Durango, Mexico

Durango, Mexico

Durango, is the capital of the Durango State, and the State’s largest city. It is set in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, which provide the majestic backdrop to the desert. Although the mountains tower above the city, it is worth remembering that Durango is 1880 meters above sea level. This makes it far cooler than much of Mexico with locals enjoying a moderate climate. Be warned though, it is very easy to get sun burned at this altitude, especially as you don’t feel the heat as intensely as on lower ground.

Durango is a sleepy, slow town best known as the location where hundreds of western movies were shot. If you find yourself with a sense of déjà vu here, this is probably the reason. Currently Durango is fairly off the radar to most expats. Those who do come here enjoy an authentic lifestyle and most integrate easily into the local community.

Durango is a University City and the throngs of students lend it a positive and forward thinking atmosphere. As well as the University, there Durango has a well-regarded American school providing private education to those who prefer to follow the U.S. curriculum. Many children of expats end up here making it the place to go if you want to meet up with fellow expats.

Unlike some parts of Mexico, Durango is a clean and tidy city. The people are proud of their cobbled streets and you will not find the litter here which can be prevalent elsewhere. This allows Durango, and especially its historic center, to shine more brightly than other Mexican cities.

The historic center in Durango has many of the oldest buildings in Northern Mexico. The star attraction is the Baroque-Churrigueresque cathedral is a neoclassical building with two bell towers which ring out throughout the day. The inside of the cathedral is home to a variety of religious paintings and the outside is illuminated at night.

Durango has a number of excellent museums which celebrate all aspects of Mexican history and regularly host art exhibitions. Durango has a fascinating history and the museums do a good job of bringing this past to life.

For the best way to see Durango take a trip on the cable car for a sweeping, panoramic view of the whole city. Keep an eye open for the any mysterious goings on while you are up there, Durango has the reputation of being Mexico’s own ‘Bermuda  Triangle’ and many strange things have been reported over the years.

Like Colombia, Mexico continues to get a very negative write up in the press and there are frequent travel warnings and horror stories reported on the news networks. It is important to remember that there are bad areas everywhere, and the U.S. has some of the worst in the world. Providing you are not involved in drug trafficking, you have little to fear. You can easily find out which areas you should avoid by speaking with locals or basic research online.

Apartment of House Rental Budget (for a couple)

Item Cost Notes
Rent For luxury building with about 80 units, gym, pool, game room, etc
HOA Fees MXN 4,500.00 Taken from January, 2017 tax bill
Property Taxes MXN 291.67
Public Transportation MXN 1,900.00 This is for normal travel about town, rather than a worker’s commute
Gas MXN 278.00 When used for cooking and hot water
Electricity MXN 505.00 Without AC
Water/Sewer MXN 108.66 Basic service from TelMex, includes calls to US and Canada
Telephone MXN 187.00 Bare bones, e.g., dinners at cheap, local places, etc.
Internet MXN 349.00 From TelMex, cheaper if you get a package with phone
Cable TV MXN 219.00 From MegaCable, 91 channels TV with 50 channels music
Cable/Phone/Internet Bundle MXN 649.00 MegaCable, 210 channels TV, 20 Mbps internet, Free calls to US and Canada
Household Help Allow MXN4,000 if a full-time maid is required (not live-in)
Food MXN 3,200.00 MXN 3,200.00
Entertainment MXN 8,000.00 Gym, 2 movies, 2 theater visits, 8 dinners out, and 2 coffee shop visits
TOTAL MXN 19,432.32 Totals use Cable/phone/internet bundle instead of individual services

Apartment of House Ownership Budget (for a couple)

Item Cost Notes
Rent MXN 10,000.00 Four bedroom, unfurnished house, located in Centro, 2,150 SF (200 meters)
HOA Fees Condo fees are normally paid by owner in Mexico
Property Taxes Paid by owner
Public Transportation MXN 1,900.00 This is for normal travel about town, rather than a worker’s commute
Gas MXN 278.00 When used for cooking and hot water
Electricity MXN 505.00 Without AC
Water/Sewer MXN 108.66 Rate for 2018
Telephone MXN 187.00 Basic service from TelMex, includes calls to US
Internet MXN 349.00 From TelMex, cheaper if you get a package with phone
Cable TV MXN 219.00 From MegaCable, 91 channels TV with 50 channels music
Cable/Phone/Internet Bundle MXN 649.00 MegaCable, 210 channels TV, 20 Mbps internet, Free calls to US and Canada
Household Help Allow MXN4,000 if a full-time maid is required (not live-in)
Food MXN 3,200.00
MXN 8,000.0 Gym, 2 movies, 2 theater visits, 8 dinners out, and 2 coffee shop visits
TOTAL MXN 24,640.00 Totals use Cable/phone/internet bundle instead of individual services

Using A U.S. or Canadian Car In Mexico (Monthly Costs)

Registration in Mexico MXN- Assuming a U.S. or Canadian Vehicle
Insurance in Mexico MXN 2,004.00 Based on six-month policy for a foreign vehicle
Registration in home country MXN 688.33 Using U.S. national average
Insurance in home country MXN 2,409.17 Using U.S. national verage
Maintenance MXN 500.00
Fuel MXN 331.60 Includes 20 gallons of gas per month
Car Total, Monthly MXN 5,933.10 Price based on non-communing use

Owning a Mexican Car (Monthly Costs)

Car registration MXN 791.67 For 455,000 peso (US$22,000) vehicle registered in Sinaloa
Insurance MXN 795.58 Based on one-year policy for Sinaloa vehicle
Maintenance MXN 500.00
Fuel MXN 331.60 Includes 20 gallons of gas per month
Car Total, Monthly MXN 2,388.85 Price based on non-communing use

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