Ahhhh… Cuernavaca.(aka Cuerna to the locals) A magical city in the state of Morelos. But what’s magical about it?
Well, for starters, it’s got:
- Eternal Spring Like Weather
- A Gorgeous Backdrop With The “Popo” Volcano
- Royal Gardens and A Castle
- Fresh and Crisp Clean Air
- Great Quesadillas and Street Food
The list goes on…
Cuernavaca is easily one of the top places you should consider visiting or living in when you’re looking at places to live in Mexico.
Check out our Living in Cuernavaca video. Including our neighborhood recommendations, cost of living, and more!
About 2 years ago, one of my best friends got married in Cuernavaca. I’ll be honest that I didn’t know much about this city other than it was a weekend getaway for people from Mexico City who are looking to relax and get some of that fresh mountain air.
But when I arrived in Cuernavaca, it surprised me that having lived in Mexico City for so long. I had never actually been to this beautiful city.
I’ll admit that my experience is slightly different from most people’s because my lodging for the wedding was at the magnificent Hacienda de Cortes. A 16th century Spanish Hacienda fit for a king that’s situated on a perfectly manicured lawn and has antique touches like wrought iron fences and solid wood cathedral doors. You know, the kind that needs 2 people to open them for you.
But it wasn’t just the hacienda that stole my heart. I took a day and a half to explore Cuernavaca’s historic center, and I loved every bit of it. People were strolling along with their families at the main plaza, eating at one of the many outdoor cafes, and plenty of merchants selling everything from toys, churros to marionettes. The city center felt alive and vibrant. It seemed happy, calm, and relaxing.
Makes total sense to me why people come to this city to get away.
I could be wearing a t-shirt and sandals with the sun on my skin without even a shiver during the day. And at night, all I had to do was put on a light sweater and closed shoes to be perfectly comfortable. And if every day is like this, I think I have found a paradisiacal type of place.
I don’t intend to imply that you would have the same experience if you lived in Cuernavaca as I did one the ONE weekend I spent there. I’m sure you would have a much quieter life during the week simply because it seems like the kind of town that gets most of its business from tourists. So, that means mostly on weekends.
However, if having a life of quiet relaxation during the week and heavier activity during the weekend is something that you are looking forward to, then this city might be the perfect place for you. And the constant sunny and fresh weather is more the reason you’d be able to make plans and follow through with them. You could finally say goodbye to 3 months of isolation if you live in a freezing area. Or 3 months of isolation if you live in a sweltering area.
But because there is a demand for real estate in this mountain town, that also means that the cost of living can be kind of high. At least compared to most Mexican towns that can offer similar living conditions. In most cases, rentals go for USD $800-$1200 a month.
Utilities do tend to be very low since you won’t need things like heating or air conditioning. Restaurants and cafes vary significantly in prices depending on their location, facilities, and menu. But it’s fair to say that a couple could have a very nice 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for less than $40 USD.
Cost of Living
To give you an idea of what typical costs in Cuernavaca are I will break down some basic expenses for a couple: (source: Numbeo and Inmuebles24)
- 2 bedroom rental with mid-range finishes in a gated community- $900
- 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant in the historic center – $40
- Gas, Electric, Water, Trash, Internet and Netflix (monthly) – $75
- Movie tickets (per showing) for 2 – $8
- Gasoline (per gallon) $3.75
- Groceries for 2 (monthly) $250-$350
So it’s fair to say that your expenses won’t exactly be cut in half from the example I just shared above if you are single. You can probably cut some of the variables in half, like groceries, entertainment, and eating out.
I’ve read reports on some other people’s websites stating that a single person could live comfortably on $1500 a month. And although I think someone could live on $1500/month in Cuernavaca, I also think it would be very tight. It’s one of the more expensive mountain towns in Mexico. A more realistic budget for a single person is $2,000/month or $2,500 for a couple.
You should take into consideration that Cuernavaca isn’t exactly a big city. So, for example, if you needed special medical attention, your best bet would be to travel to Mexico City (55 miles away) to seek expert medical care. The only hospitals in Cuernavaca are small and would most likely transfer you to Mexico City in an emergency.
I do, however, encourage you to spend some time in Cuerna. Even if you don’t relocate there right away, it’s just that magical.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below! Drop a line and say hi. And to get daily photos of Mexico and constant updates on life in Mexico, make sure you like us on Facebook. Thanks for reading!
Jennifer Reyes says
Cuernavaca sounds lovely! How does it compare in cost/quality of life compared to Querétaro or San Miguel de Allende?
Mariana Lange says
Cuernavaca has a slightly different climate, probably a much lower cost of living than San Miguel de Allende and slightly less than Queretaro.
The biggest difference in Cuernavaca is that it is a semi-large city compared to Queretaro but without an airport or the other amenities of Queretaro. It is also not as clean as Queretaro but has nicer weather in my opinion because it is not as dry as Queretaro. Also, there seems to be more crime in Cuernavaca when compared to QRO or SMA
We’re planning on visiting Mexico and in particular, Cuernavaca early October. Would you be willing to share some “must see” places” while in Cuerna? We’ll be there for a few days.
Mariana Lange says
I think this video does a good job of showing you some must see places.
I also have a private relocation tour guide there that can show what it’s like to live in Cuernavaca
Lovely post on a beautiful city. What neighbourhoods should we consider to buy a nice home?
Mariana Lange says
I did a nice video on some of the areas we recommend in Cuernavaca. Enjoy 🙂
The cost of living in Cuernavaca is very low. We rent a 3 Bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom condo with a swimming pool and 24 hour gated guard. We pay $410 a month for rent, not including utilities.
Mariana Lange says
I would love to talk to you Lorrie!
We are looking for people like you who want to share their story and this kind of info of living in Cuernavaca. Can you please send me an email [email protected]