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


Retire Early Lifestyle Blog 

Free Newsletter Subscribe/Contact

Advertise on info here

RetireEarlyLifestyle Logo RetireEarlyLifestyle inspirational photo

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.

Must-See Places in Mexico

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Currency Exchange

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.

Calm, sweet, undeveloped Caleta de Campos

If you like beaches, Caleta is a simple one. Caleta de 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 Price

Cons - 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.

Beautiful blonde at the beach, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

A model on Isla Holbox posing for photo shoot

Isla Holbox 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.

Cons - 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.

As Mexican as you can get, Jerez, Mexico

Some say 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 isn't a heavy emphasis on this side of life.

Sunset in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

Sunset in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

Mazatlan 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.

Cons - 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 Yucatan 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 and social 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 climate.

Mexico City walking street

Mexico City walking street

International, historical, wondrous, modern Mexico City. Museums, restaurants, walking streets and more. You won't be bored here!

Cons - 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

Downtown Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico

A Fine Colonial City in Central Mexico, Morelia 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 forever!

Cons - 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

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 Monte Alban, and you can visit the largest tree in the world there.

Four Books on Mexico, One Low Price

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.

Puebla Market, Mexico

Chickens for sale at market in Puebla, Mexico

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, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta Beach, Jalisco, Mexico

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, a great value. Take advantage of our insights.

Four Books on Mexico, One Low Price

Wall mural in Queretaro, Mexico

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

The Golden Triangle of Tequila-making, Mexico Highlands

In the 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 Tequila-making.

The Highlands cities of Antontonilco el Alto, Jesus Maria and Arandas are the homes of the best tequila-making distilleries in the world.

Arrange for private tours at distilleries such as El Pandio, Siete Leguas, La Altena, 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 liquor shelves.

Stunning Zicatela Beach

Zicatela, Puerto 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. 

Cons - 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.






From 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 HERE  

VIDEOS, VIDEOS, VIDEOS! See Mexico for yourself! Beaches, Bars, Babes, Great Food, Live Music.

Visit our book Store

About the Authors

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

Trending on Retire Early Lifestyle


contact Billy and Akaisha at

advertise contact

Your financial independence and travel starts here

Retire 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.

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




Subscribe Newsletter