13 of the Greatest Locations to Reside in Mexico

May 26, 2022

Even earlier than many individuals stop their workplace jobs or have been switched to a very distant way of life, Mexico was one of many high spots for digital nomads and retirees to resettle. Contemplating the colourful tradition, beautiful seashores, and breathtaking mountains the nation has to supply, it’s no marvel why so many individuals to migrate right here.

I’ve been residing in Mexico for over two years, and I can truthfully say there’s nowhere else I’d somewhat name house. Whereas I nonetheless determine very a lot as a nomad, Mexico is my everlasting house for the foreseeable future.

Beneath are my high suggestions for locations in Mexico which might be particularly superb for foreigners like myself who hope to maneuver right here.

However first, what makes Mexico a terrific place to stay?

I’ll preface this with a reminder that not all cities and cities on this large nation are the identical. There may be a variety of numerous places to visit in Mexico, every with their very own quirks, challenges, and advantages. Whereas I and plenty of foreigners love residing right here, I additionally should acknowledge that residing in Mexico will not be everybody’s cup of tea. Some individuals discover the gradual tempo of life, frequent abdomen bugs, language barrier, and different challenges to be overwhelming.

Nevertheless, even with the drawbacks, I believe Mexico is a superb place to stay as a foreigner. Usually talking, Mexican nationals are heat and hospitable, particularly towards those that at the very least attempt to communicate Spanish and/or the native indigenous language. I’ve by no means been wherever the place the individuals embraced me as their very own household greater than in Mexico. That’s a fantastic, sacred factor to really feel.

One other large plus is the meals. Lordy, the meals! It’s contemporary, flavorful, and typically stunning. It’s nothing just like the Tex-Mex you discover within the States and elsewhere. There’s no comparability.

Final, however not least, the surroundings! From white, sandy Caribbean shores to volcanic peaks and the whole lot in between, Mexico has some show-stopping pure areas that proceed to take my breath away.

Anyway, this isn’t a meant to be record of causes it’s best to transfer right here, so let’s transfer on to the most effective locations to stay in Mexico:

Greatest Beachy Locations to Reside in Mexico

1. La Paz, Baja California Sur

Balandra Beach la paz
Stunning Balandra Seashore

In terms of seashores with crystal-clear water shallow sufficient you can wade out for what looks like miles, Balandra Seashore could also be cause sufficient to entice you to relocate to La Paz in Baja California Sur. With the Sea of Cortez laid out earlier than you, you’ll love ending your days with a stroll on the malecón (boardwalk) to catch a radiant sundown that La Paz is thought for.

In addition to the seaside views and uncrowded seashores, La Paz will get its status as a terrific place to stay as a result of it’s comparatively protected; has a cosmopolitan vibe, with individuals from everywhere in the world; and a excessive lifestyle for a fraction of what it prices to stay within the States, Canada, or Europe.

La Paz can be in a terrific location for exploring Baja California Sur, together with locations just like the pueblo mágico (magic city) of Todos Santos, which has enchanting cobblestone streets that wind alongside the coast.

One disadvantage of La Paz is the extraordinarily sizzling temperatures from July to October, with highs reaching almost 100 levels. Throughout this time, locals have a tendency to regulate their day by day schedules to keep away from being outdoors within the afternoon warmth. In the event you don’t thoughts doing that, you’ll match proper in.

2. Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Puerto Escondido is a superb place to relocate to when you’re younger, or at the very least younger at coronary heart. The surf tradition is powerful right here, and also you’ll discover that an awesome majority of tourists in sizzling spots like La Punta are of their 20s and early 30s.

Certain, it’s a giant spring break vacation spot, however the remainder of the 12 months in Puerto is sort of laid again and uncrowded. This sleepy city was once rather more off the tourism radar than it’s now, nevertheless it nonetheless maintains a quiet ambiance and is protected for foreigners.

In the event you’re a seaside lover, Puerto could also be for you due to what number of beaches there are nearby, every with its personal distinct vibe. Within the city of Puerto Escondido alone, there are virtually a dozen to select from, with others in cities simply 30-60 minutes away.

One draw back to relocating to Puerto Escondido is the occasional energy outages. As a result of metropolis’s speedy enlargement as tourism continues to develop, infrastructure has struggled to maintain up with the inhabitants. Nevertheless, these outages have grow to be much less frequent within the final 12 months, and residents report that even the web speeds are enhancing as town adapts.

The most important perks of Puerto Escondido moreover the seashores embody nice eating places, comparatively low cost hire (in comparison with different seaside cities), and an thrilling nightlife scene. That is the place to stay if you wish to make new pals, be taught to surf, and luxuriate in a carefree ambiance. If you wish to test it out earlier than making the transfer, undoubtedly don’t miss out on our full Puerto Escondido guide.

3. Sayulita, Nayarit

In some ways, Sayulita is similar to Puerto Escondido in its general ambiance. You’ll see plenty of younger individuals residing and vacationing right here, and luxuriate in a vibrant nightlife scene and the city’s hip, modern contact. Sayulita is unquestionably on the vacationer monitor, particularly for individuals who are visiting the massive resorts in close by Puerto Vallarta, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a laid-back spot to settle in.

Like Puerto Escondido, Sayulita has a formidable surf scene match even for novices. There’s additionally a giant yoga tradition, with loads of studios to select from and academics from world wide. Surrounded by nature, Sayulita can be a terrific place for outdoorsy people who must get out into the jungle infrequently to discover. Plus, it’s near dreamy San Pancho, which is a quiet city to flee to if the vacationer crowds get too overwhelming.

Sayulita is properly geared up to obtain foreigners, with plenty of things to do and different close by locations, however locals report that typically web speeds could be gradual. In the event you don’t require high-speed web to your job, or are keen to get artistic about in search of the web you want, this received’t be a difficulty.

As Sayulita is a recognized occasion vacation spot, it’s not for you when you’re on the lookout for someplace completely quiet. However when you don’t thoughts a little bit of noise, go for it. Nonetheless, do not forget that in lots of Mexican cities, events can final till 4am and even later, one thing that isn’t distinctive to locations like Sayulita.

4. Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo

Need to get pleasure from the fantastic thing about the Riviera Maya, however turned off by the mega-tourism of Cancún, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen? Puerto Morelos has all the good elements of every of these spots, with out as most of the drawbacks, making it the best Riviera Maya seaside city to stay in. It receives a small fraction of the vacationers, it’s proper on the sugary seaside, and it has a cool stability of recent infrastructure and dust roads resulting in secret spots on the shore. The price of residing is a bit of bit increased than elsewhere in Mexico, however you continue to get a terrific worth to your cash.

Puerto Morelos has an honest variety of locals residing there nonetheless, not like different seaside cities on the Caribbean coast, that means it’s a superb place to attach with individuals from the world and find out about about their tradition. I’ve visited many occasions, and every time I’m overwhelmed by how pleasant persons are. There are various foreigners residing there too, so there’s a sturdy “expat” neighborhood the place it’s simple to be social with out the principle exercise being partying.

One other massive plus for Puerto Morelos — or actually wherever you select to stay within the Riviera Maya — is that the healthcare is of top quality and reasonably priced. In reality, individuals from everywhere in the area go to Puerto Morelos simply to see the medical doctors and dentists there.

Contemplating how a lot there’s to see in the Riviera Maya — from secret seashores to breathtaking cenotes and quaint cities — Puerto Morelos is a fantastic and underrated place to stay.

Greatest Mountainous Locations to Reside in Mexico

5. San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

San Cristóbal de las Casas has been my house for almost two years now, and I wouldn’t have it some other means. On condition that, that is the place on this record that I can communicate to from expertise probably the most.

Nestled within the coronary heart of mountainous Chiapas, “San Cris” is likely one of the nation’s most beloved “magic cities.” It has attribute chilly climate, a vibrant indigenous tradition, and colourful colonial buildings all through the city’s middle.

Not solely is the city a hub for every kind of healers, from herbalists to yoga academics to conventional temazcal (Mexican sweat lodge ceremony) leaders, however its historical past is one in all resistance to the established order, one cause why many individuals select this as their non permanent or everlasting house. This space was the location of the legendary 1994 Zapatista uprising, a battle for indigenous rights in Mexico that also is lively at this time. Right here you’ll additionally see many individuals working arduous to safeguard Mom Nature, and her most treasured useful resource: water.

Talking of water, it’s not so nice right here in San Cris. The faucet water right here is questionable, at finest. After two years, I can’t even rely what number of occasions I’ve seen different foreigners get sick (myself included) from by accident ingesting contaminated water or by accident washing their greens with it. There’s additionally usually much less infrastructure, with occasional energy outages all through city and unstable web. Nevertheless, I managed to get fiber-optic cables the place I stay, which fully solved the web drawback. So it’s attainable to keep away from a few of the primary drawbacks right here.

Take into account visiting San Cristóbal de las Casas earlier than you decide to transferring right here. Take into account that in comparison with another locations on this record, it’s undoubtedly extra of a full immersion in Mexican tradition, that means that having an open thoughts and coronary heart is essential. I hope you adore it as a lot as I do!

6. Tepoztlán, Morelos

Like San Cristóbal de las Casas, Tepoztlán attracts a extra bohemian crowd whereas sustaining its conventional Mexican aptitude. Foreigners on the lookout for a extra unconventional way of life have a tendency to seek out themselves settling in Tepoztlán. That is possible because of the laid-back nature of the city, its proximity to nature, and it general mystical setting. In spite of everything, that is one other one in all Mexico’s designated “magic cities.”

In Tepoztlán, you’ll discover quaint cobblestone streets lined with colonial buildings. As you stroll by means of city, you’ll have the ability to gaze up on the inexperienced mountains that encompass it, respiration within the crisp air as you go. Tepoztlán is thought for its gastronomy, which is another excuse why persons are delighted to remain right here. From conventional mole to the well-known cecina (cuts of beef or pork marinated in a blackberry sauce and served up in tacos), it’s a foodie’s paradise.

One other massive plus for Tepoztlán is its shut proximity to Mexico Metropolis, that means that worldwide journey is way simpler than different locations that solely have small home airports. From Tepoztlán, you will get to the capital inside two hours, relying on site visitors. That is particularly engaging for frequent vacationers, or those that want a dose of metropolis life each once in a while.

Because it’s such an previous city and one with a robust rural Mexican id, that is one other place the place it’s vital to recollect that you’re a visitor. Loud fireworks, bands of road canine, and occasional events lasting till the wee hours are widespread right here. Don’t anticipate to return to “Tepoz” and alter your neighbor’s behavior of getting loud music on all day. Some foreigners discover this tough to adapt to, so it’s vital to think about these potential drawbacks earlier than transferring right here.

7. Guanajuato, Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a former silver mining city that slowly grew to become one in all Mexico’s high vacationer locations. It’s additionally probably the most common within the nation for retired foreigners to to migrate to. With attribute yellow to rose hues all through its streets, this is likely one of the most picturesque cities I’ve ever been to.

Regardless that so many foreigners and nationals alike determine to retire in Guanajuato, town stays contemporary and vibrant, because of the College of Guanajuato, which alone has round 17,000 college students, about 10% of town’s inhabitants. There’s all the time one thing happening on the town, from festivals to theater performances to live shows and the whole lot in between. Plus there’s an abundance of neat museums and the meals is unimaginable. Satisfied to maneuver right here but?

One in every of Guanajuato’s finest options is its tremendous pedestrian-friendly streets. A number of are even pedestrian solely, good for lengthy walks round city. One other large bonus is the climate. It’s principally dry 12 months spherical, with the wet season solely lasting a pair months. Plus, the temperature stays heat principally, solely dipping throughout December and January. It’s not too sizzling, not too chilly — excellent!

A disadvantage of Guanajuato is that lately droughts have grow to be rather more of a difficulty, making water shortages extra widespread than ever. Even with this in thoughts, it’s probably the most foreigner-friendly cities in Mexico as a result of it’s clear and protected and has nice entry to healthcare and wonderful infrastructure. There’s no marvel why so many individuals transfer right here!

Greatest Massive Cities in Mexico to Reside in

8. Mexico Metropolis, Estado de México

If you’re a ride-or-die metropolis particular person and never intimidated by the mega-metropolis that’s Mexico Metropolis — absolutely the epicenter for almost the whole lot within the nation — right here you’ll discover the most effective eating places, nightlife, live shows, you identify it. There are seemingly endless things to do, which makes it a no brainer that so many individuals go away feeling like they’ve solely scratched the floor.

The neat factor about residing right here is that each neighborhood has its personal persona. From the floating events in Xochimilco (pictured above) to the candy artwork museums of Coyoacán and posh cafés of Reforma, leaping across the metropolis by no means will get boring. You’ll discover individuals from all world wide residing right here, which creates a very cosmopolitan ambiance unmatched wherever else.

Plus, the meals in Mexico Metropolis is to die for, particularly from road carts and within the markets. Individuals from throughout Mexico rave about how superb the delicacies is right here, in order that’s how you understand it’s additional particular.

I don’t must inform you that residing in a metropolis as massive and hectic as Mexico Metropolis has its drawbacks. A few of them embody overcrowded rush hour transportation, not the cleanest streets, and its personal basket of security challenges. Nevertheless, when you can keep away from rush hour, don’t thoughts a bit of city grime, and discover methods to stay safe in Mexico City, you’ll be simply high-quality.

9. Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca

In the event you’re seeking to expertise the most effective elements of Mexican tradition every day, Oaxaca is actually probably the greatest locations to immerse your self. Each time I go to, I uncover a brand new cause to plan one other journey, as a result of there by no means appears to be sufficient time to discover the entire metropolis. Perhaps as a result of I all the time entice myself in an infinite loop of consuming all of the scrumptious meals out there? Nah, couldn’t be.

Oaxaca’s vibrant murals, vast pedestrian streets, bustling markets, and engaging museums are all a part of town’s distinctive attraction. There are lots of people — Mexican and in any other case — who’ve artistic tasks right here, because it’s a hub for music, theater, dance, and artwork. The state of Oaxaca is particularly well-known for its grabados, an artwork approach much like linocut printmaking. You’ll see outlets in all places promoting these beautiful items.

In a nutshell, there’s masses to do in Oaxaca whether or not you’re settling right here or simply planning to go to.

Town is a couple of six-hour, winding, mountainous drive to or from the coast of Oaxaca, which has a few of the best beaches in the country, in my view. It might sound like an extended drive, but I’ve done it and located it to be extraordinarily lovely and value it, particularly when you’re staying in Oaxaca for a very long time.

Earlier than settling in San Cristóbal, I thought-about transferring to Oaxaca however determined that the heavy occasion scene wasn’t for me. Nevertheless, if you’re seeking to dance the night time away on any day of the week, Oaxaca is the place to be. In spite of everything, it’s the mezcal capital of Mexico.

One other concern right here is perhaps security, as petty crime charges are comparatively excessive right here in comparison with different places on this record, so take a look at these methods to stay safe in Oaxaca.

10. Mérida, Yucatán

Settling in Mérida, one of many friendliest cities in Mexico, makes whole sense when you’re a social butterfly and need to really expertise genuine native tradition. I’m charmed by it each time I am going, and I spent three months residing there as a college pupil in 2017. I completely liked Mérida, and subsequently fully perceive why it’s such a preferred place for foreigners to relocate to.

The nice and cozy hues of the colonial buildings, fixed cultural occasions in the principle sq., and implausible meals scene all embody the most effective features of Mexico. For a giant metropolis, Mérida has a surprisingly chill vibe, which you’ll discover principally outdoors of the middle of city.

Additionally, there’s a customized on this a part of Mexico through the hottest summer season days wherein individuals will sit on their entrance porch or in garden chairs on the sidewalk across the identical time every day. They name it tomar fresco, or taking some contemporary air. That is additionally prime time for chisme (gossip) across the neighborhood.

There’s lots to do in Mérida for any size of keep, with completely different festivals taking place all year long. You may catch a present on the symphony, take a look at a museum, or do a nighttime strolling tour to listen to concerning the metropolis’s distinctive colonial previous. After three months right here, I did and noticed quite a bit, however nonetheless felt like there was extra to find.

The most important disadvantage of Mérida for a lot of foreigners, particularly these like me who come from a chilly local weather, is the warmth. Town is thought country-wide for its raging summer season temps, so beware and put together your self to keep away from being outdoors from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

One other disadvantage is the often-congested site visitors and subpar public transportation. Regardless that it’s a big metropolis, the one public transportation are the buses and colectivos (vans), which usually have lengthy routes and take ages to get from place to position. Some individuals merely depend on Uber, although, which is fairly low cost. I most popular to stroll each time I might, however you can additionally bike fairly simply right here.

Greatest Small Cities in Mexico to Reside in

11. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

This cobblestone-filled metropolis is actually enchanting, and also you’ll instantly perceive why so many individuals come right here as quickly as you arrive. I spent three glorious weeks in San Miguel de Allende and felt like I used to be dishonest on San Cris a bit of bit, due to how a lot I used to be falling in love with town. Maybe it was additional cute as a result of it was round Christmastime and there have been lights glowing in all places, however I digress.

San Miguel is a small, centrally situated metropolis simply an hour from Querétaro, 1.5 hours from Guanajuato, and three hours from Mexico Metropolis. Its nice location is just the start, although. This charming, foreigner-friendly vacation spot has a sturdy artwork scene, a nationwide culinary status, and surroundings to die for. The local weather is gentle all 12 months spherical, with heat, sunny days a lot of the 12 months. Even in December, it was solely chilly at nighttime; through the summer season it additionally will get cool within the evenings.

There’s an enormous inhabitants of retired American and Canadian residents right here, which could possibly be a plus or a disadvantage relying on what you’re on the lookout for. I have a tendency to note that in locations like this, typically foreigners anticipate the remainder of the inhabitants to adapt to them somewhat than the opposite means round. Individuals say this about San Miguel, however I didn’t expertise that in any of my interactions.

That mentioned, San Miguel has a status for being the gentrified model of different lesser-known cities in Mexico, so take that for what it’s value. Total, I like to recommend visiting first to see if the vibe fits you earlier than deciding to maneuver there.

12. Bacalar, Quintana Roo

Dwelling to “the lagoon of seven colours,” Bacalar has quite a bit to supply nature lovers and people on the lookout for a laid-back and quiet place to stay. It’s about 2.5 hours south of Tulum and has a personality all of its personal. The city sits on an extended, skinny lagoon, with an isthmus on the opposite facet that creates a barrier to the Caribbean Sea.

The lagoon itself is cause sufficient to pay Bacalar a visit, however is it value it to maneuver there? That each one relies on what you’re on the lookout for. An enormous professional of residing in Bacalar is that it’s near plenty of different unimaginable spots on the Riviera Maya, just like the cenotes near Tulum and Cancún. It’s additionally only a 20-minute drive from Chetumal, a sleepy seaside metropolis near the Belize border.

In Bacalar you’ll have the ability to get pleasure from the best possible and most well-preserved nature within the area. It’s because the municipal authorities exhibits super dedication to preserving the world’s pure sources. You’ll nonetheless discover numerous vacationers milling about, however no massive resorts on the lagoon’s waterfront. Regardless that it’s a preferred vacationer vacation spot, there’s nonetheless a small-town really feel right here, making it simple to get to know your neighbors.

A con of residing in Bacalar is that it’s a bit dearer than different locations within the nation, and shopping for a property is tough, as a result of constructing restrictions are tight because of the authorities’s preservation efforts. Some additionally declare that Bacalar is the next Tulum, so if you’re turned off by Tulum, maybe Bacalar wouldn’t be a terrific long-term choice.

13. Izamal, Yucatán

Izamal’s nickname is “the yellow metropolis,” which is sort of apparent, contemplating a lot of the city is painted in vibrant dandelion hues. That is the spot to maneuver to if you wish to find out about Yucatec Maya tradition, benefit from the warmth, and don’t thoughts being amongst few foreigners. Out of the entire locations on this record, Izamal has the bottom inhabitants of foreigners, which could possibly be an enormous plus for some individuals.

In addition to residing in a brilliant, lovely Mexican city, an enormous perk of Izamal is its location. It’s solely about an hour from Mérida, an hour or two from the Gulf of Mexico, and two hours from Celestún, the place yow will discover herds of flamingos for so far as the attention can see. There are additionally tons of small Mayan pueblos close by, that are cool to go to only for a fast meal and chat with the locals.

As it’s in lots of small cities within the Yucatán Peninsula, persons are extraordinarily heat and pleasant. To me, that is the place you’ll discover the height of Mexican hospitality. As a foreigner residing in Izamal, your kindness and openness to be taught can be very properly obtained, I’m certain of it.

A con of residing right here, like Mérida, is the warmth. There are additionally fewer healthcare services right here, that means you might have to drive to Mérida for any procedures or emergencies. There are additionally no procuring malls or film theaters in Izamal, so put together your self for genuine small-town life right here.

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Any of those locations could possibly be your future house in Mexico. How thrilling is that?! Transferring to Mexico was the only option for me as a digital nomad, nevertheless it definitely isn’t for everybody, although. As I mentioned about many of those lovely places, be sure that to go to first earlier than you decide to transferring. Keep for a month or two, get your bearings, and also you’ll have the ability to make a extra sound choice.

Which place appears like the most effective to you?

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