7 of the Best Places to Retire in Mexico


Are you willing to relocate and go to an exotic country with incredible activities and things? With over a million expats living in the country, it is by far one of the best destinations for the ones willing to live peaceful days during their retirement.

However, with so many great places in Mexico, it isn’t easy always easy to find the right one for you. For this reason, we’ll go through the best places to retire in Mexico, from the stunning Quintana Roo to the peaceful Oaxaca and more.

If you want to live off-the-grid or immerse yourself in local culture, make sure to read until the end.

Is Mexico a Good Place to Retire?

If you are looking for natural beauty, high quality of life, and modern safety infrastructure, consider retiring in Mexico. Of course, there are certain places around the country where you should not go for an adventure, but Mexico is a great place to retire as a general rule of thumb.

What to Consider When Retiring in Mexico?

Other than the places to retire in Mexico, there are other elements to take into consideration.

First of all, when moving to the Quintana Roo state, you’ll want to consider the $48 tourist tax – Visitax when entering the country. Sure, this may not be a big deal, but if you retire in Tulum, for instance, and want to visit your relative a few times a year, this could quickly become a significant amount. Also, the tourist tax can be soon be gotten on Visitax, and time isn’t an issue.

Talking about budget, life in Mexico is affordable, and you can live very comfortably on $2,000 to $2,500 as a couple. This includes health insurance, a car, a maid, and a lovely apartment.

Needless to say, this amount could easily double when living in the States.

Last but not least, you’ll want to retire in a safe place, and we’ll list all the best places to retire in Mexico for safety and more here below.

What is the Safest Place to Retire in Mexico?

While some places in Mexico are not that safe, most cities are liveable, and you won’t experience any trouble. All things considered, the safest place to visit and live is Mérida, Yucatán.


Best Places to Retire in Mexico

Mexico is a country that offers an abundance of opportunities for retirement. Home to more North American expats than most places around the world, it’s no wonder Mexico has emerged as one of abroad’s best choices for retirement.

Let’s dive into the best places you can retire in Mexico.


Located only 45 minutes from the world-famous Playa del Carmen, Tulum is the perfect destination for those looking to get away from it all. This small town has an aura about itself that makes visitors feel like they’re worlds away yet still within reach of modern amenities and services at your doorstep.

With only about 18,000 people living in the city and the stunning beach and fascinating Mayan ruins, Tulum is one of the best places to retire in Mexico for its safety.

Apart from that, it is close to Cozumel Island and only 180 miles from Cancun if you wish to travel internationally.

Puerto Vallarta

​​Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful seaside village that has been a retiree paradise for decades and conti

nues to be so.

What was once only populated by locals in Mexico’s Pacific Coast region now boasts thousands of foreigners who enjoy its beaches and lifestyle choices each year. For instance, going to some major international resort towns like Punta Mita or Sayulita, less than 1 hour away from downtown Puerto Vallarta.

Also, if you’re looking to enjoy some time on the beach with friends or family and get away from it all. Or spend quality bonding moments together in nature’s embrace – there are endless activities available right around Puerto Vallarta.

Whatever type of person you are, you can find exactly what you crave here. From exploring its downtown area by foot, where many shops lie temptingly just outside your reach at every turn. Or riding one of several golf courses which provide unparalleled views while providing challenging yet fun gameplay.


Mérida is the capital of Yucatán State and is home to nearly one million people. The city has universities that produce some very talented graduates every year, hence why most of the population speak English.

Apart from that, Mérida is located not far from the beaches of Progreso, less than an hour driving which is perfect for a day trip during retirement.

Moreover, as mentioned previously, Mérida is one of the safest places to retire in Mexico despite being home to nearly 1 million people. The expat community is pretty strong here, with 8,000 foreign nationals living in the city.

In Mérida, you’ll particularly like the music playing in every corner of the city wherever you’re going and no matter the day of the week.


Ajijic, Lake Chapala

Expats are turning the remoteness of Ajijic into an affordable and sunny retirement haven. Nestled in the countryside not far from the biggest city of Guadalajara, about 20,000 expatriates from abroad live in the state of Jalisco, where Ajijic is.

While living a peaceful life in Mexico is the primary goal of retirees, it’s worth noting that about 4,000 American Canadian citizens live here so that you won’t have problems making friends. It goes without saying that learning Spanish is also not necessary, though it will surely help.

Ajijic is on Lake Chapala, which is the largest in the country, and the cost of living is incredibly low compared to the United States or Canada.

As a retiree, you’ll undoubtedly love the activities around, such as frequent concerts, garden clubs, horseback riding tours, and sports such as golf, hiking, and even yoga.

Furthermore, you can enjoy a day trip to the nearby Chapala and its local cafes and delicious street food. Or even go play at a golf course in the nearby Vista del Lago.

Overall, the Lake Chapala region is one of the most pleasant in Mexico to retire.

Ensenada, Baja California

Ensenada has become one of the expats’ favorites in recent years due to its proximity with the United States. Located less than 2 hours from San Diego, Texas, and not far from the bigger city of Tijuana, Ensenada has many benefits.

The city hosts numerous pleasant activities for both youngsters and retirees, such as swimming at Playa Hermosa, surfing and scuba diving, and enjoying life at its nice cafes.

You’ll also find tennis clubs in town and golf courses in Tijuana.

In the wintertime, Ensenada becomes one of the best places to retire in Mexico to watch gray whales.

The downside is that life in Ensena can get boring for some active seniors, and you’ll need a car to go around and explore more of the country. In order to reach Ensenada, you can either cross the border in Tijuana to the United States or fly into Mexico at Tijuana international airport.

Huatulco, Oaxaca

Huatulco is another city worth checking out when choosing the right place to retire in Mexico. In fact, it has a laid-back ambiance, and its strategic position allows you to travel to endless hidden gems in the country.

For example, it is near the authentic city of Oaxaca that hosts an international airport, a great option to going back home to the States or Canada or to simply go around visiting Mexico.

In Huatulco, you’ll find about 56,000 people, of which over 1,000 are expatriates.

Like in other parts of the country, Huatulco has many marine activities like fishing, snorkeling, and diving.

Apart from that, the Huatulco national park is around the corner, and you’ll have fun with family and friends spending a day there.

Needless to say, you’ll find plenty of local and international restaurants from Mexican, Italian, and even French cuisine.

All in all, Huatulco is one of the most convenient and nicest places to retire in Mexico.


We can’t list the best places in Mexico to retire without mentioning Oaxaca. The city is very convenient compared to other spots in the country for having an international airport. Also, its archaeological sites are exciting and, as a retiree, you’ll have plenty of time to learn about the history and take in the unique environment.

Also, the food in Oaxaca is some of the most delicious in the country, and you will most likely spend your days indulging in the local delicacies.

On the other hand, the bustling markets around the main square sell colorful handicrafts. At the same time, food stalls provide fresh local treats to go with them in this picturesque setting that features Spanish-colonial architecture for your taking.

Final Thoughts

Our list of the top seven best places to retire in Mexico should have you packing your bags and heading south. Naturally, other great spots didn’t make our final cut, but we’re confident these will provide enough options for you.

From delicious and cheap food to friendly locals all around to natural beauty and history, there’s just everything you’re looking for in the country.

When looking at all these destinations, one thing is clear: there really is no wrong choice in Mexico.

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