San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende

Living in Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Mexico: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know about living in Mexico?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Mexico, they said:

"It is beautiful but very remote (nearest large city is Oaxaca - about a 7-hour drive away. You need to be able to handle the sense of isolation and remoteness. It really feels like you are living on the edge of the world, far from anywhere else," added another expat who made the move to Huatulco.

"Merida is a great city with lots of free activities for adults and children. It is sophisticated, with diverse areas to live in and friendly people, and a good public transportation system. It is a pretty city. However, it is Hot! Come prepared for heat during the day, but the nights cool off comfortably. Make sure your home is well ventilated so that you can enjoy fresh air at night and not need air conditioning. You will not need to bring much, there are plenty of malls and stores with merchandise for you and your home from high end to low," explained one expat living in Merida, Mexico.

"Learn Basic Spanish is number one. Two be prepared for the culture shock. It is a completely different way of living from most countries and you will need to adapt to their way and not the other way around. It's best if you know some people there before going. They can help you with the adaption and suggest the safer areas as well as the areas to stay away from," mentioned another in Tijuana.

"A big plus for Ajijic: It's less than an hour's drive to Guadalajara -- with its international airport and vibrant cultural scene," explained one expat who made the move to Ajijic, Mexico.

"Living costs are about 2/3 of those in the states. This is a relatively new area. 60 years ago there was nothing here but a fishing village. Not as cheap as in other parts of Mexico, but still a savings. Bring a good sturdy vehicle. The weather and the waters are sublime (although hot and humid in the summer months). Very low crime area, but petty theft is here as it is everywhere. You feel welcome wherever you go. Relax. Sometimes you have water and electricity...sometimes you don't. Bring butter," said one expat living in San Carlos, Mexico.

"Be clear on what your intention is for moving to Mexico. To get a retirement visa is very different then getting a work visa. If you are coming to work be sure you have enough money to live for at least 6 months. Find your tribe, there is a wide range of people here, know who you are and who you want to hang with. Do your homework read through the Mexico government sites, there is a lot of information there....however know that things can change in a heart beat, So make sure your information is current when you decide to move. Get on the Facebook groups, ask questions, we stick together here, we help each other out," explained one expat living in Cabo San Lucas , Mexico.

Need health insurance in Mexico? 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

Need health insurance in Mexico? 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.

How do I meet people in Mexico?

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William Russell International Health Insurance

Need health insurance in Mexico? 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).

Learn More Get a Quote

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, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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