After the Spanish were ejected from Mexico in 1821, Barra de Navidad evolved into a sleepy fishing and farming village until it was discovered in the mid-20th century by Mexican vacationers and, more recently, by Canadian snowbirds.
The Bahia de Navidad (Christmas Bay) is a beautiful, sweeping, crescent-shaped bay and beach located on the Costa Alegre (Happy Coast) on Mexico’s Pacific seaboard. Barra de Navidad, at the southeast end of the bay, shares the beach with its neighbor, Melaque, on the northwest end. These two towns, separated by just a short walk across the beach, are very different. Barra de Navidad is chic, charming and upscale compared to rustic, laid-back Melaque.
Cost Of Living In Bahia De Navidad
Cost of living for everyday consumables in Bahia de Navidad is about half of what it would be in the United States. Except for summertime electricity, utilities are inexpensive because warm winter weather means the houses don’t need heat. Prudent use of electricity in the summer can make a big difference. A couple can live and retire for as little as 21,966 Mexican pesos per month.
Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Bahia de Navidad, Mexico
|Gas||MXN 298||Used for hot water and cooking.|
|Electricity||MXN 2,593||Winter electricity MXN 460 per month without air conditioning. Summer electricity MXN 4,000 per month with prudent air conditioning.|
|Water||N/A||Included with electricity.|
|Telephone||MXN 778||Includes DSL Internet, and cost varies according to Internet speed and long-distance calling plans.|
|Internet||N/A||Included with telephone.|
|Cable TV||MXN 220|
Infrastructure In Bahia De Navidad
Bahia de Navidad is easily accessible on a modern road system and is about 25 minutes by car, on highway 200 from Manzanillo airport. There are frequent daily flights to Los Angeles (Aerocalifornia), Phoenix (America West Airlines and US Airways), Mexico City (Aeromexico), Houston (United and Continental), and from just about anywhere else through Mexico City.
Bahia de Navidad has good intercity first-class bus service (Primera Plus) to nearby and major cities Manzanillo, Colima, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, and Guadalajara. Most of these first-class buses are equal or superior in comfort to first-class airline seating. All roads are paved and in good condition and have two lanes except through larger cities where they have four.
Climate In Bahia de Navidad
If you’re a fan of warm weather, you’ll love this place. The daytime temperatures in Bahia de Navidad average 85 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit year around, with March being the coolest month and August the hottest. Higher humidity during the summer rainy season makes the temperatures feel several degrees hotter, especially if you’re out in the sun, but constant offshore breezes moderate the perceived heat. Nighttime average temperatures are pleasant, ranging from 67 degrees in March to 77 degrees in August.
The summer rainy season runs from June to October, averaging 9 to 15 rainy days per month, with September having the most rainy days. The high perceived temperature (temperature plus humidity) of the summer months is such that many residents stay just five or six months here—November through April is typical.
The crescent-shaped Bahía de Navidad has two sheltered areas: one at the far northwest end, where the cliffs and rocks curl around to protect a small section of the bay (there are often a few sailboats taking shelter there); and the other at the southern end of the bay known as La Laguna de Barra de Navidad, which is a much larger and better protected area, situated inside a sturdy sandbar with a small opening to the ocean.
This sandbar and lagoon provided several advantages to the south end of the bay, resulting in a vastly different class of town. The lagoon that provided shelter for the Spanish navy 450 years ago still protects the fishing and tourist boats and the upscale houses of modern Barra de Navidad on one side, and the enormous resort-hotel complex, Grand Bay Hotel, on the Isla Navidad side.