Drug cartels killed Mazatlan, housing cheap because ex-pats lost their asses on real estate..there was a time when cruise ships would not even dock there..Safety first...Ex-pat community's Lake Chapla & Ajjica are rated #1 ex-pat location, near perfect climate...if u are more interested in ocean, Yucatan/QROO is the best.
I love living in PV, been here as a single female for 14 years. Very safe, lots of English spoken, If you live right on the beach, which is more expensive, there is no pollution, fresh air, and a little cooler, with the ocean breeze. Biggest problem in life is figuring out which bathing suit to wear!!!! And what day the repairman will show up!
I guess I should stick up for Mazatlán, since I have lived here year round for over 12 years.
First, if you live here you would disagree with the statement that drug lords killed the city. Yes, it is true we have had (notice the past tense) some tough years, but those are pretty well behind us. Our housing market is coming back and a number of my friends sold their homes this season and none lost their ass. We did lose cruise ships in 2011, but this year everyone was back except Disney and they are returning next season. This season about 275,000 cruise passengers visited our city.
As far as the weather, Mazatlán has a tropical wet and dry/ savanna climate with a pronounced dry season in the low-sun months. There is no cold season, but our wet season is in the high-sun months. Beginning in May and continuing through October the governments subsidizes consumers’ electric rates. So most often we pay a lower bill in the summer than we do in the winter, but certainly not higher.
Over the years I have been living in México, I have visited many Mexican cities and have friends who have lived in a number of them. Without exception everyone says Mazatlán has a sense of community that you do not find anywhere else.
Unlike Puerto Vallarta, tourism is not the city’s primary industry. Mazatlán has the largest fishing fleet on the Pacific coast and fishing is its primary industry. So, when the season is over in April/May, our city continues to flourish.
One advantage Puerto Vallarta has over Mazatlán is air service. But, that is improving in Mazatlán.
We have been living in PV almost 3 years full time. And loving it. We have a great eXpat community here. Spend time in both and make an informed decision. PV is probably more expensive to live. Don't really think you can say that one is "better" than the other. Depends upon YOUR preferences! So have fun exploring both and chose based upon YOUR observations. Love living in Mexico!! Good luck and make it fun!!!