Where to live in Mexico for 4 months?
Replies: 41 - Last Post: Oct 9, 2012 6:46 PM Last Post By: hollyhunter
Sep 24, 2012 2:09 PM
Where to live in Mexico for 4 months?Hello,
I am looking for a place to live in Mexico for the next four months and would love some detailed recommendations from people who have lived there. I'm a 32 year old woman who speaks spanish.
I have experience living abroad and have learned what is important to me- a decent (ideally great) salsa dancing scene, an active yoga community, a smallish neighborhood community feel, even if it is within a bigger city, NOT overly touristy (some expats are okay, but it's very important to me that I make friends with locals), warm and friendly locals who are open to foreigners. A temperate/warm climate is nice, though not a requirement. I'm okay with living in a very hot place, don't want to live in a cold place : )
Based on friends' recommendations, I'm considering Oaxaca and Guadalajara. Oaxaca seems great for it's walkability, small town feel and arts scene. Is it really as touristy as some people say it is???
Guadalajara sounds good too, but it seems like it could be big and overwhelming? My friend has good friends though who she could connect me with.
Thoughts??? Other suggestions are welcome, though it can start to get overwhelming- Mexico is so big and everyplace seems great in it's own way!
Thank you fellow travelers/ex-pats!!
Sep 24, 2012 2:29 PM
I am from Mexico and I live in La Paz. Also lived in Guadalajara for about 11 years. Guadalajara it has been growing a lot. Even when is a Mexican City is not so much that you are going to live the authentic Mexican experience. Guadalajara is so fun, but everyone is into the globalization thing, like any other big city.
Also had been in Oaxaca and is beautiful. Just spent a week there, so not so much I can say. For sure beautiful, traditional and safe.
The day of the death is a great place in Oaxaca. Parachicos in Chiapas which is the next state south.
Have fun in Mexico and I hope you dont get overwhelmed in other senses. Like mexican men as a young foreigner women.
You´ll have fun and it will be a great experience.
Sep 24, 2012 2:30 PM
2I've been to Oaxaca a number of times and the "touristy" area is in the few blocks surrounding the Zocalo and the areas of the ruins. Oaxaca is "walkable" below Niños Heroes. Above Niños the ground rises slightly yet still walkable. If you have the need for expats, there is a American library near Parque Llano on Pino Suárez.
Sep 24, 2012 2:36 PM
3Mexico City, odd as it may seem, has a number of cozy neighborhoods (Colonia Roma, Cuatehmoc, Polcanco) and you would have access to all a big city has to offer.
Sep 24, 2012 3:33 PM
Sep 24, 2012 3:34 PM
5I agree with CascadeBob. I have recently visited Oaxaca, and enjoyed it, there is a lot of young energy there, a good art crowd, and I like how politically active the college students are there. But Mexico City is great in so many ways. I'm visiting here for 7 weeks, and am enjoying the tree lined streets, great restaurants, and feeling very safe. I was really surprised! There are neighborhoods that have a small town feel to them, (as CascadeBob mentioned above) with yoga studios, organic stores, vegetarian restaurants, etc. I've spent the past 2 years living in Ajijic, which is very beautiful, and has the above, but I think you would be bored if you're under 40. As for Guadalajara, I would have to say... it is my least favorite place I have visited in all of Mexico. Just my 2 pesos worth...
Sep 24, 2012 3:43 PM
Sep 24, 2012 5:23 PM
7I only know DF and Oaxaca so I can't tell how much better/worse they may be from other choices but both sound like they would suit you. Oaxaca has all you need. However, I wouldn't count out DF as an option for much the same reason as others give. Once you are in a neighbourhood like Roma, Condesa, Coyoacan, San Angel, you feel like you are in a smaller place. The neighbourhoods are very warm, cozy, tranquil and inviting. The bonus is that you can move between neighbourhoods if you want to, though moving around can be crowded and hectic. Despite this I just prefer DF, it just captures the heart and senses in the way that large, cosmopolitan, world capitals can. It's easier to meld into the background in DF; there are all types of people. Oaxaca, being smaller, it might be harder to escape being slotted into a particular community, e.g. expat, tourist, etc. And Oaxaca is surprisingly loud and congested at times, at least for the size of the city. Ah, tough choice!
Sep 24, 2012 6:59 PM
8Yeah Mexico City is a great place for sure. My wife is from Mexico city and is a great place to hang out. As ref-traveller said. Is great and the sense of little towns since those little towns were taken over by the city and now they are in the middle of it. To move around between places it takes time and patience for sure. Is a vibrant city but Oaxaca may give you more of what you want.
Sep 24, 2012 9:41 PM
Sep 25, 2012 12:55 AM
Sep 25, 2012 3:47 AM
11I would go with DF. Guadalajara is nice but more of an insiders´town or a professional persons visiting place in my experience. Oaxaca is beautiful but you sound more cosmopolitan. No, it is not too touristy. But for a truly exciting time, DF would be great, in Condesa or Roma. Or Xalapa is not a bad idea. If you were not coming in winter my beloved Zacatecas is awesome for all of the above including salsa - but rule us out from Nov thru Feb.
but see if you go to DF, Oaxaca and Puebla and Acapulco are only a bus ride away!
Sep 25, 2012 6:45 AM
Sep 25, 2012 6:56 AM
13Mexico City is about the only place that fits the bill, except for weather during the upcoming Winter months. The other places mentioned thus far are out, IMO. Although, I don't think this OP will find the oasis she seems to be looking for.
Sep 25, 2012 9:07 AM
14whimsy, the first thing you mentioned is the salsa scene. As a dancer I understand the importance of that. Oaxaca has some good neighborhood salsa clubs. I haven't been to Mexico City in decades, but it's bound to have many good salsa clubs. The problem is there may not be any conviently located to where you are living. If you decide on Oaxaca let me know and I'll help you locate the salsa clubs. I don't know about the yoga scene in Oaxaca. But everything else fits your wish list well. Friendly locals, nice neighborhoods, warm/hot climate. And lots of great places to explore in and around the city.
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