What is the cost of living in Merida, Mexico?

Octubre 3 de 2023


The cost of living in Merida can be considered affordable for many American expats, particularly when compared to major U.S. cities. Merida often offers a lower cost of living. Housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare can be more affordable. If you're used to living in a high-cost city in the U.S., you might find Merida to be relatively inexpensive. 

However, your experience will depend on your lifestyle choices, housing preferences, and individual financial situation. It's essential to research and plan your budget accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable expat experience in Merida.

What is the cost of living in Merida?

The cost of living in Merida is between $300 - $1,200 USD considering only the rent of a house.

  • Low-Budget: For a smaller, basic, unfurnished house in a less central neighborhood, you might pay anywhere from $300 to $600 USD per month.

  • Mid-Range: For a comfortable, moderately-sized, unfurnished house in a decent neighborhood, you could expect to pay between $600 and $1,200 USD per month.

  • Luxury: Larger, well-appointed, furnished houses in some of the best neighborhoods in Merida, Mexico can go for $1,200 USD or more per month.

5 factors that affect the cost of living in Merida

There are 5 important factors you need to consider when evaluating the cost of living in Merida:

  1. Neighborhood: Merida has a wide range of neighborhoods, and the cost of renting a house can vary significantly. Generally, the closer you are to the city center or desirable areas like Santa Ana, Santa Lucia, or Santiago, the higher the rental prices tend to be.

  2. Size of the House: The size of the house, measured in bedrooms and square footage, will affect the rental cost. Larger houses with more bedrooms and living space will naturally cost more.

  3. Amenities: Houses with additional amenities such as a pool, garden, or gated security communities will be more expensive.

  4. Furnished vs. Unfurnished: Furnished houses typically come at a higher cost since they include furniture and appliances. Unfurnished houses may require you to purchase your furniture.

  5. Condition and Age: The condition and age of the house can also impact the price. Newly renovated or modern houses may be priced higher.


Learn more about our guide to real estate in Mexico


What are the costs of food and dining in Merida? 

There are 7 things to consider about the cost of living in Merida:

  1. Street Food and Local Markets: Merida is known for its delicious and affordable street food and local markets. You can find tacos, tamales, empanadas, and other local dishes for as little as $1 to $5 USD per meal.

  2. Local Restaurants: Eating at local, non-touristy restaurants can also be quite budget-friendly. A meal at a typical Mexican restaurant may cost between $5 to $15 USD per person, including a drink.

  3. Mid-Range Dining: Dining at mid-range restaurants, especially those serving international cuisine, might cost between $15 to $30 USD per person, including a drink.

  4. Fine Dining: Upscale or fine dining restaurants can be more expensive, with prices ranging from $30 to $100 USD or more per person, depending on the restaurant and menu.

  5. Groceries: If you cook at home, the cost of groceries can vary. Basic groceries like fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, and meat are generally affordable. A week's worth of groceries for one person may cost around $20 to $50 USD, depending on your dietary preferences and shopping habits.

  6. Alcohol: The cost of alcoholic beverages can vary. Beer and local spirits are usually more affordable, while imported wines and liquors can be pricier due to import taxes.

  7. Coffee: A cup of coffee at a local café may cost around $2 to $3 USD, but prices can vary depending on the location and type of coffee.

Learn more about: García Ginerés, one of the best neighborhoods to live in Merida, Mexico


What are the costs of healthcare in Merida?

The healthcare system in Merida is recognized as one of the best and cheapest at the same time, compared with other places in the world. There are some things you need to know about it:

Public Healthcare (IMSS): 

In Mexico, there is a public healthcare system called the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS). 

Expats with residency status can enroll in IMSS, which provides access to government-run hospitals and clinics. The cost of IMSS depends on your age, but it's generally affordable, with monthly premiums ranging from approximately $300 to $700 MXN (Mexican pesos) for individuals.

Private Health Insurance: 

Many American expats in Merida opt for private health insurance, which offers more comprehensive coverage and access to private hospitals and clinics. The cost of private health insurance can vary widely depending on factors like your age, coverage level, and any pre-existing conditions. Premiums can range from $50 to $300 USD or more per month.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses: 

Even with insurance, you may have some out-of-pocket expenses, such as copayments or deductibles. These costs can vary depending on your insurance plan.

Prescription Medications: 

Prescription medications are often more affordable in Mexico than in the United States. Prices can vary depending on the medication and whether it's brand-name or generic.

Specialized Care: 

If you require specialized medical care or procedures, the cost can vary significantly. It's advisable to obtain cost estimates from healthcare providers in advance for any non-routine medical treatments.

Dental and Vision Care: 

Dental and vision care are often more affordable in Mexico than in the United States. Routine check-ups and procedures can be reasonably priced.

Emergency Care:

In case of emergencies, the cost will depend on the severity of the situation and whether you have insurance coverage. Emergency room visits can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the circumstances.

What is the cost of entertainment in Merida, Mexico?

The cultural and artistic activities are part of the heart of Merida, an incredible city that continuously offers a grand variety of concerts, art festivals, gastronomic encounters and much more. 

The cost of the entertainment in Merida is:

Cultural Events: 

Merida has a magnificent cultural scene with many free or low-cost events. Attending local festivals, art exhibitions, and cultural performances like traditional dances or live music in parks or public squares can often be enjoyed for free or with a nominal entrance fee.

Movie Theaters: 

Going to the movies is a popular form of entertainment in Merida. The cost of a movie ticket may range from $3 to $7 USD, depending on the cinema and whether you opt for 3D or VIP screenings.


Merida has a lively nightlife scene with various bars and clubs. The cost of a night out can vary depending on the venue and your consumption. Cover charges, drinks, and food can collectively range from $20 to $50 USD or more.

Outdoor Activities: 

Exploring the natural beauty of the Yucatan Peninsula can be an affordable form of entertainment. Visiting cenotes (natural sinkholes), hiking, and enjoying the beach are often inexpensive or free, with minor entrance fees in some cases.

Learn more about: 7 best things to do in Merida, Mexico 2023



As you can see, living in Merida can be very affordable for an American expat, so if you are interested now in knowing more details about the best recommendation to buy or rent a proper house for you, here at IDC living we are ready to help you!

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