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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Cost of Living in Chapala, Mexico

January, 2020

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Currency Conversion Site    Chapala Travel Information  

Cost of Popular Medicines in Chapala, Mexico

Our readers have written to us asking how much it costs to live in Chapala, Mexico. While much depends on your particular style of living, your housing needs and how you dine out or entertain yourself and your friends, below is a sample list of commonly purchased items to give you an idea of the money it takes to live in this charming town. This list is by no means exhaustive.

At the time this list was published, the Peso was trading at 18.92 = $1 USD. You can use the above conversion site to see today's rate. 


Most ExPats choose to have their own car for their transport needs, however, Chapala is an easy town in which to be car free. Local buses run every few minutes on a daily basis.

Airport taxi to Chapala 450 Pesos, Chapala to airport 400 Pesos

Chapala taxi to "new bus station" 500 Pesos

Bus from bus station to Soriana's 3 Pesos

Taxi from Chapala to Plaza Maskaras 50 Pesos

Taxi from Chapala to Ajijic, 80 Pesos, from Chapala to Chula Vista, 60 Pesos

First class bus ticket to Guadalajara 58 Pesos

Bus from Chapala to Ajijic, 8-9 Pesos

4 days 3 nights bus tour to Patzcuaro, Morelia & Uruapan 6,500 Pesos

6 days 5 nights bus tour to Puebla 14,000 Pesos

Sunsets on Lake Chapala are popular with Everyone

Sunsets on Lake Chapala are popular with Everyone






Housing is a large expense for anyone in any location. Depending on your needs and if you live alone or have a roommate, housing prices can run the gamut. Prices in Ajijic are considerably higher, and San Antonio is about comparable to Chapala. Maid service in Ajijic is substantially higher than in Chapala. You may also need to pay for bus fare for the maid to come to your home.

Rent - small apartment in Chapala, 6,000 Pesos/month from a local. Some medium sized upscale apartments can run 9,000 Pesos+.  Small apartment through another Gringo, can run 9,000 Pesos to 13,000 Pesos. If you go through a real estate agent to rent a place, most likely your price will be listed in Dollars and it will be these higher prices. Try to rent from a local Mexican and pay your rent in Pesos.

Some Mexicans want to rent to you in USD. We say make the most of their cultural inclination to bargain. Most Mexicans simply want the income without the bother, so if you are proactive (paying rent in advance to get a discount, offer to pay for some improvement or purchase something for the house or apartment in exchange for less rent, etc.) they will get the sense of partnership and will want to work with you. We know people who have repainted their places, put in extensive gardens and such, and the Mexican landlords were so happy, they took the amount of improvement off the rent.

Check to be sure what your rent includes: Utilities? Cable TV? Internet? Also ask them to recommend a maid or gardener to you.

The Chapala Guide...come see for yourself

Cell phone through TelCel, 200 Pesos, unlimited text and phone calls to the States and Canada, for 30 days.

Laundry 19 Pesos per Kilo pressed and folded

Maid Service 3-4 hours once per week approximately 80-100 Pesos for the time period

Pantene 400ml & conditioner 200ml 65 Pesos for package of both

Simple bath towels for bathroom 119 Pesos, Kitchen towel 40 Pesos each

Large bottle of Vaseline Intensive care body cream 48 Pesos, Toothpaste, sensitive, .75ml 46 Pesos, Head and Shoulders shampoo 58 Pesos

Dust bin 12 Pesos

Two hours of computer repair work, 500 Pesos


You can spend as little or as much as you like to entertain yourself here. Chapala has excellent weather, so walking around taking part in local activities provides a good deal of fun for free. There always seems to be a fiesta, a festival or a saint's day. You can meet friends at a restaurant, or hire your maid to do the cooking for you in your home. 

 Two 1.2 liter bottles of Corona beer for 60 Pesos

Selection of bottled wines 120-180 Pesos per bottle

1 liter box of wine, 65 Pesos

One Liter bottle of Bacardi Rum 208 Pesos

Tequila, 100% Agave, various names  1 Liter  bottles, 200 Pesos

Placid Lake Chapala

Placid Lake Chapala

Huevos Rancheros, beans, chiliquilis, tortillas 80 Pesos

Eggs Benedict - 95 Pesos

Mi Tango Lunch Special (for 2) Arranchera Sandwich, salad, fries, 2 glasses wine, lasagna, salad, ice tea 300 Pesos (ice tea 30 Pesos, wine 48 Pesos each, main course with salad, 80 Pesos each. Special runs M-F 12:30 – 1:30pm)

Large Pepperoni Pizza from IL Giardino, delivered to your home, 115 Pesos

Chicken Roquefort from IL Girardino, delivered to your home, 145 Pesos

Ham, cheese omelet, refried beans, chilliquilis, tortillas, 80 Pesos

Milanesa de pollo, rice, beans, salad, tortillas 80 Pesos

Tacos 11-18 Pesos each

American Legion – 2 fish and chips, 3 beers, 3 tequilas, 1 rum 300 Pesos

Beer at local bars and restaurants 20-30 Pesos, unless it's Happy Hour






Prices will vary widely depending on where you shop. Choose from local vendors, the Mercado at the Plaza, Super Guba, La Dispensa, Surtidor, Soriana's, Wal*Mart, Super Lake or El Torito's. We like to shop with the local vendors and in doing so, we save measurably on daily foods.

20 Liters bottled water home delivery 25 Pesos (with tip)

Can of Raid spray, 48 Pesos

Toothpaste, .75 grams for sensitive teeth, 48 Pesos

Head and Shoulders shampoo, 500ml, 58 Pesos

1 bolio (bread) 6 Pesos

˝ kilo ground French Roast coffee 72 - 120 Pesos

Fresh Fruits are available Year Round

Fresh Fruits are available Year Round

1 liter container of fruit yogurt 24 Pesos

2 inch by 4 inch piece of blue cheese 49 Pesos

1 kilo Gouda cheese, local cremaria 120 Pesos

1 kilo Oaxaca cheese, 84 Pesos

Fresh bee pollen $0.38US cents per ounce

˝ kilo+ bacon, thick sliced 70 Pesos

cooked BBQ pork ribs full rack delivered to your home, 350 Pesos 

carnitas, tenderloin 78 Pesos

Large carrot juice, 20 Pesos  

Whole roasted chicken with salad, tortillas and rice,140 Pesos

Arrachera, marinated 210 Pesos kilo

Chorizo, 110 Pesos kilo

Grilled Meats are Plentiful

Grilled Meats are Plentiful

Can of tuna in water, 130g, 18 Pesos

Green olives 19 - 30 Pesos

Goose liver pate 3.2 ounces, 80 Pesos

Bag of green beans 10 Pesos

 Bag of zucchini (about 5) 10 Pesos

Small head broccoli 7 Pesos

Pears, 2kilos, 42 Pesos

Kilo fresh figs 98 Pesos

400 grams prunes 45 Pesos


Chapala Living Guide is based on our first hand eperience of living in Chapala, Mexico


400 grams raisins 35 Pesos

Bag dried Jamaica 10 Pesos

1 dozen large eggs, (depending on size) 15 - 24 Pesos

Tortillas 19 Pesos per kilo

Beans already cooked 17-24 Pesos Quart


Medical care and medicines are fairly reasonable here in town. For special or extensive medical problems you might prefer to go to Guadalajara for your care. For more complete information on this topic, see our Chapala Medical Page  

If you are interested in Continuous Care options or specific pricing for what is covered click on the previous links.

Taking a Break at the Fountain in Central Chapala

Taking a Break at the Fountain in Central Chapala

Dr visit to get prescription 35 Pesos

12 tablets of Ciprofloxacin, 500mg, 70 Pesos Similares

2 pairs eye glasses, sunglasses and frames 2100 Pesos

New crown (2500) 1250 for other services, at Dentist (3750 total)

Tooth cleaning 200-300 Pesos

Echo Cardiogram - 1,500 Pesos by a cardiologist

Ampicilina, 500mg, 20 capsules 30 Pesos

First visit to doctor for complete patient intake and exam 800 -1,000 Pesos

Complete blood panel taken plus stool, urine, throat and nasal samples 1,978 Pesos

Eritromicina Tablets 500mg, 20 tabs, 85 Pesos

Pap smear 250 Pesos

Bone density test 360 Pesos

Mammogram and Sonogram of breasts 1,000 Pesos

To summarize, a couple can easily live in Chapala on $1,500 - $2,000 USD per month. 

This is YOUR year.

Retirement is right around the corner and you're ready to go someplace where the weather suits your clothes. Spring-type temperatures year 'round, Chapala, Mexico is a dream come true and the place for you!

If you're looking to stay in chain hotels or for a lifestyle that is just like the States then you're ... Read more click here.

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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