My Life in Guanajuato (& What It Costs Me)

Editor’s note: This post on the cost of living in Guanajuato has 2014 in the URL, but was updated in August 0f 2019, when the peso was around 19 to the dollar. I have left some of the comments that are still relevant and useful.

living in Guanajuato Mexico

I moved back to Guanajuato, Mexico for the third time in late 2018 and it’s now my permanent base. My daughter lived here with us the first two times and spent three years in school in Mexico, but she is now in college in the U.S.. We bolted and headed back to our paid-for house on the fun side of the wall once she got settled in and now we just go back for visits and business. 

Central Mexico is quite cheap, so much so that Mexico is featured in my book  A Better Life for Half the Price and in the 5th edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations. It wasn’t always the case: just five years ago the greenback got you 13 pesos. Now that one dollar gets you 19, it’s a great bargain.

Cost of Living in Guanajuato

If you’ve got some time, check out the video below to get a sense of what prices are like. There’s been some mild inflation over the years, mostly because imported items have gone up, but I still pay 30 cents for the city bus, $2.60 for a taxi across town, $2.60 for a haircut, $16 for a thorough house cleaning, and less than $10 a month for my electric bill. Going out has gotten a lot cheaper than when I first moved here (you can still find dollar beer places in this college town) and it’s rare to spend more than $5.50 for a concert or symphony performance. 

The aesthetics of Guanajuato are great and it’s been here since before any English set foot in America. Most of the traffic moves through tunnels under the city, so it’s a very pedestrian-friendly place to live. There are only two streets in the historic center that have cars on them. The rest are pedestrian-only. Second, the weather is gorgeous almost all year. We’re at an altitude close to 6,500 feet here, so it can get a little chilly at night a couple months of the year, but the climate is agreeable enough most of the time that houses aren’t built with heat or air conditioning and the outdoor cafes are busy for 12 months. It’s usually blue skies, sun, and highs around 80 in the daytime.

We’re usually happy to see a bit of rain in the summer though, when I sometimes get views like this from my house: 

summer rainy season Guanajuato

I can turn down a bit of the stress in my business here because I’m spending less than half what I did in the USA on basic living expenses. The first time we were here we rented two side-by-side apartments for a total of $800 a month, all utilities and internet included. Now we own a house outright, so we’re pouring money into improvements and furniture instead. Here are some hard numbers though for regular monthly expenses when we were a family of three:

– Daughter’s private school was a shade less than $300 per month
– We spent about $100 a month on transportation getting her there & back (not walking distance)
– We averaged about $50 a month on other local taxis and buses when she was here, now it’s more like $10.
– Here’s a picture of one month’s water and electric bills, in pesos. The 114 peso water bill is about what we’re seeing now in 2019 and it’s equivalent to $6. The 324 electric bill is actually higher than we’re seeing now with two people in the house and even that is equivalent to $17–for two months! Gas averages out to about $6 per month and our cable internet/TV/phone bundle is about $27 a month. We splurged on that…

Mexican utility bills - life in Guanajuato
– Drinking water in 5-gallon jugs averages about $15 a month, delivered to our door.
– Mobile phone charges when we had local ones was $54 for 3 of us. (Now we’ve kept our T-Mobile family plan)
– Our maid comes twice a week and cleans the house top to bottom. That’s $126 per month.
– Food varies wildly, but a liberal estimate is $300 a month on groceries, $200 eating out, not being careful at all
– Entertainment and fun $200 per month
– Medical/dental come in spurts, but let’s say $200 per month out of pocket max, plus an international expat catastrophe insurance plan that covers us in the USA, another $330 or so per month. More on expat health insurance here.

Property taxes are paid annually and this is another expense that has gone down as the peso has dropped. We now pay less than $150 per year. Our house repairs, renovations, furniture, and other purchases vary depending on how flush we are that month. But if we estimate $500 per month, that puts the total monthly expenses at around $2,060 not counting travel.

cost of living in Guanajuato

Teatro Juarez, home of $2.50 to $5.50 performances

I want to emphasize that this is for a family of three that’s not being all that frugal. We eat out far more than we did in the USA, I don’t hesitate to order a beer or two when we’re out, and we take advantage of things like $5 symphony tickets and $4 ballet performances. You could certainly live here for far less if you wanted and many people do. Considering that we were spending $2,100 a month in Tampa just on rent though and another $1,000 on health care, our Mexican living budget feels like a screaming bargain. We can spend another $1,000 on travel, visas, and shopping and still just be up to what we used to spend on those two items alone.

Some expats who have moved to my city complain that rental prices are going up here, which they are in the places that can be rented out successfully on Airbnb instead. You can’t blame a landlord for doing the math and maximizing what they can earn.

It’s a saturated market here for vacation rentals though, so that problem mostly applies to the apartments and houses right in the historic center. If you look through the local paper Chopper, you can find rooms with a bath to rent for less than $100, furnished two-bedroom apartments for less than $500 including utilities, and full houses with parking space for $800 or less. This requires some hoofing it around and communicating in Spanish (or getting a helper to do so) though. Most of what’s available to rent is not posted online, especially in English. For more on that subject, see this post on how to find a place to live in another country.

 

Daily Life in Guanajuato

Every time I move back here I lose 10-15 pounds. I don’t diet, drink less, or go to any gym. Getting around in this city requires lots of walking at high altitude though and like most people, we need to climb a lot of stairs to get to our front door. We always have to hoof it up the callejon—the alley that goes up to our neighborhood. When delivery men brought a refrigerator and stove, they had to carry it up these stairs you see at the right. life in Guanajuato means walking up a lot of stairs

My day to day work life in Guanajuato hasn’t changed much when I have moved back, which is a bit of a problem in terms of getting better at Spanish. At some point soon I need to break off some time and go back to classes for a while in order to advance, but that’s probably not going to happen until I’m done paying for the kid’s college expenses and she’s off our payroll. I’m just not using Spanish enough each day because I’m holed up in my home office, working in English. I do use it when out and about of course. I try to take a walk each day or go out for lunch to enjoy where I’m living and I have a glorious view from my office window.

Life happens on the streets here, not in front of the TV, which is another thing I like. It’s always bustling in the center and people hang out and talk. Mobile phone use goes up all the time, but most locals seem to have the discipline to put them away when they’re out with friends having coffee, a meal, or drinks.

I’ll continue to write more on life in Guanajuato and living in Mexico later, especially since I have hundreds of pictures from this gorgeous place sitting on my hard drive. You can see some of them in my Instagram feed and here’s a video on hiking around Guanajuato.

Meanwhile, if you’re passing through, get in touch! If you want to see the city through my eyes and my stomach, sign up for my Guanajuato street food tour.

Want to learn more about living a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad e-mail newsletter.

 

Comments
  1. Spot on :) That’s one of the reasons I love living here (in Mexico); it’s just so damned cheap :)

  2. Pete

    I visited Guanajuato 3 weeks ago and I like it more than SMA, but language would be the problem for me. At least initially.

  3. Taylor

    I can only imagine how trying to get used to walking up those stairs in that high of altitude! It would get you into shape quickly, though!

  4. Dave Sailer

    I really, sincerely appreciate the quality of your writing. From your various blogs I’ve learned a lot, about places, techniques, and gear. Now that you’ll be dishing out more impressions of Guanajuato I’ll have to check back more often.

    I’m currently taking my second shot at Ecuador (Cuenca), and have come to the same conclusion as I did last year — that it’s OK, maybe great in some ways, but not quite right for me. Maybe nowhere is. Maybe I just need a place to spend a couple of months each winter.

    Guanajuato does look good. Not as far from where I’ll move next (eastern Washington), at a decent elevation, which suits me, and with a good climate. And not so big. A guy vacationing here from SM de Allende (he thinks it’s too chilly there in winter), supplied corroborating info, which helped too.

    As far as the comment supplied by Janet Levin, I can say that Cuenca, supposedly the best place in the world to retire, has all of that. Plus dense black filthy clouds of diesel smoke from herds of thundering buses. It’s a place. Everywhere is only a place. You have to go with what works for you. (I’ve gotten hundreds of great graffiti photos — it’s everywhere.)

    Language footnote: I found this today, massive number of useful resources referenced…”12 Rules for Learning Foreign Languages in Record Time” at
    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2014/03/12/how-to-learn-a-foreign-language/

    Thank you. Keep it up.

  5. Glenn Dixon

    Don’t forget – that electric bill in your photo is for two months :)

  6. CT

    I first visited GTO in 1999 and have been back many times. i was just there in August and again in December, where i bused from Cd. Juarez all the way to Panamá, with many stops, of course. I have been to Central and South America a few times and still Guanajuato is my favorite city, although Oaxaca is coming on strong. Upon arrival, I always stay at Casa de Dante up near the hospital, pricey (about $20) for a hostel bed but with a fantastic breakfast (i am vegan) and the most hospitable owner, she is a real gem. But there are many stairs to get up there, so for some it would be a pain. Btw, since you adore Guanajuato as much as I do, I think you would like León, Nicaragua and Popayán, Colombia, if you haven’t been. For some, León is too hot and Popa too cold. The slow pace in both is great for this Los Angeles native, and the people!!! Lastly, for those curious, my 18 city, 7 country, 6 week trip in December (flew into El Paso then took buses from there to Panama City) was about $2,500. Guatemala and Nicaragua are very kind to the wallet. Thanks again.

  7. Louisa

    Tim, a pleasant surprise to find you’re living in Guanajuato. (I’m trying to figure out from your callejon photo where you live– near Barranca?) I live here part-time.
    Re graffiti– it has gotten increasingly worse over time. For the last several years I’ve cleaned up the graffiti in my area, and I’m known for it. But a few weeks ago I went to the Presidencial building on a Monday at 10:00 to complain about the increasing graffiti all over town. (All Dept Heads are available to speak to members of the public on Mondays). I spoke with the Director of Maintenance from Obras Publicas. He said they were working on it. To my amazement, the very next day workers were painting over the graffiti on the street in my neighborhood. I told him I looked forward to seeing even more clean-up when I return in June.

  8. Janet Levin

    Hi Tim — More than halfway through 6 weeks here and I’m so glad I ignored my friend’s friends’ comments (about which I wrote for your thoughts back in March.) Many hours of daily conversation exchanges at CAADI, a great language resource center at the university — volunteers fluent in many languages offer 3 hours a week of conversation facilitation and, in exchange, have access to conversation groups in the language of their choice. Local students, international students, and gray hairs; wonderful people, interesting conversations, good practice. All that plus great street food, bakeries, ice cream, fresh juices… no humidity… and rain that graciously waits till evening so I can enjoy hearing it pelt the roof… GTO is a delight.

  9. carl

    For some reason it’s not for me. I feel something’s missing, a beach perhaps?

    • Tim Leffel

      True, it’s about 8 hours to Zihuatenejo or an overnight bus to Puerto Vallarta region. But I live in Tampa Bay when I’m in the states and I get plenty of beach time in when I’m there. Here I don’t need air conditioning for 8 months. Zero actually.

  10. Miguel Berumen

    Hello Tim, thank you for your amazing insight. I am seriously considering moving to Guanajuato, i was born in Leon, moved to LA when i was 4 and I have been living in Mar del Plata-Argentina for the past 7 years. My main concern is security/safety what are your thoughts regarding this matter in Guanajuato? Also how complicated is it to purchase a home and how much more do we have to consider above the asking price including taxes, paperwork, real state agent fees etc.

    Thank you once again

    • Tim Leffel

      It’s probably safer here than where you are now and the economy is on the upswing instead of declining. So there are a lot more jobs for people who want them. There’s some petty crime, sure, but no more than there was where I’ve lived in the states. Purchasing a home is a little different, but less complicated actually since you buy it outright with no mortgage. I honestly can’t remember how much the closing costs were, but a small percentage. You can probably find it online for what’s typical in Mexico, away from the coasts.

  11. That makes me want to move to Guanajuato! At least during the Canadian winter. :)

  12. John Young

    I am currently in Guanajuato looking for a place to buy but so far without success although I have had a realtor looking for me as well. I have been checking on the Internet and walking the streets but as to the former, there only seem to be large houses for sale, and as to the latter, I have so far seen nothing for sale.

    I am looking in the central zone but not in the historial area which I woud prefer to avoid, and am looking for a smaller house with a couple of bedrooms. I would like something up a bit and with a view.

    Any suggestions as to how I might find something apart from what I am doing?

    Thanks

    • Tim Leffel

      Buy The Chopper at a newsstand. That’s where the local ads are.

      • John Young

        Tim:

        Thanks. I am following Chopper and it does seem to have a lot of ads. It also has an Internet version which seems to have the same ads, which is helpful, since I will have to return to Mexico City shortly.

        John

  13. Bob Weisenberg

    Great video, Tim. Just reinforces my intention to put Guanajatos on our plan to “live around the world 2- 3 months at a time”. But first up are Ecuador, Peru, Spain, and Patagonia! Thanks for writing this article, and for all you other great stuff.

  14. Anna

    Great information and writing on Guanajuato. I am English and live with my Mexican husband in DF. I am desperate to get out out Mexico City and we are currently looking at Guanajuato as an option as my husband can get a transfer there from his job as a lecturer here in DF. We have a young child so will be looking into school too. Which school does your daughter go to Tim? Feeling inspired after reading this post!

    • Tim Leffel

      My daughter goes to Instituto de Guanajuato, other people I know have their kids in Valenciana. The best high school is a public magnet one though—not really great options as they get older.

  15. Jose perez

    Can you recommend a place to stay for 30-60 days? Thank you.

  16. Serzh

    I found this blog randomly in my travel feeds, and I am really moved. I spent 10 years of my childhood in Guanajuato, Gto. and I loved it. I´ve been back sometimes and I have been thinking that someday I´ll have to come back. I actually live in Mexico City and I also love it and value all the opportunities and entertainment I find here, but I miss the Guanajuato vibe, its spirit and its mountains.

    Thank you for sharing this. I´ll be reading your blog frequently. I´m glad there are more people from the outside who fall in love with the charm of my hometown.

  17. Joey

    I find this article really enjoyful to read. Your currently living my dream, of living in Guanajuato. I currently reside in the mid eastern US. I’m just in early 20s right now though, so plenty of time to make it happen though the earliest the better. Thinking about just saving a lot of money and starting a small business there, see how it goes. Went first time last year and going again this year for around 3 weeks around new years. It’s now my favorite place on Earth, and I’ve been many places. Wish my stay would be like yours though. Going to pay about 3k just on the hotel alone. Lol. Hopefully find some friends this time who can help set me up with something better for the next time I go again. Read about your tour and it sounds pretty good. I’ll have to try it out and say hello! :)

  18. esmeralda

    Hi! everyone! I very motivated to move back to my Mexico….after living almost 20 years in the USA ( frozen)….up north!…..by the way is somebody any information on hotels in SM de Allende ….specially on the street Pila Seca??
    thank you!

  19. Joey

    I have no idea about San Miguel as I’ve never been there. I would like to go sometime but this coming vacations going to be all Guanajuato. I’m ready to party and have a good time, while touristing during the day. And San Miguel looks like it would rewen the vibe Im looking for. Does anyone know how cold it gets in Guanajuato city during the December and January months? Wondering if I’d be ok with wearing sweaters during the day and some nights?

    • Tim Leffel

      During the day you probably won’t even need a jacket. At night it can get cold enough that you might want a jacket and hat. I’ve never once pulled out my gloves. High 40sF is about the worst it ever gets in the middle of the night.

  20. Derek Larson

    Tim,
    I’m close to pulling the trigger on a move to Mexico and your articles have really helped answer many of my questions and concerns. My wife and I visited SMA and Guanajuato at the end of December and prefer Guanjuato. I found it ironic that the start of your video on Guanajuato (link from your reply to Jose’s post above) has the exact same view of the city as I took in a photograph when I went for a morning run around town. I must’ve been standing in your footprints.
    Derek

  21. David Alan Binder

    I’ve also been evaluating retiring to Mexico although I believe I’ll prefer the Pacific side anything is possible. I mostly look for pros and cons and wish others would elaborate more on BOTH, since one persons pro can be another persons con.

  22. Ge0ffrey

    Guanajuato has a natural defense against being overrun by gringo retirees — the steep hills. Make no mistake about it, if you have bad knees or walk clumsily, you won’t do well in Guanajuato. While you will find most of the commercial center, tourist attractions and lovely town squares at the bottom of the valley, almost all houses and apartments are located hillside, serviced by narrow alleyways, usually steeply sloped, with or without steps, which may or may not be evenly placed. Be advised to look where you step. And if you walk down the hill to buy a few victuals, don’t forget anything. And for heaven’s sake, don’t forget to bring extra oxygen canisters.

  23. karl

    Hi,
    Were an Irish / Spanish family (2 adults and 2 young children) looking to make the most of a career break. We dont drink or smoke and the kids are too young for school.

    Being happy with a 2 bed place and being frugal what would you consider a minimum requirement cash wise per month? We would have a monthly income of $1500 plus whatever we have in savings but I dont want to arrive and find myself having to double my income and draining my entire savings.

    are we being unrealistic and what would the authorities make of a kinda retired early couple being long term tourists as we have no interest in working?

    Thanks

    • Tim Leffel

      Yes, you could get by on that if you’re frugal. You’d need to stay on a tourist visa though if you’re talking about Mexico as that’s well under their income requirements for residency.

  24. Heather McManis

    I lived in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato years and years ago. I loved it and I did not want to come back to the U.S. I am pondering moving back. I am fluent in both English and Spanish. I would like to make some connections while there. I know back in 2000 the crime rate was so low. Is it still like that? I know there are a lot of problems in Mexico and that is the reason I have put off going back. Any information and or contact information would be fantastic. I am getting so tired of the hustle and bustle and would love to take my retirement that I have through the state and then find a little job there.

    • Tim Leffel

      As I’ve replied to others on here, Guanajuato is not crime-free, but it’s certainly much safer than cities the same size in the USA. No weekly random gun violence for one thing.

  25. Lisa

    Tim my husband and I have been searching for a place to relocate in Mexico. We lived in Florida for over 20 years. Would you be interested in reaching out to us to answer some questions? Via of e mail? Or phone?

    Thanks Lisa

  26. April Moore

    Very useful information. I am going to visit this magical place next month. I was researching for additional information. Thank you for sharing such an useful post! I am surprised how cheap is everything! Greetings!

  27. Erika

    Hi Tim, thank you SO much for your wonderful commentary, videos, and photos about your life here! My partner and I are planning a move to the area (either here, or San Miguel) within the year. We have two bigger dogs, however, and I’m a little flummoxed as to the best way to get them down with us, and which city is most rental-friendly for dogs. Guanajuato seems the most appropriate for our goals (gain fluency, atmosphere, and as I’d really like to get rid of my SUV), but the ease of getting the dogs down here as well as the rental situation is a major consideration. As little trips as we have to take, the better. Any thoughts?

    • Tim Leffel

      That makes things much more complicated for sure–both in terms of getting them down and in finding a landlord who will rent to you. There are also very few places for them to run around in the city centers. Most big dog owners I’ve met in either place own their own home with plenty of room. You can fly small ones down in a plane, but for yours you’ll probably need to drive all the way in that SUV. Whatever you do, take a trial run first for a few weeks or a month before taking the leap for good. Lots more here: http://www.cheaplivingabroad.com

  28. Rachel

    Thanks for your blog! A couple of years ago I introduced my father to a day trip of Guanajuato and now he wants to spent a month there at a time. Do you know anyone that rents for just a month instead of by the night. I have spent many long hours trying to find something simple, private and around $450 for the month(that’s not a hostal ). Does that even exist? I haven’t had much luck on AirB&B either.

    • Tim Leffel

      It’s hard to find a place for that price for such a short time, but it can be done. Many AirBnB small places will rent out for a lower price if it’s a slow period. Otherwise you can definitely work out a month-long deal with a small hotel.

  29. Brenda Renteria

    This blog has been a great help! Thanks Tim. It’s so wonderful to see the love that others have for Mexico. I spent a year studying and teaching in Queretaro, I am now finishing up my bachelor’s degree, and looking for a job near Irapuato. This is a long shot, but would you know someplace or somewhere I can have luck finding a job. Doesn’t need to pay much, just enough to live off. Thanks!

  30. Jesus Orozco

    Tim, my wife and I are considering buying a second home in Guanajuato. I am drawn to the heart of the Centro Historico so that we can walk to restaurants, bars and theaters. I’d like to purchase a medium to larger home with the central courtyard if possible. We are not afraid of a renovation project but are interested in not over paying for property. Do you know of any such place for sale or can you recommend a realtor or friend that may be able to help us out? We will be in Guanajuato in July 2016 but can fly out prior to if something of interest was located.

  31. KinmieA

    Tim, this is a great blog post.

    We currently live in Sarasota, Florida, and we are seeking another place to call home. As you know the prices in West Florida are high, considering the value for dollar. Having lived in Florida for decades, and being conversable in Spanish, as well as being well-traveled, we are considering Mexico. AlreaThis is the third visitdy we have done two forays into Mexico to investigate.

    This is my third investigatyional visit, and I write you from Cuernavaca, which I discovered has someincredible housing bargains–but of course, there is a reason for those low prices! One cannot take an evening stroll around the neighborhood in safety.

    Hence, I am moving on to Oaxaca to do more research. Again, it will be my third trip ther, and what I am discovering is that most Mexicans do not sell through real estate agents, but instea,d with word-of-mouth, through newspaper ads, or “Se Vende” signs on the outside of a building. So the only way to get a good feel for the real estate market is the old-fashioned way, by walking around an looking.

    After Oaxaca I will be visiting Guanajuato, one of my most favorite cities in the world. Again, I will be scouting the real estate market, and I appreciate the hint about checking “The Chopper” .

  32. David Christian Newton

    The language is no problem. Just start speaking….in 90 days you will be beyond functional and in 180 days you will be fluent. The Mexicans of that area are – and yes I am generalising, but it is a generalisation that is accurately employed – extremely patient with Gringos who are stumbling along the path to Cervantine Spanish Perfection. They consider it a badge of honour that a Gringo is trying to learn the language of the folks.

    Just go and speak Spanish…do not force it….do not try to “over-pronounce” just imitate what you hear and speak slowly. Watch one and no more than two of the stupid telenovelas…the enunciation and grammar and vocabulary are world famous. The shows are degenerate….GP rated decadence and porn….but the language is excellent. It is a fusion of ancient Peninsular Spanish and current Idioma de la Onda.

    Better to die in Guanajuato than to live somewhere else…our workers said back when we had over a thousand (over 30 years) work for us in the citrus and other agriculture in the McAllen area in Texas. And yes, our family has been legally and morally correctly involved in Mexico (business, residence, and pleasure) since the 1880s.

    El Gringo Viejo
    (David Christian Newton – at your service)

    • Mike Bluett

      There is no way a person can be fluent in Spanish in 180 days. I lived in Ecuador for almost 3 years with my Ecuadorean girlfriend whom does not speak any English. I definitely learned a lot but I am no where close to being fluent. That is reality.

      • Tim Leffel

        Well, people define “fluent” in many ways. Can you talk for two hours? Can you give a lecture? Can you read great literature? Could you be a spy who is mistaken for a local? Those are all VERY different levels, but I don’t think when people buy Fluent in 3 Months they’re expecting to talk like a native. They’re wanted to be able to effectively communicate. Functional fluency let’s call it.

  33. Matthew Bailey

    How much is the average house there? I know in Mexico City, it’s hard to find a house in a decent neighbourhood for less than $500K USD…

    • Tim Leffel

      We paid $85K for ours and put another $20K or so more into it over two years. You can spend more or spend less, but it’s really hard in that city to spend $500k on anything. It would be a massive mansion fitted to U.S. requirements. San Miguel is a different story though, with far more rich foreigners driving up prices.

  34. Rosalind

    Awesome blog thank you!
    My husband and I are retiring in March, packing up the car and driving through Mexico with no fixed itinerary, heading through to Panama and then across to Ecuador. We can hardly wait – a couple of years of planning and major downsizing but your blog and all the wonderful comments from everyone has reinforced my need to spend time in Mexico.

    We are learning Spanish and doing pretty good so far – though of course there is a difference between the Spanish language and the Spanish in Mexico right? However, we are banking on the locals putting us right. We really want to get to know locals wherever we go, not against some expat friends but we are looking to learn local culture and language.
    We will definitely head to Gto somewhere along the line and have only one question for you before we head there to experience it for ourselves. What is the weather really like – we live in San Antonio at the moment (down from MT) and the humidity here and the heat in summer is just a bit too much – I bet with your altitude (we have lived mile high in CO) humidity is not really a problem is it?
    I hope to see/hear more from everyone here in the coming weeks/months/years !

    • Tim Leffel

      It’s the opposite of humid there. Bring moisturizer. And take the street food walking tour! (MexicoStreetFood.com) Yes, study Latin American Spanish, not Spain Spanish. Sounds like a great trip.

  35. Chris Smith

    I am coming to spend 3 weeks in Guanajuato late December and early January, just to check it out for possible future living. Would love to meet some expats while in town. What are the most lively associations, websites, or best places to meet people? Thanks!

    • Tim Leffel

      It’s not like San Miguel with lots of social clubs, expat bars, and hangouts. There’s local listserv where you can connect but the main gatherings are around cultural events (like the Symphony), parties at peoples’ houses, and maybe El Midi on nights when there’s a music performance. You’ll also run into some expats at Cafe Tal. Be sure to book my company’s street food tour when you first get there! http://mexicostreetfood.com

  36. Claudia

    I live in Austin Texas and am married to a wonderful husband and have a 7 year old boy, My husband wants to move us to Dolores Gto, and have to say, I’m a little scared hearing about the killings, and also the schools for my son, is there English classes, he don’t know nothing in Spanish, don’t know maybe I’m over reacting, but I basically want to know, if it’s a better living and a happy place to stay.

    • Tim Leffel

      Crime there will be less than Austin, but it’s a small town with only public schools in Spanish I would imagine.

  37. Anita

    Hi Tim!
    I am considering retiring to Guanajuato and I have questions regarding health insurance. As I am a few years away from being 65 I will not qualify for Medicare here in the states. Would you be so kind as to enlighten me as to some of my options in Guanajuato ?
    Thanks very much ,
    Anita

    • Tim Leffel

      Anita,

      This question and the 100 you haven’t thought of yet are answered here (or in the paperback):
      http://www.cheaplivingabroad.com/packages/

      Short answer, Medicare wouldn’t help you anyway outside the USA so most expenses you’ll pay out of pocket or have an international plan for. Also, there’s info in the book about doing a trial run first before you make any decisions about any place to move to and if you do that you can talk with people actually living there while you’re at it to hear their strategies.

  38. Atenea

    Hi Tim, such a wonderfull tale of how to live in Guanajuato, It´s being so usefull, nowadays the dolar is about $20 pesos but the proportion of expenses you write it´s almost the same.

    I´ve got a question how did you manage to solve the medical/dental issues? I guess it was the hardest part of living there, how can you refer your issues with non-technical language with the doctors there?

    I moved here last year and I still searching any bilingual doctor

    Do you know any Anglophone/American group in facebook living here in Guanajuato so I can ask them how to contact medical bilingual services?

    • Tim Leffel

      Our dentist speaks English and a few doctors, but not a general practitioner. But we learned a lot of Spanish and took a dictionary along when necessary. All part of being in a new culture. There is a local GTO-List group message board. Nothing on Facebook that I know of.

  39. Geoffrey

    Can you post a link to the on-line Chopper? I am also looking for an affordable casita in Guanajuato.

    • Tim Leffel

      Google “chopper guanajuato”

      • greta knecht

        Hi Tim,
        So glad to find You! I have a short list of where to move to in Mexico. GTO and Patzcuaro high on my list. I plan on being there in Nov. And want to rent cheaply for a month while I feel it out. I speak Spanish. I lived in several places in Mexico years ago. I will be traveling with 2 dogs. One medium and one huge!
        I would love to hear from you and stay in contact, I am not a pest! Ha! Especially the closer to November.thanks,
        Greta Knecht

  40. Susan

    Hey Tim,

    Is there a group set up where expats living in Guanjuato City share information ? like the people in San Miguel de Allende have ? (yahoo group).

    Thanks.

    • Tim Leffel

      Yes, there’s a similar (though not as active) board called GTO List that a hundred or so people are on. Also a Facebook group.

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