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Morelia expats

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posts: 1
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Morelia expats

We are considering Morelia as a potential retirement destination but are concerned about safety in Morelia proper and in Michocan as a whole. would love to hear from any expats living in Morelia who would be willing to give their first-hand impressions. The city has recently been tauted as a great retirement haven but the travel alerts and reports of violence give us pause about whether its too dangerous to be a real contender for a place to relocate. Thanks for your response.

79 replies to this topic
San Miguel de...
Destination Expert
for San Miguel de Allende, Central Mexico and Gulf Coast
posts: 4,354
reviews: 97
1. Re: Morelia expats

My advice is that if you are having qualms then Mexico is not for you.

Lewiston, California
posts: 9,509
reviews: 67
2. Re: Morelia expats

A Very Experienced friend of mine lived in Morelia for about 7 years. Fluent is Spanish he finally gave up moving back to Canada 2 years ago.

There is a small Gringo colony there but it it is my understanding that it is not a particular close unit.

I would chose Patzcuaro over Morelia or first choice Zihuatanejo.

Morelia, Mexico
posts: 32
reviews: 38
3. Re: Morelia expats

Unlike your other respondents, my wife and I live in Morelia--and have for 3 years. We retired here from the USA. I am very involved with the largest, oldest expat group here. It is small, but active.

As for violence or danger in Morelia, I can only say that if you didn't read the news, you wouldn't know it existed inside the city. There have been some recent incidents on highways leading in and out of Morelia, but those seem more like muscle-flexing by narco gangs. As one of your respondents said, though, if these kinds of things make you apprehensive, perhaps Mexico is not for you.

Morelia is a great place to live. The respondent who recommended Patzcuaro raises an alternative that many expats have chosen. Patz was not our choice because it is much cooler, and because it lacks the cultural and shopping pluses of Morelia--symphony, theater, movies, lots of restaurants, lots of shopping options, etc. But it does have a more concentrated expat group than Morelia, and housing is less expensive there.

Some people choose to return to their home countries to live after spending time living in Mexico--often as they reach a point in their lives where they want family nearby during the end of the aging process. People who refuse to or can't learn Spanish also have done that. But I know folks who have been here for many years and love it.

You can only do so much on the internet. I suggest you do what many expats have done before considering a move to Mexico. Come and spend several months in Mexico and check out a few options. It is a big commitment to make such a move--where you will live under different laws, speak a different language, exist in a different culture. I'd recommend spending at least a month in any city you might consider moving to. And if you do move, plan to rent for several months before buying. I would certainly suggest you include Morelia as a place to check out.


Oakland, California
posts: 13
4. Re: Morelia expats

I am also considering Morelia for retirement home..... can you share with me the price difference of two bedroom house or apartment in Morelia vs. Patz or Zihuatanejo? I have been to all three. I don't remember theatre or much shopping, etc. in Zihuatanejo. Nice beaches but not much cultural events and museums ... a littel more isolated than Morelia. I love Patzcuaro but also see Morelia as more interestingn because its bigger. We currently live in Oakland, California and are used to San Francisco bay area. We travel alot to Mexico D.F. due to relatives.... How much is a house or apartment in MOrelia. We will be visiting soon so we can actually go and see some real estate. Do y ou recommend any neighborhood(s)????

New Hampshire
posts: 36
reviews: 29
5. Re: Morelia expats

I can't imagine a nicer city to which to retire. It does have everything, but despite its size still has the feeling of a very small city. We have spent at least a week or two there every year for the last three or four years. We have always felt extremely safe there and enjoyed every minute.

Zihuatenejo is such a tourist town. I can't imagine actually living there.

Patzquaro is a wonderful place... but I am not sure I would enjoy a small tight ex-pat cummunity. And it really is a very tiny place, I think it could become a little claustrophobic socially.

Morelia is particularly nice because it really isn't a tourist city. We have gone days withou seeing gringos on the street. It is home to a really nice middle and working class, as well as lots and lots of students in the medical and other professional schools. Yet it does not have the rowdiness of some college towns. It is a world classs venue if you like classical music.

It is just a wonderful, laid back place, where you can encounter the real Mexico at its best.

It is so easy to get almost anywhere from Morelia by bus.

Morelia, Mexico
posts: 32
reviews: 38
6. Re: Morelia expats

Leticia, your question is nearly impossible to answer. I spent 19 years in real estate in the US, and it would be hard even in the States where there are detailed computerized records. Here in Mexico, where the sale prices of houses are often not revealed, and where many properties are sold or rented via word of mouth it is nearly impossible. You are doing the right thing--coming to visit--for only that way will you get the information you seek. If you review my message on this forum from January of 2011, you'll find that I'm very positive after living here in Morelia. You'll also find my comparison between Morelia and Patzcuaro. I just reread it and really nothing has changed except that we still feel the same way a year later. I also think NH Cowboy's comments are right on! Good luck! Jim

West Palm Beach...
posts: 10
7. Re: Morelia expats

I will be making an extended visit to Mexico in March. I'll arrive at the airport in Toluca and cannot seem to find out if there is bus service from the airport to Morelia and how long the ride usually is. If it is longer than 3 hours I'll probably need to stay overnight somewhere in between. Can anyone suggest a stop-off to stay for a night? Also, any suggestions re: budget accomodations in Morelia would be greatly appreciated --- budget meaning less than $50/night for a couple. We'll be there for about a week. All answers are greatly appreciated -- thanks!

Edited: 10:47 pm, January 20, 2012
Queretaro, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Queretaro
posts: 13,515
reviews: 10
8. Re: Morelia expats

I do not know of any bus service that serves Toluca airport so you have to take a cab to the bus terminal. From there you can get an Autovias bus (see www.hdp.com.mx) which are 1 or 2 an hour. Other lines may do that route but that is the main one. Journey time is 3 hrs 40 mins - I would do it in one go. The buses have bathrooms and stopping off halfway is not really an option (you'd have to use local buses and could end up taking 3 hours to go half the dustance!).

Morelia, Mexico
posts: 32
reviews: 38
9. Re: Morelia expats

Hi Joie13. Autovias does serve Toluca, but on a limited basis. Here is their on-line site where you can see what is available. http://www.autovias.com.mx/

But as SteveMex told you, the alternative is to take a taxi to a bus terminal in Mexico City, from which there will be many options for buslines. There are four bus terminals in Mexico City, but you will want Norte (north) or Poniente (west) to travel to Morelia. I believe most lines will have many more choices for you at Poniente.

As for a place to stay, the apartments owned by the Baden Powell language school in Morelia are a great deal. See this site: http://www.baden-powell.com/en/accommodation. Also see the Trip Advisor reviews at tripadvisor.com.mx/Hotel_Review-g152771-d650…

Good luck with your trip to Morelia. I think you'll love it.


West Palm Beach...
posts: 10
10. Re: Morelia expats

Thanks so much for above info and advise from you both --- greatly appreciated. I stayed at a home-stay attached to a language school in Guatemala a few years ago --- it was an incredible deal and very enjoyable. I'm making this journey to explore my retirement options, so I hope I can get to say Hi in person when I'm down there.

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