$420 bucks a month in Mazatlan

“In 2006, I packed my bags and moved from Santa Cruz, California to Mazatlán, Mexico to start my own business (and eventually retire).

In the 15 years I’ve been here, I’ve moved several times for different reasons — twice the buildings sold, too much maintenance, or something better came along.

Earlier this year, I relocated to a two-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot apartment with 10-foot ceilings, just a few minutes from one of my favorite beaches. The rent is $420 per month, not including utilities.

Here’s what the apartment hunting process was like, and why this is one of my favorite places I’ve lived:

Finding a rental in Mazatlán, Mexico

It’s challenging to find a rental here. Near the coast, where everyone wants to live, there’s an increased demand for vacation rentals, from which the owner earns more money (faster) than if they were to rent it out as a one-year lease.

A previous landlord, for example, now rents my old one-bedroom apartment for a three-day weekend for $200 — the same price I paid monthly.

Asking friends and locals is a good way to find something. I also looked on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, but found nothing in the area I wanted that was in my budget.

Then, a good friend told me an apartment in her building was going to be available, and as soon as we peeked in the windows, I was intrigued.” CNBC.com


Comment: How about it? pl

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25 Responses to $420 bucks a month in Mazatlan

  1. Gallo Rojo says:

    Been considering buying the condo in Cabo and doing the vacation rental.

  2. JK/AR says:

    Set your marker.

    (However should the ‘Arkianese’ escape) Plant your flag!

  3. Oilman2 says:

    Your medical care will also cost far less than here in the USA. Groceries are less as well, as is gasoline. You can basically drive anything that can run too – so the diesels you cannot get here (that get over 50 mpg) are available there.

    It took me a few months to get my Spanish localized – I learned mine in Colombia and Spanish is very colloquial. You have the same types of people in every country, but like here, the vast majority just want to be left alone to do their thing.

    It’s not a bad game plan. You might also check Costa Rica – many retired spooks live there and English is reasonably common due to that.

  4. TV says:

    Living in a narco-terrorist state is life threatening.
    She’s renting, but buying property in a country with a (very) corruptible legal system is just stupid.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      At least owning rental property in the US is safe from arbitrary government interference. Oh wait.

      As for the narco-terrorists, they’re just part of the exotic native culture. Before you know it you’d have a shrine to Jesús Malverde and be singing along to the latest narcocorrido.

    • Lelush says:

      Most of us in the West are currently living in narco-terrorist states, narco-bandas being here replaced by the combo governments/Big Pharma…helped by your usual “jihadis”…


      And, if it were not enough, the IMF has advised the more indebted governments to requisition 10% of savings and pesnion funds to keep on the loop paying the increasing spending in useless vaccines…Both Pfizer and Moderna just announced an increasas of 20% in vaccines price for the EU…
      And we pay…in spite of that, as already demosntrated the case of Israel, our vaccination champion, followed close by Spain, the vaccinated are those currenlty collapsing hospitals…

    • Fred says:


      There are still plenty of restrictions on foreigners buying property in Mexico.

    • Gallo Rojo says:

      If you live in the US you live in an anarcho tyranny where the rules change everyday and all it takes is one social media post to ruin everything you worked your life to build up.

      In Mexico people know where the lines are day to day, even if the results can be brutal. There the narcos disfigure bodies. Here doctors do it to children in the name of “gender dysphoria”.

  5. BillWade says:

    400+ restaurants however the mayor there has mandated you must have proof of the covid vaccine to enter any of them, I’ll have to pass.

  6. Calle Jarny says:

    Col. Lang,

    Sorry to be off-topic, but I wanted to share this with you…

    You’ve previously mentioned childhood memories of walking with your father through the rubble of post World War 2 Germany. Being younger, I only had some random combination of old photographs & Hollywood simulations to visualize this.

    But today I got to see the real thing…

    The video above was shot in 1945, capturing the local hustle & bustle amid the rubble in Nordhausen, Germany. At the start, you can see allied tanks driving by, women pushing wheel barrows, and children experiencing the rubble as you did.

    It’s all brought to life by this YouTube channel that takes old, grainy, black/white, & shaky footage…then upgrades it to clear HD, stabilizes it so motion looks life-like, and adds a little color/audio.

    An excellent resource for my generation (and perhaps your younger nephews/nieces) who grew on 1080p/4K and may not find a spiritual connection with low quality images from that time period…

    The text details of that footage (location, source, etc.) can be found here…

  7. TTG says:

    This woman seems to found a nice place for herself. Great for a visit, but I wouldn’t want to live in a tourist area that’s hot all the time. I also wouldn’t be too thrilled about wandering around in the back country of Sinaloa. If I went anywhere, I might go to Nunavut. I trust the polar bears more than I trust the Mexican cartels.

  8. jerseycityjoan says:

    Others see things differently.

    But it has never occurred to me to live outside the US. I am what I am and that is someone who grew up in the security of living in a prosperous Northeast industrial state in a working class family during the golden age of America.

    My education and living many years in the NYC area have not changed my fundamental outlook and assumptions. The ways that life has become harder since I have become an adult and gotten older fills me with dismay, anger and regret but I am not going anywhere.

  9. Fred says:

    Sounds nice. In fact almost too good to be true. It is still Mexico with all that implies; though a bit of onsite research would go a long way to clearing up misconceptions. I think I would prefer going further South to Valpariso, but not as a permanent retiree.

  10. d74 says:

    Latinos go to US
    Us people go to Mexico.

    It’s all good.

  11. BillWade says:

    I recommend staying somewhere for a month at an AirBnB, you really get a feel for a place in that amount of time. If I were going to reside outside of the USA I would spend the Summer months in Prague and the Winter months in Phuket or Pattaya at an AirBnb. Then travel a bit in Europe and Asia with a home base to return to. But, that plan only works in a normal world so it’s unlikely to ever happen unfortunately.

  12. Deap says:

    Mazatlan is on the typical Mexican week long cruise itinerary from San Diego: Puerto Vallarta-Mazatlan-Cabo. Have made many stops in this small town that charmed us too. There are really two Mazatlans- the old historic center and the newer “Gold Coast” with its concentration of more cheaply built high rise hotels and denser tourism traffic.

    The loving restoration of the old Centro Historico which is miles away from the Gold Coast, has been the effort of a dedicated group of Mexican architects. Low rise, low key but a gorgeous colonial feel with color and local life still intact. This is where we always head, and have seen it polished into a special jewel over time, including a credible music festival now held its is refurbished European style Angela Perez opera house.

    There is a fairly large group of US expats who have learned how to manage their lives here, and have no trouble calling this the Pearl of Baja – I agree. But one does have to venture out carefully leaving its confines. Narco traffic does have a history of shoot-outs and gang crimes in this larger town area, but mainly in the more affluent Gold Coast clubs and restaurants.

    Good way to see Mazatlan is by the 7-day cruise ship to get a feel for this area – and to also see Puerto Vallarta or Cabo, which are a larger versions of the Good Life for many ex-pats as well. Holland America is a great, affordable choice leaving from San Diego weekly — if/when cruises ever get back to full service again. It docks within walking distance to the Centro Historico or a short “pulmoneria” – open-air taxi ride to get there.

    • Fasteddiez says:

      As an aside, good old Holland America, I did not know they sailed to Cabo Wabo and such. I was seven years old when we sailed on the Maasdam from Antwerp to Hoboken NJ in 1954. And from there to Montreal, a couple of hours later on a train. Those were the days, but I would not live in any of those places nowadays.

      • Deap says:

        Almost 600 days total on Holland America ships for us, which puts us in minor league compared to some of the real Holland America loyalists -who do world 90 day plus cruises almost every year.

        The line got devastated by the shutdown and I am not even sure they are back in business yet – one of our 2022 already booked cruises, with fingers crossed. They sold off many of their smaller, older ships. Only two of their older classics still sail for HAL now but still offer some of the best priced, best world-wide itineraries ever. The Zaandam and the Volendam.

        For the Mexican run, it is more like a bus tour so almost any size ship or any cruise line will do. Big or small. New or old. But for the longer cruises, the smaller HAL ships were legendary – (smaller being- 1200 passengers or so – keeps the price points reasonable, when compared to the luxury brands)

        Before the shutdown, they were experimenting with InDepth Cruises on their smallest, oldest ship – high enrichment with wonderful guess speakers, and highly unique ports and itineraries -we were lucky to do two of them. One from FLL to Papeete via Canal, South America Easter Island and smaller Polynesia islands, including Pitcairn Island. Another from SF to Yokohama via Dutch Harbor and Nome with two weeks wandering around both sides of Japan and Russia Far East.

        Everything is relative, but for what we got and the distances traveled, these were “affordable” cruises even with a balcony. Those with inside or window cabins had even better deals. Fewer frills, no lavish entertainment, almost zero tacked on from-frou and a dedicated loyal crew somehow made this all work.

        HAL is a cruise line for sturdy travelers and globe trotters, not high touch comfort seekers who worry about getting bored if there is not 24/7 shipboard activity going on.

        Everyone mostly is in bed by 9pm getting ready for the next day’s adventures (0lder crowd); not partying the night away. Though their newer larger ships offer far more onboard activity by design and intent to bring in the newer younger cruisers, than the old “travelers” ships where the primary interest was getting from new port to new port and having dinner by 5:30 pm.

        Nice to hear you have lingering fond memories about Holland America. They do offer good cruises to Mexico and we have liked the shore excursions they have offered, when we are not doing something on our own.

  13. PHodges says:

    I’m thinking Sochi…palm trees on the beach, glaciers and ski areas just up the highway. Not overun by asshole tourists from LA

    • Deap says:

      For a short while those “assholes” were the Russian cruisers – some sort of new Russian wealth, large sunglasses and heavily logo-ed glittery clothes brought them out into the cruise world in larger numbers, and then no more.

      They matched every single stereotype of the Ugly Americans in our early first days of mass travel in Europe – loud, pushy and always causing some disturbance when on a group tour. Because nothing was offered for them in Russian, they would always talk loudly among themselves, while the guide was explaining something in English to the rest of us, or talk loudly during lectures or entertainment. And yes, the stereotype of them being heavy drinkers held out too.

      Sochi was lovely -was there right before the Olympics so everything was getting buffed up. Stunning location. What was funny is there were so many women pushing baby carriages in every park we passed through – it is almost as if they had been called out to prove reports of declining Russian birth rates were a myth. Sochi proves dour Russian resort towns full of fat Russian women in skimpy, ill fitting bathing costumes staying in industrial block hotels is a myth too. It is a gracious, old world gem.

  14. phugh says:

    I live in Baja California Sur, south of La Paz on the Pacific side. Beautiful weather nine or so months of the year. The summer really starts in mid August and lasts until October or November. During summer, the temp almost never falls below 78f, and humidity is high to wringing wet. We get around 20 inches of rain a year, most of it in the summer.
    Basics of life there are really cheap. My water bill is about 10 usd per month, phone (cell) with data and calls to US is 15 usd. Internet is 25 usd. Electricity in the non summer months is less than 10 usd for 2 months (fans, refrigerator, lights, washing machine, power tools.) Property taxes are 60 or so usd a year (with all of the services you would expect for the price.) Dinner for two with a couple of drinks each at a local seafood resto is 35 usd. If you go to Cabo or La Paz, you can spend any amount of money you like (as in more.)

    On the other hand, it’s not the US. When the neighbors want to have a raging party until 5:00 am, they will. The packs of dogs running around, knocking over garbage cans and menacing pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists are included at no extra cost. Throwing garbage out the windows of cars is common, as is leaving picnic trash on the beach (or anywhere.) Drunk driving and fatal car crashes are part of life. Starving, infested pets and farm animals are not rare.
    There almost no zoning. Your neighbor wants open a beer store and sell beer until late, they will. Welding shop that works late into the night, no problem. You can’t have pigs in town, but 40 fighting roosters is just fine.
    It’s also a young county, in a demographic sense. Some of us remember what jerks we were in our 20s. Half of the population is under 30. Plenty of experimental behavior on display.
    I have gotten used to the above, and I like it for most of the year, but I do get real tired of the dichotomy of elaborate personal courtesy and the total lack of caring how personal behavior affects others. I am very glad I have a place to be in summer in the US.

  15. Steve+G says:

    I vote Panama.
    Ruben Blades.

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