On March the 14th 2019 we said adios to our first digital nomad location – Mexico. We had just spent 4 months living, working and traveling through Mexico as digital nomads. We lived and worked
Most tourists who visit Mexico don´t see how diverse and beautiful Mexico really is. And many digital nomads are put off Mexico due to high crime rates and slow internet.
So, what is it really like to be a digital nomad in Mexico? What else is there apart from the beautiful beaches and five-star resorts? And, is it really as dangerous as the media portrays?
Puerto Vallarta (1month)
Is a well-known resort town on Mexico´s
Want to know our secret tips to find the cheapest flights? Here
Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta as a digital nomad?
Puerto Vallarta is really geared up for tourism. Unfortunately, this means it is not the cheapest digital nomad destination in Mexico. However, don´t let that put you off. Puerto Vallarta, or PV as it´s commonly referred to by locals, has a large community of expats and there must be a reason for that!
Many other digital nomads in Mexico told me it would be impossible to find an Airbnb for less than $1,000 per month. If this had been the case, we wouldn´t have gone to PV.
Just a couple of months before arriving, I found a newly listed apartment on airbnb for $300 per month. The location was perfect – 10-minute walk from the beach, in a quiet residential neighbourhood. It wasn´t the most luxurious place in the world, but it did the job.
The WiFi was good (20 mbps) and I had no problems using it to teach English online.
Thoughts on Puerto Vallarta as a digital nomad location
I felt PV was a great first stop as a digital nomad location. It was a great introduction to Mexico and our digital nomad Mexico adventure. It offers much of the same comforts of home but in a more tropical setting.
Of course, it´s touristy and if you really don´t want to be around holidaymakers then I wouldn´t recommend it. It did have a nice crowd of people though, we didn´t see any trouble and we really enjoyed the vibe there.
Moreover, we did feel that PV had found a nice balance between mass tourism and authenticity.
Being in a residential area meant we were away from the hustle and bustle and didn´t find it difficult to get a good balance of work and play. We mostly spent our free time at the beach, wandering the old-town, and trying restaurants and street food.
The food in PV was some of the best we had in Mexico. Despite being a touristic place, you can still find many local eateries and tacos for as cheap as $8 pesos (40 cents USD).
We felt completely safe in PV – even though we were out of the city
Puerto Vallarta also has uber which is
Is also extremely LGBT friendly. You can find many LGBT hotels, bars
You can also find some great co-working spaces in PV and there is a rapidly growing digital nomad and expat community. Definitely add this city to your digital nomad Mexico list.
Next stop – Guadalajara
Guadalajara (4 nights)
Guadalajara, Mexico´s second largest city, is known as the ´eternal spring city´. We didn´t spend much time in Guadalajara and we actually almost missed it completely.
I initially saw this city as a stopover between PV and Guanajuato (where we would be spending Christmas). Guadalajara took us by surprise to say the least.
Despite being the second largest city in Mexico and home of mariachi music, it is relatively untouched by tourism. We instantly fell in love with Guadalajara and we were pleasantly surprised by its laid-back vibe.
Where to stay in Guadalajara as a digital nomad?
Guadalajara is a University city and finding a place to live is very easy. We opted for an
We were out of the historic
Thoughts on Guadalajara as a digital nomad destination
Guadalajara is known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico. It´s the tech-hub of the country and finding good internet was not at all difficult.
Our Airbnb was equipped with hi-speed
There is a young crowd in Guadalajara and despite the large population, it really doesn´t feel like you´re in a big city. It was pleasant walking around the historic
There is an abundance of lively bars, hip restaurants, museums and cultural sites. It is a city which will definitely keep you busy. Getting around the city is super cheap on public transport and uber.
Guadalajara is also a fantastic base for a digital nomad. From Guadalajara you can travel around the rest of Mexico for very little.
The airport has fantastic connections and you can find amazing bargains on budget airlines.
Therefore, if you´re living in Guadalajara and fancy a weekend beach break to Cabo, Puerto Vallarta or Cancun – it is totally doable!
Guadalajara is a fantastic choice for digital nomads in Mexico who want a
Next Stop – Guanajuato
Guanajuato (10 nights)
Guanajuato, the most colourful city in Mexico, if not the whole world. This city is nothing but magical. Surrounded by mountains, and with brightly coloured buildings everywhere you turn.
Guanajuato could be straight out of a fairy-tale. The city is full of
I had high expectations for Guanajuato, but did it meet them? As a place to visit, I would say absolutely yes.
If this city was in Europe, it would be packed with tourists from all over the world. It is a city which everyone should visit if they are in Mexico, it is simply stunning.
Where to stay in Guanjuato as a digital nomad?
The city is very small so it doesn´t really matter where you stay as you will be able to reach everywhere on foot, bus or uber.
Your biggest battle is going to be finding a place with good internet. Guanajuato just doesn´t have the internet infrastructure of cities like Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta.
It is also worth noting that Guanajuato gets very cold at night. During the day, it was lovely and the temperature could reach between 20-25 degrees Celsius.
But, once it went dark, it got very cold. It actually dropped below zero one night. Our apartment was freezing and we had to ask for another heater. BRR!
Thoughts on Guanajuato as a digital nomad destination
I loved the city but I am not sure I felt it was the best place to be a digital nomad. I couldn’t imagine us living here long-term. There is a rapidly growing expat and digital nomad community here though, and in San Miguel de Allende (a nearby city) so many people would argue that this is a perfect place to live and work remotely.
For me, it just didn´t have the same digital nomad spark as other cities had.
The internet in our Airbnb was also quite bad, and it seemed quite difficult to find fast internet anywhere in the city. I also felt this was a more upscale location.
It was difficult to find local eating spots, and everywhere felt like it was there for tourists. Maybe it was just too picture postcard?
I also don´t think there would be enough there to keep us entertained for a long period of time. After ten days, we were ready to leave. It was definitely one of the prettiest cities I had ever seen – but not a place I would recommend as a digital nomad location.
Are you visiting Guanajuato Mexico soon? Check the best 8 activities to do in Guanajuato a World Heritage Site recommended by 2 Baby Boomers from Australia wishing to inspire fellow Baby Boomers on their blog.
Next Stop – Mexico City
Mexico City (7 nights)
Mexico City, the densely populated, capital city of Mexico. The city is huge and it´s had a bad reputation regarding safety for a long time. Like every large city in the world though, it has it´s safe areas and if you stick to these areas and use your common sense, you will be fine.
Mexico City, or CDMX as its locally known, surprised us in many ways. It is an enormous city but it is so easy to get around and it has some really unique neighbourhoods.
Where to stay in Mexico City as a digital nomad?
We stayed in Roma which we found to be the perfect location. You´ll find lots of young residents in this area. It is also next to hipster paradise, Condesa – a very trendy and expensive part of town.
Condesa is a beautiful neighbourhood. The streets in Condesa are lined with treess, coffee shops, fancy bars and restaurants.
Finding high speed internet was not a problem in Mexico City and there are also many co-working spaces.
Thoughts on Mexico City as a digital nomad destination
If you like bustling cities, you´ll love Mexico City. It also makes a great base, having a large international airport means you´ll easily be able to travel around Mexico for low prices.
Mexico City is a cosmopolitan city with a European vibe – and you´ll find all of your home comforts here which makes Mexico City a very desirable digital nomad location.
I loved how each neighbourhood had something different to offer and I believe there is definitely something for everyone here. I would definitely recommend Mexico City as a digital nomad Mexico location.
Read more about the best things to do in Mexico City and meet Susan Moore, a digital nomad since 2015 who runs the blog Solo Trips and Tips travel blog which helps you overcome the fear of traveling
Next Stop – Oaxaca
Oaxaca (14 nights)
Oaxaca, the name of the state and city in southern Mexico. The state is famous for its beaches and mountains. We opted to stay in the state capital due to better internet infrastructure.
Oaxaca has always been a popular destination for Mexican
The city is beautiful.
Surrounded by mountains, with
Where to stay in Oaxaca as a digital nomad?
The city is very small and very easy to navigate. Since January 2019 there is no longer uber in Oaxaca – but getting around on foot is very easy.
We opted for an airbnb which had super fast internet, it was a 15-minute walk from the city centre and it was a very quiet area near to a large supermarket.
Thoughts on Oaxaca as a digital nomad destination
This has to be one of the best cities in for digital nomads in Mexico, without a doubt. Of course, it all depends on what you are looking for.
If you really want to be by the beach or if you are looking for a lively party scene – this is not the place for you! Oaxaca is similar to Guanajuato in the way that it attracts a slightly more mature crowd.
We absolutely loved our time here. The people were some of the friendliest we met in Mexico, the cost of living is very low and finding great internet was not difficult.
For a small city, there is so much happening and there are many places to visit outside of the city too. I would definitely recommend Oaxaca as a digital nomad Mexico location!
Read more about getting off the beaten path in Oaxaca and meet Tanya and
Next Stop – San Cristobal de Las Casas
San Cristobal de Las Casas (1 month)
San Cristobal de Las Casas is in the southern region of Chiapas. The colourful colonial town is situated 2,200m above sea level and is surrounded by mountains. Chiapas is known for its stunning natural beauty.
I´d heard many people say San Cristobal was
Where to stay in San Cristobal as a digital nomad?
We rented a beautiful, fully equipped chalet, four
As I mentioned earlier, San Cristobal is 2,200m above sea level which means it gets very chilly at night. We were lucky to have a log burner which made the house even more special and extra cosy.
The owner also upgraded her internet so we would have the highest possible speed. We had 100
San Cristobal is home to many expats and digital nomads. There is accommodation to suit everyone and every budget. Finding high speed internet should also no longer be a problem. There are also a lot of coffee shops and co-working spaces in the small town.
Thoughts on San Cristobal as a digital nomad destination
San Cristobal is definitely a place which has grown rapidly in the last few years. Maybe too rapidly. It is a well-known location for expats and is fast becoming a place for digital nomads in Mexico. Why has this place attracted so many people?
The cost of living is very low here. You can easily rent an apartment in the centre for under $300 and food is definitely cheaper here than other Mexican cities.
Yet, San Cristobal left me with mixed feeling. The town is definitely enchanting and charming and the climate was literally a breath of fresh-air.
Chiapas also has many exciting places to visit and is a great state for exploring.
However, one thing we noticed here more than anywhere else in Mexico was the poverty of the local indigenous people. You can find Starbucks, a handful of vegan restaurants, a fancy French bakery, coffee shops
However, you can also find children desperately begging for money on the streets, women carrying young children on their back while trying to sell blankets and rebozos which they carry in kilos in their arms.
The poverty of these people is disturbing and very sad. We heard that 75% of residents in Chiapas live below the Mexican poverty line.
We also found that most of the local people were very unfriendly. Despite Debora speaking Spanish fluently, people did not want to help us. People were rude, we had people laugh in our faces or simply ignore us.
It did not feel like the welcoming place which I had the impression it would be. Maybe we just had bad luck? Or maybe the locals are tired of the tourists and expats coming to their city?
What we did love was our chalet and it was a pleasant month living there. We loved exploring Chiapas and did many day trips to see canyons, waterfalls and so on.
But San Cristobal definitely has some pros and cons which you should take into consideration before adding
Read more about San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico and
Final Stop – Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen (1 month)
This might be the most obvious choice for digital nomads in who are thinking of relocating to Mexico. Why? Well, tt has year-round nice weather and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
We knew Playa del Carmen was going to be different to the rest of Mexico and this is why we saved it for our last stop. By this point, we felt we had experienced the real Mexican culture and we were good to go for some laid-back summery holiday vibes.
Where to stay in Playa del Carmen as a digital nomad?
Playa del Carmen is much more expensive than the rest of Mexico in terms of accommodation. However, we managed to find the perfect 2-bedroom condo in Real Ibiza for under $300 per month. How?
Again, it was a newly listed apartment on
We had high-speed internet, a fully equipped kitchen
Thoughts on Playa del Carmen as a digital nomad destination
The great weather, beautiful beaches and friendly locals made this a very easy place to live. Bear in mind, this is a holiday destination and it is busy. We enjoyed being around holiday-makers again though and we really enjoyed the atmosphere of the city.
There were plenty of things to do in Playa del Carmen and in nearby towns. It was very easy to explore different beaches, cenotes
Do you know what cenotes are? They are natural caves filled with fresh water, formed millions of years ago! There are thousands of cenotes in Mexico along the Yucatan Penisula but here are the best ones. M
We felt our time in Playa del Carmen was a lovely end to our four months in Mexico. We loved the variety of restaurants and despite being a huge tourist spot, we still ate some of the best Mexican food of our trip here.
Playa del Carmen is a great digital nomad Mexico location. You won´t get the authentic Mexican culture of other cities but it is a young city with a young crowd of people.
Read more about the 16
a mom and son team who have travelled the world together since 2015, after selling nearly everything they own, to become unschooling nomads. Check them
Mexico was a wonderful place to start our digital nomad adventure. I have no doubt that more and more digital nomads will choose Mexico. It was easy to travel through the country and we felt like we planned our route very well.
This was our first time ¨slow¨ travelling through a country and while we loved some places more than others, we felt like we did a good job with planning how long to stay in each place.
We realised how important it is to travel to places which suit your own likes and needs. We love living on the coast or in a large city and it is in these places that we felt the happiest.
It is important to think about what makes you happy about the place where you live, don´t choose a place because of what other people have said about it.
You have to
If you are thinking of moving to Mexico as a digital nomad, I hope hearing our story of our digital nomad journey in Mexico has helped you and inspired you.
Have you been a digital nomad in Mexico? Share your comments below!