Casa, Amigos, y Más: The 8 Most Beloved Mexican Cities for Expats

expats in mexico
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Casa, Amigos, y Más: The 8 Most Beloved Mexican Cities for Expats

There’s a reason there are many ex-pats in Mexico—one of the world’s most culturally, architecturally, and naturally rich countries.

It is a place with great climatic diversity. In its more than 30 states, you can choose the climate you like the most, even the food you like the most, and of course, the location.

The archaeological sites, beaches, and cultural diversity attract foreigners visiting the country. Attractions that make them fall in love to the point of wanting to live here.

If you’re reading this from abroad or know someone interested in living in Mexico, here are a few reasons why they will want to stay and live there.

Where do Most Expats Live in Mexico?

The following are the cities where most ex-pats live in Mexico. Take note.

1. Mexico City

expats in mexico
The Angel of Independence in Mexico City – Source: Joshua Davenport /

According to the National Institute of Immigration, Mexico City is the most attractive place for foreigners.

It concentrates 31.4% of a total of 262,672 people coming from other countries.

The capital offers endless possibilities, such as museums, gastronomy, modernity, and location.

History, nightlife, and gastronomy are just a few reasons Mexico city is an excellent option for foreigners.

The Palacio de Bellas Artes, Garibaldi, and the Templo Mayor are other charms the capital offers.

Visiting the capital of Mexico is a unique experience. Living in such a fun and multifaceted place will make you never want to leave.

It is ideal for those looking for a new place to live and do business or an attractive place to enjoy their vacations.

2. Expats in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico

expats in mexico
The beautiful Cathedral in Guadalajara – Source: LukeandKarla.Travel /

Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco, another town favored by foreigners.

One of the first things they look for when arriving in Mexico is tequila, and what better place to find the best than Jalisco.

But I can’t talk about tequila without mentioning the Mariachis.

In Guadalajara, you will find the Plaza de Los Mariachis, which offers much more than just music.

You will also enjoy the typical gastronomy, like the famous tortas ahogadas.

The traditional “Calandrias” (horse-drawn vehicles) and the Tequila Express is a must, a train ride that combines history and tradition. Treats that surprise every visitor.

3. Ensenada Baja California

expats in mexico
Source: Creative Jen Designs /

The city of Ensenada, in Baja California, is frequented by neighbors from the United States due to its proximity to the border.

Although, of course, it is visited by many citizens from other countries. It has several natural attractions, such as beaches, that invite you to stay and live there.

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It is perfect for people who like to practice fishing or sporting events. Because of the city’s tranquility, it is a favorite for ex-pats wanting to live in Mexico.

A big plus if you’re a wine lover since the Guadalupe Valley is only 40 minutes away.

4. San Miguel de Allende: One of the top choices of ex-pats in Mexico

expats in mexico
Source: Choupi33 /

The city of San Miguel de Allende is located in the state of Guanajuato.

In general, the state is considered one of the safest. San Miguel de Allende is a quiet, colonial-style city with a remarkable cultural life.

According to data from the National Institute of Immigration, around 12,000 retired Americans live in this municipality.

Several communities of foreigners from different countries have settled there, facilitating tourism, the economy, and the integration of the people who live there.

5. Cancun Quintana Roo

vamonos to mexico
Source: cge2010 /

Cancun is a city located in the state of Quintana Roo, which was formerly part of the Mayans.

Read more about the Mayan Route.

Many retired foreigners choose Cancun as a vacation destination and stay and live there.

About 104,000 foreigners live in Cancun. Its main attractions are the beautiful beaches, an excellent climate, and a wonderfully relaxing environment.

6. Tulum Quintana Roo

expats in mexico
Tulum ruins – Source: Alexander Sviridov /

Speaking of the best places to live in Mexico, Tulum is ideal if you love nature.

The town in the heart of the Riviera Maya, in the state of Quintana Roo, is characterized by its connection with both worlds: archaeology and the sea.

One of the purposes of the government in the coming years is to turn Tulum into a bicycle capital.

It is also one of the best places to retire.

With the construction of a bike path of more than 60 km and a boost to alternative or adventure tourism, Tulum is expected to consolidate its position as one of the most important cities in Mexico.

In addition, the archaeological zone that bears the same name, which means “wall” in Mayan, is one of the main tourist attractions.

Also, the highlight of the Riviera Maya is full of restaurants and resorts, which, unlike cities like Cancun or Playa del Carmen, focus more on a relaxed and natural lifestyle.

Read more: Is Retiring in Mexico a Good Idea? Here are All the Facts

And don’t forget to explore the many cenotes surrounding the area—an experience like no other.

7. Merida Yucatan

expats in mexico
Source: mehdi33300 /

Merida, the capital of Yucatan, has positioned itself as one of the best cities to live in Mexico. This is thanks to the safety and tranquility of the so-called “white city.”

And not only that, the mix of architecture, the proximity of the city to the beach, and the lifestyle of traditions influenced by the Mayan culture, make Merida one of the favorite destinations for foreigners and locals.

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Likewise, the city’s growth has become an attraction for those who want to enjoy the entertainment and life of the big cities without living with the collective stress of traffic and pollution.

And this is one of the most important things to consider for those who want to have a better life quality.

The tranquility, the warm climate, and the fact that the area is free of earthquakes make Merida a favorite city for people from the United States and other countries.

8. Puerto Vallarta: One of the best places to live in Mexico

expats in mexico
Source: Diego Grandi /

Located on the Mexican Pacific coast and surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains, Puerto Vallarta has been one of Mexico’s favorite retirement destinations for many years. I know; I live here.

Vallarta’s main attraction is the wide variety of outdoor activities that can be done here, whether on the sea, near the sea, or in the jungle.

Whether you like sailing, scuba diving, or exploring nature, you’ll never get tired of it.

Puerto Vallarta has an international airport, so it is easily accessible.

Plus, the city has excellent medical services, English-speaking doctors, and vibrant culture with a fabulous gastronomic scene that delights foodies of all palates.

The 8 Best Cities in Mexico Preferred by Expats: Conclusion

As you’ve seen today, Mexico offers a diverse array of cities that cater to ex-pats’ unique needs and preferences.

From the cultural mecca of Mexico City to the beach paradise of Playa del Carmen, there is something for everyone.

Each city on this list offers a high quality of life, a welcoming community, and a rich cultural experience.

Whether you’re looking to retire, start a business, or enjoy a change of scenery, Mexico is an excellent choice for ex-pats.

Consider one of these top cities when planning your move to Mexico, and prepare for an exciting new chapter in your life. Vamonos!

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