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Discussion Starter #1
Are there any expats on this forum currently living in La Paz? I am retiring and relocating to Mexico next year. Originally I had decided on San Miguel de Allende, than I considered San Luis Potosi, Tequisquiapan, Cuernavaca, etc. The list goes on. I finally made a list of the things I love and need in my new environment:

1. low humidity (I have asthma, Dr says I have to leave FL!)
2. palm trees (I am nuts about palm trees)
3. water! (I need a body of water to feel at home and to swim and play in. I would get itchy in a landlocked community)

From what I've read about LaPaz, it sounds perfect. Not many expats, low to moderate humidity, WATER, and a beautiful community, with palm trees!

I will be vacationing in La Paz in September and would like to get an honest perspective of life there from expats.

Thanks,
MandyinJax
 

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I don't know about La Paz, but Mazatlan is just across the gulf and suffers very high heat and humidity in late summer and fall. Most expats try to go elsewhere for that part of the year. Be sure to check your information carefully. I love Mazatlan but have had to eliminate it as a place to live; so we visit in the wintertime instead. At the moment, La Paz is at 59% humidity in the mid 30s C. and it is only April. That's a very hot 95F and it will get worse.
I have respiratory problems, but live rather comfortably at Lake Chapala; inland at 5000 ft. altitude with a very mild climate all year.
 

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Hello Mandy, I moved to La Paz two years ago. It's a wonderful retirement location, at least for me. To address your concerns briefly:

1. Low humidity. Generally it's hard to find a very dry climate near the coast. La Paz is drier than many seaside locations owing to the surrounding desert, but it depends on the wind and fluctuates during the day. In late summer, during tropical storm season, it can get pretty humid. Probably less so than in Jacksonville, but I was there too long ago to remember clearly. The hottest I recall here (last summer) was about 107 F with heat index 120. Coldest 39 F in winter. September is a perfect time for you to come to get an idea for yourself. With asthma, you should also be aware that La Paz can be dusty during high winds.

Yesterday 4/26 according to Weather Underground: High 95, low 62. Humidity high 88, low 19, average 53.

2. You'll see plenty of palms, but not as many as in more tropical locations because many species need a lot of water.

3. Lovely swimming beaches are a 10-30 minute drive from downtown. The malecon (walkway) along La Paz bay is about 5 km long, palm-lined, and wonderful for morning and evening walks. Sunsets can be spectacular!

This is a friendly, enjoyable, laid-back place to live. Just about everything you'd want is available, and medical facilities are very good. Housing can be in town or a few miles out, if you prefer quieter surroundings. Most tourism is eco-tourism, and the tourist zone essentially consists of a few blocks of hotels and restaurants along the bay and a few resort type hotels a bit farther out. We get Mexican vacationers from the mainland as well as foreigners. Night life is minimal, but there is some. There are probably a few thousand expats, most of whom are part-time but some (like me) full time. We're mostly scattered, and in a city of close to 200,000 not at all overwhelming. Most whom I've met are very nice, low-key folks, and you can be as involved or uninvolved as you wish in various activities. La Paz is the state capital and very much a working Mexican town. English isn't widely spoken outside the tourism and real estate scenes, so most expats know or are learning Spanish. Mexican people are family-oriented, friendly, helpful, and fun. I feel safe here as a single woman.

Please feel free to let me know if you have other questions, and good luck!

Are there any expats on this forum currently living in La Paz? I am retiring and relocating to Mexico next year. Originally I had decided on San Miguel de Allende, than I considered San Luis Potosi, Tequisquiapan, Cuernavaca, etc. The list goes on. I finally made a list of the things I love and need in my new environment:

1. low humidity (I have asthma, Dr says I have to leave FL!)
2. palm trees (I am nuts about palm trees)
3. water! (I need a body of water to feel at home and to swim and play in. I would get itchy in a landlocked community)

From what I've read about LaPaz, it sounds perfect. Not many expats, low to moderate humidity, WATER, and a beautiful community, with palm trees!

I will be vacationing in La Paz in September and would like to get an honest perspective of life there from expats.

Thanks,
MandyinJax
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Makaloco and RVGringo, thank you for your responses to my request for info about LaPaz. I appreciate the information.
 

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Frying-pan hot??

Makaloco and RVGringo, thank you for your responses to my request for info about LaPaz. I appreciate the information.
A decade ago we took the bus up to La Paz from San Jose del Cabo during the February Carnival and enjoyed La Paz very much. Stayed at Hotel La Perla along the malecon. Enjoyed the beaches out at Pichilingue, but waves not very big at that location along the coast.... protected by Isla Espiritu, I think.
Anything I've read about La Paz sounds inviting, except the "frying-pan hot" description of weather during the summer. If there is also the kind of excessive humidity that Mazatlan experiences across the Sea of Cortez, I think I'd try and find someplace cooler.
Have you thought about San Carlos (or nearby Guaymas if you prefer less of a ****** influence) on the mainland? Just as hot in summer....probably hotter...but the humidiity is likely less.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
HolyMole,
Thank you for your input about La Paz. I'm getting many comments about the HEAT in the summer but per the Weather Underground it isn't any hotter there than here (FL) with less humidity. My only solution is to vacation there in August, which is usually the hotest month of the year. I can take heat better than cold, but the humidity factor could be a deal breaker! Again thanks a bunch for sharing your experience!
MandyinJax
 

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Remember that when you 'vacation', someone else is doing all the work, the hotel is probably air conditioned and you will be closer to the beach than when you rent or buy your abode.
 

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I'm not trying to say that it doesn't steam up here, but It's going to feel very different to someone from Florida than it would to someone from Vancouver or Maine.
Today according to Weather Underground:
High 96, low 62. Humidity high 77, low 17, average 39.
Temp was about the same as yesterday, and humidity was lower. Yet it felt warmer because there was less wind. For a few moments I was actually tempted to turn on a fan. ;-)
 

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"High 96, low 62. Humidity high 77......"
Those conditions could be life threatening to someone with respiratory problems. As we age, those problems get progressively worse, from personal experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
La paz

I'm not trying to say that it doesn't steam up here, but It's going to feel very different to someone from Florida than it would to someone from Vancouver or Maine.
Today according to Weather Underground:
High 96, low 62. Humidity high 77, low 17, average 39.
Temp was about the same as yesterday, and humidity was lower. Yet it felt warmer because there was less wind. For a few moments I was actually tempted to turn on a fan. ;-)
Makaloco, you are too funny! Actually I am sitting in my house in Jacksonville with all the windows open, really nice breeze today and ceiling fans on and I am loving it.

I am recuperating from pneumonia so I cannot use the air-conditioner as it makes me worse. I lived in Hawaii for awhile, Wailuku, Maui, and we didn't have a/c and never needed it as long as the wind was blowing, which it normally did.

Thanks again for making me laugh!
Mandy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
La paz

"High 96, low 62. Humidity high 77......"
Those conditions could be life threatening to someone with respiratory problems. As we age, those problems get progressively worse, from personal experience.
Hi RVGRINGO!
Thanks for your concern. I know what you mean as I am recuperating from pneumonia right now, and I thought I had a bad cold.

My doctor says I have to leave FL because the mold and general dampness is going to kill me. It gets so humid here that opening the door to go outside is like going into a sauna! I simply cannot breath. The kicker is that air conditioning makes me sicker than the humidity as mold thrives in a/c units. Go figure.

My doctor suggested I relo to anywhere in New Mexico; some parts of AZ; El Paso, TX or go back to California (where I lived for 8 years and was NEVER sick). Basically anywhere dry and warm.

All of the above are lovely places but none will provide me with the quality of life I desire. I would love to live a beach lifestyle but if that isn't possible, I'll have to look at other cities in MX. I was/am also considering Tequisquiapan as it is near natural springs where I could swim. Not the same as walking on a beach at sunrise or sunset but if it provides a healthier climate for me, so be it.

I may spend a summer in La Paz and if I am miserable, move on. I am blogging with a woman who lives in her RV and moves throughout Mexico as the climate and her mood changes. That kind of nomadic life might be fun and interesting. Sure would meet a lot of people.

Thanks again for your assistance and concern!

Mandy
 

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AZ, TX, NM; we've tried them all with the RV and found TX the best in the winter but none of them suited us after March. Aside from the weather, none had much quality of life to offer, in our opinion.
Here's a clue about Lake Chapala: There are neither heating nor air conditioning systems in homes here. We have lakefront 'malecons' for those walks and the hot springs are nearby in San Juan Cosala; close enough to ride a bike, if you wish, take the local bus or drive your car. The ocean is four hours away, by car or bus, for a winter break.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Streets of Glass

AZ, TX, NM; we've tried them all with the RV and found TX the best in the winter but none of them suited us after March. Aside from the weather, none had much quality of life to offer, in our opinion.
Here's a clue about Lake Chapala: There are neither heating nor air conditioning systems in homes here. We have lakefront 'malecons' for those walks and the hot springs are nearby in San Juan Cosala; close enough to ride a bike, if you wish, take the local bus or drive your car. The ocean is four hours away, by car or bus, for a winter break.

RVGRINGO,
I am green at this blogging stuff so what do you mean when you say "PM me"? Where can I read the book you mentioned, Streets of Glass?

I take it from your comments that you are living in and loving the Lake Chapala area. I have an email acquaintance in Canada who is having a condo built there. This is what I've read on other blogs about Lake Chapala, feel free to comment on what is true and what is just bunk.

  • the lake is shrinking due to Mexico City and SMA draining it for drinking water. A couple who bought "lake front property" said there is a farm in their front yard now and the new lake front is 3/4 of a mile away. The can't sell their house because of this.
    There is a lot of new construction geared to expats, gated communities, etc. Not to offend anyone, but I wouldn't live in a gated community here. When I get to Mexico I want immersion in the community. I want to be part of Mexico, not separate from it. I don't want to live in an "expat ghetto" as they are called, that's one of the reasons I ruled out SMA.

That being said, I did give serious consideration to Lake Chappala/Ajijic (may have spelled that wrong). I will Google the area again, I want to be fair, and I want to relo to a good place.

In the meantime, how to do get a copy of that book?

Thanks a bunch for all your info! I appreciate it.

Mandy
 

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Sending a PM (private message)

Mandy, I had the same question about sending a PM. I found that by clicking on a user's name, then on "contact info", there is an option to send a private message. I just sent you one to test it.

Also I just discovered that if you click on a user's name in the heading of the message, it gives a drop down that includes the option to send a PM.

RVGRINGO,
I am green at this blogging stuff so what do you mean when you say "PM me"?
 

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RVGRINGO,

......................... This is what I've read on other blogs about Lake Chapala, feel free to comment on what is true and what is just bunk.

  • the lake is shrinking due to Mexico City and SMA draining it for drinking water. A couple who bought "lake front property" said there is a farm in their front yard now and the new lake front is 3/4 of a mile away. The can't sell their house because of this.
    There is a lot of new construction geared to expats, gated communities, etc. Not to offend anyone, but I wouldn't live in a gated community here. When I get to Mexico I want immersion in the community. I want to be part of Mexico, not separate from it. I don't want to live in an "expat ghetto" as they are called, that's one of the reasons I ruled out SMA.
Mandy
Mexico City and SMA do not obtain water from Lake Chapala. That is completely false. Guadalajara does pipe a percentage of its water from Lake Chapala; less than is lost by seasonal evaporation.
Yes, we do live at Lake Chapala, right in the downtown area of Chapala itself, on about 1/3 acre with lots of greenery in a very large walled in garden setting. Many years ago, the lake was quite low but has recovered quite nicely. The lake is shallow and the lakeshore ebbs and flows in multi-year cycles, depending upon the rainy season's abundance. Real estate sales will ebb and flow with those changes, and with the overall economy. However, the lake now has international AMSUR status and is protected. Weekenders from Guadalajara flock to the shore to enjoy the lakeside malecon (boardwalks), restaurants and other activities. Last weekend, we had an air show. We do not live in a condo, fraccionamiento or other 'gated community' and prefer it that way. However, one should not expect to be absorbed into a Mexican community. It won't happen. You can and will have Mexican friends and neighbors but the family ties that bind them together will, forever, leave you at a bit of a distance. Nevertheless, the experience of being included in many of their events is wonderful.

How to send a PM has already been explained and you should be able to send me a PM with your request.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you RvGringo. Your home sounds lovely. I like the part about being in the center of things. As a mother I've done the "suburb thing", ready to be in a more urban environment, within walking distance of stores, restaurants, theaters, etc. I'm not getting any younger, sooner or later I'll have to give up the keys to my car! Can you send me pictures of your house and parts of Chapala that you love so I can see it from your perspective? I will PM you my email address.

MandyinJax
 

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I'll try to select a few photos from my collection to send to your e-mail when I get your PM.
Another thing that some folks need to consider, as they age, is the altitude. I've had heart attacks in 1999 and 2004 and, even with stents, my energy is limited by that and severe respiratory impairment (COPD). As such, I no longer visit places at higher altitudes than Lake Chapala's 5000 feet above sea level; it is just too difficult for me to breathe in places as high as SMA, Mexico City, Patzcuaro, etc., even though I enjoyed them a few years ago. So, those with any asthma or emphysema should realize that these diseases never get better and they will progressively get worse with time.
 

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I have a question about La Paz... We are thinking of moving there. We will be down soon looking around. Are there any specific spots the American / Canadian expats hang out??? Restaurants, night spots, beaches, etc?

How many North American expats are there in La Paz...? Any idea?
 

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Last time I checked, La Paz had a population figure around 180,000. The ExPat community is a bit difficult to gauge as those who own/rent property there are a mixture of vacation, full time and part time residents. Friends living there put the number somewhere around 10-15 thousand.

YMMV
 

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Still looking for the hang outs

Last time I checked, La Paz had a population figure around 180,000. The ExPat community is a bit difficult to gauge as those who own/rent property there are a mixture of vacation, full time and part time residents. Friends living there put the number somewhere around 10-15 thousand.

YMMV
Still looking for the hangouts where we could chat with some local expats in person. Restaurants, marina, bars etc???
 
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