Home Expat Blogs Expats Should Know More About Teacapan, Mexico

Expats Should Know More About Teacapan, Mexico

Credit: Laurie Doherty

Every once in a while we hear from expats who live in villages and towns far from the major expat centers in Mexico. Minnesotan Gerald Raley thought expats should know more about Teacapan, Mexico so he sent us some information on his new hometown.

Teacapan is a coastal village of less than 5,000 people on the southern border of Sinaloa, just across the Agua Grande River from the state of Nayarit. It’s about a two-hour drive south of Mazatlán and is known for its large estuary, one of Mexico’s largest.

The area attracts many eco-tourists because of its 30-mile-long estuary, which is filled with tropical flowers, countless species of birds and other wildlife. Some have called it a “mini-Amazon.”

Gerald tells us, “The estuary has several things to note besides fishing and eco-tourism. Oysters have been plentiful in the past and mid-way between Teacapan and Escuinapa there is a massive pile of empty oyster shells. The oyster shell mound is 25 meters high (82 ft.). Estimates are there are 260 to 300 million shells that have never been opened. Mangroves cover the shoreline and millions of palm trees provide habitat for diverse species.  Pirates also frequented the area in the 1800s. They left after “The Battle of Teacapan” when the last ship was disabled far up the estuary.”

Gerald has lived in Teacapan for three years now and describes it this way: “The streets are sand, except for the main highway/street and the U forming the Malecón. They can be a mess in the rainy season and dusty when it is dry, but continually offer special sights during a typical day: school children in uniforms, people walking to one of the local stores, horses grazing on the grass or being ridden somewhere, fishermen with their catch, iguanas lounging in the trees or on the lawn, a delightful array of birds, a mom pushing a stroller and baby or a neighbor wanting to fill an empty coffee cup.”

Gerald says there is a newer motel and good restaurant just as you enter Teacapan (Las Mangos), a very good Japanese outdoor restaurant and EcoMotel, quite a few small cafes and the usual grilled chicken spots. Along the Malecón there are several open-air restaurants with nice views and places for lodging. Fishing boats line the shore and you can depend on gorgeous sunset views.

Throw in Teacapan’s roughly 30 miles of unspoiled beaches and you have an expat destination worth considering.


  1. We are planning on coming for a month to Teacapan. So looking forward to it. I was wondering is there any weekly farmers markets or people selling fresh produce from carts?


  2. Terri — I have not seen a farmers market in Teacapan, however, the small neighborhood stores usually have local suppliers deliver to their stores. It is easy to find tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, local eggs from the chickens in the neighborhood, avocados, fruit, etc. I have 2 of theses stores within 1/2 block of my house.

    If you do not see what you want, often you can ask and they may have it, but just do not have the room to display everything. They also have coffee, cleaning supplies, milk, yogurt, candy, cookies, chips and snack foods.

    There are a few ‘fruit stores’ that specialize in fruits and vegetables. There is also a mini-supermarket on main street for a more traditional feel. Ask around and you will find stores that carry almost everything you need, except there is not an ATM in town. So you need to get pesos in Mazatlan or Escuinapa.

      • Terri, our correspondent in Teacapan, Jerry Raley, says, “The distance is about 25 miles, and time is about 40 minutes. The road can be busy with chili trucks, buses, farm tractors, walkers, bicycles, cars and scooters; be cautious and do not drive it at night — too many unlit vehicles and people.”

  3. Thanks for the info, I. Was on line today looking for a house to buy. Found a few to of them I contacted a realtor. How is the crime in such a small town and the souroumdkng area? Thanks, I live in Alaska for 50 yrs, I’m ready for some warm weather and water. I’m looking at spring timeframe.

  4. We have a few Alaskans that spend all or part of their time in Teacapan, one couple have a charter fishing operation in Nilicuk during the summer. A lot of Canadiens, many of the US States are represented, and others from around the globe. In the 6 + years I have been there, I am not aware of any crime issues relating to northerners. You will find it to be a quiet village, very safe, and truly friendly people who are happy.

    Escuinapa is the municipal center, like a county seat, and I have never felt unsafe there either. While Teacapan is around 5,000 population, Escuinapa is a little over 30,000 people. It is on Highway 15 which runs from Arizona to Tepic and Mexico City.

    Like anywhere else in the world you just try to be aware of where you are, and be smart. If you set yourself up to be a victim you could be experience some petty crime, but it certainly is not something I hear about.

  5. Was Teacapan affected by hurricane Willa? If so how are things there now? Looks like a place I would like to visit, perhaps this winter.

    • This sure sounds like a lovely village. My husband went to the beaches of Cabos and noticed sand fleas were very common there. How are the beaches in Teacapan?

      • After speaking with a few expats now here, who have spent several years around the Cabo area, they confirm the sand fleas you mention. According to them we do not have them here.

        During the full moon we do have jejenes that can be very annoying. People like me use long sleeve and pants, or insect repellent in the evening and mornings of the full moon phase. They come out early and late in the day, but do not like breezes or fans blowing on people.

        The beaches are very nice in the estuary and of course on the Pacific. Stop by and check them out, you can find miles of beach just for you.

  6. Willa appeared to hit the coast just a couple up from Teacapan, the way I saw it. The poor local population was stuck hard with steel roofing being lifted off their homes and contents then saturated with rain. The CFE government electric company did an amazing effort and restored power very quickly (the road from Escuinapa to Teacapan was impassible because of power poles littering the road.

    I arrived here on Jan 2 and I do have my Megacable connected to TV, phone and Internet, and it is working fine. Lines to my home had to be rewired because old lines were broken. The town seems to be operating just fine and you should not let fear of hurricane damage worry you — restaurants, street tacos, Pemex, groceries, and sundries are readily available. The one story concrete buildings held up well, and the community is bustling with activity.

    Damage to the mango groves and trees is evident as you cross the pass on Hwy 15 north of Escuinapa if you are able to look off the road. It increases as you get closer to Teacapan but roads are fine and if you come you will feel the same as you would have last year.

    If you are coming I suggest you let Bob Nelson know on this site, and he could connect us for any questions you might have. I will be here until mid-April the way it looks.

  7. Hello
    My husband and I are coming to Teacapán
    Sept 11 th , we are leaving our king to buy a house there. We are looking forward to checking everything out , we know we are coming at the hot humid rainy seasons but then we can get a feel of what it’s like all year round not just when the weather is perfect. Any pointer you can give us would be much appreciated.
    Thank you

  8. Hola,

    Welcome to Teacapan!

    You will arrive in the hot and humid season, but people deal with the weather every year and enjoy the quiet season. I have heard that you will hear the buzz of mosquitoes, and I will warn you of jejenes They are like midges in Scotland, or some say similar to no-see-ems — use repellent mornings and evenings, especially during the full moon phase. Some, like me, have a strong reaction to their bites so long pants and sleeves are in order.

    Our village has great small stores and shops that will provide you with most things you need. Some speak English, in others you may need to be creative and take a pic on your phone to show them what you want. I really enjoy having small markets within 1/2 block of my house; I can find milk, eggs, flour, and most food items, plus cleaning and beauty supplies. Please note, in the past there has not been an ATM in town but the brand new Oxxo may have one by now according to rumors before I left in April.

    There are about 4 primary areas that seem to attract expats. As you drive the highway and are near Teacapan, you will notice a sign for the town of Cristo Rey to the left, in 1/2 mile there will be another sign for La Tambora; there are groupings of homes along the road that leads to a nice beach area. In just about a mile from there you will see a gate marker for Cuatro Surcos, another neighborhood of homes. The third area you will encounter is in town, with most expats locating between the main street, which the highway becomes, and the malecon. If you continue on main street you will find more homes on the right, in the area past the cemetery continuing to the beach at the end of the road. There are other locations too of course, but in my experience, these tend to attract most of the expats and you will be able to see some ‘For Sale’ signs posted.

    Your invitation for more information is rather open, so I hope these thoughts will be of some help. Contact Expats In Mexico if you have additional questions I may be able to help with, and they will pass your request on to me.

    Best wishes on your upcoming move!

  9. I’m hoping to move there soon from Alaska, USA. I have health issues though. Is there a medical clinic or doctors in town? How far is the nearest hospital?

  10. What hotels would you recomend un teacapan. I remember there used to be a little place with a few villas but not sure if it is still there or the name,. What would you recommend?
    Thank you

    • This hotel is on the Malecon, has a pool and good reputation. Centrally located for most things.

      Villas y Hotel Maria Fernanda

      There are a few AirBNB’s as well.

  11. Hello: Hola: we are a Canadian couple we have been in contact with a realtor and looking to buy a house, on the beach. We have spent The last 4 years in Mazatlan and felt safe in gated community. How are the properties looked after when expats are not there and our concern is will our house be locked after. And I did read an article that was posted in 2012 on a couples nightmare. And is there still talk about Teacapan turning in to a future cancu.thank you

  12. Hello Jerry/Robert
    We are considering Tecapan in our retirement quest. Do you have recommended Real estate people for that area? Thank you

    • Hi Greg,

      Most of the transactions in the past few years have been direct from seller to buyer. Before that there was a woman in Teacapan that partnered with an agency in Maz, but she moved and I think the agent did as well.

      There are quite a few new residents and seasonal new people, and it was a lot of fun meeting some of them last season. I know of more sellers and buyers in the market and would be happy to help you make connections and get an idea is available now.

      The price range is wide — from USD $50,000 to $350,000 for single family casas. There could also be some BnB opportunities if you wanted something like that.

      I am not a real estate broker, agent, nor am I affiliated with anyone that is.Robert Nelson could connect us with private email if you wish to talk more.

      Hope to hear back,


  13. I want to be careful leaving contact details here. Think about what I write and follow the steps to write to me.

    The first letter of my first name. The dot is important, then add the 5 letters of my last name. Then add the ‘a’ with a circle around it, and then ‘outlook. com’ without blank spaces. String the pieces together, and you can reach me; but I hope to foil scammers.


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