in general, as I noted, I favor Mexico from a cultural point of view as a place to live — as a Westerner the culture aligns more easily and I found it more comfortable on that level. Generally, New Mexico is far more affordable than living in states like California or New York. I had Thai friends, and some of them good friends, but there’s a insular nature to the community that is under the surface that I found insurmountable in many ways. Thank you so much for your help. We buy imported goods for a treat once in a while but try to shop local goods mostly.” —45 – 64 year old female from the US living in the state of Yucatan for more than 10 years. But, I always mention this to travelers when I run across good content, check out Hi Shannon, I am a 23 year old college student trying to take some time from college for a year. The past 15 years I have been going back and forth to Puerto Vallarta, they have a love of life that US citizens don’t.