Skip to Content

How Much Does it Cost To Live in Mazatlán as an Expat?

Share The Article

Last Updated

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.

cost of living in mazatlan mexico

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.

how much do i budget to live in mazatlan

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. 

areas and costs of living in mazatlan

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

cheap rentals for expats in mazatlan

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.

street vendors in mazatlan - hot dogs el charly

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

plaza machado in mazatlan

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.

monthly budgets for expats and retirees in mazatlan

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

moderate cost of food at restaurants in mazatlan

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

cruise port day in mazatlan - what to do - visit angela peralta theatre

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.

costs of living for expats in mazatlan

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

The vibe at Agatha kitchen bar in Mazatlan

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.  

Venados stadium in mazatlan

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. 

home decor is more expensive in mazatlan
  • 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.
  • Gasoline
What's Cheaper?

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. 

botox and filler in Mazatlan - cosmetic tourism
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Spas and massages
  • Basic groceries and produce
  • Healthcare
  • Housekeeping
  • Uber/Taxis
Where to live in Mazatlán: The Best Areas and Neighborhoods

What area of Mazatlán is the best to live in?

The debate never ends, but this article will help you decide based on what you value! Read: “WHERE TO LIVE IN MAZATLÁN: THE BEST AREAS AND NEIGHBORHOODS”

David Mann

Saturday 15th of April 2023

Pretty interesting that costs in pesos haven't changed considering the dollar strength has weakened a bit and most expat areas, are well driven by the dollar. I'm moving down there next January, still trying to figure out the best way to look for apartments. Hitting the street and looking for Se Renta signs or FB Marketplace? Certainly have time to value hunt looking to spend 20,000 pesos max, but 15,000 would be much better (and only really need one bedroom).

I'm in my mid-30s, have a dog, and generally like to party on the weekends with my age or younger, during the week like to work out, do some yoga, eat some seafood, hit the beach, maybe do some surfing and golfin. I'm thinking Zona Dorada is the spot for me. Centro seems cool too, but it seems like I could take a Pulmonia down there with my dog pretty easily to walk around and shop. Maybe a little south on the Malecon? I like to be within walking distance to the action. Read your other article, but have heard that Olas Atlas is where the younger crowd hangs out as well. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Fred Turner

Saturday 19th of February 2022

What a beautifully useful article! Now if there was an update…? Or a barometer of inflation…? But, thanks for persuading me that MAZ is the one!

Kashlee Kucheran

Saturday 19th of February 2022

It doesn't need an update, things don't change enough to merit and update. Restaurants have not risen prices, etc. If anything, factor in a normal 5% inflation rate


Sunday 19th of December 2021

Kashlee, Great article, thank you. Any chance to update the costs now that it is nearly two years later. It would be interesting to know how much of the construction is completed and what happened to costs. Thank you!!!

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 20th of December 2021

Our rent is still the same price, as is our electric bill, cell bill, etc. So I would say its the same. Maybe add on 5% if you want to be prudent. There are SO many condo buildings set to be finished in 2022 and 2023 that it will add over 1000 new units, so I feel like rentals will slightly become more affordable due to supply.


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

I love this article. I plan on moving and had no idea where to start my search.


Sunday 8th of August 2021

Just wanted to say that I've read many of your articles and I SOOOO appreciate the well organized and well thought out information. Extremely HELPFUL! Thank you soooo much!

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 9th of August 2021

Thank you so much! :) Really appreciated