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Eveningtime in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

15 Best Places to Live in Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Summary: If you're thinking about living in Mexico, here are the 15 Best Places to Live in Mexico in 2023.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende, is a picturesque city known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant arts scene. Located in the central highlands of Mexico, it is approximately 274 kilometers (170 miles) northwest of Mexico City and 97 kilometers (60 miles) east of Guanajuato. The city enjoys a mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) in the winter to 24°C (75°F) in the summer. San Miguel de Allende offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors and residents alike. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Ventanas de San Miguel Golf Club, which features a challenging 18-hole course designed by Nick Faldo. For those who prefer outdoor adventures, the nearby El Charco del Ingenio botanical garden and nature reserve provides a serene setting for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the diverse flora and fauna of the region. In addition, the city's cobblestone streets, colorful markets, and numerous art galleries and workshops make it a popular destination for cultural tourism.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of San Miguel de Allende at Aperi, a gastronomic gem that offers a fusion of local and international flavors. The open kitchen and elegant atmosphere make it a must-visit for foodies. For a more casual dining experience, head to La Alborada, where you can savor traditional Mexican dishes like chiles en nogada and enchiladas mineras. Don't miss out on the rooftop bar at Quince, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city while sipping on a refreshing cocktail. When it comes to accommodations, the luxurious Rosewood San Miguel de Allende is a top choice, boasting beautifully appointed rooms, a world-class spa, and a stunning rooftop lounge. For a more intimate experience, consider the charming boutique hotel Casa de la Noche, where each room is uniquely decorated and the attentive staff ensures a memorable stay.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful coastal city located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It is approximately 322 kilometers (200 miles) west of Guadalajara and 1,190 kilometers (740 miles) northwest of Mexico City. The city is well-connected with other popular destinations, such as the Riviera Nayarit, which is just 24 kilometers (15 miles) to the north. Puerto Vallarta has a public transportation system that includes buses and taxis, making it easy for visitors to explore the city and its surroundings. The climate in Puerto Vallarta is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 22°C (72°F) in January to 29°C (84°F) in July. There are numerous recreational activities available in Puerto Vallarta, including water sports, golfing, and hiking. The city is home to several golf clubs, such as the Marina Vallarta Golf Club and the Vista Vallarta Golf Club, which offer stunning views and challenging courses for golf enthusiasts. For those who prefer outdoor adventures, the Sierra Madre Mountains provide excellent hiking trails and opportunities to explore the lush jungle. Additionally, Puerto Vallarta's beautiful beaches, such as Playa Los Muertos and Playa de Oro, are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants offering a taste of Mexico's rich culture and cuisine.

Expats Talk about Living in Puerto Vallarta:

"Franvan, Versalles is reasonably priced. Las Gaviotas is reasonably priced. Vallarta Villas (gated condos) maybe comparable with Fluvial pricing. 5 Diciembre (There are some newer gated condo properties in some of this area. Most of Centro/downtown and the Romantic Zone will have electricity and water/flooding problems during the rainy season. Fluvial, a residential area has both homes & condos for rent & sale with some being newer (all electricity underground, including internet/phone with Telmex). The Marina area will have more condos than homes for rent and you'll pay more than all of the above most of the time," said one expat living in Puerto Vallarta.

"I suggest you begin by renting in the Versalles neighborhood--it is still affordable, well laid-out, and pleasant, and is central enough to give you good access to a variety of amenities and other neighborhoods. The deciding factor in choosing where to live will be whether or not you plan on owning a car. There are some gorgeous areas with spectacular views that you would probably not choose to live in without either your own transportation, a very nearby bus stop, or a willingness to use Ubers/taxis pretty much every time you go anywhere," wrote a member in Puerto Vallarta.

"I would suggest renting in the 5 Diciembre neighborhood. It has excellent food market, Leys, and a short hike to fresh meat and seafood. If you want to try it out, I suggest you first spend a week or more in the exceptionally well run Grand Paramar small hotel on the beach," commented one expat who made the move to Puerto Vallarta.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the authentic flavors of Mexico at Café des Artistes, a fine dining establishment nestled in the heart of Puerto Vallarta. Indulge in their exquisite fusion of Mexican and French cuisine, surrounded by lush gardens and enchanting art. For a more casual experience, head to La Palapa, a beachfront eatery offering fresh seafood, traditional Mexican dishes, and stunning views of the ocean. Don't miss out on Pancho's Takos, a local favorite for late-night tacos and mouthwatering salsas. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Mousai, an adults-only retreat boasting lavish suites, a rooftop infinity pool, and a world-class spa. Alternatively, opt for the charming Hacienda San Angel, a boutique hotel with elegant accommodations, lush gardens, and breathtaking views of the city and Banderas Bay.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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Lake Chapala

Lake Chapala

Lake Chapala, is a beautiful and popular destination located approximately 48 kilometers (30 miles) south of Guadalajara and 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Mexico City. The area is known for its mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 14�C (57�F) in the winter to 28�C (82�F) in the summer. Lake Chapala offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and birdwatching. The lake is surrounded by picturesque towns such as Ajijic and Chapala, which offer charming cobblestone streets, vibrant markets, and a thriving art scene. For those who enjoy golf, the Chapala Country Club and the Chula Vista Country Club are two popular options in the area. Additionally, the nearby Sierra de San Juan Cosala mountains provide opportunities for hiking and exploring the beautiful Mexican countryside. Overall, Lake Chapala is an ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing and scenic getaway.

Expats Talk about Living in Lake Chapala:

"Do your research. Figure out what is really important to you. There is so much to do here and lots of people who speak English. The locals are very friendly. There are always exceptions but we have been very happy. It is a noisy country and there is dust. Bill is a musician and does sound for many of the productions and I am a quilter. There is a theater group, a community choir, an art society and a multitude of clubs, restaurants, live music that you will recognize. Medical care is good and you will find alternative as well as traditional medicine. You will see donkey carts and BMWs sharing the road. Working is a problem since jobs are reserved for the citizens so planning on working here may not happen," said one expat living in Lake Chapala.

"Since realtors are not regulated here in Mexico one should hire an attorney just to be on the safe side... We did and it was worth every peso... Cheap insurance. Do your due diligence on line and stay for a month or more... If one has not lived abroad and in similar locales there might be a bit of a culture shock... How I explain this in simple terms: 'If in the morning you have water for your shower.... It is a good day.' and 'If the water is hot... It is GREAT DAY!' Living here is an adventure... One needs to be flexible, have a sense of humor, and accept the fact that things here move at a different pace. The Mexican people are warm and friendly, the expats are willing to help get you settled, and the weather is outstanding... What is not to like?," wrote a member in Ajijic .

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Lake Chapala at the highly recommended Viva Mexico, where you can indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine amidst a vibrant atmosphere. For a more international palate, head to Arileo, where you'll be treated to a fusion of Mediterranean and Mexican dishes, all while enjoying stunning lake views. Don't miss out on the delicious seafood at Mariscos Lety, a local favorite for its fresh catch and friendly service. When it's time to rest your head, the charming La Nueva Posada offers a cozy retreat with lush gardens and a pool, while the luxurious Hotel Villa Montecarlo boasts breathtaking views and top-notch amenities for a truly unforgettable stay.

Merida

Merida

Merida, is a vibrant city known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Located approximately 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Cancun and 920 kilometers (570 miles) east of Mexico City, Merida serves as a gateway to the Yucatan Peninsula. The city boasts an efficient public transportation system, including buses and taxis, making it easy for visitors to explore the area. Merida experiences a tropical climate, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C (73°F) in January to 33°C (91°F) in May. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in Merida, from exploring ancient Mayan ruins to relaxing on beautiful beaches. History enthusiasts can visit the nearby archaeological sites of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, while nature lovers can explore the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, home to a large population of flamingos. For those who enjoy golf, the Yucatan Country Club and La Ceiba Golf Club offer well-maintained courses for a leisurely round. Merida also has numerous parks, such as Parque de las Americas and Parque Hidalgo, where visitors can unwind and enjoy the city's green spaces. With its diverse attractions and welcoming atmosphere, Merida is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Mexican experience.

Expats Talk about Living in Merida:

"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," said one expat living in Merida.

"Inalambrica is a nice area, close to a lot of parks and easy access to centro and the main market, there is a huge sports facility nearby too (Complejo deportivo Inalámbrica). Would not assume that because it is not near a main road means that it is quiet, all neighborhoods have bus routes that run through them and some streets are heavily used for short cuts or in this case to get to the Deportiva. There is no zoning laws like the US so the house could be next to a restaurant or business. I would recommend at least renting for 6 months to get a real feel for the place," wrote a member in Merida.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Yucatecan cuisine, head to La Chaya Maya, a charming eatery set in a colonial-era house. Here, you can savor traditional dishes like cochinita pibil, sopa de lima, and panuchos, all made with fresh, local ingredients. Another must-visit is Apoala, a stylish restaurant located in the heart of Merida's historic center. Offering a fusion of Mexican and Oaxacan flavors, Apoala's menu features mouthwatering options like duck tacos, octopus tostadas, and tlayudas. For a more casual dining experience, try Wayan'e, a popular local taqueria known for its delicious tacos and tortas. When it comes to accommodations, the boutique hotel Casa Lecanda is a top choice. This beautifully restored 19th-century mansion boasts elegant rooms, a serene courtyard, and personalized service, making it the perfect retreat after a day of exploring Merida. Alternatively, consider staying at the charming Luz En Yucatan, a cozy guesthouse with a lush garden, inviting pool, and spacious rooms, all within walking distance of the city's main attractions.

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Welcome Home MexicoWelcome Home Mexico

Welcome Home Mexico occupies a niche in the market as a successful relocation and real estate firm helping expats moving to Mexico! As seen on CBS news, PBS, in the L.A. Times and more, we are one of the leading companies in this field. Welcome Home Mexico offers a wide range of services, multi-lingual knowledgeable brokers with experience, efficient and professional service.
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Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a popular tourist destination located along the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo. It is situated approximately 68 kilometers (42 miles) south of Cancun and 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the famous island of Cozumel. The climate in Playa del Carmen is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C (73°F) in January to 28°C (82°F) in July. The city offers a variety of recreational activities, including water sports, golfing, and eco-tourism. Some of the popular recreational spots in the area include the Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya, a world-class golf course designed by Nick Price, and the Parque La Ceiba, a beautiful park that offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities for visitors. Additionally, the city is known for its vibrant nightlife, shopping, and dining options, making it an attractive destination for travelers from around the world.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the authentic flavors of Mexico at El Fogón, a local favorite in Playa del Carmen, where you can indulge in mouthwatering tacos al pastor and sizzling fajitas. For a more upscale dining experience, head to Oh Lala!, an intimate bistro offering a fusion of international and Caribbean cuisine, with dishes like grilled octopus and lobster risotto. Don't miss out on the vibrant atmosphere at La Cueva del Chango, a jungle-themed eatery serving delicious Mexican breakfasts and fresh seafood. When it comes to accommodations, Mahekal Beach Resort is a top choice, boasting lush gardens, oceanfront bungalows, and a serene spa. For a more budget-friendly option, consider staying at the charming Hotel La Semilla, a boutique hotel with a cozy atmosphere and a beautiful rooftop terrace.

Tulum

Tulum

Tulum is a popular tourist destination located approximately 131 kilometers (81 miles) south of Cancun and 66 kilometers (41 miles) south of Playa del Carmen. This picturesque town is known for its well-preserved Mayan ruins, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife. The climate in Tulum is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C (73°F) in January to 28°C (82°F) in August. Recreational activities in Tulum are abundant, with options for both adventure seekers and those looking for relaxation. Visitors can explore the ancient Mayan ruins, such as the Tulum Ruins and the Coba Ruins, or take a dip in one of the many nearby cenotes, like Gran Cenote and Dos Ojos. For those interested in water sports, Tulum offers excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, particularly at the Great Mayan Reef. Nature enthusiasts can also visit the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to observe diverse wildlife and ecosystems. While there are no golf clubs within Tulum itself, avid golfers can find courses in nearby Playa del Carmen, such as the Hard Rock Golf Club Riviera Maya and the Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, head to Sale e Pepe, a cozy family-run trattoria that serves up mouthwatering homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. If you're craving fresh seafood, don't miss out on Hartwood, a trendy open-air eatery that sources its ingredients from local fishermen and farmers. For a unique dining experience, visit Kitchen Table, a jungle-enclosed gem that offers a daily-changing menu based on the freshest ingredients available. When it comes to accommodations, the eco-chic Azulik Resort is a must-visit, with its luxurious treehouse-style villas and breathtaking ocean views. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the charming Posada del Sol, a boutique hotel that boasts a lush garden setting and easy access to Tulum's pristine beaches.

William Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination located approximately 460 kilometers (286 miles) southeast of Mexico City. It is well-connected to other popular destinations such as Puebla, which is about 340 kilometers (211 miles) away, and Puerto Escondido, a beautiful beach town about 240 kilometers (149 miles) to the southwest. Public transportation in Oaxaca City is readily available, with buses and taxis being the most common modes of transport for locals and tourists alike. The climate in Oaxaca City is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 12°C (54°F) in the cooler months to 27°C (81°F) during the warmer months. There are numerous recreational activities to enjoy in and around Oaxaca City. The area is known for its stunning natural beauty, with attractions such as the Hierve el Agua petrified waterfall and the Monte Albán archaeological site offering unique outdoor experiences. For those interested in golf, the Club de Golf Vista Hermosa is a popular choice, featuring a well-maintained course with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Oaxaca City is also home to several parks, such as Parque El Llano and Parque Juárez El Llano, which provide peaceful green spaces for relaxation and leisurely strolls. Additionally, the city's rich cultural heritage can be explored through its many museums, galleries, and vibrant markets, making Oaxaca City a truly diverse and exciting destination for travelers.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the authentic flavors of Oaxaca at the renowned Casa Oaxaca, where Chef Alejandro Ruiz crafts exquisite dishes using locally sourced ingredients. For a more casual dining experience, head to La Teca, a hidden gem that serves traditional Istmeña cuisine in a cozy, home-like setting. Don't miss the bustling Mercado 20 de Noviembre, where you can sample a variety of Oaxacan street food, including the famous tlayudas and mole. After a day of culinary exploration, unwind at the luxurious Quinta Real Oaxaca, a former 16th-century convent turned boutique hotel, or the charming Casa Catrina, a boutique B&B that offers a perfect blend of traditional Oaxacan charm and modern comforts.

Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a vibrant and historic city known for its colorful architecture, winding streets, and rich cultural heritage. Located in central Mexico, it is approximately 390 kilometers (242 miles) northwest of Mexico City and 270 kilometers (168 miles) northeast of Guadalajara. The city offers a reliable public transportation system, including buses and taxis, making it easy for visitors to explore its many attractions. Guanajuato has a temperate climate, with average temperatures ranging from 12�C (54�F) in the winter to 22�C (72�F) in the summer. There are numerous recreational activities available in Guanajuato, such as exploring the city's many museums, galleries, and historic sites, like the Alh�ndiga de Granaditas and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking and picnicking at the Cerro de la Bufa, a popular park with panoramic views of the city. While there are no golf clubs within the city itself, the nearby city of San Miguel de Allende offers the Ventanas de San Miguel Golf Club, which is approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) away. Guanajuato is also home to the Festival Internacional Cervantino, one of the most important cultural events in Latin America, which attracts visitors from around the world each year.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the authentic flavors of Guanajuato at the renowned Truco 7, where you can indulge in traditional Mexican dishes like enchiladas mineras and chiles rellenos, all while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of this colorful city. For a more upscale dining experience, head to Casa Valadez, a sophisticated eatery offering a fusion of Mexican and international cuisine, with a stunning view of the iconic Teatro Juárez. After a day of exploring, unwind at the charming Edelmira Hotel Boutique, a beautifully restored 19th-century building boasting modern amenities and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the city's rich history by staying at the elegant Villa María Cristina, a luxurious hotel set in a meticulously restored mansion, complete with a tranquil spa and gourmet restaurant.

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Welcome Home Mexico occupies a niche in the market as a successful relocation and real estate firm helping expats moving to Mexico! As seen on CBS news, PBS, in the L.A. Times and more, we are one of the leading companies in this field. Welcome Home Mexico offers a wide range of services, multi-lingual knowledgeable brokers with experience, efficient and professional service.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Welcome Home MexicoWelcome Home Mexico

Welcome Home Mexico occupies a niche in the market as a successful relocation and real estate firm helping expats moving to Mexico! As seen on CBS news, PBS, in the L.A. Times and more, we are one of the leading companies in this field. Welcome Home Mexico offers a wide range of services, multi-lingual knowledgeable brokers with experience, efficient and professional service.
Connect

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Queretaro

Queretaro is a vibrant city located in the central part of the country. It is approximately 219 kilometers (136 miles) northwest of Mexico City and 629 kilometers (391 miles) southeast of Guadalajara, making it a convenient destination for travelers. The city boasts an efficient public transportation system, including buses and taxis, which makes it easy for visitors and locals to navigate the area. The climate in Queretaro is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 11°C (52°F) in the winter months to 23°C (73°F) in the summer months. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in Queretaro, catering to a wide range of interests. For those who enjoy golf, the city is home to several golf clubs, such as the El Campanario Golf Club and the Zibatá Golf Club. Nature lovers can explore the numerous parks in the area, including Parque Bicentenario and Parque Querétaro 2000. Additionally, Queretaro is known for its rich history and beautiful architecture, with many visitors taking the time to explore the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the authentic flavors of Queretaro at La Mariposa, a charming eatery nestled in the heart of the city. Indulge in their exquisite chiles en nogada or delight in their mouthwatering enchiladas queretanas. For a more contemporary dining experience, head to Chinicuil, where traditional Mexican cuisine meets modern gastronomy. Don't miss their signature dish, the succulent barbacoa de carnero. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Doña Urraca Hotel & Spa, a beautifully restored 18th-century mansion boasting elegant rooms and a serene spa. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the city's rich history by staying at La Casa del Atrio, a charming boutique hotel set in a restored colonial building, complete with a lush courtyard and art gallery.

Mazatlan

Mazatlan

Mazatlan, is a vibrant coastal city with a population of approximately 500,000 people. It is located in the state of Sinaloa and is about 815 kilometers (506 miles) northwest of Guadalajara and 1,210 kilometers (752 miles) southeast of Los Cabos. Mazatlan boasts a warm, tropical climate with average temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) in January to 30°C (86°F) in July. The city offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors and locals alike, including water sports, fishing, and golfing. Mazatlan is home to several golf clubs, such as the Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort and the El Cid Golf & Country Club. In addition to golf, the city has numerous parks and green spaces, like the Parque Ciudades Hermanas and the Bosque de la Ciudad, where people can enjoy outdoor activities and connect with nature. Mazatlan's public transportation system includes buses and taxis, making it easy for residents and tourists to explore the city and its surrounding areas.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Mazatlan at these must-visit restaurants. Start with El Presidio, a charming eatery set in a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion, where you can indulge in contemporary Mexican cuisine with a twist. For a more casual experience, head to Panama Restaurant & Bakery, a local favorite for its delicious sandwiches, pastries, and traditional Mexican dishes. Don't miss out on La Mazatleca, a seafood lover's paradise, offering the freshest catch of the day in a vibrant, beachfront setting. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, an all-suite retreat nestled on 20 acres of lush gardens and pristine beach. Alternatively, opt for the charming Casa Lucila Boutique Hotel, a boutique property with just eight rooms, offering personalized service and stunning ocean views.

La Paz

La Paz is a beautiful coastal city located on the Baja California Peninsula. It is approximately 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the popular tourist destination, Cabo San Lucas, and 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) south of San Diego, California. The city boasts a well-connected public transportation system, including buses and taxis, making it easy for visitors to explore the area. La Paz experiences a desert climate, with average temperatures ranging from 17°C (63°F) in January to 34°C (93°F) in July. There are numerous recreational activities available in La Paz, catering to a wide range of interests. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking in the crystal-clear waters of the Sea of Cortez. For those who prefer land-based activities, there are several golf courses in the area, such as CostaBaja Golf Club and Paraiso del Mar Golf & Country Club. Nature lovers can visit the nearby Espiritu Santo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or explore the beautiful Balandra Beach. Additionally, the city's Malecon promenade offers a scenic walk along the waterfront, lined with parks, sculptures, and restaurants.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the vibrant flavors of La Paz at the highly acclaimed Tacos El Estadio, where you can indulge in mouthwatering fish tacos and other seafood delights. For a more upscale dining experience, head to the elegant Steinbeck's, where you'll be treated to a fusion of Mexican and international cuisine, all while enjoying breathtaking views of the marina. Don't miss out on the authentic Italian fare at Il Rustico, a charming eatery that will transport you straight to the heart of Italy with its homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. After a day of culinary exploration, retreat to the luxurious CostaBaja Resort & Spa, a serene oasis boasting a world-class spa, golf course, and private beach club. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the local culture at the boutique Hotel Catedral, a stylish and contemporary haven located just steps away from the city's historic center.

Ensenada

Ensenada

Ensenada, is a beautiful coastal city located approximately 108 kilometers (67 miles) south of Tijuana and 146 kilometers (91 miles) from San Diego, California. The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) in the winter to 24°C (75°F) in the summer. Ensenada offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors and locals alike, including surfing, sportfishing, and whale watching. The city is also home to several parks, such as Parque de la Bandera and Parque Revolución, where people can enjoy picnics, playgrounds, and sports facilities. For golf enthusiasts, the Bajamar Ocean Front Golf Resort and the Ensenada Golf & Country Club are two popular golf courses in the area. Additionally, Ensenada is known for its vibrant culinary scene, with numerous restaurants and wineries to explore, as well as its lively nightlife.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Ensenada, by indulging in the culinary delights of La Cocina de Doña Esthela, a local gem known for its traditional Mexican dishes and warm, welcoming atmosphere. For a taste of the sea, head to the iconic La Guerrerense, a humble street cart turned restaurant, where you can enjoy mouthwatering seafood tostadas and ceviche. After a day of feasting, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Coral & Marina, boasting stunning ocean views, a full-service spa, and a marina. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the charm of Adobe Guadalupe, a boutique hotel nestled within a picturesque vineyard, offering wine tastings, horseback riding, and a serene escape from the bustling city.

Ajijic

Ajijic is a picturesque town nestled on the shores of Lake Chapala, the largest freshwater lake in the country. Located approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Guadalajara, it is a popular destination for both tourists and expats seeking a tranquil and charming atmosphere. The climate in Ajijic is mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 14°C (57°F) in the winter months to 27°C (81°F) in the summer months. Recreational activities in Ajijic are abundant, with a focus on outdoor pursuits and cultural experiences. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and birdwatching in the surrounding hills and nature reserves, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Malecon, a lakeside promenade. The town is also home to several parks, such as the Ajijic Malecon Park and the Tobolandia Water Park, which offer a variety of family-friendly activities. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the nearby Chula Vista Country Club or the Chapala Country Club, both of which boast stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. In addition to its natural beauty, Ajijic is known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and cultural events taking place throughout the year.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Ajijic at the charming Tango restaurant, where you'll be treated to a delightful fusion of Argentine and Mexican cuisine. Indulge in their succulent steaks, empanadas, and chimichurri sauce, all while enjoying the cozy atmosphere and live music. For a more casual dining experience, head to Yves' Restaurant Bar, a local favorite known for its delicious seafood dishes, friendly service, and laid-back vibe. Don't miss their shrimp tacos and refreshing margaritas! After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Casa Blanca, a boutique hotel offering spacious rooms, lush gardens, and a serene pool area. Alternatively, opt for the charming La Riberena Hotel, where you'll find cozy accommodations, a lovely courtyard, and a convenient location just steps away from the town's main square.

Morelia

Morelia is a vibrant city with a rich history and a population of approximately 800,000 people. It is located about 303 kilometers (188 miles) northwest of Mexico City and 224 kilometers (139 miles) east of Guadalajara, making it a convenient destination for travelers. The city offers a public transportation system, including buses and taxis, making it easy for visitors and locals to navigate the area. Morelia experiences a mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 12°C (54°F) in the winter to 22°C (72°F) in the summer. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in Morelia, such as exploring the historic city center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, or visiting the beautiful parks like Bosque Cuauhtémoc and Parque Lineal Las Tarascas. For golf enthusiasts, the Tres Marías Golf Club offers a challenging and scenic course. Additionally, Morelia is known for its vibrant festivals, such as the International Film Festival and the International Organ Festival, which attract visitors from around the world.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Morelia, with a visit to the renowned San Miguelito, where traditional Mexican cuisine meets art and culture in a vibrant atmosphere. For a more contemporary dining experience, head to Lu Cocina Michoacana, where Chef Lucero Soto Arriaga showcases her innovative take on regional dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Don't miss out on the mouthwatering carnitas at Carnitas El Guero, a local favorite for authentic Michoacán-style pork. After a day of indulging your taste buds, unwind at the elegant Hotel de la Soledad, a beautifully restored 18th-century mansion boasting lush gardens and luxurious accommodations. Alternatively, immerse yourself in history at the charming Hotel Los Juaninos, a former 17th-century episcopal palace offering stunning views of the Morelia Cathedral and Plaza de Armas.

Puebla

Puebla is a vibrant city located approximately 135 kilometers (84 miles) southeast of Mexico City, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The city is well-connected to other notable cities through a network of highways and offers various public transportation options, including buses and taxis. Puebla experiences a subtropical highland climate, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) in the winter months to 25°C (77°F) in the summer months. There are numerous recreational activities available in Puebla, catering to a wide range of interests. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, the city is home to several parks, such as Parque Lineal, Parque del Arte, and Parque Ecológico Revolución Mexicana, which offer walking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Golf enthusiasts can visit the La Vista Country Club or the Club de Golf Las Fuentes, both of which offer well-maintained courses and beautiful scenery. Additionally, Puebla is known for its rich history and stunning architecture, with sites such as the Puebla Cathedral and the Biblioteca Palafoxiana attracting visitors from around the world.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the authentic flavors of Puebla at El Mural de los Poblanos, a charming restaurant that offers traditional dishes like mole poblano and chiles en nogada, all made with locally sourced ingredients. For a more contemporary dining experience, head to La Noria's Moyuelo, where you can indulge in innovative Mexican cuisine with a twist, such as their signature tacos de chapulines. If you're craving Italian fare, don't miss out on La Berenjena, a cozy eatery that serves up delicious homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. When it comes to accommodations, the charming boutique hotel Mesón Sacristía de la Compañía is a top choice, with its vibrant colonial-style decor and personalized service. For a more luxurious stay, consider the elegant Rosewood Puebla, which boasts stunning views of the city, a rooftop pool, and a world-class spa.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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