Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico to Retire

Sep 14 , 2022 · 8 min read

Have you ever dreamed of retiring and moving to a beach town in Mexico to live a vibrant, warm and colorful life? With reasonable costs of living, it is a path many retirees are choosing and you will be happy to know that turning the dream into reality is easier than you might imagine.


Making your retirement savings last is to base yourself in less touristy places. Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are wonderful, but being so popular with tourists from around the world, there are more affordable towns to live in. You might find a beach area that isn’t quite so busy but with the facilities, services, an expat community and those exotic beaches and surrounding scenery that make you love Mexico so much.

Here are some of the most affordable beach towns in Mexico to retire. Some of you might have visited already, and some might be new to you. It could be time to make an inspection trip to see if any of these places feel like home sweet home, or should we say home, spicy home!

Holbox Island

Holbox Island in Mexico

The scenic spot of Holbox Island sits at the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. Life on this 26-mile-long island is peaceful, with only one small town on the western end. About a two-hour drive from Cancún, you reach the town of Chiquila, where you can catch a ferry to the little island. You can also fly from Cancun as the island has a small airstrip.

The beaches are gorgeous with white sand and clear blue water. Locals get around by foot, moped or golf cart. You can swim with whale sharks, bringing some tourists to the island, but you won’t find any condos, resorts or major tourist attractions. Instead, expect little family-owned restaurants and boutique hotels.


Mahahual in Mexico

The charming location of Mahahual is about four hour’s drive from Cancun. This is a paradise with sandy white beaches kissed by azure waters that are always the perfect temperature for swimming. If the quiet life calls and you would much rather take a stroll on a deserted beach than a shopping spree in a busy mall, Mahahual is made for you. The cruise ship port keeps the town buzzing with nature-loving travelers who might also be dreaming of retiring somewhere like Mahahual. The expat community is a fun splatter of many nationalities, some working and others living the good life of being retired in Mexico. It is about an hour to Chetumal, where you would go for medical treatments or shopping.


Chelem in Mexico

Once a fishing village, Chelem sits on the gulf coast about 40 minutes away from Merida by car. Many expats have chosen to call Chelem home because of its relaxed pace of life, natural beauty, beaches and culture. Being so close to the popular city of Merida is a big bonus too. You can easily find everything from shopping malls to hospitals and the airport. So it is easy when you need something for your quality of life, essential needs, or are making an international trip.

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Mazatlan in Mexico

Next on our list of most affordable beach towns in Mexico to retire is Mazatlan. Nicknamed the pearl of the Pacific, Mazatlan is a popular vacation place and home for many people from around the globe. Attracted by the amenities, beach life, affordable accommodation and lively atmosphere, it’s not surprising that so many people move to Mazatlan. For some, considered a necessity and for others, a luxury, it is an example of how overall the cost of living can be in Mexico. Many expats say their highest cost can be air conditioning when temperatures rise in Mexico’s hottest months of the year. If you love the heat, you might forego the aircon and cut out one of the biggest expenses in your budget.

Mazatlan has some big brand companies for shopping like Home Depot and Walmart and a hospital and International airport too.

Huatulco in mexico

Huatulco has to be on our list of most affordable beach towns in Mexico to retire and the people who already live there will tell you why. It is growing in popularity because it’s so beautiful and as more expats arrive, it could get slightly more costly to live there, but for now, you will be impressed with how affordable it is to live a pleasurable life in Huatulco.

Puerto Peñasco

Puerto Peñasco in mexico

Puerto Peñasco is a pretty seaside destination, only one hour’s drive from the American border. Sometimes called Rocky Point, it is a popular place to retire. Many retirees have vacationed here for years and finally decided to make a move more permanent.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta in mexico

With a rich colonial history, Puerto Vallarta has been on many people’s travel radars for decades. The many reasons include the gorgeous beaches, lovely weather and affordable cost of living. Making a move to retire in Puerto Vallarta has been the right one for many of the happy expats who live there. The town in Jalisco state is also a gay-friendly destination.

The middle of the town has cobblestone roads and you can see the stunning Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, then pop into the boutique shops, restaurants and bars. Along the oceanfront promenade by day, the views are spectacular, and there are interesting art sculptures to see and at night, the area comes above with a buzzing nightlife. If you are retired and want to put your dancing shoes back on, Puerto Vallarta has your song!

Cost of living

Cost of living in mexico

The cost of living depends on many factors, including the number of people, lifestyle standards, daily living needs and more.

Of course, no matter where you live, there are unexpected costs that might arise in some months, such as medical costs or house renovations. You also need to factor in visitors. When you live in Mexico, you can expect all your family and friends to be visiting. Hosting people comes with costs. But it’s probably a fraction of what life would cost in your home country. 

The cost of real estate, utilities, food, internet, and entertainment are all amazingly cheap, and you get to live at the beach. It’s almost too good to be true. Plus for Americans and Canadians, it’s not so far to go home to visit friends and family. Even getting back to Europe isn’t so far and many retirees to Mexico will make an annual visit home. We hope this article has made you realize you, too, could live in Mexico when your working life comes to an end. Life is for living and it’s pretty great in Mexico. There are companies that specialize in helping expats move to Mexico, making it even easier. Most recommend a trip to visit different places first before deciding on the area you wish to live in and from there they help you find everything you need, including accommodation, setting up bank accounts and settling into your new life. What could be easier or more fabulous?


Where is the best place to vacation in March?

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Cancun is said to be the nicest beach town in Mexico.

Holbox Island is the cheapest beach town to live.

The Caribbean Coast of Mexico is one of the most renowned beach destinations in the world and certainly the most popular in the country.

Polanco, the so-called Beverly Hills of Mexico is said to be the most expensive beach town in Mexico.



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