The 9 Top Spots For Americans Who Want To Live In Mexico
9 Top Spots For Living In Mexico
In most of the countries I talk about, there is usually one stand-out place. Sometimes, two…
When I talk about Colombia, for instance, Medellín comes out tops. In the Dominican Republic, it’s the Samana Peninsula. In Belize, it’s a toss-up between the Cayo and the Cayes.
But in Mexico, there are so many top options for living and investing on the table that it’s hard to pick a winner. So here’s a rundown of my favorite nine places to hang your hat In Mexico, to the beach and beyond:
The options are so broad for seaside living that you can actually specify a price point, a convenience factor, and a lifestyle, and still have plenty of options.
On the east coast, you have:
- Cancún, one of Mexico’s top two resort towns.
Cancún was nothing more than a small fishing village when it was targeted for development in 1974. As it exploded into a tourist mecca of more than 700,000, the swath of development extended southward to Playa del Carmen… transforming Cancún from a fishing village to a town of more than 150,000 today.
- Playa del Carmen (“Playa” to the locals)
It’s just 57 minutes south of Cancún, and it has taken over as the region’s chic place to be (and the place to be seen). You’ll find vacationing Europeans and North Americans as well as a sizeable number of expats in residence.
Just off the town square is the renowned Avenida Quinta (5th Avenue) running parallel to the shore and offering more than 20 blocks of fine restaurants and shops. It’s almost as big a draw as the beautiful beaches.
The Riviera Maya is the section of Caribbean coast on the eastern side of the Yucatán Peninsula between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It’s about 125 miles long.
Just a few years ago, the town of Tulum (where we convened for our conference last week) consisted of a handful of cabins and a few fishing shacks. Today, the census counts more than 18,000 people in Tulum. This is a particular point of opportunity.
The Riviera Maya features warm Caribbean waters and pristine beaches. Also, the Great Mayan Reef — the largest coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean — is located offshore, providing world-class diving and snorkeling. Another draw to this area is the presence of the best preserved Mayan archeological sites… plus a few world-class golf courses to round out the local attractions.
Moving to the west coast, there’s…
- Puerto Peñasco
The seaside resort that’s most convenient to the United States by car… just over an hour from the border. Also known as Rocky Point, it has been a playground for the western United States and Canada for almost 100 years.
Homeowners in Puerto Peñasco can drive over the border and head right for their seaside home without even stopping to register their car. Yet the beaches are second to none.
Puerto Peñasco enjoys warm, calm waters all year, broad, sandy beaches, lots of housing options, and low property prices.
Best of all, you can find two-bedroom condos on this beach starting at just US$109,000. Perfect for a vacation home or a weekend getaway.
Mazatlán has rebounded from the 70s and 80s when it was mostly forgotten as a resort. Today, its 20 miles of beaches and boardwalks are once again as busy as when John Wayne and Gary Cooper were in town.
Even better, the historic center has been renovated over the past 10 years. Now it’s a fine example of Spanish-colonial America, with plenty of world-class restaurants, sidewalk cafés, and a beachfront promenade.
- Puerto Vallarta
It has been one of Mexico’s most popular resorts since the 1960s, although its rich colonial history goes back hundreds of years. Unlike many resort areas, PV has a number of coastal sections with beaches interspersed among them… meaning different areas have their own unique character.
Puerto Vallarta excels when it comes to ocean views. Here you’ll find lots of properties perched on lush, green hillsides and long views looking out to the ocean.
Beyond The Beach
Not everyone is a beach person. Many full-time expats prefer the ambiance and brilliant weather of Mexico’s colonial heartland, including these three top towns where expats have settled…
- San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a remarkably beautiful and sociable colonial town. Many expats believe that it’s the finest example of colonial living abroad… in any country… and thousands of expats call it home.
Its magnificent historic center is mostly level — great for walking — and full of delights for visitors and residents. The quantity of first-class restaurants and fine shopping venues per block is probably unmatched anywhere else in Mexico.
Guanajuato is another colonial gem, but it’s a gem that’s less polished and more natural than San Miguel de Allende.
Instead of San Miguel’s thousands of expats, Guanajuato’s expat community numbers in the hundreds. It’s still a large town with everything you need—plus beautiful architecture—but it’s more of a “Mexican” town, with less expat influence.
A small town of less than 25,000 people, but the state of restoration and preservation in its historic center is beyond anything we’ve seen anywhere. Of the dozens of Latin American cities that bill themselves as a “bohemian town that’s home to artists, writers, musicians, and poets,” Álamos is the only one where we’ve actually seen a large percentage of artists, writers, musicians, and poets.
For a small-town alternative to cities like San Miguel, Guanajuato, and Oaxaca, Álamos is the best we’ve found.
Faced with all these options, how do you find the place that’s right for you?
It all comes down to personal taste and priorities. But it’s hard to imagine how anybody couldn’t find something to suit them in Mexico… whatever their budget.
Recognizing Heritage and Diversity on Dia de la Raza
Tara A. Spears
October 12 is still designated as a holiday but is rarely commemorated outside of schools any more. The current feeling among the intellectuals and general public is that the invading explorers beginning with Columbus should not be the focus of this special day but rather it needs to be a celebration of the native populations of Mexico who survived in spite of the Spanish genocide. According to Mexican poet Homero Aridjis, “The Spanish were conquered in turn by those they conquered”.
It was in 1918 that the philosopher Antonio Caso took October 12th as an opportunity to praise the “Mexican mestizo race”, La Raza, the rich mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures which characterizes Mexican people. He was perhaps the first to coin the term La Raza, which has now been adopted by Latinos from all across the continent. Ten years later, the Día de la Raza was declared an official national holiday by Congress, after only minor debate.
In 1941, Alfonso Reyes, one of Mexico’s most distinguished scholars and men of letters, said that “America was the invention of poets, the charade of geographers, the boasting of adventurers, the greed of companies and, in short, an inexplicable appetite and an urge to transcend limits”. The anti-Columbus movement continued to gain supporters throughout the twentieth century.
Historian Edmundo O’Gorman, author of La invención de América, (The Invention of America, 1958), felt so passionately about the issue (honoring Columbus and the invasion of Europeons) that he resigned as Director of the Mexican Academy of History in 1987, because of his objections to concepts such as the “discovery of America”, “the encounter of two worlds” and “cultural fusion”. To him, the appropriate terms for the historical phenomenon were “taking over” and “domination”. The key to resolving the problem of the historical appearance of America, in his view, was to consider this event as the result of an invention of western thought, and not as a merely physical discovery, which occurred by chance: Columbus was trying to create a new travel route, not find new land.
In modern Mexico the controversy is far from over. However, it has produced some positive results. One of the positives is that keeping October 12 as Dia de la Raza has brought attention to many of the important issues of today, such as the plight of the indigenous populations of America. Mexico is involved in a broad range of efforts to improve the living conditions of its indigenous population. Mexican legislation to that effect is pending before Congress and there is a new culture of respect for them.
In the words of President Zedillo: “Mexico’s cultural strength, which is recognized and admired the world over, is the result of the very rich cultural diversity of our states and regions. It is the government’s responsibility to make it a priority to recognize that diversity and its contribution to the country.”
Whether one believes that the chance event which took place five hundred twenty years ago was a blessing or a curse, October 12th is an excellent opportunity for all people to consider the ramifications that the discovery of the North American continent has had on all of our lives.
Today Mexico has evolved into a society that blends the influence of the European colonists with the indigenous cultures to form a rich cultural diversity that varies by region. Recognizing the importance of a multi-ethnic society should not only be on October 12 –Dia de la Raza- but throughout the year.
44th International Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato
|The 44th International Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato continues until October 23 with a program that includes some 700 activities, in which around 3,500 artists from 38 countries will participate.
Guanajuato, Mexico – The Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Tecalitlan Mariachi band performed together last weekend at the inaugural gala of the 44th International Cervantino Festival, filling the city of Guanajuato with the music and traditions of guest state Jalisco.
With vocals by soprano Barbara Padilla, the groups offered those gathered on the Alhondiga de Granaditas Esplanade a handful of well-known songs that had the audience singing along.
After a prelude by the orchestra directed by Enrique Radillo, Padilla came on stage to sing “Ya Lo Se que Tu Te Vas” and “Jurame,” backed by both band and orchestra.
The Mariachi then took center stage, beginning with the popular “El Son de la Negra,” and then again accompanied Padilla.
The soprano vocalized with the band, which has been performing for more than 50 years, the numbers “Mexico Lindo y Querido” and “Besame Mucho” by Consuelo Velazquez, another famed Jalisco native, to whom tribute will be paid during the festival with the “Amar y Vivir” show, in which several other artists will take part.
After singing “Amor Eterno,” Padilla dedicated the emotional tune to Juan Gabriel, who died last August. “You were the greatest, maestro, thank you,” said the soprano, who specializes in the “classical crossover” genre, which combines opera with pop music.
The orchestra and the Mariachi band joined forces to play some medleys that included numbers by Agustin Lara and songs dedicated to Jalisco. Read the entire article here