Merida, Mexico

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Living in Merida, Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on: Feb 10, 2021

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Merida offers expats just about everything they could ask for... affordable living in a great atmosphere, high quality health care, striking distance to the ocean, and much, much more.

Expats in Merida, Mexico - Living in Merida, Mexico

People that move to Merida, Mexico report a high quality of life and in a vibrant and modern city with so much to do. Does it get hot? Of course, but those who have chosen Merida as their home have decided it is well worth it!

Population: 892,000
Location: Yucatan Peninsula, 22 miles from the Gulf of Mexico
U.S. Consulate General in Merida
U.S. Embassy in Mexico City

Expat Satisfaction in Merida is High

In our Best Places to Live survey of expats, all of the respondents in Merida reported that they were either "Extremely Satisfied" (17%) or "Very Satisfied" (83%).

One expat shared: "I have lived in 3 countries and only visited one before moving. The first country (Nicaragua) was more than I imagined, more fun, more authentic. Wonderful people and low cost of living. And pretty. The second was far less than I expected. Merida, Mexico, my 3rd country, is so much more than I expected. I knew that it had a lot of things to do but I did not imagine it as pretty as it really is. Also, the size is larger than I imagined, the city is huge and much more sophisticated than I imagined. This gives me lots of places to go and things to do. There are some really great free activities weekly that are nicer than I pictured. The museums are fantastic. All this and rental prices continue to be low. I am very happy I chose this city and it will be my home."

What is Merida, Mexico like?

One person shared in a moving to Merida, Mexico report that "Merida is made up of the Centro area (downtown) and then many different neighborhoods which are called colonies and Fracc's. We were told by a realtor that many expats move to the North Merida area, which is nice and very safe with many stores and restaurants. He said anything above Calle 59 is good. We ended up finding a place in a small neighborhood called San Pedro Uxmal. I don't think there are many expats there, but the home had everything we wanted and the price was good. We are very happy there."

"Merida is a wonderful community, diverse and welcoming to us. We bought a house during our first visit and have been very happy about that decision."

"We have had a couple of encounters with the local and state police, wonderful people and so helpful. This is our first experience living outside the US, thrilled with the choice."

"We all need to adjust to new things, in Merida it is easier and the adjust,net is gradual and samewhat pleasant. It is as easy as you want it to be!"

"Before moving to Merida come during the hot, dry seaon; April, May, June. The best is intolerable to some."

"Merida is a great place to live, though it is VERY hot and humid here."

Health Care in Merida, Mexico

In our Best Places Survey, all of the respondents in Merida agreed that Health Care Services were less expensive than in the United States. Additionally, they indicated that the medications they need are available in Merida.

One expat there described the healthcare available succinctly as: "Competent, thorough, reasonable cost."

allianz care expat health insurance

For expats in Mexico, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

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Here is a sampling of private hospitals available in the Merida area:

Faro Del Mayab Hospital
Hospital Star Medica
Clinica de Merida
Clinica de Merida
Clinica de Merida

Please note the following from the U.S. Consulate General in Merida:

"All doctors, hospitals or medical facilities, public or private, will require full payment for services to be rendered, in cash or by credit card, at the time of service. Most are NOT able to bill your US insurance company for payment. Rather, they will give you receipts for your payment so you may request reimbursement from your U.S. insurance carrier; be sure to get an itemized bill. We have had many cases of U.S. citizens not allowed to discharge from local hospitals until payment is made in full."

Is It Safe in Merida?

All of the expats in our Best Places to Live survey from 2020 indicated that they feel safe in Merida. One expat shared: "I feel safer in Mérida than I do most places in the United States."

Expat Social Life in Merida

In an expat report about living in Merida, "My overall expat experiences have been better than my expectations. The people have been warm and friendly, and very helpful everywhere. I made friends easily and the expat community gave me introductions to some really great people and activities. This experience is much better than I expected and I'm so very happy to have done it."

Restaurants to try in Merida: Porfirios Restaurante offers great Mexican food in a great space, while Sonora Grill offers excellent steak, seafood and more.

Working in Merida

An expat advised that: "Manufacturing, construction and power are the main industries of Merida. Of course, it is the capital of the Yucatan region, so tourism is very active here as well. I am a retiree so am not in the job market. I will say that you can work here as a foreigner but need special permission on your visa, as most countries protect their jobs for their citizens. A great way to work is invest in opening a business."

Real Estate in Merida

Home prices and rent in Merida is generally well below what you'll find in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom. However, there are offerings and situations for most every budget - big and small.

An expat who responded to our Best Places to Live survey in 2020 shared: "Expats tend to gravitate towards realtors who cater specifically to expats and are frequently expats tgemselves. They're told that it's urgent they buy ASAP because prices are going up. New expats make poorly informed choices, buying houses that have been poorly cared for or poorly "restored", houses in areas where utilities are problematic, street flooding, proximity to bars, dogs barking, etc. Rather than rent for a year or two and become familiar with the city they jump right into buying. If one wouldn't do that in their home country why would one do that in their new country? Beware real estate flippers."

"The only issue on affordable housing is that Americans are buying up property here then renting it out at USA prices!"

"One thing is very important if you are thinking of renting. When you pay the first and last months rent, they also ask for payment to a lawyer. You will need to meet with a lawyer (our realtor was with us) and the forms that you have to sign are in Spanish. We had been told that most homes that are rented also need a co-signer, a person who will go with you to the lawyer to vouch that if you do not finish paying the year of rent, that they will pay the remainder of what is owed. Luckily for us, the owner of our home waived the need for a co-signer, so it worked out well for us, but it's really hard moving to a new country, not knowing anyone and then finding out that you need to find a co-signer to rent a property!!! Be aware."

"The real estate agent and attorney were great to work with, we did an extensive remodel and were so impressed with the construction staff but the professional guidance we received."

Cost of Living in Merida, Mexcico

One expat wrote: "The rents here are low for now. As more people discover the richness Merida offers, I know that they will increase, but for right now, you can get a very nice apartment or rental home for a fraction of what you'd pay in the USA. My advice is if you like it here, buy sooner rather than later (very carefully). Local food is very cheap and imports are what they are."

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

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If you're moving to Mexico or an expat living in Mexico, understanding the Mexican healthcare system is essential. We offer an overview of the public and private healthcare systems in Mexico, health insurance for expats in Mexico, hospitals and prescription drugs.

Moving to Merida

A newcomer to Merida, Mexico talks about shipping delays, needing a co-signer for a rental property, the low cost of living in Merida and more.

Living in Merida

An expat talks about living in beautiful Merida, Mexico. This modern city of over 750,000 on the Yucatan still retains some of the Mayan culture. Parts of the city have very modern architecture while others have colonial. If you're moving to Merida, prepare yourself for the heat and friendly locals.

12 Tips for Living in Merida, Mexico

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An expat talks about what it's like living in beautiful Merida, Mexico where the expat community is thriving -- there's even an expat bowling league. The Merida English Library holds wine tastings, plays, concerts and more. Real estate prices are low compared to the US, but that may not be for long.

Culture Shock in Merida

An expat in Merida, Mexico offers some insight into the challenges of settling in and living there. Some of the topics include driving, what it's like there if you don't speak Spanish, and much more. This expat clearly is an optimist and is determined to make life in Merida with her husband a success!

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Visit our Mexico Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Merida, Mexico.

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Updated On: Feb 10, 2021

First Published: Feb 10, 2021

Merida, Mexico
Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Mexico from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Guide to Living in MeridaGuide to Living in Merida

Merida offers expats just about everything they could ask for... affordable living in a great atmosphere, high quality health care, striking distance to the ocean, and much, much more.

Healthcare in MexicoHealthcare in Mexico

If you're moving to Mexico or an expat living in Mexico, understanding the Mexican healthcare system is essential. We offer an overview of the public and private healthcare systems in Mexico, health insurance for expats in Mexico, hospitals and prescription drugs.

Restaurants in MeridaRestaurants in Merida

Support your favorite restaurants in Merida as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

Moving to Merida

A newcomer to Merida, Mexico talks about shipping delays, needing a co-signer for a rental property, the low cost of living in Merida and more.

Living in Merida

An expat talks about living in beautiful Merida, Mexico. This modern city of over 750,000 on the Yucatan still retains some of the Mayan culture. Parts of the city have very modern architecture while others have colonial. If you're moving to Merida, prepare yourself for the heat and friendly locals.

12 Tips for Living in Merida, Mexico12 Tips for Living in Merida, Mexico in Merida

An expat talks about what it's like living in beautiful Merida, Mexico where the expat community is thriving -- there's even an expat bowling league. The Merida English Library holds wine tastings, plays, concerts and more. Real estate prices are low compared to the US, but that may not be for long.

Culture Shock in Merida

An expat in Merida, Mexico offers some insight into the challenges of settling in and living there. Some of the topics include driving, what it's like there if you don't speak Spanish, and much more. This expat clearly is an optimist and is determined to make life in Merida with her husband a success!

Dream vs. Reality of Living in Merida

An expat who has lived in three countries talks about her expectations and the reality of living in Merida, Mexico compared to some of her other homes abroad.

Mexico-Still-Popular-Among-ExpatsExpat Survey: Mexico Still Popular Among Expats

Expats in Mexico continue to rate the country highly. Even though there are always security concerns, expats who prepare properly enjoy excellent weather in close proximity to the United States and at a much lower cost of living.

Expats-Talk-About-The-Biggest-Challenges-They-Face-Living-in-Latin-AmericaExpats Talk About The Biggest Challenges They Face Living in Latin America

Expats talk about some of the biggest challenges they've faced living in Latin America. Whether you're moving to Panama City or Punta del Este, this article is a must read to help you prepare (hint: you'll be much happier if you learn the language) and adjust your expectations (realities: the roads are rough, the pace of life is slower and bureaucracy is unavoidable). Despite all of the challenges, the list of what expats like about life in Latin America far exceeds the challenges.

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