Last updated on Sep 17, 2022
Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Manzanillo, Mexico: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.
What do I need to know before moving to Manzanillo?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Manzanillo, they said:
"Choosing a neighborhood depends on vehicular freedom. The bus services are excellent but let's face it, we expats prefer to come and go when it pleases us. Needing a car isn't really the issue, however. Maintaining it is. Choose a vehicle that offers dealerships in Manzanillo unless you happen to know a skilled mechanic or your neighbor does. As to the "actual move", including a neighborhood and a specific home, finding a good realtor is probably the best of alternatives. Ask other expats who they trust and talk to a couple of them before jumping in. A good realtor lives across the street from me, but I'm not buying, am I? So if you want a rental, go into the neighborhood and see whether there is a good mix of Mexicans and expats. If it appears to be 99% Mexican with many children, is that where you would feel safe? I live with Mexicans all around me, but as I said about expats buying property on the water side of this peninsula, there are also lots of expats and we help each other find sources for government requirements and services, for locating offices and public services, e.g. supermarkets and other good shopping or movies. We have a very good life here and the expat community extends a helping hand without batting an eye," remarked another expat who made the move to Manzanillo.
"I am a realtor and very happy to show new people around the city I love. I also make sure they settle in and meet other people. I think of that as part of my job," explained one expat living in Manzanillo, Mexico.
How do I find a place to live in Manzanillo?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"Neighborhood --- I had visited at a hotel at the bottom of the peninsula in front of the port so I knew that the Las Brisas area was safe, moderated by nearly daily breezes in summer. To my everlasting joy, I discovered that there are no scorpions in Las Brisas, a pest we had dealt with at Lake Chapala. As to a specific home here, all we needed was a 2B2B and there is a hotel with rentals for long term, including electricity in the rent. It has worked out very well," mentioned another expat in Manzanillo.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Manzanillo?
"The rental I enjoy is not typical for most expats. Expats prefer being across the street, right on the sand where storms batter the walls and often break in. I chose across the main drag where I can cross the street any time but don't often need to since the hotel offers a swimming pool and laundry services, more of a concern for me than the splashy homes that cost a fortune to maintain if a storm breaks through," remarked another expat living in Manzanillo, Mexico.
"We live in a house on the beach. Ex-pats live in condos, houses, on the beach, in the hills, we are spread out depending on our tastes," added another expat in Manzanillo.
What is the average cost of housing in Manzanillo?
If you are thinking about moving to Manzanillo, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"Coming from Vancouver, BC, Canada, I was paying high rentals and when I owned, it was even higher for common facilities. Add utilities to that and Mexico seems very reasonable, indeed. My rent here is just over $6000 pesos and includes utilities. My only additional expense is for telecommunications with cable TV included, which is very reasonable since there is NO long distance charge anywhere in North America. Average costs vary widely, but most are significantly more than what I pay although there are some of us here on limited budgets who manage quite well with Mexican rental fees. I could not begin to live in either Canada or the USA on my pension, but here I have enough to save for "extraordinary expenses". And Mexican medical services cost zero, and the doctors and technical people are trained just like those in expensive hospitals. I've been quite well cared for," mentioned another expat in Manzanillo.
"Right now a condo on the beach with 2-3 bedrooms can be purchsed for as low as about 150,000.00 US dollars. This is a buying opportunity. We also have a beautiful house on the beach with 4 bedrooms for 869,000.00 US dollars. It is the perfect time to take advantage of our low prices," commented one expat who made the move to Manzanillo.
How do I meet people in Manzanillo?
When we asked people living in Manzanillo about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"We have two groups to meet other ex-pats. One is for couples, they meet weekly and go to dinner. Their name is Thirsty Thursdays. The other is a ladies lunch group. we meet once a month at the restaurant El Tablau, at 1 pm. Everyone is welcome and we generally have a speaker. From these two groups you can learn about the charities and opportunities in Manzanillo," added another expat in Manzanillo.
What should I bring when moving to Manzanillo?
People living in Manzanillo were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:
"Cranberry sauce, other food stuffs that are common north of the border, but not common in a Mexican diet --- bring some; leave the coats and blankets, except one light jacket in good condition and one light blanket for winter. If you travel to San Miguel de Allende, Mazamitla or Tapalpa, the high elevations there will require more warmth so you might take one extra for travel --- these you will not need and in Manzanillo, mildew will ruin them," remarked another expat living in Manzanillo, Mexico.
"We brought a lot. 9000 lbs. I would bring the things that make me feel good about my home. (personal things, art) In Manzanillo the sea air is hard on good art and metals. So I would think twice about bringing things of huge value that you want to leave in your family. If you love them and just want to enjoy them, bring them. Electronics, like computers, that you want in English you should bring. If you are a gourmet, bring your pots and pans, bring what it is that you love. Everything else leave," added another expat in Manzanillo.
Will I be able to find a job in Manzanillo?
When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Manzanillo, they reponded:
"The main industry in the city is the port. We are the largest port in Mexico. We also have tourism with several cruise ships now calling here," said another expat in Manzanillo.
What is life like in Manzanillo?
When we asked people living in Manzanillo what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"Generally the expats are retired and their lives revolve around golf, tennis, bridge, socializing, walking or swimming in the ocean, reading, and whatever else they feel like. We have quite a few artists and others willing to share their knowledge. There are charities and animal welfare groups always looking for help," added another expat who made the move to Manzanillo.
Is there a lot of crime in Manzanillo?
We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:
"No. We have a little petty crime, which is new for us, but it is much safer here than any Us city . We all walk around at night and do not worry," mentioned another expat in Manzanillo.
Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Manzanillo accepting of differences?
"The town is mainly Catholic, with some other Christian thrown in. There are a couple of English services of the non denominational Christian belief. The Mexicans are very accepting of us foreigners and very patient with us," remarked another expat living in Manzanillo, Mexico.
What are the pros and cons of living in Manzanillo?
Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Manzanillo responded:
"The existence of the city is like a quiet and never extinguished lamp, watching the world change. From ancient to modern, we have experienced great changes, but the only constant is the charm and strength of the soul of those cities that used to be ancient capitals," said another expat.
About the Author
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.
- Expat Guide to Manzanillo
- 5 Tips for Living in Manzanillo, Mexico
- Healthcare & Health Insurance in Mexico
- Best Places to Live in Mexico
- Real Estate in Mexico
- 8 Things to Know Before You Move to Mexico
- What It's Like Living in Manzanillo
- Pros and Cons of Living in Mexico 2022
- 2022 Guide to Moving to Mexico
- Members Talk about the Cost of Living in Mexico