Cost of Living in Chapala, Mexico - July, 2013
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.
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