Querétaro Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

Querétaro Retire Early Low Cost of Living
Things to Do In Queretaro Mexico!
->Old Town Walking Tour
->Day Tours
->Restaurants
->Bar Hopping Tour
->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


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  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 65 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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