I am 62 years old and am considering retiring in Mexico. I have traveled a lot in Mexico as well as countires in Central America. It appears that the Pacific Coast of Mexico has some of the best weather in Mexico, but like many, are concerned about the crime problem there. I don't want to have to keep looking over my shoulder whenever I'm walking around like I have to do now in Tampa, Florida to feel safe. Would I have to do the same in say Baja Norte? I've traveled to cabos, la paz, puerto vallerta, mazatlan, rosarito etc., and had no problems, but that has been several years ago. I used to live in San Diego, so, Tijuana is a given (not for me). What is your opinion on living in Baja?
Why don't you head on over to Playa del Carmen, it is safer here and the beaches are the best! I have lived here for 12 years and although it has grown tremendously, it is safe and my experience has been that the people are friendly, kind and hardworking. There are great restaurants and a growing Expat population!
Bluewind, try Manzanillo, Colima. This is a very safe state. Great weather great beaches affordable living. Not overrun with "grigos" but enough of a community to be comfortable in. Check it out, I think you will like it!
There is nothing wrong with staying on the West Coast, only Baja is so spread out and there is only the "have's" and "have not's" no middle class to speak of.
I'm in Sayulita on the mainland, 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, on the coast at the beach. The crime seems to be happening inland where the cartels are growing or making their contraband, and then of course the border towns where it is shipped to the ever-consuming USA. We have no major crime of persons here; only petty theft from homes that are unlocked during the day/night, being a tourist-driven town. PV is a little larger but the only "activity" that happens once in a while is cartel targeting cartel in a parking lot somewhere. Tourists are not being targeted except in big cities like Mexico City or Guadalajara, where once in a blue moon you hear of a kidnapping for ransome. It seems there is more crime per capita in the USA.
The weather here is fabulous, even in the summer. The rains cool things off and as long as you have a good ceiling fan, floor fan you don't need A/C unless you want it. I'm from the rather cooled-off Bay Area in CA, which seems to have less and less summer weather and I don't like the cold. I'm 65 and retired here and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! Try the West Coast, you'll love it! CJ
Oh, forgot to mention, the West Coast of Mexico isn't plagued with hurricanes like the East Coast is. North of Puerto Vallarta the hurricanes don't seem to get past the point of Punta Mita, which Sayulita and San Pancho are North of. Also, Manzanillo is South of PV on the coast and I have heard it is a little on the pricey side, but you may LOVE it there. Some of the hurricanes have headed south of PV, though, like the last one and one actually came inland at Manzanillo. You have to check out everything and for heaven sake, RENT first for at least a year before buying, if that's what you want to do. I have decided NOT to buy because the weather is too hard on homes and appliances and it seems you spend most of your time fixing things and not enjoying the life you came down here on retirement to ENJOY!
My wife and I have lived just south of Rosarito, Mx, Baja Norte for six years. We live in a condo complex that is one of the more viable complexes in Baja Norte, Club Marena. We have never had an issue with our safety. We have chosen this location because: 1. It is close to the US and we can be in San Diego or North of the border in one hour (with a Sentri Pass, 2. We can continue to have US medical if we need it. 3. Cost of living (Dental, fresh food, small restaurants is very low) 4. We have family in San Diego and it is easy to go back and forth. 5. Visitors and family can easily get to us. It is easy to pick them up at the border if they do not want to drive in Mex. 6. Local people are very friendly and most speak a bit of English. 7. There is an a community here--American and others from different places in the world. We do not feel isolated. The condo living really helps this. 8. We can afford to live ocean front. 9. Weather is good, cool in the winter but San Diego weather the rest of the year.
You might want to look at Progreso in the Yucatan on the Gulf of Mexico. There is virtually no crime in the area (not violent crime anyhow) the rents are relatively cheap, and the area is full of ex-pats from both US and Canada. We are retiring there in the next few years after just visiting twice! Love this place! We are renting for 6 weeks this winter. Just somewhere else to research. The weather is better than the Pacific side of Mexico I think! Just look into it!
Major hurricanes have been a reality in the Mexican Riviera recently, unfortunately. Playa is our choice for the beaches, water, location, and safety. We love visiting PV and the surrounding area but prefer to live on the Caribbean side...
la paz, todos santos, and cabo are swell, although pricey by mexican standards. i know folk who compare it to the leafy brooklyn heights section and say that it's not the 'real' brooklyn. although i love baja and wish i had the resources to live there instead of in d.f., it's simply not the real mexico.