Oaxaca Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living
Oaxaca Mexico Old Town Walking Tour
Oaxaca Mexico Best Day Tours, Videos, and Map
Oaxaca Mexico Best Street Food and Restaurants
Oaxaca Mexico Best Nightlife Tour Map and Video
Oaxaca Mexico Best Cheap Accommodations
Oaxaca Mexico Flights, Buses, and Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World
This is my retire early on $975 month in Oaxaca Mexico report. This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube channel for VagabondBuddha.com.
We visited about 20 cities in 2018 and Oaxaca was our favorite overall. It seemed to have a more relaxed in-tune with nature feeling to it. Maybe because it is the home of the largest concentration of indigenous people in all of Mexico.
Everywhere you turned there were colorful indigenous arts and clothing and foods to try out. There seemed to be a real pride in the local origins of the clothing, foods, and crafts. That makes sense because Oaxaca is where the indigenous people of Mexico gather once a year for the largest cultural festival in the world.
We also noticed that the streets in the city center seemed a little cleaner and manicured. The local markets seemed a little cleaner and organized than other parts of Mexico.
Oaxaca is also home to some of the most preserved archeological sites in Mexico such as nearby Mitla and Monte Alban. See the tour links above. Whether because of just laziness or the relative remoteness of the cultural sites, the Spanish were not as ambitious at destroying indigenous cultural treasures as they were in other parts of Mexico.
So ancient indigenous ceremonial grounds are better preserved for future generations here. This also gives a feeling of hope and freedom in Oaxaca that is less apparent in other more culturally oppressed parts of Mexico.
The elevation of Oaxaca is also perfect for growing crops in the rolling foothills around the city. So the cit just has a feeling of abundance in the air as you walkabout. The locals even seem happy and healthy here.
Thus, given my estimates, that some expats will likely be able to Retire Early on $975 Month in Oaxaca Mexico, it seems like an ideal fit for many.
In my cost of living table, I shared a range of $600 to $950 per month for the big three–food, rents, and local transportation. But some people will be able to reduce the rent costs quoted at $20 to $30 USD per day. You may be able to find local accommodations for as little as $15.00 per night on a 6 month or year lease.
Add a few items not in the table and some of you might be able to live there for under $1000 per month. Visit Numbeo.com Oaxaca and add anything to the expenses that you spend money on at home each month that is not included in the big three (rent, food, local transportation) and see where you end up. But don’t move anywhere permanently until you have come to see the place with your own eyes for a few months.
The bad news is that Oaxaca is 6 to 7 hours from one of the nicest beach towns in Mexico by road (Puerto Escondido). But you can get a roundtrip flight for about $110 USD.
Oaxaca Mexico Livability Factors
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.
Oaxaca Desirability Score: I rank each livability factors separately before I think about the overall desirability score. Oaxaca has a high desirability factor. Right now, my personal top six places to live or retire cheap in paradise, are Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Puerta Vallarta, and Tulum. But I have more places to see in Mexico before firming up my scores. If you would like to know how my next 4 stops compare to my existing top 6, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Vagabond Buddha.
Walkability: Oaxaca is totally walkable. I would not need to buy a car if I lived here. Normally I go to the supermarket once a week to get fresh vegetables, but the local markets are so clean and fresh here, I would shop there instead.
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Internet Reliability: The WIFI in our Airbnb was 11.33 MBPS download speed and 0.30 MBPS upload speed. Speed Test. That is the wireless connectivity within our room. If I moved here I would have to get a dedicated router and plug into it to be happy.
Food: Normally I explore this food diversity question a little better. But I have been loving the fresh local food in the market so much I haven’t even Googled until now. No Thai restaurant, one Indian, two Chinese restaurants, one Lebanese, one Morrocan, two French, one Brazilian, two Argentinian, nine Japanese, one official vegetarian and one vegan, and a bunch of Italian restaurants. The food diversity seems comparable to other towns in Mexico of this size (Municipality 300k people, Metro Area 650k people, state total 3.5 million).
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Weather: We came to Oaxaca from Puebla, Mexico. The first things we noticed was that it was warmer here. That is because Puebla was 2000 meters (6500 feet) above sea level and Oaxaca is only 1500 meters (5100 feet) above sea level. It is warmer as you approach sea level. May is the warmest month with an average high of 92F 33C, but it cools down quickly at night to 59F or 15C. January is the coldest month with an average low of 48F or 9C at night, but it warms quickly in the day to 82F or 28C. The fact that it warms up so nicely during the day in January, is nice. The rainy season is June through September when it rains about 5 inches per month (130 mm).
Things to Do: There is live music everywhere in the old town, day and night. We really felt safe walking around old town, day and night. I never really noticed anyone looking at us like we were their next meal. There was more selling going on here than begging. The old town is well lit up at night. There are many bike lanes here but not as many bike riders as you will see in Europe of the USA. We saw a free symphony will we were in town. There were also posters for live music, cinema, and other live activities.
Social Considerations: You will feel need to learn Spanish to feel like you fit in here. There are 10 Oaxaca groups on MeetUps and 4 of those seem to be communicating in English. There is an Oaxaca Expats group on Facebook with 1300 members, with 84 new members this month and 7 posts today.
Expats Penetration: See the previous paragraph. Medium for a town this size.
Real Estate: You can get a 1 Bedroom 1 Bath condo in the old town area for around $150,000 USD. Click here to search. I do not recommend buying until you have lived here for at least one or two years.
Oaxaca Mexico Facts
- Oaxaca City relies heavily on tourism. People visit from all over the world to see the colonial-era town center, the native cultures of the Zapotec, the Mixtec, and others, and the natural beauty.
- Oaxaca State has a large indigenous population of more than 50% of the total population. There are many different indigenous cultures each speaking a different local language. There are many who live their original culture and don’t even speak Spanish.
- Oaxaca hosts the Guelaguetza indigenous festival. It is the most famous indigenous festival in Mexico, if not the world. The festival is held each year on the last two Mondays of July. Indigenous communities from all over Oaxaca gather at the Guelaguetza festival to celebrate their native culture of music, costumes, dances, and food.
- Mexico’s only indigenous president Benito Juarez is a native son of Oaxaca.
- Indigenous people have lived here for thousands of years and the ancient ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla are close to Oaxaca City.
- The Aztecs showed in 1440 and the Spanish invaded in 1521. When the Spanish arrived they came with an escort of 400 Aztec allies.
- A town council was formed, the first mayor was elected, and construction of the Cathedral began in 1522.