Cuernavaca Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

Cuernavaca Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living
Things to Do In Cuernavaca Mexico!
->Old Town Walking Tour
->Day Tours
->Restaurants
->Best (and) Cheap Hotels
->Cheap Flights, Buses, Trains
->Livability Factors
->Low Cost of Living
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Cuernavaca Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

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This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. I am in Cuernavaca Mexico this week. This post is my Cuernavaca Mexico retire early low cost of living guide. I have included all the fun things to do that I could find during our 7 day stay here.

I have one idea in mind for you. I want you to start living your dreams a little sooner than you thought possible. My life is all about possibilities. If I can help you find your favorite place in the world to live, that supports the daily life you imagine, for half of what you expected to spend, could you start living your dreams a little earlier than you expected? It is more than possible.

My goal is to help you find your little piece of heaven on earth and to get you living there as soon as possible. I also hope to entertain you a little while doing so.

I am traveling around the world and comparing retire early low cost of living destinations. I have been to 65 countries so far. I left the United States in 2007. I rented out my home so there is no empty bed waiting for me in the USA. I visit family once a year or so, but otherwise, I keep moving forward.

Because I have lived in so many places, I know the challenges an American faces when they try to live internationally. Please follow my adventures around the world by subscribing to Vagabond Buddha or our Youtube Channel. The little red subscription button is in the lower right corner of your screen.

The last 8 weeks we have been exploring the best live or retire cheap low cost of living destinations in Mexico. You can read our live or retire cheap, low cost of living data, which is already posted, for San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Chapala, Ajijic, Morelia, and Queretaro.

Today I am writing about Cuernavaca Mexico. This post describes the costs of food, lodging, local transportation, etc. here in Cuernavaca.

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

  1. Cuernavaca was nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring” in the 19th century by Alexander Humboldt. Humboldt was a world explorer, scientist, and the first person to introduce the theory of human-induced climate change back in 1800.
  2. Aztec Emperors, Spanish Conquistadors, foreigners, movie stars, international gangsters, designers, artists, writers, and the wealthy citizens of Mexico City have all maintained satellite homes here over the centuries.
  3. Cuernavaca is called the Beverly Hills of Mexico because so many swimming pools are visible from the surrounding mountains.
  4. Cuernavaca is located in a tropical region but maintains a cooler temperature of 70-79 F, 21-26C, year round.
  5. Human burials carbon dated 1000 BC were found just 1 km NE of old town Cuernavaca at Gualupita. However, the first major cultural power to inhabit this area was the Tlahuica in 1200 AD. Their largest settlement was in Cuernavaca. Other cultures thereafter fought for control of this area leading up to the Spanish invasion, but the Aztecs controlled the last few hundred years before the Spanish invasion. .
  6. Conquistador Hernán Cortés showed up in Cuernavaca in 1523. He founded a sugar plantation, the Church of San Jose, and his favorite residence here, the Palace of Cortes.
  7. During the Mexican-American War, Cuernavaca was captured by the Americans and forced to pay retributions to the US Army.
  8. Cuernavaca became a jetsetter place to relax once gambling became legal at Casino de la Selva. Rita Hayworth, Bugsy Siegel, and Al Capone put Cuernavaca on the map for Americans in the first few decades of the 20th century.
  9. Timothy Leary tried psychedelic mushrooms here in Cuernavaca many times in the 1960s. This and the prevalence of Zen Buddhism in this area attracted many artists, writers, musicians and counterculture types to Cuernavaca.

CUERNAVACA FREE OLD TOWN WALKING TOUR AND MAP

Please watch the following Youtube video of our Cuernavaca Free Old Town Walking Tour. Then, click the interactive Google Map link on your smartphone to each destination on the tour.

Click this Google Map to get started on this Cuernavaca Free old town walking tour map:

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

Museo de Arte Indígena Contemporáneo: This museum includes carvings, ceramics, textiles, pottery, along with unique and contemporary works by 12 different ethnic groups in Mexico.

Jardin Borda: The French installed dictator Maximillian converted nearby Borda Garden into his summer residence. During the conservative religious rebellion called the Reform War, France installed a Monarch named Maximilian I. Maximilian converted Borda Garden into his summer house. Before that, this home was owned by the wealthy mining magnate Jose Borda of the Taxco mines. Today, it is owned by the public and it is possible to take a short boat ride on the lake. The house has been converted into a museum of 18 and 19th century decorations and artifacts.

Cathedral of Cuernavaca: This main church of the Franciscans in Cuernavaca was completed in the 16th century, became the cathedral in 1891. The church was built by Cortes and doubled as a fortress. There are actually cannons mounted on the buttresses of this Cathedral. Look for the restored fresco murals relating to Philip of Jesus, the first canonized Mexican Saint. The church’s former cloister (home for the monks), was taken by the Reform Laws, is now the Robert Brady Museum.

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Robert Brady Museum: This building was originally part of the monastery of the Cathedral of Cuernavaca. It was bought by the US artists Robert Brady in 1960. I contains a collection of art from all over the world including the Self-Portrait with Monkey, painted by Frida Kahlo. Brady gave the monastery-house to Cuernavaca City in 1986 upon his death. In 1938, Frida was the first Mexican born artist to sell art to the Louvre in Paris. Until the 1970’s she was known mainly as Diego Rivera’s wife. Today, Frida is not only known internationally as an artist, but an icon for Chicanos, the Feminist movement, and the LGBT movement. Prints of her works appear all over the world now.

Unidad Deportiva Revolución: This is a beautiful park that is about 100 meters south of the Brady Museum. The street that the Brady museum is on is my favorite street in Cuernavaca so I wanted you to walk a little further south on the street plus see this park. Look at the arrow I drew by hand on the above Google map. Go the way of my arrow to the park. It is a better view.

Cuauhnáhuac Regional Museum, Palacio de Cortés: The Palace of Cortes is the most famous building in Cuernavaca. It was built by the most notorious Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes. Completed in 1535, it is one of the oldest European constructions built by a civilian in the Americas. Almost 300 years later, during the war of independence, Jose Morelos was imprisoned here in 1815. In 1973, after complete restoration, it was opened as the Regional Museum Cuauhnahuac for the state of Morelos. It exhibits artifacts from the State of Morelos from the first human habitation through today. It also has Murals created by Diego Rivera.

Zócalo de Cuernavaca: Together, these two adjacent plazas are known as the “zocalo.” There is typically performance artists in the plazas such as clowns, musicians, juddlers, etc. There are also all sorts of local foods and sweets being sold in the plazas.

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.

Jardin Juarez Plaza: These gardens are in the center of historic old town Cuernavaca. There is a large stone statue of the Mexican Independence hero Jose Morelos.

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 CUERNAVACA MEXICO

Guided Tours

Click this link to see if there are any specials on Viator Tours during your visit to Cuernavaca.

Click this link to see if there are any specials on Get Your Guide Tours while you are in Cuernavaca.

No matter where you are (or go) in the world, you can find out what tours are offered there by Viator Tours and GetYourGuide Tours.

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.

Ancient Pyramid and Sugar Hacienda Half Day Tour

Here is a map of two places you must see near Cuernavaca. The first is an ancient pyramid and the second is a Cortez family sugar plantation. They are both very close to Cuernavaca, so we combined them into one half day tour. We used Uber to move between the following two destinations:

Click the above map or ==>this link<== to get started.

Teopanzolco Archaeological Site: The first stop on this self-guided tours is an archaeological site is dated to 1427. It is a Tlahuicas ceremonial site that has symbolism indicating the Aztec dominance during the years just prior to Spanish invasion. There is a large pyramid with two shrine structures, similar to the temples in Mexico City’s Zocalo. The two concentric structures might represent the Aztec serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. Next door to this pyramid is the Auditorio Teopanzolco. There are live performances there such as the symphony, opera, live theatre, and concerts. We went inside and they offered us 2 for 1 tickets for $15 USD to see the Marquis Hill live jazz quartet. Check the playbill to see who is performing while you are in town and don’t be afraid to ask for the 2 for 1 discount. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Cuernavaca.

Hacienda Atlacomulco (“de Cortes”): The second stop on this tour, is a former sugar plantation. It was built in the 17th Century by Martin Cortés, the son of the Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés. The hacienda lost its surrounding sugar production land in the Mexican Revolution. Today, the hacienda functions as an exclusive hotel. The hotel owners have wisely integrated a number of the industrial features of the plantation into common areas. Make sure to see Martin Cortes’ statue near the dining room and the Jesus Resurrection Chapel, still open for public worship today. And most importantly, do not miss the ancient ruins that exist between the hotel grounds and the Jesus Resurrection Chapel. See the above picture so you know what you are looking for.

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Magical Tepoztlan Old Town and the Drunken Fertility Pyramid Tour

Tepoztlán: Watch the above video or check out my Tepoztlan post and see if this tour sounds interesting to you. If so, grab a local bus to Tepoztlan. Just go to the local bus stop right on Morelos street within a block north or south of this store. Jump on a bus with Tepoztlan on the windshield. It is about 25 Pesos $1.25 USD and takes about 50 minutes to get to Tepoztlan. We used Uber and got to Tepoztlan in about half that time for 150 Pesos $7.50 USD each way. Once in Tepoztlan, click my interactive Google Map on my Tepoztlan post and start your tour.

Taxco Mexico Free Old Town Walking Tour

Taxco: Take our free full day old town walking tour of Taxco. Taxco is one of Mexico’s favorite Pueblos Magico. Taxco has a gorgeous historical center, cobblestone streets, and surrounding magical mountains. The bus to Taxco from Cuernavaca takes just under 2 hours and costs 230 Pesos roundtrip $11>50 USD. Catch the bus here at the Cuernavaca bus station. Once in Taxco click out interactive Google Map to begin your tour. The free Taxco old town walking tour interactive map is here on our Taxco post.

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 RESTAURANTS IN CUERNAVACA

Alondra Cafe Terraza: There is no link to the above restaurant on Google. But the restaurant surrounds this Alexandre Von Humboldt statue, right across from the Cuernavaca Cathedral. We had a nice breakfast here.

Cinnamon Veggie: I had a great soy chorizo burger here with french fries. Qiang Hui had a burrito. The bill was 160 Pesos $8 USD including tip. When you get to the above link on the Google Map, walking deep inside the courtyard through an archway. Then go up on level to find the restaurant.

Brothers Bar and Cafe: This place had great reviews and a few vegetarian options on the menu so we tried it out. Loved it.

Misión del Sol Resort & Spa: We never made it over there but a good friend who grew up in this area said to check out this place for their tasty healthy foods and spa.

Las Mañanitas: This is a place a foodie friend recommended so I am positive it is great. But we didn’t make it over there because we heard too late.

Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: I am eating one meal a day and drinking two vegetable-protein shakes a day. Getting healthy for our beach trip in 3 weeks. The two vegetable juice shakes include zero carbohydrate plant protein powder. So I am not cooking as much at home. For the protein powder and the limited meals we have cooked at home, we have been shopping at this grocery store. If you are more interested in a traditional Mexican market shop here. Qiang Hui has been making some nice meals this week also. We have a cute little kitchen and a quaint table in the backyard where we eat. Check out our Airbnb apartment, link provided below.

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 CUERNAVACA

Normally, I recommend staying in the old town area of colonial towns in Mexico. But I am not recommending that you restrict yourself that way here in Cuernavaca.

You see most colonial old towns in Mexico have a gentrified city center and the lower cost housing is pushed away from the old town center. That has happened somewhat here, but the city center is still only partially gentrified.

This means that you will not be able to walk to everything interesting in the old town area. You will need to get in your car from time to time and drive to the suburbs.

I think this might be because Cuernavaca has been a tourist attraction since before the idea of ‘city core’ gentrification. That means that the rich people started living in big estates outside of Cuernavaca central in the 1940s through the 1980s, and that ‘car culture’ has been maintained here mostly. This is the main reason it is not as interesting to me as a retirement haven as other places in Mexico. I prefer places like Guanajuato, Querétaro, San Miguel, and Mexico City, where everything you need is within walking distance.

I am recommending the following accommodations. They go from most to least expensive, and then I show you where we st

Anticavilla Hotel & SPA: This boutique hotel is in a restored colonial mansion. Check out the pictures and amenities. It is a gorgeous setting and close to old town. Use Uber to visit old town or our suggested day trips. On the day we searched rooms started at about $200 USD per night.

Las Casas B+B: This gorgeous place is near our favorite parts of old town, the Brady Museum, Cortes Palace, and the Cathedral. Plus it is a secret little hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Cuernavaca. It was about $130 USD per night when we searched.

Suites Las Plazas : This basic place is in an amazing location just 5 minutes walk from the Robert Brady Museum. I was only $32 USD on the day we searched.

Hostels: We didn’t find any hostels listed in Cuernavaca but this hotel was only about $22 per night and really close to the old town center.

Airbnb Apartment (Where we stayed) We got a 30% discount for booking 7+ days here. So we paid about $20 USD per night. Hard to believe we got a 2 Bedroom, 2 bath apartment with kitchen, patio, and swimming pool for $20 USD! It is in a 1950s movie producers house and is like walking into the 50s. It looks just like the pictures. It is in a good area and has two friendly dogs to greet you when you get home. (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.

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.

CHEAP FLIGHTS, BUSES, TRAINS

I am in Cuernavaca Mexico today. We have been traveling around Mexico for 6 weeks. We took the Futura Bus from Queretaro to Cuernavaca for 487 Pesos $25.00 USD per person one way. It was about a 5 hour bus ride. When we add the time waiting at airports, it makes more sense and it is cheaper to ride the bus. The Uber ride to our Airbnb accommodation was 35 Pesos $1.75 USD.

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 Cuernavaca. 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).

Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX): You can fly into MEX and take a bus to Cuernavaca. Please use the above links to find bus times and prices. You should use Uber to go from the airport to the bus station so you don’t have to negotiate directly with drivers. If you need to spend the night in Mexico City, you can stay in one of my recommended accommodations.

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 Cuernavaca.

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.

CUERNAVACA MEXICO LIVABILITY FACTORS

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. In this section of the post, I discuss the Cuernavaca Mexico livability factors. There are things that I find help me identify the quality of life available in a retire cheap destination. Money isn’t everything.

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 deciding to move somewhere cheaper than home, I would consider factors other than cost. I look for and consider the following factors: walkability, weather, things to do, real estate prices, Internet reliability, expat opportunities, food choices, social considerations, and overall cost of living. I rate each of the factors as High, Medium, or Low. Then I do a gut check and assign an overall desirability score: High Desirability, Medium Desirability, Low Desirability.

Cuernavaca Desirability Score: Medium

We have been here almost a week and it just doesn’t feel like a potential home for me. I have fallen in love with places like Querétaro, Guanajuato, San Miguel, Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico City.

But keep watching, I still have 7 more places to investigate in Mexico over the next 6 weeks. If you want to follow my progress, then subscribe at VagabondBuddha.com or at my Youtube Channel.

Walkability: Medium. The historical old town center of Cuernavaca is certainly small enough to to be totally walkable at night, but it didn’t feel as safe to us at night as other places in Mexico. The street lights were too far apart and there wasn’t as many locals out walking around after 9 or 10 PM. That signals to me that I should use a taxi to get around after dusk. I am giving it a medium because it felt okay during the day.

Internet Reliability: High. The Internet worked well in our Airbnb.

Food: Medium. There are about 350k people living within the Cuernavaca metropolitan area. Cuernavaca was one of the first central Mexico destinations to draw international tourists and many wealthy families in Mexico City have second homes here. So there is a decent foreign influence chasing a diverse palate here. But the restaurants are spread all over the city rather than being easily accessible by foot. For that reason, I give the food here a medium.

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Weather: High (Perfect). Cuernavaca Mexico sits at an elevation of 1510 meters (5955 feet) above sea level. The elevation moderates the temperatures in the summer The warmest month of the year is May. The average high for the day in May is 86F or 30C but drops to 62F or 17C at night. The coolest month of the year is January. The average low at night in January is 54F or 12, but it warms nicely in each day to average 77F or 25C. The rainy season is June through September when it rains about 10 inches per month (260 mm). This might be the most perfect weather in the world.

Things to Do: Low. The Robert Brady museum is one of my favorite things to do in all of Mexico. The Cuernavaca Cathedral was closed and under renovation now. The Cortez Palace is closed and under renovation. The paintings and furniture in Jardin Borda were on loan to other museums in the world. It just didn’t feel like a hotbed of activity while we were here. The city planners should try to keep at least 3 out of 4 of the major attractions open all year. We were here in the middle of August, so it seems like poor planning. I hope you have better luck when you are here.

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.

Social Considerations: Medium. Much of the reading we did before coming here made us feel like this city had more of an international influence than we found on the ground. You would need to be prepared to fully integrate with the local population if you decided to move here.

Expats Groups: Medium. The InterNations web page shows 4 expat events occurring over the next 4 weeks, with attendance in the hundreds for two of those events. I then found this article explaining why Cuernavaca is not as attractive as a retirement place as it once was. I found this Facebook page, Expats Living in Cuernavaca. It has 175 members but no new members in the last 30 days.

Real Estate: High. There seems to be a fairly decent selection of condos in the under under $100k price range. But don’t buy right away. The market is a little soft for resale. Instead, live here for a year or two before you make that decision.

CUERNAVACA MEXICO RETIRE EARLY LOW COST OF LIVING

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

Cuernavaca Mexico Low Cost of Living: Here are my estimated costs of living one month in Cuernavaca Mexico.

Monthly Cost of Living, Cuernavaca Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High

Apartment

$20.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$32.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$22.00

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

$2.00

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$875.00

$992.40

$899.20

Total

Per Day

$29.17

$33.08

$29.97

The above table is my notes from my visit here. These prices are not guaranteed for anyone. They are just a place to start your research.

These estimates are based upon one person. They do not include alcohol, tours, or extras.

You may be able to beat these estimates if you rent an apartment long term. Here are examples of apartments for $500 USD per month. The best deals happen when you are here in person. Just rent an temporary apartment like the Airbnb we rented and then begin your investigation on the ground here.

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

We head are headed to a new location in Mexico tomorrow. Please subscribe to our Youtube Channel or Vagabond Buddha, if you would like to receive the costs of living estimates for our next Mexico stop. Guess where we are going next?

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.

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

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