It doesn’t cost a fortune to travel if you move slowly. I’d only expected to spend a week or so in San Cristobal de las Casa but soon fell in love with it and decided to seek out a long-term room. An American expat I met the first night suggested I check out the bulletin board at the local supermarket.
There were about a half dozen flyers for rooms for rent and the first one that caught my eye offered WIFI, paid water/power, a shared kitchen, good security, great location and a rooftop view. I would also have to share the restroom with 3 other men in the 8-room complex, but I’ve kind of gotten used to that as I’ve spent time in Mexico.
I emailed the owner, Jorge, and met him two hours later. After handing him 1900 pesos ($150 US) and a 500 peso deposit, I was given the keys and welcomed aboard for the next month.
The kitchen here is large and clean and there are two refrigerators shared between the 8 rooms. I’ll admit that I haven’t made much use of it yet as I’m still gorging on all of the amazing, cheap Mexican food in the neighborhood, but I will eventually.
The courtyard is basic and clean. The rooms are large enough to eat in your room but it is nice to sit outside every now and then. I have a nice desk in the room and spend far to much time at it, so the break is a welcome one. The rooftop isn’t overly pretty but has a good view and two wooden lawn chairs — a good place to watch the sunset while sipping a margarita (blender in the kitchen!)
This is my room from the outside. Again, clean and safe, though navigating down those stairs to the bathroom in the middle of the night can be a challenge. The unlimited (scalding) hot water makes it more than worth it — and no suicide showers.
So how cheap can it be to live here? It depends, of course, on your eating and drinking habits but you can easily find a good meal at a local restaurant for $3 or less. If you want to splurge, an Argentinian steak will run you less than $10. Beers are about $1.50 and a glass of wine sets you back $2.50 in many places.
If I watched it closely, I could easily have a good time here for $500 a month. My normal budget is $1,000 per month and I should have no trouble meeting that here without even trying.