Many digital nomad cities in Mexico have been visited by digital nomads from the United States and Canada due to their reasonable close proximity and the fact that it is mostly at the same timezone. Tourists from North America regularly vacation in Mexico so it feels familiar and hence why it attracts the longer-staying crowd of digital nomads.
The Covid-19 pandemic has done wonders for Mexico as a digital nomad destination. First of all working from home became normal, and secondly, Mexico was relaxed with its travel regulations and stayed open to tourism and digital nomads unlike some other favourites like Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and the Philippines, which were closed for almost two years.
Mexico also allows tourists to stay up to 6 months in the country which is depending on their passport and the mood of the immigration officer at Mexico’s airports. For those that want to stay longer, there is the temporary resident visa which allows you to stay one year and can be renewed for another three years. Mexico is on the Nomad Girl’s ultimate list of digital nomad visas.
Mexico has it all to have a fun time as a digital nomad, amazing food, a history that has Spanish colonial and plenty of Mayan sites, beautiful beaches, an amazing capital in Mexico City, and last but not least a reasonable low cost of living. So where should you head out as a digital nomad in Mexico, these are the top 12 destinations.
1. Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is one of the bigger cities in what is called the Riviera Maya a stretch of coastline in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. What was once a sleepy fishing village has now grown to a city of more than 300,000. Here you find a long stretch of palm-lined beaches and coral reefs. Parallel to the beach runs the pedestrian Quinta Avenida with its shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Playa del Carmen is quieter than Cancun which is about an hour’s drive North.
There is plenty to do in Playa del Carmen from visiting the nearby Mayan ruins, cenote snorkelling, sailing to Isla Mujeres to plenty of jungle-style activities. A popular trip from Playa del Carmen is Cozumel Island with beautiful beaches, reefs and the town of San Miguel. You can do it as a day trip but I would recommend you book a hotel in Cozumel to stay for a few days.
2. Mexico City
For those that want the trappings of a metropolis and want to escape the tropical hot humid weather on the coasts, Mexico City is the place to go. Mexico City is at 2240 meters (7200 feet) above sea level which creates mild spring-like weather of between 22-27°C (72-81°F) with wet summers and dry winters. For a large city with 9 million inhabitants, there is plenty to see, eat and experience. There are also plenty of things to explore on day trips.
Digital Nomads like to hang out in the trendy Roma and Condesa neighbourhoods in Mexico City. Here you will find coffee shops, nightlife and late-night taquerias plus plenty of apartments targeting digital nomads. These are the two areas digital nomads and plenty of expats like to live in. The crime rates are relatively low for these areas, something that can not be said for the city as a whole. Also as Mexico city is surrounded by large mountains the pollution can get quite bad.
The coworker lists a total of 137 co-working spaces in Mexico City. Big players like WeWork and Regus are also presented, which is handy if you have a global deal with them. Popular ones are Homework and Spacioss Coworking.
3. Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is a smaller port town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca. It is well known for its great nightlife as well as its many beaches. Being on the Pacific coast this town also has its fair share of surfers that come for the surf breaks on Zicatela beach. For those looking for a safe beach-side destination that is gorgeous and has plenty of things to do whilst still staying authentic, Puerto Escondido is the place. You can help with turtle conservation, kayak the Manialtepec lagoon, sports fish, visit Chacahua national park for its reptiles, go ziplining through the jungle, or visit La Reforma Waterfall.
The rainy season which runs from May to November is the cheaper season to stay as a digital nomad, where you are expected to pay for the peak season from December till April. But besides that Puerto Escondido is still a lot cheaper than other Mexican beachside destinations such as Cancun, Tulum and Puerto Vallarta.
There are three co-working spaces in Puerto Escondido with large operator Selina having a location.
Tulum has it all for Digital Nomads, gorgeous beaches, Mayan ruins, great nightlife and a spiritual community. It also has become a victim of its own success and is becoming rapidly a more expensive destination. Its small size and a large percentage of Digital Nomads mean that you do make friends easy. The crowds here seems younger and it might not suit the over 30s digital nomads. Tulum is a great place for scuba diving, you can dive in the Caribbean Sea or the many cenotes dotted around the area.
Accommodation can be found on Airbnb or the Facebook group Rentals in Tulum. A quick look shows nice one-bedroom flats available for around $750 – $950 per month, with most of them having a communal pool included.
A total of 9 co-working spaces are listed on coworker.com, favourites are Coworking Tulum and Selina Tulum.
Guadalajara is a large city with a population of 1.4 million in the west of Mexico and is famous for its tequila and mariachi music. The historic centre has plenty of plazas and colonial landmarks such as the Teatro Degollado and the Guadalajara Cathedral. Guadalajara is considered the most Mexican city famous for its monuments, museums, hospitality, and folklore. Its elevation of 1550 meters (5100ft) ensures a mild year-round climate from 25-32°C (43-90°F). There are plenty of things to do in and around Guadalajara like visiting Lake Chapala, touring Tequila country, and plenty of hiking opportunities.
Guadalajara has everything you want as a Digital Nomad with great nightlife and a low cost of living, one bedroom apartments on Airbnb can easily be found in the $500 to $700 range. Popular areas with digital nomads are Col America and Chapalita.
6. Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City is the capital and largest city (population of over 300,000) of the state of Oaxaca. It lies at an altitude of 1550 meters and has a year read climate of 27-32°C (81-91°F), with cool nights. Oaxaca (pronounced wah-hah-kah) has a vibrant spirit and atmosphere loved by locals, it is full of cultural sights to see. This gorgeous city has everything for the digital nomad from cheap and comfortable accommodation, lively festivals, beautiful views, historic sights and peaceful nature spots. Oh, and it is also known as the Foodie Capital of Mexico. It is an inexpensive town but it is changing now that digital nomads and expats are coming in ever greater numbers.
There are two neighbourhoods popular with digital nomads Xochimilco and Jatalaco. These neighbourhoods are very close to the historic centre of Oaxaca and you can find apartments here for $650-800 per month.
Coworker.com lists a total of 7 co-working spaces. Mexico’s favourite Selina is there and another favourite seems Convivio.
Cancun is a city on the Yucatán Peninsula which is known for its resort, nightlife and beaches. The city can be split into two areas, the traditional downtown area and the L-shaped island called Zona Hotelera with its long beachfront, high-rise hotels, restaurants, shops and nightlife. Cancun gets its fair share of tourists with 8 million visitors a year. Its airport has plenty of international destinations with flights all over the Americas and Europe. From Cancun, you can explore the Yucatán Peninsula with its jungles, beaches, beach towns and Mayan culture.
For Digital Nomads it depends on what you want. If you want to party stay in Zona Hotelera, it will be a lot more expensive though and you have to deal with US college kids on spring breaks. Whereas downtown Cancun is an area where you get to mingle with both locals and foreigners. In this area, you will find budget-style accommodation and restaurants that cater to locals. Not far from Cancun, a 30-minute drive away lies quiet and artsy Puerto Morelos also a favourite with Digital Nomads.
There are a total of 9 co-working spaces in Cancun from global provider Regus to Selina which has two coworking places in Cancun.
8. Santiago de Querétaro
Santiago de Querétaro is a central Mexican city with a population of 1 million and is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, notably the striking pink stone aqueduct. With its elevation of 1820 meters, the temperatures are mild all year round with average maximum temperatures of 23-30°C (73-86°F). For the digital nomad, this city has everything to thrive, community, co-working, cheap cost of living, and plenty of cultural activities. It is also close to other must-see towns.
There is plenty of accommodation to rent it is cheap with prices for one-bedroom apartments starting at $500 a month and $700 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.
There are more than 30 co-working spaces in town, the most popular one is VAEO Business Club and Nex Offices The Village.
9. San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a colonial UNESCO-listed town with a quiet vibe and is famous for its baroque Spanish architecture. Not too large in size with a population of about 175,00 it has been a long-time favourite with retirees, especially from the United States. The focus in this town is more on arts and culture rather than partying. Its elevation at 1900 meters gives it pleasant year-round temperatures between 23-30°C (73-86°F). This is a town with year-round cultural activities and festivals.
Long-term retiree money has driven up the pricing, especially in the colonial city centre. You will be looking at anything for $1200-$2000 per month, you can get cheaper if you are willing to move 10-15 minutes away from the town centre.
Digital Nomads do find their way into this retiree bastion and some co-working spaces have opened up like Smartspace Hub and San Marcos Coworking.
Guanajuato is a city of 200,000 people that is located in central Mexico and is famous for its silver mining and colonial architecture. Its city centre is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Its elevation of 2km (6550 ft) gives it nice year-round weather between 23°C (73°F) in winter and a maximum of 31°C (88°F) in summer.
Guanajuato is an up-and-coming digital nomad destination and still has a genuine authentic Mexican feel to it. It is a very affordable place for digital nomads with one-bedroom apartments starting at $400 a month.
There are not any co-working spaces listed in the old city centre, you will have to do with cafes of which there are plenty that have Wifi.
11. Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a resort town on the Pacific coast of Mexico, part of Jalisco state (Capital Guadalajara) it has its own international airport. Puerto Vallarta is known for its beaches, water sport and nightlife scene but also has a lovely historic centre aligned with cobblestoned streets and its Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church. It is definitely a tourist hot spot but it still has a lot of Mexican authenticities. As a digital nomad, you get it all: city life, modern facilities, culture, beach and relatively affordable prices.
Popular areas to stay for digital nomads are the beach downtown areas of Viejo Vallarta or the Zona Romantica. You can find easily a one-bedroom apartment for $700-$850 per month here. It is best to avoid the summer months when it can get very hot but besides that, it is the perfect place for digital nomads.
If you want to get away from the beaches and the tourist crowds in the Yucatán Peninsula then Merida is the place to go. You get big city living with the charms of a small town. This is the place to go for low-key digital nomads that love culture, Merida is known as the Culture Capital of Yucatán. The age profile of the digital nomad here is older with most of them in their 30s and 40s.
Merida will give the digital nomads a more authentic way of Mexican life, but with all mod cons like an International airport, good hospitals, shopping malls and vegan restaurants. It can get hot here, tropical hot, and there is no beach to cool you down, so recommended here is to rent an apartment with a plunge pool which can be found for around $850 a month.
The best place to co-work is Conexion 60 which is located in the historic zone at Paseo de Montejo, the prettiest street in town.