Whether you have already made the decision to move to Mexico,are still merely toying with the idea,or just like to daydream about what it would be like to wake up in a tropical paradise each and every day,this list of tips for choosing the ideal spot among the many popular expat destinations in Mexico will provide an excellent place to start looking! More than one million expats – a number that continues to grow – simply can’t be wrong!
Beginning the Search
“It helps to get the scoop on your new home city from expats who live there,” writes International Living. “They’ve already figured out which plumber is most reliable,which carpenter does the best work,and which market has the best produce and prices."
Of course,the internet is an excellent resource for checking out popular expat communities in Mexico,so read up on the most popular destinations and,if a place really catches your eye,contact a trusted local real estate professional,join an online community,or participate in a forum – basically,get connected so you can ask questions of real expats who are already living in Mexico.
Click here to read our special guide,“Buying and Owning Property in Mexico,Made Simple.”
As the largest community of North American expats in the world,Lake Chapala offers one of Mexico’s largest and most-established expat centers in the world. The Lake Chapala Society offers an extensive range of facilities and support services,along with more than 80 different interest groups for expats to join. Situated along the shores of Mexico’s largest freshwater lake,it lies in the states of Jalisco and Michoacán,about 150 miles east of Puerto Vallarta. The area is brimming with colonial architecture dating back to the 1930s and today is home to a large,arts and culture-based expat community.
Playa del Carmen
Located on the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast just 30 minutes south of the Cancun International Airport, the town of Playa del Carmen was once a small fishing village,but today is the world’s fastest growing town according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
“If you like your beach living with comfortable amenities like first-run films,great restaurants,and plenty of night life,then consider heading to Playa del Carmen,Mexico,” writes International Living. “Many expats – from all over the world – have come to live here either full-or part-time. “
Just named one of the “best places to live in Mexico as an expat” by International Living in Sept. of this year,Puerto Vallarta is situated on Mexico’s Pacific coast overlooking the Bay of Banderas and Pacific Ocean. Since this has been a popular international resort town for more than 50 years,expats enjoy the area’s many trendy restaurants,designer shops and chic,upscale goodies. Puerto Vallarta is also a popular medical tourism destination,so there are quite a few top hospitals offering state-of-the-art medical care.
“But you don’t have to spend a fortune to live here,” writes International Living. “Flights from Puerto Vallarta’s International airport can get you back to the U.S. in just a few hours.”
Also located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula,the Spanish-colonial town of Mérida has evolved into a thriving metropolis of more than one million full-time residents and is home to major universities,international corporations,museums and its own international airport,which offers daily flights back and forth to many destinations in the U.S.
“it’s just a half-an-hour from the Yucatan Gulf Coast,where the white sand beaches are punctuated by little beach towns and you can still find beach homes for around $100,000,” writes International Living. “Mérida’s expat community numbers about 4,000.”
San Miguel de Allende
Another of Mexico’s stunningly beautiful Spanish-colonial towns,San Miguel de Allende glows with pastel colors and boasts a rich arts and crafts tradition. This has given rise to a number of eclectic shops,offering locally made pottery,paintings,sculptures,mirrors and more. There are also plenty of art galleries,restaurants and scenic plazas,while the closest international airport is just an hour’s drive northwest of the Querétaro International Airport.
“San Miguel is home to thousands of expats from all over the world,” writes International Living. “Most North Americans love this high desert climate,with warm days and cool nights.”