The eastern coast of Mexico, along the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula, borders the warm, turquoise-green Caribbean Sea. A particularly well-known stretch runs from Cancun south to Tulum and includes popular Playa del Carmen and Akumal. Branded the “Riviera Maya,” the famous sugar-sand beaches here are the most popular vacation destination in the Caribbean basin.
“Mexico’s Caribbean Coast makes good sense as a retirement retreat—it’s close, relatively affordable, and simple to get to as flights to Cancun are frequent,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor, International Living. “Mexico offers a 6-month tourist visa—which makes part-time living in the sun simple since there aren’t lots of immigration hoops to jump through. And even full-time—Mexico offers straightforward visa options.
“And, of course, there’s the good-value cost of living. Expats report that on a budget from about $1,700 to $3,000 a month (depending on the spot), it’s possible to live quite comfortably day-to-day and enjoy all the benefits that come with life on Mexico’s Caribbean coast—a laidback pace, sunny skies, walks on the beach, sailing, snorkeling, fishing, turtle-saving, Mayan ruin exploration, and golf.”
South of the Riviera Maya is a mostly undeveloped stretch of stunning, isolated beach called the Costa Maya. The Costa Maya makes sense for those who have a pioneering spirit and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle…fishermen, divers, and those who love warm weather, palm trees, and silky sand.
Whether it’s the Riviera Maya or the Costa Maya, Mexico’s Caribbean offers at least a dozen smart options, each with its own character—but all of them delivering low-cost, good-value living with a backdrop of sun and sand.
- Playa del Carmen
- Puerto Morelos