Life in Mexico – the mere thought excites and inspires people from all over the world to call this breathtaking paradise “home.” As they begin to turn their dream into a reality, they quickly realize that it’s not just the beautiful weather, warm hospitality, and lively culture that appeals to them. It’s also the lower cost of living in Mexico!

Compared to what they would pay in their home countries – namely Canada and the United States – long-term visitors and expats find that living in Mexico is HIGHLY affordable. In fact, living in Mexico is about 53% less than living in the U.S. or Canada as noted by NUMBEO. NUMBEO goes on to highlight the cost of living in specific Mexican communities. We selected  Puerto Escondido as a reference.

Note: The May 1st, 2021 exchange rate was used for our comparisons (20 MXN peso for every 1 US dollar).

Calling All Foodies

If you’re dining like a local, you’ll pay an average of 55-100 MXN (2.75-5.00 US) for a quick bite. If someone is joining you for a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant, you’ll likely pay about 400 MXN (20.00 US) for the two of you. 

If you’re planning to do your own cooking, you’ll need to visit the neighbourhood markets or small grocery stores for the best, local prices. Prices vary, depending on seasons and specials, but you can expect to pay the following* for these must-have items:        

Food ItemMex. Pesos US Dollar
Apples (1 lb)14.51        0.72
Banana (1 lb)9.530.48
Beef Round (1 lb)72.573.62
Bread (freshly made, white)24.191.20
Cheese ( 1 lb. locally made)45.362.26
Chicken breast (boneless/skinless 1 lb.)54.432.72
Eggs (dozen)30.51.5
Lettuce (1 head)15.000.75
Milk (1 liter)17.750.88
Onion (1 lb.)7.940.42
Oranges (1 lb.) 7.070.39
Rice (1 lb. white)6.800.34
Potato (1 lb.)7.940.39
Tomato (1 lb.)8.16.41

Partner your favourite entrees with locally made cervezas (beers), international wines, soda, coffee and more!

Drink ItemMex. PesosUS Dollar
Cappuccino 36.951.84
Beer (0.5 liter bottle, domestic)18.000.90
Beer (0.33 liter bottle, imported)33.431.67
Soda (0.33 liter bottle)12.600.63
Water (1.5 liter bottle)14.000.70
Wine (mid-range bottle)150.007.50

*Average costs according to NUMBEO.

Fresh organic produce costs considerably less at local farmers markets that you can explore.  The local street vendors will have fresh produce available for bargain prices as well.

A taxi ride within the immediate area will cost 35 pesos (1.75 US). A cab can be hired for day trips or arranged tours. Prices are negotiable and very reasonable.  Many people don’t even own cars as the cost of transportation is so reasonable and readily available.

To Your Health

Mexico is a popular destination for medical tourism. It offers high quality care, affordable costs and no lines. This is especially appealing for Canadians who don’t want to wait months (or years) for highly anticipated care, and for Americans who don’t want to pay inflated insurance rates.

1.2 million people travel to Mexico every year for medical services. In general, you will pay about 500-600 MXN (27-33 US) to see a doctor or specialist for a general healthcare need. You will pay about the same for a house call. (Yes, that’s right, a house call!) A visit to the dentist is about the same rate.

Lab work is typically about a third of what one would be charged by a U.S.-based office. CAT scans are a quarter of the cost, and an overnight hospital stay in a private room tops comes to about 1950 MXN (105 US). Even more serious medical conditions/needs, such as surgery, dialysis and live-in care, are more affordable in Mexico than in the U.S. (And there’s little to no waiting time for our fellow Canadians!)

Those living in Mexico get the added bonus of choosing between two medical systems:

Government Healthcare – Mexico’s government-run clinics and hospitals provide low cost, well-managed, basic care for a few hundred dollars each year. It’s called the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), and it covers covers medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescriptions. Expats holding a residency visa may apply for this medical insurance for approximately $450 per year, per person.

Private Healthcare – Private health insurance premiums from companies such as Grupo Nacional Provincial, MetLife Mexico and Monterrey-New York Life, cost 9,785-68,507 MXN (527-3,693 US) per year for those under age 64. Still cheaper than what one would pay in the U.S., this ensures that you can get in to see top doctors at top healthcare facilities for 587-782 MXN (32-42 US). Lab work is a third less than what is charged in the U.S.

Prescriptions are a fraction of the cost In the US and a prescription is usually not necessary. A medical doctor is available at most pharmacies in case you have questions. This service costs about 30 pesos.

As previously mentioned, the healthcare in Mexico is high quality. International Living and CNBC both point out that “physicians have usually received at least some of their training in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. If not medical school, they receive ongoing training abroad. All the latest technology, techniques, and prescriptions are available in Mexico. And having major surgery or treatment for serious medical conditions is not a problem.”

We couldn’t agree more and are happy to share our own “cost of living in Huatulco” experiences with you. Contact us today to chat about specifics, and to find out How to Find Quality Medical Care in Mexico. And if you’re ready to create a whole new life for yourself, build new relationships and immerse yourself in a new culture, be sure to let us know. We’d love to share Huatulco with you!


Rescuer of dogs, lover of the sea, and too many other hats to fit in my closet. Moved to Huatulco four years ago to avoid winters in Wisconsin


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