The enigmatic country of Mexico attracts almost $11,5 billion in annual tourism revenue. But is buying local property and investing in the Airbnb business worth it? The short answer is yes — but let’s take a quick look at the local short-term rental market and check the facts before making the purchase.
Read more about the best places to own an Airbnb in Australia.
List of best cities to invest in Airbnb rentals in Mexico
Cabo San Lucas
|Average Daily Rate||$295|
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This is one of the top 5 tourist places in Mexico, and one of the most lucrative short-term rental business cities. The Los Cabos International Airport is a 30-minute car drive away, influencing tourist traffic naturally, but the visitor influx doesn’t depend on just that. Cabo San Lucas, or simply Cabo, welcomes around 3 million people every year. They are attracted by night-time parties and day-time leisure with spa resorts and gorgeous beaches. Deep-sea game fishing is Cabo’s pride and joy: it’s relevant throughout the year and attracts game fishermen worldwide.
- Also here: San Jose del Cabo
- Active rentals: 923
- Average Daily Rate: $156
- Occupancy Rate: 64%
- Revenue: $1,850
A district within Cabo borders, San Jose del Cabo can be viewed as a separate experience. It’s more of a historical, old-town-charm area, but gorgeous vintage architecture here meets modern-day resorts, which makes it perfect for sophisticated visitors.
|Average Daily Rate||$234|
This beach city attracts 2,5 million tourists every year, but its bread and butter are also expats from the US and Canada. Puerto Peñasco is so close to Arizona, which is pegged by many as mostly desert land, that its ocean resort nature feels almost mindblowing. The city is like an oasis with crystal blue waters and rich history that involves Al Capone of all people. Also, it’s one of the craziest Spring Break destinations for the US youth — so short-term vacation rental hosts should be aware. Nevertheless, the demand makes the short-term rental business very profitable.
|Average Daily Rate||$60|
A hidden gem of Baja California Sur, La Paz is one of the tidiest and safest waterfront Mexican cities. It’s quiet and incredibly beautiful, with turquoise waters, small yet comfy beaches, exquisite cultural scene, and cuisine, as well as flourishing eco-tourism. La Paz welcomes 400,000—500,000 tourists per year and is perfect for family-friendly, or solo meditative tourism. This can be seen in short-term rental demand: while the majority of guests books entire houses, an impressive 19% seek private rooms.
|Average Daily Rate||$121|
Being relatively close to the legendary city of Cancun, Tulum attracts both partygoers and history-experience seekers. The city is a cradle of ancient Mayan culture, with a famous archaeological site with preserved ruins of the legendary civilization. Tulum is also famous for its many — more than 35 — cenotes, or sinkholes. There’s no way an average Tulum visitor doesn’t visit at least a couple of those magnificent nature jewels.
As for short-term rentals, this location is the most popular in winter, especially in February, when tourists arrive to hide from the unpleasantries of their local cold season.
|Average Daily Rate:||$134|
Puerto Vallarta is on the more expensive side of Mexico tourism-wise; however, the short-term rental demand allows to keep rates at bay and enjoy decent revenue. It’s also more affordable than party-crazed places like Cabo or Cancun, and can be aimed at more refined visitors. The resort town doesn’t just offer paradise-like beaches and bays, but also world-class trails and Sierra Madre mountain hikes.
|Average Daily Rate||$130|
Located just an hour away from Mexico City, Tepoztlan sees no shortage of tourists — especially the spiritual types. The city is one of the main esoteric hubs of the Americas, and it does a great job of preserving the pre-Hispanic vibes. However, it has a lot to offer to all kinds of visitors. Mountain hikes and views are legendary, as so are the cultural heritage and modern infrastructure around the town. The most active outside visitors’ time stretches from December to July.
|Average Daily Rate||$78|
A household name that almost needs no introduction, Cancun is one of the most vibrant restort cities worldwide. Investing in the local rental property market has a good chance of paying off: after all, more than 6 million annual tourists isn’t a joke. Note that the city has the so-called Hotel Zone area with access to waters of the Caribbean and the beach leisure infrastructure. If you want to profit from the waterfront resort industry, invest in Airbnb in this area. Downtown Cancun has no ocean access and is very residential, so to speak.
|Average Daily Rate||$134|
Zihuatanejo is a relatively small, yet mighty holiday destination, which is almost equally popular among both domestic and international tourists. It’s quite laid back, even with more than 2 million annual visitors, and its main focus is everything ocean-related. Zihuatanejo is another Mexico city famous for its game fishing, as well as scuba diving (many people come here to experience swimming with friendly cat-sharks, for instance). The city also has the most charismatic downtown area, with all-night bars, beautiful live music, and delicious cuisine.
San Miguel de Allende
|Average Daily Rate||$126|
The city of San Miguel de Allende has one of the most unforgettable architectures in the world, and the tourists flock here to witness the glory. The average amount of visitors every year is 1,5 million.
The city has an abundance of plazas, churches, museums, and galleries — the latter being the heritage of a western art colony. While being away from the waterfront, San Miguel has amazing hot springs, thermal pools, and SPAs. Tourists also appreciate colorful Mexican markets, parades, festivals, and carnivals. As an Airbnb host, be ready to welcome solo guests and larger groups in equal measure.
Playa Del Carmen
|Average Daily Rate:||$85|
Tourism-wise, Playa Del Carmen can be called the underrated younger sibling of Cancun. While the latter is oversaturated with visitors 12 months a week, Playa remains the less hectic yet equally beautiful coastal destination. This location is safe, authentic, and friendly, with cozy beaches and magical azure sinkholes, a strong cultural feeling, and hypnotic nightlife. While you can invest in more affordable short-time rentals, Playa Del Carmen also has gated communities with an Airbnb market present — so explore that opportunity.
|Average Daily Rate||$118|
First and foremost, Acapulco is one of the most visited Spring Break destinations for the American college folk. This means a crazy tourist influx in the summer, but also competition between short-term rentals and the inexpensive hotel industry. That does NOT mean you should neglect this stunning coastal city — because it’s booming all year round, and not just in summer. Visitors from all demographics, including families, arrive to experience the beaches of Acapulco, the world-famous cliff divers show, and delicious food. The nightlife here never slows down, boasting some of the largest clubs in Latin America.
|Average Daily Rate||$80|
There’s no need to sugarcoat the fact that Tijuana can be quite a wild place. A melting pot of different cultures, the city has a striking personality that attracts tourists from all over the planet. Yet it’s not a primarily resort location, despite being near the ocean and having several beaches. Beautiful and vibrant, Tijuana has more affluent residential areas, and non-Spanish-speaker-friendly areas, as well as more seedy corners like Zona Norte. As a short-term rental owner in Tijuana, you can also expect a frequent demand from US guests: the city is close to San Diego, and American visitors love to stop by, especially on weekdays.
|Average Daily Rate||$67|
Bacalar is an absolute charmer of a small city in Quintana Roo. It may not be as sleepless and ever-booming as all Tulums, Tijuanas, and Cancuns of the country, but that’s why it’s different. Tourists arrive to visit and sail the Lake Bacalar — huge and stunning, with the palest blue water you’ve ever seen. The area also has numerous beautiful cenotes that vary in depth, and history enthusiasts can take short trips to Mayan ruins in nearby jungles. Overall Bacalar is safe, neat, and almost meditative at times, which makes it ideal for owners who don’t want any hassle.
|Average Daily Rate||$61|
The country’s capital is also its economic, political, and educational center — and that means the never-ending demand for short-term rentals. This, however, comes with huge competition, where most of the owners have to keep their prices competitive as well. But the high occupancy rate, especially compared with other locations in Mexico, makes an Airbnb property in Mexico City a worthy investment.
|Average Daily Rate||$94|
This is probably one of the most underrated large coastal cities in Mexico, and you can make the most of it. See for yourself: dozens of lovely beaches (each has its own style and vibe), gorgeous historical architecture paired with modern infrastructure, and an enchanting party scene.
|Average Daily Rate||$49|
This is the second largest city in Mexico, and it means business. While Guadalajara visitors don’t expect to pay a lot for their short-time rentals, the occupancy rate is steady and relatively high. Many property owners prefer that big-city stable profit — especially considering the high demand for private room rentals in Guadalajara: 44% against the 54% of entire homes.
|Average Daily Rate||$50|
This large city is pulsating with energy and personality, offering the unforgettable atmosphere of colonial and independent Mexico with indigenous culture. Oaxaca is not a coastal resort, so tourists don’t expect inflated short-term rental prices — but they also provide an occupancy rate above the average. Also, the demand for private room booking here is not just high, but higher than for entire homes: 50% against 49%!
Also worth it
|Average Daily Rate||$49|
The million-plus city of Merida has unofficially crowned the cultural capital of southern Mexico. It has everything — from oceanfront beaches to rich cultural heritage.
|Average Daily Rate||$52|
One of Central Mexico’s crown jewels, Guanajuato attracts a lot of urbanists and history nerds. It’s also one of the safest cities in the country.