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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)

ItemCostNotes
RentFor luxury building with about 80 units, gym, pool, game room, etc
HOA FeesMXN 4,500.00Taken from January, 2017 tax bill
Property TaxesMXN 291.67
Public TransportationMXN 1,900.00This is for normal travel about town, rather than a worker’s commute
GasMXN 278.00When used for cooking and hot water
ElectricityMXN 505.00Without AC
Water/SewerMXN 108.66Basic service from TelMex, includes calls to US and Canada
TelephoneMXN 187.00Bare bones, e.g., dinners at cheap, local places, etc.
InternetMXN 349.00From TelMex, cheaper if you get a package with phone
Cable TVMXN 219.00From MegaCable, 91 channels TV with 50 channels music
Cable/Phone/Internet BundleMXN 649.00MegaCable, 210 channels TV, 20 Mbps internet, Free calls to US and Canada
Household HelpAllow MXN4,000 if a full-time maid is required (not live-in)
FoodMXN 3,200.00MXN 3,200.00
EntertainmentMXN 8,000.00Gym, 2 movies, 2 theater visits, 8 dinners out, and 2 coffee shop visits
TOTALMXN 19,432.32Totals use Cable/phone/internet bundle instead of individual services

Apartment of House Ownership Budget (for a couple)

ItemCostNotes
RentMXN 10,000.00Four bedroom, unfurnished house, located in Centro, 2,150 SF (200 meters)
HOA FeesCondo fees are normally paid by owner in Mexico
Property TaxesPaid by owner
Public TransportationMXN 1,900.00This is for normal travel about town, rather than a worker’s commute
GasMXN 278.00When used for cooking and hot water
ElectricityMXN 505.00Without AC
Water/SewerMXN 108.66Rate for 2018
TelephoneMXN 187.00Basic service from TelMex, includes calls to US
InternetMXN 349.00From TelMex, cheaper if you get a package with phone
Cable TVMXN 219.00From MegaCable, 91 channels TV with 50 channels music
Cable/Phone/Internet BundleMXN 649.00MegaCable, 210 channels TV, 20 Mbps internet, Free calls to US and Canada
Household HelpAllow MXN4,000 if a full-time maid is required (not live-in)
FoodMXN 3,200.00
MXN 8,000.0Gym, 2 movies, 2 theater visits, 8 dinners out, and 2 coffee shop visits
TOTALMXN 24,640.00Totals use Cable/phone/internet bundle instead of individual services

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

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

Owning a Mexican Car (Monthly Costs)

Car registrationMXN 791.67For 455,000 peso (US$22,000) vehicle registered in Sinaloa
InsuranceMXN 795.58Based on one-year policy for Sinaloa vehicle
MaintenanceMXN 500.00
FuelMXN 331.60Includes 20 gallons of gas per month
Car Total, MonthlyMXN 2,388.85Price based on non-communing use

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