Chalets in the “Switzerland of Mexico” from $142,000

For the past several days, I’ve had boots on the ground in Mazamitla…

This quaint mountain town is about 80 miles south of Guadalajara, Mexico, in the Sierra del Tigre mountain range.

Mazamitla is more than 8,000 feet above sea level and is known for its cool climate, picturesque, cobblestoned town, and the dense pine forests that line the surrounding hills. The constant smell of pines and the red-tiled roofs give Mazamitla a distinctly alpine feel and have earned it the nickname the “Switzerland of Mexico.”

The town has long been a favored weekend getaway spot for residents of bustling Guadalajara, who come to escape the stifling city heat and hike in the refreshing mountain air.

Like many who come to Mazamitla, I booked a cabin here.

A big part of Mazamitla’s allure is the chance to stay in the chalet-style homes that dot the hills around the town.

I reserved mine through Airbnb and after overcoming the host’s infuriatingly misleading directions, found myself in a small community nestled in a pine forest on the outskirts of town. Here’s a video I recorded when I arrived…

The Airbnb where I stayed in Mazamitla, located in a pine forest just outside town. Click to view.

Though they’re generally described as cabins, the mountain homes around Mazamitla are far from basic accommodations. Most are multi-story structures with expansive living spaces and large windows to take in the views of the forests.

On weekends in summer, short-term rental rates for these cabins start at about $150 per night…and can go up sharply from there.

At the top end, you’ll find options renting for $400 to $750 per night. The Airbnb below, a spectacular-looking three-bed, two-bath, goes for around $600 per night including cleaning and service fees. (You can see the listing here.)

Many of the cabins in Mazamitla are large and luxurious with all mod cons.

At the center of this network of forested cabin communities is the town of Mazamitla itself.

Dating back to the 12th century, the town has been designated a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town). It’s a way of saying the place is special…culturally rich…beautiful. There are less than 200 of these towns in all of Mexico.

Wander the town and you’ll understand why it earned this title…

Mazamitla is made up of a charming network of winding, cobbled streets lined with white-washed adobe buildings. The centerpiece of the town is the eclectic Parroquia San Cristobal church, noted for its unusual architectural style which includes Chinese influences.

I wiled away a few happy hours strolling around the town, and had a very nice meal of a rib eye steak and French fries for $10.

The red and white Parroquia San Cristobal church sits at the heart of Mazamitla.

While scouting the local real estate scene, I found a bunch of interesting listings for cabins and homes here in the $150,000 to $300,000 range.

This three-bed, two-bath cabin is in a community called Sierra Encantada, located in a forest about a 10-minute drive from the center of town. It’s on the market for 3 million pesos. That’s around $180,000.

This three-bed, five-bath detached house has some nice features including a fire pit and large terrace. It’s a bit more basic than the listing above, but the price is lower—2.35 million pesos, or about $142,000.

I also found this white-washed three-bed, three-bath house near the town. It has a covered external dining space and views out over the hills. It’s on the market for 3.6 million pesos, or about $217,000.

This cabin in the forested woods outside Mazamitla spans around 1,300 square feet. It’s on the market for around $180,000. Listing here.

Investment is clearly flowing into Mazamitla, hardly a surprise given the booming economy in nearby Guadalajara, dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Mexico” for its thriving tech industry.

In the community where my chalet was located, I found a bunch of cool new homes under construction.

Many follow the A-frame style, in which the sides slope up from the ground and meet in a point at the top, in the shape of an A. This style is becoming popular for hotel cabins in other destinations I’ve scouted recently, such as the beach town of Todos Santos on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula.

A brief video showcasing one of the modern A-frame homes I found nestled in the forest in Mazamitla. Click to view.

As I write I’m heading out to look at a hotel for sale in the area. I’ll follow that up with another stroll around town, before getting ready to head back to Guadalajara. But I plan to return to Mazamitla to scout this mountain town again…

Right now, it’s the end of the dry season. Next time I want to see it during rainy season. It’s greenish here now. But I hear when the rains come, it truly explodes in color.

Would I recommend Mazamitla as a place to buy a primary or secondary home, or an investment property?

As I’ve shown above, you can get a nice home here for $150,000 to $300,000. It’s also a lovely place to spend time…whether you’re strolling around the charming town center or exploring the surrounding hills. And the cost of living is extremely low—a fraction of what you’ll pay in Mexico’s resort destinations.

As a lifestyle play, Mazamitla stacks up if you’re into activities like hiking, and the setting would provide enough to fill your days. I know there are many people who would fit into that category. If you’re among them, it’s worth considering.

Just note that in my entire time here I haven’t seen another foreigner. That means there’s no visible expat community. And it means no expats fueling demand and creating an opportunity for capital appreciation and strong rental income.

Could Mazamitla be the next Ajijic, a town about 90 minutes’ drive north on the shores of Lake Chapala that’s become a popular expat destination? As the expats arrived in Ajijic, they pushed rents and resale prices higher, creating the potential for investment profits. Could that happen in Mazamitla?

Maybe, but I’m far from raising my “buy” flag yet. Truly understanding a place like this takes several visits. I also need to scout the broader Lake Chapala area again, to get a better and more current understanding of the market forces in the region.

But there is potential here…

Mazamitla is tied to Guadalajara and the town will prosper as the city continues to sprawl and becomes more congested. This could lead to growing demand for weekend homes to buy or rent in a quiet, cool retreat like Mazamitla.


Ronan McMahon, Overseas Real Estate Expert

P.S. Not long after returning to Guadalajara from Mazamitla, I’ll be heading out on the road again to scout Puerto Escondido, the popular beach town in Oaxaca on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Have you visited? Let me know what you think here. I’m excited to see what I uncover there. Stay tuned to Overseas Dream Home for all the details…

Puerto Escondido on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast is known for its relaxing beaches, oceanfront restaurants, and unspoiled reefs for diving and snorkeling.

Your Daily Dream Home

Stenstorp, Falköping, Sweden


Located in the charming town of Stenstorp in the Falköping region of western Sweden, this property has a hall leading to a living room with a fireplace, a kitchen, a dining room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor.

A staircase in the kitchen brings you to a loft which has been renovated into an extra bedroom.

The property also has an outdoor seating area overlooking the garden and surrounding Swedish countryside.

Click here to find out more

Remember, we don’t make money from any listing shared here in the Your Daily Dream Home section. We have no dog in the fight. We’re just sharing cool properties we’ve found.

I haven’t visited this property or done due diligence on it. If you’re interested in the listing, you should hire an attorney and do your own due diligence.

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