Hi, I'm moving to Mazatlan in Sept from the US and would very much like to meet some expats living there to maybe show me the ropes and help me get a lay of the land. It's a bit unnerving to move to a new place and not know anyone so if there are any kind hearted people living in Mazatlan who wouldn't mind helping out a newbie, I would greatly appreciate any assistance you could offer. David
Thanks for the words of encouragement. My main concern right now is how much Spanish am I going to need when apartment shopping. I'm brushing up on basic Spanish for getting around and restaurants but I don't have any technical vocabulary for signing a rental agreement.
My wife and I are part-time residents up the road from you in Los Mochis. Mazatlan is a great city;culture, diversity,cuisine,beach,etc. I wish you well! Check out mazmessenger.com. A longstanding English newspaper; good resource. Focus upon learning Spanish, it will prove to be a good navigator.
Thanks for the link. Does anyone have experience with Tracfone down there? I'm wondering if I can use my current phone and sim or if I will need to unlock my phone and get a new sim card to use in Mexico.
Unlocked phone and Mexican SIM card is one option and is cheap. I get unlimited minutes and some data for about $10USD. The better option for most is using a US phone that gives you free calling to and from Mexico, US and Canada. T-mobile is one of those carriers. Mexican SIM carded phones do not allow you to call 800 numbers and no voice mail if those are important to you. Accessing your accounts in the US are almost impossible without having as US phone number and being able to text for proof of who you are as being on their websites they will know you are not from your normal location in the US. I am planning to switch back to a US phone for this reason. One option is having a Magic Jack or using a pay type of VOIP.
Learning Spanish is important. While in the process having Google Translate on your phone is like a gift from heaven. You can download Spanish on Google Translate so it is available even when no connected to internet. Like a Christmas gift when I found this out.
Thanks for the good info! Of course I'm going to do more research on the phone as the time gets closer to my move, but there's no substitute for learning from the experience of others. Only 2 more weeks. I must admit I'm feeling a little anxious not knowing where I'm going to be living. I'm renting a car and giving myself 4 days of apartment hunting when I get there. I plan to have a several appointments setup before I get there. I use google translate regularly on the pc and was hoping they had the voice to text capability on the phone app, so that's great news! Installed it on my phone yesterday along with a couple of other Spanish apps but that google app looks like a real Godsend.
I guess one other thing it would be helpful to know is if there are any parts of town that I should avoid in terms of living or just avoiding in general. I'm guessing it will be pretty obvious if I'm in a sketchy area but once again this is where the knowledge of any locals will come in handy. Thanks again for your posts.
Mazatlan is full of kind hearted people! I would recommend a FB Pagé called Find it here in Mazatlan also a local newspaper called Pacific Pearl which is also available on line. Once you know what part of the city you will be in, it will make it easier to connect with your expat neighbors as some (not all) stay close to their home location.
Google Maps, or paper maps will answer that question, as will a few seconds typing into your search engine. I never flew to Matalan, as we drove there from Lake Chapala several times; a seven hour drive.
David...Here is what works best. Get a motel in your price range and start looking by finding expats living there for areas that would suit you. You need to be talking to those that live there now. Don't be in a hurry to find something. Hasty decisions often have bad outcomes. This forum is not the best place for details as most here are not there now. This forum will give you details of what people think because of previous experiences. You need your boots on the ground. I spent 30 days in a motel looking for a place to buy once I found the town I wanted to live in. If you are retiring you have until they throw dirt in your face to find a place to call home.
Thanks again for the all the replies. I'm not retiring at this time, at least not for a few more years. I'm a writer and plan to work on some book ideas while living on the cheap in a nice place near the sea, so waiting til someone throws dirt in my face is not an option. But it seems like sand in the face might be an possibility. My concern about Mazatlan at this time is the heat. I've been living in the southwest in the high desert in the US so I'm used to an arid temperate climate. Lately I've been visiting an ailing family member in the midwest and I'm miserable with humidity and heat. I'm used to being able to go for my evening walks without getting a heat stroke. Can't do that in the midwest. What would be ideal is a town near the water that is not too hot or humid. Thanks again for all the responses.
Here is a general suggestion for your search knowing you don’t like heat and humidity. Limit you search to cities between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. This will take you away from the beach, but you can always visit it in the winter when it is not an oven. At the higher altitude, the weather is pleasant year-round.
Fortunately, the geography of Mexico provides many choices at that altitude. Cuernavaca, Guadalajara, Ajjic come to mind and these cities have gringo villages to provide support to newly arrived foreigners.
There is no avoiding the fact that coastal, low elevation locations will have heat and humidity, especially in the six summer months. Air conditioning, where they have it, is pretty expensive. Living on the cheap is also getting harder to do. The advice to look at places like Guadalajara or Chapala is well founded. Save the beach locations for a winter vacation. Shoulder season hotels are available at off-season prices. Other than that, you won't be living cheap very close to the beach anyway.
Hola! I am planning to move to Mexico in the near future and am actively looking for long term rentals (6 mos to 1 yr plus) in Matzatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa. I will be in Mexico Sept 7-21 to locate, view, and reserve a place to live. I will self-move any time after Jan 2020.
I am a single woman, senior, healthy, very active, quiet, responsible, on social security, have excellent credit, references, pets. I love gardening, cooking, beach, social activities, swimming, walking, crafts, historic/cultural/arts locations/activities. I have been to Mexico many, many times since I was a child and can communicate in passable Spanish. I am not looking to live in an ex-pat community. I do not need anything fancy with latest appliances, upgrades, décor, etc. My ideal place would have the following but I am also realistic ??:
1. located in a Mexican neighborhood 2. house, apt, condo 3. prefer above ground floor 4. all utilities included 5. TV cable connection 6. 2 bedrooms 7. 1 bathroom 8. private garden/patio area/balcony 9. AC, fans 10. pool access 11. gated 12. window bars 13. walk to beach 14. pets allowed 15. secure garage/parking 16. walk to gro/mkt 17. older house 18. full-size refrigerator 19. semi-furnished – only need furniture, I have everything else 20. quiet, not near church, bar 21. good elec, outlets+ 22. good neighbors 23. view 24. housekeeping 25. hot water, good pressure 26. good bed 27. safe neighborhood 28. no leaks 29. storage, closets 30. window screens 31. W/D 32. 2 outside doors 33. fenced
If you are aware of any properties that mostly fit these criteria, please let me know so we can arrange to meet and check it out! I am so excited about moving to my favorite country in the world (& I have been to many countries)! Muchas gracias for your attention and consideration of my request.
Check 'Find it in Mazatlan' group on FB. I posted my request there and got way more replies that I can count. There are a few other groups on FB as well if you search on Mazatlan. Also in the FB marketplace there are many places for rent listed there. This site seems to be more for expats not currently in Mexico. GOOD LUCK!