Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian in 2022

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian in 2022

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Introduction

Let’s discuss the best places to live in Mexico as a Canadian, as despite the unfavorable perceptions of the nation, it is actually a fantastic place for foreigners to reside.

There are great and safe places to stay in Mexico that offers different facilities for a comfortable lifestyle. These locations are also safe and can provide you with high quality of life and a great number of expat communities.

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Puerto Vallarta

The Pacific Coast of Mexico is home to the renowned beachfront resort of Puerto Vallarta. The town of Vallarta, which currently stretches along the Banderas Bay shoreline, was formerly a little fishing hamlet. Canadians moving to Mexico should consider living here as one of the greatest places to do so.

There are many amenities in Puerto Vallarta, and it offers all the conveniences one would expect to find in a first-world nation. An international airport is also located nearby, so foreign nationals enjoy relocating to this area.

It’s cool if you’re a beach buff once you decide to move to Puerto Vallarta. It becomes a hive of activity particularly during the winter. There are several locations to order a refreshing drink, and the waiters will come to you, and there are beach umbrellas and loungers for rent along the coastline. Parasailing is an option too, or you may simply relax and gaze at the ocean.

The expat community is quite busy, hosting numerous social gatherings, dinner parties, beach outings, brunches, and other events. The local community and charity events are actively supported by expat volunteers.

There are many activities available to you, whether they involve water or not, if you intend to retire in this part of Mexico.

It’s true that it can get extremely warm and muggy, especially during the summer, with the peak months being August and September. But that’s exactly why it attracts a lot of retirees, specifically those who are bothered by the cold.

There are many wonderful neighborhoods in Puerto Vallarta where you can stay. It’s simple to find anything within your price range. There are numerous entertainment options available to you, and the area is very safe. The only drawback to living here is that during tourist seasons it might get rather hectic.

Healthcare

High-quality private hospitals and clinics, including those that provide specialized care, are available for medical treatment. Typically, a doctor’s appointment costs $40. When Canadians and full-time retirees move and become residents in Puerto Vallarta, many of them use the free healthcare provided by Mexico and pay a modest surcharge for high-quality care. Even serious dental work is affordable compared to what it would cost in Canada and the US.

Food

On the Malecon boardwalk, you’ll discover a lot of bars and eateries with a view of the sea. Any cuisine you can think of is available there, such as Italian, Argentinian, sushi, pub food, fresh seafood, as well as Mexican from every region. Additionally, the well-known Zona Romantica neighborhood offers both casual eateries and gourmet dining choices.

Cost of Living in Puerto Vallarta

As of the time of writing, renting a one-bedroom apartment within Puerto Vallarta’s city center costs about 15,401 pesos (775 US dollars) per month and 8,991 pesos outside that area, according to cost of living data aggregator Numbeo. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach roughly 52,877 pesos and 27,348 pesos per square meter, respectively.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Puerto Vallarta is estimated to cost 150 pesos, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 800 pesos for a three-course meal for two.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of about 37,470 pesos per month, while a single person can live off 10,409 pesos a month, both excluding rent. 

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian puerto vallarta
Lounge by the beach in Puerto Vallarta. Image by visitpuertovallarta.com

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Campeche

The port city of Campeche is one of Mexico’s less-traveled destinations because it is frequently eclipsed by the vacation resorts on the nearby Yucatán peninsula. However, this tiny town is incredibly lovely and has a lengthy history. Museums, historic landmarks, and other attractions can be found in this charming seaside village.

Its walled city center is a compact area filled with mansions that have been conserved, renovated pastel buildings, and winding cobble-stoned streets. The state capital, which in 1999 was added to Unesco’s list of World Heritage sites, misses a little bit of the atmosphere of daily life because so few people really reside in the historic center.

However, if you venture outside the inner gates, you’ll discover a true Mexican provincial capital complete with a bustling market, a tranquil boardwalk, and aging fishing piers.

This is a wonderful spot to consider if you’re searching for a place to get away from everyone because there aren’t many expats living here yet.

Food

You will probably discover that the food in this region of Mexico is entirely unlike any Mexican meal you have ever experienced because it is so drastically different from food in other regions. Pre-Hispanic food is prevalent in this part.

Excellent dining establishments that serve regional cuisine or traditional Mexican food are made possible by the region’s blend of Mexican cuisine and Mayan traditions, as well as bucket loads of fresh seafood. Many of the food in Campeche utilize seafood owing to the city’s coastal setting.

Cost of Living in Campeche         

A one-bedroom apartment for rent within Campeche’s city center costs about 5,833 pesos per month and 2,625 pesos outside that area, according to Numbeo. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 9,000 pesos and 6,250 pesos per square meter, respectively.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Campeche is estimated to cost 87.50 pesos, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 250 pesos for a three-course meal for two.

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Tulum

For foreigners who desire to reside in Mexico, Tulum’s remarkably low crime rate is a major attraction. It is also an excellent choice because of its weather, which is warm most of the time.

Tulum is just about two hours away from the Cancun Airport. Luxury hotels, cool boutiques, and local handicrafts can be found in this city of contradictions that also has an abundance of water and extreme sports.

The seaside town also has a rich culture and a laid-back lifestyle that is centered on achieving balance in daily life.

Food

In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, Tulum is also known for its cuisine. Taco vendors and other local food places are all just a bicycle away.

You can also eat in contemporary establishments that provide some of the tastiest steaks on this side of the globe. They also offer healthy options for those who are very particular with the food they eat.

Healthcare

Both public and private medical care systems are accessible in Tulum if you need medical attention or hospital services. The majority of the hospitals in Tulum are top notch and qualified to treat any illness, from the common cold and flu to life-threatening diseases. If you have a limited budget, medical services at private hospitals may be a little pricey.

There is rarely a waiting line and the services are somewhat affordable in Tulum, especially when compared to other healthcare services offered in other regions of Mexico. The patient care is of excellent quality, the health and medical amenities are typically much more efficient.

Cost of Living in Tulum

A one-bedroom apartment within Tulum’s city center can rent for about 11,138 pesos per month and 11,500 pesos outside that area, as per Numbeo. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach roughly 34,396 pesos and 28,091 pesos per square meter, respectively.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Tulum is estimated to cost around 140 pesos, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 700 pesos for a three-course meal for two.

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Mérida

You may indulge in the luxury of a large city while yet experiencing a beach town in the capital of the Yucatán Peninsula. The Yucatan Gulf coast is around 30 minutes away from this city of about 1 million people. Many of the communities along the gulf coast are where people from Mérida typically spend their summers. There are many expats in this region these days.

The architecture of this city, which has a rich history visible through it, and the strong impact of indigenous culture on its populace make it a place of breathtaking beauty.

Even though many towns have grown, they still preserve a small-town atmosphere that is welcoming to families. And while there aren’t many upscale restaurants or commercial establishments in this area, you can locate affordable beachfront housing there.

There are also numerous suppliers of high-speed internet that are easily accessible across the major areas of the city, so you won’t have to fret about being disconnected from your online socials.

The Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast and an excellent highway system throughout Mexico are both easily accessible from Merida, making travel there and back a breeze. There is a cutting-edge international airport that facilitates easy access to flying as well.

Food

A fried tortilla topped with shredded turkey, cabbage, red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapenos, known as salbutes, is a delectable local street snack in Merida. They are an easy and exquisite way to try a variety of the Yucatan region’s well-known flavors.

Merida is also best known for its cuisine’s blending of European and regional flavors. Examples include the city’s Queso Relleno, which is made of ground beef wrapped in gouda cheese, and Cochinita Pibil, which combines regional ingredients like annatto seed and pork with Spanish oranges to create a unique flavor.

Healthcare

With many specialists that understand English and contemporary hospitals that can accommodate any surgical demands, medical care in Merida is among the finest in the world. Participating in either of the two national health insurance schemes, Seguro Popular or the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) program, makes it reasonably priced.

The cost of routine doctor visits and prescriptions is actually low enough that you can pay for them out of pocket without much of a financial hit. With the obvious exceptions of strong antibiotics and narcotics, almost all medications may be bought without a prescription from the pharmacy and are far less expensive than those found in Canada.

Cost of Living in Merida

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within Mérida’s city center costs 7,974 pesos per month and about 5,577 pesos outside that area, according to Numbeo. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach 19,200 pesos and 27,460 pesos per square meter, respectively.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Mérida is estimated to cost about 140 pesos, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 700 pesos for a three-course meal for two.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of about 38,589 pesos per month, while a single person can live off 10,651 pesos a month, both excluding rent. 

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian merida
Mexican dish salbutes. Image by Gourmet de Mexico

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Playa del Carmen

The resort community of Playa Del Carmen is a place to relax and have fun, so, if you’re thinking about retiring, it could be a terrific choice for you.

 Playa Del Carmen is situated in the Mexican Caribbean and renowned for its nightclubs, dining establishments, and coral reefs. Regardless of the season, the climate is subtropical there. The village features a number of amenities seen in big cities, despite its tiny size.

The majority of the expat population consists of retirees and digital nomads. Even some Americans and Canadians run real estate companies here. Therefore, it is simple to locate an agent who is fluent and understands your local tongue.

While there are many inexpensive venues in the city, there are also some upscale and exclusive neighborhoods that cost a lot of money for those who aren’t penny-pinching. An example of such location is the Playacar region with its gated neighborhoods.

Playa and Tulum are near to each other, and traveling between them using the available public transportation is simple.

Food

A modern spin is sometimes added to classic Mexican cuisine in some establishments. Tacos, which are popular throughout Mexico, are of course also available in this area. Their desserts like gelato and chocolate frappes made of cacao are also delicious.

Healthcare

Hospiten Riviera Maya is the biggest and most modern medical facility in Playa del Carmen and is often regarded as the best hospital in the city with costs that typically reflect this. English is extensively spoken in this facility, which is in the affluent Playacar neighborhood. The hospital is used to caring for locals, tourists, expats, and foreigners who only visit Playa occasionally.

There are also other options, like CostaMed, which provides a wide array of comprehensive, reasonably priced medical and surgical private healthcare facilities for both domestic and foreign customers.

Cost of Living in Playa del Carmen

A one-bedroom apartment for rent within Playa del Carmen’s city center costs 15,744 pesos per month and 11,571 pesos outside that area, as per Numbeo. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can reach roughly 26,290 pesos and 20,457 pesos per square meter, respectively.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Playa del Carmen is estimated to cost 90 pesos, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 500 pesos for a three-course meal for two.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of about 36,065 pesos per month, while a single person can live off about 10,189 pesos a month, both excluding rent. 

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Lake Chapala

Another fantastic location for Canadians and retirees looking to relocate to Mexico is in the Lake Chapala area. The town, which is in the state of Jalisco, has the biggest freshwater lake in the world as well as the highest population of foreigners. In this picturesque village, the climate is good all year round. Here, you’ll frequently see cobble-stoned streets, lush mountains, and beautiful gardens.

Chula Vista and Riberas del Pilar are just two of the fantastic neighborhoods in this area. You’ll find that each place has its own appeal, wherever you decide to stay. Lake Chapala  will be ideal for you if you like boats, scenic drives, golfing, and exquisite lifestyle.

Meanwhile, the town of Chapala still has a more traditional Mexican vibe and does not yet offer as many clubs and activities specifically for expats. As a result, there are better real estate deals to be had.

Food

It’s challenging to try all of the amazing food places in Lake Chapala. In addition to hot and filling street tacos on homemade tortillas that are superior to anything you’ve eaten north of the border, there are also Argentinean steakhouses, Thai restaurants, Delis, Italian, and Mexican restaurants. Unlike popular tourist locations, the prices are typically within reach as well.

Healthcare

Assisted living facilities and a cutting-edge hospital are also present at Lake Chapala. The village is adjacent to Guadalajara, which has top-notch medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and doctors. For this reason, a large number of Americans and Canadians visit Lake Chapala. So, you can always head out there if you want more options.

Cost of Living in Lake Chapala

The Villa Nova neighborhood, just west of the Ajijic town center, is home to one of the excellent bargain villas available in this location. With $95,000, you can get a property with two bedrooms, two baths, a backyard, a garden area, a contemporary kitchen with wooden cabinets, a modern bathroom, and a carport with space for two cars.

The Chula Vista community in Ajijic offers a nice choice if you’d prefer to rent there. The attractive landscaping of this two-bedroom, two-bath rental home includes sculpted thicket and a tiny yard. It feels airy thanks to the numerous, sizable windows that allow in a lot of light. The furnished home has a lovely brick fireplace, a separate laundry area, and other amenities that you can rent for $850 each month.

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Puerto Escondido

The town wasn’t all that busy up until the 1960s but has now become well-known throughout the world for its beaches, picturesque stroll, and surfing locations. Although it is currently very popular, the town is still somewhat basic. So you can check out this location if you enjoy surfing and beautiful scenery.         

The longest and busiest beach in the area is Zicatela, and it has a wide variety of amenities including gift stores, delicious restaurants, and a lot of music events. On the southern Pacific coast of Mexico, it is among the most crowded and pristine shorelines.

One of the greatest areas for Canadians is Bacocho, which is also a wonderful community.

Food

If you enjoy good meals, Puerto Escondido is the place for you. The food will keep you there even if you actually came for the beaches. Unless you dine out each day and night for one month, it would be difficult to try all of the outstanding restaurant in this area.

Chicatana mole at Almoraduz, tacos loaded with seafood at La Olita, and seafood-focused restaurant El Nene with international menu options like vegetarian and gluten-free food are a few of the most well-liked eateries and dishes.

Puerto Escondido is famous for its coffee and chocolate as well, both of which have a long history.

Healthcare

Public and private hospitals, a number of clinics, a large number of dentists, general practitioners, and a few specialists could all be found in Puerto Escondido. Hospital General is the main public hospital. However there are other private healthcare services accessible too.

With the exception of things like free vaccines at government clinics, foreigners and expats in Mexico typically stick to private healthcare choices since they offer more freedom and, in general, a superior level of treatment.

In comparison to many other nations with fully or partially privatized medical systems, the price of private insurance is also not excessive.

Overall, Puerto Escondido’s healthcare alternatives are more than adequate for the majority of residents, with the possible exception of those who have complex chronic ailments that occasionally call for advanced treatment.

Cost of Living in Puerto Escondido

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment within Puerto Escondido’s city center costs 8,375 pesos per month and 5,900 pesos outside that area, according to Numbeo.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Puerto Escondido is estimated to cost 110 pesos, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 625 pesos for a three-course meal for two.

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Huatulco

Huatulco, or Bahías de Huatulco, is a stunning coastal getaway, with a breathtaking 23-mile-long section of rocky coastline, located where the Sierra Madre Mountains restrain the Pacific Ocean on Mexico’s western border. The resort region features 36 beaches and nine bays and has been used for generations as a little-touched-up natural playground.

This town’s growth was backed by the Mexican government’s national trust fund for tourism. It remains a small town with a population of about 50,000, but  it has potential and many expats retired or bought homes there.

The town’s road is too large relative to the number of its residents, so it very easy to get around. Huatulco also has an international airport with flights to Canada, the US, the UK, and Mexico.

Scuba diving, fishing, and other aquatic pursuits are popular pastimes in the area.

Food

The town of La Crucecita in Huatulco also has a large selection of excellent dining establishments with all the standard fare one would expect, like pizza and steak, as well as regional specialties including, of course, fresh fish, salad, fresh fruit, and mole dishes. For those who desire to discover the local secrets, there are even a few highly active, continuous cooking schools/classes.

Healthcare

Huatulco has excellent medical resources for a small town. There are two medical facilities: the IMSS government hospital and the Navy-run hospital. On the main square, the Red Cross clinic also sees patients with less urgent needs.

If necessary, Huatulco’s medical professionals are extremely willing to make house calls. Furthermore, the prices are reasonable enough that even a surgical treatment won’t put you into debt, despite the fact that neither Medicare nor Canadian government insurance alternatives are accepted (only approved private insurance coverage).

In Huatulco, pharmacies are open late, sometimes even all day. Additionally, prescriptions are only required for potent antibiotics and narcotics at Mexican pharmacies. The majority of medications are practically available for only a few dollars.

You can also travel to Puerto Escondido, which is roughly two hours away, if your condition requires more sophisticated medical attention.

Cost of Living in Huatulco

Depending on your personal preferences, a couple can rent a lovely two-bedroom condo for between $500 and $700 per month. You may have to pay a little bit more each month for a beautiful home with an ocean view, which ranges from $1,000 to $1,500.

The majority of places offer gardening and housekeeping services, and gated communities are rapidly expanding. On the whole, the neighborhood is safe, and because it is a city that was developed by the federal government, there is a strong security presence there.

The meal prices at the restaurants are relatively affordable, typically at $25 for two with a drink. It’s also quite simple to find a $5 Mexican dish almost anywhere.

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian huatulco
Huatulco city in Mexico. Image by TripAdvisor

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Ensenada

This port city has long been a popular travel destination and it still is. For Canadians who want to experience the finest of Mexico, a city is a terrific location. In addition to the wide range of activities available to locals, it also has a number of research institutions and infrastructure. It has one of Mexico’s highest concentrations of scientists.

Since San Diego in the US is not far from the city, locals can take advantage of the top medical facilities there.

In the winter, Ensenada can get a little chilly; the temperature may drop to 45 degrees early in the day, but it will likely rise to 65 degrees by noon. So in general, winter presents very little difficulties.

It is uncommon for rain to fall continuously throughout a rainstorm, which typically lasts a day. Meanwhile, the so-called Santa Ana Winds will occasionally occur in the summer. These sweltering winds originate in the desert, which can drive temperatures up to the nineties along the coast. Most of the time, though, Ensenada experiences a pleasant ocean wind.

Many bars and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi, so that’s something you can take advantage of. Ensenada has just started to get co-working spaces. Hi-speed internet is also available for a nominal cost.

Food

Ensenada is dubbed the seafood capital of Mexico and a haven for culinary and wine connoisseurs. The fish taco, one of the most popular in the area, is available in almost every nook. Ensenada’s street food is also on par with some of the best, as it offers seafood too. The cost of food is typically lower in this city.

The drink margarita also had its beginnings in this modest city. While Ensenada may be known for its traditional seafood eateries and cheap street cuisine, it also has plenty of sophisticated gourmet options.

Although the hotel infrastructure in the center of Ensenada may not be the best, there are definitely places where you can get a delicious all-day Mexican breakfast.

Healthcare

Being close to the US means you can simply travel there if you want additional alternatives when it comes to healthcare, which is one of the key advantages of living in Ensenada. A doctor’s visit can cost as little as $2 and there are multiple hospitals in this area.

There are also public hospitals, but in order to utilize them, you must register with one of the social security systems. Dental care is fairly affordable and there are many dental options to select from within the city. You can purchase an insurance plan that would cover you for international medical expenses as well.

Cost of Living in Ensenada

Renting a one-bedroom apartment within Ensenada’s city center costs 9,000 pesos per month and 4,333 pesos outside that area, according to Numbeo. The costs for buying apartment within and outside the city center can both reach roughly 13,000 pesos per square meter.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Ensenada is estimated to cost 120 pesos, while a mid-range restaurant can charge 550 pesos for a three-course meal for two.

The overall cost of living in the city for a family of four can reach an estimated average of about 36,160 pesos per month, while a single person can live off 10,246.5 pesos a month, both excluding rent. 

Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Canadian: Final Thoughts

There are many great and safe places you can settle in if you are a Canadian who plans to move in Mexico. You can live an inexpensive or luxurious lifestyle in one of the best places on this list, depending on your preferences. Should you decide it’s not for you, nothing will stop you from gathering your belongings and leaving.

When deciding where to settle down, you should ultimately consider your own needs, consider the benefits and drawbacks of each option, and always exercise patience.

If you are into investments and wish to know more, you can read our article titled what are the best investment options for Canadian expats in 2021.

We also have a review of international wealth management platform Ardan International for your guidance.   

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 492.2 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon

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