Acapulco, Mexico.. once the place to be for hollywood stars, performers and the top spring break destination have had a bit of a rough time with it’s international tourists. But this has been changing the last few years not only with the increase in Canadians visitors but many foreigners from all over the world now comes to live in Acapulco. Besides the retirees who enjoy the perfect weather and health benefits such as getting rid of arthritis pains due to the heat and humidity there are many young entrepreneurs and families relocating to Acapulco now.
Why Acapulco? Why not Cancun or Puerto Vallarta? Although these destinations are not bad they are highly Americanized, close to the US and expensive in comparison to other destinations in Mexico. People are looking to get further away and finding places with lower cost of living to increase their living standards. Another factor that has lead to an influx of expats in Acapulco is the new yearly conference “Anarchapulco”. Now that we are approaching the second conference on February 17th this year, people are already starting to come down. Some will just stay for the conference, others will stay to integrate themselves into the thriving expat community and try to make a living.
The currency implication. For the last two years the USD has climbed against the Mexico Peso from around 13 pesos per dollar to almost 19, and this is a trend that is not likely to stop. What this means for current and future Mexico expats and visitors is basically making an already cheap place even cheaper and a more attractive place to live.
The USD vs the Mexico Peso the last 2 years.
Weather. Throughout the whole year you will have sunny hot days with averages from the upper 80s to the lower 90s. From June to September is considered the rainy season, but it mostly rains at night, and it is never cold. The weather is perfect for people who suffer arthritis and related illnesses or just like to stock up on vitamin D.
Acapulco weather average temperatures throughout the year.
Work: At the time of this writing the minimum salary in Mexico is $73.04 MXN per day. That is $3.95 USD per day. So getting a job here is not really a good option if you would like to live a decent life. Keep in mind though that Mexicans are able to survive on this salary, so you can imagine how great a lifestyle you could live with even a minimum american salary. If you do not have a retirement fund, savings or an already running business you can live off the best option is to start something up yourself. It can be online or local which is very easy to get started because the rules are not as strict here. An alternative would be to look up already established expats (easy to find on FaceBook or just google) to see if they need some help.
Cost of living: As you can deduct from the weak peso and the work conditions here the cost of living is very cheap. Here are some examples of regular household items and restaurant prices:
Milk: $0.8 USD (1 Liter / 0.27)
Ham: $1.35 USD (10 slices)
Bread: $1.08 USD (Wonderbread)
Coke: $1.22 USD (2 Liters / 0.53 Gallons)
An order of Tacos Al Pastor (the most common dish) at a regular restaurant: $3 USD
MacDonalds BigMac large meal: $3.5 USD
Meal at Applebees: From $6.50 to $9.80
Expensive restaurants: From $27 USD
As for transportation a taxi ride (the beetle ones) to almost anywhere will cost around $2,50 until you learn how to haggle with the taxi drivers. A bus ride from one end of town to another is 45 cents flat.
You can find more examples HERE, but they are more for Mexico in general and I find them not entirely accurate.. but it will give you an idea.
Another essential is internet. For $22 USD per month you will get a basic package with the largest provider here that includes: Basic cable tv, unlimited phone calls to Mexico and US and 10M internet expandable to up to 100M.
For renting there are many options. You can rent a single room for under $55 USD per months or get a nice 2-3 bedroom apartment in a nice area for $275 USD and up. You can also rent luxury villas and apartments but those will set you back around $1,000 USD per month. You can also buy property in Mexico and in Acapulco you will find apartments from $22,000 USD and up depending on location and size. As a foreigner you will have to pay a special property tax if the property is close to the beach. For more specifics about these rules I recommend going to a local real estate company who has experience with this. But it is not as hard as one might think to buy down here.
Shopping. You can find anything you want in Acapulco. From the cheap flea markets to big expensive shopping malls. The main thing that is expensive in Acapulco is electronics. Especially things like laptops and phones. To buy these items it is better to take a shopping trip to Mexico City which is just a 5 hour luxury bus ride away, or buy it online. Clothes and other items are not so expensive and if you go to the markets you can find great deals. Recently Amazon opened up their Mexican division so you can now get pretty much anything by ordering online. Also you can use MercadoLibre which is the Mexican equivalent of Ebay.
Accessibility. As for international direct flights there is one from Houston with United Express that takes around two and a half hours and one from Toronto, Canada with Sunwing that takes roughly 5 hours. There are not many international flights, but if you do not mind going thru Mexico City you will find plenty of flights from there to Acapulco, and they are just 45 minutes. Or you can take one of the luxury buses down in a scenic 5 hour ride.