About 10 miles from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a world away from the hustle and bustle of its more tourism-developed neighbor. Instead of cars, many use golf carts for transportation.
Most of the year, the island has a warm tropical climate in the low to mid 80s F. The nearby reef offers scuba, fishing, swimming, boating and snorkeling, and an underwater sculpture museum. The seasonal migration of whale sharks is another draw.
“We often see pods of dolphins feeding just offshore and sea turtles basking right on the surface,” said Lynda Lock, a retiree who lives on the island facing the ocean.
Clear, azure waters and white-sand beaches are never far away, and the cost of living is far lower than a similar lifestyle would cost back in the States. A couple can live well on Isla Mujeres for around $36,000 a year, or $2,500 to $3,000 a month, including rent.