Cancun vs Merida for Retirement

Hi everyone, My wife and i are retiring to either Cancun or Merida(from Canada) and need help deciding on the two. We have no kids, are in our 40's(good health) and are looking at buying a home under $200,000. Monthly budget of around $1500. Can not find true costs of living on any blogs, for either city. Mainly forums give vague costs of living and usually are students or renters.Can we live in either city for $1500 a month? If so what are the costs? Any help would be appreciated.

Hello . Cancun is just a touristique zone where for your budget u could find a standard 2 bedrooms , but nothing fancy , no ocean view etc . This zone is made by a nonn stop front line of huge hotels and only te end of the front has villas ( front the golf course) . In this same zone , no real bizness , exept convenient stores 24/7 for hotel' customers . Restaurants by plenty but expensive and only few worth it ...And you have the Mexican town where u have 3 times more for the same amount of money . restaurants , s supermarket ( as home really !!) and nice housing if cjhecked ( gated , safe, pool erc easy to find)
If you leave tourisitk mexiso, so 1500 is too much unles u have bad bad vice ... Lol . if i can help
good luck andfit s a good move u r planning.

Try this website for cost of living

try googling (numbeo comparison) or google (mexico mike),anywhere where the tourist area is high the cost will be much higher.

Take a long vacation to either city and rent an apartment for a short period of time. Use the Tourist Permit (FMM) which is good for six months. This will give you a feeling of both towns. After living there for a few months, you will get an understanding of the cost of food, transportation, restaurants, entertainment, etc. My gut feeling is that Merida will have a lower cost of living. Cancun is a large town and not all those who live there are tourists nor expats.

Merida is real mexican town and life, yet u can find about all you need for confort .It will coast you half of what u would spend in Cancun ( rent,leisure, employees) .

I am retired in moving to Mexico next year, how much does cost to live in Progresso rent and food. Please let me know if Progresso will be a good choice vs. Merida.

Rowdy: Forget Meirida. Still building its infrastructure. If you like Cancun, you may want to research Playa Del Carmen 45 minutes south of Cancun by car/ADO. Smaller than Cancun, less congested, all the amenities you want inc. real estate at reasonable costs, calm, tranquil, friendly people laid back global tourists. Good Luck!

Hi everyone. I am a 40 year old high school counselor from Los Angeles California, and plan to move to the Cancun area in 9 years time. I am I the early stages of planning. I have been to the area every year for the last 8 years. I know it's a pit early but need to get the conversation started and making friends with people already living in the area.

We are looking to retire to Merida and are planning a trip in July to visit and see how Merida feels. Does anyone have any suggestions where to stay? Also, how far is it to the beach? Thanks, Debi

Debibax :

We are looking to retire to Merida and are planning a trip in July to visit and see how Merida feels. Does anyone have any suggestions where to stay? Also, how far is it to the beach? Thanks, Debi

Hello Debibax :cheers:

Kindly note that you are participating on a thread inactive since 2013. You may not get any response.

Do not hesitate to create a new thread so as to have better visibility and chances of response on the forum. :top:


You don't mention whether those $1500 are C$ or US$ but I will assume after-tax C$. I have visited Merida, Progreso, Playa del Carmen, Valladolid but not Cancun.  I doubt that you could live in Playa del Carmen on C$1500 a month, Valladolid is probably the cheapest but you would likely be the only expat in your neighbourhood. I didn't find Progreso all that attractive but it does have an active expat community, in fact it even has a 'Canadian corner' on the east side of town close to the beach. Those would be the folks who could give you good info on the cost of living in that area. If you are in Merida you can take a city bus to Progreso for a cost of 35 pesos round trip!!

Merida would be my choice for many reasons and food, real estate, other services are quite cheap in comparison to Mexico City where I live. However, health insurance and prescription drugs are not cheap, the latter being subject to really ugly continuous price inflation. Mexico's inflation rate is 3-4% annually so hopefully your $1500 income can grow over time otherwise you will eventually feel a squeeze. A trip to the local market or pharmacy costs a lot more today than it did six years ago.

Good luck!

I would check the internet to find the best hotel promotions for the time you plan on being in Merida. There are many boutique hotels in Merida, most within walking distance of the zocalo. As for going in July - it will be HOT so be prepared. The nearest beach is Progreso. You can take a city bus there and back for 35 pesos. As I recall, Progreso is around 40 kilometers from Merida.

I can tell you it was 41 degrees the day before we were married in Merida ,May 04, 2007.
Last winter in Merida, Nov. to April, averaged about 32 to 38 degrees.
I do know that my $1320 Cdn. was never enough for Mx. wife and two grown daughters.
Not a clean city except for Centro area. Stray dogs can be problematic if you're a dog-walker. Progresso is pretty poor infastructure wise. Nice beach tho.
Good Luck!

Just a further note on hotels. Check out Best Westerns Maya Yucatan. A real sweet spot where we spent most of our honeymoon, downtown Merida. Enjoy the street dancers downtown week-ends.

Merida should be a cheaper city than cancun. You can check real estate links  there, such as tierra yucatan and others. Chetumal down south in quintana roo is also interesting. This is where we live.
Cancun is like Miami.  It all depends on what you are looking for.  High tourism areas, historic towns, or quiet and tranquil

We prefer the climate, the infrastructure and the people in Cancun. You can definitely find housing in your budget and we spend far less on basics (food, clothing) than we did in the States. The highest bill we have is for the a/c in summer months, but we have plenty of friends without any a/c and they find many ways to beat the heat. It is SO hot in Merida, just unbearable to us. In fact, we volunteer at Pai Peid and they receive patients from Merida in the Summer as it gets too unbearable for the patients in Merida. I agree that you should spend a month or so in each place to see what you prefer. If yo do move to Cancun, let us know! Best of luck with your search.

Never too early to start planning! Keep in touch, and we'll set up a welcome wagon when you move here! Do you vacation here often?

We actually have reservations at the Holiday Inn in Merida the first week of October. Will it be hot then? And if so, how hot? We live in OklHoma City where it can get up to 106 during the summer months which is excruciating at times.

We plan to go to Progreso at least one day to see what it's like. I think we will be moving around this time next year. This trip is to see Merida and Progreso and see if it could feel like home.

We would love to meet some expats while we are there and get there take on things. Any ideas where we could go to meet expats?

We are getting super excited and are really ready to slow our life down a bit.

Thanks! Debi

May and October can be the hottest months in the region.
It is usually the level of humidity that is mostly uncomfortable.

I was in Merida for the same reason this past January and am going back this coming winter for six weeks for the same, scouting again....this time all over the Yucatan.  I went alone, and the first day I went to the Merida English Library.  It's run by expats, mostly Americans, and it downtown in Centro, east to find and get to by bus or taxi.  Someone will have time to talk to you there.
They have home tours every Tuesday morning, so be sure and go online and get this schedule, just google Merida English Library, or MEL.
I found a great neighborhood  Col. Garcia Gineres, just north of Centro where I rented through room in a lady's home.  Fabulous. 
Downtown is colonial, old old homes that can be gorgeous and huge, but always someone at your door on the streets, noisy and with the smell of buses and cars.  Very busy, if you like that.  There are what I would call NORMAL homes just north of Centro that have yards and are freestanding.  These were built in the the '50's I think?  Older homes, but nice for the  most part.
Go to Google Earth, and do the "man on the street" thingy and walk around a bit.  You'll see the front doors downtown are right on the skinny sidewalks, as are your windows.  ALL the yards are through the house and in the back.
I loved Merida, and it is my most likely choice, but I'll look at others too.  It's really exciting to be moving.
I agree about Cancun.  IF you have more money, and love Miami Beach then that's your City, But I'm going to Mexico for Mexico, not Miami.  Merida is a very good option, but it's hot.  I live in Phoenix.

Chetumal?  It's one of the cities I hope to visit in January.  Does it have neighborhoods with free-standing homes with yards?
I want to be on the you have waves, sailing, etc. inside of this big bay?  Do you have a Walmart, Costco?
I want to live in a place that does not have too many expats but enough that I can speak English at times, a place where people know English to help me with my Spanish, and yet have a sense of tranquilo...slowing down, a garden, that sort of stuff.
I'm not a sailor, but I love boating.

Thank you for having the time to respond!!  If you like I would love to meet you when we get there!

Ally (traveling with Jim)

I never thought of Google earth, what a great idea!  I don't want Miami either, I want an old colonial type place to rent.

I've never been to Merida but for some reason I just feel we are meant to live there. I've seen pictures and it's beautiful. Our plan is to retire around midyear next year. We are ready to leave the corporate world and just slow down. We want simple and easy.

Right now we are just preparing our children that we are going and deciding what we will Put in storage and what to get rid of.

Thanks so much!

When you say hot, does it get over 100 degrees?

Thank you!

I built a water side home on the bahia of chetumal near oxtankah maya ruins.
Afger a long life living and working around the world with my husband, we chose chetumal, for the possibility to afford a home on the bahia, not the ocean duento hurricane. We visited many places in mexico and we preferred to be near chetumal that has all the conveniences, not many tourists, but yet is growing by the day with restaurants and nice shops. It is safe.
There are not a lot of rentails. 
The Bahia where we are has practically no waves because we are protected by Temalcap island.
If you are in front of the water taxi dock in Chetumal at times one can see waves.

Six months of the year it is humid and six months comfortable.
It is never hot really with degrees. i mean where i live in chetumal

When you get there we can meet......

I feel that way too....I'm supposed to be in Merida.  But I'll check out Campeche and other places this year too.  Being raised in So. Ca. I miss the ocean, but Merida is 30 mins from Progreso Beach.  Not bad for a weekend!
I love the colonial jomes, but unless you can buy someone else's already restored house, they are really only walls.....the common walls.....of your neighbors, with little inside yo brag about.  The huge estates were literally chopped in half so many times that today you are just buying a slice of an original home.  But, if you have many dollars to spend you can get bigger slices and more workable original stuff.
Personally, I don't want to live for my real estate any more.....I'll be fine with 2 bedrooms and a small a quite area (hard to find quiet) and no bus fumes.  Maybe even rent??
But, Centro puts you in the middle of the old city immediately outside your door.  Driving can be a problem...parking certainly you'll be walking everywhere, but that can be good too. 
I'll know more when I get back this year....

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