Sunday, April 17, 2016

NARROWING OUR SEARCH FOR A RETIREMENT HOME: Mazatlan? San Carlos?

How Did We Decide When We Enjoy So Many Places?
Searching for our Retirement Home in Mexico
     Jon and I decided to retire early, before I reached the age of 59, too soon for me to start collecting Social Security or begin withdrawing from my Retirement Account without penalty. That meant we had to live very inexpensively. We knew that Mexico would be the cheapest place for us to live during retirement.
    We made one big decision about our retirement during the past year while we lived full-time in our motorhome: We were ready to choose our favorite city in Mexico and settle down. We were tired of driving the motorhome long distances around Mexico. In addition, the cost of gasoline and the wear and tear on the motorhome were cutting into our funds. We needed to narrow our search for our retirement home and choose one, but we had so many favorites in Mexico. Where would we begin? 
    Jon and I listed our top eight choices for our future home and started discussing the pros and cons of each. We decided to start evaluating the first two cities that we always stop at as we leave Tucson, Arizona and head south along the west side of mainland Mexico: San Carlos and MazatlánAs we talked about our good memories of each of these towns, we decided to list the “Pros and Cons” of each and we knew that our decision would come clear.
San Carlos, Sonora
Totonaka RV Park Cactus Garden in San Carlos

     San Carlos is a resort town on the Sea of Cortez, about 265 miles south of Nogales, Arizona. When we drove into Mexico in our motorhome, this was always our first stop, with Totonaka RV Park our destination. Often when we arrived in November, the weather was too cool for us, rarely reaching 70 degrees. When we reached San Carlos just before Christmas in 2014, the weather was perfect! On Christmas day, the sky was blue, the temperature was 75 ° F and the breeze was light. It was my kind of winter day! In November 2015, though the sky was clear blue and sunny, we couldn’t get warm enough, especially when we were sitting on the beach at one of our favorite hangouts, the Soggy Peso Bar. We enjoyed watching the kite-surfers, but the wind coming off the sea was cold. The water was even colder and the surfers had to wear wetsuits to stay warm enough. We had no desire to swim in the water on either side of San Carlos. The small resort town of San Carlos, in the state of Sonora, was always a peaceful, beautiful place to spend our first week in Mexico, but we started to think it was not warm enough for us to choose to retire there.
     When we stayed at Totonaka RV Park, it is within walking distance of restaurants, the beach, the bank, and the grocery store. That’s a real plus for us because we no longer have a car and like to be able to walk or ride a bus to most places. On our first day in town we would usually take Bella, our miniature dachshund, for a walk on the pretty beach across the street from the RV Park. Bella chased seagulls while we picked up bright green rocks and seashells. A good first day at the beach!
     To read more, click this link:  http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2014/12/christmas-at-totonaka-rv-park-in-san.html


Bicycling to the Fitness Center to Work Out and Then to Do Our Shopping--That was Enough Exercise for One Day!
Athletic Club San Carlos

     Zumba class at the Athletic Club San Carlos starts at 9:30 in the morning--that's my favorite time of day for Zumba! The day after Christmas in 2014, Jon and I decided to ride our bikes the short distance from Totonaka RV Park to this fitness center—my odometer clocked it at less than half a mile. We were impressed that the club even had a bike rack out front, and we weren't the only ones using it! We liked this town and this club immediately.
     Jon worked out in the well-equipped gym while I attended Zumba with Sandy. To read more, click this link: 
 http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2015/01/athletic-club-of-san-carlos-pollo.html

Some Good Restaurants in San Carlos
View from Ruby Wine Bar--Marina & Mt Tetakawi

     The number of restaurants in town is an important criterion for us. We enjoy going out for meals several times each week, and we want more than taco stands to choose from. The low cost of living in Mexico allows us to budget for going out for dinner three or four times per week and out for lunch two or three times a week. I know, I’m spoiled, but that’s the way I like it. So, when Jon and I evaluated the list of our favorite restaurants here, there really were not enough for us. Here are our favorites:
·         Ruby Wine Bar: We really enjoyed the pizza and fresh salads at this cute bistro overlooking the marina and Tetakawi Mountain. The wine selection was excellent for Mexico. When we were there last, it was closed. I hope it was a temporary closure due to low season.
·         Delfines Bar and Grill: This was our first time at Delfines and we thoroughly enjoyed the food and the ambiance. The menu is upscale and diverse. It features a full bar and a good wine selection. Several televisions were showing the American Football game during dinner, so Jon was happy about that. 
·         Los Arbilitos: Next to the Totonaka RV Park, this was good place for dinner when we wanted to walk to somewhere close. Seafood and margaritas or beer are the choices. Popular with the Mexicans during their holidays.
·         La Palapa: A good place to settle for a beer or margarita and light food with your feet in the sand, overlooking the bay, listening to live music, usually Mexican-style rock-‘n’-roll.
·         Rosticeria Pollo Lopez: Great rotisserie chicken and baked potatoes
·         Tortugas Off the Edge: A good place for lunch with outdoor seating. Tacos and other traditional Mexican food.
·         Soggy Peso Bar: Great crab salad, when they have it. Shrimp quesadillas are consistently good. We have to drink margaritas here, they are so good. This place is a taxi ride away from the Totonaka RV Park, but worth the 150 peso (about $9.00 U.S.) each way.
           There are not currently any commercial flights into San Carlos. So, the only ways to get to this town are by road or by sea. If Jon and I decided to buy a brick and mortar home in San Carlos, we would have to buy a car to drive back to Oregon to spend time with our family. We decided we want to be able to fly back and forth, so this was a negative strike against San Carlos.
     The first time we stayed in San Carlos, we liked it enough to look at real estate for sale. But the more we visited San Carlos, the more sure we were that this town was not going to be our retirement home. As much as we enjoyed spending a few days there when we drove our motorhome south, we couldn’t envision buying property and settling there. There are several nice communities of friendly gringos within San Carlos. Many Americans and Canadians, especially from British Columbia, find San Carlos warm enough and have no desire to look further south. For us, the “Cons” outweighed the “Pros” and we struck it from our list of choices for a retirement home. We were down to seven cities to evaluate.
The Drive from Nogales, AZ to San Carlos

Mazatlán, Sinoloa
Mazatlán Beach Looking South from Mar Rosa RV Park
     We love Mazatlán! We could definitely envision living there for nine to ten months of each year. Is this the city we will ultimately choose as our retirement home?
     Jon and I usually go to Mazatlán once each year and often twice. Each time we visit, we fall in love with this city. But this was not always the case. The first time we were there I disliked our experience so much that I told Jon, “I never want to go back to that place again”. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we were only there for one afternoon as a port stop on a Mexican cruise. Cruises really don’t give a fair exposure to cities. That’s part of why we no longer take cruises.
     We found that when we stayed in Mazatlán for at least two weeks in a stretch, we had time to get our fill of relaxing on the beach and people watching and then strike out to explore the real city. That’s when we found out how beautiful the Historic District is, how exceptional the Malecón (the promenade along the ocean) is, how many good restaurants there are, and how much music and entertainment there is to choose from. The Pacific Ocean off Mazatlán is generally warm and mellow enough that we could boogie-board there, but not smooth enough to do Stand Up Paddleboard. The opportunities for exercise are very good. The city has an exceptionally good bus system. Health care is good and inexpensive. We felt safe walking, even at night, in the Golden Zone and usually walked to and from restaurants in that area for dinner. Shopping for groceries and supplies is convenient, whether in the downtown market, neighborhood tiendas, or supermarkets such as Wal-Mart or Mega.
     The classic beauty of the Historic District's colonial architecture was what drew us to wander the streets of Mazatlán Old Town year after year, admiring the buildings that were being restored. In 2015, we began to envision making this city our retirement home. We spent a day with a realtor looking at a condo and some houses in the Historic District. Mazatlán was definitely going to be high on our list of choices for the city we would retire in. It was time for us to review our memories of this city and compile our list of “Pros and Cons”. Jon and I have spent more time in Mazatlán than any other city in Mexico, so we have many good memories to evaluate.
Plaza Machado in Mazatlan's Historic District
Mazatlán Historic District and Central Market
     When we are in the United States visiting family during the summer, we miss Mazatlán, its beautiful bay and beaches, many good restaurants, and the pretty colonial buildings in the Historic District. I begin looking through my photos of Mazatlán, showing my favorites to my husband, Jon. We reminisce about our happy times there, exploring all the niches in old town, many of which are being restored with new plaster and bright paint. One of our favorite blocks of pretty houses in Mazatlán's Historic District is Angel Flores between Calle Niños Heroes and Venus. We catch the bus to the Golden Zone on this street, so we often stand on this corner admiring the Mexican colonial architecture.
     One typically warm, sunny afternoon we had lunch at the cozy restaurant named "Raizc3s" in this beautifully restored building on the corner of Constitución and Belisario Dominquez streets in Old Town. Our table centered on the arch-topped open window so we had a nice view for people watching as we dined. To read more and see more photos of the Historic District, click: http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2015/06/mazatlan-historic-district-central.html

Culinary Market in Old Town Mazatlán
      A trip to the Culinary Market in Mazatlán was a real treat. Our intended destination was the newly opened Hector's Bistro for lunch in the Historic District. We were having trouble finding Hector's and didn't even realize we had walked by it twice. There are no bold signs shouting that we had arrived at the jewel in this neighborhood. Luckily, as we circled the block, we saw the subtle but attractive sign on the window of the bakery inside: Mercado Culinario (Culinary Market). We discovered that there is much more hidden inside this restored colonial building than Hector's Bistro. We found that we had to duck into one of the doorways and poke around the interior to discover the colorful, organized merchant stands offering a wide variety of specialty foods. To read my blog article about the Culinary Market, click here: Culinary Market in Mazatlan: Hectors Bistro...

Culinary Market, Hector's Bistro, La Krema, & More
     
This fun day of shopping and lunch in the Historic District of Mazatlán definitely qualified as "Healthy Living in Mexico". Our many good memories of time spent in Old Town Mazatlán put a big check-mark in the “Pros” column of our “Pros and Cons” list for retiring in this city.

Plenty of Good Restaurants in Mazatlán, in the Golden Zone, the Historic District, in Cerritos, and the Marina Area
     Dining opportunities is one of our top priorities when we choose a city to visit or live in. Anyone can choose a restaurant from the TripAdvisor list when on vacation and probably be satisfied. But, after we have spent so much time in Mazatlán, our restaurant list is refined to those we return to repeatedly, our favorites.
·         Villa Italia Restaurante Italiano: Located at: Ave Camarón Sábalo, Mazatlán, across from El Cid. This is an easy half mile walk from Mar Rosa RV Park. The walk home is enough to wear off (almost) the flan that we can’t resist after a delicious dinner of pizza, salad, and wine.
·         Pancho’s: There are two Pancho’s now, but we still go to the original which is in the southern section of the Golden Zone and overlooks the ocean. A very popular restaurant, for both the food and the ambiance, we often have to wait in line for a table during high season.
·         La Mona Pizza: In the heart of old town, this one is worth the visit just for the experience of seeing the neighborhood and for the quirky interior. La Mona's pizza is our favorite in Mazatlán, the wine selection is good, and the servers are exceptionally friendly and prompt.
·         El Alhibe de San Pedro: In the outskirts of the Historic District, El Alhibe is one of a kind. Built inside of a very old, abandoned water reservoir, the walls curve into the rounded ceiling and are covered with old bits of nostalgic scrap items, toys, and art. The food is unique and a bit pricey so we save this restaurant for our special occasions.
·         Fat Fish: Good ribs for a great price. In the Golden Zone
·         FISH (Fresh International Seafood House): This is a real find! In the Golden Zone, this has become our favorite place to go for Camarones Empanizado (breaded, deep-fried prawns), delicious french fries, along with a house salad and a good glass of wine, all for a very reasonable price. 
·         El Shrimp Bucket: In the Historic District, overlooking the Malecón and Pacific Ocean. A good place to watch people and the sunset.
·         Pedro y Lola’s: This classy restaurant is well-known by tourists and expats alike, so it is usually very busy on weekend nights. The food is very good but high priced. The location can’t be beat, on the corner of the Plaza Machado. We pay the price and enjoy the food when Lori Davidson and Rob Lamonica are playing there. Enjoying her voice and his keyboard playing justifies the money we spend there.
·         Mr. Lionso Playa Brujo: Located at the end of Cerritos, this very Mexican restaurant overlooks the ocean. The food, typical Mexican fare, is inexpensive and delicious. We enjoy their shrimp cocktail, Mexican-style, of course, spicy and fresh.
·         Chili’s Pepper: While the food is nothing to brag about, the location is great and margaritas are fine. This is one of the few restaurants in the Golden Zone where we can sit with our feet in the sand and listen to the soothing rhythm of the waves, lapping the sand just yards away.
·         Chill 'N' Grill: This is just one of the restaurants we enjoyed in the marina area south of Cerritos. The views are nice and it was less crowded with tourists than the Golden Zone when we were there. 
Jon and Terry at Chill 'N' Grill   
     We found that in Mazatlán there was plenty of variety in restaurants to keep us happy. Besides typical Mexican food, there are an abundance of seafood restaurants and steakhouses. We found several places with good pizza and Italian food, even a couple of Asian restaurants that were satisfactory. But, where is the barbecue chicken (pollo asado)? After weeks of eating pizza and seafood, I was hungry for roasted chicken and talked Jon into taking a walk down the Malecón, sure that we would find some. We walked for miles, scanning menus and signs at palapa restaurants, taco stands, and finer eateries. We found fish tacos, Red Snapper Zarandeado, mahi-mahi any style you want, shrimp as you like it, ceviche, octopus, oysters, and other seafood I had no desire to sample.
     I was getting very tired, hungry, hot, and grumpy. I finally said, “Let’s hire a taxi to take us to a good chicken restaurant. I’m paying, so no arguing!” Jon knows to just say “okay” when I get to that stage. I flagged a Pulmonia, an open-air taxi unique to Mazatlán and made my request. I didn’t even ask the taxi drive “How much?” before climbing in, a definite no-no in Mexico. At that point, I didn’t care what it cost; I wanted barbecue chicken, Mexican-style, now. Naturally, the driver took us on a circuitous route, what seemed like a long distance across town, through neighborhoods we had never seen before, and finally stopped just off a main highway at a busy, open-air restaurant with real wood smoke rising from the chimneys. The aroma of spicy, salty, roasting poultry was so wonderful, I gladly paid the rather high taxi fee of about $12 U.S. and we hurried in to order. The juicy, smoky flavor of our first Mazatlán chicken dinner made the whole journey worth it. Why didn’t we think to grab a taxi sooner? I don’t think we could ever find that chicken stand again; we’ll just grab a Pulmonia and go on another adventure the next time I crave pollo asado in Mazatlán.
     Yes, the variety of good restaurants in Mazatlán would keep us happy if we retired there. Pros Column for Retirement in Mazatlán: Many Good Restaurants!


Music and Entertainment Abound in Mazatlán
  • Macaws: The "Cheers" of Mazatlán: After a long walk to Wal-Mart, we decided we had earned an evening out for dinner and listening to live music--we were too tired to cook after that adventure. So we caught the bus in front of the Mar Rosa RV Park and for 10 pesos (about 70 cents U.S.) each, we rode in air-conditioned comfort to the Historic District of Mazatlán. We walked the 6 or 7 blocks to Macaws to listen to the group "Wingin' It" with Lori Davidson, Rob Lamonica, Chris Henderson, and Ron Fantz. Macaws has been nicknamed the "Cheers" of Mazatlán, and I could see why when we sat down at a table in this cozy neighborhood open-air restaurant bar. To read more of this blog article, click: Macaws: The "Cheers" of Mazatlan
  • Brensters Beach Bash at Diego's: Brenster's Beach Bash was voted one of Mazatlán's "Favorite Things to Do"! It happens at Deigo's from 2:00 to 6:00 every Tuesday, November to April. Brent McAthey, the "Brenster", a Canadian Country Music singer-songwriter, is a star in Mazatlán. We were especially glad that we were at the Beach Bash the week that the Brenster performed with Tanya Carrum, a talented Mexican singer who also performs at La Catrina's every Wednesday during high season. Another treat that week...the Brenster sang with his special guests, Patricia Conroy, Michelle Wright, and Beverley Mahood who are typically slated to perform at the Brenster and Carrum Show once each season. The crowd was on their feet dancing, singing along, and just having fun in the sun! To see more, click my blog article: Brenster's Beach Bash & Zumba with Penny
  • La Catrina's Restaurant and Cantina:  Tanya Carrum, a talented Mexican singer, performs here once a week during high season, usually on Wednesday evenings. Her show is a real treat while dining at La Catrina. Dick Damron, a Canadian Country Western Musician, also plays here at times. The largely Canadian crowd is fun-loving, dancing and singing along.
  • Pedro y Lola's: The music selection varies here from night to night here. Lori Davidson and her band can often be found here on Saturday nights. 
  • Angela Peralta Mazatlán Theater: The restored theater is a cultural treasure for Mazatlán, hosting dance, concerts and other shows.

Brenster's Beach Bash--A Lively Beach Party

     The variety of live music and other entertainment available in Mazatlán is enough to make us happy if we retired there. Another check-mark in the “Pros” column for "Retiring in Mazatlán"!

Mazatlán Malecón: Rollerblading, Bicycling, Walking, and So Much More
     The Mazatlán Malecón, a wide, concrete walkway along the beach, is one of the longest Malecóns in the world! Some claim that it is the longest in the world. This promenade is nearly thirteen miles long (twenty-one kilometers) and wide enough for plenty of traffic including bicycles, pedestrians, skateboarders, strollers, dogs, and people on rollerblades.  Everyone is tolerant of beginner rollerbladers like us who are wobbling along, looking for the next handrail to grab onto. We don't look smooth and polished like most skaters who buzz past us, but we have fun and get a good workout. This is "Healthy Living in Mexico!"
     The Malecón is a significant gathering place in Mazatlán, used for social time as well as physical fitness. Many go there simply to take a stroll along the ocean, sight-seeing and people watching. Couples and families come to spend time together there, both during the daytime and in the evening when it is well lit. Along the Malecón, there are cliffs, monuments, gazebos, colonial buildings, hotels, shops, restaurants, bars, many beautiful sculptures, street vendors, and plenty of new benches for resting and watching people. To read more, click this link:  http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2015/05/mazatlan-malecon-rollerblading.html
We Enjoyed Rollerblading on the Mazatlan Malecon!
Shopping for Groceries and Supplies in Mazatlán
     Shopping options are plentiful in Mazatlán. In addition to the central market and Culinary Market, there is an Organic Market on Saturdays for fresh produce. Many pharmacy chains are located in this city, including Guadalajara Pharmacy and Wal-Mart. Groceries chains include Mega, Soriana, Leys, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and others. Our favorite meat supplier is Henderson’s Meat Market. There are small mini-supper markets, usually one on each block in the Golden Zone, making it easy to pick up a few fruits, vegetables, and supplies when needed. Here are a couple of stories about shopping at some of our favorite stores in Mazatlán:
·         Guadalajara Pharmacy: Fear of illness or injury while living or traveling in Mexico is a real concern for many people. It may ease the minds of travelers to know that pharmacies, Urgent Care Clinics, and hospitals are readily available in tourist areas of Mexico. Here is one story of treating a health issue while in Mazatlán that I hope will help others realize that medical care is easily accessible in most areas of Mexico (at least the cities where gringos live):
     My husband, Jon, awoke one morning with a stye on his lower eyelid, a small, red, painful bump with a whitehead. To read more, click this link:  http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.mx/2015/01/hendersons-meat-market-in-mazatlan.html
·         Henderson’s Meat Market and the Produce Truck: Chuck roast from Henderson's Carnicería (meat market) was the starting point for Jon’s favorite comfort food—Crock-pot Pot Roast. We discovered Henderson’s Carnicería (meat market) in Mazatlán recently. Their beef is aged which improves the flavor and increases the tenderness. We decided to purchase a chuck roast rather than a rump roast for this pot roast hoping for a juicier, tender finished dish. We couldn't find a chuck roast in the freezer section so we asked if they had it (pointing to the helpful chart on the wall). The butcher pulled a large roast out of the front cooler and cut off the 1.5 kg piece that we needed. Fresh, not frozen...even better. To read more, click this link:   http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2015/01/hendersons-meat-market-in-mazatlan.html
Jon Shopping at the Produce Truck at Mar Rosa RV Park in Mazatlan

A Typical Day of Living in Mazatlán Provides Plenty of Exercise Opportunities

     During the first week after Jon and I arrived in Mazatlán last year, we were lazy and our only exercise was walking to dinner, strolling on the beach with Bella, or walking to the bank and to buy groceries. But, staying physically fit is one of our highest priorities during our early retirement. So, the next Monday morning we started with a lively hour of Zumba Gold with Penny Fuller. She teaches classes in the park at the corner of Atún and Mojarra Streets in Mazatlán's Golden Zone. Zumba Gold class starts at 8:30 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the high season. It felt so good to get back to Zumba Gold class! Our motto is "Attend Zumba Classes, Eat More Flan!" (Zumba burns enough calories so we can eat flan for dessert once or twice a week!)
     We found out that if we could drag ourselves out of bed in time, we could attend Penny's Zumba Toning class that starts at 7:50 AM, right before Zumba Gold. Penny's arms, shoulders, and back are very muscular, demonstrating the benefits of Zumba Toning. She is in remarkably good health. Teaching two classes a day at the age of 72, she is a testament to the physical and mental health benefits of Zumba. To read more, click this link: http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2015/01/zumba-with-penny-in-morning-dancing-and.html
Zumba Class in Mazatlán Taught by Penny Fuller 

     
Zumba Toning Class: An Invigorating Way to Start the Morning in Mexico
     When Penny Fuller told me that her Zumba Toning class started at 7:50 in the morning, I said, "That's awfully early! I'm not really a morning person..." and then I heard myself whining. (Excuse Number 31 not to go to Zumba class)
     After I attended Penny's Zumba Toning class, I realized that this was a very invigorating way to start the day. The walk to the park in the cool morning air was refreshing. When I arrived at the basketball court where class is held, I was surprised at how many people, mostly gringos, had gathered this early in the morning in the shade of the park's trees to tone their muscles. To read more, click this link: http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2015/02/zumba-toning-class-with-penny-fuller-in.html
     Penny Fuller teaches Zumba Toning and Zumba Gold in the park at the corner of Atún and Mojarra Streets in Mazatlán's Golden Zone. Zumba Toning begins at 7:50 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the high season. Zumba Gold classes start at 8:30 AM following Zumba Toning. To verify class schedules or to contact Penny, go to http://pennyfuller.zumba.com .
An Hour & 40 Minutes of Zumba, Then She's Going to Play Golf!
BeFiT Fitness Centers
     There are so many ways to stay physically fit in Mazatlán. When our usual Zumba class with Penny was finished for the season and we weren't ready to leave Mazatlán, I started searching for another way to work out. One day, as we were riding the bus from the Golden Zone toward Punta Cerritos RV Park, I saw a large banner hanging above a building at the curve where Avenida Camarón Sábalo turns into the Marina area. It was advertising “BeFit Fitness Centers” with a large photo of an attractive Mexican woman in sexy workout clothing. That should bring the men to this fitness center!
    When I googled BeFiT in Mazatlán, I found out there are three of these fitness centers in this city. To read more, click this link: http://healthylivingandtravelinginmexico.blogspot.com/2015/06/befit-fitness-centers-in-mazatlan-zumba.html
     To see all three BeFiT Fitness Center locations in Mazatlán and to contact them for current class schedules, go to their website at www.befit.mx .
Jon Working Out at the BeFit Fitness Center in Mazatlan
Retire in a Community of Palapa-RV Homes?
     Punta Cerritos RV Park, located on a point in northern Mazatlán overlooking the ocean, is a unique retirement village. This community began as an RV Park and has been transformed into individual homes by the retirees and snowbirds that live there. Of the 79 sites, only six are were still available for yearly leases when we stayed for a week in May. The other 73 sites are occupied by outdoor living homes, each one with a fifth-wheel, motorhome, or other type of recreational vehicle nestled inside of unique structures with palapa roofs over them for shade and protection from the weather. The "owner" of each RV has customized his or her home with addition of outdoor kitchens, sitting areas for socializing or relaxing, tile flooring, light fixtures, brick walls, flowerbeds and cactus gardens, Mexican garden art, bodegas, and more. It is obvious that the owners take pride in their RV homes by the improvements and decor they have added.
     We were fortunate to be able to stay in a front row site nearest the ocean so we had the sea breeze to cool us as the May temperatures crept into the upper 80's. We considered "purchasing" one of these sites and retiring at Punta Cerritos. To read more about this retirement community, click this link: http://retirementbeforetheageof59.blogspot.com/2015/05/mazatlan-retirement-living-punta.html  
Ocean View from Punta Cerritos RV Park
Weather in Mazatlán
     The weather in Mazatlán is less humid than in the more southern coastal towns we’ve visited. Ten months of the year are considered dry months and have very little rain. The hot, rainy months are usually August and September. We enjoy the clear blue skies and the gentle breeze most of the year. Our only hesitation about retiring in Mazatlán is that the cool winter months of November, December, and January are too cool for us. Sometimes it doesn’t warm up enough for us until March or April. Most expats who retire in Mazatlán feel the weather is perfect, except for the two rainy months. We have found that the more time we spend in Mexico, the more we have adjusted to the warmth and prefer daytime temperatures to be above 75 degrees most of the year. Mazatlán’s cooler weather may be the biggest drawback for us, though many would disagree.

Getting to Mazatlán
    We have driven our motorhome to Mazatlán for years and find that it takes us three days from the United States border, including time needed for the border crossing procedures. Now that we are retired, we want to be able to fly to our home in Mexico. Preferably, the city we choose to retire in will have an airport nearby. Mazatlán qualifies, having a modern, international airport just south of the city. A short four and one-half hour flight from Medford, Oregon would be a real bonus if we chose Mazatlán for our retirement home.
Driving Route to Mazatlan from the U.S. Border: 781 Miles
Would We Choose San Carlos or Mazatlán?
    After visiting San Carlos and Mazatlán many times in the past fifteen years, we have gotten to know both very well. We have spent a significant amount of time in each at various times of the year so we could experience the changes in weather and activities between seasons. Of these two cities, Mazatlán would definitely be our first choice. In our evaluation of this beautiful place, the “Pros” for Mazatlán greatly outweighed the “Cons”. We have eliminated San Carlos, but we still have six more cities to appraise. Where will we finally settle in our retirement?
Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico, the Book
     To read more about cities in Mexico that we have traveled to in our search for a retirement home, take a look at my ebook, available on Amazon.com by clicking this link: "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" at Amazon.com 
Cover Photo of La Mujer Mazatleca Statue in Mazatlan

5 comments:

  1. Terry, this is very good. When do we get the rest? MOM

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  2. Terry, this is very good. When do we get the rest? MOM

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  3. I don't know, yet. I'm pretty busy -- we need to go to the beach today :) Maybe later...

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  4. Terry - I'm so glad that I opened up this Google+ notice! Generally, I ignore such things. But something made me pay attention to this. I loved reading your descriptions of places and food. I'm really hungry now, and I think I feel a tropical breeze and some sand in my feet... My husband and I honeymooned in Mazatlan 41 years ago, and I remember exploring the Historic district and walking the lonnngggg Malecon looking for a restaurant that had been recommended to us. Thanks for placing me "there" with you and Jon. Please give my love to Jon con un beso y abrazo fuerte!

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    1. Marlene, thank you for reading my blog post and for all of your great comments. I do tend to focus on food a lot, don't I? That is one of our favorite things to do in Mexico--discover new restaurants and eat good food. Therefore, we have to go to Zumba or Yoga classes three or four times each week (Yes, even Jon does Zumba!) I passed on your kiss and hug to Jon. Best wishes!

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