Before lockdown, I was exploring the world looking for the best country to retire cheap in.
Mendoza, Argentina is known for it’s great meat and wine but can you retire cheap here?
The short answer is no you cannot retire cheap here.
If you retire cheap it won’t be in Mendoza, Argentina.
You will however think you’ve died and gone to heaven if you like beef, wine and bicycles.
FOOD IN MENDOZA:
The food here is wonderful, but it’s not cheap. The price of a cheese pizza is $8 (all prices in Canadian).
The cost of this meal was $30 for 2 ribeyes and a bottle of wine. (Don’t forget the tip here is expected at 10%.)
I know this is super cheap compared to Canada.
And the beef and wine are really really good.
I’m from Alberta and know my beef. The Argentinian beef is great. And if you love wine? The $7 bottle was the equivalent of $20 bottle back home.
Saying that though, my budget for daily living is $15 a day, so I can’t afford steak and wine every day.
I found a brand of cheap wine I loved, that I bought at VEA (like a Walmart), it was under $3 for a 1.2 liter bottle.
Cooking meat at home also was much cheaper.
You can see that it averages out at about $5 for one of these packages.
Vegetables are pricier, almost the same price as back home.
There are lots of vegetarian restaurants and gluten friendly choices in Mendoza.
There aren’t cheap menu del Dias meals though, unlike in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru.
On average I’d say the food here is 50% more expensive than those countries.
TOTAL COST? (THE PRICES BELOW ARE IN ARGENTINIAN PESOS)
These were the itemized costs. One thing to note, taxis, I used Cabify, versus the normal taxis. Also all meals and things should be divided by 2 because I was traveling with my travel buddy.
Mendoza is super safe. I don’t see any problems here. Obviously, take common sense precautions, but it’s just like back home.
Non existent, just like the rest of South America. They also speak a strange dialect of Spanish, so even though I can speak a basic travel Spanish, it was really difficult here.
This is another area where Mendoza stands out. I signed up for the Mendoza tennis club. It allows access to a great gym and tennis for $40 a month.
As I’ve travelled the world looking for the best countries to retire cheap, I’ve noticed that I’ve been in 3rd world countries a lot.
(I know it’s not really politically correct to use that term anymore, vs developing nations.)
Mendoza is a 2nd world vs 1st world or 3rd world. And is priced accordingly.
I’d say it would be a great transition city versus Medellin, Colombia if you are coming to South America for the first time.
WHO SHOULD RETIRE HERE?
You love BBQ
You love safety
You love bicycles (lots of bike lanes here), and lots of parks.
You love wine
Great bus system
Cabify exists here
Red clay tennis courts
You can order food delivery
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT RETIRE HERE
Cost of living is more that $1000 a month. $1500 is a better budget
You don’t want to learn Argentinian Spanish. It’s annoying.
Not that walkable, the city is big. If you’re in one area, near the center, it will still be about 10 000 steps a day to get around.
I loved Mendoza, and will 100% recommend staying here for a visit, but it’s too expensive for this budget traveler. (Also, if you come to Mendoza, stay far away from Casa del Park Hostel, worst place I’ve stayed in the world.)