Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico to Retire

Mexico is a superb destination if you dream of a peaceful retirement close to gorgeous beaches and clean ocean waters in a warm climate where you can make your money go further.

In this guide, we’ve created a list of our favorite beach towns that are well-suited to retirees, offering low living costs, stunning landscapes, and safe, friendly communities–from the tiny Holbox Island to the idyllic Mahahual and Puerto Peñasco, just one hour from the US border.

Each of these unique locations is known for the friendly and welcoming locals and presents an opportunity to retire in style while being a short distance from the major tourist attractions, ensuring the crowds and cost of living remain minimal.

1. Holbox Island

holbox on the map
Holbox, Quintana Roo

If you’ve never heard of Holbox Island, you aren’t alone! This tiny island is just twenty-six miles long and sits in the ocean north of the Yucatán Peninsula. There is one town on the island, and you can take the ferry from Chiquila, which is around two hours from Cancún by car; there is also an airstrip for local flights.

Retirement on the island is as tranquil as it gets, with most residents using a golf cart or moped to travel around. There are no large resorts or hotels, hence the affordability of the island, which attracts some seasoned travelers who stay at the small lodges and dine at the family eateries.

Holbox is a small beach town
Holbox is a small beach town

Budget-wise, you’ll need approximately $2,000 a month for a couple, but it is possible to live on far less as living costs are low. Your biggest expense in Mexico will be your long-term rental. So, the lower your rent, the lower your overall costs.

2. Mahahual

Our next stop is in the pretty town of Mahahual, another location characterized by pristine white sand beaches and rich turquoise waters that are warm and suited to swimming throughout the year. Mahahual has more visitor traffic than Holbox Island, primarily due to the port, where cruise ships stop intermittently. However, it remains quiet, with the beaches often yours to enjoy alone.

There are retirees from around the world in Mahahual, and if you would prefer to be within easy reach of shopping malls and other amenities, Chetumal is only an hour’s drive away.

Living in Mahahual
Living in Mahahual

We have found rentals as low as $6,000 Pesos (about $350 USD/Month). However, these were very basic and almost bare. I would say a comfortable long-term rental will be closer to $13-14k Pesos (About $800 USD/Month).

3. Progreso

Progreso, a charming beach town on the Yucatan Peninsula, offers a serene and inviting atmosphere for those considering retirement in a tropical paradise. This hidden gem is less known than some of Mexico’s more famous coastal cities. Still, it’s precisely this understated charm that makes it an appealing choice for retirees seeking a peaceful, laid-back lifestyle.

The town’s lengthy pier and beautiful beaches are standout features, providing residents with endless opportunities to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. The Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters are perfect for swimming, fishing, and even kite surfing, making Progreso a haven for water enthusiasts year-round.

Progreso’s cost of living is another attractive aspect. Affordable real estate options allow retirees to enjoy beachfront living without breaking the bank. We have seen 2-3 bedroom condos renting for $12-$15k Pesos/Month and only a short walking distance to the beach (about $700-$900 USD). Properties here offer great value, with prices significantly lower than in more touristy destinations.

progreso yucatan
progreso yucatan

The town boasts a friendly, close-knit community where newcomers are welcomed with open arms. While Spanish is the primary language, you’ll find a growing expat community where English is commonly spoken, easing the transition for those who might not be fluent in Spanish.

Hopefully, these suggestions have inspired you to look into some of the special places in Mexico that are off the beaten track. As always, we encourage you to check out our complete Mexico Relocation Guide– an online course that teaches you how to retire in Mexico the right way.

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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