Mexicali City Guide
OVERVIEW: Ah, Mexicali. The border city that is occasionally cited as one of Mexico's ugliest metropolises. Is it as bad as everyone seems to think? Well, it depends. It 40 degree heat doesn't bother you, if you're not arsed about a nice, picturesque colonial downtown and you'd like to be as close to the United States as possible, then you might be alright with living in Mexicali. It does have some positive things to offer. Read on.
WEATHER: Hot and humid (30-40 °C). Rain is uncommon. Temperatures can regularly exceed 40 in summer months.
SAFETY: Mexicali is probably the safest border town in Mexico. For whatever reason, drug violence hasn't erupted here like it has in Tijuana, Reynosa or Ciudad Juarez. I suspect that it's because the Sinaloa cartel has this city so completely on lock so there hasn't been much fighting for territory.
MUST DO: Hmm. There isn't anything you must do here. I'd suggest checking out the small beach town of San Felipe, which is a short drive away.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN MEXICALI: $600. Since it's right on the border, you won't find things to be as cheap as in the interior of Mexico. But, with the peso so low at the moment (2017), you should be able to find yourself somewhere to live for about $600 a month.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT: You can find hotel rooms for as little as $30 a night.
NIGHTLIFE IN MEXICALI: 7/10
Surprisingly good. Not as good as Tijuana, but Mexicali's large student population and American tourists crossing the border for a night of fun has generated demand. And, of course, as a border city, Mexicali does have strip clubs, if you're into that sort of thing.
I recommend: LUX
BOTTLE OF BEER: $2.00
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN MEXICALI: 6.75/10
Another surprise. You got a good shot at picking up a Mexican girl here. You may think that the proximity to the US means that things would be more difficult for you here, but I've found the opposite. If you're dressed nice, low-key and speak a bit of Spanish, the girls will really appreciate it. You'll be a blast of fresh air from what the Americans that they are used to. A lot of 20-something girls in Mexicali will actually be from another part of Baja California, and have just come to do their schooling. So don't be surprised if not every gal you meet doesn't speak English or is familiar with gringos.
***ONLINE DATING: If you want to meet girls in Mexico the easy way, I highly recommend signing up for Mexican Cupid. You can chat with local girls and set up dates before you arrive in the country, which is a major advantage.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN MEXICALI?: 7.5/10.
Yet ANOTHER surprise. Mexicali has some of the best girls in the country. I kid you not. It has a young population, which always helps. And tons of university students and godina types (office workers). Many girls will have lighter skin than what you'll find in the center and south of the country. Spend a few days here in the fancier bars and nightclubs and you will not be disappointed. No way.
If you want to meet women in Mexico, you will need to speak some Spanish. PickUp Spanish is the best resource of its kind, designed specifically for teaching you the Spanish you'll need to meet girls from Latin America.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.10 Tortillas (1kg)= $1.00 Eggs= $1.90 Water (1.5L)= $1.00 Cigarettes= $3.50
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Not great, unfortunately. Your English skills won't get you far here, as there are many locals who are fluent from having lived in the United States.
TAXI: Should be around $3.00 or $4.00 for anywhere you'd care to go to in the city.
NOTES: A throughly un-charming city that has a good number of hot women and a decent nightlife scene. Are there better places in Mexico? Absolutely. Are there better border towns? Well, perhaps Tijuana. But overall, given it's unfortunate geographic location (hot as hell and a chokepoint for drugs entering the US) Mexicali has done extremely well. Crime and violence are low and the quality of life beats the hell out of any other city on the border.
If you want some border town-fun without risking your life, Mexicali is probably the best and most underrated choice.
OVERALL RATING: 6.25/10
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