Why Do People Move to Mexico: Discovering the Allure of Life South of the Border

Mexico has become a sought-after destination for individuals from all over the world looking to relocate. The country presents a distinctive blend of rich culture, varied terrains, and a comparatively affordable way of life.  These attractive topics have led many to consider making the move, whether it’s for retirement, a lifestyle change, or seeking new opportunities. Living in Mexico provides you a chance to experience a different pace of life, where the warm climate, friendly locals, and rich traditions create a welcoming environment for newcomers.

Valladolid, Yucatan

Navigating the move to Mexico involves understanding the logistics that come with such a significant life change. From obtaining the necessary residency visas and finding a place to live to adjusting to the local customs and perhaps even a new language, there’s a lot to plan for and consider. And it’s important to know which sources have reliable and up to date information so you’re not basing your mopst important decisions on wrong info. You will find that initial effort pays off, with Mexico’s expat communities offering support and insight to help ease the transition. Once settled, expats often discover that Mexico offers a quality of life that can be hard to match, with affordable healthcare, an assortment of culinary delights, various landscapes, and a thriving art and music scene adding to its appeal.

Puebla is one of the best places to live in Mexico
Living in puebla

Key Takeaways

  • A combination of culture, climate, landscapes, and low cost of living attracts people to move to Mexico.
  • There are legal considerations to manage when relocating, including residency, healthcare, and housing.
  • The expat lifestyle in Mexico often brings a better quality of life!

Why Do People Move to Mexico

When you’re considering a move abroad, Mexico stands out for several compelling reasons that go beyond just sun-soaked beach days.

buying a house in Mexico- pros and cons
the allure of buying a house in Mexico

Economic Factors

The cost of living in Mexico can be significantly lower than in many countries, particularly the US and Canada. You’ll find that everything from groceries to utilities to rentals often costs less. Property taxes are famed for being extremely low, making home ownership more attainable for expats. Looking through real estate listings, you may be amazed at how much further your budget stretches, allowing you to live comfortably without sacrificing luxuries.

Lifestyle Benefits

In Mexico, many expats discover an improved lifestyle that’s hard to beat. The allure of beautiful beaches, a year-round temperate climate in the highlands, and a more relaxed pace of life are undeniably attractive. Whether you’re craving a seaside retreat or an urban vibe in the bustling streets of Mexico City, there’s a lifestyle option for you. From vibrant street markets to modern amenities, your life in Mexico can be as laid-back or as lively as you choose.

Cultural Experiences

Your move to Mexico is your passport to rich cultural experiences. Visit Mexico not just as a tourist, but as a resident, and immerse yourself in its colorful traditions, cuisine, and history. Here you can attend lively festivals, learn Spanish, and engage with local art scenes that make everyday life feel like an adventure. It’s about more than just living—it’s about becoming part of a community that’s steeped in heritage yet constantly evolving.

Bucerias, Nayarit

Logistics of Moving

Before you pack your bags for Mexico, it’s important to nail down the nitty gritty of your move. It’ll make your transition smoother and keep surprises to a minimum.

Ready to Move to Mexico? Not Sure Where to Start? Getting confused by all the information out there? Check out our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide and move to Mexico the RIGHT WAY.

Visa and Residency Information

You’ll need the right visa to make your move to Mexico legit. Tourist visas are easy to get and last for up to 180 days, but if you’re planning to stay longer, you’ll have to look into temporary or permanent residency. 

  • Temporary Resident Visa: Ideal for stays over 6 months up to 4 years. Most people obtain Temporary Residency first before applying for Permanent.
  • Permanent Resident Visa: Go for this if you’re considering making Mexico your forever home or if you can prove that you’ve held a Temporary Resident Visa for four consecutive years.

You’ll need to start the application process at a Mexican consulate or embassy in your home country. Documents required typically include proof of income or investments, a valid passport, apostilled documents, and in some cases signed bank statements.

customers getting their Mexican residency visas
customers getting their Mexican residency visas

Cost Considerations

Once you’ve got your visa sorted, it’s time to talk money. Understanding the cost of living in Mexico, which is often lower than in the United States or Canada, can help you plan your finances. For a clearer picture, here are some specifics, using the local currency, peso (MXN):

  • Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: 6,000 to 15,000 MXN
  • Basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage): 500 to 2,500 MXN/month
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data): 350 to 1,500 MXN/month
  • Use Xe.com to calculate the costs in your currency.

Remember, the cost can vary widely depending on the location and your lifestyle preferences. Planning your budget in advance will help avoid overspending and ensure a smoother relocation experience. Keep a close eye on the exchange rates too, as fluctuations between your home currency and the peso can affect your buying power.

In most parts of Mexico, it is possible for a couple to live on $2,000-$3,000 USD/Month.

Living as an Expat in Mexico

When you move to Mexico, you join a vibrant community of expats and discover a new way of life that’s at once familiar and excitingly different.

expats in mexico
expat communities in Mexico

Community Encounters

As an expat, you’ll quickly encounter a tight-knit society of fellow foreigners, including many Americans and Canadians who have chosen to make Mexico their new home. Social groups and events abound, making it easy for you to connect with people who share your experiences:

  • Social Clubs: Find clubs that cater to various hobbies and interests.
  • Expat Gatherings: Regular meetups and forums for sharing tips.

Adjusting to Local Life

Embrace the following to integrate smoothly:

  • Language: Learning Spanish will enrich your interactions and help you bond with locals.
  • Cultural Norms: Understand local customs to show respect and build rapport.
  • Shop at your local markets and tiendas– This will help you practice your Spanish and save you money in the long term.
  • Join a local church, charity, or other group– This will help you build community and give you a sense of purpose.
Mexico Relocation Tours
Mexico Relocation Guide customers on a private relocation tour in Oaxaca with local tour guides.

Check out Some of Our Interviews With Expats Across Mexico.

Popular Destinations for Settlers

When you think about moving to Mexico, you’re probably picturing either the allure of sun-soaked beaches or the vibrant life of bustling cities. Here’s where most people tend to settle:

Coastal Havens

You’ve got your sunscreen and swimsuit packed because you’re dreaming of the coast. Puerto Vallarta is a top pick town for many. It’s not just because of the beautiful beaches; it’s also the welcoming expat community that draws you in. With its balmy climate and stunning sunset views, it’s no wonder people choose to call this paradise home.

  • Beach: Playa Los Muertos
  • Trendy Area: Zona Romántica
  • Language: Mostly Spanish, but English is widely spoken due to tourism.
Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Puerto vallarta shores

Urban Hotspots

If you’re energized by city life, Mexico City is your go-to. As one of the largest cities in the world, you’ll never run out of things to do or places to explore. From street food to high cuisine, it has an appeal that’s hard to resist. Plus, you’re a direct flight away from the U.S., which is super convenient for when you want to visit home or welcome friends.

  • Neighborhoods: Condesa, Polanco, Roma
  • Food Scene: Everything from taco stands to gourmet restaurants
  • Transport: Metro, Metrobús, biking, taxis, and walking are common modes of transport.
Mexico City
Mexico City

Colonial Towns

If you’re moving to Mexico for the authenticity of Mexican life, you should consider living in colonial towns such as Cuernavaca, Atlixco, Cholula, San Miguel de Allende, Chapala, or Ajijic. These colonial towns have an old world charm like no other. Plus, they are all within an hour to a major city.

Final Thoughts

When you consider moving to Mexico, it’s often with the hope of enhancing your lifestyle. You’ve heard about the lower cost of living, which could allow you to stretch your budget further compared to many places in the U.S. or Europe. It’s not just about saving money; it’s about upgrading your quality of life without breaking the bank.

Imagine sitting on a sun-drenched beach or exploring vibrant markets, all while indulging in some of the world’s most flavorful cuisine. Your quest for a good life might lead you to ocean views with sunsets that make your Instagram followers envious. It’s about seizing the moment and basking in the slower pace of life that lets you savor each day.

  • Culture and Community: You’ll find a treasure trove of cultural experiences that can enrich your life. From festivals and history to art and architecture, there’s always something that’ll catch your eye and heart.
  • Healthcare: With accessible healthcare services, you’re looking at a place where maintaining or improving your health could be more straightforward.

If your goal is a better life, you might discover that Mexico offers more than just a pretty postcard scene. It’s a chance for you to rewrite your story, to find a new rhythm that resonates with your desire for adventure and tranquility. Sure, all places have their quirks and challenges, but maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that Mexico aligns with the life you’ve been yearning to live.

Remember, it’s your life, your adventure. Your decision to move could be the first step towards a new chapter that’s waiting to be written.


Frequently Asked Questions

When considering a move to Mexico, you might have some questions about what life will be like in this vibrant country. Here’s a quick guide to answer some of the most common inquiries.

What attracts expats to choose Mexico as their new home?

Mexico boasts a rich cultural heritage, warm to temperate climates, and beautiful landscapes from beaches to mountains. The welcoming nature of its people often makes newcomers feel at home quickly.

What are the top benefits of living in Mexico for foreigners?

Affordability is a significant advantage, allowing you to enjoy a higher quality of life. Health care is also of high quality and accessible, and the relaxed pace of life is a draw for those looking to slow down and savor life’s pleasures.

How do safety concerns impact the decision to relocate to Mexico?

While some cities in Mexico have higher crime rates, all of the expat communities mentioned in this article are considered safe. It’s essential to research and choose locations known for their security and expat-friendly environment.

What should one consider before deciding to live in Mexico?

You should consider the language barrier, cultural differences, and the type of climate you prefer. Proximity to amenities, healthcare facilities, and expat communities are also important factors.

How does the cost of living in Mexico compare to other countries?

Generally, the cost of living in Mexico is lower than in many Western countries. Housing, food, and services are more affordable, but costs can vary widely depending on the area and your lifestyle.

What legal steps are involved in making a move to Mexico?

You’ll need to apply for a resident visa, which could be temporary or permanent, based on your circumstances. Proper documentation such as a passport and financial records are necessary, and hiring legal assistance can simplify the process.

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.

Reader Interactions


  1. Pam Kenyon says

    Hello Mariana!

    Do you have any information or videos about specifically relocating to Ixtapa/Zijua?



    • Mariana Lange says

      I don’t have videos for that area, however I do have private relocation tour guides we recommend in the area if you decided to go on a scouting trip

  2. Johnny says

    Well I just went to New Orleans to get my permanent residency. The monthly requirements 7312.43 and the big money is 297,858.00. Temporary is 3737.95 and the big money is 62,323.58. Hope that Helps if you didn’t have New Orleans. Getting pretty expensive to get documents.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Thanks for sharing! I do have these requirements on our page 🙂 Unfortunately, yes a lot of consulates are increasing their requirements. Maybe there will be an immigration reform sometime in the next presidency

  3. P Diane Schneider says

    I have been looking for my own place in León, GTO. I have been pleased to be able to do,some virtual work here in León. Fortunately I have some good local friends who are quite supportive. And of course I speak fluent Spanish.

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