Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Places in Mexico
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Visit these must-see places and more in Mexico
Mexico is a huge country
and it's hard to know where to go if you only have a limited time to visit this
nation. Some people prefer the beaches, some might want to take advantage of the
culture, history and international restaurants, and others could consider
emigrating to spend their retirement years there. In Alphabetical order below are must-see
towns and cities along with useful notes to help you get an idea of what Mexico
offers. Be sure to click on the links to the city's homepage for more
information, should you be interested.
sweet, undeveloped Caleta de Campos
If you like beaches,
Caleta is a simple one.
Campos, located in the Mexican state of Michoacan, is an undeveloped beach town where if you would like to be involved
with the locals and eat fresh grilled fish and shrimp at a palapa shack on the
beach, this is the place. The horseshoe beach is wide and gorgeous. Completely
non-touristy, you won't be annoyed with the sounds of jet skis or bothered
with vendors begging you to buy.
Cons - Caleta
beach is hot and humid in the summer which can be unbearable. On the one
hand, Caleta is wonderfully undeveloped, but one could feel isolated, especially
if you don't speak Spanish and services are limited. For the conveniences of
banking and medical, one must travel 40 miles away to Lazaro Cardenas, which
could get old after a while.
Beautiful, easy-going Chapala, Mexico
Chapala, Mexico, located in central Mexico, has the largest expat community in the world and offers lots of
activities to keep one busy. If you like to play tennis, golf, bridge or get
involved in garden clubs, animal rescue or theater, this lovely town with year-round
spring climate is a good bet.
Chapala's location, just 20 minutes from
Guadalajara's international airport and an hour from the capitol city itself, is a good home base to travel to the
beach, to the mountains, or to the
States or Canada.
Cons - Because
Chapala is such a pleasant town with lots to do and great weather, it is
definitely getting overrun with
Gringos and is losing some of its innocence and true Mexican culture. Traffic congestion
is a problem during the snowbird season and prices
continue to rise. Still, it is a great value compared to the States. For the most part there aren't problems
with drugs or the darkness it attracts, but there have been altercations between
the police and gang members in recent years.
Hip, happening, artistic Guanajuato
Guanajuato is another World Heritage site and is a photographer’s
paradise. This city is cosmopolitan and offers a full variety of
restaurants, entertainment, fabulous scenery and culture. Guanajuato
teems with vitality, history and the influence from the students of the
University. Every turn of the corner offers you a photographic
opportunity and is a goldmine for sketching or watercolor topics.
Pricing for lodging and food is available in all ranges and transport
to, from and around the city is easy. Lots of free theater and concerts.
Four Books on
Mexico, One Low
Guanajuato is also located in the highlands of Mexico and can be cold in
the mornings and evenings. Altitude may pose a problem and streets are
steep and winding.
model on Isla Holbox posing for photo shoot
is a paradise island in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, north of Cancun.
Twenty-six miles long and almost a mile wide, this tropical island is vulnerable
to destruction by hurricanes. It is now part of the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve.
Activities including fishing, swimming with the whale sharks, visiting the
bioluminescence areas at night, and kiteboarding. It has become quite a tourist
area in recent times with the young and young families, and the island offers
many hotels and restaurants. No cars are allowed on the island, and at this time
the roads are not paved.
The island is expensive and it takes a bit of work to get there. The easiest way
is to fly from Cancun to the small airport on the island. Because this island
appeals to the young tourist and loud music pours from most every beach bar, a
priority is to find a hotel room where one can get a good night's sleep. Tours
and instruction classes are also costly, but this island is worth a visit.
Mexican as you can get, Jerez, Mexico
Jerez is the most Mexican town in all of Mexico, and
is an hour away from Zacatecas. This easy-to-navigate town has lots of shops,
and offers clean, simple living that is family oriented and traditional.
Everyone seems friendly in that
small-town-sort-of-way and locals are eager to make conversation and engage with strangers.
Streets are walkable and not steep like either Zacatecas or Guanajuato, with
shops and grocery stores easily
accessible on foot or by bus.
Cons - There are no great ruins,
no international cuisine and if small town charm doesn't do it for you, you will
be bored within minutes. There are cultural events, theater and music, but there
heavy emphasis on this side of life.
in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
is a resort beach city on the Pacific coast in Mexico's state of Sinaloa.
Known for its deep sea fishing, it's also a lively, romantic town with good food
and a beautiful historical district. Hotels in the older section of Mazatlan are
more affordable than the newer section of modern buildings and restaurants.
It's a touristy place, after all, so it can be crowded and noisy. Not to mention
the high humidity that beach locations inevitably have. And of course one has
all the trinkets and vendors here that high tourist-trafficked areas offer,
which can be annoying to some.
Tropical and historic Merida
Many people love
Merida which is located on the
Penninsula. It has the region's best museums, and is only 22 miles to the
Gulf of Mexico Coast. There are lots of affordable places to eat and thriving
markets. If you want to see the pyramids of
Chichen Itza, you can come and go in
one day if you would like. The Maya ruins of Tulum
are reachable in a day but seeing them is not a day trip. There is
gorgeous Colonial architecture,
sweet barrio churches, wide boulevards and a very active main Plaza with mimes,
shops and entertainment. Upscale hotels, restaurants and outdoor cafes can
entertain you for hours.
Expats who live here enjoy the historical culture
activities. Merida also boasts of many
regional hospitals and medical centers offering full services for the city, the
whole Yucatan Peninsula and for neighboring states.
Cons - Hot and congested
with belching traffic, Merida is a city of almost a million inhabitants and has humid, tropical
City walking street
International, historical, wondrous, modern
Museums, restaurants, walking streets and more. You won't be bored here!
The metropolitan area of Mexico City has a population of 21.2 million
people, making this city the most populous metropolitan area in the Western
Hemisphere. As with other large cities such as Paris, New York City, Miami,
Toronto - these locations have their own particular problems: Traffic,
crime, emotionally distanced people and high prices.
Downtown Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico
Colonial City in Central Mexico,
has international restaurants, rooftop bars and cafes, one of the most
beautiful Cathedrals in the nation, and an alleyway made specifically for
romance! Engrave your lover's name and yours on the lock and seal your love
Many people love large cities so what is one man's trash is another man's
treasure. Again, you'll have the expected challenges that large cities bring,
but it's a clean city and you won't be bored.
Historical and clean Oaxaca, Mexico
located in southwestern Mexico,
is a beautiful
colonial city with picturesque architecture. The colorful indigenous add zest to
the ordinary walk through town. Offering food specialties like mole and
locally made chocolate, Oaxaca - as a living cultural center with lots of
museums, free concerts and cultural events - also has an
international feel. The Zocalo Plaza is one of the finest
in Mexico, and there is a large variety of restaurants to choose from, city
markets, and famous churches. For a day trip you
are close to the Maya ruins of
and you can visit the largest tree in the world there.
Four Books on
Mexico, One Low
Cons - There
aren't many cons about Oaxaca, although it has a cooler climate overall than the
Lake Chapala area and prices are slightly higher. The teacher's union seems to
go on strike every year, and they spoil beautiful Colonial architecture with
obnoxious political graffiti. Their tents are pitched at the plaza when they are
striking and to say it's annoying is an under statement. The population is about
4 million and is definitely a city - which some would not take as a negative
feature at all.
Chickens for sale at market in
Puebla, Mexico is known for the specialty sweets that are made
in this city. There are rooftop bars and fabulous restaurants showcasing
their famous fine cuisine. The city streets are packed with history and
when walking around this UNESCO Colonial City, that history comes alive!
Lots of shopping, places to walk and music. One can fly from Guadalajara
to Puebla currently for about $50USD.
Cons - We didn't see many cons
about this enchanting city. But there are always the city issues if one
is not attentive. Even though prices are higher due to its UNESCO
status, one can always find an affordable meal.
Puerto Vallarta Beach, Jalisco,
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Fun in the sun! Restaurants, the malecon,
beach vendors, videos, live music, and more. Less than an hour flight
from Guadalajara, Mexico airport. There is the "old" Vallarta and the
new, more modern section as well
Cons - Swimming here on this
beach is a little more challenging as there is a steep drop off. The
waves crash a bit harder and so getting out of the ocean can be awkward
but not difficult. Touristy pricing, but there are still places to find
affordable hotels and restaurants.
Four Books on
Mexico, One Low
Hand painted mural of an
Indigenous beauty, Queretaro, Mexico
The historic center of
Queretaro was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in
1996. Querétaro City is the capital and largest city of the state of
Querétaro, located in central Mexico. Fine restaurants, beautiful parks
and walkable Colonial streets!
Cons - As with any UNESCO
site, pricing for everything is higher. Still, there are bargain eating
places to be found.
The Golden Triangle of
Tequila-making, Mexico Highlands
Mexico Highlands you'll find some of the most beautiful cities,
towns and countrysides with the best weather in Mexico. Clean air,
beautiful mountains, "Eternal Spring" climate, family-centered towns,
and home to the Golden Triangle of
The Highlands cities of
Antontonilco el Alto,
Arandas are the homes of the best tequila-making distilleries in the
Arrange for private tours at
distilleries such as
Don Julio and more. If you don’t think you like tequila or know nothing
about it, this area and the tours you take will change your mind forever
about Mexico’s National Drink.
Cons - One cannot visit this
area in a few days. Prepare to spend at least a week or two to fully
enjoy the tours (which must be booked online or by phone) and have a day
or two off between tastings. Be prepared to purchase some of these
tequilas to take home, as you might not find them on your home country’s
Stunning Zicatela Beach
Escondido, located in southwestern Mexico, is an old fishing village
transformed into a surfer's paradise. Choose to board surf or body surf, there
are lots of little coves to escape from the tourist crowds. You can enjoy
delicious fresh seafood beachside and watch
the sun set. Zicatela is becoming more developed every time we visit, but it has
a cutesy, arty feel to it. The larger city of Puerto Escondido is walking
distance away offering larger shops, pharmacies, and open markets.
Cons - This little
fishing village continues to grow and grow - which is good for the local
businesses, but is losing that "little beach charm" it used to have. On the
other hand, there are more international style restaurants which offer a variety
of fusion foods. Zicatela beach itself has a menacing riptide (great for
surfers, though) so one must walk to another beach for safe swimming.
Stately, sedate Zacatecas
Zacatecas is a World Heritage site with historical classic Colonial
buildings, walking streets, tours, museums, and pleasant plazas.
There are excellent Mexican and international restaurants. Quality silver and
leather shops are found throughout the city. Easy transport to and from major Mexican and U.S. cities via
airport or bus is a plus.
In the highlands of Mexico the temps can be cold during winter, in the mornings or in the
evenings. Like San Francisco, the streets have a steep slope and there are many
steps to climb. If you are handicapped or have health issues with your back or
legs, this might present an uncomfortable problem for you. High altitude might
also be a consideration. The city is upscale and more pricey.
stunning beaches, to highland mountain towns, cultural World Heritage sites to
local small town charm, Mexico offers something for everyone.
For more stories and photos
about Mexico CLICK
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
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About Billy & Akaisha