12 Great Reasons to Move to Mexico
The hardest thing about creating a list of the best reasons to move to Mexico is narrowing it down. From its well-known strengths (beaches! tacos! mariachi bands!) to its hidden gems (Grutas de Tolantongo! cenotes! Bar Mina El Edén!), there’s no question that our neighbors south of the border bring a lot to the table that the U.S. can’t offer.
Mexico isn’t perfect, and the struggles its facing with cartel violence and poverty are real and affect far too many people. In fact, 1/3 of Mexicans would rather move here. That said, here are our picks for the best reasons for Americans to move to Mexico.
1. Less (or at least different) political division
On the Expatsi Test, we ask people for reasons why they want to leave the U.S., and more than half include the fact that the U.S. is very divided.
In Mexico, there have been four political parties duking it out since the country became democratic in 2000, but Mexicans themselves don’t identify so strongly with those parties that they’re turning brother against brother, mother against daughter, like we see in the U.S. That might make it an ideal destination to start fresh and escape all the drama. This is beneficial for those who are seeking a peaceful environment with no constant political debate or disruption of everyday life. Additionally, Mexico has a more relaxed and laid-back culture, making it an excellent place to unwind and truly enjoy life.
(That doesn’t mean Mexico doesn’t have problems, of course. Because of cartel violence and lingering authoritarian systems, it’s much more dangerous to be a politician, police officer, or journalist than it is in other countries.)
2. Ahorita > hustle culture
If you’re tired of working sunup to sundown or having a side hustle for your side hustle, consider Mexico. Although folks work very hard (a 48-hour work week is normal), they don’t live and breathe hustle culture like the United States, where everything is about climbing the professional ladder, and they have mandated vacation premiums and Christmas bonuses.
The culture is great for those who want to enjoy their downtime without feeling pressure to work constantly. There’s no need to feel guilty about taking your time when accomplishing a task in Mexico – it’s considered perfectly normal! Many people have found that this helps them to find better balance and create a more enjoyable lifestyle.
3. Affordable, transparent healthcare
Mexico has some of the most affordable healthcare in the world. People can access quality services at a fraction of the cost of what they’re used to in other countries. We’ve seen several facilities with pricing prominently posted, and pharmacies are equally reasonable. A move to Mexico could also mean being able to afford more preventative care, ultimately leading to better health and wellbeing. Not to mention the reduction in stress from points 1 & 2!
4. Asada, pastor, pollo, chorizo, pescado…
You can’t forget one of the most obvious reasons to move to Mexico – it has some of the best food in the world. One of the funniest posts I’ve seen in the Expats subreddit was a question about what Americans missed most about the U.S., and the top answer was Mexican food. 😂 There’s an easy way to avoid having Mexican food FOMO.
Each region has its own specialties, like cochinita pibil in Mérida, mole negro in Oaxaca, and chiles en nogada in Puebla, and you’ll also find delicious street food everywhere you look, like tacos, elote, gorditas, and churros. Finding and cataloging your favorite local eateries will be the tastiest part of your move.
5. Family-oriented culture
It’s not unusual to see several generations of Mexicans enjoying a family gathering at a beach or park, and that family-oriented culture is worth looking up to. These tight-knit families provide a strong social safety net that’s been lost in American nuclear families. This makes Mexico an ideal place to start a family – or even to rekindle the bond with your loved ones.
6. Obviously, the beaches…
From the Riviera Maya to the Pacific coast, with 7000+ miles of coastlines, Mexico is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whether you’re into surfing, sunbathing, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, or just enjoying an icy margarita, there’s something for everyone. (Amazing fact: all of Mexico’s beaches are public by law, so everyone gets to enjoy them).
7. …But so much more
If you’re not into tropical beaches, you’ll be surprised to find out that Mexico also has a variety of climates – from humid subtropical climate in the north, through temperate and tropical climates in the south. There’s even a touch of polar weather if you climb the highest mountains, like the 18,491 ft. Pico de Orizaba or the 17,802 ft. Popocatepetl. You can pick whatever weather you like!
Speaking of mountains, this huge country has an incredible array of adventurous places to explore, from dozens of volcanos, to jungles, swamps, rapids, deserts, waterfalls, springs, and SO much more. Mexico is the 6th most biodiverse country, and there are ample opportunities to enjoy animals responsibly in their natural habitats, from rare and endangered sea turtles to jaguars, ocelots, flamingoes, and even whales.
8. Arts & culture
Maybe it’s the strip malls, fast food, and Kardashians, but living in the U.S. can feel like a culture vacuum. Not so in Mexico. From traditional Mexican folk music and mariachi bands to modern electronic music, lucha libre (Mexican wrestling), ballets folkloricos (folkloric dance), and the famous telenovelas that make American soap operas look like C-Span, there’s so much authentic, original entertainment. You’ll find museums and art galleries packed with local sculpture and paintings in every city, but public art also abounds.
9. History is everywhere
The Aztec and Mayan empires left behind some of the most fascinating and inspiring ruins, relics, and stories of their time in Mexico. The Mayans created astronomy, the concept of zero, and galvanized rubber. They built elaborate cities and invented chocolate. They had agriculture, medicine, and art. The Aztecs were incredible engineers who built causeways, artificial islands, and double aqueducts. They performed surgery, wrote poetry, and did things with numbers I can’t even explain. They’re famous for being the first society to make education compulsory for children. Mexico was colonized by Spain for 300 years, destroying these civilizations, and that history also remains.
10. Holidays are sacred
With its Catholic heritage, no one does a holiday like Mexico – including festivities that last a month for Christmas, two weeks for Easter, and two days for el Día de los Muertos. Celebrate like a local while sampling delicious foods, enjoying live music, watching the fireworks, visiting ancient pyramids and temples, or simply taking part in the processions.
11. Cost of living
We think it’s important to recognize that while the cost of living in some countries might be low compared to the United States, that doesn’t mean it’s low for citizens. We’re fortunate that Mexico is incredibly affordable on an American remote work salary, Social Security income, investment income, or pension. For young students and digital nomads, that could give them more opportunities when they return to an increasingly more expensive U.S. without hefty student loans, medical debts, or lack of savings that keep them from being able to buy a home or build generational wealth.
12. It’s the people for me
At the end of the day, if Mexico cost as much as Singapore, served British food, and had Norway’s weather, I’d still want to move there. The people are warm, caring, and giving, and there’s a collective spirit where folks work together and look out for each other that extends to their visitors and new neighbors. It inspires me to do the same, and it’s what I’m looking for in my new home.