Retire Early Lifestyle
Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler


Retire Early Lifestyle Blog  Free Newsletter Subscribe/Contact Us

Advertise on info here

In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Cost of Living in Chapala, Mexico - July, 2013

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Currency Conversion Site    Chapala Travel Information  

Our readers have written to us asking how much it costs to live in Chapala, Mexico. While much depends on your particular style of living, your housing needs and how you dine out or entertain yourself and your friends, below is a sample list of commonly purchased items to give you an idea of the money it takes to live in this charming town. This list is by no means exhaustive.

At the time this list was published, the Peso was trading at 12.88 = $1 USD. You can use the above conversion site to see today's rate. 


Most ExPats choose to have their own car for their transport needs, however, Chapala is an easy town in which to be car free. Local buses run every few minutes on a daily basis.

Airport taxi to Chapala 380 Pesos, Chapala to airport 350 Pesos

Taxi from Soriana's to Chapala, or just around town 40 Pesos

Taxi from Chapala to Plaza Maskaras 50 Pesos

First class bus ticket to Guadalajara 50 Pesos

Bus from Chapala to Ajijic, 8-9 Pesos

The entrance to Chapala's popular Malecon

Gasoline 11.7 Pesos/liter


Housing is a large expense for anyone in any location. Depending on your needs and if you live alone or have a roommate, housing prices can run the gamut. Prices in Ajijic are considerably higher, and San Antonio is about comparable to Chapala. Maid service in Ajijic is substantially higher than in Chapala. You may also need to pay for bus fare for the maid to come to your home.

Rent - small apartment in Chapala, 2800 Pesos/month. Some houses are much higher, up to 6,500 Pesos/month. If you go through a real estate agent to rent a place, most likely your price will be listed in Dollars and it will be higher. Try to rent from a local Mexican and pay your rent in Pesos.

Some Mexicans want to rent to you in USD. We say make the most of their cultural inclination to bargain. Most simply want the income without the bother, so if you are proactive (paying rent in advance to get a discount, offer to pay for some improvement or purchase something for the house or apartment in exchange for less rent, etc.) they will get the sense of partnership and will want to work with you.

We have seen modern apartments rented from Mexicans for $250/$325USD for a simple furnished studio in an excellent location to $600 USD for a basic furnished 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment, excellent location, all utilities included.

Phone/Wifi Internet 389 Pesos/month

Propane 300 Pesos per cylinder tank. Approx one per month for cooking and hot water.

Electric 350-700 Pesos every 2 months

Laundry 17 Pesos per Kilo pressed and folded, King sized bedspread 50 pesos

Maid Service 3-4 hours once per week 35 - 60 Pesos per hour

Hair cut at the Barber 40 Pesos

Haircut and style for women 90+ Pesos

Normal, everyday computer repair, reinstall operating system 100 Pesos


You can spend as little or as much as you like to entertain yourself here. Chapala has excellent weather, so walking around taking part in local activities provides a good deal of fun for free. There always seems to be a fiesta, a festival or a saint's day. You can meet friends at a restaurant, or hire your maid to do the cooking for you in your home. 


Dos Equis 20 bottles per case 112 Pesos, home delivery

6-pack Pacifico, non returnable bottles 61 Pesos

Selection of wines 55-180 Pesos per bottle

One Liter bottle of Bacardi Rum 138 Pesos

Local Rum (Castillo) 79 Pesos

Tequila, 100% Agave, various names  one Liter 110 - 380 Pesos

Placid Lake Chapala

Bar-b-que Ribs, a large plate with rice and beans, at Joseís 65 Pesos

Chille Relleno or Pollo Milanesa, with rice, beans, salad, 55 - 65 Pesos a plate

Mi Tango nice restaurant in Ajijic, 476 Pesos for six glasses of wine, two steak dinners, one ravioli dinner and dessert

Tacos 8 Pesos each

Beer at local bars and restaurants 15-20 Pesos, unless it's Happy Hour

8 ounce glass of fresh carrot juice, 10 Pesos

Tennis courts 25 Pesos per hour per court

Movie at matinee on Wednesdays, 20 Pesos



Prices will vary widely depending on where you shop. Choose from local vendors, Super Guba, La Dispensa, Surtidor, Soriana's, Wal*Mart, Super Lake or El Torito's. We like to shop with the local vendors and in doing so, we save measurably on daily foods.

20 Liters bottled water home delivery 17 Pesos

Toilet paper 4 jumbo rolls, 15-23 Pesos

Toothpaste, 100 grams for sensitive teeth, 55 Pesos

Head and Shoulders shampoo, 500ml, 51 Pesos

Box, All Bran 41 Pesos

Box, LARGE, Cornflakes 35 Pesos

Wild Salmon 179 Pesos per kilo, smoked 24 Pesos for 50 grams

Sea Bass 55 Pesos for 600 grams

Fresh mango local style with salsa and rock salt

Rib Eye steak, local 119 Pesos per kilo, angus beef 284 Pesos per kilo

Whole roasted chicken with salad, tortillas and rice, 80-110 Pesos

Chicken breast, raw, 59 Pesos Kilo, Whole chicken, 39 Pesos kilo

Arrachera, marinated 120 Pesos kilo

Chorizo, 68 Pesos kilo

Smoked pork chops, 70 Pesos kilo

Filet Mignon, angus beef, 275 Pesos Kilo

New York steak, angus beef, 269 Pesos Kilo

Rib Eye ribs, no bone 59 Pesos Kilo

Smoked pork chops, 60 Pesos Kilo

Hamburger, 73 Pesos Kilo

Pork tenderloin, 60 Pesos Kilo

Ribs, Beef 50 Pesos Kilo. Ribs, Pork 65 Pesos Kilo

Fresh whole chicken 39 Pesos Kilo

Milk, two Liters 24 Pesos

Eugenia butter 10 pesos stick

Freshly made Yogurt liter size container 22 Pesos

Manchego cheese 100 Pesos per kilo

High quality local cheese 400 grams = 50 Pesos

Salsa, red or green 8 Pesos

Salted peanuts, 55-65 Pesos per kilo

Fresh produce depends on climate - prices can vary. Monday Market in Chapala has excellent offerings. Prices quoted below are at the Plaza.

Tomatoes 10 Pesos per kilo

A full meal with margaritas included at The Cozumel is about 150 pesos per person

Potatoes 17 Pesos per kilo

Oranges 8 Pesos per kilo

Broccoli 13 Pesos per kilo

Papaya 10 Pesos per kilo

3 Hearts of Romaine lettuce 25Pesos

Green Beans 10 Pesos a bag, or 18 Pesos per kilo

Onions 9 Pesos per kilo

Carrots 9 Pesos per kilo

Cantaloupe 10-14 Pesos per kilo

Tortillas 10 Pesos per kilo

Locally made bolio bread, 4.5 Pesos each

Avocados 28-30 Pesos Kilo

Beans already cooked 10-15 Pesos Quart

Pineapples 9-12 Pesos each

Watermelon 10-12 Pesos kilo

Today's grocery list: 4 filet mignons, 4 filets of pork, 4 smoked pork chops, 1 roasted chicken with salad, tortillas, and rice, 2 liters milk, 1 liter fresh yogurt, 1 jar mayo, 1 package prunes, 2 large carrots, 1 large red bell pepper, 1 large cantaloupe, 1 large papaya, 2 oranges, 7 limes, 2 large bulbs garlic = 400 Pesos, or at today's conversion rate, $31.00 USD


Medical care and medicines are fairly reasonable here in town. For special or extensive medical problems you might prefer to go to Guadalajara for your care. For more complete information on this topic, see our Chapala Travel Page and scroll down to the Medical and Fitness section.

If you are interested in Continuous Care options or specific pricing for what is covered click on the previous links.

Prices are less at the Mexican Red Cross

Teeth cleaning, 150 - 350 Pesos

Dental X-rays 80 Pesos

Root canal, post and porcelain crown 3,450 Pesos

Impacted tooth extraction with follow up 800-1000 Pesos

Consultation with internist 400 Pesos

Cardiologist consultation 500 Pesos

64 Slice CT Heart Scan 17,000 Pesos

Consultation with a local doctor begins at 150 Pesos, up to 700 Pesos for specialist in Guadalajara

Aspirin, 500 mg 100 tabs, 48 Pesos or at Similares Farmacia 8 Pesos 20 tabs

Amoxiclan (Amoxicillin 500 mg & Clauvanic acid 125 mg) 15 tabs 286 Pesos or at Similares Farmacia 84 Pesos for 10 tabs

Amoxicillin 500 mg, 12 tabs 120 Pesos or at Similares Farmacia 30 Pesos for 12 tabs

Paracetamol 10 tabs, 17 Pesos or at Similares Farmacia 5 pesos for 10 tabs

Ibuprofen 400mg, 20 tabs 18.50 Pesos

Tylenol Maxi 20 tabs, 51 Pesos or at Similares Farmacia 10 Pesos for 10 tabs

Tempra 500 mg, 10 tabs, 28 Pesos or at Similares Farmacia 5 Pesos for 10 tabs

Cough medicines Muscoslavan 134 Pesos, generic cough syrup Ambroxol 34 Pesos or at Similares Farmacia 20 Pesos per bottle

Similares Farmacia located on Avenida Madero 405. Discounts given for purchases of 1,000 Pesos or more

To summarize, a couple can easily live in Chapala on $1,500 - $2,000 USD per month. 


This is YOUR year.

Retirement is right around the corner and you're ready to go someplace where the weather suits your clothes. Spring-type temperatures year 'round, Chapala, Mexico is a dream come true and the place for you!

If you're looking to stay in chain hotels or for a lifestyle that is just like the States then you're ... Read more click here.

Free Newsletter, Subscribe here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

For more information about financial independence and travel, visit our book store

Sign up for great stories, interesting tales, and superb retirement information.

Contact Billy & Akaisha

Advertise on contact
Over 1,400,000 visitors annually.

Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.

HOME   Book Store


Retire Early Lifestyle Blog      About Billy & Akaisha Kaderli      Press     Contact     20 Questions     Preferred Links     Retirement     Country Info    
Retiree Interviews
      Commentary     REL Videos