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Top 7 of the Best Expat Cities in Mexico

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Mexico has always held a special allure for travellers and investors alike, drawing all kinds of expats with its rich culture, breathtaking scenery, stunning beaches and fabulous real estate opportunities.

For those who have already made the move, the rewards go far beyond the picturesque landscapes and favourable climate. There’s something magical about starting the day by wandering through markets filled with local artisans or strolling along a pristine white sand beach.

The expat community here is incredibly welcoming and always ready to help or share a story. There’s a sense of belonging that makes Mexico feel like home almost instantly.

It’s easy to see why so many choose to settle here, finding a perfect blend of tranquillity and excitement, while the convenience of international airports means that home is never too far away and adventure is always on your doorstep.

Mexico’s appeal also lies in its potential for investment. Whether you’re looking for a quaint seaside villa or a bustling city apartment, there are plenty of opportunities to make a smart investment while enjoying the laid-back lifestyle.

The market is ripe with potential, offering a promising future for those who choose to invest here. Whatever draws you there, chances are the experience will be enriching, filled with new friends and experiences.

It’s little wonder that so many expats have found their paradise here. If you’re thinking about exploring second citizenship and international investment opportunities, reach out to us at Nomad Capitalist, and we’ll help make your search smoother and more rewarding.

Cosa fare cosa vedere Playa del Carmen
Choosing to live in Mexico offers a charming culture, cobblestone streets and excellent medical care.

Selecting the Best Mexican Cities for Expats 

Moving to Mexico for More Freedom

A Look at Safety, Cost of Living and Healthcare

When choosing the best cities for expats in Mexico, we have primarily based our selection on three key factors: safety, cost of living and healthcare. 

These cities offer safety comparable to other popular expat destinations worldwide, ensuring you can walk cobblestone streets or explore the central town area with peace of mind.

The cost of living is another important aspect we considered. From the busy metropolis of Mexico City to the tranquil retreat of San Miguel de Allende or the coastal charm of Playa del Carmen and Cabo San Lucas, these cities offer an affordable Caribbean lifestyle.

Each location has distinct expat enclaves offering a different Mexican flavour, but all provide the same affordable living.

Healthcare is an essential concern for anyone considering a move abroad. Each of these cities also provides access to quality healthcare facilities, some even being a popular medical tourism destination.

Take note of the wide range of experiences across Mexico, from the vibrant nightlife of Mexico City’s metropolitan area to the musicality of Merida.

Mexico has amazing food and culture
Mexico has amazing food and culture, and is also a popular medical tourism destination.

Exploring the Best Expat Cities in Mexico: From Mérida to Mexico City

Here’s our picks for the top seven expat cities in Mexico, each offering a unique blend of culture, cost of living, and healthcare services – no prizes for guessing the first one.

Mexico City
Mexico city is a better place to live than most assume.

7. Mexico City

Mexico City is a lively and multicultural metropolis. It is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse population, including the growing number of expats.

As with most capital cities, the cost of living is comparatively high against the rest of the country, at around US$2,000 to US$3,500 per month.

For that, you’re getting pretty much all the amenities and comforts you would find at home, as well as a wide range of cultural events plus quality healthcare facilities.

The presence of an international airport facilitates convenient travel for expats, further contributing to its popularity.

Playa del Carmen, Best Expat Cities in Mexico
Playa del Carmen is a lovely spot with access to the ocean.

6. Playa del Carmen

Situated within Mexico’s famed Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is a charming resort town known for its vibrant culture and affordable Caribbean lifestyle.

Expect to pay between US$1,500 and US$4,000 monthly. The city allows you to enjoy beautiful beaches and excellent healthcare. It’s a popular destination among expats, especially those looking for coastal views and white-sand beaches.

Cabo San Lucas, Best Expat Cities in Mexico
Cabo San Lucas provides ideal settings for expat communities.

5. Cabo San Lucas

Famous for its beaches, Cabo San Lucas is a popular resort city situated at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.

Cabo San Lucas’s popularity as a tourist resort means the cost of living is somewhat higher than other locations on this list, from around US$2,500 to US$4,000 per month. But once again, you’re paying for the location and quality of services, including healthcare.

Its expat community and the bay’s northern point provide a delightful backdrop for those seeking a spectacular destination.

Monterrey, Best Expat Cities in Mexico
Monterrey is a great place to live in Mexico.

4. Monterrey

Monterrey, one of Mexico’s biggest cities, combines industry and culture.

Despite this, at around US$1,450 and US$3,400 per month, it’s also far more affordable than the more touristy options.

Monterrey is recognised for its excellent healthcare services and is just a few hours away from the charming beach towns of Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Guadalajara, Best Expat Cities in Mexico
Guadalajara has some of the prettiest places for expat living.

3. Guadalajara

Located near Mexico’s Pacific coast, Guadalajara is a city famous for its lively local way of life and frequent cultural events.

It allows expats to experience an authentic Mexican lifestyle at an affordable monthly cost of between US$1,200 and US$3,000. Guadalajara also has a strong healthcare system.

San Miguel de Allende, Best Expat Cities in Mexico
San Miguel is a great place to live in Mexico.

2. San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a Spanish colonial city, is renowned for its cultural events and large expat community.

With an average cost of living of around $1,800 – $2,800 per month, San Miguel de Allende is moderately affordable. It also offers plenty to enjoy and experience as it hosts a variety of events throughout the year.

Safest Cities in Mexico 2023 Merida
Mérida is a welcoming and safe place.

1. Mérida

A safe and affordable city in southern Mexico, Mérida offers a cost of living of around US$1,000 – US$2,300 per month. Mérida is a cultural centre that hosts frequent events and also offers quality healthcare. Its international airport and proximity to the sea make Mérida a practical and popular choice among expats.

Best Expat Cities in Mexico: FAQs

What is the most Americanized city in Mexico?

Monterrey is often referred to as Mexico’s most Americanized city. It is the third largest city in the country, the second largest industrial centre and ranks first in income per capita. 

What are the best expat cities in Mexico?

Several cities in Mexico have gained popularity among expats for their unique blend of culture, safety and affordability. Some of the best cities include:
Mexico City
San Miguel de Allende
Cabo San Lucas
Playa del Carmen

Where in Mexico do most expats live?

Many expats are drawn to the rich cultural life and large expat community of San Miguel de Allende. Others choose the uniqueness of Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas, Playa del Carmen or Mérida.

What is the safest expat city in Mexico?

While safety can be subjective and varies across different regions, many expats find Mérida and San Miguel de Allende particularly safe. These cities are well-known for their friendly people, inviting atmosphere and low crime rates.

How much does it cost to live in these expat cities in Mexico?

The cost of living can vary significantly between cities. In general, small towns like San Miguel de Allende can be more affordable, while major cities like Mexico City might have a higher cost of living. However, living expenses in these cities are often much cheaper for many expats compared to their home countries.

What are the disadvantages of living in Mexico?

Some of the disadvantages or potential downsides of living in Mexico include:
Language barrier
Lack of conveniences ex-pats are used to at home
High rate of crimes, including extortion and drug trafficking
Tap water in most parts of Mexico is not drinkable.
Remember that Mexico is a large country, and living standards, amenities and potential challenges vary significantly from one region to the next. 

Why I’m Investing in Mexico

Embrace the Mexican Expat Lifestyle with Nomad Capitalist

Mexico, a vast country with diverse landscapes and vibrant cities, truly has something for everyone.

If you are seriously considering Mexico, weighing up the pros and cons is essential, as everyone’s situation is different. Mexican residence and citizenship come with many advantages, such as great travel privileges or giving some a chance to connect with their cultural background. It’s also important to consider how you will adapt to the culture and potential tax issues.

Are you an entrepreneur or investor looking to start an exciting new life overseas? Become a client of Nomad Capitalist today to start planning your new adventure and to discover more about living, working and investing as a global citizen.


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