Cost of Living Update: Baja

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

How much will it cost me to live/travel in Mexico? This query has been making our top 10 FAQ for over forty years. Sadly, the answer has changed significantly since 1972, when the first edition of The People’s Guide to Mexico hit the shelves. But take heart! We can’t complain too much with a peso/dollar exchange rate of 15.  Keep in mind that the prices below are for Baja. The mainland, barring major tourist traps, should be a little cheaper. […]

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Slow Travel, Mexican Style

  Every day we ride out to the beach. We bring a cooler bag filled with ice, water, tangerines, and six whorehouse coronas*. We bring our books.We bring sarongs and floppy hats and sunglasses and sunscreen.  The road to the beach is hot, even in morning, and we wobble over potholes, past tangled bougainvillaea that trails along the guardrail. We pass abandoned houses, shady in the palm grove. At the beach, we walk two miles to the very end. There, […]

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Top Five Mexican Cities for Hangout Travel

Churpa sits in lamplight in La Condesa.

In 1999, when I was 20 years old, I flew into Mexico City with my friend Abigail. Between the two of us, we carried $1000 in cash. Our plan? Travel from Mexico City to the Yucatan, spend a month hitting all the major sites of interest and then return to Mexico City. Our budget was based on very vague calculations on my part: I’d spent the previous winter camping on a beach on the Pacific coast, and it’d cost me […]

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Letter from a Reader: Retire in Baja?

editor’s note: A reader named Sarah wrote us with the subject line “retire to baja.” Of course I passed this on to our resident retirement/baja expert El Codo, who demanded to know more about Sarah’s needs/situation. Sarah: I plan to go to Mexico this summer.  I have limited funds so will need inexpensive housing.  Would a long term older hotel be a good choice?  I have  few belongings to bring.  Having a place furnished would needed.  I am 71 and […]

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Cost of Living: Mexico City, SMA vs. New York

A San Miguel de Allende street scene.

At, Julie Doherty Meade compares specific costs of living in New York, Mexico City, and San Miguel de Allende. Meade’s writing is engaging and this could be a useful resource if you are contemplating a move to Mexico. Meade rates Mexico City as slightly more expensive than SMA, which was surprising to me. I would have thought it would be the other way around, though I’ve never done a scientific comparison. I will say that her food estimates are […]

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Cost of Living: Food

Chiles at Oaxaca market.

  I meant to keep better track of our grocery expenses on this last trip. Alas, that info got lost as we scrambled to assemble drifts of cuota receipts and illegible notes scrawled on napkins. But luckily Michele Kinnon is on the ball. I prefer to do my shopping at the mercado or in small tiendas, but Kinnon is right: the big supermarkets such as Soriana can be a hell of a deal, especially when you avoid the fancy cheese […]

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Road Food: Torta Round-Up

A good torta is a thing of beauty. And in Mexico, a good torta is not hard to find. Any self-respecting Mexican city boasts hundreds of torta shops: from the steaming fondas of the mercado to the tiny tiled diner tucked between the behemoths of the business district. Each of these establishments has its own tricks, but seldom do you see drastic variations. You have your torta de pierna, your torta de milanesa, your torta de jamon, your torta cubana, […]

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Cost of Retirement in Mexico

A Mexican peso coin from 1982. Widgets I loved John Scherber’s book, San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart (more on that in the retirement chapter of the upcoming 14th edition of The People’s Guide to Mexico). If you are considering retiring in Mexico, I highly recommend that you read his blog post: Living in Mexico: Some Differences in Costs, where Scherber gives specific figures on cost of living in San Miguel de Allende. Hell, even if you are not considering retiring to […]

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Eating on the Cheap in Mexico

by Felisa Rosa Rogers The mayonnaise is yellowing in the afternoon heat. The open tub sits atop the food cart, with no ice in sight. I do the math — it’s 3:30 PM, and the elote cart has probably been open for business since noon, which means that the mayo has been exposed to the open air for three or four hours, maybe longer. “Quires mayonesa?” the girl asks, holding up my corn on-a-stick. I hesitate. An elote is a […]

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Mexico Gas Price Update

The price of fuel in Mexico has increased as follows: Magna, up 8.2% to 8.44 pesos/liter = $2.51 per gallon (peso at 12.72 per U.S. dollar on 14 August 2010) Premium, up 3.9% to 9.94 pesos/liter = $2.96 per gallon Diesel, up 7.8% to 8.80 pesos/liter = $2.62 per gallon To calculate fuel prices I used the following formula: divide 3.785 (liters) by today’s peso exchange rate (example: 12.72) and multiply this by the current price-per-liter (example: 8.44 pesos for […]

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