Accommodation in Jalisco

Updated 2022-05-22 14:38

Jalisco is the seventh-largest state in Mexico and the fourth most populous. It has a lot to offer expatriates, including authentic culture, friendly people, and near-perfect weather.

Three areas in Jalisco are the most popular with expatriates: the state capital Guadalajara, the small communities surrounding Lake Chapala (the largest freshwater lake in Mexico), and the beach town Puerto Vallarta.

Finding the appropriate one for you, on the other hand, may be a challenge. This is when we come in handy! This article was written to provide you with a quick summary of all you need to know before packing your belongings and relocating to Jalisco!

The first step

Before you start looking at places to rent or buy in Jalisco, you'll want to spend some time exploring the region to make sure that you'll actually want to settle there permanently. Therefore, it is an excellent strategy to book something on a short-term basis and explore the area first.

There are many hotels for all budgets in the city center of Guadalajara, from national chains like Holiday Inn to smaller, family-run hotels or even hostels. These smaller hotels are a good option because you may be able to negotiate a lower price if you will be staying long-term.

In Puerto Vallarta, you can save money if you choose a hotel away from the beach. There aren't as many options in the towns on Lake Chapala, as the region receives fewer tourists than Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta, but despite this, you should have no problem finding hotels and guesthouses.

Getting to know Jalisco!

Being one of the biggest and probably most populated states in the entire nation, it also offers a diverse catalog of possibilities for expats to choose from. Not only can you enjoy the big city life in Guadalajara, but also settle down somewhere near the ocean or even decide to live off-grid in the mountains of Jalisco.

It also depends on your financial situation, as some regions in this state can be quite popular amongst tourists and therefore accelerate the prices for monthly rent!


We thought it would be good to begin with the state's capital city Guadalajara. Why? Well, because you are likely to find a job and an apartment in places with more options - aka cities.

Guadalajara, Mexico, offers, without even a question, some of the nicest climates in the world. You will enjoy this city, especially for its low cost of living, especially when compared to the United States and Canada.

Guadalajara is home to a large number of American and Canadian expats. A big retirement community is located on Lake Chapala, south of Guadalajara.

The city is also interesting for students, even those who do not speak Spanish (yet), as the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG), for example, offers medical students courses in English.

What districts are hot at the moment in Guadalajara?

Zapopan Centro

Once it used to be a little village with corn plantations where corn, today it has turned into one of the most desirable districts in Guadalajara. The Prolongación 20 de Noviembre boulevard serves as the primary spot where restaurants and cafés can be found.


This part of the city, which is both close to and distant from downtown Guadalajara, has long been regarded as the best environment to settle in and is also the district where Casa Jalisco, the residence of the state governor, is found. In current history, the city's main boulevards have indeed been flooded with new expensive and stylish shops and cafes, hotels, and bars. This helped give the district a fresh chance at prospering.

Santa Tere

The Americas, Mexico, Enrique Diaz de Leon, and Jesus Garcia Avenues form a square that defines this district, which was built on trade. The Municipal Market lies in the heart of the city, and there are several businesses, banks, and cafes next to it.

Santa Tere is a popular choice among classic areas of the city. Although most of its history focuses on the founding of the Parish of Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús in 1933, this commerce and theological avenue dates back to the 1920s. Ever since, there was a significant economic and social growth in the areas bordering the church, distinguishing this district as one of the most popular among Guadalajara residents.

Tlaquepaque Centro

This neighborhood of Guadalajara still has the feel of a traditional Mexican town, making it ideal for a stroll every day of the week. Also, prices are not as high as in other parts of the city, and are more accessible.


If you are looking for the real Mexican experience without too many tourists and expats - Mexicaltzingo is your ideal place. This is the district to visit if you want to experience something unique. It is one of Guadalajara's oldest neighborhoods, with many historic buildings and ancient churches remaining intact. Like most of the traditional districts in Mexican cities, you can find a local market, where you may explore regional specialties and buy your weekly ration of fresh veggies and fruits.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, located on Mexico's central Pacific coast, rose to prominence in the 1960s as the location for the classic movie Night of the Iguana, featuring Liz Taylor & Richard Burton. Since then, this once-quiet coastal fishing town has expanded rapidly into one of the global top holiday spots. It has tourists from all over the planet storming the place, especially during the winter months. Also, many retirees, mostly from the US and Canada, but also some from European countries, have sought this once calm and peaceful part of the earth to be their home for their golden years. The "Zona Romantica", commonly known as Old Town, is the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta. It's a walkable area with tiny alleys and old buildings mingled with contemporary structures.

What life in Puerto Vallarta is like

It benefits if you love the beach when you move to Puerto Vallarta. It's a bustling, busy place, definitely during the colder months of the year. The coastline is lined with umbrellas and sunbeds you can rent for the day, and you will never get thirsty thanks to the numerous beach bars where you can get a refreshing cocktail. Usually, you don't even have to move and only wave your hand, as the waiters are eager for extra tips. If you're done or bored with sunbathing, you can also do something more active like parasailing.

One thing is certain. You will never be bored in Puerto Vallarta! Being a major tourist spot, it offers you a whole bunch of exciting things to do and a variety of different restaurants, cafes and bars. Something many people enjoy about Puerto Vallarta is its boardwalk. Locals call it "Malecon" and it's full of clubs, bars, and restaurants with pretty much any cuisine you could think of. Of course, it can get a bit pricey, but as there are so many options you can choose from, you will definitely find something that fits your budget. Especially seafood lovers will enjoy this mile-long strip a lot!

What districts to look for if you want to move to Puerto Vallarta

La Zona Romantica

La Zona Romantica is a destination that blends elegance, beauty, history, amazing food, and authentic Mexican character. Rather than resorts and bigger hotel chains, you'll encounter more guesthouses, boutique dining, and boutique clothing stores instead. Because it is so near to the ocean, there are several activities to participate in every night. This district is popular amongst travelers since its Mexican culture remains extremely present, however, refined. In the region, you'll also discover a variety of groceries and other supplies. Its nicest aspect is its closeness to one of the city's major marketplaces for organic foods and handcrafted items.

5 de Diciembre

The neighborhood of 5 de Diciembre is located between the city center and the hotel zone. From an investor's point of view, this part is an excellent place to do business. One of the main reasons is that due to its location, it tends to be calmer than the center, yet near enough to keep you involved in the excitement of the main touristic area if you feel like mingling. Numerous visitors flock here for the large hotels. Purchasing products and homes in this district are normally less expensive than in the city center or in the hotel district. However, the gap is minor. Among the numerous wonderful dining options in the neighborhood are some of the most popular taco stalls in Puerto Vallarta. Being a fantastic spot to sample authentic Mexican cuisine, you definitely are in for a treat here.

Fluvial Vallarta

For visitors and newbie expats, this is an up-and-coming district. Although it is still in the early stages of development, it already offers food outlets and retailers like Costco and Starbucks, as well as movie theaters. The homes here seem to be somewhat more economical, given the fact that they are mostly in the pre-construction and planning phase, as the region is located on the city's northern limits. Everything is gradually getting increasingly tempting to expats who wish to make Puerto Vallarta their new base. This neighborhood has grown rapidly over time and will not stop any time soon.


The retirement home for Americans and Canadians is Lake Chapala. Located roughly half an hour south of Guadalajara's airport and about an hour from the city of Guadalajara, this picture-perfect lakeside town has become a retiree's favorite.

One reason might be the perfect climatic conditions. The climate of Lake Chapala is famous, thanks to the pleasantly warm waters of the lake that regulate daily and annual temperature changes, as well as the adjacent highlands and the high elevation. The wet season, which runs from mid-June to late September, and the dry season are the two main climates. The place's breathtaking beauty and light attract so many people. Another factor is that it is considered a very safe place. However, for people who still need more safety, gated communities also exist. Additionally, you can find a very highly developed healthcare system here in case you find yourself in an emergency situation. Also, most of the healthcare staff, including doctors (who still do house visits), have a pretty decent level of English. Rents can be very cheap but also expensive in Chapala; it depends on what you want. You will definitely find a nice house for around 1500 USD to 2000 USD, gardener included.

Types of accommodation in Jalisco

Many different types of accommodation are available in Jalisco, from modest apartments that may or not be furnished to luxurious condos and timeshares to houses available for both rent and purchase.

You can check online or in the classified section of local newspapers to see what's available, but often the best places are not listed. The easiest way to find these places is to simply walk around a neighborhood and look for signs that say 'Se Renta' (For Rent).

If you want to purchase a house or apartment in Jalisco, you should speak to a real estate agent. The agent will not only show you a variety of houses and apartments for sale but will also help you navigate the legal formalities of buying property in Mexico.

How much money will you need to live comfortably in Jalisco?

This pretty much depends on you and what you are looking for. If you want to buy property, you should probably have some savings, and if you only are searching for a place to rent, this could start anywhere from 300 USD per month to 5000 USD, whatever you need to feel comfortable. Annual property fees are usually not higher than 300 USD, which is way cheaper than in the US or Canada. Electricity and internet depend absolutely on the region, but you will probably not have to pay much more than 250 USD for all utilities combined (gas, water, electricity, internet) per month.

The rest of the cost is up to you and your lifestyle? If you enjoy dining out, you will likely need another 300 USD for dinners. If you prefer cooking at home, you can buy groceries and veggies at local markets at a very low price.

Useful links:

Craigslist Puerto Vallarta

Craigslist Guadalajara


Metros Cúbicos (renting)

Zonaprop (renting)

Trovit (purchasing and renting)

Gomfy (renting and homestays)

Compartodepa (renting and flat-sharing)

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.