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Green Valley, Arizona: A Great Place to Retire on the Border

Updated on February 27, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful Employment & Training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Astronomy Capital of the World: Green Valley


Retirement and Travel Opportunities

Green Valley is a family-oriented and retirement community located on Arizona's Interstate 19. The highway is called an Intrastate Highway, because it lies completely inside of Arizona. This one is part of the CANAMEX Corridor, a trade route that connects Canada, the USA, and Mexico. It is convenient for travel to a number of sightseeing locations as well as excelllent for trade.

On the southern end, highway I-19 begins at Nogales AZ, just 1,500 feet from the Mexican border. There is another Nogales in Mexico, on the other side of the border; and, I-19 changes to Mexican Federal highway 15 south of the border. It continues all the way to Mexico City.

Nogales AZ:
Nogales, AZ, USA

get directions

Nogales MX:
Nogales, Sonora, Mexico

get directions

Sonora MX:
Sonora, Mexico

get directions

Green Valley, Arizona:
Green Valley, AZ, USA

get directions

Tuscon A:
Tucson, AZ, USA

get directions

I-19 runs up to Tucson, all the way to I-10 and is just 63 miles long. I-10 is much longer, running east and west from Florida to California.

Green Valley sits about halfway between Nagoles and Tuscon, making trips either way on I-19 fast. Along I-10 in either direction, visitors can find airports, Davis Monthan United States Air Force Base, and many large parks.

Through the center of Green Valley, which is an unincorporated community, are planned housing communities, a country club, 8 golf courses, and recreational lakes.

The community is within the original San Ignacio de la Canoa Land Grant from the King of Spain. This part of Arizona offers the history of Native Americans, conquistadors, missionaries, cowboys, miners, ranchers, and criminals like the Baron of Arizona. The place has been under four different flags: Spanish, Mexican, Confederate, and American.

Interesting Attractions

  • America's Titan II Missile Museum in Sahuarita AZ: Underground bunker, museum, and above ground missile sites.
  • Green Valley Recreation is a nonprofit that runs a dozen recreation centers that offer woodworking shops, computer labs, tennis courts, racquetball, art galleries, catering kitchens, and well equipped fitness centers, along with 12 heated swimming pools. Besides all the recreation and exercise activites available, this area of Arizona is filled with historic locations and outdoor activites in forests, parks, and wildlife refuges.
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory, 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson AZ 85634. World's largest collection of telescopes.
  • Madera Canyon, AZ 85614. This is a birdwatcher's paradise.
  • Mount Hopkins Observatory and Whipple Observatory Visitor Center, Coronado National Forest, 670 Mt Hopkins Rd, Amado AZ 85645.

US-Mexico Pedestrian and Vehicle Crossing

This mural presented below is located on the Nogales, Sonora side of the border. It portrays the harsh realities of illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States of America.

In the 1940, Hollywood cowboys went to Nogales, Sonora often to film their movies and explore the town. For years, the two Nogaleses shared a parade and springtime celebration, but the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Towers in NYC changed that and tourism declined.

In 2011, a stockade-like wall was constructed on the US-Mexican border here, but visitors from both sides can talk to border officials and walk through turnstiles to easily visit the other side.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mural on the Mexico side of the Nogales/Sonora border wall.On the left is Nogales AZ and on the right is Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
Mural on the Mexico side of the Nogales/Sonora border wall.
Mural on the Mexico side of the Nogales/Sonora border wall. | Source
On the left is Nogales AZ and on the right is Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
On the left is Nogales AZ and on the right is Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. | Source

Visitors over 60 years old are said to be able to pass to the head of any line waiting to enter. Automobiles require special insurance valid in Mexico, so many American visitors park at one of the lots stateside ($4 to $6 a day is usual) and walk the few feet into Nogales, Mexico.

Medical and dental fees are often cheaper in Mexico than in America, so many people travel to Nogales, Sonora in order to have their teeth cleaned and repaired in this city of expanding dental clinics and health spas. While there, visitors shop for Mexican goods in numerous small shops and sometimes purchase Mexican Coca-Cola, which is made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. they also enjoy landmark restaurants like family-owned La Roca, built into the side of a cliff. As they walk along the streets, they enjoy the murals.

Mariposa and Nogales Border Crossings

Service Port at Mariposa-Nogales, Border Crossing:
9 N Grand Ave, Nogales, AZ 85621, USA

get directions

Mailing address is west of Grand Ave. at 200 N. Mariposa Rd Nogales, AZ 85621, the commerical entrance to Mariposa, Sonora, Mexico.

Active Senior Living

Zillow and Trulia list over 1,000 single-family and similar dwellings for sale in the Green Valley Area, largely clustered around I-19.

  • Price Range: $34,000 to $899,999
  • Median Price: $159,000

Many of the homes are located in communities overseen by one of 70 or more Homeowners Associations that restrict residents to ages 55+ and family members that are over 18.

Independent and Assisted Living Centers:

  1. La Posada at Park Centre - Prices start at $2,100/month. This site has numerous activities and amenitie aviable to residents. They need never leave, but transportation is provided to shopping as well.
  2. Silver Springs Retirement - 500 W. Camino Encanto, Green Valley, AZ 85614. Many amenities are provided, including transportation. Located near a golf course and the mountains.

Local Hospitals Are Scarce

Green Valley Hospital was proposed in November 2012 and completed in a few years ago at 4455 I-19 Frontage Rd, Green Valley AZ 85614. It also emerged fro bankruptcy in 2018. The only additional large medical center is 25 miles to the north at Tuscon Medical Center, 5301 East Grant Road, Tucson AZ.

Medical centers closer to Green Valley include these:

  • Centro Medico de Especialidades, Sonors Mexico
  • IMSS UMF 64, Sonora, Mexico
  • Mariposa Community Health Center, south of Nogales
  • Medical Center Nogales
  • Medical Center Sonora

Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is growing quickly in Nogales, Sonora, on the Mexican side of the border about 30 miles south of Green Valley. Dental clinics are expanding, with cheaper prices than most US dentists, and health spas and other clinics are opening near the dental clinics in their own type of medical district. Reporter who have visited this area and reported back have found the dental services high quality and the people friendly.s

Many Nogales, Sonora pharmacies sell medicines that are not sold over the counter in America, at cheaper prices than in the US, but US citizens should have a prescription with them anyway, so that they can bring any medications purchased back to the US safely.

Cyber-Defense is a growing career field in Arizona and Mexico, involving both public and private companies.
Cyber-Defense is a growing career field in Arizona and Mexico, involving both public and private companies.

Major Employers In Green Valley

Green Valley is a good place for senior citizens to find continuing employment, especially if they are military veterans.

Nearty 50% of the families in Green Valley have children under the age of 18, suggesting that these are working families. The major employers of the city are lited below, and some retirees do continue to work or secure part-time jobs once retired to Green Valley.

  • SAVA Solutions (advertised as Veteran-Friendly): Security solutions, largely used by government. Includes cyber-defense work. Jobs available in Sonora, Mexico as well as Arizona.
  • Pima County Government Center and Library
  • Continental School District
  • Sahuarita Unified School District
  • Tohono O’odham Nation Resort hotel, restaurants, and gift shops.
  • Continental Shopping Mall

  • Whipple Observatory, affiliated with The Smithsonian Institution
  • Farmers Investment Co.: Pecan growers
  • La Posada at Park Centre: Retirement center
  • Caterpillar, Inc. Training Center
  • Safeway Supermarkets

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Have a wonderful time in Green Valley when you go, vocalcoach! Get lots of pictures.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I love to travel and Green Valley Arizona is on my list. Thanks Patty for the detailed tour and interesting information.

      Voted up and awesome, interesting and sharing.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I got excited writing about it, KoffeeKlatch Gals! I would love to be able to drive for only half an hour and walk into Mexico for a day.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What a beautiful place. Green Valley certainly has a lot to offer. You have made it attractive enough to look into. Pushing those buttons.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi Faith Reaper - I like the location of this city, so near many places that would be fun to explore.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      7 years ago from southern USA


      I can understand why Green Valley is one of the best places to retire and visit. What a lovely place indeed! Thanks for this very informative and useful hub, and taking us along on a trip to Green Valley.

      Voted up+++ and sharing

      In His Love, Faith Reaper


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