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GDL's Pros & Cons

And Real Solutions to Resolve the Cons.👉 Skip to Pros.

The Cons

You can tremendously improve the quality of your life by living in Mexico IF you are aware of the pros and cons and make wise choices. TWIG is here to help you in the process.

Here are the 15 difficult sides we have experienced in Guadalajara and the real solutions we suggest in order to avoid or resolve them:


Lack of Codes & Regulations

At the opposite spectrum of the strong overpowering code enforcement in the U.S. and other G20 countries, the country of Mexico in general is lacking many building codes, especially in older constructions and neighborhoods. Regulations for fire alarms, monoxide carbon or accommodations for handicapped people are non-mandatory.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. It is important you hire a great Real Estate agent that has a great knowledge of the best areas and buildings to live, in order to avoid renting or buying a place with hidden problems. This is why TWIG created a one-of-a-king “Best of Guadalajara List” to help you hire the best bilinguals professionals in the city. We care about your safety and want to help you have a great experience moving here!

  2. Hire a great handyman and add your own fire alarm, monoxide carbon detector and other safety home features. (Also in the “Best of Guadalajara List”)

  3. Choose newer rather than older structures.

  4. Look beyond the beautiful façade.

Our Experience

We hired a bilingual RE Agent, trained in the US, to handle our properties rental and purchase. He made the whole process smooth. We hired a talented knowledgeable interior decorator / architect who you knew which crew to hire and how to improve the imperfect (Cost: $200 pesos per sq feet). We hired the best recommended handyman and installed our own fire and carbon monoxide alarms (Cost: less than $100 US).


HOA Meetings Can Resemble a Telenovela

If you live in a condo, be prepared to be shocked by the way some handle their HOA meetings. You may either want to laugh or cry. You may witness lots of drama and see little being done to resolve any issue.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Make sure to choose a condo where the common areas are well maintained, and regulations are observed. A great Real Estate agent will help you make the right choice. (“Best of Guadalajara List”)

Our Experience

Unfortunately, we have one of those bad HOA Management Companies. We joined the other unhappy owners’ group to try to resolve issues ourselves. It’s a slow and frustrating process.


Utilities Outages

Compared with less developed parts of Mexico, you will experience good utilities in Guadalajara. However, even in this modern city, you will occasionally experience internet, power, water or gas outages. If it happens it will usually last for a few minutes or maybe a few hours. If there is a storm during the rainy season (June to September) then a power outage can last for hours. During the dry season, some neighborhoods might not have enough water in their reserve and may experience a water outage during a day or two.

The people of Guadalajara disapprove of the drinking water service. Four out of every 10 pesos spent by SIAPA (Water Utility) are allocated to payroll and payment of private companies, reducing public investment to renew hydrosanitary networks, which are between 60 and 92 years old in areas such as Centro Historico, Barrio of Analco, Capilla de Jesús, La Loma, Moderna, Sagrada Familia, Belisario Domínguez, La Perla and Balcones de Oblatos, among others neighborhoods. A survey on the media's digital platforms revealed that six out of 10 participants complained about the poor quality of the water. 

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. It is important you hire a great Real Estate agent with great knowledge on which areas and buildings have no or little utility outages. (“Best of Guadalajara List”)

  2. Be prepared for possible outages and have good friends to stay with in case you have to experience a long utility outage.

  3. Choose newer rather than older structures.

Our Experience

We chose to live in a modern high-rise condo, and we rarely experience utilities issues, enjoy fast internet and a maintenance team on location to resolve most issues promptly.


Uneven Sidewalks or Cobblestones

It's like if Guadalajara’s beautiful trees reign over the pedestrians. Like most of Mexico, many sidewalks have unrepaired holes and if you do not pay attention, you can easily get hurt. In cities like Tlaquepaque or Ajijic, the charming cobblestone streets are the number 1 reason for many twisted ankles.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Pay attention when walking. Sorry, that's all we could come up with 😊

Our Experience

We pay attention and never experienced an injury.


You Need to Drink and Cook with Filtered Water

Make sure to drink and cook with purified water in all Mexico. However, compared to many other cities in Mexico, in Guadalajara you can use the regular public water to bath and brush your teeth.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. It is extremely easy and inexpensive to have your Bonafont water delivered at home and to link a Servimatic Kendra water dispenser to your fridge water and ice dispensers ($2,500 pesos). There are other brands available.

  2. FYI, Lake Chapala is the main body that supplies water to the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (with 61% of the total volume), followed by groundwater (23%), the Calderón dam (15%) and springs (1% remaining). 

Our Experience

We do not see drinking filtered water an issue. Bonafont delivers water automatically to all apartment units in our building every Thursday (and other days if requested). Cost: $50 pesos per a mega 20L bottle, including tip and installation.


Speedbumps Can Damage Your Car and Your Back

In Mexico, speedbumps are called topes and are installed EVERYWHERE to reduce speed and accidents. The intention is good, but the problem is that they are often large and wide, poorly signaled, and hard to see at night.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Pay great attention when driving and drive slow enough to notice and avoid them.

  2. Learn more tips from ALLSTATE

Our Experience

We chose to use Uber and trusted private drivers. Our monthly Uber costs is about $200 US.


There Are Many Bad Drivers

Tapatios are extremely nice and polite, but once behind a wheel, they can transform into macho and aggressive drivers. Many don’t follow the signs, don’t have a driving license or insurance.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Always be alert when driving. Use Uber, a trusted private driver or avoid driving at night.

  2. If owning a car get a great insurance. (“Best of Guadalajara List”)

  3. Learn more tips from ALLSTATE

Our Experience

We chose to use Uber and trusted private drivers. Our monthly Uber costs is about $200 US.


It Can Be Smelly at Times

Depending where you live, some drainage systems were built hundreds of years ago, and you may experience some unpleasant smells coming from your shower or sink drain at times.  

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. It is important you hire a great Real Estate agent that has a great knowledge on which areas and buildings have the most modernized structures. (“Best of Guadalajara List”)

  2. Buy an inexpensive anti-odor drain stopper and let it on when not showering.

Our Experience

We chose to live in a modern high-rise condo, and we rarely experience unpleasant smelling issues. We do use anti-odor drain stoppers, just in case 😊


Your Neighbors Might Be Noisy

Mexicans LOVE life, music and celebrating through the whole night. They also are not always the best pets’ trainers so lots of dog barking. Many parts of GDL have new constructions as the City is expanding. Conclusion, you may end up in a neighborhood or building extremely noisy.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. It is important you hire a great Real Estate agent that has a great knowledge on which neighborhood are the quietest. (“Best of Guadalajara List”)

  2. Spend an extended amount of time in a neighborhood before you decide to rent or buy there.

  3. If visiting GDL, make SURE to ask your hotel/Airbnb about the neighborhood noise level and if there is any constructions going on. 

Our Experience

We chose to live in a quieter area of Zapopan, in a canyon, and consequently we experience less noise than most of our friends. In exchange for this peace of mind, we spend about 15 min more per ride in Uber than our friends to access Guadalajara center.


Mexico Has Earthquakes

Seismic activity happens almost every day in various parts of Mexico, but the good news is that they usually do not start in Guadalajara, and we only feel the important earthquakes, originating from other regions, when they are much smaller. Most seismic activities do not create deaths or serious damages in Guadalajara (at the exception of the 1932 Jalisco earthquake).

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Be prepared to feel an Earthquake once or twice a year and learn on how to act and protect yourself and others.

  2. See the past earthquakes that reached Guadalajara.

Our Experience

We experienced a week of medium earthquakes (starting on the anniversary day of the unfamous Mexico City earthquake of September 19th). It was impressive as we live in a high-rise, but Guadalajara experienced no death and no serious damages.


Bad Air Days

From time to time some areas of Guadalajara experience bad air quality and the authority recommends staying home.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Use the app “IQAir” to be notified of such poor air quality

  2. Invest in the best Air Purifier for those few days a year it is best to close your windows. Stay indoor. Use a mask outdoor. Close windows/doors, and drink plenty of fluid.

  3. Use NeilMed Sinus Rinse every other day!

  4. Know the most polluted neighborhoods to avoid, such as Las Pintas (El Salto), Loma Dorada (Tonalá), Tlaquepaque, Santa Fe (Tlajomulco) and Miravalle (Guadalajara).

  5. In case of fire: Report a fire by calling 911, 33 36 36 82 52 or 800 737 00 00 / Follow fires development on Twitter.

  6. Help push for the Brick Industry (one of the main source of pollution) to be modernized and regulated. 

Our Experience

We experienced only a month of bad air quality due to fires outside Guadalajara, in 2021, but several in 2023. That helped us learn how to cope with it when it occurs. Compared to the four months a year of heavy fires and terrible air pollution in California, USA, where we used to live, we still (almost) feel in heaven here.


Workers Unreliability

Mexican are so polite that even when they cannot deliver a service, they often say “yes” anyway and sometimes promise you something they simply cannot deliver. If you come from a country where people are clear and direct, you may feel very frustrated at times by this lack of clear communication.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. This is why TWIG created a one-of-a-king “Best of Guadalajara List” to help you hire the best bilinguals professionals in the city. Just hire and work with the best most reliable people. It’s that simple.

Our Experience

We knew how to hire good people from the start, over the past 2 years, to rent, purchase and renovate properties, or start a business. We only experienced disappointments 20% of the time. That inspired us to create TWIG’s Relocation Program to share this knowledge.


Last Minute Announcements

Most events, dates, and important local news are released at the very last minute in Mexico in general. You may not be aware of a new law or an exciting occurring event until it is too late.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. This is why we created TWIG, the most comprehensive guide to GDL, so we will never miss great events, important news and tips again. We brought our US way to think, organize, and maximize time, to people living or vacationing in Guadalajara, while keeping the beautiful Latin flair for life!

  2. Happy using TWIG? Please take a minute to write a positive review on Google for us. We need your support :)

Our Experience

We are the first ones to use TWIG daily. In all honesty, we created it for us in the first place and are happy to serves you too 😊 LOL


Flooding During Rainy Season

In Guadalajara, the rainy season usually lasts from June 8 to September 30, with July being historically the month with the most rain (24 days average). It has marvelous benefits, such as keeping the temperature lower and making the city green and lush. It usually only rains about an hour or less a day, often around 5 pm or at night. However, floods are the biggest risk in Guadalajara. In the capital of Jalisco, two atmospheric systems converge that produce rainfall of up to 80 millimeters in less than 24 hours. Most of Mexico’s soil cannot handle receiving a high amount of rain in such a short period of time and some areas of the city could flood in as fast as 15 minutes.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Try to avoid driving at those hours or learn how to drive in flooded areas (very important as you can damage your car).
  2. Know the areas and 6 tunnels at greatest risk of flooding in Guadalajara.
  3. Use Uber or a trusted private driver during raining hours as most drivers are experienced driving in a flooded street.
  4. It is important you hire a great Real Estate agent that has a great knowledge about which areas get flooded and should be avoided to live. (“Best of Guadalajara List”)

Our Experience

We chose to live in a high-rise condo in a non-flooding area. Because we got a real scare driving with a rental car in flooded Puerto Vallarta in 2020, we chose to use Uber and trusted private drivers. Our monthly Uber costs is about $200 US.


Dry Skin

After living a few months in Guadalajara, you may noticed that your skin, hands and feet feel unusually dry.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. TWIG's partner and skin expert, Mariel, from Miel Y Leche Salon, recommends the following daily skin care routine (it works!). Apply those creams daily and you'll be good to go!
  2. Put a good body cream in all your guests bedrooms and your visitors will quickly adapt.

Our Experience

We noticed it right away. Armelle moving from California, USA. Nidia moving from Puerta Vallerta. 



The world in general has become less safe and pickpockets are on the rise worldwide. Guadalajara feels generally safer than most big cities. The real safety issue in Mexico is the issue with cartels and other organized crimes. The media emphasizes on it and unfairly paints Mexico in a very negative light. In truth, unless you are extremely naïve or unlucky to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’ll never have to deal with the cartels, just like you never meet the mafia when traveling in Italy.

Is there a solution to this issue? Yes!

  1. Live and travel intelligently anywhere in the world, which means don’t leave any valuable items unattended, don't hold your phone in your hand or back pocket. Don’t leave apparent belongings in your parked car. Learn from wise tips.
  2. Look like a local, not like a tourist. Don’t ask for directions, for example – always know where you’re headed and how to get there and avoid using maps or phones with navigational apps in plain sight.
  3. It is important you hire a great Real Estate agent that has a great knowledge about which areas are the safest to live. (“Best of Guadalajara List”). Consider living in a gated community.

  4. Avoid the east side of GDL. These areas include ones like Colonia Jalisco and Santa Fe. 

  5. Is Mexico Safer than the US? This video compares Mexico to the USA and explains why Mexico is safer.

Our Experience

We chose to live in a security gated high-rise condo and although it’s tiring sometimes to have to show IDs and go through the security protocol, we feel extremely safe at home and in our neighborhood (Virreyes Las Cumbres in Zapopan). Being great world travelers, we never felt unsafe once since living in Guadalajara for over two years. We never felt the aggressivity we felt living in Europe or the US. Most Mexicans are extremely honest and kind in general.


The Pros

And now, here is the LONG list of the 25 things we LOVE the most about living in vibrant Guadalajara. TWIG is here to help you enjoy it to the fullest and to make sure you live your very best life. See the Best of GDL List

  1. English is well spoken. And there are many affordable ways to learn Spanish.

  2. Fast Internet: Guadalajara is the Silicon Valley of Mexico. It is part of the next great hope for tech nearshoring.

  3. Weather: Amazing spring like weather all year long. It’s never too hot or too cold in GDL. It's one of the 8 Cities in Mexico with Cooler Weather Year Round!

  4. Easy Transportation System: Bus, light rail, safe private drivers, top biking system, Uber, Didi and taxi services.

  5. Cultural Hub: It is an exciting cultural city with over 30 museums and a historical center that will remind you of Europe. Also home of tequila, mariachi music, and charrería (sport similar to rodeo).  The FICG is Latin America's largest film event, showcasing over 280 films from 45 countries and drawing over 142,000 attendees annually. Founded in 1986, the festival has hosted stars such as Eva Longoria and Salma Hayek as well as established artists like Arturo Ripstein, Gabriel Figueroa, María Félix, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, Silvia Pinal, and others. Count on TWIG to know everything happening in vibrant GDL.

  6. A City of Education: Known as the “city of universities,” GDL has a high literacy rate of almost 98% and hosts the Guadalajara International Book Fair each November (FIL - Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) the largest book fair in the Americas, and second-largest book fair in the world after Frankfurt's. The feel of the town is one of bright people, students, writers, and business people crowd into cafés and eateries to visit with friends and talk about ideas and the world.  

  7. Global Sporting Events: As the birthplace of the Mexican national sport of charrería (sport similar to rodeo), the state of Jalisco's rich sporting history has captivated visitors for decades, and as the region continues to welcome annual experiences, athletics enthusiasts will delight in a variety of thrilling competitions. For example, the state regularly hosts International tournaments such as the Guadalajara Women Open Akron Tennis Tournament, held annually in September; the European Karate Championships, The Gay Games or the World Taekwondo Championships. GDL itself is home of the most popular football clubs in Mexico (Club Deportivo / Chivas), basketball (Astros Jalisco Stars), baseball (Mariachis of GDL), and the famous Mexican wrestling, Lucha libre. See nearby Puerto Vallarta's famous sporting events. Looking ahead, Guadalajara will be among 16 cities to host the ultra-anticipated 2026 FIFA World Cup, solidifying the state's standing as a global sports destination.

  8. Low Cost of Living (for such a developed cosmopolitan modern city): Low Taxes or No Taxes. Foreign Earned Income Exclusion of $109,000 USD. Monthly cost of living is affordable at $800 to $1,100 US (unless you favor a luxurious life $2,300 to $2,800 US).

  9. Good Private Schools: Guadalajara education offers many options for your family, including public schools, private schools and international schools. Homeschooling is also allowed in Mexico. (TWIG partners with a wonderful School Specialist to answer all your questions).

  10. Many Untapped Business Opportunities: TWIG was born from a lack of a "one-place" to go to for the hundreds of events occurring in the city weekly.

  11. Great Place to Age: Retiree Discounts. Elderly people are highly respected. 

  12. Beautiful Architecture: The architecture is modern but exciting. Discover Mexico’s Greatest Architect in Guadalajara, and the the 28 best architecture in Guadalajara

  13. Great Healthcare: Guadalajara healthcare has a well-deserved reputation in Mexico. The city has several internationally known medical training universities, 10,000 experienced medical professionals and 200 private medical centers, in addition to state-run IMSS facilities. It offers a robust affordable Healthcare, Assisted-Living Homes, and Health Insurance. See the Best of GDL List

  14. LGBTQ+ Friendly: Jalisco has long been recognized as an LGBTQ tourism destination and was the first state to recognize transgender kids and youth rights to their legal identity. Known as one of the most progressive cities in Latin America, Guadalajara has established itself as global leader in LGBTQ+ tourism, thanks in part to anti-discrimination laws, the legalization of same-sex marriage and the creation of a Sexual Diversity Director role in state-level government. Guadalajara's Pride parade has become one of the largest in Latin America, attracting more than 100,000 attendees, and we've been in the international spotlight as a city hosting the Gay Games 2023. The LGBTQ+-friendly destination further earned recognition in Travel + Leisure's Global Vision Awards for its game-changing initiatives that have made the state one of the most progressive in Latin America. Rounding out the accolades, the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards honored Jalisco Tourism with the Gold Award in the Destination Marketing category for positioning the state as a Leading LGBTQ+ Tourism Destination.

  15. Kindness & Humanity: Tapatios (people born in GDL) are extremely nice, helpful and welcoming. They have strong Family Values and strong Communities.

  16. High Quality Expats from all around the world: About 45,000 foreigners live in GDL (according to the 2020 Mexican Census), of those 25,000 are U.S. citizens. 

  17. Worldly Growing Reputation: Guadalajara secured a spot on TIME's 2023 World's Greatest Places list and on Travel + Leisure's prestigious "World's Best" list, securing positions as one of the "25 Favorite Cities in the World of 2023" (No. 23) and "5 Favorite Cities in Mexico of 2023" (No. 5). 

  18. Great Food: Fresh Food, produce and seafood. Home of Tequila. Enjoy the delicious street food (Yes, it is safe to eat at the small vendors). The city offers an abundance of restaurants and bars. See the Best of GDL List

  19. Green City: Since 2020, Guadalajara is recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Arbor Day Foundation, as Tree City of the World. It offers lots of beautiful tailored trees (Primavera, Rosa morada, Jacaranda, Galeana, Lluvia de oro, Tabachín, Colorín, Clavellina, among other species), green areas & parks.

  20. Countless Activities: Choose between hundreds of wonderful day trips & activities. You'll never feel bored in GDL.

  21. Good Economy: Voted among the Cities of the Future. Zapopan was the #1 job creator in all of Mexico in 2022.

  22. A City of the Old and New: GDL offers all the amenities of a large cosmopolitan city, while feeling like a small human city. A city of contrast, both modern and historical, it is the perfect combination of Latin, European and North American lifestyles. Choose to live a modern or traditional life, in a vibrant area (Chapultepec area, Historical Center or Downtown) or quieter area (Newer Zapopan, Providencia or Chapalita).

  23. Upscale Shopping & Malls: There are stores that rival any urban center in Europe or the United States and are considered the wealthiest and most elegant of Mexico. If you enjoy shopping, you will want to visit the Andares Mall and the Palacio de Hierro store or The Landmark for very upscale shopping. 

  24. Quality of Life: You can afford to hire a a Spanish teacher, a housekeeper, a driver, a gardener, the best lawyerdoctor, dentist or cosmetologist, create a gorgeous home, take multiple classes, enjoy a weekly facial or massage, and go out regularly. See the Best of GDL List

  25. No aggressivity. Tapatios (people born in GDL) are extremely nice, helpful and welcoming. Mexico is a neutral country not engaging in international wars.


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