Mazatlán offers the best beachfront lifestyle you’ll find in Mexico… maybe the best you’ll find anywhere.
You’ll find over 10 miles of sandy beaches, which vary from bustling and energetic stretches conveniently near town to sections of isolated shoreline where you can get away from it all. The beaches are accessible, and the wide, new boardwalk is 5 miles long.
But what sets this city apart is its Spanish-colonial historic center. Having a colonial city on the beach is what drew me to Mazatlán, and over the past 10 years, the historic center has become a major source of pride for those of us who live here.
Best of all, both the beach and colonial lifestyles will offer you countless options for fine dining, quiet coffee shops, energetic and friendly bars… as well as a dynamic and active real estate market.
My wife and I were won over by everything Mazatlán has to offer from our first visit. We purchased a home here three years ago and have been enjoying part-time living in this irresistible city ever since.
Here are a few more benefits we enjoy in Mazatlán…
- A large and diverse expat community that will help you feel at home.
- Properties are inexpensive, when compared to almost any world beachfront market. You’ll spend less in Mazatlán for seaside properties than you’ll spend in Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, or even Tulum.
- An active live music scene, which is a great way to enjoy time with your friends and neighbors.
- Classical music, theater, and art are a part of the local culture, generating activities that are popular with, and well-attended by expats.
- You can “go local”… or not. Resort areas aside, Mazatlán is a “real” city of almost a half-million people. You can choose to be part of the American/Canadian community, speak mostly English, and ease your way into Mazatlán aided by people who have come before you. Or you can live in an authentic Mexican environment, speak mostly Spanish, enjoy a lower cost of living, and immerse yourself in Mexico’s charming culture.
- Prices are great. From dining out to buying a property, you’ll find prices are amazing at today’s exchange rates. Whether it’s food, clothing, or a night out on the town, you won’t believe how little it costs to be here.
- Residency is easy, for those who want to stick around long-term. I got my visa at the consulate in the States—using English documents—in less than 20 minutes.
- Taxes are negligible. I own a large, new condo of 228 square meters (2,450 square feet), on the waterfront, on the edge of the historic center. My tax bill was US$104 for 2019.
- Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Auto Zone… Mazatlán has an entire city full of local shops, and Mexican supermarkets both large and small. But sometimes nothing beats a Walmart or Home Depot for convenience.
- With frequent air service to the U.S. and Canada and a safe highway all the way to the American border, it’s easy and convenient to get here.
- It feels like Mexico. Lots of places in Mexico have a large, dominating expat community that changes the look and feel of the local environment. But in Mazatlán, you’ll see far more Mexican families on the street and boardwalk than you will expats from the north. Expats have an influence, but it’s still an overwhelmingly-Mexican city.
However, perhaps the biggest benefit of living in Mazatlán is the low cost of living. At today’s favorable exchange rates, prices all over Mexico are a tremendous bargain.
The basket of basic items for a couple in Mazatlán will cost you about 21,000 pesos (US$1,100 per month) if you own your own apartment, and 27,000 pesos (about US$1,450) if you rent a house near the beach. By “basic items” I mean housing, utilities, food, and entertainment. I am not including vehicle or medical costs. Note, though, that Mazatlán is a very walkable city, and you could live here easily without the expense of a car.
Furnished rentals are plentiful and well-outfitted. Expect to pay from US$1,800 to US$2,300 per month for a nice furnished unit in a good location with an ocean view or in the historic center.
Off-beach and less-convenient locations cost much less… as little as US$500 per month for a furnished unit. For example, a couple of blocks off the beach in Zona Dorada, I found a unit with two bedrooms, two baths, and one garage space. It’s clean, modern, and nicely furnished. They’re asking 9,000 pesos per month (US$475). The price includes water, cable, and internet.
Unfurnished rentals are even more affordable, of course. In Zona Dorada, just one block from the beach, I came across a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment that’s right among all the area’s restaurants, clubs, and beaches.
They’re asking US$350 per month, for a six-month minimum contract.