Cost of Living in Mazatlan, Mexico – Zona Dorada Edition
If you're curious about the cost of living in Mazatlan, Mexico – then you've come to the right place.
In this detailed guide, I break down how much it costs to live by the beach in this beautiful Pacific coast city.
And let me tell you…
The good life is more than available for cheap here.
I'm talking fresh ceviche for pennies on the dollar, delicious marlin tacos for a buck, and luxury apartments rentals for a fraction of what they cost back home.
But those things pale in comparison to the absolute best part about living in Mazatlan.
Which is more than cheap, it's free.
I'm a huge fan of Mazatlan, Mexico. The stunning beaches, friendly people, and low costs offer a lot to travelers and expats alike.
But it's not perfect.
You won't find the upscale amenities of Mexico City. The medical services aren't on par with Guadalajara. The water isn't crystal clear like Playa del Carmen.
Still, the place is well worth a visit.
I spent over three months in Mazatlan and loved every damn minute of it. Well, except for that whole spiel about getting jumped in an abandoned trap house.
Mexico's Cheapest Beach City
You won't find a high quality of life for much cheaper in Mexico. Well, at least I didn't.
Mazatlan is cheap, especially considering it's a tourist beach city.
You'll find life is far cheaper here than it is in Mexico City. I'd say everything in Mazatlan is about 20-30% cheaper than it is in Mexico City.
Especially short-term apartment rentals.
Mazatlan is also far cheaper than any tourist town in the Mayan Riveria, including Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
Hell, you'll find Mazatlan is even a bit cheaper than Guadalajara – a city I found to be pretty damn cheap overall.
If you're looking to live the good life while at the beach, then Mazatlan is a tough place to top.
There's never been a better time to travel around Mexico as a gringo. Well, something like that.
The U.S. Dollar is incredibly strong against the Mexican Peso.
While prices vary in tourist areas, you'll still find insane value throughout Mexico when converting USD.
Especially in a place like Mazatlan, which has more domestic tourists than gringos.
As of writing this article, the Dollar is trading for nearly 19 Mexican Pesos. That means you'll get a whole lot of bang for your buck in Mexico right now.
Te lo juro.
Cost of Living in Mazatlan, Mexico – Zona Dorada Edition
Enough with my semantics, though.
Let's dive into the details and look at what it costs to live a good life at the beach in Mexico.
Here's a quick break down of my cost of living in Mazatlan, specifically in the touristy Zona Dorada neighborhood:
You'll spend more on apartment rentals than anything else while living in Mazatlan – unless you have a “party favors” problem.
And you'll find rent varies greatly in Mazatlan.
For luxury apartments in Zona Dorada, you're looking at $1,000+ a month for a studio or one-bedroom. Two-bedrooms tend to go for $1,500-2,500 USD.
By luxury, I mean a place that has an amazing oceanfront view, modern amenities, fast Internet, and possibly a pool and gym.
Oh, and these types of places should be within a 0-2 minute walk to the beach.
The apartment I gave you a tour of in the video above cost $1,900 a month after all fees. I split it with my buddy.
It was a two bedroom, two baths and featured this view:
Overall, we felt like we were living in the Taj Mahal. The place also had fiber-optic Internet and modern appliances.
A great value.
It should be noted that rent in Mazatlan can be far cheaper than this.
Small one-bedrooms can be found in Zona Dorada for $500-750. There just won't be a view.
Luxury apartments in the south of the city, just like the one in the video, can go for under $1,000 USD a month.
Honestly, I didn't find the groceries to be that much cheaper than in the United States.
Especially when you're buying imported products.
Both Soriana and Walmart had a wide selection of fresh produce, meats, and imported products. But I wouldn't say it was cheap.
If you want to get great deals in Mazatlan, you have to do down to the markets in the south of the city.
In these local markets, groceries cost nothing.
I'm talking tuna medallions for $7 USD a kilogram.
Fresh fruits and vegetables for pennies on the dollar of what they cost in the store. And fresher, too!
If you shop at these markets, you can save a ton of money on groceries while living in Mazatlan.
This was one of my favorite parts of the low cost of living in Mazatlan.
I'm not going to lie…
I loved eating out in Mazatlan.
The world-class seafood cost nothing compared to what it does back home. I felt like I was getting a steal every time I ordered anything from the ocean.
Some of the street food was incredible, too.
Fresh marlin tacos for 20 Pesos was one of the staples of my diet while in this Pacific coast city.
At night, I'd often head to the best damn seafood restaurant I've ever been to…
If you're ever in Mazatlan, make a beeline to this place your first night eating out.
Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
Just got straight to La Mazatleca.
Whatever you do, just make sure to order La Dolores…or three.
The view isn't too bad, either…
Once you get your fix of the fresh seafood, it's time to check out some of the other culinary offerings Mazatlan has to offer.
A few of my other favorites in Zona Dorada include:
- Raul's Super Taco
- Pura Vida
- Yoko Sushi
Gyms & Yoga
Surprisingly, the gyms in Mazatlan were a little bit underwhelming.
You could find everything you need at any of the multiple gyms throughout the city. But there wasn't a high-end gym to be found.
I had a membership at BeFit Mazatlan.
BeFit is a chain has multiple gyms spread around Mazatlan. It was around $30 USD a month and you got access to any and all of them.
If I remember correctly, a one-month membership to the yoga studio in Mazatlan cost about $24 USD.
Private pilates classes cost $15 USD for 75-minute sessions.
Coworking & Cafes
I never once worked from a cafe in Mazatlan, Mexico.
The Internet in my apartment was simply too fast and the view just too damn good.
There is a Starbucks in Zona Dorada, which would be fine for getting a little work done from time to time.
I didn't find any other coffee shops in the area that would be ideal for working from.
On the coworking side of things, there's only one coworking space in all of Mazatlan.
It's called Beehive Coworking and it's located about a ten-minute walk from the beach in Zona Dorada.
I went here a few days.
It's a solid spot to get some work done, but fairly pricey by Mazatlan standards. A day costs around $18 USD, while a month is around $125.
I lived a pretty holistic life while in Mazatlan. Lots of fresh food, working on my business, and swimming in the ocean.
But I had to check out the nightlife, as well.
For a small town, Mazatlan nightlife more than gets the job done.
With new tourists in town every weekend, you'll find the clubs around Zona Dorada tend to be a damn good time.
The best spot in the neighborhood to party?
The place is massive, located on the beach, and bumping every weekend night.
If you're looking to party, you won't find a better spot than Joe's in Zona Dorada.
Other decent Mazatlan nightlife spots include:
- El Mal del Puerco
- El Bungalow
The nightlife in Mazatlan is cheaper than anything back home.
It's easy to find beers for $20 pesos at a number of bars in Mazatlan.
Mixed drinks only cost a couple bucks.
A bottle at a club won't break the bank, either. Expect $40-80 for a bottle of tequila or rum at most of the spots listed above.
Outside of the standard cost of living stuff, life in Mazatlan is pretty cheap.
You can get a deep tissue massage for $16-25 USD with tip.
Haircuts tend to run about $6-15 bucks depending on the barber and tip. Make sure you go to Primos. He speaks English, too.
Ubers are insanely cheap throughout Mazatlan.
I'm talking $1-3 USD to go from one end of the city to the other – depending on traffic.
But I usually took the pulmonias when traveling along the Malecon in Mazatlan.
Pulmonias are open-air taxis that offer great views of the ocean and let you feel the sea breeze as you cruise around.
You'll pay about twice the cost of an Uber to take these, but it's pretty fun and definitely worth it.
Just make sure to negotiate with the drivers – they'll try to rip you off if you don't know how much to pay.
A ride in the city should only cost $50-100 pesos.
A Gringo's Guide to Living Cheap in Mazatlan, Mexico
If you're looking for a cheap beach city in Mexico, you won't find a better option than Mazatlan.
Many still view Sinaloa, the state Mazatlan is located in, as a dangerous place.
So the hordes of thirsty foreigners haven't ruined this place just yet.
It's still a quintessential Mexican beach town that caters to domestic tourists. This keeps the prices fairly low for expats and digital nomads.
Overall, the cost of living in Mazatlan, Mexico should not break the bank.
You could easily get by on $1,300-1,500 a month here. For a great lifestyle, you're looking at $2,000-2,500 a month.
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