We’ve had the opportunity to live and travel around Mexico since 2018. During that time, there’s been so many places that we could easily call home. Here are 5 places to check out for your move to Mexico.
We selected these cities based on: affordable cost of living, access to healthcare, and quality of life. Sites like Expatistan and Numbeo offer data on cost of living and city comparisons tools. Nomadlist is also a good resource from Nomad contributors sharing information on several aspects of living abroad as a digital nomad.
All data is an estimate for a single person while accomodations are estimated for furnished studios 45m2 in space.
La Paz is the capital city of Baja California Sur on the southern end of the Baja Peninsula. The beachfront malecon is the center of activity in this small town of just over 250,000 people. The beauty of La Paz is that it’s not overrun with international tourism…yet. Cousin Cabo is only two hours away if you ever thirst for a busier, luxe resort town. But for a quieter, more wholesome and family friendly place it’s worth it to check out La Paz.
Cost of Living in La Paz comes out to be about $1,100/month. Furnished studios (45m2) in a normal area can be found between $300-$500. Furnished studios in an expensive area are $500 and up.
The most central and walkable location is always going to be El Centro. Centro is typically the center of action in most Mexican cities. It’s also typically one of the most expensive areas. We stayed in the neighborhood of Pueblo Nuevo. We recommend this area due to nearby major grocery stores, restaurants, shops and gyms. Other recommended neighborhoods to check out are: Colinas del Sol, Lomas de Palmira, La Posada, Pedregal, and Centenario.
There’s so much enjoy in and around La Paz. The city itself offers a host of al fresco dining options on the malecon along with boutiques, and cafes. Residents and visitors enjoy a plethora of rentals to cruise on land or in the water. Another bonus is that one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico is only a mere 30min away – Playa Balandra.
Puerto Vallarta is a well-known resort town on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Jalisco. It is a city that lives up to the hype! PV sits snuggly in the bay of Banderas and is known for its beautiful beaches and marine life. Amazing sunsets are a daily event here!
Overall cost of living for a single person is $1,200 more or less. A furnished studio in a normal residential area can be found for as low as $300. A furnished studio in an expensive area can run you $700 with many more options available upwards of that price. In Puerto Vallarta, you definitely pay extra for access to the water along with modern, quality facilities.
If Puerto Vallarta is a city on your list be sure to check out the popular Romantic Zone. A few high-end neighborhoods are Conchas Chinas and Amapas. If you’re looking for a residential area, other neighborhoods to check out our Fluvial, Bicerias, Pitillal and Lomas del Coapinole.
Residents and visitors in Puerto Vallarta can enjoy excellent healthcare through the many public and private hospitals in the area. There are several clinics and emergency services including hospitals that have level one and level four trauma centers. Quality healthcare is readily available in Puerto Vallarta.
Morelia is the heart and capital city of the state of Michoacán. Often times, this city is referred to as the most Spanish city in all of Mexico. When you visit, it is easy to see why. El Centro is full of well-maintained Spanish architecture built with pink quarry stone. When we arrived in Morelia, we had only planned to stay a few days. We ended up staying a month because of how much we loved the vibe of the area. It’s also very budget friendly which was a lovely surprise to our wallets.
The overall cost of living in Morelia comes to an unbelievable $720 for a single person. A furnished studio in a normal area can be found for as low as $200. Studios in the expensive area can be as low as $350. We rented a one bedroom apartment that included all utilities, internet, plus a weekly maid for only $400 a month. We stayed in the very walkable neighborhood of Nuevo Chapultepec. Other neighborhoods to check out are Centro, the areas south of Centro, Paseo Altozano mall area and Bosque Cuauhtémoc.
Besides the very affordable cost of living there is so much to love about Morelia. Morelia is one of the main places to be in Mexico for Dia de los Muertos. It’s also located very close to the Pueblo Mágico Patzcuaro, which is another significant location for Dia De Los Muertos. Take a quick trip to the copper mining town of Santa Clara del Cobre. This town holds significance to the origin and unique taste of Carnitas from the state of Michoacán. Nature lovers can enjoy the breathtaking migration of monarch butterflies at the Monarch Butterflies Biosphere Reserve.
We met with a group of retired experts in Morelia that gave us great insight into the healthcare available in the city. The main hospital of the area is called Star Medica and provides modern high-quality facilities and services.
Xalapa is the capital city of the state of Veracruz. It’s also where the jalapeño pepper is hailed from. This city has a vibrant cultural scene due to its large student population and many universities. It’s also known for its well respected anthropological museum. The Museo de Antropología de Xalapa houses the largest collection of artifacts from Mexican gulf coast civilizations.
The cost of living in Xalapa is the lowest we’ve seen in our travels in Mexico. A prudent single person can live here for $700 a month. A furnished studio in a normal area can run as low as $150. A furnished studio in an expensive area can come in around $260. Some beautiful, residential and walkable areas can be found around Avenida Araucarias and Lomas del Tejar. Animas and Monte Magno neighborhoods are also worth the investigation for higer budgets.
Xalapa has several hospitals with varying ranges of specialties. Like most Mexican cities, there are also several clinics and pharmacies in every neighborhood.
If you ever tire of the bustling city life, you can take a quick trip to two nearby Pueblo Mágicos. The nearby town of Coatepec is known for its many coffee shops and the fragrant smell of roasted coffee beans wafting through the streets. You can also visit the Puebla Mágico of Xico known for its mole and coffee.
The capital city of the state of Oaxaca is often deemed the cultural and culinary capital of Mexico. Oaxaca (Oaxaca City/Oaxaca de Juarez) is home to 16 indigenous cultures that live together connected by the concept of unity and sharing as reflected by the word ‘Guelaguetza’ in the Zapotec language. Additionally, the city is also home to seven different moles and is the origin of the delicious Mexican spirit of Mezcal. Traditions, art, and artisans abound in this vibrant capital city.
The richness of Oaxaca extends beyond its city borders. Indigenous communities, local traditions, and archeological sites are all within a quick trip of the city. Visit the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua or the archeological sites of Monte Albán and Mitla. Discover the artistry of Teotitlan de Valle and the widest tree in the world – El Tule.
Cost of living for a single person can be as affordable as $830 a month. A furnished studio in a normal area can be found for as low as $230. Studios in an expensive area can be found for $375. Oaxaca has grown in popularity over the years. As a result, it has cultivated a few vibrant and trendy neighborhoods to go along with the influx of digital nomads that are calling this place home. The best neighborhoods to check out in Oaxaca are trendy Jalatlaco and Xochimilco along with Centro and Reforma.
There are several public and private hospitals and clinics in Oaxaca. The public hospitals (IMSS) are often at capacity so it’s recommended to access private healthcare while in the city.
Mexico is a wonderful country with tons of places to call home. If Mexico is on your nomad or retirement list, let us know which city piques your interest.