Querétaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

Querétaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living
-Best Querétaro Free Old Town Walking Tour and Ma
Best Day Tours
-Best Restaurants
-Best Nightlife
-Best (and) Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
-Livability Factors
-Low Cost of Living
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Querétaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living


  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This is my Querétaro Mexico retire early low cost of living guide. I am traveling around the world finding the best retire early low cost of living destinations in paradise. In the last 11 years, I have been to 64 countries.

Qiang Hui of Hoboventures is traveling with me. I met her in Malaysia in 2016 and she joined me in 2017. You should check out Qiang Hui’s Instagram account some time. She is doing a great job.

The last 6 weeks we have been investigating the best retire early low cost of living locations in Mexico. We have visited Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Chapala, Ajijic, Puerto Vallarta, Morelia, and Querétaro. Before this, we were in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Just search the words “Vagabond Buddha” to what we have been doing on both our web page and our Youtube Channel.

Today I am writing about Mexico. This has my cost of living data for Querétaro, Mexico. We have 7 more stops in Mexico before we head to Scotland! If you would like to know where we go next, then please follow us. You can either subscribe at VagabondBuddha.com or our Youtube Channel.

But first, here are some facts about Querétaro Mexico I found on Wikipedia:

  1. Many say Querétaro has the best quality of life and is the safest city in Mexico
  2. Querétaro, the silicon valley of Mexico, has the second highest average per capita income in Mexico ($20k USD) behind only Monterey.
  3. Querétaro region is second in wine production in Mexico, after the Baja California region.
  4. 15,000 people lived in this area when the Spanish showed up. It was populated by the Otomi, the Aztecs, and the Chichimeca. The Otomi were city dwellers with a sophisticated political organization.
  5. Querétaro was founded in 1531 when the Spanish allied with the Otomi leader Conin who was the representative of the Aztecs in this area, defeat insurgent groups of the Otomi and Chichimeca.
  6. The Chichimeca were winning the battle when a total eclipse of the sun occurred causing the Chichimeca to surrender.
  7. At that moment, the Spanish claimed to have seen an image of Saint Peter carrying a rose-colored cross. A church, monastery, and cross were built by the Spanish on Sangremal hill where the battle and the vision occurred.
  8. Conin separated the indigenous people and the Spaniards into different areas. The indigenous were assigned Sangremal Hill and the Spanish were assigned the historic city center of Querétaro.
  9. Very few of the buildings from the 16th century remain. This is due to continued violence and skirmishes that reached their peak in the 17th century. This is why most of the cities structures were built in Baroque architecture, the popular architecture when things calmed down.

Best Querétaro Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map

Here is the Youtube video of our Querétaro Free Old Town Walking Tour. Click the Google Map link below this Youtube video so it can direct you to each destination on the tour.

Click this Google Map to get started on this Queretaro free old town walking tour map:

If clicking the above map doesn’t work, then click ==>>this link<<== on your smartphone.

First Stop

Church and ex-convent of Santa Rosa de Viterbo: The church was completed in 1752. The convent was closed in 1861 because of the reform laws. The reform laws separated the Catholic Church from any governing power it had in Mexico (i.e., separation of church and state). The convent was thereafter used as a hospital for 100 years. Today the convent is occupied by an art college (Centro de Estudios de Diseño y Artes Gráficas Mexico-Italiano).

Second Stop (two things to see)

Querétaro Cathedral (Church San Felipe Neri)(and ex-monastery): This church was started in 1786 and took 19 years to complete. It was inaugurated by Miguel Hidalgo. Hidalgo was the father of independence of Spain and he freed the slaves. What was the monastery now houses the Ministry of Urban Development. As you face the front of the church, the building on your left is the Palace of Conin, discussed next.

Palace of Conin: Above in the Wikipedia facts numbers 5 and 8, we discussed the Otomi leader who joined the Spanish to defeat indigenous tribes. He was given a noble title and riches for helping Spain. This was his palace.

Third Stop

Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum): This museum is located in the former Royal Convent of Santa Clara. In the 18th century, nuns from Mexico City moved to Querétaro to occupy this complex. After the Reform Laws in 1867, this building was the prison for Maximilian I. Today it is used as a cultural center. The museum exhibits contemporary drawings, photographs, sculptures, etc. as well as recitals in dance, music and other arts.

Fourth Stop

Museo de Arte de Querétaro: This museum is located in what was the monastery of San Agustin. Augustine Friars occupied the minister from 1743. It is the finest Baroque monastery in the Americas. On the ground floor of the inner courtyard, there are faces with fierce expressions. The upper floor has more serene expressions, representing higher levels of consciousness.

Fifth Stop (four things to see)

Jardín Zenea: This Zenea Garden Plaza was named in honor of Governor Benito Zenea. Both the Plaza and the following plaza were part of the atrium for the adjacent San Francisco church and monastery. Also at this stop is the Templo de San Francisco. The following picture is visible from the Jardin Zenea Plaza.

Templo de San Francisco: Completed in the 18th century, this church served as a cathedral until the 20th century. The church’s cloister now functions as the following museum. This and the following museum are at the same stop on the walking map. As you walk out of the church, the following museum is the first door to your left.

Queretaro Museo Regional: Built in 1698, the monastery of the Templo de San Francisco was the first in the city, built by Franciscans to evangelize the native populations here. This museum includes local area artifacts from the pre-Hispanic, colonial and post-Independence era. As you exit this museum, turn left and walk about 100 feet. The following Constitution Plaza will be on your right.

Plaza Constitución: Constitution Plaza and above Jardín Zenea Plaza are filled with people every night and all day Sunday to listen to bands that play dance music from the 1940s to the 1960s.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share it, comment below, or subscribe? That will rank us higher in search engines so we can keep making these travel guides.

Sixth Stop (two things to see)

Plaza de Independencia (Plaza de Armas): This is the oldest part of the colonial-era city. It is surrounded by sidewalk cafes and colonial-era mansions. The fountain in the center honors Juan Antonio de Urrutia y Arana, who built the large aqueduct to bring water to the city. The plaza is surrounded by Galeria Libertad and Casa de Ecala, and the 18th-century mansion with large wrought iron balconies. The best-known structure on Plaza de Independencia is the following Palacio de la Corregidora.

Palacio de la Corregidora: This palace is named after Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, the wife of the mayor (Corregidor) of the city. She was a hero of the Mexican War of Independence. She was arrested for her participation in the Conspiracy of 1810. That conspiracy started the war of independence.

Seventh Stop

Templo y Convento de la Santa Cruz: This church and monastery is located on Sangremal Hill. This is where the Spanish claimed Saint James appeared at the founding of the city. There is a cross commemorating the event. During the War of Independence, Querétaro’s mayor, Miguel Domínguez, was imprisoned here.

Eighth Stop

Mirador De Los Arcos: From this viewpoint, you can see the full length of the Queretaro Aqueduct. The Aqueduct is 1.3 kilometers long. Each arch is twenty meters wide. It was started in 1726 and took 12 years to build. It started in 1726 and took 12 years to build. It was built by Jan Antonio de Urrutia at the request of the Santa Clara Convent. It was necessary to distribute water that was lacking in various areas.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Day Tours and Map of Querétaro

Guided Tours

All of the Viator Tour options are listed at this link. The below prices are what I found on the day I clicked the link. The prices on the day you click might be different. If so, please let me know in the comments below so I can update the below prices.

  1. Colonial Querétaro by Trolley Car or Bus $10 USD
  2. Canyoning Adventure from Santiago de Querétaro $82 USD
  3. Exploring the Independence Cities–San Miguel, Hidalgo, Atotonilco $75 USD
  4. Queretaro Walking Tour $18 USD
  5. Queretaro Myths and Legends Tour $28 USD
  6. Queretaro Mountain Bike Adventure $58 USD

Get Your Guide Tours has similar tours with only a slight variation in pricing on the day I searched. If you know of a great tour operator around Querétaro that I can suggest, please email me or let me know in the notes below.

Self-Guided (Cheap Bastard) Tours

Here are a few free self-guided day tours around Querétaro, in case you are a do it yourself-er or just cheap like me.

Free Queretaro Aqueduct Tour

The Queretaro Aqueduct is the largest colonial-era structure in Querétaro. This is 1.3 kilometers long with seventy-four arches, each arch twenty meters wide. It was started in 1726 and took 12 years to build. It was built by Jan Antonio de Urrutia at the request of nuns at the Santa Clara Convent to deliver water to the residents of La Canada. It is a 25-minute walk from Plaza de Armas.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your simple kindness will rank us higher on search engines so people can find us.

Pyramid of El Cerrito

El Cerrito Archaeological Zone was only a 70 Uber MX 3.50 USD Uber ride from Queretaro old town. I heard they have English guides on site. This pyramid is estimated to have been built around 300 BC. The height of pre-hispanic culture in this area was 900 to 1200 AD when the Toltec ruled this area. The power of the great Toltec lords and at warriors rested here. Ceramic figurines excavated here indicate trade networks from Guatemala in the south to Jalisco in the north. Make sure to click the above link to this archaeological site to make sure it is open and the hours before you go. We went on a Monday and they were closed. The above picture is taken from the gate.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Wine Tasting Tours

Queretaro is the second largest wine producing state in Mexico. We intended to do a wine tasting tour while we were here but Qiang Hui was not feeling well the day it was scheduled. If you end up going wine tasting here, can you please comment below? Your experience would be valuable. Here are a couple of options we read about online. Wine Tour 1, Wine Tour 2.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Restaurants in Querétaro

The below restaurants are ordered with favorites closer to the top. If something disappointed us it is not on the list. You may have noticed that I am not a big fan of getting in cars when I am investigating colonial-era cities. The above map is so you can consider walking distance when selecting from my list of restaurants.

Restaurante Vegano Suwa: This is a vegan restaurant. Qiang had a soy chorizo potato with corn tortillas. I had a green veggie shake. I am fasting right now. The bill was 170 MX + 30 MX tip, total $10.00 USD.

Meson De La Corregidora: We forgot to take a picture here. It is a sidewalk restaurant that has both Mexican and Italian food. Prices were on the higher end for the international selections. Qiang Hui had onion soup and I had cheese enchiladas. The bill was 300 MX which is 15 USD including one drink each and tip. The cost in a neighborhood restaurant would have been 8 to 12 USD for this quality level.

Tikua Sureste: This place had a great atmosphere and delicious food. The service is also impeccable. That must be why it has a 4.6 on Google with over 1000 reviews. They had English and Spanish Menus. I wasn’t sure what to order so I asked my server what she recommended for a vegetarian. She discussed 6 different choices at least. I had a dish from Oaxaca Mexico that I have never had before, and couldn’t pronounce if my life depended on it. Delicious. Qiang Hui had a pork dish. The bill including tip was 320 MX $16 USD.

La Biznaga: This was recommended as the best vegan restaurant in town by a friend who is vegan. We never made it over there. If you go please comment below and I will add it here. Please indicate what you had, what the check was, and whether or not you would go back.

Street Food: Qiang Hui had one of her favorite meals at the above street restaurant. It was a Machaca Taco made right in front of us that cost MX 20, $ 1 USD. The restaurant has no name. It is just a tent as shown in the above picture in a small triangle area at this intersection.

Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: I prepared about 7 meals at home while we were in Queretaro at our Airbnb place. We shopped at this grocery store which was only 2 blocks from our Airbnb place. It had a great kitchen and a quaint table in the backyard where we could eat.

Best Querétaro Nightlife (Bar Hopping) Walking Tour and Map

One person’s heaven is another person’s hell. So think of this Queretaro Bar Hopping Tour more like an evening stroll. Just stroll along until something tickles your fancy. Click the below interactive Google Map or the link below it to start your stroll:

Just click ==>this link<== on your smartphone to start your tour.

Meson De La Corregidora: We started with dinner here: 8:45-10:00 PM. It is a sidewalk restaurant that has both Mexican and Italian food. Price wise it is on the higher end. Qiang Hui had onion soup and I had cheese enchiladas. The bill was 300 MX which is 15 USD including one drink each and tip. The cost in a neighborhood restaurant would have been 8 to 12 USD for this quality level.

La Mercaderia: The above picture is the courtyard bar and restaurant.

Manceba: Dive Bar (Above)

María y su Bici: Live acoustic music. Chill.

Wicklow Irish Pub: The name and the color green in the above photo say it all.

Calle Venustiano Carranza 50: Music is low. The cocktail menu is creative and extensive. There is a cocktail lounge and a rooftop dinner house.

Gracias a Dios (GAD): They were playing dance music. The age range was about 25 to 40 year old.

Hank’s Querétaro: Easy listening, classic rock scene, sidewalk cafe. I forgot to take a picture.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best (and) Cheap Hotels in Querétaro

You should stay in the old town area of Queretaro. You can walk to most of the interesting things to do and see. You won’t need to get in a taxi or Uber.

The following are accommodations you should consider. They go from most to least expensive.

Hotel La Casa De La Marquesa: Above is the most beautiful hotel we saw in old town Queretaro. It brings to life the extravagance that the wealthy experienced during the colonial period. The location is amazing and everything is at your doorstep. Check out the pictures and reviews and prices at the above link. It was about 2200 MX, $110 USD per night on the day we searched.

Hotel Madero: It is hard to beat this combination of price and location for a hotel right in the old town area. Check out the pictures, reviews. This was 804 MX or $41 USD per night on the date we searched. The location is perfect.

Hotel Quinta Santiago: This one is right in the high desirability zone. Check out the reviews, the pictures, and the price. Hard to beat this price at $688 MX $34 USD per night on the day we searched.

Hostels: We walked by this one on the old town walking tour and it is very clean and in a great location. It was 210 MX $11 USD for a shared dorm on the day we searched.

Airbnb House Share (Where we stayed) This is a very large well decorated spacious home. It has 6 bedrooms and 6 baths. Four of the bedrooms have full-time professionals living in them. The other two rooms are on Airbnb. Both of the Airbnb bedrooms have their own bathroom and we shared the common area with the other occupants (kitchen, living room, dining room, backyard, 2 patios). They all speak English and are very nice. You are just 10 blocks from the old town area. You are 2 blocks from the grocery store. We loved the place and the people we met here. One runs a meditation Yoga studio. The house is so big we felt like we had privacy. I prepared many of our meals in the shared kitchen and we ate really well (I am an amazing cook). We were only 10 safe walking blocks from the center of the old town. We would stay here again without hesitation. We stayed for 5 nights at $20 USD per night. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code http://www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a big discount).

I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Please click here for recommended  flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations.  You will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Flights, Buses, Trains

I have been exploring the world since 2007, 64 countries so far. People are very curious about the world, so I started collecting data from them about the cost of traveling and living in the places they visit. What does it cost to actually live internationally when you are not fixed in one location for more than a few weeks or months?

I am in Querétaro Mexico today. We have been traveling around Mexico for 6 weeks. We took the ETN Bus from Morelia to Queretaro. It was about a 4-hour bus ride. When we add the time waiting at airports, it makes more sense and it is cheaper to ride the bus. These are high-quality buses.

Buses: We have taken both ETN and Primera between various cities in Mexico. You will need to check their web page to see if they have a bus from your city to Querétaro. You can visit the English ETN website. You can also right click any web page in your Google Chrome browser. Your Chrome browser will translate any website into English (or whatever language you speak).

Queretaro International Airport (QRO): You can fly into Queretaro International Airport (Aeropuerto Intercontinental de Querétaro). You can use Uber to get to your accommodations so you don’t have to negotiate directly with drivers. An Uber from Queretaro International to old town Querétaro is about 250 MX or $13 USD. Check the Taxi stand inside the airport to see if you can beat that price. Above under accommodations, I have provided a list of 4 right in old town Queretaro.

Flights (International or Domestic): Try to leave your home country on Tuesday or Wednesday. Those are almost always the cheapest departure days for flying. Skyscanner finds me the cheapest flights every time. Buy a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone when you land here. Make sure to get your phone unlocked before leaving your home country (this applies to US Citizens).

Train: There is just one passenger train still running in Mexico and it does not go to Querétaro.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. This is why we are able to keep creating these travel guides.

If you would like to live cheap or retire early in paradise, learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Querétaro Mexico Livability Factors

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This post has the Querétaro Mexico retire early low cost of living data. There are more expats per capita living in Querétaro than nearby Morelia, but not as many as other places in Mexico.

As I travel the world, I document the best low cost of living destinations in paradise. Whether you are looking to retire cheap in paradise or visit an amazing place that burns a smaller hole in your pocket, I hope this information helps you in some way. After 64 countries and 11 years of investigating the world, I am getting good at this.

My goal is to concentrate so much valuable information in one place, that you keep coming back to Vagabond Buddha. Please like, comment, or subscribe if you feel I met my goal this time.

If you would like to learn how to be a digital nomad, make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Livability Factors: Before living somewhere super cheap, I would need to consider other factors. Things may vary for you, but for me, these factors include walkability, things to do, Internet reliability, weather, food choices, social considerations, expat opportunities, real estate prices, and overall cost of living. I rate each of the factors as High, Medium, or Low. I then consider my overall feelings about a place and assign it an Overall Desirability Score: High Desirability, Medium Desirability, Low Desirability.

Queretaro Desirability Score: High Desirability. This is now my favorite place in Mexico for a retirement destination. For a one or two week vacation, I would pick a beach in Mexico. But for everyday life in Mexico, I would pick Queretaro first, Guanajuato second and Mexico City third. But stay tuned, we have 7 more stops in Mexico before I firm up these picks. Subscribe at VagabondBuddha.com or at our Youtube Channel for the quality of life and cost of living updates as we travel.

Walkability: High. The historical old town center of Querétaro is completely walkable. I would not buy a car if I lived here. Since I work from my laptop, I wouldn’t need to commute to work. Plus, restaurants, grocery stores, and the gym are walkable from here.

Internet Reliability: High? The Internet worked well in coffee shops but we struggled a little bit at home in our Airbnb. But that is probably because there are so many Internet geeks at this house. Since this is the silicon valley of Mexico, I am sure the Internet would be fine here if I had my own router in my apartment.

Food: High. There are two million people living within 6 miles of here. It is the second highest per capita income in Mexico. There is a huge international demand for food choices here because of all the foreigners living here from home offices of the tech industry. There are multiple choices of every food category here.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

Weather: High. Querétaro Mexico sits at an elevation of 1820 meters (5970 feet) above sea level. This holds the temperatures down in the summer months. The warmest month of the year is May. The average high for the day in May is 85F or 29C. The average low at night in May is 56F or 13C. The coolest month of the year is January. The average low in January is 43F or 6C (lows are at night). The average high in January is 72F or 23C. The fact that it warms up so nicely during the day in January, makes a big difference. The rainy season is June through September when it rains about 6 inches per month (100 to 150 mm). This is almost perfect weather.

Things to Do: High. The colonial-era center of Queretaro is one of the nicest I have seen anywhere in the world. It is clean, beautiful, and well maintained. You can tell that the per capita income is high in Queretaro just by walking around. As the second highest state in Wine production in Mexico, wine tasting is available. The city of almost 2 million people can support water sports like water skiing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, etc. There are many interesting day trips you can take to places within a few hours drive, like Guanajuato, San Miguel Allende, and Mexico City. There are huge shopping malls stocked with international products at reasonable prices. There is an international airport 45 minutes outside of old town with reasonably priced flights through the Mexico and the world. The classical music, theatre, dance, and live performances opportunities are second only to Mexico City, which is only a few hours away.

Social Considerations: Medium. You will need to learn Spanish to really move freely in this world.

Expats Groups: Medium. There are a number of Expat Groups that I found quickly online. Facebook 1, Facebook 2. There is a neighborhood of Queretaro called Juriquilla where many retired expats are said to live. I took a look at the Google Images of the area and it didn’t really appeal to me personally. I am more of a colonial old town kind of guy. But if you check it out and love it, please comment below and I will include more about it here.

Real Estate: High. Just rent until you are sure about your desire to live here permanently. The prices still seem affordable to me. You should be able to find a small condo not too far from the old town center for under $50,000 US. But you should live here for a year or two before you make that decision.

Querétaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Here is my cost of living estimates for Querétaro Mexico.

Querétaro Mexico Cost of Living: Here are my estimated costs of living one month in Querétaro Mexico, as a temporary visitor. These estimates might be lower if you rented an apartment month to month. You can rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment here ranging from about 500 to 800 USD per month depending on how modern and how close you want to be to plaza grande. To get the better deals (i.e., $400 USD month) you will need to be on the ground here. Many of the online prices are for new people moving here that haven’t figured out how to get a good deal yet. Just rent an Airbnb apartment for about $30 USD per night for the first month. Then start walking around to find your own little piece of paradise.

Monthly Cost of Living, Querétaro Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High

Apartment

$30.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$38.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$11.00

30

3

0

High-End Restaurant

$7.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$4.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$2.00

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.40

20

26

8

Bus

$0.40

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$3.00

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$551.00

$1,181.40

$1,219.20

Total

Per Day

$18.37

$39.38

$40.64

The above table is just my notes from my time here. The above numbers are for one person and do not include alcohol, tours, or extras. I do not guarantee these prices for anyone.

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha.

Please subscribe here or on our Youtube Channel if you would like to receive the costs of living estimates for our next Mexico stop. We are heading to our next city in the morning. Are you curious where it will be?

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

Patzcuaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

Patzcuaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living
*Best Patzcuaro Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map
*Best Day Tours
*Best Restaurants
*Best (and) Cheap Hotels
*Best Flights, Buses, Trains
*Livability Factors and Desire to Retire Early in Patzcuaro
*Cost of Living in Patzcuaro
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Patzcuaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living


  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This is my Patzcuaro Mexico retire early low cost of living guide. I am traveling around the world finding the best retire early low cost of living destinations in paradise. I have spent most of the last 11 years enjoying the world, 64 countries so far.

The beautiful woman at my side is Qiang Hui of Hoboventures. She is from Malaysia. I met her in Kuala Lumpur in 2016 and she started traveling with me in 2017.

The last 5 weeks we have been investigating the best retire early low cost of living locations in Mexico. We have visited Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Chapala, Ajijic, Puerto Vallarta, Morelia, and Patzcuaro. Before this we were in South America.

This post includes my cost of living data for Patzcuaro Mexico. We have 7 more stops in Mexico on this tour! Are you curious where we will go next? Then follow us.

Please subscribe to VagabondBuddha.com or our Youtube Channel if you want to learn the best travel or retire early low cost of living places in the world.

But first, here are some facts about Patzcuaro Mexico I found on Wikipedia:

  1. Patzcuaro was founded in about 1324 as the capital of the Tarascan state in pre-Hispanic Mexico.
  2. Later the capital of Tarascan shifted to nearby Tzintzuntzan, where one of the largest most beautiful temples in Mexico is located.
  3. This general area of Mexico has been inhabited by humans since 700 BC.
  4. Spanish Conquistadors arrived and started murdering, enslaving, and raping the indigenous people here in about 1525. Catholic priests joined in about 1525 AD.
  5. One of the most notorious of these sociopathic criminal invaders was Conquistador Guzman who arrived in 1526. He was greeted peacefully by King Tanganxoan of the Patzcuaro people. The King came bearing gifts of gold and silver. Guzman tortured him until the edge of death and then burned him alive. Guzman was angry because there was no more gold in this region. The Patzcuaro people observed the character of the Spanish and wisely retreated to the Mountains.
  6. The Roman Catholic Church sent Bishop Vasco de Quiroga to heal the wounds created by sociopathic Conquistadors. Quiroga is known historically as the protector of the indigenous people in this area. He attempted to get the King of Spain to ban slavery, Quiroga also tried to implement Thomas More’s Utopia in this area. He had some limited success at both endeavors. With the good intentions of trying to save their souls, Quiroga largely destroyed this part of the world’s history and culture. Quiroga attempted to remove all evidence of indigenous spiritual symbolism encoded in their temples. He destroyed the world heritage that the pyramids and temples represented, and replaced them with rudimentary churches and convents.
  7. Patzcuaro is well known for the Day of the Dead Celebrations and the Day of the Dead figurines you see all over the world now.

Best Patzcuaro Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map

Here is the Youtube video of our Patzcuaro Free Old Town Walking Tour. You can watch this video when you take the tour and it will explain the significance of each stop. Click the Google Map link below this Youtube video so it can direct you to each destination on the tour, as you listen to this video.

Every visit to a colonial-era town in Mexico should include the main square. So we start this Patzcuaro free old town walking tour at the main square, called Plaza Vasco de Quiroga. Click the below Google Map of our Best Patzcuaro Free Old Town Walking Tour to get started:

Click ==>>this link<<== on your smartphone to get started on your free Google Maps walking tour of old town Patzcuaro, Mexico. Make sure to use a local SIM card in your smartphone so you are not paying local roaming prices. Roaming in Mexico with a foreign phone can cost hundreds of USD per month.

Vasco de Quiroga Plaza (Plaza Grande): Plaza Grande was dedicated to Bishop Quiroga in 1964. A bronze statue of the Quiroga was placed in the center at that time. The plaza is surrounded by colonial-era mansions. The mansions have been converted into hotels, retail stores and restaurants. Unlike most colonial-era towns, the church is not on the main square.

Palace of Huitzimengari: Look for the above building on Plaza Grande. This palace belonged to the son of the last Tarascan King, Antonio Huitzimengari. Huitzimengari was also the godson of the first viceroy of New Spain. If you can’t beat them, join them?

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share it, comment below, or subscribe? That will rank us higher in search engines so we can keep making these travel guides.

Casa de los 11 Patios (House of Eleven Patios): The house of eleven patios was constructed in 1742. It was built for Dominican nuns. The number of courtyards grew as the convent purchased adjacent homes. It was restored in the 1960s and now functions as local art shops and workshops.

Temple of Sagrario: Construction of the temple was started in 1693 and was completed 200 years later.

Temple of the Company of Jesus (Church of San Ignacio de Loyola): This church houses valuable religious paintings. It also held the remains of Quiroga until they were moved to the Basilica.

Basilica of Nuestra Senora Salud (Our Lady of Health) (Basilica of Patzcuaro): Two blocks east of Chica Plaza is the Basilica of Patzcuaro. The Spanish destroyed a Patzcuaro spiritual site to erect his Basilica. This Basilica served as the Cathedral until 1850 when the Cathedral was moved to Morelia.

Gertrudis Bocanegra Plaza (Chica Plaza): One block north of the main plaza is Chica Plaza. This plaza is named after Gertrudis Bocanegra. She was tortured and executed by the Spanish for her participation in the Mexican Independence movement. She was involved in a secret communications network that facilitated cooperation between the various rebel armies.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Day Tours and Map of Patzcuaro

Guided Tours

I usually suggest a Viator Tours and Get Your Guide Tours for the best deals on guided day tours around the world. However, neither had many options in Patzcuaro on the week I was here. Plus, click both links when you are here to see if things have improved (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) If you know of a great tour operator around Patzcuaro that I can suggest, please let me know below in the notes below.

Self-Guided (Cheap Bastard) Tours

Here are a few free self-guided day tours around Patzcuaro, in case you are cheap like me.

Best (and Cheap) Michoacán’s Monarch Migration Tour

This tour is if you happen to be h unforgettable. It is a must if you happen to be here when Monarch butterflies migrate. The best time to see the Monarch butterfly migration is between late January and the end of March. It is not cold enough yet before then for the butterflies to flutter their wings to stay warm. You will find the cheapest price by shopping the tour operators around plaza grande. It is not customary in my culture (USA) to ask, “What is your best price?” But Qiang Hui routinely asks and gets a 10 to 30% discount. Talk to a few before making up your mind. Booking online before your arrival with a ‘special’ tour guide can easily double the price you will be quoted on the ground here. I suggest getting the discount and then tipping the tour guide if they do a great job. We are here in August so we don’t get to see this.

Best Day Tour to Morelia

You must see Morelia while you are in Patzcuaro. See my buses, flights, and trains section below to get from Patzcuaro to Morelia. Once in Morelia, take our Morelia Mexico Free Old Town Walking Tour.

Best (and Cheap) Day Tour From Patzcuaro: Nearby Villages of Janitzio Island, Tzintzuntzan, Quiroga, and Capula

Here is the Youtube video of our Best (and Cheap) Day Tour From Morelia to nearby villages Janitzio Island, Tzintzuntzan, Quiroga, and Capula. Just ignore the last stop on the below video.  Click the Google Map link below the Youtube video so it can direct you to each destination on the tour, as you listen to this video. This tour requires you to have access to a vehicle. If you do not have access to a vehicle, you can purchase a tour package for about 500 Pesos ($25 USD) per person. Just look for the tour operators around Vasco de Quiroga Plaza (Plaza Grande).

Every visit to Patzcuaro Mexico should include the nearby villages of Janitzio Island, Quiroga, Tzintzuntzan, and Capula. Click the Google Map or the link below the map to begin your self-directed tour.

Click ==>this link<== to begin your tour.

Isla Janitzio: Make sure to take a boat to visit this small island in Patzcuaro lake. Walk to the top where there is a statue of Jose Maria Morelos, the Mexican Independence hero. Make sure to wander around a bit outside the marked tourist paths. This island with its purely indigenous population has no cars. Along those pathways, there are stands for souvenirs and restaurants. It is a very colorful little island.


Tzintzuntzan: In 1530, Spanish Conquistador Guzman was greeted in peace here by Tangáxuan, the king of the Purépecha people who built the pyramids on the hill above this village. Tangáxuan greeted Guzman with gifts of gold and silver. Guzman responded by torturing Tangáxuan to the edge of death, trying to get more gold. Then Guzman burned Tangáxuan alive. There was no more gold or silver here. Make sure to visit the Ex-Convent of San Francisco that dates back to 1540. There is a great museum in the convent. Make sure to notice the indigenous symbolism the Franciscans used to attract the indigenous population to join the church. Also, walk around and check out the works of the local artisans. The Franciscan monks built the convent by destroying much of a sacred indigenous Tarascan temple. Make sure to visit the Tarascan ruins of Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan, Mexico. See the next picture

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Tarascan Ruins: These massive ceremonial structures were built by the Purépecha. The Purépecha controlled a territory in size second only to the Aztecs. The Purépecha kingdom originated in about 1325, but the capital was moved here to Tzintzuntzan in about 1450. These ruins are about 570 years old. Excavation started in 1992, found a room dedicated to storing the heads of enemies killed in battle. An on-site museum includes artifacts found during excavation.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your simple kindness will rank us higher on search engines so people can find us.


Quiroga: The town is named after Bishop Vasco de Quiroga. Bishop Quiroga was sent to heal the wounds created by the gratuitous murder (by fire), torture, enslavement, and rape by Guzman and his men. Bishop Quiroga set up schools to teach the indigenous people how to read and write. His leadership also encouraged the artisan cooperatives around Patzcuaro Lake so the locals could trade with other communities. Enjoy the lovely artisan shops and local street food. There is a great Saturday market here. Quiroga is famous for the street vendors selling pork tacos called carnitas.

Capula: This village is known for the intricate day of the dead figurines you find all over Mexico. Make sure to visit the Artisan Cooperative, but also walk around the village and visit other studios.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Restaurants in Patzcuaro

Since we were here on a day tour, we only had one meal in Patzcuaro. It was suggested by friends and was delicious.

La Surtidora: We loved this place. I had a baked portobello chile with queso tamale inside. Qiang had a salad of mixed greens and fruits. The check was 160 Pesos $8 USD.

Best (and) Cheap Hotels in Patzcuaro

The old town area of Patzcuaro is the best area to stay. You will love walking out the front door of your accommodations and experiencing the colonial-era feeling without having to get in a Taxi.

The following are accommodations you should consider. They go from most to least expensive.

Casa de la Real Aduana Boutique Hotel: (3300 Pesos, $165 USD, per night) This would be over $500 per night in many parts of Europe or the USA. The gorgeous colonial-era decorations, the courtyards, and the luxury presentation will make your visit unforgettable. The location is amazing and everything is at your doorstep. Check out the pictures and reviews and prices. It was about $165 USD per night on the day we searched.

Hotel Los Escudos: (950 Pesos, $48 USD) Hard to imagine that you can get such a beautiful colonial-era place for so little. Check out the pictures, reviews. This was $48 USD per night on the date we searched. The location is perfect.

Hotel Concordia: (750 Pesos, $38 USD) This one is right in the high desirability zone. Check out the reviews, the pictures, and the price. Hard to beat this price at $38 USD per night on the day we searched.

Hostels (400 Pesos, $20 USD): We didn’t see any hostels: This one is almost as cheap as a hostel but you get your own room. The area is walkable to everything.

I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Please click here for recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations.

Best Flights, Buses, Trains

I am in Patzcuaro Mexico today. We have been traveling around Mexico for 6 weeks. We have been to Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Chapala, Ajijic, Puerto Vallarta, and Morelia before coming to Patzcuaro. We were also in Playa del Carmen and Tulum for 6 weeks last year.

I have been exploring the world since 2007, 64 countries so far.

We took the ETN Bus from Puerto Vallarta to Morelia. We traveled from Morelia to Patzcuaro on a day tour arranged by Maria, our Airbnb host in Morelia. Juanito, her family friend of decades, and his wife Laura, took us on the day tour of Patzcuaro. He also drove us to nearby villages for 1000 Pesos, which is $50 USD, roundtrip. It felt more like traveling with family and friends than being with a tour guide.

Buses: We have taken both ETN and Primera between various cities in Mexico. You will need to check their web page to see if they have a bus from your city to Patzcuaro. You can visit the English ETN website. You can also right click any web page in your Google Chrome browser. That will translate any website into English (or whatever language you speak).

Morelia International Airport (MLM): You can fly into Morelia International Airport (General Francisco Mujica International Airport). You can use Uber to get to your accommodations so you don’t have to negotiate directly with drivers. An Uber from MLM to Patzcuaro Centro is about 440 Pesos, $22 USD. Check the Taxi stand inside the airport to see if you can beat that price.

International Flights: The cheapest flights usually depart on Tuesday and Wednesday. Skyscanner finds the cheapest flight no matter where I am going in the world. Get a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone when you land in Morelia International (MLM). You will need a SIM to order your Uber rides, to check bus schedules, and to use my Google Map walking tours. Get your phone unlocked before you leave your home country.

Train: There is just one passenger train still running in Mexico and it does not go to Patzcuaro.

Please book using my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations. You will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. This is why we are able to keep creating these travel guides.

If you would like to live cheap or retire early in paradise, learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Patzcuaro Mexico Livability Factors

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. As I travel the world, I document the best low cost of living in paradise destinations. With this knowledge, people can retire early and enjoy the world. This is my Patzcuaro Mexico low cost of living guide. I left the USA in 2007 and have visited or lived in 64 countries so far.

If you would like to learn how to be a digital nomad, make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

This post has the data for Patzcuaro Mexico retire early low cost of living. There are more expats per capita living in Patzcuaro than nearby Morelia, but not as many as other places in Mexico.

If you love this part of Mexico but want to be in a more Urban setting, then check out our Morelia Mexico early retirement guide. Morelia is only about 70 minutes away, so you can check it out before you make a decision. Just Google “Youtube Vagabond Buddha Morelia” if you want to watch our videos about Morelia.

Livability Factors: Before living somewhere, I would need to consider a few livability factors. These include walkability, weather, things to do, Internet reliability, food choices, social considerations, expat opportunities, real estate prices, and cost of living. I stir all that into a soup with my feelings about a place and assign a high, low, or medium livability score.

We were here on a day tour from Morelia so these numbers are only superficial. I would need to spend more time here before firming up these levels: High, Medium, or Low.

Walkability: High. The historical old town center of Patzcuaro is totally walkable. I wouldn’t even need a car to live here.

Internet Reliability: High? The Internet worked well in coffee shops. I would need to try to upload a Youtube video before I would know for sure.

Food: Medium. For a town of this size (80,000 people), there seems to be a fairly good selection.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

Weather: Medium. Patzcuaro Mexico sits at an elevation of 2140 meters (7200 feet) above sea level. This holds the temperatures down in the summer months. The warmest month of the year is May. The average high for the day in May is 79F or 26C. The average low at night in May is 51F or 11C. The coolest month of the year is January. The average low in January is 38F or 3C. The average high in January is 67F or 19C. The rainy season is June through September when it rains about 6 inches per month (150 mm). I like it a little warmer than this.

Things to Do: Medium. This is a charming colonial-era village of about 80,000 people. If you go 10 minutes by car in almost any direction, you are in the forest. In town, there are restaurants, gift shops, bookstores, and coffee shops. There are surrounding villages with arts and crafts. There are ancient archeological sites to explore. If you speak Spanish, there are typical groups and clubs for a town this size. The is the Internationally known and attended Day of the Dead Festival every year on November 1st and 2nd. You are only a few hours drive from Mexico City and other colonial-era towns like San Miguel Allende and Guanajuato. Puerto Vallarta is about 10 hours away by bus.

Social Considerations: Medium. You will need to learn Spanish to live here. Spanish if you want to have a meaningful and interesting life. Once you can speak Spanish, your things to do and social opportunities will be better.

Expats Groups: I found one comment by an American expat who says there are 300 expats living in Patzcuaro. In his 2013 post, he states:

There is an active expat community here. Social events such as art openings, concerts, monthly expat cocktail party, the weekly “men’s breakfast,” volunteering at the girl’s home for disadvantaged Mexican youth, teaching English to interested Mexicans, finding a group to play bridge with… there’s more of course. But these lead to engaging social relationships with Americans/Canadians and especially the local Mexicans.

Real Estate: Real estate prices in Patzcuaro Mexico range from about $80k USD to $400k USD in this post.

Desire to Move to Patzcuaro: Medium. If I was looking for peace and quiet to write a novel or paint, this would be fine. But I am a little more Urban in nature. This is a bit too rural for me. I would put Guanajuato first, Puerto Vallarta second, and Morelia or Ajijic third. But we have 7 more stops planned for Mexico so check back with me in 3 months.

Patzcuaro Mexico Cost of Living

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Here are my cost of living estimates for Patzcuaro Mexico.

Patzcuaro Mexico Cost of Living: Here are my estimated costs of living one month in Patzcuaro Mexico, as a temporary visitor. These estimates might be lower if you rented an apartment month to month. You can rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment here ranging from about 400 to 750 USD per month depending on how modern and how close you want to be to plaza grande.

You will probably not find great deals online (i.e., $400 USD). You will have to walk the old town area and speak directly to the landlords. Just rent an Airbnb apartment for about $30 USD per night for the first month. Then start walking around to find your own little piece of paradise.

Monthly Cost of Living, Patzcuaro Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High

Apartment

$25.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$38.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$20.00

30

3

0

High-End Restaurant

$7.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$4.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$2.00

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.40

20

26

8

Bus

$0.40

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$3.00

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$821.00

$1,138.40

$1,069.20

Total

Per Day

$27.37

$37.95

$35.64

The above table is just my notes from my time here. The above numbers are for one person and do not include alcohol, tours, or extras. I do not guarantee these prices for anyone.

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha.

Please subscribe here or on our Youtube Channel if you would like to receive the costs of living estimates for our next Mexico stop. We are heading to our next city in the morning. Are you curious where it will be?

Please book using my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations. You will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission so we can keep making these travel guides.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

Morelia Mexico Low Cost of Living

Morelia Mexico Low Cost of Living
Morelia Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
-Best Morelia Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map
-Best Day Tours
-Best Nightlife
-Best Restaurants
-Best (and) Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Morelia Mexico Low Cost of Living

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. As I travel the world, I document the best low cost of living in paradise destinations. With this knowledge, people can retire early and enjoy the world. This is my Morelia Mexico low cost of the living guide. Personally, I may never retire because my research and writing about travel keep my mind fresh. I am a digital nomad. I left the USA in 2007 and have visited or lived in 64 countries so far.

The data for Morelia is in the spreadsheet at the bottom.

If you would like to learn how to be a digital nomad, make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

This post has the data for Morelia Mexico low cost of living. There are not quite as many expats living in Morelia Mexico as other places like Chapala, Ajijic, Puerto Vallarta, Guanajuato, Mérida, etc. But not everyone wants to be surrounded by the same cultural norms and social customs they had in their home country.

There is a higher number of expats per capita in nearby Patzcuaro. So if you love this part of Mexico but want more expats around you that might be the place for you. It is only about 70 minutes away, so you can check it out before you make a decision. Just Google “Vagabond Buddha Patzcuaro” if you want to read or watch videos about Patzcuaro.

Above is a photograph of the place where Qiang Hui and I stayed for a week in Morelia Mexico for $19 USD per night. Click the “Best (and) Cheap Hotels” link above to see where we stayed. There is a discount at that link also. on this place.

Livability Factors: My livability factors include walkability, Internet reliability, food quality and choices, weather, things to do, social considerations, expat opportunities, real estate prices, and cost of living. I consider all of that and then I make a “desire to live here” determination.

Here are my thoughts and desire to live in Morelia Mexico.

Walkability: High. The historical old town center of Morelia is imminently walkable. In our week stay here, we have only gotten in a car three times. Once to get home from our bar hopping tour at 1:30 AM, once to go to a Walmart in another part of town, and once to go on our day tour of nearby villages. If we retired early here for a few month or years, we would live in the old town center and walk everywhere.

Internet Reliability: High. The Internet works so well in our Airbnb place we never thought about it at all. That is as good as it gets.

Food: Medium. There are many different sorts of food in Morelia Mexico: Italian, Mexican, Vegetarian, Greek-Mexican Fusion, American, Turkish, Chinese, Thai, etc. I was surprised that there is no Indian food here.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

Weather: Morelia Mexico sits at an elevation of 1920 meters (6300 feet) above sea level. This holds the temperatures down in the summer months. The warmest month of the year is in May. The average high for the day in May is 87F or 31C. The average low at night in May is 55F or 13C. Because it cools down so much at night very few people here have air conditioning. The coolest month of the year is in January. The average low in January is 41F or 5C. The average high in January is 75F or 24C. The rainy season is June through September when it rains 6 to 7 inches per month (141 mm to 183 mm).

Things to Do: Medium. This is a charming colonial-era town of about 600,000 people. It has a beautiful UNESCO old town center. If you go 15 minutes in almost any direction you are quickly outside of town in rural areas. They close off the main street on Sundays and people ride bikes, roller skate and walk their dogs. There is some live music (pop, rock, folk, traditional), some theatre, and some classical music. There are international music festivals, university lectures, yoga studios, chess clubs, and some small expat groups.

Social Considerations: You will be able to make some expats connections here but you will need to learn Spanish if you want to have a meaningful and interesting life. Once you can speak Spanish, your things to do and social opportunities will both be high. Rate this as Medium if you are not sure you will learn Spanish, otherwise, High.

Expats Groups: I quickly found several posts and forums discussing expats living in Morelia and nearby Mexico. Here are a few: Expats Living in Morelia, Expats in Morelia, The Michoacan Net. It seems that there is not a large organic set of Expats arriving here yearly. The largest set of expats seem to be arriving for work, such as at the University. Rate this as low if you are looking for a built-in English speaking population. Irrelevant, if you are willing to learn Spanish and want to integrate into society.

Real Estate: You should only rent for the first year or two even if you fall in love with this place. Presently, a moderate house in the historical center would be about $200,000 USD. This house is near the Romance Alley in my old town walking tour.

Desire to Move Here: Medium-High. This place is almost perfect for me. It has almost everything I would need to have a great life for 6 months of the year, April through October. The other 6 months, I would continue traveling the world. If the food choices were a little more diverse and the local population was a little more international, I would rate this high. At the moment of this writing, with respect to only Mexico, I would put Guanajuato first, Puerto Vallarta second, and Morelia or Ajijic third. But we have 7 more stops planned for Mexico so check back with me in 3 months.

Cost of Living: Here are my estimated costs of living one month in Morelia Mexico, as a temporary visitor. These numbers would potentially be cheaper if you rented an apartment month to month, furnished or otherwise. You can rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment here ranging from about 375 to 750 USD per month depending on how modern and how close you want to be to the historical center. You will not get a great deal online. You will have to put boots on the ground. Just get a good deal on Airbnb and then use that as a base to find a great deal.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.  That will help us to keep producing this data.

Monthly Cost of Living, Morelia Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High

Apartment

$20.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$28.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$25.00

30

3

0

High End Restaurant

$11.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$4.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$2.00

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.40

20

26

8

Bus

$0.40

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$3.50

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$978.00

$984.40

$961.20

Total

Per Day

$32.60

$32.81

$32.04

The above numbers are for one person and do not include alcohol, tours, or extras. I do not guarantee these prices for anyone. These are just my notes from my time here.

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha.

Please subscribe if you would like to receive the costs of living estimates for our next Country stop. We are heading out of Morelia Mexico tonight.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

Morelia Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

Morelia Mexico Low Cost of Living
Morelia Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
-Best Morelia Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map
-Best Day Tours
-Best Nightlife
-Best Restaurants
-Best (and) Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Morelia Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This is my Morelia Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise Guide. I am traveling the world discovering the best retire cheap in paradise destinations. My search began in 2007–64 countries so far. The last 6 weeks I have been finding cheap paradise locations in Mexico. This week I am in Morelia Mexico checking into retire cheap prices and things to do. Please subscribe at VagabondBuddha.com or on our Youtube Channel if you want to learn the best travel or retire cheap to paradise locations in the world.

Fun Facts about Morelia Mexico

Here are some fun Morelia Mexico facts I found on Wikipedia:

  1. This area of Mexico has been inhabited by humans since 700 BC.
  2. Spanish Conquistadors and priests showed up here 1525 AD.
  3. Most of the structures you see were built in the colonial-era between 1630 and 1790.
  4. Initially, Spain named the city Valladolid. But Mexico later renamed it Morelia in 1828 to honor a local man named Morelos who helped Mexico win Independence from Spain.
  5. Morelia Mexico was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.

Best Morelia Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map

Here is the Youtube video of our Morelia Free Old Town Walking Tour. You can watch this video when you take the tour and it will explain the significance of each stop. Click the Google Map link below this Youtube video so it can direct you to each destination on the tour, as you listen to this video.

Every visit to a colonial-era town in Mexico should include the main square and church. So we start this Morelia free old town walking tour at the Cathedral. Click the Google Map of our Best Morelia Free Old Town Walking Tour to get started:

Click ==>>this link<<== on your smartphone to get started on your free Google Maps walking tour of old town Morelia, Mexico. At the first stop, there are four places of historical significance. Those four include the Morelia Cathedral, and the three plazas surrounding it–Plaza de Armas, Plaza Juarez, and Melchor Ocampo Plaza.

Morelia Cathedral: Construction began in 1660 and was completed 84 years later. One of the largest pipe organs was installed in 1905 with 4600 pipes. Most cathedrals in Mexico face the rising sun to accommodate beliefs of indigenous people, that you should be buried facing east so you are facing the sun god when you are born into the next life. But here, the cathedral faces north. The cathedral is the cultural center of Morelia including both religious and cultural activities, such as international music festivals. The following plazas surround the Cathedral.

Plaza de Armas: This is the large tree-lined plaza on the west side of the cathedral. It is also known as the Plaza of the Martyrs in honor of brave Mexicans executed by Spain in the plaza during Mexico’s war of independence.

Juarez Plaza: This is the plaza between the Cathedral and Plaza de Armas. It honors president Juarez, the only Mexican president that was the descendants of indigenous Mexicans. Juarez is celebrated for winning the Reform War in Mexico. The Reform War in Mexico separated religion from government.

Melchor Ocampo Plaza: Melchor Ocampo was a mestizo (mixed race) baby abandoned at the door of a wealthy woman. She raised and educated him as her own. He became a politician and lawyer who argued that the Roman Catholic Church was taking all of the poor (indigenous) people’s money. They couldn’t afford to feed or educate their families. Ocampo explained how one poor hungry man could not even afford to feed his family. The poor man did not have the exorbitant superficial burial fees a Catholic priest demanded to allow his dead infant son into heaven. The hungry poor man cried and asked, “What should I do with my dead son?” The priest said, “Salt him and eat him.” Ocampo fought for separation of church and state. Ocampo fought for free public education for the poor, tolerance of all religious beliefs, and elimination of privileges granted only to the elite (which he was). Ocampo was able to get many of his ideas into President Juarez’s Reform Laws before he was murdered by religious conservative fanatics.

Palacio de Justicia: Stop by this beautiful structure and view the mural of José María Morelos. He was a founding father of independent Mexico. He helped extricate the plague of Spanish oppression from much of Mexico. He also authored Mexico’s Magna Carta which grants inalienable rights and responsibilities to all no matter their title, status, or wealth in society. Morelia was named after Morelos. You can learn more about Morelos at the free Casa Natal de Morelos Museum.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

University of Michoacan Public Library: This 17th-century structure, formerly the Church of the Fellowship of Jesus, was annexed into the university library in 1940. As you walk from Plaza de Armas to this corner on my Google Maps walking Tour, make sure to look to your right about 50 meters before you turn right and see this. There is a great University Courtyard there with a statue of Hidalgo. Don’t miss it!

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share it, comment below, or subscribe? That will rank us higher in search engines so we can keep making these travel guides.

Centro Cultural Clavijero: This public cultural center presents temporary art exhibits both public and private collections. The construction of the temple started in 1660 and was completed 100 years later. This center receives its name from the Jesuit Francisco Javier Clavijero. He is honored throughout Mexico as one of the first Mexican born intellectuals who not only defended but counter-attacked uninformed Europeans. Clavijero told the truth about the original people and their culture. He helped shed light in international communities that the colonizers truly acted like animals in the new world, and that the original people were honorable.

Garden Temple and Music Academy of Las Rosas: The above picture is the garden park right in front of the academy. This academy was originally the Dominican Convent of Santa Catalina founded in 1595. Now it is a school that specializes in the arts, mainly in music. It is the home of the internationally known Young Art Festival and is home to the famous Choir of the Singing Children of Morelia.

The House of Culture of Morelia: In this one square block area there is a cultural center, an old Catholic church, an ex-Convent of Carmen, and the Plaza of Carmen. In 1593, Carmelite monks showed up from Spain and began building this compound. In 1809, prisoners of a conspiracy for independence from Spain were kept in the cultural center area. The monks were kicked out in 1857 when the reform laws were activated. The church has maintained its religious function. The community cultural center now focuses on artistic workshops, concerts, exhibits, and cultural events.

Templo de San Francisco: This was the first church built in this city. The first version built at another site was constructed using adobe with a straw roof in 1531. This second version of the Franciscan Temple was built in the 17th century. The tower was added until 1948. The friars taught the indigenous people how to read and write in addition to performing religious services. Plaza Valladolid surrounds the church. Make sure to visit Artisan Institute Michoacano (Casa de las Artesanías). It is just to the right of the front door to the temple. Many consider this artist enclave the highest quality and creativity in the state of Michoacan.

Museo del Dulce De La Calle Real: Part of discovering any culture should involve food, and what better place to start the inquiry than at a candy or sweets museum. Here you will find the regional favorites along with the history of how sweets evolved in this part of Mexico. 25 Pesos $1.25 USD, 11 AM to 7:30 PM, 7 Days per week.

Tarascas Fountain: This is the most famous water fountain in Morelia Mexico. The three beautiful women are indigenous princesses Atzimba, Erendira, and Tzetzangari. Nudity was a social norm. The first version was completed in 1931 but removed 30 years later by a prudish politician. This current version, by Jose Luis Padilla Retana, was installed in 1984. The following Aqueduct is visible from this fountain.

Aqueduct of Morelia: The Morelia area has had a challenge providing enough water to the citizens since colonial times. The first version of Aqueduct of Morelia was built in 1549 using large canoes of wood but this rudimentary construction required constant repairs. The current manifestation was completed in 1730, collapsed and completed again in 1785. That version lasted until 1910. It was restored again in 1998 as a beautiful example of colonial-era works.

Alley of Romance: This is visually the most romantic street in Morelia. I read online that there are many romances that originated here. But I have not found a story that I can share with you. If you find a love story I can share here, please share it in the comments below and let me know if I can add it to this post. This completes our free old town walking tour of Morelia Mexico. In the next section, we consider the best day tours in and around Morelia Mexico.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Day Tours and Map of Morelia

Guided Tours

I usually suggest a Viator Tours and Get Your Guide Tours for the best deals on guided day tours around the world. However, neither had many options in Morelia on the week I was here. Plus, click both links when you are here to see if things have improved (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) If you know of a great tour operator around Morelia that I can suggest, please let me know below in the notes.

Self-Guided (Cheap Bastard) Tours

Here are a few free self-guided day tours around Morelia, in case you are cheap like me.

Best (and Cheap) Michoacán’s Monarch Migration Tour

This tour is a must see if you are here when the Monarch butterflies are here. Technically you could come to see the butterflies as early as November. However, the best time is between late January and the end of March. Before late January, the butterflies don’t flutter their wings as much. The way to get the cheapest price on this tour is to shop the tour sellers around the Cathedral in Morelia when you are on my above old town walking tour. Talk to a few before making up your mind. Booking online before your arrival with a ‘special’ tour guide can easily be double the price you will be quoted on the ground here where there is competition.

Best (and Cheap) Day Tour From Morelia: Patzcuaro and Nearby Villages (Janitzio Island, Tzintzuntzan, Quiroga, and Capula)

Here is the Youtube video of our Best (and Cheap) Day Tour From Morelia to Patzcuaro, Janitzio Island, Quiroga, Tzintzuntzan, and Capula. You can watch the following video and it will explain the significance of each stop. Click the Google Map link below the Youtube video so it can direct you to each destination on the tour, as you listen to this video. This tour requires you to have access to a vehicle. If you do not have access to a vehicle, you can purchase a roundtrip bus tour package for about 580 Pesos ($29 USD) per person. Just look for the tour operators around Morelia Cathedral.

Every visit to Morelia Mexico should include the nearby villages of Patzcuaro, Janitzio Island, Quiroga, Tzintzuntzan, and Capula. Click the Google Map or the link below the map to begin your self-directed tour.

Click ==>this link<== to begin your tour.

Capula: This village is known for the intricate day of the dead figurines you find all over Mexico. Make sure to visit the Artisan Cooperative, but also walk around the village and visit other studios.


Quiroga: The town is named after Bishop Vasco de Quiroga. Bishop Quiroga was sent to heal the gratuitous murder (by fire), torture, enslavement, and rape by Conquistador Guzman. Bishop Quiroga set up schools to teach the indigenous people how to read and write. His leadership also encouraged the artisan cooperatives around Patzcuaro Lake so the locals could trade with other communities. Enjoy the lovely artisan shops and local street food. There is a great Saturday market here. Quiroga is famous for the street vendors selling pork tacos called carnitas.

Tzintzuntzan: In 1530, Spanish Conquistador Guzman was greeted in peace here by Tangáxuan, the king of the Purépecha people who built the pyramids over the city. Tangáxuan greeted Guzman with gifts of gold and silver. Guzman responded by torturing Tangáxuan to the edge of death trying to get all the gold. Then Guzman burned Tangáxuan to death. There was no more gold or silver. Make sure to visit the Ex-Convent of San Francisco here that date back to 1540. There is a great museum in the convent. Make sure to notice the indigenous symbolism the Franciscans used to try to attract the indigenous population to join the church. Also, walk around and check out the works of the local artisans. The Franciscan monks built the convent by destroying much of a sacred indigenous Tarascan temple. Make sure to visit the Tarascan ruins of Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan, Mexico.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Tarascan Ruins: These massive ceremonial structures were built by the Purépecha. The Purépecha controlled a territory in size second only to the Aztecs. The Purépecha kingdom originated in about 1325, but the capital was moved here to Tzintzuntzan in about 1450. These ruins are about 500 years old. Excavation started in 1992 found a room dedicated to storing the heads of enemies killed in battle. An on-site museum includes artifacts found during excavation.

Isla Janitzio: Make sure to take a boat to visit this small island in Patzcuaro lake. Walk to the top where there is a statue of Jose Maria Morelos, the Mexican Independence hero. Make sure to wander around a bit outside the marked tourist paths. This island with its purely indigenous population has no cars. Along those pathways, there are stands for souvenirs and restaurants. In whole – this is a very colorful and dazzling little island.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your simple kindness will rank us higher on search engines so people can find us.

Patzcuaro: This city once competed with Morelia to be the capital of Michoacán. Because it lost the competition, it remains smaller and less modernized. Some believe it is more beautiful and representative of days gone by. It is also a much cheaper place to live than Morelia. It is a colonial-era city with plazas and cobbled streets. There are more expats living here per capita than in Morelia. Make sure to visit Plaza Grande (Plaza Vasco de Quiroga) and Plaza Chica (Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra), and of course, The Basilica. Do not miss Casa de Los Once Patios. It was formerly a Dominican convent and now houses regional artists shops.

Best Nightlife Walking Tour: Map of Morelia (Bar Hopping)

Here is a free Google Map of our Morelia Mexico Bar Hopping Tour. Just click ==>this link<== on your smartphone to start your tour.

We actually walked this whole route on a Saturday starting at about 10:30 PM and took a taxi back from the last stop at 1:30 AM. We never saw or felt anything that seemed to be a threat to our safety. It was just normal everyday people having fun on a Saturday night. As we walked, we stopped inside the bars that were playing music we liked. I have posted a picture below for each one that we went inside to have a drink.

Best High-End Karaoke Bar: Zacarias Karaoke This Karaoke bar (above picture) had a few different rooms. In this room, the singers got up on stage and sang. There was also a larger room behind it where people sat in their seats and sang, in case you are a little shy.

Best Live Reggaeton: Zacarias Live

Only Pool (Billiards) Hall in Historical Morelia: Bicho’s

Best Live Rock: Rock Paraiso Bar They were between sets when we walked by this one so we decided to come back later and see if we liked the band. We never made it back.

Best Gay Bar: Sak Bar There was a line to get in and a cover here so we decided to skip this one. But you can see from the street that they have a great rooftop bar.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share it, comment below, or subscribe? That will rank us higher in search engines so we can keep making these travel guides.

Best Jazz Club: AMATI Restaurant & Jazz Club. We went inside this one and would have stayed for a drink, but there was nowhere to sit. Not even at the bar. It was a nice crowd and many of the patrons had instruments at their table. So it might be a nice jazz club for improvisation. Please let me know if you confirm that. 🙂

Best Cheap Karaoke Bar: Bar Ciao The above photo is of Bar Ciao. Qiang had her favorite chicken wings so far in Mexico at Ciao. There were some really good singers here.

Best Pop/Rock Dance Club: La Taberna Everyone was singing along and many were dancing here also. Mexicans know how to have a great time.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Restaurants in Morelia

Restaurante Caracuaro: This was our favorite meal in Morelia. High quality and reasonable prices. 225 Pesos, $11 USD.

Tata Mezcalería + Cocina de Autor: This is one of the highest rated restaurants in town. I had a portobello mushroom burger ad Qiang had a glazed lamb. The food was good. This was our most expensive meal in Morelia, 450 Pesos, $22 USD.

Cafe Loto: The menu here is all vegetarian. I am a vegetarian and there were so many choices here it was hard to decide. But I ended up having enchiladas which were delicious.

La Casona de las Rosas: This is in a sidewalk cafe in a beautiful park we discovered during our old town walking tour of Morelia Mexico. I had a delicious primavera pasta that was reasonably priced. Qiang Hui loved her soup here also.

Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: I love to cook. Plus I am a vegetarian. We bought groceries here and cooked at least one meal at home per day. Our Airbnb was $19 USD per night and it had a functional kitchen. The link to our Airbnb apartment is below.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best (and) Cheap Hotels in Morelia

I recommend staying in the old own area of Morelia. Then you can focus on the colonial-era charm and experience Mexican culture and life. Plus you can enjoy walking around without having to get in a Taxi to see everything. Here is a Google Map of the area you should try to stay within or as close as possible based upon your budget.

The following are a few great places that you should consider depending on your budget. They go from most to least expensive, and then I show you where we stayed.

Hotel De La Soledad: (2100 Pesos, $105 USD, per night) These gorgeous colonial-era courtyards and luxury will take you back to charms of old. You will feel like a King or Queen. The location is amazing and everything is at your doorstep. Check out the pictures and reviews and prices. It was about $105 USD per night on the day we searched.

Hosting House Congreso: (925 Pesos, $47 USD) Hard to imagine that you can get such a beautiful place for so little. Check out the pictures, reviews. This was $47 USD per night on the date we searched. The location is perfect.

Hotel & Suites Galeria: (550 Pesos, $28 USD) This decoration seem odd for a colonial-era centrally located hotel, but the price speaks for itself. Check out the reviews, the pictures, and the price. Hard to beat this price at $28 USD per night on the day we searched.

The Only Backpackers Morelia: (500 Pesos, $25 USD) The name says it all. This is a great location. For a few bucks more you can get the above hotel room. But you may be craving the social aspects of a hostel. This is your best bet then. Check out the reviews and pictures. It was $25 per night on the day we searched.

The below picture is where we stayed for $19 USD per night.

Airbnb House Share: The above picture is the courtyard in the house where Qiang and I stayed for a week at about $19 USD per night. It is a large colonial-era home with the courtyard in the center. Maria and her husband Louis were our hosts and they are the kindest sweetest people you will ever meet. And they have a cute little cocker spaniel dog that will greet you when you come home each day. Maria had a birthday party for her husband Louis while we were here. She invited us to the party so we got to enjoy her family and friends along with traditional family recipes and drinks. One of her good friends played the guitar and everyone sang traditional Mexican folk songs so it was super fun. Plus they made me sing Yesterday by the Beatles with everyone singing along with me. So we got to enjoy what it feels like to be part of a Mexican family for a week. The pictures are exactly what this place looks like. Maria has a well-equipped kitchen so we were able to shop in the local market and cook some very nice meals. The WIFI works great and she has hot showers with great water pressure. Maria’s house is just a block from the Romance Alley I show you in the above old town walking tour. I would stay here again without hesitation. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code http://www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a big discount).

I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Click here for recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations.

Best Flights, Buses, Trains

I am in Morelia Mexico today. We have been traveling around Mexico for 6 weeks. We have been to Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Chapala, Ajijic, and Puerto Vallarta befo0re coming to Morelia. We were also in Playa del Carmen and Tulum for 6 weeks last year.

I have been exploring the world since 2007, 64 countries so far.

We took the ETN Bus from Purto Vallarta to Morelia. Skip this paragraph unless you are coming from Puerto Vallarta to Morelia. It takes about 10 hours to get to Morelia and costs 1365 Pesos or $68 USD per person. We checked three large bags for no extra fees.

Buses: We have taken both ETN and Primera between various cities in Mexico. You will need to check their web page to see if they have a bus from your city to Morelia. You can visit the English ETN website. You can also right click any web page in your Google Chrome browser. That will translate any website into English (or whatever language you speak). Before selecting a bus route, check flights on (Skyscanner). Sometimes flying is cheap in Mexico and it might save you some time.

Uber: I use Uber to go from the bus station to my accommodations when I am in Mexico. I like the International record of who picked me up and who dropped me, and where. Plus, I know the license plate number when they arrive. Plus, I don’t have to negotiate price or destination in Spanish.

Morelia International Airport (MLM): You can fly into Morelia International Airport (General Francisco Mujica International Airport). You can try to use Uber to get to your accommodations so you don’t have to negotiate directly with drivers. An Uber to Morelia Centro is about 250 Pesos, $25 USD. Honestly, that seems a bit high since it is only 30 minutes to Morelia. Check the Taxi stand inside the airport to see if you can beat that price.

Mexico City International Airport (MEX): You can fly into Mexico City and take a bus to Morelia. The bus to Morelia from Mexico City takes around 4 to 5 hours. You will need to transfer from the Mexico City International airport to the bus station in Mexico City. I recommend using Uber for that for that transfer. Check at the above buses link (ETN and Primera) for prices and schedules for buses from Mexico City to Morelia.

International Flights: The cheapest flights usually depart on Tuesday and Wednesday. Skyscanner finds the cheapest flight no matter where I am going in the world. Get a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone when you land in Mexico City. You will need a SIM to order your Uber rides, check bus schedules, and use my Google Map walking tours. Get your phone unlocked before you leave your home country.

National Flights: If you are flying from somewhere in Mexico to Morelia, get your ticket on Skyscanner. They find the cheapest flights every time for me. But check bus prices first if you are only 6 hours or less from Morelia by bus. It can be faster and cheaper to take the bus in some cases because of waiting times at the airport. Plus, you can see Mexico from a bus.

Train: There is just one passenger train still running in Mexico and it does not go to Morelia.

Click here for our recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

If you would like to live cheap or retire early in paradise, learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Thank you for stopping by Vagabond Buddha, Dan

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Low Cost of Living

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Low Cost of Living
Puerto Vallarta Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
*Best Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone Free Walking Tour and Map
*Best Day Tours
*Best Nightlife
*Best Restaurants
*Best (and) Cheap Hotels
*Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Low Cost of Living

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This post is my Puerto Vallarta Mexico low cost of living guide. My mission is to travel the world and find the best low cost of living destinations. You see, I am not the typical retirement age yet. Plus, I may never retire because I enjoy working as a digital nomad. But, I do enjoy reporting the best low cost of living, live or retire cheap in paradise, destinations.

Luckily, I have been mostly a digital nomad since 2007. That means I don’t need to be anywhere in particular to earn money. So I earn US dollars but I spend them in beautiful places that are much cheaper to live. That means I don’t have as much pressure to work crazy hours in order to keep up or get ahead.

If you live a normal life, making just enough money to live will never allow you to retire early, if at all. But making just enough money to live, buys your initial freedom if you are a digital nomad. Most digital nomads are chasing the new economy. The new economy is based upon what is called passive income.

Passive income is a business that you set up initially with a great amount of time and effort, that continues to pay you for a long period of time, even if you only work part time, or travel like me. That is why digital nomads are attracted to the Internet. If you set up a web page that pays you $2500 USD per month, you can live like a king/queen in many countries around the world. $2500 per month buys a much better life in SE Asia, Eastern Europe, Mexico, and Central or South America.

Ultimately, you may decide not to settle down at all. You may never pick a permanent place to retire or live cheap. Maybe you will just decide to put all of my low cost of living, live or retire cheap in paradise locations, in a traveling rotation. Maybe you will end up like me.

This post has the low cost of living data for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. About 2% of the Americans living in Mexico at least part of the year, live in Puerto Vallarta. Since there are about 1 million Americans spending at least part of the year in Mexico, that means Puerto Vallarta has about 20,000 expats who spend at least part of the year here. That does not count tourists who just visit for a week or so.

Above is the place where we are staying for a week in Puerto Vallarta Mexico for $26 USD per night. Click the “Best (and) Cheap Hotels” link above where we stayed. There is also a code with the possibility of a discount on this place. It is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, fully furnished apartment with kitchen, ocean view, and a large terrace with ocean view.

Livability Factors: My livability factors are unlikely to be the same as yours. But I think it is important to discuss them so you can contrast your own thinking with mine. I like living in highly walkable, charming areas, with everything I need to have a good time, that doesn’t require me to have a car. I like cheap prices, great internet, great weather, a bunch of things to do, and an opportunity to socialize. I like to have a quiet place to go back to but I like to have people around me when I so choose. Here is how Puerto Vallarta stacks up under these requirements.

Walkability: Puerto Vallarta, old town romantic zone, is extremely walkable. We have literally only gotten in an Uber taxi once in 7 days. We bought so many groceries, we couldn’t carry them home. We also got on a local bus once to get up to Marica Vallarta for a day trip. We have walked everywhere else. It is so walkable that you would not need a car at all if you decide to live or retire cheap in Puerto Vallarta. As you can imagine, not having a car will help create low costs of living in Puerto Vallarta.

Internet: The best kind of Internet is when it works so well that you forget it is even there. The wifi connection in our Airbnb apartment is that good.

Food: Almost everything is here. Italian, Mexican, Vegetarian, French, Greek, Greek, American, Peruvian, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc. Food is unlikely to be an issue for you here.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

Weather: Puerto Vallarta Mexico has amazing weather most of the year. The warmest month is August. The average high for the day in August is 93F or 34C. The average low at night in May is 73 F or 23C. It cools down at a little bit at night in the summer from the Pacific Ocean breeze, but some people need air conditioning at night to sleep comfortably. We are here in August and a fan is enough for us at night. The coolest month of the year is February. The average low at night in February is 61F or 16C. The average high for the day in February is 84F or 29C. The rainy season is June through September when it rains 7 to 14 inches per month (187 mm to 370 mm). There is not much rain the rest of the year.

Things to Do: This is a charming beach town of 200,000 people. It attracts visitors from all over the world including vacationers, snowbirds, and permanent retirees. There is a huge expat community here also. All of the ocean watersports are here. The romantic section has many international citizens including retirees and snowbirds. So the large foreign influence has diversified the types of restaurants, stores, and foreign products that have been able to remain profitable and stay open. There is also a Walmart near Marina Vallarta. There is not much live theatre, symphony, or dance here. There is an Expats in Vallarta Facebook page if you want to learn more about a specific thing to do.

Social Considerations: You will be able to make expats connections here but you will need to learn Spanish if you want to live a diverse interesting life here. The expats here seem to be more partial year visitors here than other places in Mexico like Chapala, Ajijic, or San Miguel de Allende. You will need to supplement with Mexican friends if you want to live a full life here year round.

Desire to Move Here: High. This place is perfect for me. It has everything I need to have a great life for 6 months of the year, October through April. The other 6 months, I would continue traveling the world. If I wanted to stay over the summer here, I would definitely get a place with AC.

Real Estate: I wouldn’t buy anywhere in the world, right away. If I picked the best place in the world, I would live there for a few years before making a purchasing risk. The rents are reasonable enough that buying could wait. I have posted a few places for sale at the bottom of this post, just so you could get an idea of prices. But I wouldn’t until at least one year of living here, and only after I was certain I loved it.

Here are my estimated costs of living one month in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, as a temporary visitor. If you rented a furnished apartment by the month, it could be cheaper. You can rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment ranging from about 400 to 1200 USD per month depending on how modern and how close you want to be to the Romantic Zone. The below prices are for one person and do not include alcohol, tours, or AC. If you want an estimate for year round, plan on buying AC for 3 months of the year. For a 1 bedroom apartment that would be about $100 per month.

If you book my recommended flights, tours or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Monthly Cost of Living, Puerto Vallarta Mexico, Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High**

Apartment

$25.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$45.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$30.00

30

3

0

High End Restaurant

$15.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$5.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$2.50

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.30

20

26

8

Bus

$0.30

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$5.00

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$1,182.00

$1,350.80

$1,222.40

Total

Per Day

$39.40

$45.03

$40.75

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha.

Please subscribe if you would like to receive the costs of living estimates for our next Mexico stop. We are heading out of Puerto Vallarta tonight.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

Here are those real estate prices I promised:

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Low Cost of Living
Puerto Vallarta Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
*Best Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone Free Walking Tour and Map
*Best Day Tours
*Best Nightlife
*Best Restaurants
*Best (and) Cheap Hotels
*Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. Here is my Puerto Vallarta Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise Guide. I am compiling a list of the top places to retire cheap in the world. My research started in 2007 when I moved from the USA to India. My search has taken me to 64 countries so far. I visit family in the USA a few weeks per year but keep moving forward internationally otherwise. When I hear about a great new place, I head off and investigate. Subscribe here or at my Youtube Channel if you want to know the best travel cheap to paradise locations in the world. I travel and share the best places to retire or live cheap. Before discussing why Puerto Vallarta is a great choice, here are some fun Wikipedia facts about Puerto Vallarta.

  1. Prehistoric archeological evidence suggests continuous human habitation in this area since about 600 BC by the ancestors of the Aztatlan culture, which dominated in Jalisco from 900 to 1200 AD.
  2. Conquistador documents dated 1524, describe a battle between Spanish colonizers in this area and 10,000 indigenous people carrying colorful Banderas (flags).
  3. There are sailing logs dating back to the 17th century of smuggling and piracy operations in this area, but only 800 people lived here 200 years later in 1885.
  4. In 1918, the village was officially named Puerto Vallarta after the Jalisco State Governor Ignacio Vallarta.
  5. In the 1950s, Puerto Vallarta started to attract Americans, mostly disgruntled writers and artists who objected to the conservative politics (McCarthyism) in the USA.
  6. In 1964, John Huston filmed “The Night of the Iguana” in Mismaloya. Media coverage of an affair between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor put Puerto Vallarta on the tourist map for Americans.
  7. In 1970, US President Nixon came to Puerto Vallarta to negotiate a treaty with Mexican President Ordaz.
  8. In 1982, tourism to Puerto Vallarta escalated from a Peso devaluation that made Mexico a bargain for travelers with foreign currency.
  9. Competition from other Mexico tourist destinations such as Ixtapa and Cancun took some of Puerto Vallarta’s tourism in the 80s. But foreign interest in Puerto Vallarta returned in 1993 when Mexican land ownership law allowed foreign retirees and snowbirds to buy condos in old town Puerto Vallarta.

Best Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone Free Walking Tour and Map

If you are a more sophisticated traveler or considering Puerto Vallarta for a second home or a retirement destination, you will likely to be interested in what international tourists call the romantic section of Puerto Vallarta. The romantic area is the charming authentic area of Puerto Vallarta. Even if you are just here as a tourist to drink and have fun, you should spend at least a day in the romantic area of Puerto Vallarta, so you will understand what Mexico is really about. If I am right, I think you’ll want to spend your entire time in the romantic zone of Puerto Vallarta.

Here is a free Google Map of our Best Romantic Puerto Vallarta Walking Tour and Map:

Click ==>>this link<<== on your smartphone to get started on your free Google Maps walking map of the Romantic Zone in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Here is the first stop:

Malecon (Waterfront Walk): It is a beautiful walk along Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon. If you love bronze sculptures, make sure to watch my below video of the below Free Puerto Vallarta Waterfront Sculpture Tour (link below). The sculpture tour explains who each artist is and what each particular sculpture means, from my perspective. You can also just enjoy the walk without knowing the background on these sculptures. Begin Escultura Los Milenios and head south until you see the dancing dolphins sculpture. Then head away from the beach towards the church steeple. Click ==>this link<== if you would like to be guided by my free Google Maps on your smartphone.

Plaza de Armas: This is the main square in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta. Both the Pacific Ocean and the crowned tower of Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church is visible from this plaza. Plus there is a beautiful Gazebo in the center you will need to take a selfie with to prove you were in Puerto Vallarta. Like all towns in former Spanish colonies, you need to visit the main square and Church.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (Church): This Church was over 50 years in the making when it was finally completed in 1952. But its famous crown was not added until 15 years later in 1965. Because it took so long to build the construction was influenced by many schools of architecture, such as neoclassical, baroque, and renaissance. The cultural heart of Puerto Vallarta centers around this church and it serves as ground zero for the “Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival,” December 1-12th each year, which is attended by thousands of people.

Casa Kimberley: Casa Kimberly in Gringo Gulch became famous when American film stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had an extra marital affair during the filming of Night of the Iguana.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your approval will rank us higher in search engines.

Gringo Gulch: This is the area that many American writers and artists lived to escape from the conservative McCarthyism era in 1950s US politics. Make sure to cross the Gringo Gulch Bridge and look at the beautiful homes along the river. Gringo Gulch is also where Casa Kimberley is located which became famous when American film stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor lived together during the filming of Night of the Iguana.

Cuale River Island: This is just a charming little tree-shaded island that you have to see that also happens to have a flea market if you need to buy souvenirs to take home with you. Make sure to walk all the way east (away from the ocean) to get deep into Gringo Gulch, and then walk all the way west back to the Pacific Ocean.

Playa Los Muertos Pier This pier is the last stop on the Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone Free Walking Tour. This tour will give you a really great idea of why Puerto Vallarta is one of the best places to live or retire cheap in paradise. If you are hungry when your tour ends, click this link and walk a few blocks more to our favorite restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, called Salud Super Foods.

If you book my recommended flights, tours or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Day Tours and Map of Puerto Vallarta

Guided Tours

Viator Tours has a bunch of great deals on day tours in and around Puerto Vallarta. Just click ==>this link<== to see what is available. When we were here they had tours starting from $42 for Sunset Ocean Cruise, ATV Adventures, Islands Snorkeling Tours, VIP Club Tours, City Highlight Tours, Zipline Jungle Tours, Food Tours, Tequila Tasting Tours, Beach Tours, and Archaeological Tours.

Self-Guided (Cheap Bastard) Tours

If you have more time than money, or are just cheap like me, here are a few free self-guided day tours around Puerto Vallarta.

Free Marina Vallarta Walking Tour From Puerto Vallarta: Walk around this beautiful marina and check out the boats, cafes, shops, and restaurants. The above video will teach you how to get from Puerto Vallarta Central to Marina Vallarta for 7 Pesos ($0.60 USD) each way per person.

Puerta Vallarta Malecon Free Bronze Sculpture Walking Tour (Map): There is a series of mostly bronze sculptures that grace your walk along Malecon Puerto Vallarta. I have created a video with a short description of each in the following order. These appear on the walk in the following order starting in the north and walking south along Malecon Puerto Vallarta. These are my personal interpretations after viewing these works. I have not asked the artists what they think their piece means. If you enjoyed the above video, then click ==>this link<== to get started on the below free walking tour.

The Millennia Statue: The Millennia is by Mathis Lidice, 2001. The base of the bronze sculpture is the ocean from which life evolved. As you move up the DNA spiral, the symbolism evokes an evolution in consciousness from control by violence to liberated principles of intellectualism and science. Near the top of the DNA spiral, the symbolism represents the possibility that feminine energy has to transform human civilization with love. The woman at the top is being pulled into the future by a dove.

Origin and Destination is by Pedro Tello, 2011. The organic airplane represents man’s observational inferences drawn from nature to promote the technological arts. A bird with a whale tail represents how humans observed liquid and gas dynamics to provide buoyancy and control during flight. The broken boat represents unintended consequences of technology in our environment, whether polluted seas, air, or water or displacement of all of the other living things. The height of the obelisk represents man’s elevation of religion beyond common sense or reason relative to other human endeavor. The music symbol represents the purest forms of human expression where self expresssion is parallel with consciousness. The reptile over grated drainage represents how humans impede natural environment flow without regard to other living creatures.

Nostalgia: Nostalgia by Ramiz Barquet (1984). This piece symbolises how a man’s love is realized much later in life than the woman’s love. She looks upon the horizon when he finally awakens. She is tired now that his eyes are finally open.

El Sutil Comepiedras (The Subtle Rock Eater), by Jonás Gutiérrez. This piece symbolizes the immaturity of the modern economic system. This man focuses on accomplishing things which add no enduring value to himself or to those he loves. He is eating rocks to get ‘ahead’ in life when he could focus and improve the lives of everyone around him.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Such a simple thing will rank us higher in search engines.

El Unicornio de la Buena Fortuna (The Fortunate Unicorn), by Aníbal Riebeling (2011). This piece symbolizes the awakening Buddha experienced. Buddha saw that his true nature was consciousness itself. His mind had formed a conceptualized view of self that wasn’t his true identity. The synthetic shell on the outside of the true nature of the unicorn represents the unicorns conceptualized view of self. A living awareness of a conceptualized self that is believed to exist was all the Buddha needed to be free from suffering. If this artist didn’t stumble into this symbol of enlightenment she may have access to the freedom from suffering.

Triton and Mermaid (1990) by Carlos Espino. This piece symbolizes human projection in relationships. The man knows not himself but lives in an idolized vision of self. He knows not the woman he loves, but projects an idolized version of her. No truth can be known while man and woman live in idolized projections. There is no love without truth, and there is no truth without awareness of self or the other.

The Roundabout of the Sea (1996) by Alejandro Colunga. These pieces have a whimsical nature to them that project a joy of life. They touch your funny bone which is fine and complete itself. There also seems to be a deep disconnection here. There is a not so subtle message here that the artist believes, consciously or unconsciously, that humans are chasing technology and that there is no meaning or purpose in modern times for people, animals, or the environment. Man is a cockroach of sorts.

Searching for Reason, by Sergio Bustamante: The parent seems unable to cope with an unknown future rapidly approaching. Their piece captures the universal fear parents have about their competence to lead into an unknown future accelerating into uncertainty. The children are embracing the future without fear. They know only the present and see no merit in their parents fear. They watch the accelerating chaos in amazement. There is no time to look back or embrace unbridled fear.

Caballito de Mar (Little Seahorse) by Rafael Zamarripa: This is just a boy riding a seahorse.

Dancing Dolphins Fountain by James Bottoms of Santa Barbara California (1987)

Guided Tours: Check Viator Tours to see what tours they have available at your next travel location.

Best Nightlife Walking Tour: Map of Puerto Vallarta (Bar Hopping)

Here is a free Google Map of Puerto Vallarta showing our best nightlife and bar hopping tour. Just click the link below on your smartphone and start our tour. Just skip the ones below that don’t sound like your scene. Click ==>this link<== to start your Puerto Vallarta Nightlife Walking Tour (Bar Hopping):

Best Jazz Club: The Jazz Foundation: Do you like Jazz? Check this place out.

Best Country Western: The Redneck Sombrero: Do you like Country Western music? Check this place out. They have decent happy hour prices here too.

Best Sports Bars: Paradise Sports Bar: Are you into sports bars?

Best Pool Party: Mantamar Beach Club: Are you looking for a good pool party?

Best Pool (Billiards) Hall in Puerto Vallarta: Billarama Pacífico

Best Live Rock: Roxy Rock House:

Best Old School Dance Music: Andale: It is really fun dance music from 1995 to 2015. Just drink the beer though. The 3 and 4 shot drink ‘bargains’ seemed watered down.

Best Gay Bar: La Noche

Best 20-30s Something Pick-Up Joint, Best Electronic-Techno-House Songs that all sound the same, Best Bottle Service VIP-Cover-Charge: These three night clubs are right next door to each other. They are not my scene, so I am making fun of them. But you will have a blast if they are your scene: Mandala, The Zoo, La Vaquita

If you book my recommended flights, tours or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

#1 Rated Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta: Salud Super Foods: We both love super healthy foods so we had to go eat here. It is rare to see a healthy food restaurant get the #1 online restaurant ratings. I had a Pachamama (vegetarian) burger and it was the best veggie burger I have ever had, anywhere in the world. That is after more than 3 decades as a vegetarian. Qiang totally loved her Thai-Chicken Super Bowl. The bill was $11.50 (230 Pesos). Crazy cheap for the highest rated restaurant in the city. We are going back tomorrow.

Best Family Style Italian Restaurant: L´Angolo di Napoli: I am a big fan of finding family owned smaller Italian restaurants with great food and prices. If they are focused on the food and service and know how to make great Italian food, I don’t mind sitting on plastic chairs. This is one of those places. For the two of us with dinner, a shared salad, and drinks, the bill was 500 Pesos ($25 USD).

Planeta Vegetariano: They have a great breakfast buffet. They also have a great lunch buffet. For breakfast, they have vegetarian versions of a few traditional Mexican dishes, along with fruits, juices, coffee, pancakes, granola, tortillas, and much more. It is all you can eat for about 80 Pesos per person ($4 USD).

Best Portobello Burger: La Cervecería Unión: I had a delicious portobello burger here. Qiang Hui had an oyster starter and octopus tacos. It faces the water on the Malecon and had reasonable prices for the location.

Best Oysters Served on the Beach: Ostiones Puerto Vallarta “Cachorras”: Below the Malecon on the beach, toes in the sand, Qiang Hui found a family selling fresh oysters on the beach everyday from 10am to 2pm. They are 120 Pesos for 12 oysters. They have salsas they make in front of you there and a long table where their customers eat. They crack the oysters for you. Qiang went back twice.

Best Street Food on Malecon at Night: Every evening there are stalls selling all sorts of food and drink on the Malecon just south of the Dancing Dolphins Water Fountain. The food stalls start at about 100 feet south of the dolphins. The second stall going south has sausages that Qiang Hui loved. She went here twice. They cost 35 Pesos ($1.60 USD).

Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: I love to cook. Plus I am a vegetarian. We bought groceries here and cooked at least one meal at home per day. Our Airbnb apartment was $25 USD per night and it had a functional kitchen with full size refrigerator. The link to our Airbnb apartment is below.

If you book my recommended flights, tours or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best (and) Cheap Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

I recommend staying in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta. That is where you can immerse yourself in Mexican culture and life. If you stay in an all inclusive hotel or in a huge hotel in the Gringo areas, you won’t really get to taste the true flavors of Mexico. Try to stay in the area I have marked in red in the below Google map of Puerto Vallarta:

The following are a few great places that you should consider depending on your budget. They go from most to least expensive, and then I show you where we stayed.

Casa Kimberly: (5500 Pesos, $265 USD) This is arguably the most romantic place in Puerto Vallarta. This is the boutique hotel where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor fell in love during the filming of Night of the Iguana in Puerto Vallarta. Check out the pictures, reviews, and prices. It was $265 USD per night on the day we searched.

La Palapa 306: (1800 Pesos, $90 USD) In case you want to be on the beach with a view, this one is a good choice. Check out the pictures, reviews. This was $90 USD on the date we searched. This is an apartment with a full kitchen and sleeps up to 4 people.

Garlands Del Rio: (900 Pesos, $45 USD) This one is full of personality right across from Gringo Gulch. Check out the reviews, the pictures, and the price. Hard to get more romantic than this especially at $45 USD per night on the day we searched.

Alexandros Hostel: (600 Pesos, $30 USD) This is a bed in a hostel dorm for $30 USD per night on the day we searched. This is right in the Romantic zone walking distance from everything. Check out the reviews and pictures. It was $30 per night on the day we searched.

Airbnb Apartment: Here is where we stayed for a week at about $25 USD per night. It is a 2 bedroom 1 bath, furnished apartment with functional kitchen. It has a big patio and views of the Pacific Ocean. It is about 6 blocks from the sand right in the Romantic Zone. The pictures are exactly what this place looks like. I would stay here again without hesitation. It is a steep cobblestone street that cars can’t drive up, so think about that before booking. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code http://www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a big discount).

Click here for recommended flights, tours or accommodations.

I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Flights, Buses, Trains

We have been traveling around Mexico for over a month now. We are looking for the best retire or live cheap in paradise destination. We started in Mexico City, and have visited San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Chapala, and Ajijic before coming to Puerto Vallarta.

I have been exploring the world since 2007, 64 countries so far.

We took the bus Vallarta Plus Bus from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta. Right-click in the Chrome browser to translate into English. It takes about 4.5 hours to get to Puerto Vallarta and costs 550 Pesos or $28 USD per person. We checked three large bags for no extra fees.

You can fly into Puerto Vallarta International Airport (Puerto Vallarta) (Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport). There are a few taxi drivers that really try to take advantage of tourists in Puerto Vallarta. I heard a taxi driver quote $25 USD to a tourist for a destination that should cost $4 USD. So use Uber to get to your accommodations so you don’t have to negotiate directly with drivers.

International Flights: Skyscanner always seems to find the cheapest flight no matter where I am flying in the world. I find that Tuesday or Wednesday departures are typically the cheapest day of the week. When you land in Mexico, get a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone. One of my friends roamed while in Mexico and paid $700 USD for 7 days. Get your phone unlocked if you are from the USA so your phone can accept the chip.

National Flights: If you are flying to Puerto Vallarta from somewhere in Mexico, get your ticket on Skyscanner. They find the cheapest airfares. But check bus prices also if you are within 6 hours of driving of Puerto Vallarta. The bus can be both faster and cheaper in some cases. Plus, you can see rural Mexico when you travel by bus. Check buses prices at ETN or Primera.

Buses: Both ETN and Primera have buses throughout Mexico to Puerto Vallarta. You can visit the English ETN website or right click any web page from a Google Chrome browser, to translate any website into English. I check bus prices and flights (Skyscanner) before making a decision.

Uber: I use Uber when I am in Mexico. I like the International record of who picked me up and who dropped me, and where. Plus, I know the license plate number when they arrive. Plus, I don’t have to negotiate price or destination in Spanish.

Train: There is just one passenger train still running in Mexico and it does not go to Puerto Vallarta.

If you book my recommended flights, tours or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. If you would like to live cheap or retire early in paradise, learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Thank you for stopping by Vagabond Buddha, Dan
The world is your home. What time will you be present for dinner? Dan

Chapala and Ajijic Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

Chapala Ajijic Mexico Low Cost of Living
Chapala Ajijic Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
-Best Walking Tours of Chapala and Ajijic
-Best Restaurants
-Best Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Chapala and Ajijic Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This is my Chapala and Ajijic Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise post.  Chapala and Ajijic Mexico are top choices for Americans, Canadians, and Europeans who want to live or retire cheap in Mexico. They are certainly lovely rural locations where you will find peace and quiet and other expats and Mexicans to play with.

I have been traveling since 2007 looking for the perfect place to live. I have been to 64 countries so far. The top areas in the running for retiring or living cheap in Paradise for me, seem to focus on Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe. But since I love warm weather year round, I lean more towards Mexico and Southeast Asia. If I was stuck in Eastern Europe in the winter, that would be cold.

Today I am in Chapala and Ajijic so I will focus on that for now. But first ….

Here are some fun facts we found on Wikipedia about Chapala and Ajijic:

  1. Chapala is 28 miles (45 km) south-southeast of Guadalajara on Lake Chapala.
  2. Lake of Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake.
  3. Chapala is mostly a weekend getaway for the inhabitants of Guadalajara.
  4. Around 50,000 people live inside the city limits of Chapala. That includes the 15,000 people living in Ajijic.
  5. The 15,000 international expats live mostly in Ajijic. The expats are predominantly from the USA and Canada.
  6. The most famous expat who has lived in Chapala was Tennessee Williams. While living in Chapala, he wrote “The Poker Night,” which later became “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
  7. The walk from the center of Chapala to the center of Ajijic is about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles).

Best Walking Tour and Map of Chapala and Ajijic

Here is my Youtube video of the following Chapala and Ajijic walking tours:

Chapala

Just click ==>this link<== to get started on your Chapala walking tour.

Plaza Civica Municipal: Walk a few blocks around the main plaza in Chapala. Then head down to the Lake.

Palacio Municipal de Chapala: Chapala City Hall will be on your right as you walk towards Lake Chapala.

Parish of San Francisco: Make sure to look inside the beautiful San Francisco Parish Church on your way to the waterfront.

Malecón De Chapala: Walk left along Malecon De Chapala. The Malecon is the sidewalk along Lake in Chapala. While at the boat docks on the waterfront in Chapala, consider whether you would like to take a boat tour of Lake Chapala. Tour operators will approach you or look for their signs and ask what tours are available.

Parque de la Christiania: Keep heading along the lakefront until you get to this park. Keep walking through the park. When the park ends work your way back to the street and turn right. After 4 or 5 blocks you’ll end up at the following cultural center.

Centro Cultural de Chapala: This above cultura center used to be the old railroad station that carried passengers from Guadalajara to Lake Chapala. Now it is a large art museum. Make sure to walk around this beautiful property. Then grab an Uber Taxi to the next stop, which is in the neighboring town of Ajijic walking tour. Take the Uber Taxi to Plaza Principal de Ajijic in Ajijic, which is 9 kilometers west (5.5 miles).

Ajijic

Just click ==>this link<== to get started on your Ajijic walking tour.

Plaza Principal de Ajijic: This is the central plaza in this small town. There was an arts and crafts market on the day we arrived.

Malecón Ajijic: This is the beautiful waterfront walk on Lake Chapala in Ajijic.

Lake Chapala Society: This is where the expats all meet to find people with similar interest and language. Here is their website describing the schedule of events.

Activities: Golf, Horseback Riding, Hiking, Motorcycle Tours, Art Walks, Spas, and Thermal Pools. Click this link to find out more about available activities.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Restaurants in Chapala

Machinima Vegetarian Restaurant: This was so delicious and priced reasonably.

Cafe Grano Cafe: Nice place to sit on the main plaza in Ajijic and have a chile relleno and other local Mexican favorites.

Tremezzo Italian Restaurant: Feeling like Italian?

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Cheap Hotels in Chapala and Ajijic

Hotel Villa San Francisco (Chapala, México): This place is gorgeous and such a great deal at $60 USD per night when we checked.

Casa Luz (Ajijic, Mexico): Look at the ratings and price on this for only $45 USD per night when we checked.

Airbnb Apartment: Here is a bright colorful studio for $30 USD on the day we searched. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code http://www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a big discount).

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Flights, Buses, Trains

There is no airport in Chapala. But the closest airport is Guadalajara International Airport (Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla) (GDL). It is about 20 miles from GDL to Chapala and costs around 240 Pesos ($12 USD) to Chapala.

International or National Flights: Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights no matter where I am going in the world. Get a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone when you land. Roaming in Mexico is complete highway robbery.

Buses: You have to come to Guadalajara to get a bus to Chapala/Ajijic. Both ETN and Primera have buses throughout Mexico to Chapala. You can visit the English ETN website or right click any web page from a Google Chrome browser, to translate any website into English. Once in Guadalajara, take an Uber to the Old Bus Station (Antigua Central Camionera) in Guadalajara, Mexico. At this bus station, one way tickets to Chapala or Ajijic cost about 80 Pesos ($4 USD). The bus departs every hour from 7AM to 5PM. The bus drops you in Chapala at the Chapala Bus Terminal or in Ajijic on the main road. You can walk from either to your accommodations to take an Uber for just a few dollars.

Uber: I use Uber when I am in Mexico. I like the International record of who picked me up and who dropped me, and where. Plus, I know the license plate number when they arrive. Plus, I don’t have to negotiate price or destination in Spanish.

Train: There is just one passenger train still running in Mexico and it does not go to Chapala.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Thank you for stopping by Vagabond Buddha, Dan

Chapala and Ajijic Mexico Low Cost of Living

Chapala Ajijic Mexico Low Cost of Living
Chapala Ajijic Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
-Best Walking Tours of Chapala and Ajijic
-Best Restaurants
-Best Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Chapala and Ajijic Mexico Low Cost of Living

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. Today, I am in the Chapala-Ajijic area of Mexico. This post has the Chapala Ajijic Mexico low cost of living data. I collect data about the cost of living as I travel the world. You see, I left the USA in 2007. I visit family every year in the USA, but I live internationally. I have been to 64 countries so far. Moving forward appeals to me, but I will pick a place to live eventually. But I will keep traveling at least 6 months of the year.

So far I favor Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe is too cold 6 months of the year, but I would just travel during the cold months.

Livability Factors: Livability is a soup of factors that I evaluate when I am trying to determine whether or not a place is livable. Not just livable, but highly desirable to me personally. Here are some of the ingredients in my livability soup.

Walkability: Chapala and Ajijic Mexico have a high walkability factor. Technically, you could live here without having a car. Of the two, I would prefer to live in Ajijic and have only a bicycle on days I wanted to visit Chapala. The roads are very bumpy so I would get one of those beach cruisers with big fat tires. Skinny road tires are not workable. I would just walk around Ajijic for all of my daily needs.

Internet: I read online that some people are still struggling for reliable Internet here. This is a red flag for me. Before I would move here, I would need to make sure the place I was moving into had reliable speeds.

Food: For towns this size (Chapala, Ajijic) you would expect to struggle with food choices. But the food choices are better than you would expect due to the large expat community supporting fringe foreign tastes. The international food choices for a city of this size are perfectly respectable. There are even multiple vegetarian choices for many international foods.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

Weather: The weather is lovey in Chapala Mexico. Chapala rarely gets too hot or too cold. The warmest month is May. The average high for the day in May is 86F or 30C. The average low at night in May is 63F or 17C. It generally cools down at night in the summer due to the elevation of 1524 meters (5000 feet) above sea level. The coolest month of the year is January. The average low at night in January is 52F or 12C. The average high for the day in January is 73F or 23C. The rainy season is June through September when it rains at least once per day for about 15 to 20 days per month. During the rainy season, it rains 6 to 10 inches per month. They don’t see much rain from October to May.

Things to Do: There are all sorts of things to do in town and lots of open land around if you like to hike. There is also all of the activities you would expect on a lake this large. Plus, click the above “Chapala and Ajijic Retire Cheap in Paradise” for information about golf, horseback riding, hiking, motorcycle, art walks, spas, thermal pools and local clubs where expats and Mexicans meet to find people with similar interest and language.

Social Considerations: Because of the high concentration of expats and Mexicans catering to expats, the social opportunities are richer hear than some large towns in Mexico.

Desire to Move Here: Medium. After visiting here, and comparing it to places like Guanajuato, I think I may want to live in a more urban setting. This just seems a little too rural to me.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Real Estate Prices in Chapala and Ajijic: Don’t Buy Real Estate Right Away: I recommend that you live here for at least one year before you buy a place. Talk to people who have bought and sold to get the local story. This is not like moving to another part of your home country. If you are positive you will want to buy in a year or two, you can do research now. It is okay to do research now so you know you will be able to find something suitable in a year or two when you are ready to buy. For that reason, I have posted a few photos of things for sale at the bottom of this post.

Start by renting. Below are my estimated costs of living one month in Chapala Mexico, as a temporary visitor. If you rented a furnished apartment by the month, it could be cheaper. You can rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment ranging from about 300 to 800 USD per month depending on how modern and how close you want to be to the colonial center of town.

Monthly Cost of Living, Chapala Mexico, Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High**

Apartment

$30.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$45.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel (none)

$30.00

30

3

0

High-End Restaurant

$12.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$5.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$2.00

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.60

20

26

8

Bus

$0.60

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$4.00

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$1,170.00

$1,403.60

$1,328.80

Total

Per Day

$39.00

$46.79

$44.29

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha. The above table does not include alcohol, excursions, or extras, and it is for one person.

**The above high cost of living is lower than the medium cost of living because I am using a furnished apartment rental price of $600 per month. There are no hostels we could find for backpackers. So I am using the Airbnb price which is cheaper than a modest hotel.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Contact the realtors on the following pictures if you want to get more prices or do more research. These homes are more of a local experience. They can provide you with really expensive amazing places if you are trying to find America in Mexico.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by.

Guadalajara Mexico Low Cost of Living

Guadalajara Mexico Low Cost of Living
Guadalajara Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
-Best Old Town Walking Tour
-Best Day Tours
-Best Nightlife
-Best Restaurants
-Best Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Guadalajara Mexico Low Cost of Living

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. I travel the world as I collect data about the cost of living. I have been to 64 countries so far. I started traveling in 2007. These days I am outside my home country more than 11 months of the year. I am from the USA.

This post has the cost of living data for Guadalajara, Mexico. Once I am certain that I have seen all of the best places, I will slow down my travels to about 6 months per year. I will spend the other 6 months in whatever place I determine to call home.

Above is the place where we are staying for a week in Guadalajara Mexico for $19 USD per day. Click the “Best Hotels” link above for more information and a possibility of a discount on this place.

Livability Factors: I am looking for a great place to live. I also like saving money whenever I can. In fact, that is what has given me so much freedom to travel. When you aren’t hemorrhaging money so fast in places like the USA or Western Europe, you have less stress in your life. But the quality of life means more than saving money. Here are the other things I consider when I find a place that might be livable.

Walkability: I love to be able to walk everywhere without getting in a car or bus. This is where Guadalajara loses me. This city is so spread out, that you are unlikely to be able to go more than a few days without getting into a vehicle. The Uber taxis are cheap, but they add up if you use them several times per week. This one thing bugs me so much, I would not consider living in Guadalajara. If you like having a car around this shouldn’t be an issue for you. Just make sure to get a place where your car is behind a gate, off the street.

Internet: Our wifi connection in our Airbnb place is fabulous.

Food: Guadalajara has everything you can imagine to eat. This is a world class city in the food department.

If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share on social media, comment below, or subscribe? Your interaction will rank us higher in search engines.

Weather: I love the weather in Guadalajara Mexico. The warmest month is May. The average high for the day in May is 89F or 32C. The average low at night in May is 57F or 1444C. It generally cools down at night in the summer due to the elevation of 1566 meters or 5150 feet above sea level. The coolest month of the year is January. The average low at night in January is 44F or 7C. The average high for the day in January is 75F or 24C. Its rainy season is June through September when it rains 6 to 10 inches per month. There is not much rain the rest of the year.

Things to Do: There are all sorts of things to do in town. As Mexico’s second largest city, there is a very active nightlife if you like live music, concerts, theatre, modern dance, etc. Plus you are only a few hours from many other fascinating places for long weekends such as Puerto Vallarta, Chapala, etc. Also, please click the above link “Old Town Walking Tour” or “Best Day Tours” to see more things to do.

Social Considerations: There are not as many expats here as a percentage of the population as other places, such as nearby San Miguel de Allende or Chapala-Ajijic. You should learn Spanish for sure if you want to have a full life. That will be necessary if you want to call this home.

Desire to Move Here: Low. The fact that the town is spread out and you need a car is a deal killer for me.

Here are my estimated costs of living one month in Guadalajara Mexico, as a temporary visitor. If you rented a furnished apartment for the month, it could be cheaper. You can rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment ranging from about 400 to 900 USD per month depending on how modern and how close you want to be to the best areas.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Monthly Cost of Living, Guadalajara Mexico, Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High**

Apartment

$20.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$35.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$10.00

30

3

0

High End Restaurant

$14.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$5.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$2.00

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.70

20

26

8

Bus

$0.70

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$4.00

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$576.00

$1,095.20

$1,045.60

Total

Per Day

$19.20

$36.51

$34.85

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha. The above table does not include alcohol, excursions, or extras, and it is for one person.

**The above medium cost of living is slightly more than the high cost of living because I am using a furnished apartment rental price of $600 per month. This might require you to negotiate for a period of more than one month, depending on the area.

We go to Puerto Vallarta next. Please subscribe if you would like to receive the costs of living estimates when we go there.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by.

Cheapest Tequila Mexico Tour

Guadalajara Mexico Low Cost of Living
Guadalajara Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
-Best Old Town Walking Tour
-Best Day Tours
-Best Nightlife
-Best Restaurants
-Best Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Cheapest Tequila Mexico Tour $18 USD

  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha.

We just created the cheapest Tequila Mexico tour for $18 USD.  The tour to Tequila starts from Guadalajara, Mexico at 18 USD, per person. Here is how you can take our self-guided tour. Take an Uber to the Old Bus Station (Antigua Central Camionera) in Guadalajara, Mexico. At this bus station, the round trip tickets to Tequila cost 158 Pesos ($8 USD) per person. The bus departs every hour but depart no later than 11AM so you can get everything done before you board the last return bus to Guadalajara at 7PM. The bus drops you in Tequila at the Jose Cuervo Circle. From the circle, use ==>this link<== to begin your walking tour of Tequila. When you get to the first stop on the tour, buy your Tequila Tour tickets for 200 Pesos ($10 USD) per person. When you have finished your day in Tequila, walk back to Jose Cuervo Circle to catch the last bus back to Guadalajara at 7 PM. You can take any earlier bus if you are ready to go home sooner.

Fun Facts about Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico:

  1. Tequila is only 60 KM (37 miles) from Guadalajara.
  2. The city of Tequila is named after the fermented drink made from the Blue Agave Cactus Plant that originates here.
  3. The indigenous people had already been fermenting blue agave for 1500 years before the Spanish arrived.
  4. Tequila was founded by the Franciscan Monks in 1530. How do you establish a place where people have lived for thousands of years?
  5. In 1600, Pedro Sanchez de Tagle built a large scale distilling operation that took the fermented indigenous beverage and increased the alcohol content. That is what we now know to be Tequila. Sanchez also started cultivating blue agave on a large scale.
  6. After Mexico threw the Spanish out, Mexico took over the tequila manufacturing in around 1815.
  7. In 1873, Tequila citizens and police had to fight off bandits, called “Tigers of Alicia” who tried to take the Tequila distilleries.

Things to do in Tequila: The things to do in Tequila are listed below this map. Here is your Google Maps Walking Tour. Click ==>this link<== on your smartphone and start walking.

Free Tequila Old Town Walking Tour:

Click ==>this link<== to get started. The tour starts in Jose Cuervo Circle where the bus drops you.

  1. Parroquia Santiago Apostol: This is the main church in Tequila Jalisco Mexico. It was built in 1649. The squares in front of this church is where tequila tour sellers will approach you.
  2. Main Plaza in Tequila Jalisco Mexico: This square runs along the side of the Parroquia Church. It is surrounded by beautiful colonial-era buildings with cafes, restaurants, and Tequila tasting opportunities.
  3. The National Museum of Tequila (MUNAT): There was some great Tequila centric art and tequila history here.
  4. Sausa Quinta: In front of the above Parroquia Church, several tour operators will approach you offering tours of the main tequila distilleries in town. The prices range from about 200 Pesos to 350 Pesos ($10 to $18 USD). We took the Sausa tour for $10 which you can watch in our youtube video (Google “Vagabond Buddha Cheapest Tequila Tour.”) We picked this tour mainly because I had seen pictures of the inside of the Sausa Family Estate and wanted to see it in person. Watch our video.
  5. Silly Tourist Trolleys: There are silly looking tourist trolleys that you can ride around town in for about $10 USD, but the town is so small, we decided to walk. If you took one of these trolleys and had fin or learned something interesting, please comment below so I can add that information to this post.
  6. Artesian Tequilas: If you really are a Tequila Aficionado, I recommend doing research before showing up to pick which of the artesian tequila distilleries or tastings you want to visit while you are in town. When we were there we noticed a few of them (Casa Orendain) were well attended.

Restaurants in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico: If you are really trying to do this on the cheap, you can bring your own food with you. The restaurants in the Griingo areas of Tequila are not cheap. You can also walk away from the Gringo area until you see a good deal around $2. We decided to eat in the Gringo Area at Restaurante Fonda Cholula. My cheese enchiladas and orange juice cost $8 USD including tip. It was delicious.

Bad News: The above bus tour is 2 hours each way. Tequila Mexico is only about 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Guadalajara. There are tours that can get you to Tequila and back in 60 minutes, depending on traffic. Some also will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodations.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

More Tour Choices: Here are a few other tour choices if you have less time and more money.

  1. Get Your Guide Tours: Click this link for Get Your Guide Tours from Guadalajara.
  2. Viator Tours: Click this link for Viator Tours from Guadalajara.

Thanks for stopping by Vagabond Buddha, Dan