Xalapa, Mexico – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

Last updated: 2022

Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

The capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. Historically a way station between the port of Veracruz and Mexico City. Today Xalapa is known for being a university city.  Xalapa is also home a large coffee industry and the region produces some excellent coffee beans. If you are a coffee enthusiast, Xalapa is a must-visit city. Xalapa sits at an elevation of 4,680 feet (1,425 metres), an the city is surrounded by subtropical forests. One awesome thing about Xalapa is that it’s a very lush, green city with a lot of nature. It’s almost like a little Mexican version of Medellin. 

Fun fact: Xalapa is the place of origin of the Jalapeño pepper!

POPULATION: 500,000

 

WEATHER IN XALAPA

Yearly temperatures range from 8°C to 28°C. It’s a comfortable climate. The wet season runs from June – October. May is typically its hottest month. At 1500 meters (4800 feet) above sea level, Xalapa is prone to fog, rain, gray skies for days on end, and sudden burst of bright sunshine. Reminds me of Bogota or Medellin in that sense. As a digital nomad or expat, I’m totally fine with this weather.

 

CULTURE IN XALAPA

The cultural and economic centre of Xalapa is Parque Juarez, located a bit outside the core in the heart of the historical district.

The Templo de San Francisco downtown is worth a visit as well.

Parque Juarez
Parque Juarez

 

SAFETY IN XALAPA

In recent years, drug violence has increased in Xalapa. Although worrisome, this particular type of crime shouldn’t effect you too much. Xalapa has a huge student population, which keeps the city vibrant. Most of the university buildings are south of downtown. Xalapa is generally safe to walk around during the day, but you must be careful at night. When out and about, it’s best you travel in a group. And if you’re heading out alone, always take a taxi to your destination.

 

THINGS TO DO IN XALAPA

The must do thing in Xalapa is to visit coffee farms and do cofee tasting. Visit the nearby town of Coatepec, the center of the famous Veracruz coffee industry. Drink coffee, visit Miguel Hidalgo Park and hike the Mirador Cerro de las Culebras.

Visit the Archaeology Museum to learn about the history and various cultures of Veracruz. It’s an impressive museum. Museo Histórico Casa de Allende is another good historical museum.

Hike the Cofre de Perote, a major mountain peak just outside the city.

Don’t leave Xalapa until you take a day trip out to a coffee farm and do a coffee tasting.

 

 

BEST CAFES & COWORKING IN XALAPA

Veracruz is famous for its coffee, and Xalapa is one of the best cities to try the local brew!

Cafes that My Latin Life recommends:

El Café-tal Apan: One of the most popular coffee shops in Xalapa.

Cafes in Xalapa
Cafes in Xalapa

 

RENT AN APARTMENT IN XALAPA

Considering its size, Xalapa is a very affordable city. You can find a basic apartment to rent here for about $300/month.

If you want to rent an apartment for a short period of time — just to make sure the city is right for you before committing to a longterm apartment contract — we suggest using Airbnb. There is an abundance of student housing to be found as well. If you are looking for roomates or monthly rentals in Xalapa, check out the Facebook groups and university message boards and your bound to find something.

 

BEST BARS & NIGHTLIFE IN XALAPA

The main bar and nightlife area in Xalapa is around Jardin Allende.

Here you’ll find a few classic bars: Bezzito, La Chula, El Grito, La Coronela Bar.

Bars in Xalapa
Bars in Xalapa

 

COST OF LIVING IN XALAPA

This is one of those destinations where you could live on less than $1000/month, assuming you don’t have expensive tastes. We recommend $1100/month as a minimum. There are many students in Xalapa living on shoestring student budgets. This is definitely one of the cheaper cities in Mexico.

 

JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN XALAPA

There are not many job opportunities here for foreigners. Maybe you can find work in the coffee industry!

 

IS THERE UBER IN XALAPA

Yes, Uber has been operating in Xalapa since 2020.

 

IS XALAPA A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE?

Yes. We consider Xalapa somewhat of an underrated expat destination. The cost of living is low, the weather is favorable and the food is excellent. This city is perfect for digital nomads looking to sip the best coffee in the world while working remotely. The weather is unique within Mexico, and the land is extremely fertile. However, the increasing insecurity in the city is cause for concern. Overall Xalapa is a great choice for expats looking to relocate to Mexico. Keep an eye on this destination in the coming years. It may very well become popular.

 

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