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I know there is no real answer to my question, but some opinions would be nice to hear. We're planning to move to Mexico but can't decide where. Obviously, we want somewhere that's considered safe, but also somewhere that's not too earthquake prone (my wife lived in Mexico City years ago which left her with some fears, and yesterday's tragedy doesn't help), somewhere that's not hot, and somewhere that's still Mexican (not San Miguel Allende). Queretaro is at the top of our list at the moment. Any thoughts? Many thanks.
 

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I know there is no real answer to my question, but some opinions would be nice to hear. We're planning to move to Mexico but can't decide where. Obviously, we want somewhere that's considered safe, but also somewhere that's not too earthquake prone (my wife lived in Mexico City years ago which left her with some fears, and yesterday's tragedy doesn't help), somewhere that's not hot, and somewhere that's still Mexican (not San Miguel Allende). Queretaro is at the top of our list at the moment. Any thoughts? Many thanks.
The San Andreas Fault line runs practically all of the way through Mexico so you can't really plan for earthquakes, Queretaro is certainly in the center of Mexico and just as prone to an earthquake as any other location. The Gulf Coast or the Caribbean are not near the fault lines to my knowledge.

Orizaba is nice and there is a lot to see there, we like it here. The weather is pleasant and the people are nice, the cost of living is low. We lived on the Caribbean coast but prices are high, it hot as Hades and hurricanes are always a concern. Crime is also on the rise along that coast as drug cartels fight for turf in this tourist area.
 

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Queretaro is nice though there is a pretty big influx of people moving there (not just expats). Infrastructure has gotten a bit better as they were finishing some highway projects as I was leaving. San Miguel is not too far when ever you want to meet up some other expats. It does get hot there and when it rains it usually flood. I'm not sure how serious you are about Queretaro so I won't go into great detail unless you would like to know.
 

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We just moved to Queretaro a week ago, although we have spent quite a bit of time there (we're visiting family in CDMX right now - good timing, eh?) over the last 10 years. We liked it enough that we decided to move there!

It can get warm, but it is the cliche "dry heat" that doesn't bother me much and in the shade it is pleasant even on the hottest days. It has parts that are very Mexican - at least in the sense that I think you are referring to, but there is also a lot of modern development.

Yes, it is true that a lot of folks are moving there but for right now housing has been WAY overbuilt and it is a big buyers market. That won't stay the case for too many years as the influx that NCas mentions is very real and the housing situation will change for sure.

If you have any specific questions, fire away and I'll do my best to answer them.

A note about the earthquake factor. The San Andreas fault is not in Mexico at all, it is 100% in California. The seismic activity in Mexico is due to the intersection of the Cocos plate and the North American plate. Both of the two recent quakes (as well as the big '85 quake) were due to what is called subduction of the Cocos plate sliding under the North American plate.

Queretaro actually has very little earthquake activity. It mostly lightly feels the quakes that happen farther south. The 500+ year old Roman style aqueduct in near perfect condition can attest to that.

Geologists are predicting that sometime in the next 3 weeks to 300 years the Cocos plate will make a big drop into a solid resting position, causing a massive quake that will wipe out much of CDMX and for sure will be felt as far away as Queretaro, but I'm not letting that worry me. The USA and North Korea may cover the world with a fallout cloud before that happens.
 

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The San Andreas Fault line runs practically all of the way through Mexico
I do not believe the San Andreas Fault enters Mexico much less ""runs practically all the way through""

Being born and raised in San Francisco,CA and being in 3 earthquakes ( not the `06 one ) and having to study it in school I think you will find the San Andreas Fault runs from Cape Mendocino in the North to Bombay Beach located on the Salton Sea CA in the South and about 800 miles long...........
 

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Chicois and Circle were both accurate in their statements about tectonics in Mexico. The only quibble I would make is that the Cocos plate is not going to find a "solid resting place", but is going to continue subducting under Mexico for a long time to come.

The San Andreas fault does end at the Salton Sea in southern California. There it converts into a series of ridge and transform features down through the Sea of Cortez. These ridge and transforms end in the spreading center that separates the Pacific plate from the Rivera plate, a small plate that is subducting under Jalisco and Colima. This subduction zone was responsible for a M 8.1 earthquake in 1932. The Rivera plate is bordered on the south by the larger Cocos plate that is subducting under Oaxaca and Guerrero. The two recent earthquakes occurred within the subducting slab of the Cocos plate rather than on the sloping boundary between the Cocos plate and the North American plate that Mexico is part of. The Cocos and Rivera plates as well as the Juan de Fuca plate in the NW US and the Nazca plate off Chile are all remnants of a much larger Farallon plate that disappeared under the North America and South America plates about 20 to 30 million years ago and all four continue to move away from the Pacific plate and go down under the edge of the North and South American plates at varying rates on the order of 2-10 cm/year. A couple of illustrations might make some of this clearer.




In the diagram below, the North American plate is white at the top. The Pacific plate is light gray at the bottom and the dark gray pieces in between are the various plates mentioned above that are moving up in the diagrams. They are being pulled away from the Pacific plate, separating at the spreading centers, the red lines.


Maybe more than you wanted to know, but I could not resist. I do and did this stuff for a living.
 

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My mistake, I was looking at the plates, I don't really see a name for the lines that surround the Cocos Plate, but if you look at the California map it just looks like an extension of the same fault line to me but I'm no geologist.



 

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Hi folks, thanks for those who have contributed to this thread.
My ideal would be a place where the temperature doesn't get too hot or too cold, so I am considering Lake Chapala, and from the above replies, also Queretaro and Orizala.
I enjoy a fair amount of sunshine but I don't want to live in a desert - I enjoy short rainstorms as well, just not non-stop overcast or rain for days or weeks!
I do want decent internet (it doesn't have to be ultrafast - I'm only used to 4MBit/s speed anyway), and I would like SOME English-speakers around at least while I learn Spanish.
At present I tend to buy mostly fresh fruit and veg and meat as opposed to packaged stuff so I would like a decent market and then I'd only need access to stores for cleaning products and toiletries type shopping.
I would like ideally to not have super-noisy partying neighbours - am I asking the impossible?
I should also mention that I come from South Africa where our currency is not at all strong so I cannot afford a super-expensive place.
I was thinking of making a trip perhaps in December (because I will not be working then) to check out some areas, do you think I could spend a week in each looking around to get a feel for the place - I know a month is not long but just an introduction to the country? Is December a good time for this? Since I don't know if I might like a place could I plan to book at the last minute on AirBnB or would I run into problems this way?
From the above comments if anyone could perhaps suggest refinements to my idea of places, or other suggestions, I would appreciate it!
 

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divv, you might want to mention your budget, retired, working, large cities or small towns?
The rainy / Hurricane season on the west coast runs from May 15th. to November 30th. and June1st. to Nov 30th on the east coast, so it could rain for a couple hours a day in a row or 3 or 4 days straight during a tropical storm or hurricane...Your probably will be in the 4000" to 6000' elevation so it is not too hot and not too cold so do research on towns in that range...There are many Ebooks devoted to retiring or moving to Mexico, I suggest you purchase online and read it to become familiarize with different areas that may interest you...
 

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Thanks for the reply chicois8..
Well I would be happy to work if I can find work.. My current line is working in the television industry and I do not see that happening but I would be happy to do video production; otherwise I am a recent finance degree graduate so I would be happy to work in that field as well. I am a "retired" scuba instructor so if I went to the coast I could possibly work in a dive shop but I prefer diving for fun.
Otherwise I guess I would be semi-retired..

Small or large town I could do either if it ticked the other boxes...
All else
 

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Hi folks, thanks for those who have contributed to this thread.
My ideal would be a place where the temperature doesn't get too hot or too cold, so I am considering Lake Chapala, and from the above replies, also Queretaro and Orizala.
I enjoy a fair amount of sunshine but I don't want to live in a desert - I enjoy short rainstorms as well, just not non-stop overcast or rain for days or weeks!
I do want decent internet (it doesn't have to be ultrafast - I'm only used to 4MBit/s speed anyway), and I would like SOME English-speakers around at least while I learn Spanish.
At present I tend to buy mostly fresh fruit and veg and meat as opposed to packaged stuff so I would like a decent market and then I'd only need access to stores for cleaning products and toiletries type shopping.
I would like ideally to not have super-noisy partying neighbours - am I asking the impossible?
I should also mention that I come from South Africa where our currency is not at all strong so I cannot afford a super-expensive place.
I was thinking of making a trip perhaps in December (because I will not be working then) to check out some areas, do you think I could spend a week in each looking around to get a feel for the place - I know a month is not long but just an introduction to the country? Is December a good time for this? Since I don't know if I might like a place could I plan to book at the last minute on AirBnB or would I run into problems this way?
From the above comments if anyone could perhaps suggest refinements to my idea of places, or other suggestions, I would appreciate it!
Queretaro and other high elevation cities can be quite cold in the winter. Houses in Mexico are neither insulated nor air tight, so the indoor temperature is similar to the outdoor temperature. It is good to keep that in mind when looking at the temperature records for a prospective city.

Decent markets with fresh fruits and vegetables are everywhere in Mexico. I never buy anything in a package.

Making arrangements at the last minute should be no problem except maybe in the big beach towns over holidays. But even there I have found places without having booked a reservation in advance.
 

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Hi folks, thanks for those who have contributed to this thread.
My ideal would be a place where the temperature doesn't get too hot or too cold, so I am considering Lake Chapala, and from the above replies, also Queretaro and Orizala.
I enjoy a fair amount of sunshine but I don't want to live in a desert - I enjoy short rainstorms as well, just not non-stop overcast or rain for days or weeks!
I do want decent internet (it doesn't have to be ultrafast - I'm only used to 4MBit/s speed anyway), and I would like SOME English-speakers around at least while I learn Spanish.
At present I tend to buy mostly fresh fruit and veg and meat as opposed to packaged stuff so I would like a decent market and then I'd only need access to stores for cleaning products and toiletries type shopping.
I would like ideally to not have super-noisy partying neighbours - am I asking the impossible?
I should also mention that I come from South Africa where our currency is not at all strong so I cannot afford a super-expensive place.
I was thinking of making a trip perhaps in December (because I will not be working then) to check out some areas, do you think I could spend a week in each looking around to get a feel for the place - I know a month is not long but just an introduction to the country? Is December a good time for this? Since I don't know if I might like a place could I plan to book at the last minute on AirBnB or would I run into problems this way?
From the above comments if anyone could perhaps suggest refinements to my idea of places, or other suggestions, I would appreciate it!
Sounds to me like Lake Chapala fits the bill. There is everything you are looking for here. Let me know when you come and I'll tour you around. It is a great place to live with perfect weather.
 

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@ Tundragreen - thanks for the note on the evening temperatures - noted; also for the info on the booking availability!
@ rmajijic - thank you for the offer I will DEFINITELY take you up on it..!
 

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Sounds to me like Lake Chapala fits the bill. There is everything you are looking for here. Let me know when you come and I'll tour you around. It is a great place to live with perfect weather.
Just to the north is Guadalajara with the same weather and bigger city attractions (and detractions). I also would be happy to get together for coffee or a beer.
 

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I think it stems from the fact that we were all helped by others when making the somewhat scary transition of moving to a foreign country. I feel it is time to pay it back and when I can help people, it feels good. The expat community here is still very tight knit and we help each other out a lot with doctor's recommendations, driving, hospital visits, translation, etc, etc, etc.
 

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There is an interesting site: thinkhazard.org

It shows Queretaro/EQ has a low earthquake rate

You can also use the icons at the top to look at different locations for different threats
 

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Hi folks, so I've been planning my trip to come check MX out, I have provisional bookings in Ajijic from 20 to 27 Dec and in Guadalajara from 27 Dec to 3 Jan.
BUT I'm now wondering about getting around.
I know there have been some kind offers from Tundagreen and rmajijic to do a little "showing around" but obviously that will not be for a week at a time, also there is getting to the towns themselves.
I have started looking at car rentals and including insurances they add up pretty quickly - for one person I'm not sure if the costs are warranted? Assuming I arrive around 6:30 PM on 20th in Guadalajara and need to get to Ajijic (where the first accommodation is booked), is there a better way to get there then renting a car?
What do you suggest?

Thanks.....
 
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