Puebla Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

Puebla Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living
–>Puebla Free Old Town Walking Tour
–>Puebla Day Tours
–>Puebla Best Restaurants
–>Puebla Nightlife (Bar Hopping) Tour
–>Puebla Best (and) Cheap Places to Stay
–>Puebla Flights, Buses, Trains
–>Puebla Livability Factors
–>Puebla Cost of Living
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Puebla Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This is my Puebla 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 left the USA in 2007. I have been to 65 countries.

I met Qiang Hui of Hobo Ventures in 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She joined me on my travels in the fall of 2017. You should check out her Instagram account. She is fun to follow.

We started this tour in October 2017. We have visited England, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and now we are back in Mexico. The first time in Mexico we visited Tulum and Playa del Carmen. This time in Mexico we have visited Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Chapala, Ajijic, Puerto Vallarta, Morelia, Querétaro, Cuernavaca, Taxco, and now Puebla. and Puebla. Please check out our Youtube Channel, and please subscribe.

Today I am writing about Puebla, Mexico. This post includes my cost of living data for Puebla, Mexico. We have 5 more stops in Mexico before we head to Scotland to see my sister! 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.

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 grab a free copy of my Ebook.

Puebla Mexico Facts

Here are some facts about Puebla Mexico I found on Wikipedia and a Google Map:

  1. Puebla City is 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of Mexico City.
  2. Founded in 1531 after a Spanish Bishop had a dream about angels, Puebla was built between two large indigenous cities (Tlaxcala and Cholula).
  3. Bishop Julian Garces had a dream about a meadow where he would build a city. In the dream, angels descended from heaven and traced out a city. He went searching and found the meadow 25 kilometers (16 miles) from his monastery. He wrote to the Queen of Spain and received approval to build Puebla de Los Angeles (City of Angels).
  4. After Mexico won independence from Spain in 1827, all Spaniards (peninsulares) were expelled from Puebla City lands. Peninsulares were people born in Spain but living in Mexico. All high offices in the Americas had been held by peninsulares during the Spanish occupation. The Spanish were despised for how they had people here.
  5. In 1836, the Republic of Texas declared its independence from Mexico. In 1845, while Mexico still claimed the territory of Texas, American troops marched into the territory. When Mexican troops fired on the invading American troops, the US declared war on Mexico.
  6. During the Mexican-American War, the US invaded Mexico at Veracruz and marched west to capture Mexico City. However, the US didn’t want to keep all of Mexico. So in 1848, the US offered to return Mexico its sovereignty in return for the Treaty of Hidalgo. Basically, the USA offered Mexico its sovereignty and $15 million in cash in trade for Texas, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, along with parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexico didn’t really have any choice, so they took the deal.
  7. Mexicans living on the land captured by America were given a choice to stay and become American citizens or head south and remain Mexican citizens.
  8. During the Mexican-American War, Puebla was possessed by American troops. The American troops left after the Treaty of Hidalgo was signed in 1948.
  9. President Benito Juarez’s government began enacting the Mexican Reform Laws in 1855. The Reform Laws removed the Roman Catholic Church from its role in Mexican government affairs. Mexican conservatives started a revolution trying to protect their title and privilege. Conservatives convinced the French to attack Mexico and install a dictator named Maximilian. Mexico eventually pushed the French out of Mexico and executed Maximillian in 1867. However, during the French invasion, two large battles were fought here in Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is a major celebration in Puebla that commemorates the defeat of the French invaders by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza.
  10. Puebla was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 because of its colonial-era architecture and history. The historic center contains 2619 monuments distributed across 391 blocks. That makes Puebla the largest classified World Heritage site in all of the Americas.
  11. Puebla is famous for poblano mole (chile chocolate sauce) and Talavera pottery. For animal eaters, Puebla is also famous for Chiles en Nogada.
  12. Talavera pottery has been made using the same techniques for over 400 years making it one of the most important folk arts of Mexico. Talavera tile is used to make facades on buildings as well as kitchen pottery and tile.
  13. Puebla metro is the fourth largest in Mexico at 3.2 million people, with 2.5 million of those people inside the city proper.
  14. Puebla is a highly respected intellectual mecca with six prestigious Universities.
  15. Puebla’s largest source of income is industry. VW’s largest automobile manufacturing plant outside of Germany is here in Puebla. 2500 units roll off the floor each day manufactured by 14,000 people.

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.

Puebla Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map

Here is the Youtube video of our Puebla Free Old Town Walking Tour. Click the interactive Google Map on your smartphone to be guided on this tour.

Click this interactive Google Map to get started on our Puebla Mexico free old town walking tour:

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

First Stop (3 things)

Zocalo: Puebla has a traditional city plan with a cathedral on the main square (Zocalo) and the seat of the local government. For the first 300 years after the founding of Puebla in 1531, the Zocalo was used as a local market (Tianguis). In 1854, the first renovation added gardens, lamps, and benches. The most recent renovation was in 1967.

Puebla Cathedral: Construction was begun in 1575, and was completed in 1649. It is considered one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world and has the tallest towers of any cathedral in the Americas. It also houses some of the most important collection of the arts, paintings, and sculptures. Only one of the towers has bells, the largest bell weighing 8 tons, was installed in 1732. The mural painted on the inside of the dome is the work of artist Cristobal de Villalpando in 1688. The streets of historic Puebla were paved with stones in 1786.

Municipal Palace Puebla (City Hall, 4.9 49): This location has been the seat of the municipal power since 1536. The current manifestation of the palace has neoclassical and renaissance influences and was completed in 1906.

Second Stop (2 things)

Biblioteca Palafoxiana: This was the first public library in colonial Mexico, founded in 1646. It was founded by its namesake, Bishop Palafox, who donated 5000 of his own books. The current manifestation of the library was completed in 1773. The library now has 41,000 books dated from the 15th to the 20th century. UNESCO added this library to the Memory of the World Heritage site in 2005. Next door is the House of Culture of Puebla. In fact, you have to walk through the House of Culture to get to the library.

Third Stop

Museo Amparo: This museum is housed in two colonial-era buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, includes thousands of significant pieces of pre-Columbian (from 2500 BC), 19th-century vice-royal, and contemporary art. There are guided tours available to bring this experience to life.

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Fourth Stop (2 things)

Alfeñique House Museum: This museum was founded in 1926 and is said to be the first museum in Puebla. It is located in a Mansion that was built in the 17th century. It was a wedding gift for a bride who asked for “a house of alfenique,” a famous candy from Spain. The facade of the museum is tiles made of the local Talavera pottery. The museum suffered heavy damages in the 2017 and 2018 Earthquakes. It is estimated that required renovations for reopening will be complete in October of 2018. Across the intersection from this museum is the Parian Market. Make sure to see both before moving on with the tour. You will also encounter the Barrio de Artists at this stop. Barrio de Artista might be my favorite street in the city. So we decide to come back in the evening to enjoy some live music here for our below nightlife bar hopping tour.

Fifth Stop

Teatro Principal This is the oldest active theatre in the Americas, inaugurated in 1761. It still has ongoing performances of theater, opera, dance, concerts, and private events.

Sixth Stop

Templo de San Francisco: Franciscan friars arrived in New Spain in 1535 to establish this settlement between Veracruz and Mexico City. This was the first convent established in the city of Puebla. It is located in the oldest area of the city. The church and convent with two-story cloister were completed by 1585. Both have continued to be embellished until 1767.

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.

Seventh Stop

Museum of Religious Art Ex Santa Monica Convent: This is a museum of religious art located in the city of Puebla. It is inside the ex-convent of Santa Monica that was built in the 17th century. It was a secret female convent until 1934 because convents were unlawful according to the Reform Laws. Since 1935, it has been a museum dedicated to religious paintings and sculptures. You can learn about the everyday lives of the nuns who once lived here. Make sure to walk up Calle Cinco de Mayo to get here. It is a vibrant walking street. You can also walk back down Calle Cinco de Mayo to get to the eighth and final stop on the walking tour.

Eight Stop (2 things)

Capilla del Rosario (The Chapel of the Rosary): Since its opening in 1690, this church has been a stunning example of the ornate nature of Baroque expression. The interior is almost completely covered in gold leaf. Some consider this the greatest achievement of artistic-religious expression in Mexico. This chapel is attached to the Church of Santo Domingo (Iglesia de Santo Domingo). The Santo Domingo Church and Convent were completed in 1611. This is the Domingo Church of Bishop Julian Garces, who had the dream about angels descended from heaven and traced out a city. He wrote to the Queen of Spain and received approval to build Puebla de Los Angeles (City of Angels). Also at this stop is the art collection and former homes of one of the culturally richest families in Puebla. It has been turned into a free museum. As you face the Santo Domingo Church, the Fundación José Luis Bello y Zetina y Museo (Museum) is to your right. You enter through a small door between two retail stores. At street level, based upon this entry, you probably can’t imagine that such a great art collection exists inside. Finally, you will find arches just 20 meters further down from this museum entry. Just walk through the arches and you will find a beautifully restored 19th-century Victorian market, The Victoria Mall.

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Best Puebla Day Tours and Map

Guided Tours

Viator Tours: The Viator Tour options are listed at this link:

  1. Puebla and Cholula Full-Day Tour from Mexico City.
  2. Cholula Day Trip from Puebla Including the Great Pyramid
  3. Puebla City Walking Tour
  4. Panoramic City Tour of Puebla by Double Decker Bus
  5. Africam Safari Zoo Admission with Transportation

Get Your Guide Tours has similar tours with only a slight variation in pricing on the day I searched.

  1. Puebla & Cholula Full-Day Tour from Mexico City
  2. From Puebla: Izta-Popo National Park Full-Day Hike
  3. Cholula Magical Town 6-Hour Tour by Double-Decker Bus
  4. From Mexico City: Taxco, Cuernavaca & Puebla in 2 Days
Self-Guided (Cheap Bastard) Tours

Cholula Mexico Walking Tour: Here is our free self-guided day tour of Cholula Mexico in case you are a do it yourself-er or just cheap like me. First, you must take the bus or train from Puebla to Cholula.  You can catch the bus to Cholula here for 15 Pesos each way.  You catch the train here for 65 Pesos each way. Once in Cholula, here is the Interactive Google Map of My Free Cholula Mexico Walking Tour:

  1. Plaza de la Concordia: This is the main plaza of Cholula. The west side has the city hall which was built over the former Xiu Calli where nobles met in pre-Hispanic times. The 46 arches represent the largest arcade in Latin America.
  2. Capilla de la Tercera Orden and Convento de San Gabriel Arcángel: On the east side of the main plaza is San Gabriel, Capilla Real (Royal Chapel)(Indian Chapel built in Mudejar style where Indians were allowed to attend), Capilla de la Tercera Orden (Chapel of the Third Order), and the Franciscan Library. There are still Franciscan friars living in the cloister of Convento San Gabriel. The convent was founded in 1528 over a temple celebrating the Aztec God, Quetzalcoatl.
  3. Zona Arqueológica de Cholula (Cholula’s Great Pyramid): This is one of the oldest settlements in Mexico dating back to about 200 BC. This temple pyramid was abandoned in about 1100 AD when the city lost economic importance. But the area experienced an economic renaissance of sorts about 200 years before Cortez showed up in 1519. By that time the pyramid had become a religious pilgrimage site. Upon his arrival, Cortes massacred about 6000 Cholulans. Perhaps the most important Cholullan holiday of the year, this festival is celebrated the week of September 1. There are traditional dances daily atop the Pirámide Tepanapa.
  4. Santuario de la Virgen de los Remedios (Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies) is a 16th-century Mexican Catholic parish church built in 1575 atop the Tlachihualtepetl pyramid in the municipality of Cholula located in the central Mexican state of Puebla. This was one of the largest pyramids in the ancient world at 177 feet high covering 54 acres.
  5. Museo Regional de Cholula (Regional Museum of Cholula): This is a beautiful museum with artifacts and information about Cholula. If you visit the Archaeological Zone and want to know more, this museum is a must.
  6. Container City: This is a large complex constructed of shipping containers. The complex includes workshops, restaurants, galleries, various businesses, and a few homes.
  7. Cider Tasting: We didn’t have time to do Cider Tasting. But it is the last stop on the Cholula Walking Tour Map. If you decide to go, let us know if you think we should keep this stop or remove it.

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 Puebla

El Mural de los Poblanos: Puebla Mexico is famous for mole sauce. Mole sauce is chocolate chile sauce. Puebla is also famous for Chiles en Nogada. On the day of our walking tour, we googled the best mole and Chile Nogada in town and we found this place. I am a vegetarian and Qiang Hui is not. But we wanted to order both dishes and share them, and this place happened to make both with vegetarians options. They were both really delicious and expensive. Our bill was 650 Pesos including tip $33.00 USD. I haven’t spent that much on lunch since we were in London almost a year ago.

Café Santo Patrono: This place had fair prices and great food. We ate there twice in one day. For breakfast, I had huevos rancheros and Qiang had mole chicken enchiladas. Then for dinner, Qiang had an excellent salad and I had another Mexican dish. Both of these meals were 190 pesos including tip $9.50 USD each for two.

METRO BAR & POOL HOUSE: On the night tour, Qiang had BBQ chicken wings and I had an order of Guacamole. The bill was $220 for both $11 USD.

Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: I prepared about 6 meals at home while we were in Puebla at our Airbnb place. We shopped at this grocery store which was only 2 km from our Airbnb place. For daily produce needs, this local market was only 2 blocks from our place. Our Airbnb place had a great kitchen and a nice dining room table where we could work and eat.

Best Puebla Nightlife (Bar Hopping) Walking Tour and Map

Just click the below interactive map or ==>this link<== on your smartphone to start your tour.

  1. Rosewood Rooftop Sunset View
  2. Restaurante Bar Café del Artista
  3. La Pasita
  4. Metro Rock Bar

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.

Puebla Best (and) Cheap Hotels

You should stay in the old town area of Puebla. 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: This former colonial mansion is rated 9.6 with a 9.9 for location. You will be right in the best part of colonial old town.

Hotel Andante: This was about half the price of the previous listing on the day we searched. Plus, it is still rated 9.1 and is just as close to the Cathedral as the previous.

Hotel del Capitán de Puebla: This hotel was 75% cheaper than the first hotel on the day we searched, plus it was still rated 9.1. Plus it is just 2 blocks from the Cathedral.

Hostel: Here is a really great hostel.

Airbnb House Share (Where we stayed): This is a house share on Airbnb. We have been totally happy with it at $19 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.

Puebla Flights, Buses, Trains

I am traveling around the world, 65 countries so far, 11 years. The last few years I have been creating travel or retire cheap in paradise guides. We came to Puebla Mexico from Cuernavaca México.

Our normal bus companies all required us to connect to Puebla from Cuernavaca through Mexico City. So Qiang Hui (@qianghui Instagram) found a direct bus from Cuernavaca to Puebla for 320 Pesos, so it was not only easier but even cheaper. Here is Qiang Hui’s post explaining.

Buses: Normally we take ETN or Primera buses between various cities in Mexico. You will need to check their web page to see if they have a bus from your city to Puebla. You can visit the English ETN website. In fact, just right click any website in your Google Chrome browser to translate into English.

Puebla International Airport (Hermanos Serdán International Airport (PBC)): You can fly into PBC and use Uber to get to your accommodations so you don’t have to negotiate directly with drivers. An Uber from Puebla International to old town Puebla takes about 40 minutes and costs about 250 Pesos or $14 USD depending on traffic. Check the Taxi stand inside the airport to see if you can beat that price. I have provided a list of 4 places to stay in old town Puebla, see above.

Flights (International or Domestic): The cheapest day to depart on flights is typically Tuesday or Wednesday. I always seem to find the cheapest flights, foreign and domestic, on Skyscanner. 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 still a train through Copper Mountain but it does not go to Puebla. That is the only train in Mexico still. Otherwise, you need to take buses and flights.

Please book using my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations. If you book using links to 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.

Puebla Mexico Livability Factors

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. It doesn’t make sense to move somewhere that is cheaper to live unless you love it also. We love Puebla!

The truth is, we love a bunch of places in Mexico. We just love some places more than others. Some places we would like to visit, but don’t really want to live. Puebla is a place we love to visit and would love to live.

Here are the factors I use to decide if I would want to live somewhere. I call them my livability factors.

Livability Factors: Walkability, things to do, Internet reliability, weather, social considerations, food choices, expat opportunities, real estate prices, and the overall cost of living.

Puebla Desirability Score: First, I consider all of my livability factors, and then I set my livability score for each destination, as high, medium, or low desirability. Puebla has a high desirability factor. Right now, my personal top five places to live or retire cheap in paradise, are Puebla, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Puerta Vallarta, and Tulum. But we have five more stops in Mexico on this tour. If you would like to know how they compare to my existing top 5, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Vagabond Buddha.

Walkability: Puebla is totally walkable. I would not need to buy a car if I lived here. I may get an Uber for $2 USD a few times per month to get my groceries home, but otherwise, I would walk or ride a bike.

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Internet Reliability: The WIFI in our Airbnb was 4.33 MBPS download speed and 0.6 MBPS upload speed. Speed Test. That is the wireless connectivity within our room. I never actually saw the router so I don’t know where it is. This worked fine for normal browsing and research but was aggravating when I tried to upload Youtube videos. This was a single shared router of unknown location. If you have speed requirements, I suggest you rent an entire Airbnb apartment with the router inside the unit where you can plug in with cable for speed sensitive applications.

Food: Near old town, there is one Thai restaurant, two Lebanese, several Chinese restaurants, a few French restaurants, a few Brazilian restaurants, a few Argentinian restaurants, a few Japanese restaurants, one official vegetarian restaurant, and a bunch of Italian restaurants. Other than no east Indian food that I could find, the food diversity seemed about normal for a town of this size.

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Weather: We came to Puebla on a bus from Cuernavaca. The first things we noticed was that it was a bit cooler here. I checked the elevation and indeed, is at about 2200 meters or (7200 feet). The higher elevation keeps it cooler here. May is the warmest month with an average high of 82F 28C, but it cools down quickly at night to 53F or 12C. January is the coldest month with an average low of 41F or 5C at night, but it warms quickly in the day to 73 F 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 7 inches per month (180 mm).

Things to Do: There is live music everywhere in the old town area, even some during the day. It felt safe for us to just wander around the old town area at night. We did stay on streets where locals were walking just to be safe. The old town area has many lights at night. There are more bike lanes here than we have seen in most places in Mexico. The international corporate influence here (VW, etc.) has definitely raised the overall standard of living, The many Universities and Colleges have created significant intellectual capital here. That can be seen in the diversity of music, food, and the arts here. If cross-country skiing is your thing, you are only about 2 hours from the Popocatepetl mountain with a year-round glacier. If you enjoy hiking, there are about 10 hiking trails you can find online. Here is Teatro Principal’s playbill.

Social Considerations: You will feel isolated here unless you are willing to learn Spanish. But there are a bunch of groups you can join on MeetUp in Puebla, that seem to have high English speaking memberships.

Expats Penetration: Puebla Mexico has not attracted a large number of American Expats despite being one of the best places to live in Mexico. Americans seem to like to be in groups, so they are more likely to go to places where other Americans are already present. But if you are a little more independent and adventurous, and you are willing to learn Spanish, this is definitely one of my top picks for living in Mexico. That said, there is an English speaking group on Facebook with 801 members.

Real Estate: You can get a gorgeous condo with a view of the old town area for about $100k USD. Click here to search. I do not recommend buying until you have lived here for at least one or two years.

Puebla Mexico Cost of Living

I recommend renting an Airbnb apartment here for a few weeks and then looking for a long-term rental once you have boots on the ground here. These sort of Gringo Web Pages can give you an idea of what rents might be, but they are on the high end. When you are on the round here, you will see rental signs on property and you will find better deals speaking directly with property owners. My guestimate is about $500 USD for a decent 1 bedroom apartment in the old town area of Puebla Mexico.

Monthly Cost of Living, Puebla Mexico ($USD)











Moderate Hotel





Backpacker Hostel





High-End Restaurant





Neighborhood Restaurant





Food Cart





















Per Month





Per Day




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 links to 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 allow us to keep making these travel guides and videos for you.

Thanks for watching our video. If you would like to learn how to live internationally or make money online, please grab a free copy of my eBook. Just click the link on youtube in the notes below this youtube video, Contact us if you would like to collaborate with us on social media.

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

Warning: I am not offering you these prices.  These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post.  Your costs will likely be drastically different if significant inflation or deflation occurs or the market changes after this post.  I will not update these numbers until I am on the ground again here, if ever.   

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