16 Places in Mexico to Live Very Well on Very Little


Dear International Living Reader,

“We’ll need to live on a budget,” the man said as his wife hovered nearby with a look of concern on her face. “Where is the best place in Mexico to do that?”

It was the first day of our Live and Invest in Mexico seminar (for more IL events, see here), and I urged the couple to keep listening…and to keep the faith. There were many presentations yet to come about the many places in Mexico where the living is wonderfully affordable. I was certain they would find their perfect place.

I started to think about this more, though. If I were in their boat, where would I steer it?

First, unless I had my heart set on beach living, I’d go inland…to Mexico’s mountain areas where the climate is temperate and no air-conditioning or heating is required. I’d also seek a smaller town where I wouldn’t need a car. But I’d also want to be near quality Mexican medical care. I’d choose a town without a large foreign population where rentals wouldn’t be “gringo priced.” This means, of course, a commitment to learning Spanish and to doing without north-of-the-border products and customs.

There are many places in Mexico that fit this description. Tequisquiapan, near Queretaro, springs to mind. As do towns like Zacatecas, Aquascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Patzcuaro, and San Cristobal de las Casas. Personal favorites are Tapalpa in Jalisco and Pozos de Mineral in Guanajuato. Some may argue that with the exception of Tapalpa, these aren’t particularly small towns, and that’s true, but they fit the criteria in every other regard. Closer to the beach, but still with somewhat temperate climes, I’d opt for Colima, Comala, or Tepic near the Pacific coast, or Jalapa near the Gulf Coast.

And if I must live at the beach, but on limited funds? I’d head for the Yucatan coast, or west to San Blas or Rincon de Guayabitos in the state of Nayarit, or to one of the many small villages that dot the coast of Colima…like Cuyutlan.

These places are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more affordable places to live in Mexico. Keep in mind that living on a “gringo budget” in any of them would be akin to living very well when compared with most of the local population. If you can survive without luxuries such as cable TV and eat like a local, you can live very well on very little in Mexico.

Suzan Haskins
Your Latin America Insider, International Living

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