Mexico is a big country, so trying to figure out where to live is not easy. There is literally something for everyone. It often comes down to budget and what is your must have amenity (for me – it´s the beach!). To search there are a number of Spanish language websites which advertise rentals. They are generally cheaper than English language websites like Craigslist, but not as cheap as walking around by foot. However, since I can´t visit every city that I am interested in, I need to use the online tools that I have to help me narrow it down.

For the purpose of this experiment, I choose a 10,000 Mexican peso price point ($523 USD according to today´s exchange rate) for rentals near a beach to see what exactly I could get.

#1 – A 3-bedroom house for rent in Cancun, Quintana Roo. See the original Spanish language listing on Segundamano. It has modern amenities, includes a swimming pool and gym, as well as 24-hour security.

My heart sunk when I saw the location and how far is was to anything Carribean.
The neighborhood is located on the very outskirts of the city, 14 kilometers from the nearest public beach by car. Since I don´t have a car, I tried to click on public transportation but it´s not available.

#2 – A 3-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom house for rent in Puerta Vallerta, Jalisco. See the original Spanish language listing on Segundamano. It is completely furnished with AC in the bedrooms and has no neighbors (very important when holidays come around if you like to sleep, because Mexico is LOUD!).

The listing says the rental is 1 block from Walmart , the movie theater and a major bank which sounds convenient.
I´d have to research futher into why it rerouted me to Playa El Salado and not to one that was closer, but either way, it is 1/2 the distance to the beach as the first option.

#3 – A older, 3-bedroom, 3 bathroom condo for rent in Progreso, Yucatan. See the original Spanish language listing on Segundamano. It comes furnished as well, including a jacuzzi, and there is a view of the ocean from the house, so I know it is close.

The listing doesn´t have an exact location, since Progreso is a small town, so I wasn´t able to find out exactly where is it beyond this point.

Overall, am I going to choose any of these places? Absolutely not. I would never rent a place sight unseen. But I do have a better idea of what prices are like in certain areas than when I started.

Based on what I found out from this search, I would cross Cancun off my list and research more about PV and Progreso before deciding. Joining a few local expat groups I would ask about schools, the job market and safety as my top priorities.

Spoiler alert: I already lived in Cancun and Progreso so I know what is wrong with them for my lifestyle. (In case you are curious: Cancun is overpriced and filled with foreigners, it´s hot and crowded and you never actually get near the beaches when you live there. Progreso is 45 minutes into Merida for anything and everything by car, no schools which means no earning potential for me and nowhere to put my daughter while I do the earning.)

I didn´t include Oaxacan beaches or Southern Quinatana Roo because being so far from an international airport is a major inconvenience for me. As for the Gulf Coast, well, I already live here so I am biased.

Which option would you choose? Share in the comments below.