Top international markets for second-home buyers from Tom Kelly, author of "Cashing in on a Second Home in Mexico: How to Buy, Rent And Profit from Real Estate South of the Border."
South coast of Mexico
South coast of Mexico
Some of the largest American ex-pat communities of all are in Mexico, scattered about different areas of the country. Lake Chapala, San Miguel Allende and Guadalajara are in the central highlands. Then there's the Pacific coast populations concentrated in Baja California, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

These days Americans have started to explore a little farther afield and one of the places they've discovered is the state of Oaxaca. This region has an extensive native-American population that still follows many of the traditional ways. The city of Oaxaca's Saturday market is justly famous; the display of woven goods and other handicrafts draws visitors from all over the world.

South of the city is a beautiful stretch of Pacific coast filled with long beaches and secluded bays. The Mexican tourist development agency Fonatur (which created Cancun), has started to develop the area near Puerto Escondido. Progress has been slow, but that means that the area retains much of its old pace, charm and natural beauty.

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