A Chance Discovery in the Mountains of Mexico

It’s my final day scouting in Mazamitla…

This quaint mountain town, set in the Sierra del Tigre mountain range, is about 80 miles south of Guadalajara and is known as the “Switzerland of Mexico” for its cool climate and the chalet-like cabins that dot the surrounding pine forests.

Yesterday, I sent you a detailed scouting update from Mazamitla, including videos of the cabins you’ll see here, and listings of homes from $142,000. (You can check that out here.)

Today, I wanted to share an update about a scouting trip to a hotel on the market here…and the incredible community I discovered as a result.

The Aldea boutique hotel features stunning cabins nestled in a majestic forest in Mazamitla, a charming mountain town south of Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Aldea hotel is located on the edge of town in the Los Cazos area. This community is enveloped by some of the most majestic forest I have ever seen. You can get a sense of the forest environment in this video hosted on the Aldea’s Facebook page.

The hotel itself consists of a main building with three rooms, a reception, a dining area, and a kitchen. There are also seven cabins, two further dining areas, a jacuzzi, and a sweat lodge.

It’s a stunning facility, featuring well-appointed cabins set amid the pine forest. Inside, the cabins are tastefully styled with brickwork walls and wooden features that reflect the forested setting.

The cabins in the Aldea boutique hotel rent for about $170 per night in peak season. Here’s a link to the website.

The owner of the hotel gave me a tour of the facility. I asked how much she is looking for and she said it was valued at 25 million pesos. That’s around $1.5 million. I’d interpret that as a data point to consider if you’re interested.

This would make a fabulous retreat or place that could be rented to groups. And it could just be operated as a hotel. If you’d like to learn more, you can reach out to the owner’s daughter-in-law, who in the interests of full discloser went to elementary school with my wife, Sayuri. Her name is Silvia Cardenas (silcarden@gmail.com).

And to continue with the disclosures…neither I nor my team have done any due diligence on the hotel and we have no commercial interest in anyone buying it. I took the tour of the hotel since it provided an important insight into Mazamitla and the kinds of opportunities on the market here.

Indeed, scouting the hotel is what put the Los Cazos community on my radar.

As we drove through the community to get to the hotel, my jaw was on the floor. That’s the way these things go when you’re scouting. A random lead turns into a chance discovery.

Los Cazos is one of the oldest communities in Mazamitla and has huge lots and luxury homes set in a stunning forest. The trees are much taller and the forest more dramatic on this southwestern side of town, and it’s a short hike from this area to a striking waterfall. If I was buying in Mazamitla, this is the area where I would focus my search.

The El Salto waterfall in the Los Cazos community in Mazamitla.

The lots in Los Cazos are huge, so homes are enveloped in this magical forest in near total privacy. It’s like owning a home in one of the ancient forests of northern California or Killarney National Park in Ireland. Different trees…same sense of awe.

With a budget of approximately $500,000, you could buy a mansion of 5,000 to 6,000 square feet in Los Cazos on a huge lot of around an acre and half. Even with the relatively low construction costs here, I still figure these homes are available to buy at about 60% of their replacement cost. It would cost a heck of a lot more to build one than to buy one.

Here’s a few examples of what I mean…

This sprawling four-bed, five-bath mansion is on the market for 8.48 million pesos. That’s about $512,000.

This mansion in the Los Cazos community of Mazamitla spans almost 5,500 square feet. Listing here.

There’s also this expansive four-bed, four-bed home. It’s listed at 9.8 million pesos, or around $592,000.

When you click through to the listing above, you’ll find that it’s in Spanish only, with scant details and terrible photos. That’s common with listings here. And I love it! It’s a sign of an overlooked and underserved market. Just the type of situation where we can find value.

And to be clear, you don’t have to break the bank to own in Los Cazos …

Even with a budget of less than $200,000, you can buy a cabin and still have plenty of money remaining to upgrade, furnish and modernize. That’s insane. And the major international city of Guadalajara is only two hours’ drive away.

For instance, I found a listing for a three-bed, two-bath cabin nestled in the forest in Los Cazos. It’s on the market for 2.5 million pesos, or around $151,000. You can see that listing here. (As with the hotel above, neither I nor my team have done due diligence on any of these properties and we have no commercial interest in anyone buying them.)

This cabin in the Los Cazos spans around 1,300 square feet. It’s listed for $151,000.

Overall, the quality of the properties in Mazamitla is surprisingly good…better than I anticipated. And the prices are affordable. Plus, the cost of living here is very attractive—a fraction of what you’ll pay in Mexico’s resort destinations.

After scouting the hotel, I returned to Mazamitla to get a bite to eat. I went to Villa Maria, a restaurant on the edge of town, and had a stunning meal of arrachera (skirt steak) with salsa that was made fresh tableside. My main course cost $13 and that was one of the more expensive items on the menu. Incredible value.

A charming street in Mazamitla where I had a breakfast of chorizo quesadillas for $3.50…and the incredible dinner I had in Villa Maria for $13. Cabo prices they ain’t!

As a lifestyle destination, Mazamitla has much to offer.

The mountain air is refreshing…the natural environment is exceptional…the food is outstanding…

This charming town remains undiscovered by expats thus far, which means there are no foreigners here to drive up rental and resale prices. But the potential exists. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this market and I plan to return to scout it again.

If the expats and digital nomad set start coming to Mazamitla, values will explode. And they just might…


Ronan McMahon, Overseas Real Estate Expert

P.S. Here’s a pro scouting tip… When I’m on the road, I use the Xe app for currency conversions, such as to convert the prices of the listings above. This app is fast, free, and easy to use. Very convenient if, like me, you spend a lot of time overseas operating in different currencies. You can download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Here’s what it looks like…

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