Living in
Exploring Quintana Roo

The first time I came to QR, I knew I wanted to keep returning, and even make it my future home. I preferred Puerto Juarez and downtown Cancun. Since most all tourist information for Cancun focuses on the Hotel Zone, I wanted to start sharing info on living outside Cancun's Zona Hotelera. I had titled this page,

Discovering 21st-century Quintana Roo

and was nearly ready to publish my updated version in March 2020 ...

You all know what happened. Pandemic Interruption.

I wanted to post updated bus routes, which I'd obtain by using a GPS tracker while riding around town. But then I stopped getting on buses! And which tourists - or ex-pats - want to know about public transport routes right now, when we're likely all avoiding buses in favor of taxis? Who needs to know about restaurants with great food and atmosphere when we can't visit them? Of course, many have been offering takeout and delivery, but many others closed. When we really start going out again, late 2021? 2022? things downtown will surely be quite different.

Now that QR is a yellow zone, people are venturing out more. But it's still wise to be cautious, and wait for vaccinations to be nearly universal.

So, I am sharing some of the info that may still be useful, and putting most of this project on hold. Meanwhile, I'll have a broader focus, sharing travel notes from a number of countries, on another blog,, where I'll be chronicling widespread travel ... I hope by the start of 2022.

Site Topics


A bit of general info on the area..


Some recommendations from my own experiences in seven seasons.


Where to snorkel, swim, and get other outdoor exercise.


For demanding cooks: organic, vegan, ...


As with everything here, a highly personal selection.


Events to look for, groups to meet with ... when we do that again

personal care

My hair salon, plus a stylist who'll come to you, and a spa I hope will have a future.

About mExPat

Just before New Year 2015, I came to Q Roo on vacation with a friend, with a one-way ticket, knowing I'd stay beyond her 10 days but not sure just how long.

And I loved it. Stayed until April. We started out on Cozumel for the New Year, then went to Playa del Carmen, and lastly the hotel zone of Cancun. Once alone, I moved up to Puerto Juarez. After a couple of months, I went down to Puerto Morelos to stay. There were excursions to Tulum and Chichen Itza and some exploring by car with another visiting friend - as that first season was like a revolving door of friends' visits. Couldn't have been better. I found I like Cancun - outside the hotel zone - most of all. Decided I'd return the next winter as well. And beyond. Started looking at condos and reading up on moving here. For those years, I thought I'd make QRoo my home as soon as I sold my house in Virginia. Well, that finally happened in January 2022, but things change. A great trip to Europe just before the pandemic hit reminded me how much I like roaming there. And during the lockdown - spent in Puerto Morelos, lucky me - I researched moving to France, and French real estate, and decided I'll see what I can do, there, or Spain? or? So my future home is yet to be chosen, and I'm going to take my time deciding, and check out a lot of places, working out many visits to friends along the way. My new blog is

Mexico : where we salt margaritas, not sidewalks

Heading to the ferry at Puerto Juarez, heading to Isla Mujeres