3 seaside retirement towns in Mexico within driving distance of the U.S.

3 seaside retirement towns in Mexico within driving distance of the U.S.

Oct 31, 2017

One of the most valuable conveniences you could hope for when purchasing a home abroad is the ability to load up the car and drive to it. That’s one of Mexico’s biggest advantages for Americans interested in retirement overseas.

Anyone who has driven to western Mexico from the U.S. has likely skirted along the Sea of Cortez. The Sea of Cortez is the body of water that separates Baja California from the Mexican mainland. It’s also known as the Gulf of California. It starts at the mouth of the Colorado River. The sea is noted for its warm, calm and relatively protected waters and for being one of the most biologically diverse seas on earth.
Several popular retirement spots are located on the Sea of Cortez, all within a day’s drive of the U.S. border: San Felipe, Puerto Peñasco or San Carlos. These towns are quite different from each other, but they also have several things in common.

They all enjoy the convenience of U.S. franchises, big-box stores and U.S. products. Many people in these places speak English, including virtually all service providers, and each location has a large English-speaking expat community.

The weather is just about perfect in the winter, with balmy days and cool nights, but it’s far from perfect in the summer. Fishing is great on the sea and a big tourism draw to the area. Property taxes are also low, even on the beach.

Here are three attractive retirement choices just south of the border:

San Felipe

San Felipe is a town on the bay of San Felipe in the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in the Mexican state of Baja California, 190 km south of the United States border and within the municipality of Mexicali. San Felipe is just 242 miles southeast of San Diego CA, a 4 hour drive.

The Bay of San Felipe is 3 meters above sea level. At low tide, the water can recede as much as 2 km. San Felipe experiences one of the largest tidal bores in the world due in part to the Colorado River delta to the north. The seven-meter tides expose a kilometer of ocean floor.

San Felipe BC (Photo: Facebook)

The port of San Felipe is a small town historically dependent on fishing and now on tourism, catering mostly to U.S. travelers and boasting an international airport.

The population of San Felipe was 16,702 at the 2010 census, and can increase by up to 5,000 due to the presence of Canadian and U.S. part-time residents (retirees and vacation homeowners better known as “Snowbirds”), who travel to this coastal town from the United States and Canada during American holidays such as spring break and Memorial Day, and many of them spend most of the winter there.


Puerto Peñasco, Sonora

This popular destination is known as Puerto Peñasco in Spanish and Rocky Point in English. Surprisingly, it had its English name first, named so in 1826 by a retired Royal Navy admiral who was in the area scouting for precious metals. The Mexican president renamed the town in the 1930s.

Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point) Photo: Radio Mil

Puerto Peñasco is only 62 miles from the U.S. border, a drive that takes about one hour and 10 minutes. It’s just over three-and-a-half hours by car from Phoenix and six hours from San Diego.


San Carlos, Sonora

This city was born as a well-planned tourist destination in the mid-1950s. It had formerly been three large ranches. As such, you won’t find a colonial historic center in San Carlos, but you also won’t find poverty or run-down neighborhoods.

Hotel San Carlos Plaza, San Carlos, Sonora (Photo: sancarlosplaza.com.mx)

San Carlos is a popular drive-to destination for people in the western U.S. and Canada. It’s as far south as you can go in western Mexico without having to get a vehicle permit. It’s an easy drive down Highway 15 from Arizona.

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/

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