Mexico Retirement Communities

Popular retirement communities in Mexico can be found in Mazatlan, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende, and Mexico City. The best option for you depends on whether you prefer beaches or mountains and small towns or large cities. 

playa brujas Mazatlan
playa brujas Mazatlan

Insights About Different Retirement Areas in Mexico

Those who consider retiring in Mexico often have questions about which city and neighborhoods are right for them. Here are a few of the more popular retirement destinations for retirees and expats to consider:

Playa del Carmen

A privada in Playa del Carmen
A privada (gated community) in Playa del Carmen

Located one hour south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen has long been popular with expats and returning tourists. It offers many of the American conveniences that Cancun has but in a much more laid-back atmosphere. 

Like Cancun, it has stunning beaches and fantastic food. It isn’t just about great tacos; food from all over the world can be found in this beachside paradise. It’s also the perfect jumping-off point for other destinations on the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Chichen Itza and Cozumel. Retirees looking for a more relaxed small-town vibe can also consider Tulum another hour down the coast.

Neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen that are popular among expats are 5th Avenue, Playacar, Colosio and Gonzalo Guerrero. These hotspots are for those who want the convenience and comforts of life in the United States. 

Lake Chapala

Lake Chapala Mexico
Lake Chapala, Jalisco. A popular retirement town in Mexico

Situated about 45 minutes south of Guadalajara, Lake Chapala is a charming destination beloved by expats and repeat visitors alike. Like Guadalajara, it boasts a range of conveniences familiar to North American residents but in a quieter, more scenic setting.

Lake Chapala is renowned for its expansive lake and beautiful weather, offering a tranquil retreat from bustling city life. While traditional Mexican cuisine is a highlight, the area also serves an impressive variety of international dishes, catering to its diverse community.

Lake Chapala is made up of several towns, and some of the most popular amongst retirees are the vibrant Ajijic, with its artistic flair; Chapala, with more shopping options and fewer cobblestone streets; and the serene San Antonio Tlayacapan, known for its relaxed lifestyle and community spirit. These areas offer the pleasures and amenities expatriates seek in an enchanting Mexican setting.


The Mazatlán coastline
The Mazatlán coastline

A Spanish colonial atmosphere with an upscale touch is what primarily draws many retirees to living in Mazatlan. This beachside city of 500,000 has a small-town feel with all the conveniences of a larger city. There are shopping malls, golf courses, and endless streets filled with fantastic restaurants. 

Retirees thinking of relocating to Mexico often cite the amenities and low cost of living that can be enjoyed in Mazatlan. Well-known retirement communities are primarily situated along the beach in the aptly named Golden Zone neighborhood. Here, you’ll find condos and homes just a few hundred feet from the sea. 

Mexico City

Coyoacan neighborhood in Mexico City
Coyoacan neighborhood in Mexico City

Major cities aren’t always at the top of the list of retirement destinations because they are usually too expensive and a bit overwhelming to navigate. Still, those who enjoy city life will certainly find plenty offered in CDMX- as it is also known.

Another key reason Mexico City ranks high with expats is its year-round fantastic weather. 

At approximately 7,200 feet in elevation, the city has a fairly consistent temperature with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Cool nights mean never having to sweat it out like those who retire at the beach.

Mexico City is also a cultural mecca with live music, sports, and events taking place throughout the year. As with any big city, it’s important to choose a location where you feel secure. Districts where expats tend to congregate are Condesa and Roma, as well as Coyocan and Polanco. These areas of town offer older European-style architecture with upscale charm.

Additional Reading: 8 Cities In Mexico That Are NOT Hot Year Round

San Miguel De Allende

San Miguel de Allende comes alive at night
San Miguel de Allende comes alive at night

Located approximately four hours to the north of Mexico City and one hour from Queretaro, this quiet Spanish colonial town has long been popular with expats. Its similar altitude to Mexico City and Queretaro means the weather is mild almost all year, with the exception of March and May, which are the hottest months in the central highlands of Mexico.

While the city has a population of approximately 140,000, it feels much smaller. It also has a reputation for fantastic food and many cafes and eateries. Much of the central district is walkable, and bus and taxi services are available to reach the outer areas of the city. 

The city is so popular that expats make up approximately 10% of its population. This means there are plenty of other expats to find a community with alongside the city’s friendly locals. 

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Not all beach towns broil in the sun. And Puerto Vallarta is the perfect example. It is located on the West Coast of Mexico. Pacific waters and a constant sea breeze keep this town cooler than other beaches in Mexico during the day. At night, cool air rolls off the nearby Sierra Madre mountains and washes across town. 

The expat and retiree scene in Puerto Vallarta has been vibrant for decades since the late 1960s. Districts like Zona Romantica have all the creature comforts one could want with cobblestone streets and old-world Spanish ambiance. To be closer to the action, the El Centro neighborhood has the best access to everything a downtown has to offer. 

Still Need Help Deciding?

Now, of course, this is a short list of retirement communities in Mexico. Because there are many cities across this wonderful country in which people choose to retire. And with so many places to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to retire in Mexico.

The people, culture, food, and atmosphere can be completely different depending on which side of the country you want to live. 

Mexico Relocation Tours
A private relocation tour is the perfect way to do “boots on the ground” research.

To help you make a more informed decision, the Mexico Relocation Guide offers an online guide with a complete directory of trusted contacts that will help make your move a lot easier. Including our top recommendations for locals offering Mexico relocation tours.

Our trusted local guides can take you around cities on your shortlist and show you what you can expect if you decide to take the leap and move to Mexico. To book a tour, you first have to buy our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide– See what’s included today.

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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