In today’s post, I am going to explain why we chose to live where we do in Mexico.
This is actually a very common question that we get from readers. In fact, just yesterday we were asked this question four times.
Mexico is a large country with a very diverse landscape. It doesn’t matter if you are a beach person or a mountain person, there is something in Mexico for you. For us, it has always been the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean that called to us. We absolutely love the relaxed, laid-back Caribbean lifestyle and Mexico offers it at a price we can afford.
That basically means that our search area was reduced to a roughly 200 mile stretch of coastline along the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo. There are a lot of amazing destinations located along that stretch and we love to visit most of them. So, how did we narrow it down from there?
We knew from living in Florida, a tourist destination as well, that just because you enjoy visiting a certain area does not mean that you want to call it home day in and day out. When one chooses a permanent residence there are several factors that one should consider that may not be a priority when choosing a vacation spot for a week or two.
My wife and I are both planners and the decision to end up where we did was developed over several years and over 30 trips to Mexico. During those trips we stayed at a variety of different locations, inspected the local infrastructure, analyzed crime patterns, and tried a wide variety of tequilas. That last one did not have anything to do with the process — it was a lot of fun.
The following are some of the criteria we used to narrow our search:
We did not want to live in a large metropolitan area because of the increased noise, traffic, pollution and crime. This eliminated Cancun and Playa del Carmen from our list of possible destinations.
Proximity to an international airport
We wanted to live within two hours of an international airport. The closest one in this area is in Cancun, so anything south of Tulum was eliminated from the list.
Ease of travel
One of our favorite pastimes is exploring the Yucatan and seeing everything that it has to offer.
Since we do this quite regularly, we decided to eliminate the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres from our list. We did not want to deal with the hassle and expense of regularly transporting our car by ferry to the mainland.
Safety and security
I spent 25 years of my life working as a law enforcement officer in a busy jurisdiction dealing with violent and dangerous situations on a daily basis. When I retired, I wanted to do it in an area that was safe and peaceful. This eliminated some of the more densely populated areas from the list and pushed us to buy a condo in a gated community with 24-hour security.
I still follow crime trends and read the crime related articles in the local papers on a daily basis. This reassures me daily that we made the right choice when we decided on this particular development and area.
Access to quality medical care
Although we did not want to live in a densely populated area on a daily basis, we wanted to be close enough to either Cancun or Playa del Carmen in order to have access to quality health care.
This is a big one that a lot of people overlook. We have met several expats who tell us that they feel lonely and isolated in their particular development.
We live in a community that promotes interaction between residents. Sometimes it is difficult to keep up with all of the invitations to go out to dinner, go to the beach, or just stop by the condo to socialize. The other night a group of 15 residents went out to dinner to enjoy some live local music.
I believe one of the reasons we have had such an easy transition into life in Mexico is because of the community we live in. From the first day we arrived, we began meeting neighbors, who later became good friends. These individuals played an integral role in helping us get adjusted to our new life. They were constantly giving us advice on where to go and how to get things done.
The more people we meet through the blog and in person, the more we see how rare this type of community is.
It is no secret that both the population and property values in this part of Mexico are increasing.
We wanted to get ahead of the next wave of growth and that put us south of Puerta Aventuras.
Access to beaches
When choosing an area or development, it is important to consider both current and future beach access. Just because you have access to a local beach today, does not mean that you will still have access in five years when they put a hotel there. We have seen this problem in more populated areas such as Cancun and even right around Akumal Bay.
This is why it was a priority to find a development that already owned beachfront property. We also have access to the facilities at multiple resorts at no additional cost, that is a big plus for retirees on a fixed income.
So Where Did We End Up?
We ended up buying a condo south of Akumal that checked all of those boxes, including beach access. We have been here for over a year now and we have not found another place where we would rather live – well, within our price range. I did see a few mansions on the beach that looked appealing.
The purpose of this post was to share the criteria we used to make our decision, not provide free advertising for my development. I will, however, share the information on an individual basis. If you would like to know more about where we live, you can contact me through the contact page.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Everyone is different, so your list of criteria will likely differ from ours. The important thing is that you are happy and safe wherever you end up calling home.