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.
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.