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Blog,  Expat Life,  Queretaro

Why Did We Choose Querétaro, Mexico?

With all the amazing towns in Mexico, why did we choose to live in Querétaro? Most people have never heard of Querétaro.

Honestly, up until 2 years ago, we hadn’t heard of it either.

Let’s look at what we wanted and what we didn’t want:

  1. We did not want 10 months of heat like Florida. We wanted a more temperate area.
  2. According to Mexican law, foreigners cannot own  a house within 50 kilometers of the coastline or 100 kilometers of the border. You can buy a house, but the bank technically owns it.
  3. We didn’t want to be with all Americans. The purpose of moving to another country is to embrace that country’s culture and people.
  4. We did want to be close to an airport and modern conveniences.
  5. We did want to experience the culture around us.
  6. We wanted more of an international community with good international food options.
  7. We wanted a safe area.

Tom did a lot of research to find the “perfect” place. Using Numbeo.com, he compared housing costs, crime, and various other factors between many Mexican cities against Orlando. Querétaro’s cost of living and low crime came out as a top contender.

Screenshot from Numbeo

 

Discovery Trips

Besides the internet research, we also spent a good part of last year exploring different areas within the Colonial Highlands of Mexico.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende

A favorite community among artists, San Miguel de Allende has been advertising to Americans since the 1950s. It was beautiful, had some great restaurants and a wonderful artisan market and galleries. Unfortunately, the American population, mostly from California where housing prices are astronomical, has raised the housing prices to an amount that was not affordable to us.

Residency Kit

Guanajuato

Guanajuato was beautiful! We instantly fell in love with the town as soon as we drove in. Situated in a valley between mountain peaks, it was mostly a walking street city. The old silver mine tunnels are used to move traffic around below the city and just outside the mountain range. This is an old university town, but real estate was very scarce. Most of the houses were passed down from family member to family member. A realtor showed us around a bit, but most of the houses available needed serious renovations. We would be playing the waiting game to find anything available, ready to live in and for a price we could afford.

For both San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato, the nearest airport was Leon, still a good 40 minutes to an hour and a half away.

Queretaro

Santiago de Querétaro

Querétaro we found out, is having exponential growth in international business. Many Asian and European companies have built or are building their Latin American headquarters in Querétaro. Samsung, Nestle and Bombardier are just a few of the big international companies headquartered here. The per capita income in Querétaro is second only to Mexico City. The city is growing fast, businesses are moving in or expanding, and has all the modern conveniences you could want including an airport. Still, there is a beautiful historic area where the city just comes alive, and many smaller towns that are great for day trips.

We decided we didn’t want to live directly in the city and deal with traffic (much the same as Orlando’s). So we chose to live north of the city in a residential area called Juriquilla. We have plenty of restaurant choices, small mom & pop stores and even a large mall. We are 5 minutes from a real Mexican town, Santa Rosa Jarengui, and less than 30 minutes from historic Querétaro. Plus, we are 45 minutes away from San Miguel de Allende with its beautiful galleries and artisan market, and  just over an hour away from Tequisquipan with it’s cute little wine bars. Even with all the new growth, housing prices are still very reasonable.

 

In Querétaro we have great weather where it’s cool in the mornings and evenings. We are close to conveniences and historical areas.  We don’t have to deal with horrible traffic. We can afford to live here on less money. And we have choices when it comes to restaurants and food because of the international influences.

What factors should you consider when moving overseas? Check out tomorrow’s post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

    • tiffnhudson

      Hi Rody! There’s plenty of great neighborhoods being built right now in Queretaro. I live in Juriquilla which is north of the Queretaro and away from the city traffic. It’s a residential area with shopping plazas and close to local markets. It’s also easy to hop on and off the highway to visit many of the smaller artsy towns like San Miguel de Allende. I also have friends who live in ElRugio. This is a a more self contained community with restaurants and service shops in a residential area. Both places are about equal distance to the downtown area (about 25 minutes). We haven’t explored the south part of Queretaro because we really enjoy the mountains where we live. Tequisquipan is a cute little town about an hour away in the middle of vineyards and farmland. This is a great place if you don’t want city life.

  • Charlie

    Hey there! I’m mexican and live in Querétaro as well, and I really enjoyed some of your post (haven’t read them all yet). Saw one of your tweets the other day and following all the way found all your adventures here. For me, always has been interesting to see how people from other countries see and discover our culture and us as mexicans and now, with all your post, is even more interesting for me to find out how you guys decided to adapt and embrace a whole new live in Mexico (knowing that here you won’t have all the commodities that you could have there). In any case: greetings and welcome to Querétaro!

  • Brenda Vogel

    Awesome post! We’re seriously thinking of moving there. The weather in North Carolina is very similar than Florida’s and we’re tired of it.

    Are there good options to work there as Americans? Do you know of American communities (or online groups)? Where we can discuss more about it?

    Thank you so much!

    • tiffnhudson

      Hi Brenda! Thank you for the compliment! The Americans I know usually work as English teachers. We work on online businesses. There are higher percentages of Americans in San Miguel de Allende, Lake Chapala, Playa del Carmen, Cabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta. Queretaro is more international, and we haven’t run into very many Americans. Expats.com has chat groups from the different communities. I will message you.

  • Ed

    Can you think of any soup-to-nuts resources? Health insurance, car insurance, utility costs, water quality, banking and money, etc…my wife is diabetic and health care would be a big concern.

    • tiffnhudson

      HI Ed,

      Healthcare is our next project we will be tackling. I will post something soon on our cost of living. What exactly is soup-to-nuts resources? I’ve never heard of that.

  • John Waterhouse

    A great article. Tom seems a very thorough researcher. My wife and I are investigating retiring to Mexico, and have focused on Chapala and Guadalajara. But, now Querétaro looks like a great candidate. We’re going to put it on our initial visit list in April. A major concern is healthcare, and we look forward to seeing your post about that. Thanks for this article. We enjoyed reading a lot.
    Regards,
    John

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