Cost of Living in Merida, Mexico: Your 2024 Local’s Guide

If you are considering relocating to the Yucatan, or you have just arrived in the area and you are trying to gauge how much money you are likely to spend each month, you are sure to be interested in understanding what the cost of living in Merida Mexico is like. 

While Merida is on the pricier end as far as Mexican cities go, you can still live here on a far more modest budget than you could in most American, Canadian, or European cities. There are a lot of variables to keep in mind when establishing what your cost of living in Merida is likely to be like, as a lot of it depends on what kind of lifestyle you are hoping to have in Mexico, what kind of property you want to live in and whether you are relocating as a family or as an individual. 

You are in good hands here because I have been living in Merida since January 2022. I can give plenty of insight as to what the reality of living here is like, and what kind of lifestyle your budget is likely to get you. 

Cost of living in Merida Mexico
Cost of living in Merida Mexico

Cost of Living in Merida Mexico in 2024

As mentioned there are a lot of variables involved in establishing a ¨standard¨ cost of living in Merida. If you are on a tight budget, you can live here solo or as a couple for as little as $800-$900 a month.

Such a budget assumes that you are living in a simple one or two-bedroom apartment away from the popular historic center of Merida or the more upscale northern neighborhoods. It assumes that you are cooking a lot of your own meals, but occasionally going out to Merida restaurants and bars and doing activities around the city and on day trips from Merida. 

If you are looking to live in a large, spacious property, you can easily live in a large two or three-bedroom new build house with a pool on a budget of $2,000 to $2,500 a month. This budget means often eating out, taking cabs, socializing, and doing different excursions in the Yucatan, and perhaps even paying for additional household help such as a weekly cleaner and pool cleaner, etc. 

Basically, it costs you a lot less to live very, very comfortably in Mexico than it would cost to have a similar lifestyle in the US, Canada, or the UK. You could have a three-bedroom house just outside of the city for the same price that you could have a one-bedroom apartment in a lot of US cities. 

The cost of living in Merida is rising, however, particularly as more and more people from across Mexico and North America choose to relocate here. A lot of people are choosing to retire or move to Merida for its safety and its gorgeous colonial architecture and cultural charm. 

It is likely that in the next few years, living costs will increase further. 

Various costs of living in Merida Mexico 

Generally speaking, the cost of living in Merida, Mexico (and Mexico as a whole) is substantially cheaper than the cost of living in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other “western” countries. Research indicates that Mexico is the 120th most expensive country in the world.

When we compare that to the US and the UK, we can see that the US is the 8th most expensive country, and the UK is the 12th most expensive. So right off the bat, you can probably see that you are going to save yourself some money by moving to Mexico, even if you don’t make any changes to your quality of living.

In this section, we will take a look at all of the different living costs to consider when relocating to the Mexican Yucatan. We will look at everything from the costs of renting and purchasing properties, to the cost of dining out, enjoying street food, visiting various sites and attractions around the Yucatan, and using the local transport.  

Obviously, the reduced cost of living, the good weather, incredible Yucatecan food, and the proximity to the best beaches in the Yucatan make Merida an appealing place to move to. As such, a lot of western ex-pats have been moving here in recent years.

Currently, there are more than 11,000 American and Canadian ex-pats living in the wider area of the city. New housing developments are constantly popping up around the city limits, and the number of international residents in the city is growing exponentially year on year.

The influx of international residents with more disposable income is pushing up prices in the city. So for sure, Merida is more expensive than other parts of Mexico and the cost of living is only going to continue to rise. 

The ever-strengthening peso 

One thing that is worth keeping in mind if you are looking at the cost of living in Merida is the fact that the Mexican peso has strengthened substantially over the last year. For the past couple of years, $1 USD would buy you 20 pesos.

Obviously, currency conversions are always subject to fluctuations and this would often bounce around between 18 and 20 pesos to the dollar. However, throughout 2022 and 2023, a lot of international companies are moving their operations to Mexico or opening up factories in the area (including Elon Musk who is setting up a Tesla gigafactory in Northern Mexico!)

This has caused the peso and Mexico’s economy to strengthen. As of August 2023, you can expect to get around 17 pesos for $1 USD.

While that is good news for Mexico, it does mean that living here isn’t necessarily as cheap as it once was. Economists predict that towards the end of 2023, you will start getting more pesos for your dollars again but this is all just guesswork at this stage. 

Ultimately, the cost of living in Merida and Mexico on the whole is still much more affordable than in other North American nations, even with the strengthening of the peso. However, ultimately, you should make the move to Mexico because you love the country, the culture, and Mexican traditions, not just because it looks like a cheap place to live. 

Rental costs in Merida Mexico

You can expect very reasonable accommodation prices in Merida whether you want to rent or purchase your property. However, you need to be careful as scams and corruption are rife here and as a foreigner, you are more likely to be duped. 

The location of the property can also affect the price. North Merida and the historic Centro are the most expensive parts of town to live in.

Northern districts like Francisco de Montejo, San Ramon Norte, Montebello, Altabrisa and Montes de Ame are the areas of choice for a lot of ex-pats. In many ways, these areas feel more like an American suburb than a part of Mexico. 

The neighborhoods here mostly consist of contemporary new build houses and the streets are filled with luxe shopping malls and American chain restaurants (Boston’s Pizza, Dairy Queen, Carl’s Jr, etc). If you want to be around home comforts, you will have everything here.

Merida Centro is filled with gorgeous colorful colonial houses. It is becoming an increasingly sought-after location for people wanting to experience the culture of old Merida and so, property prices here are increasing.   

You can get more bang for your buck if you are willing to move just outside of Merida, north of the Periferico, or if you are willing to consider the east and west suburbs. These areas are perfectly safe and yet they are often overlooked by foreign ex-pats. You can get more bang for your buck by opting to move here and it is easy to get from here to other parts of the city by bus and Uber.  

Avoid Kanasin and the south of the city

People will often tell you that southern Merida is not safe and is best avoided but they are specifically talking about Kanasin. This is very run-down in parts, and there are issues with break-ins and petty crimes.

While it is not dangerous per-se, crime rates are higher here and there simply isn’t any reason to base yourself somewhere run down and sketchy when there are plenty of better areas to choose from that are still very affordable.

Costs of Merida apartment rentals 

You can expect to find studio apartments for as little as $250 a month, provided that you are willing to live a little outside of the center of Merida.

Most Mexicans will find their apartments via the Facebook marketplace rather than via property websites as the deals are often better. There are also several Facebook groups for ex-pats in Merida where you can post that you are looking for accommodation.

However, since most members of these groups are westerners you need to be cautious of people that try and overcharge you when it comes to renting. If something seems decent value and cheaper than what you would pay at home, you should still double check that price with Mexicans or other ex-pats.

Foreigners are constantly quoted more than Mexicans because it is assumed that they have more money or that they don’t know how much things cost. Just because you have more, doesn’t mean that you should pay more than the correct going rate. This is something that massively contributes to the increasing cost of living in Merida.

You can rent a small, Mexican-style house for between $300 and $600 a month depending on the size, the number of bedrooms, whether it has a pool, etc. Stylish modern houses and villa-style homes will cost you between $1000 and $1500 a month. 

Airbnbs and short-term rentals in Merida

If you are unsure about where to stay in Merida when you move, it is worth booking an Airbnb and basing yourself in different parts of town before committing to a long term rental or a property purchase. That way, you can see which area suits you best and has all of the amenities you are looking for.

However, obviously, short-term rentals come at an inflated price. Airbnb fees and taxes do add a lot to the total cost of the rental although you can often message a host via the platform and ask them if they are willing to negotiate with you on the price. (They might not always say yes but if you don’t ask, you don’t get!)

If you opt to rent directly via a landlord in Mexico, you will typically have to pay a deposit upfront that is the equivalent of a months rent. Some landlords in Merida will also then state that you need to pay an additional fee that is equivalent to a months rent to cover drawing up a contract to rent the place.

This is a bit sneaky and does not happen in other parts of Mexico. This contract fee is non-refundable so keep that in mind.

Purchasing property in Merida 

If you are looking to buy or build a house in Merida rather than rent, property is always a good investment. Since rental costs in the area are rising year on year, opting to buy property may be a better choice depending on your financial situation, how long you plan on living in the Yucatan, etc. 

You may be surprised by the types of properties that you can purchase for less than $200,000 here. You can take a browse through the properties listed on real estate websites like Point2homes for an idea of what you can get for your budget. 

In areas on the outskirts of town like Dzitya, Cholul, Conkal, Tixkokob, and Caucel, you can often find gorgeous contemporary-style new build properties that look like something from a Grand Designs TV show for anywhere between $120,000 to $140,000. For this price, you can get a property with 3 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms and a pool in a gated community. 

For around $100,000, you can still get a very decent and stylish new build property with 2 bedrooms. At least for now, you can get a lot more bang for your buck in Merida than you can in more popular areas with huge expat crowds like Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. 

You can even sometimes secure better prices and discounts if you purchase a property that is still under construction, particularly if you are buying it outright in cash without a mortgage. (Of course, this is not without risks and since the photos of the property are likely digital renders, you should visit the construction site to check it is actually being built and hire a property lawyer).

Costs of owning your own property in Merida

If you own your own property in Mexico, you pay an annual  ‘predial’ (property tax payable to the city). This is paid every January and is only around $5 USD. 

You are also required to pay for garbage collection which works out at around $6 a year. At Christmas time, it is standard to give the garbage men a ¨propina¨ (tip) of a couple of hundred pesos or so. 

Building property in Merida and the Yucatan

If you want to have a place in Merida that is completely catered to your own taste and style, you can consider building your own home. In the United States and the UK, building a house is often very expensive and there are many laws that you have to consider around gaining permission to build on a lot of land and adhering to a particular design style. 

In Mexico, you have more freedom. My Mexican partner and I are currently in the process of building our own home and we have found lots of land that are 20m by 20m, less than an hour away from Merida for as little as $12,000 USD. (Although land is more expensive in the northern suburbs, the center and in gated communities ¨privadas¨, it is still reasonable compared to elsewhere in the world). 

In Mexico, houses that are already built often have a retail mark up of 25 to 30%, meaning that you can save yourself a decent wad of money by building your house yourself. Obviously this then means having to find architects, construction workers, etc, but if you are someone that sees this as a fun project rather than a headache, that isn’t a deal breaker 😉 

You can also save a decent chunk in taxes if you build your own property rather than buying one that is already built. Of course, as a foreigner in Mexico, it can be tricky finding good construction workers as ¨gringo tax¨ is often added onto everything so it helps if you have local friends or can speak Spanish. 

Having a Mexican phone/SIM card and internet connection 

It is a good idea to purchase a Mexican SIM card in Mexico so that you can stay connected with internet data when you are not connected to wifi and you have local minutes and SMS allowances. Telcel, Movistar, and AT&T are the main SIM card networks here and most providers operate on a pay-as-you-go basis rather than a rolling monthly contract that is billed by direct debit. 

I use Telcel and the sim card itself costs around 80 pesos (circa $4 USD) and can be purchased from any Oxxo or 7/11 convenience store or Telcel phone shop. Then, I pay around 200 pesos a month (circa $10 USD) for a package that gives me 3GB of data, unlimited calls, texts and social media usage for 30 days. 

The cost of paying for internet/broadband in Merida is honestly not really any different from the costs of internet connections in the US and elsewhere so don’t expect any huge cost savings here. Depending on the specific provider you use, you can pay anywhere between $15 and $25 a month. 

Utilities costs in Merida 

CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad) is the only electricity company in Mexico so that is where your bills will be coming from. Mexico is not like other countries where you can choose electricity suppliers and review different tariffs. 

 Electricity costs in Merida can fluctuate between 700 and 3000 pesos payable every two months. Obviously, there are variables here depending on factors such as the size of your property and how often you use your air conditioning. 

I work from home 40+ hours per week, and often find the heat/humidity in Merida unbearable during the summer months and there are some days that I have the air conditioning running in one room for almost the entire day. When my partner and I lived in a small one-bedroom apartment in Itzimna, our electricity came to 800 pesos every two months, and that was with a lot of usage.

If you live in a larger property and use your air conditioning often, 1,500 pesos every two months sounds more typical. You can gain a better estimate of how much your bill is likely to be by using the kilowatt/hour price to calculate.

Currently, there are three different cost breakdowns given by CFE depending on your consumption. 

  • Basic consumption: $0.809 for each hour of the first 75 kilowatt-hours

  • Intermediate consumption: $0.976 for each hour of the following 125 kilowatt-hours

  • Surplus consumption: $2.859 for each kilowatt-hour used in addition to the above
Cost of living in Merida Mexico
Cost of living in Merida Mexico

Cost of buying groceries in Merida

There are many variables when it comes to each person’s monthly grocery budget. However, two people can easily live comfortably on a budget of $200-$250 a month.

Even eating a very healthy diet packed with fruits, veggies and organic products does not cost as much in Mexico as it would in the US and elsewhere. Many of these items are growing in abundance right on your doorstep!

Merida has an excellent selection of supermarkets and mercados (traditional marketplaces). The large supermarkets stock a lot of international products and you will find most of the things that you would have at home in the US (or elsewhere) here.

The prices of these items are pretty much the same as you would expect to pay in the US. But the costs of fresh produce are cheaper on the whole. 

Merida Mercados 

Shopping at Mexican mercados can be a fun shopping experience. The quality of the produce is usually better than at supermarkets, and costs are generally lower.

The Mercado Lucas de Gálvez is Merida’s principal mercado. It spans over 45,000m2 and is home to more than 2,000 vendors selling every item imaginable!

The Mercado de San Benito, Mercado San Sebastien and Mercado Municipal No. 2 Santos Degollado are also worth adding to your radar. Realistically though, if you don’t live near these markets you are probably going to find yourself doing most of your shopping at supermarkets although some little barrios (districts) and villages outside of Merida like Cholul do have local markets at the center of town.

Merida Supermarkets 

There are a plethora of large supermarkets and supercenters in Merida. Walmart arguably has the largest variety of products, especially if you are looking for international items too.

Soriana and Bodega Aurrera are the most budget brands. You will also find a lot of OXXO convenience stores and 7/11s on practically every other street corner which is convenient if you just need to go out and grab something. 

The main supermarkets you can find in Merida are listed below. Do note that a lot of the budget stores mostly sell domestic ingredients.

  • Walmart

  • Super Aki (Mexican store similar to Walmart)

  • Bodega Aurrera (budget grocery store)

  • Soriana (budget grocery store)

  • Willy’s (budget grocery store)

  • Costco

  • Sam’s Club (predominantly wholesale, members-only supermarket)

Cost of dining out in Merida

The cost of eating out at Merida restaurants is pretty reasonable when you compare Merida to the US and the UK, but often more expensive than in other parts of Mexico. (e.g. nearby Campeche City or places in Chiapas). 

In most taquerias, you can expect to have 3-4 tacos for around 110 pesos – circa $5. A burro (burrito) typically costs around the same. 

Soft drinks and “agua frescas” (Mexican drinks made by blending fresh fruit with water and sugar) are often around 50 pesos ($3). So Merida is cheaper than eating out in say, Cancun or Tulum, but more costly than non-touristic parts of the country.

If you go to restaurants in the northern part of the city, fine dining restaurants, or to restaurants set inside Yucatan haciendas, you can expect to pay more. Meals in such places are usually around $10-$12 per person.

Of course, street food is much cheaper. You will find street vendors all over the city selling things like elotes (corn on the cob with mayonnaise and chili), marquesitas (Yucatan stuffed crepes), and tacos for as little as 17 pesos (80 cents).  

Costs of purchasing water in Merida 

You may be aware of the fact that you cannot drink the water anywhere in Mexico, including in Merida. Although the water is cleaned at the source, it can get contaminated en route to the tap and can make you sick if you drink it. 

You can of course buy multi-litre bottles of water at supermarkets and convenience stores but if you live here, it is much cheaper, easier, and more environmentally friendly to purchase garrafones of water. 

You can find huge, 20L bottles of water sold in Walmart, Oxxo, and basically every supermarket and convenience store. A bottle filled with water will cost you around 70-80 pesos depending on the specific store.

Then, once you have used the water inside it, you can take it to the store and have it refilled for 20-40 pesos. If you don’t want to wait for the bottle to be refilled, most stores (including Oxxo) let you leave the empty one and take a full one. 

If you cannot lift the large bottles (I cant!) there are small businesses that will deliver garrafones to you at certain periods. It is a good idea to make sure you always have a couple of garrafones in your house. 

Public transport costs in the Yucatan 

Public transport in Merida and the wider Yucatan is very affordable. If you find yourself needing to take city buses or colectivos (shared minivans) in Merida, you can buy a single ticket for as little as 8 pesos (40 cents). 

The only issue is perhaps that there are so many bus routes and services are often infrequent. So, it takes some time to learn what buses service your area and their operation times.

Uber and a Mexican alternative Didi are rideshare apps that are available in Merida. Didi is often marginally cheaper than Uber, although Uber usually has more available drivers. 

You will find that you can get Ubers from one side of town to another for as little as $2.50 – $3. Ubers to the beach town of Progreso or other nearby coastal areas will cost no more than $15-20 one way. 

If you want to take day trips from Merida to nearby attractions such as Celestun, Uxmal, Mayapan, and Chichen Itza, you can easily take a bus from the ADO bus station in Merida Centro. ADO and Noreste are the two main bus companies that operate throughout the Yucatan.

Intercity buses in Mexico are clean and reliable, and most have air conditioning, reclining seats, and complimentary wifi. You can get a bus ticket from Merida to most parts of the Yucatan peninsula for no more than $25.

Shopping for clothes, accessories, etc 

You can easily find a lot of the same stores in Merida as you would find in the US, Canada, the UK and anywhere else. There are some excellent malls in Merida and the main ones to add to your radar are perhaps La Isla, Galleria, and Altabrisa.

La Isla is the more upscale of the group, home to some higher-end designer stores like Longchamp Paris and Calvin Klein underwear but you will also find a lot of familiar high street names here. Stradivarius, H&M, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear and Oysho are among the stores that you can find here.

Prices are pretty similar to what you would expect to pay at home. For example, you can buy a summer dress for as little as $20-$40, a t-shirt for $10-$30 etc.

Around Merida, you will also find a few “Liverpool” and “Gran Chapur” department stores which are essentially the Mexican answer to Sears or Macys, although the latter only exists in the Yucatan. If you want to find some cheap clothes, you can check out some of the independent shops around the main plaza (Plaza Grande) in downtown Merida, or at the local markets. 

There are some elegant independent boutiques in Cholul and along the Paseo Montejo (for instance, the Casa T´ho Concept Store) where clothing and accessory items have been created by local independent designers and arguably cost the same or more than western high street stores. 

Cost of traveling around the Yucatan peninsula 

One of the massive highlights of living in Merida is the opportunity that basing yourself in the city gives you to explore the wider Yucatan peninsula. There are many excellent places in the Yucatan– including to world-famous and incredibly well preserved Mayan ruins in the Yucatan like Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Mayapan and the Uxmal ruins. (To name but a few). 

If you prefer exploring traditional towns and Yucatan pueblo magicos over ruins and archeological sites, you will love the yellow city of Izamal, the magic town of Valladolid and the city of Mani, famous for its meliponarios where locals keep bees and produce a sweet, special type of Yucatecan honey. 

Merida is also just a short distance from the Gulf of Mexico too. While Progreso is the nearest beach town just a 30km drive away, you can also follow this route eastwards towards the quaint beach towns of Telchac Puerto, San Bruno, San Crisanto and El Cuyo. 

The Yucatan state is actually a lot more affordable than traveling in Quintana Roo and the Riviera Maya because the latter are tourist favorites. Since the Yucatan for now remains largely untapped, you can easily stay overnight in the various towns, villages and beach towns that you find on your travels, and secure a budget hotel room for as little as $25 a night. 

 If you really want to splurge, luxurious hotels are priced at around $100-$150 a night which is still much less than the cost of a night’s stay at comparable property in other countries. Of course, when you live in Mexico, you can plan your travels outside of the peak season (November to early March) in order to enjoy even more affordable rates. 

Entertainment costs in Merida 

Going for a night out, going to the movies, visiting the bowling alley, or hanging out at beach clubs is relatively affordable in the Yucatan. There are movie theaters scattered all over the city and an adult ticket typically only costs 80 pesos ($3.90) per person. 

If you head to a bar, you can buy a beer for a couple of dollars and a cocktail for as little as $5. Progreso, Chicxulub, and other nearby beach towns have beach clubs where you can rent an umbrella and a sunbed for the day. However, this seldom costs more than a couple of dollars for the entire day.

Taxes in Mexico

Whether or not you need to pay taxes in Mexico depends on your residency status. If you are visiting Merida as a tourist, you are permitted to stay for up to 180 days visa-free and you are not allowed to work in the country. 

Generally speaking, your domicile (the place that you ought to pay taxes to) is the country where you are based for more than 6 months of the year. If you spend more than 183 days in Mexico, you may be required to pay Mexican taxes.

You will be required to pay Mexican taxes if more than 50% of your annual income comes from Mexican sources, or if you are conducting most of your professional activities in Mexico. Most countries, including the US and the UK, have a double taxation agreement with Mexico. 

This protects you from having to pay taxes to two countries. However, things can get quite complicated, especially if your permanent residence is overseas and you only spend a portion of the year in Mexico, or if you have multiple international income streams. If you are planning a move to Mexico, the best thing to do is to speak with your accountant and consult a local accountant in the city you are moving to. 

Medical costs in Merida, Mexico

Merida has a wide range of excellent doctors, hospitals, and specialist healthcare providers. So, should you be unfortunate enough to fall ill while living here, or you have existing health conditions that you need treatment for, you can feel assured that you are in good hands.

Treatment costs can vary substantially from clinic to clinic and depending on whether you have insurance (which you ought to have). If you are moving to Mexico from a country where healthcare is free, like the UK, having to pay for healthcare in Mexico may come as a shock.

Alternatively, if you are moving to Mexico from the USA, you will probably find that everything is substantially cheaper than what you are used to. However, keep in mind that not all medical surgeries are created equal.

Clinics and hospitals in Merida

The cost of visiting a doctor in Merida varies significantly depending on where you go. There are low-cost, walk-in clinics next to pharmacies on most streets and in strip malls.

Visiting a doctor here will cost you no more than around 25 pesos (circa $3 USD). You can show up without an appointment and you simply sit in the waiting room until it is your turn to be called further.

Alternatively, seeing a doctor at a private clinic like the Hospital Faro del Mayab (Calle 24 S/N, Temozon Norte, Santa Gertrudis Copo) will cost you around $25 USD for an appointment.

Everyone has different preferences but I personally think that you cannot put a price on your health, so from that point on, I would always recommend paying extra for a good hospital in the first instance particularly after I had an experience being misdiagnosed at one of the lower cost doctors surgeries.

If you have a reoccurring health problem, you know what is causing the issue, and you simply need to renew a prescription, it may be fine to see these doctors. Otherwise, if you feel very unwell, it is generally worth paying extra to see a very good doctor.

Private hospitals and healthcare in Merida

Hospital Faro del Mayab is Merida’s most state-of-the-art private hospital. If you fall ill suddenly and need to visit without an appointment, the doctors will generally see you pretty quickly.

You can also have blood/stool/parasite tests here and the results are turned around within a day. (I speak from experience after suffering a lot of issues with gastritis and duodenitis in Merida and having to go back and forth to the Faro del Mayab hospital regularly for checks.)

A consultation at Hospital Faro del Mayab without insurance will cost you $25. Health Itinerary (x25-A No. Col, C. 58 307, Itzimná,) is another alternative worth considering if you are moving to Merida long-term and they offer membership based on a monthly or annual payment basis.

The costs work out at $260 a year or $30 a month depending on how you prefer to pay. If you are not a member and you need to see a doctor, an appointment costs $40.

If you have a health issue that necessitates the health of a specialist, you will find various clinics that specialise in a particular area of medicine scattered around the city. Faro del Mayab does offer specialist doctors and testing across virtually all areas but they are generally the most expensive option most of the time.

Health insurance in Merida

It is imperative to purchase comprehensive insurance if you are spending any amount of time in Merida. This is not something that is specific to moving to Mexico.

Wherever in the world you travel, you cannot be sure of what is around the corner, even if you are perfectly healthy. It is always better to be safe than sorry and make sure that you have yourself covered.

If you are traveling to Merida on a tourist visa to visit the city for several weeks/months at a time and you have not yet established if you want to live in the Yucatan full time, you should purchase travel insurance with comprehensive medical coverage. If you are making a permanent move to Mexico, you need to purchase local health coverage. These are two separate things.

Travel insurance-wise, pick a good policy that covers you for up to $1 million dollars worth of medical bills. If you travel a lot, purchasing an annual policy probably works out more economical.

If you are making a permanent move, there are so many variables when it comes to determining what health insurance is the best one for you. Prices fluctuate wildly depending on age, weight, health issues, etc.

Private insurance ranges from $30-180 a month depending on age and health. If private health insurance works out expensive for your demographic, you can save money by opting for IMSS (public) health insurance instead.

This is not a decision to take lightly and you should review several policies before making the decision. The US and other international health insurance policies will not be accepted in Mexico.

Cost of living in Merida Mexico
Cost of living in Merida Mexico

Dental costs in Merida

Dental costs in Merida can be as much as 70% lower than costs in the USA and some clinics offer free consultations.

However, prices vary from place to place and you can expect to pay up to 500 pesos ($25) for a checkup. A cleaning costs between 250 and 600 pesos and a filling costs between 350 and 700 pesos.

Cosmetic dentistry and Orthopedic services are available here too, for a fraction of the costs that you would pay in the US. It is worth checking past reviews and asking around in various expat forums before deciding to go with a certain dentist.

Final thoughts on the cost of living in Mérida, Mexico

Cost of living in Merida Mexico
Cost of living in Merida Mexico

The cost of living in Merida is rising year on year as more and more western expats move to the Yucatan, drawn by the more economical living costs, the ease of obtaining a residency visa, the vibrant expat community, and the fact that Merida is the safest city in Mexico

I would really like to think that Merida is not going in the same direction cost and gentrification-wise as other popular cities in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula like Cancun, Tulum or Playa Del Carmen, but only time will tell. For now, living here is still reasonable but as I mentioned, your decision to move to the Yucatan should be about more than just costs.

Relocating overseas is not a decision to be taken lightly or based on one factor. 

Do you have any additional questions or concerns about the cost of living in Merida? As I mentioned, I have been living here since the beginning of 2022. 

If you have any questions about what life is really like in Merida, I am always happy to assist. Safe travels and enjoy Mexico!

Buen Viaje! Melissa xo


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

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