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The 20 Best Places to Live in Mexico


Mexico is a beautiful and diverse country with an interesting culture and rich history. Those who live in Mexico can enjoy a variety of living experiences, depending on whether they live in coastal, rural, or urban locations.

If you are considering living in this country, you will need to find the best location possible to suit your needs and offer you the type of lifestyle you desire. Like in any country, there are some places to live that are better than others.

What people consider a great place to live can vary from one person to the next, but each of the locations on this list has many features that make them a great place to consider living. Here are the 20 best places to live in Mexico.

20. Hermosillo

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. 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.

The locals are friendly with foreigners, and there are some good employment opportunities. Many people in the city speak English and getting around the area is easy. 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.

19. Queretaro

Queretaro has a lot to offer to expats, and it ranks particularly high in terms of cost of living, employment opportunities, transportation, and leisure activities. This city has a wonderful climate and it is a safe place to live.

It is also a clean city with good air quality, and it doesn’t get too overcrowded. There are plenty of amenities in the area, and the city has a good selection of restaurants and shops.

18. Guadalajara

Guadalajara is the capital and largest city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. This historic city is known for its tequila production and its music. There are many historically significant landmarks in this location, and it is a great place to live for those who are interested in history, art, culture, and architecture.

It is a safe place to live that offers a good standard of living. The cost of living is low and residents can enjoy a wide range of leisure activities.

17. Oaxaca

Oaxaca is the name of both a city and the state of which it is the capital. If the cost of living is one of our primary concerns when choosing where to live in Mexico, then this is one of the better options.

However, this is not the only appealing feature of this historical and cultural city. It is also a safe place to live as the crime rates are low, and there are plenty of leisure activities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

16. Mexico City

In the past, Mexico City has had some bad press as being an unsafe place to live. However, this is a stretch of the truth, as the high crime rates are limited to certain neighborhoods.

On the whole, Mexico City is a safe place, and it has plenty to offer to those who live there. It is one of the best places to live if you want to experience Mexican culture in all its forms as it offers great diversity.

This city combines the old with the new, has amazing restaurants, is great for shopping, and has plenty of attractions to keep you entertained. 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.

15. Durango

US News lists Durango as one of the best places to live in Mexico, and they say it is especially suitable for those who are retiring to this country. This is not a typical expat destination as it is quite a traditional Mexican city that is nestled in a valley in the Sierra Madre mountain range.

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. The city is exceptionally clean with an outstanding infrastructure and a thriving central market. The architecture in this city is stunning, and there is a low cost of living.

14. Morelia

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, Morelia is a city that dates from the 16th century. It is the capital of Michoacan, which is a central Mexican state. Part of the charm of this location is the architecture, which is predominantly Spanish Renaissance.

This area is famous for music, and it is the home of the oldest music conservatory in the Americas. Morelia is gradually becoming a more popular expat destination now that the secret is out about the city’s beauty and the high standard of living.

13. Alamos

Not everyone wants to live in resort towns or urban areas. Those who prefer a small-town setting should consider Alamos, which is a small colonial town located in an inland valley that is surrounded by magnificent mountains and stunning countryside.

There is an established expat community in this area, and it particularly appeals to expats with an artistic streak. It is also a good place to consider if you want to live in a larger property, as it is famous for its eye-catching mansions.

12. Playa Del Carmen

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. It is already a popular place for expats to live, and Europeans and North Americans alike vacation in this area.

Although the beach is one of the big attractions of the area, it is also known as being a fantastic place for shopping and dining out as there are over 20 blocks of shops and restaurants.

11. Cancun

Once, Cancun was little more than a fishing village. In 1974, it was targeted for development, and it is now one of the top resorts in Mexico. It is a thriving town that can make a fantastic place in which to live.

Located in the Quintana Roo region, Cancun is known for its beaches and amazing weather. These are two of the main reasons that it has become a popular holiday resort and one of the best places to live in this country.

Despite having all the shops, restaurants and amenities of a large city, Cancun has maintained the small-town vibe. 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. It is also one of the safest towns to live in Mexico.

10. Mazatlan

Located in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Mazatlan is a resort town that is located along the Pacific coast. It is known for tis stunning, uncrowded beaches and for being one of Mexico’s historic centers.

It has become a popular spot for expats, although it remains an authentic Mexican location. Those who have moved to this city enjoy a high standard of living that allows them to absorb Mexican culture in pretty surroundings.

9. Campeche

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. This town has a rich history, and it is full of ancient ruins, historic sites, and museums.

It is a quiet and relaxed place to live that is located along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. You can get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy resorts and bustling cities as this is off the beaten track. It is an excellent option for expats who are retiring in Mexico.

8. Sayulita

For those who prefer a quieter and more relaxed living environment, one of the best locations to consider is Sayulita in Nayarit. International Citizens says that this is a sleepy surf town with a slow-pace of life.

It is located approximately one hour north of Puerto Vallarta, and it is an area with low crime rates. This is a place that will suit many different groups of people, from retirees to those who enjoy spending most of their time outdoors.

7. Huatulco

Originally a small town, Huatulco is gradually becoming a thriving destination as it is one of five locations selected for development by the Mexican government 30 years ago as they believed that it had world class potential.

Despite the developments, it remains a relatively small town, which is great if this is your preferred living environment. It is estimated that there are approximately 56,000 residents and 1,000 of these are expats who own property.

Although it is only a small town, Huatulco has an international airport and a four-lane highway, so getting around is easy. It is also worth noting that it takes only six minutes to drive from one side of the town to another. An interesting fact about this location is that it has one of the best water treatment facilities in Mexico.

6. San Miguel de Allende

Not only is San Miguel de Allende the geographical center of Mexico, but it is also considered the cultural heart of this country. The city was founded around 500 years ago and sits at an altitude of 6,200 feet.

It was once part of an important trade route, but it is now home to one of the biggest communities of foreigners in the country. San Miguel de Allende is popular amongst retirees who want to enjoy the rich history and the relaxed vibe of this city.

5. Merida

A Spanish colonial city, Merida is located in the semi-tropical Yucatan Peninsula just half an hour from the Gulf Coast. It is a bustling metropolis with a large population that is best suited to those who are accustomed to urban living.

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. The area is particularly well known for its cuisine, which is different from cuisine elsewhere in Mexico. There is a large expat community in this location.

4. Lake Chapala

The largest concentration of expats from Canada and the United States are located in the communities around Lake Chapala, which is the largest lake in Mexico. This is ideal for those who want to live in an established expat community while still enjoying the Mexican culture and lifestyle.

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. The area is known for both culture and sport.

There is an abundance of leisure activities to enjoy in this area, including horseback riding, yoga, golf, tennis, and hiking. Although most expats live in the thriving town of Chapala, there are also many surrounding villages that sit on the lakeside for those who want a quitter life.

3. Tulum

Tulum is a coastal resort town that has a Bohemian vibe. This town dates back more than a thousand years, and many who live there say they can still feel the ancient Mayan roots.

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. Most people get around on foot or by bicycle, so it is a good place to live for those who do not drive.

There is a growing expat community thanks to the modern condo developments in the area, and the population is gradually growing.

2. Puerto Vallarta

Just like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta was once a quiet fishing village. In the 1950s, it began to grow in popularity as a beach resort but was mostly visited by Mexicans as it wasn’t on the radar of international visitors.

The turning point for the country came in the early 1960s when the village was featured in a film starring Richard Burton and the Mexican government was investing heavily in the infrastructure of the area. Puerto Vallarta has come a long way since then, as it is now one of the most sophisticated resorts in Mexico, meaning it is popular with visitors and expats alike.

It is best described as a cosmopolitan area that focuses on cultural events and activities, such as galleries, theaters, and festivals. Its coastal location holds huge appeal.

1. Ensenada

International Living says that one of the top places to live in Mexico is Ensenada. This attractive port city can offer an amazing lifestyle as residents can enjoy shopping, dining out, theater, ballet, and lively nightlife.

There are also plenty of leisure options, with popular activities including swimming, scuba diving, golf, tennis, and sunbathing. The housing options available vary from traditional Mexican homes to luxury property developments.

Ensenada is also known for hosting sporting events and for its science research institution. Despite the urban vibe of Ensenada, it is an excellent place for outdoor lovers, and it is particularly well known for gray whale spotting.

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.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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