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Moving to Puerto Penasco, Mexico

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By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 04, 2023

Summary: Many expats move to Puerto Penasco, Mexico for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and low cost of living. The area is known for its vibrant culture, friendly locals, and excellent seafood. Expats also appreciate the easy access to the US border, allowing them to travel back and forth with relative ease. Additionally, Puerto Penasco offers a wide range of activities and attractions, from golfing and fishing to shopping and sightseeing. With its stunning scenery and laid-back atmosphere, Puerto Penasco is an ideal destination for expats looking for a new home.

What do I need to know before moving to Puerto Penasco?

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

"Before moving to Puerto Penasco, it is important to research the local laws, cost of living and job market. You should also be aware of local health and safety risks such as inadequate sanitation and unreliable water supply. It is also important to take into account the climate in the area and the cultural norms. Make sure that your visa, passport and other immigration paperwork are in order and obtain the necessary permits and documents for your stay. Finally, make sure that you bring enough funds to cover your living expenses," replied a member in Puerto Penasco.

"Speak to a real estate agent that has experience in the area of Puerto Penasco that you choose. They can locate rentals and what's for sale easily and give you proper information to help make your move go smooth. There is no fee to speak with an agent. They're happy to help," commented one expat who made the move to Puerto Penasco.

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How do I find a place to live in Puerto Penasco?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"To find a place to live in Puerto Penasco, there are a few options to consider. Renting an apartment or house through a real estate agency or private owner is one way to find a safe, comfortable place to live. To narrow down your options, you can search online for properties advertised on classified websites or search through local real estate agencies. Accommodation is also available in hostels, hotels and resorts. Renting a vacation or beach house through a private owner is also an alternative. Whether staying in a hotel, vacation rental or an apartment, it is advisable to look up reviews online to ensure the place is safe and meets your needs," remarked another expat in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

"Many expats live in my neighborhood (Mirador) plus it's just a few blocks to the beach," said another expat in Puerto Penasco.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Puerto Penasco?

"The typical expat home or apartment in Puerto Penasco is often a brightly colored two to three story townhouse or apartment building with a courtyard in the middle. Most of the buildings provide easy access to shops and restaurants as well as easy access to the beach. Apartments often feature balconies with stunning views of the Sea of Cortez and the neighboring mountains. Inside, the apartments are usually fully furnished with modern appliances and amenities such as high speed internet and cable services. Additionally, these apartments often come with access to common areas such as swimming pools and recreation rooms. Furniture and decor reflect an international influence with a mix of classic Mexican and modern style," remarked another expat who made the move to Puerto Penasco.

"I live in a house. Houses and condos are the typical places expats live in Puerto Penasco," explained one expat living in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

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What is the average cost of housing in Puerto Penasco?

If you are thinking about moving to Puerto Penasco, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in Puerto Penasco is relatively affordable. It is possible to find a wide range of properties ranging from reasonably priced condos and homes to more luxurious villas and estates," remarked another expat who made the move to Puerto Penasco.

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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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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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Should I buy or rent a home in Puerto Penasco?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Puerto Penasco, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Buying or renting a home in Puerto Penasco depends on your specific situation and needs. If you plan to stay in Puerto Penasco for a long-term period, buying a home might be a good long-term investment. On the other hand, if you plan to stay in Puerto Penasco for a shorter period of time, it might make more sense to rent a home instead. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your individual circumstances, such as budget, time frame and desired features," said another expat in Puerto Penasco.

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What should I pack when moving to Puerto Penasco?

We asked people living in Puerto Penasco to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"Essentials for moving to Puerto Penasco include clothing for different weather conditions, sun protection such as sunscreen and hats, comfortable shoes, cash and relevant financial documents, necessary documents such as passport and proof of residency, any medications needed, and toiletries. Other items to consider packing include basic cookware and cutlery, kitchen and bathroom items, first aid supplies, electronics and chargers, as well as items to help you decorate and make your new home feel familiar," remarked another expat who made the move to Puerto Penasco.

"I drive only 3.5 hours to Tucson so I can easily get what I need, being so close, I never had to worry about leaving anything behind," explained one expat living in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Puerto Penasco?

We asked people in Puerto Penasco if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:

"Puerto Penasco is a diverse and vibrant city, and it is important to be aware of cultural norms and customs when travelling there. Common cultural faux pas to avoid include dressing in a way that is overly revealing or provocative, particularly for women, as well as using profanity in public. It is also considered disrespectful to speak loudly, particularly in sacred places such as churches. Additionally, it is important to be considerate of the local native population and their customs and beliefs, as well as refraining from taking photographs of people without their permission. Finally, try to be aware of the strong machismo culture, as well as being aware of local eating and drinking customs. Respectful behaviour is always appreciated," said another expat in Puerto Penasco.

"First time purchasing toilet paper, I was with a bilingual girlfriend, She couldn't believe her ears. I asked where it was, Now I know it's "Papel para baƱo" or "papel hygenico", but I originally asked where I could find "papel por culo" (paper for the butt (hole)) my friend freaked out. To this day I am never afraid to try Spanish, plenty of people will correct my errors, I'm OK with that, it's how we learn," added another expat who made the move to Puerto Penasco.

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What are medical services in Puerto Penasco like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Puerto Penasco, they replied:

"Our town does not have a major hospital that I would feel comfortable going to for open heart surgery for example. That is the only issue with medical care here. Anything less than major surgery can be done here. Major surgery would require going to a large metro area either 3.5 hours away or 5 hours away in the other direction. We would just go back to Phoenix because it is 3.5 hours away. That is what our expat friends do," said another expat.

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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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