Mexico Information

Learn about expat life in Mexico, cost of living in Mexico, real estate tours, best places to live in Mexico, and Mexico tourism.

Expats Told Us They Love Chapala Mexico!

Welcome to Chapala, a picturesque town located in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico. We heard so many good things about Chapala and its authentic Mexican vibe so we were very excited to check it out.

Why Expats Love Chapala Mexico

Our adventure began when we stepped off the bus just a few blocks away from the famous malecon, which exceeded our expectations with its size and beauty. The old buildings, fountains, sculptures, and the stunning views of the lake and mountains all contributed to the town’s authentic charm.

Chapala is a popular destination for both tourists and expats, and it was immediately clear to us that the town had a genuine, Mexican atmosphere that gave us a true taste of local life.

As we leisurely walked along the malecon, we had a chance encounter with a retiree who had chosen Chapala as his new home. He shared stories of his comfortable life on a modest budget, and how he enjoyed dining out every day. This encounter highlighted the affordability and quality of life that Chapala offers.

The malecon itself was beautifully maintained. We loved all the flowers and beautiful sculptures, the people watching, and of course the incredible views of the lake and the mountains.

One of the memorable moments during our exploration was standing on the pier, taking in the picturesque backdrop and taking advantage of the photo opp.

We also took a detour across the street to visit the local church and find a restroom, giving us a chance to appreciate more of the architecture and take more photos. (We do NOT recommend the restroom! It smelled awful!)

While we were there we saw a performance of a traditional Mexican dance known as “Danza de los Voladores” or the Mexican sky dancers. This ancient ceremony, performed for over 500 years, was believed to bring rain and end droughts by pleasing the gods. It was a mesmerizing experience that showcased the rich cultural heritage of Chapala.

Chapala is just one of the many towns that dot the shores of Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico. These towns attract tourists and expats from various countries, and even residents of nearby Guadalajara come to enjoy the lake’s beauty and tranquility on weekends.

Tlayacapan, with its quaint charm, and Ajijic, known for its vibrant atmosphere, are just a couple of the towns worth exploring.

In addition, there’s San Juan Cosalá, located just 15 minutes west of Ajijic, with its own square and malecon. Jocotepec is a lesser-known small city that offers an authentic Mexican experience with its population of around 45,000.

We wanted to see more than just the tourist areas so we decided to wander around the town of Chapala and find the grocery store.

We walked through Plaza de Chapala where we discovered a wide array of restaurants and a vibrant atmosphere. The busy main street, Priv. Fransisco I. Madero had a lot of small shops and restaurants, and was conveniently located near the bus terminal and taxi stand.

During our exploration, we stumbled upon Soriana Híper, a large retail and grocery store similar to Super Walmart or Megamaxi. It also had clean bathrooms!

We were on guard walking around the malecon. Since it is such a popular tourist area we knew we had to watch out for pickpockets. But once we left that area we felt safer, especially after seeing children walking by themselves.

We were so surprised by the beauty of Lake Chapala and the malecon. No wonder it is so popular! We loved the breathtaking views of the mountains, the clear blue sky, and the vibrant buildings.

We had a great day exploring the area and recommend visiting if you’re considering moving or traveling to Guadalajara or Ajijic.

Watch Our Video About Chapala Mexico

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Colonia Americana: Coolest Neighborhood in the World! (Guadalajara Mexico)

We were so excited to take our first trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. We decided to stay in Colonia Americana (map) and were even more excited to visit the area after it was named the “Coolest Neighborhood in the World” by Timeout.

We stayed in a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom condo we found on AirBnB and the location was fantastic! We arrived after dark so we were a little apprehensive about walking around since we didn’t know the area, but we felt more at ease when we saw a young woman walking her dog alone. After that, it felt safe for us to find a place to eat.

Col Americana Mexico Hato RamenWe stumbled across Hato Ramen, an Asian restaurant located a few blocks from our condo. We paid $38.75 for dinner, which included an appetizer, two entrees and drinks. The restaurant had a cool vibe, and the food was excellent.

After a restful night’s sleep we woke up feeling supercharged and ready to explore.

One of the first things that captivated us was the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture. We were pleasantly surprised by the one-way streets and bike rental stations and the neighborhood’s commitment to a greener and more active lifestyle. 

The neighborhood exudes personality, with its colorful buildings and a fascinating mix of architectural styles. We loved the wide streets with the mature trees. 

Colonia Americana is the home to Templo Expiatorio, a Neo-Gothic Catholic temple. Construction on this began on August 15, 1897, and concluded in 1972—taking 75 years to complete. It is considered one of the most important works in Mexico and definitely worth visiting.

 

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After exploring the square around the temple we walked over to the neighborhood grocery store, Soriana. It reminded us of Tía in Ecuador. We bought some groceries and took an Uber back to our Airbnb.

Col Americana Mexico HousesAfter resting a bit (we walked a lot), we set out once again to explore more of the neighborhood. We noticed that walled courtyards, which are common in Ecuador, were less prevalent here. Instead, we admired several upscale high-rise condo buildings, adding a modern touch to the neighborhood’s architectural tapestry.

Guadalajara, like Ecuador, had its fair share of sidewalk hazards. However, we had become accustomed to navigating around them from our 5 years of living in Ecuador, so it didn’t faze us.

We were surprised and impressed by the wide variety of food trucks, street food, and restaurants. There was so much to choose from! There’s also a lot of bars and nightclubs.

The area has a fun, party vibe, especially on the main road, Chapultepec Avenue, which is considered the heart of the area. 

Even though we aren’t drinking much anymore, we couldn’t resist indulging in a pint of Guinness at a local pub. As we sat there, savoring our drink and people-watching, we noticed something remarkable—many single women confidently strolling by themselves, engrossed in their phones. When we went out for dinner later that day we noticed more single women walking alone. That gave us an extra sense of security and safety.

Is Colonia Americana truly the coolest neighborhood in the world? We loved its charm and it was “cool,” but we can’t make a definitive judgment just yet. After all, there are other neighborhoods on the list we have yet to explore.

Nevertheless, we can definitely envision ourselves spending more time there, soaking up the unique blend of history, culture, and vibrant street life.

Watch Our Video from Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Are We Moving to Mexico? Comparing Mexico and Ecuador for Expats

Lately, we’ve been getting tons of questions asking if we’re moving to Mexico since we started sharing videos from our adventures there.

So, we thought it would be a perfect time to compare Mexico and Ecuador head-to-head and see which one comes out on top for factors that matter most to us (and maybe you as well!).

Mexico VS EcuadorThe Allure of Mexico

Mexico has a lot going for it, especially for expats from the United States and Canada. It’s super close, making traveling to and from home a breeze, with multiple international airports and even the option to drive there!

Pros of Living in Mexico:

  • Developed infrastructure (highways, housing, internet, etc.)
  • Cheaper goods and more variety (Amazon Prime!)
  • Delicious food
  • Friendly locals
  • Diverse housing options
  • Good healthcare (ranked 29th globally by CEOWorld Magazine)
  • Rich culture and plenty of things to do

The Not-So-Great Side of Mexico:

Of course, no place is perfect, and Mexico has a few drawbacks too:

 

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Ecuador: An Expat Paradise?

Ecuador, a hidden gem tucked away in South America, has been gaining popularity among expats over the past 10+ years. But is it truly an expat paradise?

In this section, we’ll dive into the various aspects that make Ecuador a fantastic destination for those looking to start a new adventure abroad, as well as some of the challenges that come with living in this beautiful country.

Pros of Living in Ecuador:

Ecuador also has a lot going for it, particularly for those from the United States:

  • The US dollar is the official currency
  • Fantastic climate
  • Walkable cities and towns
  • Amazing fruits and veggies (high quality and low cost)
  • Affordable, high-quality healthcare (ranked 25th globally)
  • Low cost of living
  • Reliable internet
  • Safe drinking water in some metro areas
  • Outdoor activities galore
  • Friendly locals
  • Easy to obtain visas (we have permanent visas!)

Ecuador’s Imperfections:

Ecuador isn’t without its flaws:

  • Farther from the US (flights are more expensive and longer)
  • Expensive and limited international travel options
  • Increasing crime/drug activity (Ecuador ranked #79 on the safest country list in 2022)
  • Smaller expat communities compared to Mexico
  • Not-so-great beaches (more like the Pacific side of Mexico, not the Caribbean)
  • Expensive imported goods and limited variety

Our Verdict: Are We Moving to Mexico?

So, what’s the verdict? The main benefit Mexico has over Ecuador for us is its proximity to the US and our families back home.

However, we think Ecuador ranks higher on a few aspects that matter more to us than a shorter plane ride, like high quality healthcare, better air quality and drinkable tap water (where we live).

Plus, we have permanent visas in Ecuador so we don’t have to worry about being legal or making visa runs!

Although we love to travel and may consider applying for a visa in another country at some point, we’re not moving to Mexico. We’re staying in Ecuador.

Both Mexico and Ecuador are fantastic options for expats and have a lot to offer. If you’re looking to escape the daily grind and try something new, you can’t go wrong with either destination.

Watch Our Video Comparing Mexico and Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Playa del Carmen Mexico Pros & Cons

Today, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane and revisit our decision to move to Cuenca, Ecuador rather than Playa del Carmen, Mexico when we left the United States.

As some of you may know from watching our older videos, Ecuador wasn’t our first choice. We had our sights set on Playa del Carmen because it was familiar to us and much closer to home. However, we ended up ruling it out for various reasons.

After traveling throughout Ecuador, Mexico, and Colombia, we felt it was time to reevaluate our decision and answer the burning question: Did we make the wrong choice?

Playa Del Carmen Pros And ConsPlaya del Carmen, Mexico: Our First Choice

Initially, we had our hearts set on Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We were both familiar with the area and enjoyed our time there on prior vacations, making it the easiest option.

But, after extensive research and weighing the pros and cons, we opted for Cuenca, Ecuador instead. So, let’s dive into the details of Playa del Carmen and discuss whether we still believe we made the right call.

Our Playa del Carmen Experience

We were quite surprised upon our arrival in Playa del Carmen. Despite the airport being only 34 miles (55 km) away, traffic made the drive feel like an eternity.

We stayed in a nice Airbnb outside of the main tourist area, which was peaceful, close to the grocery store, walkable, secure, and clean. It was very small and the kitchen could use some more gear, but it was super affordable and our host was fantastic and even recommended drivers for us.

Pros of Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen has a lot going for it that make it a popular home for expats and digital nomads.

Playa del Carmen Mexico Pros & Cons

  • Scenic 5.2 km walking area along 5th Avenue that’s mostly flat
  • Pedestrian and pet-friendly
  • Great for people-watching
  • Popular among digital nomads, retirees, and singles
  • People from all over the world and lots of languages spoken
  • Vibrant Mexican culture
  • Amazing food and restaurant variety
  • Numerous options for different dietary needs
  • Abundance of shopping options, including grocery stores, malls, Walmart, Home Depot, and local tiendas
  • Pharmacies carry a wide range of prescription drugs
 

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Cons of Playa del Carmen

No place is perfect and Playa del Carmen has several drawbacks that could make it a challenging place to live full time.

  • Hot and humid
  • Extremely crowded in tourist areas, especially during peak season
  • More concrete and less beach than before
  • Seaweed (sargassum) problem on the beaches – it was really bad
  • Walking the gauntlet on 5th (persistent salespeople)
  • High prices in tourist areas, comparable to US costs
  • Can’t drink the tap water (water filter bottles recommended – we used the Katadyn BeFree Bottles)
  • Can’t flush the toilet paper (at least not in the AirBnB where we stayed)

The Verdict: Cuenca vs. Playa del Carmen

We could have definitely lived in Playa del Carmen, especially as expat newbies.

The abundance of English speakers and expat-oriented services would have made the transition easy. We also loved the bustling vibe and numerous activities.

However, we don’t think we would have wanted to live there long-term. The constant influx of tourists, heavy traffic, and hot, humid weather might have eventually worn us down.

In the end, we still believe Ecuador was the right choice for us, considering our lifestyle preferences.

For more on this topic, check out this article next: Top 10 Reasons Why We Chose Ecuador.

Watch Our Video About the Pros & Cons of Playa del Carmen

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Mexico City Pros and Cons: A Comprehensive Review for Digital Nomads and Expats

Mexico City is a vibrant and dynamic metropolis that has been in the international news quite a bit lately. Unfortunately, not all of the news has been good. Despite this, the city has become increasingly popular with foreign residents, including digital nomads.

The influx of people willing to pay more for rent and other services is being blamed for gentrification in popular neighborhoods like Polanco, La Condesa and Roma Norte.

Mexico City Pros and ConsAs basic costs of living increase, the locals are being forced out, and they’re not happy about it.

Since we’re in the business of exploring popular areas where expats and digital nomads like to live, we couldn’t really cross this hotspot off our list.

However, we were very hesitant to go there. We didn’t know what to expect or if we’d even be welcome.

We did enjoy our time in CDMX. It has a lot of great things going for it, but several drawbacks and one thing in particular that will probably keep us from going back.

Mexico City Pros

Affordable

One of the biggest advantages of living in Mexico City is its affordability. Compared to other major cities in North America like New York City or Los Angeles, the cost of living in Mexico City is much lower. Rent, food, transportation, and other basic necessities are all quite affordable, making it an ideal location for those on a budget.

We stayed in an AirBnB in the neighborhood of Polanco, which is very high-end. There was a Ferrari dealership across the street from the condo building and several nice malls within walking distance.

Despite how nice the area is, we found it to be more affordable for similar areas in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. And certainly a LOT more affordable than many capital cities in the US.

Walkable

Walkable - Mexico City

Mexico City is a walkable city with a rich cultural heritage. Its colon

ial architecture and beautiful parks make it an enjoyable place to explore on foot.

On our first full day in CDMX, we walked from Polanco, through embassy row, a huge park called Bosque de Chapultepec and into La Condesa for lunch.

We logged over 8 miles of walking that day, but I convinced Amelia to take an Uber back to our AirBnB in Polanco. The cost for the Uber was $120 pesos or $6 for a 25 minute ride.

Clean (mostly)

We walked about 8 miles per day during our stay in Mexico City so we had a good vantage point for the city’s cleanliness.

There were a lot of street cleaners picking up trash, but we didn’t see much trash for them to pick up. Most of the dogs we saw were leashed and we don’t remember seeing any stray dogs, so that means we didn’t see much dog poop, either.

The public restrooms in the parks had attendants who keep those bathrooms clean, too.

Perfect Weather

The climate in Mexico City is generally mild, with cool mornings and highs in the 70s, making it an excellent location for those who prefer temperate weather.

The air was dry and the sky was blue during our entire trip. We wore a light jacket in the evenings, but jeans and short sleeve shirts during the day.

Reliable Internet and Cell Coverage

As a digital nomad, having reliable internet and cell coverage is crucial. Fortunately, Mexico City has excellent coverage and reliable internet service.

The WiFi at our AirBnB was super fast and reliable.

We used an eSIM with Airalo during our stay and had no connectivity issues while we were wandering around the city on foot. We use the mobile data for maps so we don’t get lost, to find things to do near where we are, and to request Ubers. It works great and we don’t have to pay international roaming charges!

Lots To Do

Soumaya Museum Mexico CityMexico City has a rich cultural heritage, and there is always something to see and do. The city boasts a vast array of museums, galleries, and cultural sites.

We stayed near the Soumaya Museum of Art and walked by the massive Museo Nacional de Antropología, but didn’t have time to go inside on this trip.

Lots of Parks

Mexico City is home to several beautiful parks, including Chapultepec Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the world. We spent a lot of time in that park, but only covered about half of it.

There were also lots of smaller parks in all the neighborhoods we visited, especially in La Condesa. And Polanco has a linear park along the old railroad track that runs through the area.

Friendly People

Mexicans are known for their warmth and hospitality, and the people of Mexico City are no exception. The locals are generally friendly and welcoming to foreigners.

Despite what we were led to believe and expect from the recent international news coverage about gentrification in Mexico City, we never felt unwelcome. In fact, quite the opposite. The locals made us feel right at home!

However, they seemed very surprised and appreciative when we spoke to them in Spanish. I guess they don’t get a lot of gringos who can speak Spanish so they don’t expect it.

Wide Variety of People

Mexico City is a melting pot of cultures, with a wide variety of people from all over the world calling it home.

Walking down the streets and sitting at restaurants in Polanco and La Condesa, we heard a variety of languages, including Spanish, English, German, French and a few Asian languages.

Mexico City seems to be a real melting pot!

Great Shopping

Great shopping - Mexico CityFrom local markets to upscale shopping malls, Mexico City has a wide variety of shopping options. It’s easy to find products you need, and prices are generally quite reasonable.

We saw several vintage stores in La Condesa and Roma Norte if that’s your thing. What’s old is new again.

However, if your tastes go the other direction, we also saw all the high-end brands like Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, etc. in the embassy area near Parque Lincoln.

Great Restaurants and Grocery Stores

Mexico City is renowned for its delicious food, and there is no shortage of great restaurants to try.

The malls have everything from food courts to fine dining, as well as chains like P.F. Changs. However, we really enjoyed the streetside cafes in La Condesa and Roma Norte.

The city also has several high-quality grocery stores that offer a wide variety of products, way more than we’re used to seeing in Ecuador. There were several Sorianas in the area, which is Mexico’s version of Safeway. But City Market was by far our favorite! It reminded us of a really nice Whole Foods.

Close to the airport

Mexico City is home to one of the busiest airports in the world, making it easy to travel to other parts of Mexico or beyond.

We don’t consider it one of the nicest airports for a variety of reasons, but you can go anywhere in the world from there so that’s nice.

 

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Mexico City Cons

GentrificationGentrification - Mexico City

One of the biggest drawbacks of Mexico City is gentrification.

Popular neighborhoods like La Condesa, Roma Norte, and Polanco have become more expensive because of urban renewal, which has brought in more foreign residents and digital nomads. As a result, the locals are being forced out, and they are not happy about it.

Price Increases

Some areas of Mexico City are seeing price increases, especially for housing. A lot of landlords are converting their rentals from yearly leases to short-term AirBnBs, which has created a shortage of long-term housing and driven up the cost of rent.

Crowded

Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world with over 22 million people! That’s more people than the entire country of Ecuador, which only has 18 million.

Due to its high population, it is really crowded. The roads were packed with vehicles, the sidewalks were full of people, the restaurants often had waits even during off times.

Bad TrafficBad Traffic - Mexico City

The traffic in Mexico City can be terrible, especially during rush hour. This can make it challenging to navigate through the city, especially during rush hour. It took us almost as long to drive in the city as it took us to walk the same distance.

We didn’t realize how spoiled we are by living in Ecuador until we were driving home from the airport on Saturday morning and there were virtually no cars on the road.

Safety

Mexico City has a reputation for being unsafe, and while it is not as dangerous as some other cities in Mexico, it is still important to take precautions.

Crime rates are higher in certain areas of the city. Theft, pickpockets, robberies and even kidnappings do occur so travelers should be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Earthquakes

Mexico City is located in an area that is prone to earthquakes. While the city has taken steps to prepare for earthquakes, they can still be quite devastating.

The newer condo buildings are built to modern earthquake standards, but the older buildings, especially in La Condesa and Roma Norte, are at higher risk of damage or collapse during a large tremor.

Water Quality

The water in Mexico City is not safe to drink, and travelers should stick to bottled water or other beverages.

Upon arrival, I sent our AirBnB host a message asking if the water was safe to drink in our super nice condo building. He replied immediately and said absolutely not. He even told us not to use it to brush our teeth, but we did anyway.

We always travel with our BeFree filtered water bottles from Katadyn so we can minimize our plastic water bottle use.

Sewer Smell

The city has a reputation for having a strong sewer smell in certain areas. This can be unpleasant for some travelers.

We noticed it in a lot of different areas, but we did walk 8 miles a day. It’s gross, but we’re used to it after living in Denver and Manta, Ecuador. If you spend any time in a big city, you’re going smell the sewers.

Smokers

Smoking is still prevalent in Mexico City, and travelers who are sensitive to smoke may find it challenging.

We were really shocked by the sheer number of smokers. We saw people smoking while driving, walking, eating at streetside cafes, standing outside buildings and in every area we visited.

Smoking in Ecuador isn’t nearly as common. It’s more like the US where smoking isn’t nearly as common anymore.

Air QualityAir Quality -Mexico City

Mexico City has a serious air pollution problem, and the air quality can be hazardous to health, especially for those with respiratory issues.

The sky is often yellow, and some travelers may experience symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, or eye irritation.

We experienced ALL of those issues during our stay in Mexico City. In fact, we felt so horrible by our last day there that Amelia was convinced we were sick!

Within 24 hours of leaving CDMX, we both felt fine so we’re almost certain the air pollution was the main culprit, although allergies and the dry air could have been contributing factors.

It’s really unfortunate because we loved our time in Mexico City and we now understand why so many foreign residents have chosen to call it home, but the low air quality is enough to keep us from going back.

Conclusion

Overall, Mexico City has a lot to offer, from affordable living to friendly locals and great restaurants.

However, there are also some drawbacks to living in this bustling metropolis, such as the air pollution, traffic, and safety concerns.

You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons and decide if Mexico City is a good fit. You may find that the pros outweigh the cons, or you may decide that the drawbacks are too significant to overlook.

Watch Our Video About The Pros & Cons of Mexico City

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Cotacachi Ecuador vs Ajijic Mexico (Pros & Cons)

Are you considering a move to Mexico or Ecuador and wondering which expat destination to choose? Both countries have plenty of options, but two towns that stand out are Ajijic in Mexico and Cotacachi in Ecuador.

These two picturesque mountain towns have a lot in common, but also some unique features that may sway your decision. In this article, we’ll compare the pros and cons of living in each town.

Ajijic Mexico Pros & Cons

Ajijic Mexico Centro ChapelAjijic is a picturesque mountain town on the shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest lake. The town is located about an hour south of Guadalajara and is close to major cities and airports.

The area is popular with expats because of its incredible views, walkability, variety of restaurants, and outdoor activities.

The town is home to a large number of foreign residents, which means there are many perks available to them, but also a few downsides caused by its extreme popularity.

Ajijic Mexico Pros

  • Beautiful, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Lakeside location
  • Comfortable year-round climate with lower elevation at 5,000 feet
  • 30-minute drive to the international airport in Guadalajara
  • Lots of expat amenities and English-speaking locals
  • Great for retirees
  • Plenty of shopping options, including Walmart and grocery stores
  • Nightlife options available

Ajijic Mexico Cons

  • Housing is expensive
  • Very populated and touristy
  • Can feel like “America-lite”
 

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Cotacachi Ecuador Pros & Cons

Cotacachi is a picturesque mountain town located about 90 minutes north of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It has a population of around 9,000 people, and a lot of them are expats. Cotacachi is also close to major cities and airports and has incredible views and a variety of outdoor activities.

Situated between two inactive volcanoes, the town is small, clean, and quiet, making it feel more authentic than Ajijic. The town is also close to world-famous shopping at the Otavalo market and has a supportive group of expats. However, it doesn’t have major medical facilities, and the full grocery store is 30 minutes away in Ibarra.

Cotacachi Ecuador Pros

  • Small, clean, and quiet
  • Located in a picturesque mountain setting with incredible views
  • Close to world-famous shopping at Otavalo market
  • Hiking and outdoor activities available
  • Supportive group of expats
  • One of the most affordable cities in Ecuador
  • Weekly organic market
  • Quito is 1.5 hours away

Cotacachi Ecuador Cons

  • High elevation can be a challenge for some
  • Cool temperatures and rainy climate
  • Major medical facilities are not available in town
  • Airport is 1.5 hours away
  • Longer, more expensive flights back to the US
  • Not many nightlife options available

Conclusion

When deciding between Ajijic and Cotacachi, it comes down to your personal preferences and priorities. If you’re looking for a small community with cooler temperatures, Cotacachi may be the right fit for you. The town is more affordable than Ajijic, and it feels very authentic. On the other hand, if you have a larger budget and want to be closer to the US with a warmer climate and plenty of expat amenities, Ajijic may be the perfect fit.

Watch Our Comparison Video About Cotacachi and Ajijic

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Amazing Rental Homes (Lake Chapala Mexico)

Lake Chapala Mexico is one of the most popular areas to live and retire for expats from the United States and Canada. And Ajijic Mexico is by far the most popular town for expats in the Lake Chapala area.

The weather is about as close to paradise as you can get, and there are lots of activities to keep you busy. It’s also about 30 minutes from the Guadalajara International Airport so you can easily fly back home or anywhere else in the world.

You’ll find a variety of rental homes to fit most budgets and requirements. In this video, Inesa from Chapala Realtors was kind enough to show us 2 rental properties in Ajijic Mexico and one rental condo in San Juan Cosalá Mexico, which is located about 15 minutes west of Ajijic.

Inesa is primarily a real estate agent so she specializes in home buying and selling, but she can help you find a rental, too!

Here’s a link to learn more about Insesa and to access her contact info…

Watch Our Video About Rentals in Ajijic Mexico

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Shocking Homes For Sale on Lake Chapala Mexico

Lake Chapala, Mexico is a haven for expats from the United States and Canada who are looking for a warm, relaxed, and inviting place to live and retire.

The area is renowned for its pleasant weather, diverse cultural scene, and a wide range of outdoor activities that cater to different interests and lifestyles.

Lake Chapala Mexico Homes For SaleOne of the most sought-after towns in Lake Chapala is Ajijic, which has become a popular hub for expats looking for an active and dynamic community.

With its breathtaking natural surroundings, beautiful weather, and rich cultural heritage. Ajijic offers an idyllic lifestyle that many have only dreamed of.

For those looking to buy property, Ajijic and the surrounding areas offer a variety of homes to fit most budgets and requirements.

Inesa from Chapala Realtors is an experienced real estate agent who specializes in buying and selling properties in the Lake Chapala region. Inesa showed us 5 properties in Ajijic and San Juan Cosalá, which is located about 15 minutes west of Ajijic.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, a place to socialize and make new friends, or an escape from the harsh winter weather, Lake Chapala and Ajijic have something to offer everyone.

With easy access to the Guadalajara International Airport, you can also easily fly back home or travel to other parts of the world whenever you need to.

If you’re considering a move to Lake Chapala, Ajijic is a great place to start.

With Inesa’s help, you can find the perfect home that meets your needs and fits your budget, and start enjoying the many benefits of living in this charming and welcoming community.

Here are links to more info about the properties we toured:

Watch Our Video About Homes For Sale on Lake Chapala

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Ajijic Mexico was NOT what we Expected!

After a few days in what we think will be Mexico’s NEXT expat hotspot, we ventured out of the city to visit what may be Mexico’s most popular place for expats from the United States and Canada: Ajijic Mexico.

We were shocked by the number of expats in this area! While it was a beautiful place with lots of amenities that will appeal to retirees, it wasn’t at all what we expected.

Coolest Neighborhood in Mexico (and the WORLD)!

AirBnB in Ajijic

Watch Our Video About Ajijic Mexico

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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What We Got Wrong About Mexico

We made a mistake in our last Mexico video about visas and wanted to correct that in this video. Plus, we respond to several other comments that we received on that video.

In case you missed our last Mexico video about why we think Ecuador is a better choice for expats than Mexico, here’s the link.

Please read Factfullness by Hans Rosling for a better understanding of the world as it actually is, instead of what we’ve been led to believe by the media and outdated educational information.

Watch Our Response Video About Mexico

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Get the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Toolkit, which we created to help jumpstart your dream of living in another country.