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Top 7 Destinations to Retire in Mexico

Mexico is the third best place in the world to retire according to International Living. The low cost of living, the weather, and access to beaches, mountains, and excellent food are no doubt a big draw.

But if you want to retire in Mexico, where should you look? Read on for our list of the 7 best spots to spend your retirement in Mexico. 

1. San Miguel de Allende

If your idea of living in Mexico is strolling along colonial streets in small but friendly towns, look no further than San Miguel de Allende.

The town’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you will find lots to do as you explore the town’s offerings.

Whether your idea of relaxing is enjoying fine cuisine, the ambiance of a cafe, or enjoying excellent entertainment, San Miguel de Allende has it all.

Enjoy frequent parades, festivals, and firework displays as well as local markets where you can practice your Spanish.

Health and dental care are adequate and affordable. Major hospitals are within easy driving distance.

2. Mazatlán

If you are a beach lover, one of the best places to retire in Mexico is Mazatlán. Here you can walk for miles on uncrowded sandy beaches within the city.

The colonial center offers everything you are looking for in an authentic Mexican town.

Best of all, it’s just a 13-hour drive from the southern border of Arizona.

3. Lake Chapala

If you are thinking of retiring in Mexico, consider Lake Chapala. Lake Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake.

You’ll love the semi-tropical temperatures of 20C on average. In fact, National Geographic named Lake Chapala as the second best climate on the planet!

No matter what time of year, it only goes up and down by 8 degrees. Thanks to the lake, there is low humidity, also.

Unlike many Mexican towns, Lake Chapala doesn’t feel like a resort town. Most people who come here are here for good. 

This is one of the most popular retirement destinations for North Americans. It is home to the largest expat community anywhere outside the U.S. and Canada.

The nearby city of Guadalajara has access to stores like Costco and Wal-Mart. Yet there’s plenty of small markets and independent stores in Lake Chapala. 

Wondering about access to health care? There is an excellent medical school, The University of Guadalajara, which is less than one hour away. Here you will find American educated doctors and excellent facilities (without long waiting periods).

Local medical clinics are also excellent for minor issues. And these doctors even make house calls! 

If you are looking for a simpler lifestyle with artisan charm and amenities, Lake Chapala is a great choice. Also, the cost of Living in Mexico is low near Lake Chapala.

Keep in mind that the back-in-time feeling of the area comes with a set of mobility challenges including limited wheelchair access, rocky and steep terrain in parts. 

4. Tulum

Are you looking for laidback beachside living in Mexico?

Tulum in Mexico’s Mayan Riviera is a bohemian small town with excellent Mayan ruins. Beautiful sandy beaches with views of the Caribbean will await you outside your front door. There are also plenty of cenotes (water-filled sinkholes) for you to spend time snorkeling or swimming. 

Though small, this town is a popular tourist destination and is full of healthy lifestyle attractions such as vegan restaurants, yoga classes, and juice bars.

If your idea of retiring in Mexico includes a healthy lifestyle, Tulum is an excellent choice. You’ll likely meet plenty of retirees from Europe, Australia, Canada, and South America.

Ready to pack your bags? Learn more about buying real estate in Tulum. 

5. Playa del Carmen

If a bustling city on the water is more your scene, consider Playa del Carmen. It’s one of the best places to live in Mexico.

Playa del Carmen is all about modern city living. Tons of leisure and entertainment options are right outside your door. Playa del Carmen is a popular tourist destination with dozens of hotels and resorts.

But there are quiet residential areas, too. You can get away from the hustle and bustle while still enjoying all that Carmen has to offer. 

Enjoy the world-famous beach, take in a round of golf and enjoy excellent shopping. Best of all, you are less than an hour’s drive from Cancun International Airport. DIrect flights to most cities in the US, Canada, and parts of Europe are possible from this airport.

6. Morelia

Morelia dates back all the way to the 16th century. It finally got recognized as a gem in 1991 when it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Stroll along the pink Renaissance stone buildings and listen to mariachi music float on the breeze. And don’t expect to bump into many tourists. Morelia is a well-kept secret guarded by the 600,000 residents.

It’s also a musical hotspot. It features the oldest music conservatory in the Americas.

7. Merida

If you love hot weather, one of the best places to live in Mexico is Merida. In the heart of the Yucatan jungle, this old colonial city is hot and humid all year round.

The closest beach, Progresso, is about a 20-minute drive. When you aren’t swimming at the beach, you can enjoy theatres, museums, incredible art and a variety of outdoor markets. 

Merida is a solid four-hour drive from the resort spots in Mexico. That means that your Mexico money will go further. The cost of living is low but the quality of life is excellent.

Get Ready to Retire in Mexico

There you go! 7 of the best places to retire in Mexico. As you can see, there are many options for retiring in Mexico. It all depends on your individual preferences and what you are looking for in retirement.

As retirement gets closer, you are likely looking for more travel tips and great content to help you prepare for the golden years. Keep coming back for more articles on the topics you want.