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My wife (a Mexican national) and I have finally decided to move from Tampa, FL to Mexico. We've got family all over, and of course, all of their cities are "the best" places to live.
Merida, Campeche, Villahermosa, Cancun, Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Cardenas, Playa del Carmen were on our first list of "towns" to move to.

We've repeatedly visited Mexico and checked out all the towns listed above, spending days in each one. We had lots of guidance from family on security concerns, etc.

Our final choices are Cuernavaca or Playa del Carmen (Villahermosa a distant 3rd), radically different culturally and weather wise. Cuernavaca being very good weather year round basically with Playa del Carmen being hot, humid, tropical climate year round, and hot there is HOT. I just got back from Yucatan / Quintana Roo a couple of weeks ago. Daily temps of 100+ is not unusual with 80% or more humidity.

Questions: In Cuernavaca, is there a viable America expat community?

Is the security situation better than it was a few years ago?

As I'm a musician (now retiring) I still want to play some in Mexico. Might there be any venues or events in Cuernavaca that might use American rock/blues played by mix of Mexicans / Americans? In Playa del Carmen I played with people a month ago, and there are opportunities to play, club, concerts, performing arts, etc.

I see online some housing in Cuernavaca that is unbelievably inexpensive, huge houses, palatial gardens, etc... Very cheap... Ex narco houses maybe? We're visiting again in September and spending a week there looking for a house. If you know a good realtor or someone selling a home, please let us know.

Thanks in advance,

S & T
 

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There is a Yahoo Group (Cuernads) you might want to check out. There is a church (St Michael's) which has a small attached library. There are some very nice people there who might help you get acclimated.

Cuernavaca has several different climates and many different neighborhoods. The Southern side of town (Temixco) can get HOT. The Northern side of town (Del Bosque) can get COLD. There are parts of town which can be scary and extremely congested (Civac). There is a region of town called Vista Hermosa which is very large/convenient/centrally located. Housing there might be some of the most expensive and traffic on weekends can be ridiculous.

I highly recommend renting your first year, find a realtor you can trust (look for a large franchised outfit) and look at a lot of houses. Some places are the most tranquil places on earth during daylight hours but 'come alive' at night. You need to be careful of that.

For crime - there is an online newspaper (elsoldecuernavaca). You should check out their Police page.
 

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Don't you think there is a reason to find large beautiful housing in a city having a climate described as "eternal spring" at an unbelievably inexpensive price? Take the above posters last sentance advice.......
 

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I am curious why would anyone move to Villahermosa, unless it was for family reason r a jobs? The place is not hermosa, the traffic is awful. the weather is awful. The best part is that it has an airport that is small and so it is easy to get out of there. Cardenas is worst and both places have high corruption.
 

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Cardenas is the pits. Villahermosa is a little better. The weather sucks, but we have lots of family there, and in Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Tabasco, Mexico City, etc..
 

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I totally agree Cardenas is the pits and as it is a smaller town the justice system is really crooked..
Actually most of Tabasco is the pits.. I think it is one of my least favorite state in Mexico. I like Campeche and Yucatan but do not care for the climate and hate living with A/C so those are out for me.. The Peninsula is pretty safe compare to some other states so that is a plus for the Yucatan..

I have lots of relatives in Marseilles in France and that does not mean I would live there.. actually it pretty much insure I would nt live there´despite the nice climate and the cheaper housing....
 

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Ah but I like my family... We're pretty much leaning towards Cuernavaca... If not Playa del Carmen. Don't mind A/C, don't mind heat and humidity if there are other benefits to go along with it.
 

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citlali;12615522Marseilles in France and that does not mean I would live there.. actually it pretty much insure I would nt live there´despite the nice climate and the cheaper housing....[/QUOTE said:
Are you saying Marseilles has cheaper housing than where you live in Mexico?!
 

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No I am saying that just because you have family in a city that does not make that city a pleasant place to live in.. Marseilles has a nice climate cheap housing and is plenty dangerous not unlike some cities in Mexico...Marseilles has some places that are very cheap in comparaison to the rest of the big cities on the coast.. I have not bothered comparing the prices with Mexico because I have zero interest to move there..
That is what came to my mind talking about Vilahermosa and Cardenas..
 

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Ah but I like my family... We're pretty much leaning towards Cuernavaca... If not Playa del Carmen. Don't mind A/C, don't mind heat and humidity if there are other benefits to go along with it.
Of all the places you mentioned, Cuernavaca is the one I would most consider. It is reasonably attractive and the weather is temperate. In my opinion it is more famous a destination than it deserves to be and it's weather is overrated in the sense that there are a number of other locations with comparable weather that are much more appealing. Every time I go to Cuernavaca I think, "well, this place is not bad", but it doesn't grab me like so many other places in Mexico. It's basically the non-beach weekend getaway locale for Mexico City's middle and upper classes.

I like beach communities just fine to visit, but not to live full-time. I totally understand the family thing and if that is the principal driving force, you could make a great life in any of the places you mentioned, no matter what. It's all in the attitude you have going in!
 

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I would go for Cuernavaca over a beach community. There is something that really bothers me about the beach communities in QR.
Friends of ours let us have their condo in Akumal for a month : it is a very nice apartment right on the beach.. What I realized is that many of the condos are rented out or used for parties..we kept getting new people who came to party, it was not a real community just a revolving door for drunk Americans and noisy Mexican families.. I hated every minute of it and it made me realize that may people do not live at the beach they go there to have fun and that was way too much fun for me..Also I did not care for the contrast between the village inland where workers and service people live and the condos where the well off people lived or rented.. Again to me it did not feel like a community I wanted to be part of.

I would pick Cuernavaca or a small town around there in a minute over Playa del Carmen.. or anywhere in Tabasco.
 

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My wife (a Mexican national) and I have finally decided to move from Tampa, FL to Mexico. We've got family all over, and of course, all of their cities are "the best" places to live.
Merida, Campeche, Villahermosa, Cancun, Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Cardenas, Playa del Carmen were on our first list of "towns" to move to.

We've repeatedly visited Mexico and checked out all the towns listed above, spending days in each one. We had lots of guidance from family on security concerns, etc.

Our final choices are Cuernavaca or Playa del Carmen (Villahermosa a distant 3rd), radically different culturally and weather wise. Cuernavaca being very good weather year round basically with Playa del Carmen being hot, humid, tropical climate year round, and hot there is HOT. I just got back from Yucatan / Quintana Roo a couple of weeks ago. Daily temps of 100+ is not unusual with 80% or more humidity.

Questions: In Cuernavaca, is there a viable America expat community?

Is the security situation better than it was a few years ago?

As I'm a musician (now retiring) I still want to play some in Mexico. Might there be any venues or events in Cuernavaca that might use American rock/blues played by mix of Mexicans / Americans? In Playa del Carmen I played with people a month ago, and there are opportunities to play, club, concerts, performing arts, etc.

I see online some housing in Cuernavaca that is unbelievably inexpensive, huge houses, palatial gardens, etc... Very cheap... Ex narco houses maybe? We're visiting again in September and spending a week there looking for a house. If you know a good realtor or someone selling a home, please let us know.

Thanks in advance,

S & T
Our home is in Tepoztlán, about 20 Minutes from Cuernavaca. It's a Pueblo Mágico, with lots of weekend tourists from CDMX. There are many venues with live music, and I've seen ads for at least one Tepoz-based blues band made up of both expats and Mexicans (Steve Brandick y Los Carnivoros).

I'm still only occasionally in Tepoz (still working in Toronto). Because my husband is Mexican and lived in Tepoztlán long before I met him, our social circle is made up of Mexican family and friends, so I've only met a few expats, but there definitely are plenty of US and Canadian expats in both Tepoztlán and Cuernavaca (as well as from Europe and other countries in Latin America). If you're in Tepoztlán, just go to one of the cafes on Calle Revolución, right across from the zócalo, such as Café Tepoz or Café Revolución, and you'll find expats. Also, as horseshoe mentioned you can join the Yahoo group "Cuernads", which is an information sharing group aimed at expats in Cuernavaca and Tepoztlán.

Personally, I love Tepoztlán. It's vibrant, quirky, with a mix of both the rootedness of the Tepoztecos whose ancestors have inhabited this land since time immemorial and the esoteric, New Age, hippie :hippie: vibe it's also known for. (Not to mention :alien: - it's a UFO sighting hotspot.) The air is clean, surrounded by the Tepozteco mountains and national park. It's close to both Cuernavaca and Mexico City.

Good luck with your move, wherever you end up!
 

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Yes, Tepoztlán! It's got a lot more character than nearby Cuernavaca.

I totally forgot to mention music in my previous post. Since Cuernavaca is a tourist destination there is some degree of live music performance, essentially cover bands.

I'm a professional musician, so on my early trips to Cuernavaca I investigated the music happenings there, but the creative music scene in town is basically non-existent and since that's my area of endeavors, it held little interest for me. If you are up for playing in something like an old-school bar band, cover band or tribute band you'll be able to find things to do because the tourism creates a certain number of venues for that. I'm sure that if you put together a blues band, you'd find places to play. You being the "****** blues guy" would give you automatic marketing power. That would be true anywhere in Mexico.

Because it is much smaller, Tepoz has less music venues but they do have a couple of music festivals each year that bring in artists from around the country.
 

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Our home is in Tepoztlán, about 20 Minutes from Cuernavaca. It's a Pueblo Mágico, with lots of weekend tourists from CDMX. There are many venues with live music, and I've seen ads for at least one Tepoz-based blues band made up of both expats and Mexicans (Steve Brandick y Los Carnivoros).

I'm still only occasionally in Tepoz (still working in Toronto). Because my husband is Mexican and lived in Tepoztlán long before I met him, our social circle is made up of Mexican family and friends, so I've only met a few expats, but there definitely are plenty of US and Canadian expats in both Tepoztlán and Cuernavaca (as well as from Europe and other countries in Latin America). If you're in Tepoztlán, just go to one of the cafes on Calle Revolución, right across from the zócalo, such as Café Tepoz or Café Revolución, and you'll find expats. Also, as horseshoe mentioned you can join the Yahoo group "Cuernads", which is an information sharing group aimed at expats in Cuernavaca and Tepoztlán.

Personally, I love Tepoztlán. It's vibrant, quirky, with a mix of both the rootedness of the Tepoztecos whose ancestors have inhabited this land since time immemorial and the esoteric, New Age, hippie :hippie: vibe it's also known for. (Not to mention :alien: - it's a UFO sighting hotspot.) The air is clean, surrounded by the Tepozteco mountains and national park. It's close to both Cuernavaca and Mexico City.

Good luck with your move, wherever you end up!
Don't get mad at me but I'm going to comment a little on your post. We enjoy going to Tepoz but it is 20+ minutes from there to Ocotpec (depending). From there it is perhaps another 15-20 minutes to Costco or the Pullman terminal and another 10 minutes to el centro. My point is - living in Tepoz is not convenient. Yes there are a lot of tiendas for groceries and such, and there is a very nice market - but for a lot of other things you will need to go into Cuernavaca (or Cuatla). Generally - on a Sunday when we go to Tepoz - we try to get there around 9AM and try to get out of there by 11AM. Otherwise the traffic will kill you.

A person can spend a ton (relative) of money on a house in Tepoz. We have been in some incredible houses - and met some really 'eclectic' people.

I think an expat in Tepoz should visit La Sombra del Sabino. It is a 'book store' which has a cafe. When we have been there (which isn't that often) perhaps 3/4 of the people there were expats. From time to time they have exhibits and the food is good and affordable. They have a website and the owner emails monthly bulletins. For me - it kind of feels like the town of Woodstock in NY.

We no longer frequent bars - in fact we are normally in bed by 7PM. The only music we have encountered around here is a solo (Mexican) guitarist walking tables or sitting at the door of a restaurant during Sunday brunch. I have seen some postings on Cuernads where expats are hawking their performances in Tepoz...
 

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Don't get mad at me but I'm going to comment a little on your post. We enjoy going to Tepoz but it is 20+ minutes from there to Ocotpec (depending). From there it is perhaps another 15-20 minutes to Costco or the Pullman terminal and another 10 minutes to el centro. My point is - living in Tepoz is not convenient. Yes there are a lot of tiendas for groceries and such, and there is a very nice market - but for a lot of other things you will need to go into Cuernavaca (or Cuatla). Generally - on a Sunday when we go to Tepoz - we try to get there around 9AM and try to get out of there by 11AM. Otherwise the traffic will kill you.

A person can spend a ton (relative) of money on a house in Tepoz. We have been in some incredible houses - and met some really 'eclectic' people.

I think an expat in Tepoz should visit La Sombra del Sabino. It is a 'book store' which has a cafe. When we have been there (which isn't that often) perhaps 3/4 of the people there were expats. From time to time they have exhibits and the food is good and affordable. They have a website and the owner emails monthly bulletins. For me - it kind of feels like the town of Woodstock in NY.

We no longer frequent bars - in fact we are normally in bed by 7PM. The only music we have encountered around here is a solo (Mexican) guitarist walking tables or sitting at the door of a restaurant during Sunday brunch. I have seen some postings on Cuernads where expats are hawking their performances in Tepoz...
In terms of how long it takes to get to Cuernavaca from Tepoz, it depends on which route you take. We usually take the cuota, and unless traffic is bad, can get from our house to the Walmart on Domingo Diez in about 20 minutes. It should take about 30 mins to Casino de la Selva (Terminal Pullman), although we have been known to make it in just over 20 minutes once when I made us late for the bus to the airport... Always too many things to do and people to say bye to when I head back to Canada... ;) If we go through Ocotepec / Santa Catarina via the old Carretera Federal, we expect it to take double the time as the cuota. Sometimes we do that, as there may be places along the way we want to pick some things up, or eat tacos (in Santa Catarina), or just to take the scenic route if we're not in a hurry.

Also, from Tepoz it's about 25 minutes to Yautepec, where we also go for shopping (and it's where our herrero has his shop). But honestly, most daily needs can be purchased in Tepoz, and going once a week or a couple of times a month to a larger centre is not really inconvenient. I'm not a Costco shopper, but if I were, here in the middle of Toronto I would need to drive at least 30 minutes to the nearest Costco, so driving that far from Tepoz to the Costco or Sam's Club in Cuerna is reasonable (and a prettier drive, to boot).

I love the market in Tepoz, where you can get whatever you need in terms of fruits and vegetables, meat, flowers, fresh hand-made tortillas :cheer2: , sundries, etc., but it is more expensive for produce than in Cuernavaca or Yautepec, so when we are in either place, we'll often pick up fruits and veggies. The local tiendas are actually quite well stocked, including items expats might want. For instance, I was surprised to find Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

We avoid driving through central Tepoztlan on the weekends/holidays, unless on our moto. Traffic is crazy with all the tourists. But the rest of the week, it's fine. And of course, Tepoz is very walkable, if you don't mind hilly streets. The views are amazing. We're part way up the mountain, so it's an easy walk down to the centre of town. Often I walk back up for the exercise, but it's also easy enough to grab a taxi ($30-35 pesos).

In terms of access to Mexico City, Tepoztlan is closer than Cuernavaca. There are frequent buses throughout the day, MXN$119, 1 hour from Tepoz to Taxqueña (and from there easy access to the Mexico City Metro). It's 1 hr 20 mins from Cuernavaca to Taxqueña.

You're right about La Sombra del Sabino being an expat "hub", and an organic market is held there every Friday. As I mentioned before, our social circle in Tepoz is made of Mexican family and friends, so I really haven't had much interaction with the expat community, but I imagine when the day comes that I actually retire and spend more time there, I'll start getting to know more expats.
 

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Moving scenario Mexico

I am a US citizen and my wife is a dual citizen (US and Mexico). We have decided to live in her home town of Durango Mexico. We are just taking books (15 boxes Library used) and clothes (some sleeping blankets and towels). We are getting a Menaje for my wife as a Mexican citizen. Do we actually need a menaje for this?
We are taking our Saturn Vue with a small trailer 6X4 with our menaje. I will be requesting (at the Santa Teresa - El Paso Tx crossing) a Tourist visa so we can drive our american car and trailer into Mexico. She will enter as a Mexican citizen. In Durango we will rent a home after which we will them try to import and get local Durango plates for our Saturn Vue 6 cyl. 2003 SUV and trailer. We will then go to the local Durango INM office and change my Tourist visa for a FM2 permanent resident visa.
Do you see any problems with this? This looks logical and lawful to me.
 

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I am a US citizen and my wife is a dual citizen (US and Mexico). We have decided to live in her home town of Durango Mexico. We are just taking books (15 boxes Library used) and clothes (some sleeping blankets and towels). We are getting a Menaje for my wife as a Mexican citizen. Do we actually need a menaje for this?
We are taking our Saturn Vue with a small trailer 6X4 with our menaje. I will be requesting (at the Santa Teresa - El Paso Tx crossing) a Tourist visa so we can drive our american car and trailer into Mexico. She will enter as a Mexican citizen. In Durango we will rent a home after which we will them try to import and get local Durango plates for our Saturn Vue 6 cyl. 2003 SUV and trailer. We will then go to the local Durango INM office and change my Tourist visa for a FM2 permanent resident visa.
Do you see any problems with this? This looks logical and lawful to me.
Your plans raise a couple of red flags that you might want to check on.
1) Importing a vehicle and getting Mexican plates is only possible with some makes and some years. I don't know about Saturn. And even if it is possible, it might not be worth the time, effort and cost.
2) You cannot change from a tourist permit to a residence visa while in Mexico. You have to apply for the visa at a consulate outside of Mexico first. Maybe different rules apply since your wife is a Mexican citizen, but if not your plan will need revision.
 
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