Best Cities to Live in Mexico as Expat
With more than a million expats estimated to live here, Mexico is one of the most popular destinations for North Americans looking to move abroad. But—with so many places to choose from—where in Mexico should you move?
Much depends on what you are looking for. There are places in Mexico where you can live totally off the grid or immerse yourself in a small village where there are no other foreigners. Alternatively, there are cities and neighborhoods where you can live a quiet life and never needing Spanish.
Most expats seek something between these two extremes: places where the transition to Mexico is easy, where amenities abound and where local culture is all around. Based on that happy medium, we present a few options.
Puerto Vallarta: A Haven by the Sea
For over 60 years, Puerto Vallarta has been an expat haven. What was once a small village on Mexico’s Pacific Coast is now an international resort, with an urban area that runs for nearly 30 miles along the shore of Banderas Bay.
This place offers a seemingly endless number of activities, thanks to the natural attractions and the tourist infrastructure that has built up over time. You can saunter down the Malecón (boardwalk) that stretches along the downtown area and look inside the boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. Or you can spend the day on any of the more than half-dozen golf courses in the Puerto Vallarta area. If you want to escape the heat, the nearby Sierra Madre mountains offer exhilarating activities such as hiking, biking, and canopy tours that take you swinging from branch to branch. Near the Banderas Bay are more options: whale watching (during the season), boat tours, sport fishing, yachting, excursions and surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUP and more.
Flights from Puerto Vallarta International Airport can get you back to the U.S. in just a few hours. Puerto Vallarta is also a popular medical-tourism destination, with several top hospitals offering state-of-the-art medical care.
Other cities include:
- San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
- Mérida, Yucatán
- Chapala, Jalisco
- Tulum, Yucatán
- Huatulco, Guerrero
- Ensenada, Baja California