Considering Tepoztlan - would love other suggestions!

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Considering Tepoztlan - would love other suggestions!


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Old 19th July 2020, 02:06 AM
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Default Considering Tepoztlan - would love other suggestions!

Hello! My husband and I have always wanted to live abroad (digital nomads), and we are starting to think about it more seriously during this garbage fire of a year. In the next few years (after travel becomes advisable again, obviously) we'd like to start taking some exploratory trips down south.

We'd considered Ecuador (we both speak Spanish pretty well, and would like to be fluent), but are drawn to being a bit closer to the US for the necessary trips back. We may also split our time for a few years, which makes the proximity of mexico even more alluring.

That said, we're drawn to Tepotzlan because it ticks a lot of our boxes. However, with the small size of the town, and the growing influx of wealthy expats and Mexico City weekenders, we do worry that real estate may be hard to find or out of reach by the time we're ready to move. I'd love a few other ideas from you experts on places we could check out that might be similar.

Here are some things that we love about that area that are important to us:

- Cooler weather compared to the coasts. We love to garden, hike, be outside and not be a disgusting sweaty mess. The year round 70-80 in the central mountain area really calls to us.

- Lush landscape. I love a desert, but honestly, lots of beautiful greenery is ideal. I'm from the PNW, so what can I say - I like plants. And don't really mind rain.

- Near-ish to hospitals/airport. I'm a homebody. I don't need to be in a big town for daily stuff, but should we need it, I want to be able to get there.

Those are the main points. I'd love to hear what you all recommend!

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Old 19th July 2020, 05:01 AM
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You aren't going to get lush greenery in a central mountain area. They tend to be dry and dusty, but of course you can create a lush garden as long as you have water. And you won't get year round 70-80. Central highlands get cold at night in the winter.
Lake Chapala area might be somewhere for you to check out- there are several municipalities there- Ajijic is very gringo-ized and not that cheap, but there are smaller towns around that are more Mexican and less expensive. It's an hour from Guadalajara, where there's an international airport.
I would suggest that you rent for a year wherever you decide to be, rather than purchase anything. There are a lot of challenges about living in Mexico- it's not for everyone and many people who thought it was their dream place found out differently.
I'm a major gardener myself, and also from the PNW- Vancouver Island. I live in Sayulita, an hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Very lush and green, but you wouldn't like it- hot and humid for about half the year. Don't mind that myself.
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Old 19th July 2020, 01:26 PM
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Elevation is everything when it comes to climate. Guadalajara is at 1500 m, Mexico City at 2200 m, Queretaro at 2000 m. You can pick your minimum temperature by picking your elevation.
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Old 19th July 2020, 02:07 PM
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I'm sorry if my list was confusing! By 70s and 80s, I meant daytime temps. Cold nights are totally fine. Even colder days might be ok - we were even looking at the much cooler San Cristobal de Las Casas. Seems both scdlc and Tepoztlan have the green landscape we're looking for, without the super high temps.

Certainly we aren't going to move permantly without a long stay, but I wondered if there is anywhere else to consider.

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Old 19th July 2020, 05:32 PM
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San Cristobal is a city without much greenry however if you want to live on the outskirts you can have some green space,,Many of the huse in the center have patios versus gardens..however some people I know Have some wonderful green patios filled with flowers.

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Old 19th July 2020, 06:04 PM
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We don't live in Teopoztlan, but we live very close. If I had a death wish I could probably ride a bicycle there in less than an hour. As it is we get in there maybe 4-6 times a year, mostly for an early weekend breakfast, or a quick visit to the market.

I wouldn't worry about real-estate costs growing out of control. If anything I envy you. When we purchased our house the peso was much stronger than it is today. Having US dollars today you are in the drivers seat. And - even in terms of Mexican pesos housing is getting cheaper. A lot of affluent Mexicans are a little uncertain of the future.

We live at right around 6,000 ft - a little higher than Teopoztlan. Our house is small'ish but our yard is large'ish. We have coffee, blueberries (finally), blackberries, mangos, lemons, limes, pink and white grapefruit, navel oranges, juice oranges, tangerines, guava, peaches, plums, platanos, avacados (not much fruit) and a pepper tree. That is in addition to a huge tabachine, 2 large weeping willows, several palms, a large 'golden rain' and more. It is a lot of work. Coming from sea level in Florida - I would say this area is 'lush'. When it is dry (half the year) I run the sprinklers a few times a week. We have well water (and solar panels).

We traveled Mexico for many years before deciding on this area. Some of our original reasons have evolved. We liked that the airport in Mexico City is 1.5-2 hours via bus. Now we don't seem to travel as much. We love visiting Mexico City and now that the second level is compete I can drive in in perhaps 1-1.5 hours (on a Saturday morning). We like that there is a Costco in the area, but with Amazon Prime we can get almost anything delivered to the house in 2 days or less.

Knowing what we know today, if I had it all to do over, I might have a closer look at an area called Lomas de Cocoyoc. It is closer to Cuatla than Teopoztlan but it feels like someone has large plans for that area - and it is very nice. I do not know what exists in that area in terms of hospitals etc.
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Old 20th July 2020, 12:52 AM
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You seem to have an interest in growing season and temperature. I find WeatherSpark very helpful in comparing climates. Look at this to compare Tepoztlan and Ajijic: https://weatherspark.com/compare/y/3...Tepoztl%C3%A1n

I've lived in San Juan Cosala for almost five years now. I would consider moving to Tepoztlan.

From what you have mentioned as your interest, let me observe a few things. We travel A LOT. So proximity to an international airport is important. San Juan Cosala is a little over an hour from GDL and Ajijic is 45 minutes away. Tepoztlan is twice that distance from MEX. I say that but at this moment I am with my mother in Alabama and due to the limited flights I had to fly from GDL to MEX and had a 1 1/2 hour layover. The same will happen when I fly home in ten days. So consider both the proximity to the airport and the options of flights you are given. Even prior to the reduction in flights due to COVID-19 we had to fly to MEX on several occasions since there was not a direct flight from GDL.

From mid-March to mid-June, it is very dry and hot (and getting worse) around Lake Chapala. We have traditionally planned to travel during this time. This year we left the area in March and when travel restrictions hit we were in South America. We ended up coming home to San Juan Cosala and know why we don't like being there during that time of year. It got into the 90s most days and was very, very dry. We welcomed the rains and the cooler temperatures but it seemed slow in coming. As climate change intensifies, who knows how bad it will get.

Medical care is excellent around Lake Chapala. As we age this is becoming more important. It is affordable and accessible. Several doctors from Guadalajara come to the Lake Chapala area frequently so you have access to world-class medical care. Within the past year it has continued to expand with new hospitals and a heart clinic opening. Dental care is excellent and you can find the most innovative technologies and care if you look.

We are considering moving out of Mexico due to the pathetic response to COVID-19. You may realize that Mexico considers itself the lapdog of the US, though they will never say this - their actions revel it. So while you may find pockets of quality available to those with money, the country is highly divergent in services and education between classes. This became so visible when leadership in many areas echoed stupid things like "The poor are immune." These are now the hotspots of infection and death. These attitudes put everyone, rich and poor, in danger. So we are looking for a country with less disparity between rich and poor. It will NOT be the US since it is not much better than Mexico. We want to be in a place with political, economic, and scientific infrastructure that will weather the next storm better than the US or Mexico.

We followed the recommendation of not buying until we lived somewhere for a year. I don't think you are wanting to buy right away but I would recommend spending time in your top two or three places for a few months before making a purchase.

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Old 20th July 2020, 03:31 AM
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You might look into Guanajuato. Elevation is 6600'. It fits your travel and weather specs, plus there are places to hike, but it's not lush. It's hikable off trail; not too brushy.
The streets are steep and will keep you in shape.
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Old 21st July 2020, 03:26 AM
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We have a home in TepoztlŠn. I honestly canít tell you much about current real estate prices or availability, as I havenít kept up with that. But it is a wonderful place to live. While the surrounding mountains become more of a golden sere colour during the dry season, when the rains start in late May or June, they turn emerald green, and rivulets turn into streams and become waterfalls cascading down the mountainside. Itís a great area for hiking. Even in the dry season, there is lots of greenery and flowering trees and vines. Colour everywhere.

Unless itís rush hour or the Monday of a long weekend, itís generally just about 1 hr 15 minutes from TepoztlŠn to the Mexico City Airport (83 km). TepoztlŠn is closer to CDMX than Cuernavaca is. And itís only 20-30 minutes to Cuernavaca, where you can find the big box stores, hospitals, shopping malls, etc.

Weather is about as ideal as anywhere I could imagine. Eternal spring. Chapala has nothing on us, IMHO. There are microclimates based on altitude, so if you like it a little cooler, love a bit higher up the mountainside, and if you want higher, look for a place in the valley.

As long as you arenít living right in the very centre of town, you can usually avoid the tourist crowds, which are generally concentrated on weekends and holidays. Even a few blocks away from the very centre of town, you arenít much affected by these weekend crowds. The rest of the week the town is still quite bustling and vibrant, but without the crowds. While tourism is vital to the economy of the town, TepoztlŠn is much more than a tourist town. It is first and foremost a traditional Mexican village rooted in a proud history. Tepoztecos conserve their traditions passed down through generations. I could go on and on, but Iíll stop here.

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Old 21st July 2020, 01:52 PM
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I guess two people can look at the same thing and see something different.

We looked at various places in Tepoztlan when we were house hunting. I don't think there is even an Oxxo in the town. There are a lot of small restaurants/pottery stores/maybe a pharmacy or two/some small hardware shops. I think if you need something more than soft drinks, snack foods or aspirins you pretty much have to get in the car and drive to either Cuatla or Cuernavaca. You CAN pick up some stuff at the twice(?) a week market. People are pretty regularly complaining about their internet service. We have been in a couple of very very nice houses in Tepoztlan.

There is bus service to the entrance-way of the town but I'm not sure of the connections. Perhaps Taxquena in Mexico City where you would need to either get a taxi/bus or metro (watch your belongings) to get anywhere. If you want to catch a bus to MEX you are probably going to have to take a taxi from Tepoztlan to Casino de Selva in Cuernavaca (let's call it a 40 minute ride). Perhaps Google Maps states that MEX is 1.25 hours from Tepoztlan - but it is close to that long just to get to the Caseta de Tlapan (which for me anyway is like the 'gateway' to the city). Then depending on the time of day the airport is probably another hour away. And that is in a bus which is going to take you right to terminals. By the way - there is a domestic as well as an international terminal. Figure another 20-30 minute ride if you are going international. When you first get on the bus in Cuernavaca the driver will tell you settle in for the two hour ride (they often have movies). Although my bank credit card affords me a week's free parking at MEX I've never driven in. We actually anticipate the traffic/time of day when we book flights. We often take a 5AM bus for a 9AM flight (domestic) and try to always return to MEX at 1PM or earlier.

There is only one word to describe Tepoztlan weekend traffic - oppressive. It is so bad they even close off the main drag to one way traffic and send you down side streets. We like driving in at say 8AM on a Sunday morning for breakfast and try to head back home by 10 AM (or else).

The weather is nice most times of the year. The guy who built our house was Swiss and our house has many many vigas. It keeps pretty cool and in fact sometimes we literally open the windows to warm the place up. At the same time we do have to run fans at night (at times) to make it comfortable to sleep. When it rains it is normally while we are asleep. But we do get weather from both coasts.

You really want to exercise caution when you head out hiking in the forest. You do not want to take anything of value along and the larger your party the better. Might be a good idea to take along some dogs if possible. Don't think of riding a bicycle. Horses should be ok but even they take along 3 or 4 dogs.

If you do go to Tepoztlan to check it out consider stopping in at the La Sombra restaurant/book store. In my very limited experience that seemed to be 'expat central'. (I believe they have a mailing list). Oh - and there is another email based website(?) called cuernads - but as the moderator often points out - its primary purpose is for expats and locals to offer the goods/services and not converse (its purpose is commercial).
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