Have you always dreamt of living oceanfront but can’t seem to afford it in the U.S.?
What if you could significantly reduce your cost of living? What if expenses like utilities, healthcare, groceries, internet, cellphone service, pet supplies, and entertainment were significantly less? You might be able to afford that oceanfront condo if you could reduce everything else in your budget?
That’s why so many people decide to retire in Mexico. They’ve always dreamt of living near the ocean, with year-round sunny weather and comfortable beachfront condos they can actually afford. So here are the best beaches in Mexico for retirement.
What if you could relocate to a seaside town and still live within your budget? Well, it’s still possible just south of the border!
The coastal city of Rosarito will captivate you with its stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, and exciting cultural scene. Indeed, this has been drawing expats to the city for quite some time. Plus, the benefit of Rosarito is that you have some of the nicest weather for being a beachside city in Mexico.
Playa del Carmen
An average of 20,000 expats are estimated to live in Playa del Carmen at least part-time. Most foreigners who own property in PDC are snowbirds and only spend winter on this paradisiacal beach. Playa del Carmen has foreigners from all countries. You’ll hear people speaking French, German, English, and everything else. It’s a melting pot that attracts people of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles to come to live.
So what makes Playa del Carmen so attractive?
Playa del Carmen has tropical warm weather year-round. You get to walk on powdery white sands that meet turquoise waters. The beaches are swimmable and go for miles. Plus, there is so much to do around Playa del Carmen that you’ll never get bored if you don’t want to.
There are people of all ages here. It’s not only for retirees anymore. You’ll see digital nomads in the various co-working spaces in town, and you’ll also see plenty of active retirees enjoying life. The vibrant nightlife in Playa del Carmen is known for being a party beach town. However, plenty of neighborhoods are far away from all the noise where you can have quiet and peace all day.
Living in Playa del Carmen can vary significantly in terms of the cost of living. You can easily find a 2-bedroom apartment with basic furniture and air conditioning only in the bedrooms for about $10,000 pesos/Month.
On the flip side, you can easily find a luxury penthouse condo facing the beach with upscale touches and finishes for $60,000 Pesos/Month. Your cost of living in Playa will depend on your lifestyle and expenses like rent.
Want to know what living in the Riviera Maya is like? Check out our Private Relocation Tours in Playa del Carmen
During the busiest months, it is reported that Puerto Vallarta has some 40,000-50,000 expats. However, that number is closer to 10-15,000 permanent residents for most of the year. Puerto Vallarta is a city of approx 230,000 people. It’s not small by any means, but most of the concentration of residential and convenient neighborhoods is close to the beach.
nestled between the Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta is a popular cruise stop, its nightlife, the wide and beautiful Malecon facing the beach, and its warm weather. And although a hurricane recently hit Puerto Vallarta, devastating hurricanes are rare here. Vallarta has been known since the 70s as a top Mexican beach destination, and today it keeps growing with tourists worldwide.
Puerto Vallarta has an airport, a seaport, and many public transportation options. It has the infrastructure of a large city combined with the attractiveness of the beach. You’ll find high-end and modern hospitals and excellent healthcare. English is widely spoken around here, and even broken Spanish will get you far.
Living in Puerto Vallarta can easily be done with $1500-$2000 USD/Month for a single person and $2500 USD/Month for a couple. It depends on your level of comfort and lifestyle.
Ensenada is in Baja California and within 1 to 2 hours driving distance to San Diego.
Ensenada is known for its vineyards and biodiversity and is a popular cruise line destination. In addition, Ensenada is only a 2-hour drive to San Diego, California, which makes it extremely attractive to expats who want to be near the U.S.
Both Ensenada and Rosarito have year-round Mediterranean weather- which is great for people who want to live near the beach but are prone to humidity allergies. However, the weather in Baja California is a drier Meditteranean air with temperatures ranging from 80-50 degrees Fahrenheit at different times of the year.
You will need a light sweater in the winter months, and in the summer, you probably won’t get too hot. The weather and proximity to The United States have made Ensenada one of the most popular beaches for retirement.
And the lower cost of living compared to California is also very attractive. For example, you can get a nice 2-bedroom condo facing the ocean in Rosarito for $1,000 USD/Month. Utilities will likely be extra, but the lower humidity and cooler temperatures mean you won’t need air conditioning all year long.
Check Out The Ultimate Guide for Best Places Places to Live in Mexico
Known as the “pearl of the Pacific,” Mazatlan has been a popular beach destination for expats worldwide. Neighborhoods like the “Golden Zone” are popular with expats of all ages and backgrounds because they are walkable and have many amenities nearby.
Mazatlan offers one of the lowest costs of living on the beach in Mexico. You can easily find a nice 2-bedroom apartment near the beach for $13,000 Pesos/Month, fully furnished.
Your highest expense in any beach area when it comes to utilities will be electricity for air conditioning. However, the weather here tends to be a bit less extreme than the beaches on the Riviera Maya at the southernmost part of Mexico. The daily highs average around 85 degrees, whereas the lows hover around 65-70.
You’ll find many comforts from back home in Mazatlan, such as a Home Depot, Walmart, and Sam’s Club. Mazatlan also has a nice big modern hospital near the city’s center. Mazatlan also has a nice international airport with nonstop flights to Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
One place that stands out in popularity with snowbirds is the beach town of Huatulco. And it’s for a good reason. Life is laid back here, 9 bays protect this beach from heavy hurricanes, and the state of Oaxaca is known for its immense bio-diversity. Naturually, Huatulco is beautiful!
Huatulco was planned by the department of tourism in Mexico to be a tourism haven. With those plans came a modern infrastructure such as an international airport, modern ocean-facing condos, and plenty of amenities in town. What is unique about Huatulco, though, is you won’t find any franchises here like fast food restaurants, Walmarts, home depots, or any big box stores. For me, this is one of the reasons Huatulco seems especially authentic in Mexico.
Thousands of expats come here every year to live at least part-time.
The weather here is tropical and humid, but there is almost always a breeze, making it easy to be comfortable with minimal air conditioning use. Almost every house has at least a mini-split air conditioning unit in the bedrooms and plenty of fans throughout the house.
English is widely spoken around Huatulco, and making friends with other expats should be easy. Unfortunately, it has recently seen a boom in development, with condos and houses selling out all the time.
A 2 bedroom condo facing the beach will rent for $2,000-$3,000 USD/Month- including amenities like an onsite pool, a gym, and tennis courts. But if that’s out of your budget, you can also easily find a place in town a 10-15 minutes walking from the beach for as low as $300-$500 USD/Month.
Many of you have probably heard of Los Cabos in Baja California Sur, but I want to introduce you to La Paz.
La Paz and Cabo are extremely different- and I say that in a good way. La Paz is truly an authentic Mexican beach town where you can enjoy the famous Baja weather without paying the sticker-shock prices of Cabo. You will find one bedroom apartments on the beach range between $600-$800 USD/Month.
La Paz is a fisherman’s town where most of its tourism is from local Mexicans and not so many foreigners. But just because it has fewer foreign tourists doesn’t mean La Paz won’t have amenities. The food scene in La Paz is top-notch. The seafood here is fresh, affordable, and varied. Walking down the Malecon facing the ocean is lined with restaurants, boutique shops, and cafes.
The average weather in La Paz is one of the main reasons this beach town is great for beach lovers. The average daytime highs range between 80-85- except for June-August, where daytime highs average 90 degrees. La Paz is safe, quiet, and not as busy as other tourist beaches in Mexico. Another reason La Paz should be on your list of places in Mexico worth visiting.
Cabo San Lucas
At the tip of one of the world’s longest Peninsulas is a popular tourist town known for its stunning beaches, world-class golf courses, and lively nightlife.
All this and more makes Cabo San Lucas a great place to live in Mexico for those who love the beach and an active lifestyle.
Cabo San Lucas offers a good quality of life, with plenty of amenities and services for residents, including supermarkets, hospitals, and many dining options. The city is also home to many luxury developments and has many real estate options, from high-end villas to more affordable condos. While still expensive for Mexico, the cost of living in Cabo is generally lower than in many other major tourist destinations in Mexico, making it a more affordable option for those looking to relocate.
Learn To Live Like A Local
You may have already done a lot of research and have a “shortlist” of places you are considering moving to Mexico. And if you’re ready to go on a scouting trip because nothing will beat boots on the ground for you to determine if Mexico is right for you.
Then our Mexico Relocation Tours is a great option for you! A Mexico Relocation Tour is a 1-3 day tour in a specific town/area.
And the tours are fully customized to do and see the things you are most interested in. So, let someone else drive while you can sit back and learn what living in one of these cities is truly like- from a locals’ perspective.
Bob allder says
Interested in more info on Puerto Vallarta. Buying options as well as rentals near beach areas! My name is Bob Allder tel# 7602162368. Email [email protected]
Mariana Lange says
We are not a real estate company. We offer an online guide that teaches you how to move to Mexico and also offer private relocation tours around Mexico. When you purchase our online guide you get instance access to our recommended realtors around Mexico https://mexicorelocationguide.com/guide/
Gigi M. says
Hello, we are visiting Sayulita in July this year in our exploration for potential retirement locals. Any thought?
Mariana Lange says
Sayulita is such a cute beach town.
If you need help with a tour or finding rentals in Sayulita, we have a few recommendations in our Online Guide
Debra Haggerty says
May I copy an article to post on my FB page?
Mariana Lange says
Hi- feel free to share the article with this link https://mexicorelocationguide.com/best-beaches-in-mexico-for-retirement/
Gene E Conroy says
All of these beach towns/cities are incredible, it’s just hard to choose! Actually for my wife and I we were looking at Zihuatanejo, but unfortunately, there is no major hospital there.. We’ll be making a decision by the end of next year will we will buy or rent… once we decide, we will be leaving the U.S. for good. Mexico is so affordable, beautiful culture, food, amazing people… My wife and I will choose wisely.
Chloe Caldwell says
I love your weekly article and youtube videos. I know your focus is on expats retiring in mx, but would you have any suggestions for young expats with children? Another useful sight, articles….. maybe you could do one , just one , article for people like us 😃 I think the younger expat community struggle with finding the safest cities, the best private schools, attractions for young children.
Thanks for any tips!
Mariana Lange says
Hi! I actually have a lot of customers moving to Mexico with children, so don’t worry all of my information applies to all ages. 😀
There are a variety of articles talking about the cost of living in Mexico and this is relevant regardless of age. I also have a few videos with expats who share their stories moving to Mexico with kids.
Here is my youtube channel youtube.com/mexicorelocationguide
FRANCIS MARTINEZ says
Hola Mariana: tienes informacion sobre San Felipe en Baja California? para retirarse en esa area de Mexico.
If I were to retire to Mexico, I’d want to live directly on the beach. The cheaper the better. I don’t need a fancy condo. Any thoughts?
Mariana Lange says
You can definitely find something that isn’t fancy and affordable. My biggest advice is to look where the locals look. The Spanish groups, and sites
And the further you get from the beach the more affordable
Gracie Rodriguez says
What about Huatulco ,how expensive is to buy a house or condo
Mariana Lange says
Huatulco is made up of a lot of different neighborhoods. Some are in the city center and some are by the ocean on the beach. The neighborhoods closer to the beach, are definitely more expensive. The homes in the city away from the beach are more affordable.
Elaine Young says
I am an adult female retired, semi, I still enjoy working. Worked as a Concierge for the Four Seasons Hotel and The St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco where I lived for 40 years. Thought about San Miguel and know folks who live in Puerto Vallarta. Also La Paz. Have traveled all over Mexico up and down and Yucatan area. Where would you recommend I look into as I am concerned about safety.
I thank you in advance for your help.🇺🇸❤️‼️
Mariana Lange says
Sounds like you’re on the right path Elaine.
That’s a very personal decision which only you can make. But my advice to help you narrow it down would be to make a list of the things you must have vs the nice to have.
Here’s a guide on that https://mexicorelocationguide.com/where-should-you-live-in-mexico/