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The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico


The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico
January 15, 2014

Below is an unbiased look at the best places in Mexico to retire – with real pros and cons – to help you make an informed decision as to which best meets your needs, interests and ambitions.

So writes “Johnny Punish” (www.JohnnyPunish.com) in edited excerpts from his article written originally as an exclusive for www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!) and under the title The Top 10 Places to Live and Retire in Mexico and the reasons why. Note: this paragraph must be included in any re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

Punish goes on to say:

In the process of putting together this comprehensive report I have consulted with highly experienced ex-pats who have lived and/or live in the places that I rate here so, without further wait, here’s the top 10 places to live and retire in Mexico and the reasons why:

1. Lake Chapala, Jalisco
2. Ensenada, Baja California
3. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
4. Guadalajara, Jalisco
5. Merida, Yucatan
6. Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo
7. Mazatlan, Sinaloa
8. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
9. La Paz, Baja California
10. San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas

1. Lake Chapala, Jalisco (Winner)

According to Kristina Morgan of Focus on Mexico, “Of all the places in Mexico I have been, none can quite compare with Lake Chapala. There’s something about this place that just seems…magical and, as corny as it sounds, that’s the word I hear people use to describe Lake Chapala time and again. Lake Chapala gets into your heart and becomes home. It’s like stepping back 50-70 years here regarding the simpler lifestyle, culture and values. When I’m here I feel like I can be me, like I can breathe a little more freely and be the person I want to be and this is a sentiment expressed by most everyone who has ever been here or lives here”.

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San Ysidro “The world’s busiest border crossing” is going to get a bit narrower By: Miguel Sedano

Crossing through the San Ysidro Port of Entry from Mexico is a slog during the best of times for more than 17 million vehicles a year, but the trip promises to become even more challenging, starting Monday June 20th 2011 as a number of lanes are taken out of action for 30 hours at a time into July.

Click two times to Enlarge San Ysidro 2014

Click two times to Enlarge.

The first set of closures — four lanes on the east side of the port of entry — begin Monday at 8 p.m. and will last until 5:30 p.m.Tuesday. Workers will be stringing auxiliary power and data lines to entry booths in preparation for the dismantling of the building over the booths.
The entire border crossing is undergoing a three-phase, $517-million expansion and renovation which is expected to be completed in 2014. When completed, northbound vehicle inspection lanes will increase from 24 to 34. Southbound lanes will increase from six to as many as 12.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has provided a tentative schedule of lane closings. Each set of lanes will close at 10 p.m. and reopen about 30 hours later at 4 a.m. The schedule is subject to construction progress:
•    June 22-24: two lanes from the west side
•    June 24-26: three lanes from the west side
•    June 26-28: three lanes from the west side
•    June 28-30: three lanes from the west side
•    June 30-July 2: three lanes from the west side
•    July 5-7: three lanes near the middle/west
•    July 7-9: three lanes near the middle/west
Border crossers can call (619)-690-8999 for the latest information on which lanes are being closed and length of wait times at San Ysidro. Crossers hoping to use the nearby Otay Mesa Port of Entry can call (619) 671-8999 for the same sort of information.

Click two times to Enlarge

Click two times to Enlarge


Mexico is also developing a new southbound crossing known as El Chaparral, at a cost of more than $50 million.
If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Major Binational Mayor’s Summit In Rosarito Seeks to Unite The Californias

Major Binational Mayor’s Summit In Rosarito Seeks to Unite The Californias

Major Binational Mayor’s Summit In Rosarito Seeks to Unite The Californias

SAN DIEGO—A major binational summit for mayors and other leaders from Southern and Baja California on issues ranging from the border crossing to desalination to public safety was announced today at the Mexican Consulate here.

The Fifth Binational Mayors’ Summit will be May 6 and 7 in Rosarito Beach. Universities and business groups from both sides of the border also will be represented to discuss mutual interests and actions.

The summit’s theme is “Uniting the Californias.”

“We live in a region that is closely linked by economy, environment, geography, friends and family,” said Mayor Hugo Torres of host city Rosarito Beach. “It is important that we all work together to achieve maximum benefit from those relationships.”

For the first time, the summit is being expanded to include six Southern California counties as well as the five cities of northern Baja. Southern California Mayors or their representatives from 70 cities are being invited.

May’s expanded summit is co-hosted by the cities of Rosarito Beach and Redondo Beach. The Mexico Business Center/San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Project Smart Border 2010 and Rancho Santiago Community College are among groups assisting. read more »

Bonus Rains could mean a Banner Year for Mexican Wines

By Steve Dryden

Grape Vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley

Grape Vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley

The 2010 vintage is off and running with a large dose of rainfall soaking the soil and roots in vineyards across Valle de Guadalupe and other grape growing regions in Baja California, Mexico. So far we’ve received an above average level of moisture in a normally drought ridden region, thus bringing extra hope to growers and winemakers for this vintage. Most of the vines still remain in a dormant condition, but bud swelling is evident and it appears that an early bud-break may be upon us soon.

In addition, the winter weather in the valley (elevation avg. is 1,100 feet) has been mild and warmer than usual. Many vineyard managers and workers have already pruned their vines or are in the process of doing so. The only bad news is there are lots of weeds and wild grasses this year, but the surplus of water is a real blessing, making most wine industry personnel excited about 2010.

Highway construction in the valley continues to progress, but at times it seemed we went back in time about 100 years. This wet winter allowed locals and guests the opportunity to ford rivers, streams and large puddles of water as we toured the valley in search of wine, food and adventure. Now we know what it might have been like when the early settlers and the Russian Molokans hauled grain and goods to San Diego with horses and wagons. In 1925, it was a three day trip to downtown San Diego with teams of horses and wagons navigating several rivers between the valley, Tecate and Jamul. The good news is that the new road that traverses the wine country along Highway 3 should be completed by May 2010. It’s open now in some parts, but be ready for road hazards, mud, and dramatic bumps in the various (unmarked) surfaces of dirt and pavement. read more »

What do I need to know when crossing the San Diego – Tijuana border? By Miguel Sedano.

What do I have to do when crossing the border?

Select carefully the lane to enter the country:
•    Nothing to Declare Lane
It is used when your exemptions do not exceed the permitted limits
•    Self-declaration Lane
It is used when you bring goods worth more than the personal or family exemptions, or when the amounts of goods exceed those amounts allowed in your personal luggage
Upon crossing the border, your vehicle will activate the Automated Selection Mechanism (stop light). When crossing the border on foot you will be asked to activate the mechanism:
o    The red light indicates that your luggage will be inspected
o    The green light indicates that you can drive through the Customs facilities without inspection
If you or your vehicle has been selected for inspection, a Customs Inspector will conduct the examination. If the Customs Inspector finds goods that should have been declared and you did not do it, the Inspector will classify and appraise the goods and will impose the corresponding sanctions.

If you mistakenly choose the wrong lane, you may approach a Customs Inspector and ask for a classification and appraisal of your goods for the corresponding payment of duties and taxes.

Customs Inspection

In some cases the customs Automated Selection System (stoplight) may determine, without human intervention that your belongings will be subject to customs inspection.

This is a simple procedure. We would appreciate your cooperation in order to make it an agile one too. Please follow our customs personnel instructions. They must treat you with courtesy and respect while they ask you to open your luggage and proceed with its inspection. Also, they must handle your belongings with care. Remember that all persons entering Mexico are obliged to comply with Mexico’s customs provisions.

What can I bring in duty free?

•    The items allowed in your personal luggage, according to the length of your trip
•    Up to 75 USD per person in permitted goods, or its equivalent in other currencies. Passengers traveling with family members (spouse and children) may combine their personal exemptions only when arriving together on the same vehicle. In order to claim this additional exemption, passengers must have the corresponding commercial invoices or receipts available
•    Beer, alcoholic beverages, manufactured tobacco and motor vehicle fuel (except for the fuel contained in the vehicle’s fuel tank) may not be included in this additional exemption

Which items may be included in my personal luggage exempt from duty?

1.    Goods for personal use, such as clothing, footwear and personal toiletries and beauty products, as long as they are appropriate for the duration of the trip, including wedding party items.
2.    Two photographic cameras or video recorders, 12 rolls of film or videocassettes; photographic material; two cellular telephones or radio phones; a portatil typewriter; an electronic calendar; a portable computer (laptop), notebook, omnibook or similar items; a copier or portable printer; a portable projector, and their accessories.
3.    Two sports equipment, four rods, three speedboats with or without sails and their accessories, trophies or recognitions, provided that they can be transported normally and commonly by the passenger, one stair climber and bicycle
4.    A portable radio for the recording or reproduction of sound or mixed tapes; or a digital sound reproducer or portable reproducer of compact discs and a portable reproducer of DVD’s, such as a pair of portable speakers, and their accessories.
5.    Five laser disks, 10 DVD disks, 30 compact disks (CD) or magnetic tapes (audiocassettes), for the reproduction of sound and five storage devices or memory cards for any electronic equipment.
6.    Books, magazines and printed documents.
7.    Five toys, —included those that are collectible— and a video game console and videogames.
8.    One device that permits measurement of arterial pressure and one for glucose, as well as medications of personal use; in the case of psychotropic’s the medical prescription should be shown.
9.    One set of binoculars and a telescope.
10.    Valises, trunks and suitcases necessary for the movement of goods.
11.    Passengers over 18 years of age, may introduce a maximum of up to 20 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco and up to three liters of alcoholic beverages, and six liters of wine; in excess of the above, cannot be imported without complying with applicable regulations and restrictions.
12.    Baby travel accessories, such as strollers and baby-walkers
13.    Two musical instruments and its accessories.
14.    A camping tent and camping equipment, as well as their accessories.
15.    Handicapped or old travelers may introduce items for personal use, useful to have a better performance of their activities, such as walkers, wheelchairs, crutches and canes.
16.    A set of tools including its case, it might have a hand drill, wire cutters, wrenches, dices, screwdrivers, current cables, among others.
17.    Beddings, that will be able to include a set of matching sheets and pillowcases, a set of towels, a set of bath, a set of table linen and a set of kitchen.
18.    Up to two dogs or cats, maybe introduced as well as their accessories, provided that the corresponding zoo sanitary import certificate issued by (SAGARPA) is presented to the customs officials.

In which cases should I pay taxes?

•    Remember that you are entitled to bring in up to US$300 worth of goods in addition to the goods included in your personal luggage, and that you are allowed to combine this amount with family members
•    If you exceed this exemption, or if your family’s combined amount exceeds the combined exemption, you must pay duties and taxes. There is a flat 15% rate of duties and taxes, which is applied only to the amount exceeding the exemption (individual or combined). You must fill out a payment form, which is available at the Customs counter
•    If the value of the goods surpasses three thousand dollars (per family member) after subtracting the US$300 exemption, or if any of the goods is subject to non-tariff regulations or restrictions, you must hire the services of a customs broker. Private brokerage services are always available at the airport
•    From November 1st, 2009 until January 10th, 2010 you will be able to import goods in the mentioned procedure, as long as its value does not exceed 3,000 dollars
•    If you bring a desktop computer, you may pay duties and taxes by filling out a payment form as long as the value of the computer and its peripherals and accessories do not exceed US$4,000. If the total value of the computer and its peripherals and accessories exceeds US$4,000 you must hire the services of a customs broker

Which other items must be declared?

•    Animals, agricultural products and medications
•    If you are carrying more than US$10,000, or its equivalent in other currencies, in cash, checks, money orders or any other monetary instrument, or a combination of them, you must declare the amount exceeding US$10,000. You will not have to pay duties or taxes, but you must declare it on the Customs Declaration form. Failing to declare it is a violation of Mexican Law and such violation is sanctioned with administrative and even criminal penalties

Which goods are restricted?

•    Firearms and ammunition. In order to import firearms and cartridges you must secure an import permit from the Ministry of Economy and from the Ministry of National Defense.

For further information please visit the following websites: www.economia.gob.mx  and www.sedena.gob.mx.

Which goods are prohibited?

In accordance with the Law of the General Taxes of Import and Export, the following products are prohibited for the import and/or export:
•    Alive predator fish, in their states of young fish, youthful and adult
•    Totoaba, fresh or cooled (fish)
•    Frozen Totoaba (fish)
•    Turtle eggs or any class
•    Poppy seeds (Narcotic)
•    Flour of poppy seeds (Narcotic)
•    Seeds and spores of marijuana (Cannabis indica), even though when they are mixed with other seeds
•    Marijuana (Cannabis indica)
•    Juice and extracts of opium, prepared to smoke
•    Extracts and juice derived from marijuana (Cannabis indica)
•    Mucilage and condensed products derived from the marijuana (Cannabis indica)
•    Stamps or printed transfers in colors or in black and white, displayed for their sale in envelopes or packages, even when they include chewing gum, candies or any other type of articles, containing drawings, figures or illustrations that represent childhood in a degrading or ridiculous way, on attitudes of incitement to violence, to self-destruction or in any other form of antisocial behavior, known like Garbage Pail Kids, for example, printed by any company or commercial denomination.
•    Thallium sulfate
•    Insecticide (Isodrin or Aldrin)
•    Insecticide (Heptaclor or Drinox)
•    Insecticide (Endrin or Mendrin or Nendrin or Hexadrin)
•    Insecticide (Leptophos)
•    Heroin, base or hydrochloride of diacetylmorphine
•    Medication prepared with marijuana (Cannabis indica)
•    Medication prepared with acetylmorphine or of its salts or derivatives
•    Skins of turtle or doggerhead turtle
•    Goods that have been declared as archaeological monuments by the Secretariat of Public Education

For effects of the Customs Law, the import or export of prohibited merchandises is causal so that the customs authorities come to a precautionary detrain from said merchandises and the means of transport. Likewise, it constitutes an infraction related to the import or exports of this type of merchandise and is sanctioned with a fine: Therefore, these merchandises happen to be property of the Federal State, regardless of the penal sanctions establishes by the Penal Code.

If all this information seems to complicated for you, at Palacio del Mar only 35 minutes south of the border you will have a 24/7 concierge service that will be more than happy to assist you with any small or big request.

If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Construction Begins At San Diego Border Crossing


December 17, 2009

SAN DIEGO — The federal government has begun replacing the nation’s busiest border crossing, promising shorter waits into California for tens of thousands of people who enter daily from Tijuana, Mexico.

Existing Tijuana - San Ysidro Border Crossing

Existing Tijuana - San Ysidro Border Crossing

The $577 million blueprint unveiled Thursday calls for increasing the number of lanes into San Diego to 30 from 24 and equipping each lane with two inspection booths instead of one. Six existing lanes into Tijuana will be moved slightly to the west.

Construction is scheduled to finish in September 2015, though the date hinges on money. Congress has funded about half – $293 million – none of it from the federal stimulus package.

Waiting times for the 50,000 vehicles that enter San Diego daily often reach two hours, clogging Tijuana roads. And as the Mexican government has beefed up inspections for guns and cash this year, motorists can wait more than an hour on California Interstates 5 and 805 to enter Tijuana.

Waits for California-bound motorists will drop significantly, but it’s too early to say by how much, said Oscar Preciado, the program manager for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. read more »

First Group of Baja Tourist Police Set to Graduate on December 18

First Group of Baja Tourist Police Set to Graduate on December 18

First Group of Baja Tourist Police Set to Graduate on December 18

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO—The first group of a new Metropolitan Police Force to help patrol Baja’s tourist corridor from Tijuana to Ensenada is scheduled for a graduation ceremony Dec. 18 at the San Diego Police Department.

The ceremony will be at 11 a.m. for the 15 officers, five each from Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada. The new uniforms for the special force also will be introduced at that time and the force will have specially marked patrol cars.

The duties of the Metropolitan Police Force, expected to be on duty by early 2010, will be to help other regional departments protect and assist the millions of visitors along northern Baja’s popular 70-mile coastal tourist corridor.
read more »

Readers chime in with memories of Mexico

By Logan Jenkins – San Diego Union Tribune

Rosarito Beach Fishing Pier

Rosarito Beach Fishing Pier

As you’ll see, I’m not alone in my self-imposed exile from Mexico, the bleating theme of last Monday’s column.

But my aging gringo ballad, freighted with nostalgia but spooked by narco-terror and congestion at the border, misses what’s verdad on the ground, many were quick to point out.

“You do not have to miss Mexico,” lectured Diane Kane of San Diego. “After years of living in and traveling to Baja, neither we nor any of our friends have any negative experiences to report. . . . In fact, we have had nothing but polite, friendly dealings with the locals.”

For a reality check, Kane prescribed a weekend at the Rosarito Beach Condo Hotel and a wine-tasting tour to renew this native son’s faith in what always seemed to be San Diego’s equal (if not better) geographic and cultural half.

Robert Gutierrez of Escondido sounded a similar theme.

“Both my family and I have so many wonderful memories that would never have occurred if I had allowed the warnings of people, whose only knowledge of Mexico is gained from newspapers and television, to have kept me on this side of the border.” read more »

Several Hundred Attend Mexican-Themed Fashion Show At San Diego’s Mingei Museum

Photo by Rosarito Convention & Visitors Bureau

Photo by Rosarito Convention & Visitors Bureau

SAN DIEGO, CA—Several hundred people attended a Friday evening fashion show by Mexican design house Pineda Covalin at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park which also featured a variety of food from Rosarito restaurants and Baja wines.

The Baja State Secretary of Tourism, Rosarito Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Rosarito chamber of restaurants were among sponsors of the three-hour event. Other sponsors included Union Bank and AeroMexico.

As well as viewing the fashion show by the internationally acclaimed designers Cristina Pineda and Ricardo Covelin, guests also sampled seafood and traditional Mexican dishes from numerous Rosarito Beach restaurants and enjoyed wines from Baja’s Guadalupe Valley.

The colorful and elegant fashions were inspired by traditional Mexican culture. Mexican music accompanied the event, which was the second that Baja tourism groups have helped sponsor at the elegant Balboa Park museum in the past year.

“It’s a great way to introduce or remind people in the San Diego area of all the great attractions that our region of Baja has to offer,” said Jesus Santos, manager of the Rosarito Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Additional information about Rosarito, a popular seaside tourist destination 20 miles south of the border, is available at www.rosarito.org

Ron Raposa

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