Many visitors get so captivated by the magic of Mazatlán that they end up staying!
We have heard story after story about someone who just came here to visit friends and haven’t been home for 20 years, or someone who came for a week but now snowbirds here half the year.
We get it.
Mazatlán has us under its spell. For the last 5 years we have been travelling all over the world and its only been Mazatlán that has made us slow down. We know from experience that there isn’t a better place out there for us.
So, if you find yourself similarly intoxicated by the idea of living in Mazatlán, full-time or seasonally, one of the first steps is figuring out what your monthly costs and budget should look like.
There are many dimensions to determine how much money you need to retire or live in Mazatlán. This article will help you get a grasp on the cost of living in Mazatlan as an expat.
This is a monthly BUDGET based article only.
All of the following budgets include rent, food, transportation, entertainment, utilities and a few extras. I can’t account for things like healthcare, life insurance, health insurance, etc. because they vary SO much depending on age and personal circumstances. If you have a known cost outside of the examples below, just add it in.
Also, the following budgets and costs are based upon renting, not on buying a home here. This is because real estate prices could be an entirely different article. The prices vary so much in this city and are continuing to rise at record speeds and it’s all too much data to try and squeeze into one post.
For simplicity and sanity, accommodation examples are only for renting. However, other lifestyle costs can be applied the same whether you own or rent here!
Monthly Costs of Living In Mazatlán
To make these budgets useful for EVERYONE, I divided them up into three different types of scenarios: The Simple Life, The Good Life, and The Luxurious Life. More or less, every type of expat that lives in Mazatlán will fall into one of these 3 categories.
All budgets are based on a couple, in pesos, and then converted to USD for easy comparison.
The Simple Life
This basic cost of living scenario is the cheapest of all, and for people who really need to stick to a budget. This is a no-frills, live like a local, kind of scenario.
8000 / $430
Rent – Mexican style 1-2 bedroom apartment near Centro
700 / $38
Transportation – A mix of walking around and using the local buses
1000 / $54
Eating Out – Grabbing a quick meal from street vendors or coffees at a cafe 1 to 2 times a week.
2000 / $102
Groceries – Mostly shopping for fresh produce at the market, budget minded groceries to cook at home.
200 / $11
Cell Phone – 2 basic Telcel pay as you go packages
750 / $40
Utilities – Electricity, gas and water for a frugal couple, no A/C
700 / $38
Entertainment – visit to the cinema, drinks with live music in the main plaza
= 13,350 pesos / $700 USD per month
The Good Life
Great cost of living and quality of life. This is the most common type of retiree or expat budget and lifestyle here in Mazatlan. The Good Life scenario includes a LOT compared to what you could get back home, for a surprising amount per month!
15000 / $805
Rent – A newer 2-bedroom condo in a community like Sabalo, Golden Zone, Cerritos, Playa Sur, etc. Might even have an ocean view or be a few blocks to the beach.
1200 / $65
Transportation – A mix of taking the local bus and Uber for most days of the month. Some walking.
2300 / $120
Eating Out – 2 to 3x’s a week. Mix of cafes, restaurants, and street vendors. The occasional cappuccino and glass of wine on a patio
3800 / $195
Groceries – from the market and big box stores like Walmart or Soriana.
300 / $16
Cell Phone -Telcel pay-go plan for 2 people, unlimited calling/texting and 2GB of data each
1200 / $65
Utilities – Electricity, gas and water and home internet for an average couple
2000 / $108
Entertainment – Ballet tickets, cinemas, margaritas on the beach, along with the occasional massage or pedicure.
1200 / $65
Maid – cleaning for 3 to 4 hours, once a week
= 27,000 pesos / $1400 USD per month
The Luxurious Life
This luxe budget really includes everything you could possibly want in Mazatlán. It’s kind of the ‘hold back nothing and live like a king’ sort of budget, especially when it comes to monthly entertainment and dining. The sky is the limit!
30000 / $1610
Rent – newer 2-bedroom, ocean front condo with pool, gym and on-site restaurant. Beautiful views and amenities.
3000 / $177
Transportation – Gas/insurance for a car, with a few Uber/pulmonia rides here and there
7500 / $403
Eating Out – Going out for meals 5x’s a week to really wherever you want. A mix of fine dining, cafes, bakeries, restaurants, and pubs
4800 / $250
Groceries – Buying food at Sorainas, Walmart, and even specialty import shops, like vegan or health food stores
1000 / $54
Cell Phone – On Telcel for 2 people. Unlimited calling, texting, social media and 6GB of data each
2200 / $118
Utilities – Electricity, gas and water, home internet
5000 / $270
Entertainment – VIP cinema passes, ballet tickets, baseball games, clothes shopping at the mall, massages, hair and nails, spa treatments, etc.
2000 / $107
Maid – cleaning for 3 or 4 hours, 2 times per week
800 / $43
Gym – 2 unlimited gym passes per month
= 56,300 pesos / $3000 USD per month
Most expats looking to move to Mazatlan will fit in one of those example ‘cost of living' budgets.
The Simple Life = 13,350 pesos/ $700 USD
The Good Life = 27,000 pesos/ $1400 USD
The Luxurious Life = 56,300 pesos/ $3000 USD
Is your cost of living in Mazatlan higher or lower than any of these examples?
Expensive -vs- Cheap Costs of Living in Mazatlán
Every expat will tell you that there are certain items and industries that are MUCH CHEAPER than back home, but there are also some surprisingly more expensive than back home.
What's More Expensive?
Imports! As soon as its imported a big tax is slapped on it right off the bat. I was surprised the most to see the price of home goods here. Back in Canada we have ‘HomeSense', where you can buy everything from rugs to mirrors to pots and pans for next to nothing. Here, the prices are double to triple the prices for similar items.
- Imported supplements
- Vegan and vegetarian food
- Brand name toys
- Books in English
- Some electronics
- Anything to do with home decor like furniture, decorative items, etc.
Any SERVICE based industry or item is much cheaper in Mazatlan in USA/Canada. Think of service based as anything from a maid, to a manicurist, to a driver, to someone mending your clothes. This is because wages are significantly cheaper here, making service based requests much more affordable. It even goes up doctors making surgeries more affordable.
- Cosmetic surgery
- Spas and massages
- Basic groceries and produce