The draw to work remotely is only growing as more jobs open up to the idea of remote work and employees seek the opportunities to work abroad. The warm climate, rich culture and low cost of living in Latin America make the region a prime, but often overlooked, destination for digital nomads.
For nomads working with U.S. based employers, the time zones of most Latin American cities make communication less of a hassle compared to other nomad hotspots like eastern Asia. Most cities on this list are eastern or central standard time (or switch between both depending on the season), the same as cities like New York, Chicago and Washington D.C.
At least an elementary understanding of the Spanish language should be learned before going to work in Latin America. Many of the bigger cities on this list are also full of English speakers, however, so fluency isn’t necessarily required but will most definitely give you a leg up and make life go much smoother.
Several destinations in Latin America stand out among the rest for their particularly low cost, internet connectivity, culture and everything else important for digital nomads. Nomad Girl has a list of countries that have specific digital nomad visas or programs.
There is no doubt that Medellín has emerged in recent years as a world favourite for digital nomads — a full 360 from the city’s turbulent history of violent crime. A large network of digital nomads already exists and the city has responded with a wealth of co-working spaces. The country’s second-largest city with over two million residents, its strong internet connection throughout and a plethora of welcoming cafes appeal to remote workers.
A comfortable life in Medellín, including dining and drinking out occasionally, visiting museums and other entertainment with modest accommodation, can be achieved for around 1,000 USD a month. Frugal nomads can stretch 800 USD.
Nightlife is vibrant with an abundance of clubs and bars with a blend of western, reggae and salsa styles. Football (soccer) is incredibly popular and there are many can’t-miss museums.
Known affectionately as ‘The City of Eternal Spring’, the weather is comfortable throughout the year, making it a great destination regardless of the season.
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
The coastal town of San Juan Del Sur is one of the region’s top backpacker and digital nomad retreats. What it lacks in size (the town has just under 10,000 residents), it makes up for it in sheer beauty and a low cost of living. Internet isn’t as fast and abundant as other potential destinations but most accommodations will have connection sufficient for uploads, downloads and the occasional video chats.
One month in San Juan Del Sur can be sustained comfortably (partying and eating out) for about 900 – 1,000 USD.
Definitely one of the more relaxing destinations on this list, San Juan Del Sur has a large and thriving surfing culture. Yoga and the arts are also famed in the small town.
San Juan Del Sur is perfect for digital nomads who not only want a cheap place to work but want a smaller, quieter destination and to hit the waves during free time.
The Guatemalan city of Antigua stands out for its colonial charm and its abundance of cultural heritage sites. It is frequented by tourists and digital nomads alike. Wi-Fi is fair throughout the city and many cafes welcome the laptop-tapping nomads.
For one month in Antigua, a single digital nomad should budget around 1,100 USD a month for a very comfortable living situation.
The abundance of time-killers is far and away Antigua’s largest appeal. The surrounding area boasts fantastic hikes and several active and dormant volcanoes. Bars and clubs are popular but many are more westernized than some of the other destinations on this list — in fact, there are a lot of things about the city that are more reminiscent of western culture (for better or for worse).
Antigua is key for any digital nomads who balance work and play; the city has many things to do, a growing nomad community and a unique colonial aesthetic.
The Ecuadorian capital is quickly becoming a favourite for digital nomads. Built on what was once an ancient Incan city, Quito has splendid views, architecture, a rich history and all a digital nomad can ask for — a low cost of living and good internet.
Quito stands in line with most of the other cities on this list and a digital nomad can live comfortably for around 1,100 to 1,200 USD a month.
Regardless of where you stand in Quito, there always seems to be a beautiful view of the Andes Mountains and its snowy peaks. The city has many green parks, great variety in food and a plethora of outdoor activities inside and outside its limits.
Quito also has fairer temperatures compared to some of the other Latin American destinations due in part to its high elevation (the city is the second-highest capital in the world after La Paz, Bolivia). Digital nomads prioritizing a strong culture, scenic environment and plenty of destinations with Wi-Fi should consider Quito.
Mexico City, Mexico
For a taste of the big city, digital nomads can’t go wrong with Mexico City. Steeped in history with affordable prices, plenty of things to do and a great nomad community full of working spaces, the city is rapidly growing as a top destination for digital nomads in Latin America. Crime sometimes deters nomads and tourists, however, the city has been taking great strides to clean up their streets and crime is mostly concentrated to certain neighbourhoods.
Mexico City has a wide range of price options and a comfortable one-bedroom apartment can be found for around 400 to 500 USD a month. Expect to budget a total of 900 to 1,100 USD per month if you want to do some small travelling and drink or eat out on occasion.
Plenty of museums and galleries are in Mexico City and many of its roads are decorated with intricate street art and chock-full of internet cafes and coworking spaces for the diligent nomad. Venture out of the city and visit the ancient and storied settlement of Teotihuacan.
The growing nomad community in Mexico City and its wealth of entertainment options, from art and history to partying, makes it a great choice for digital nomads.
The final destination on this list and the second within the nation of Colombia, the country’s capital is a bustling metropolitan city with an active nightlife and a flourishing Latin American culture.
Although not as inexpensive as the other Colombian city on this list, Medellin, the cost of living is still considerably cheaper than the U.S and Europe. A digital nomad can expect to pay around 1,200 to 1,300 USD a month in Bogota.
Bogota has it all. Parts of the city, notably the tourist areas and areas like Parque 93 and Zona T, are very safe yet others are more dangerous. Do your research ahead of time. The city boasts great food and for fun, biking, dancing and partying are a huge part of the digital nomad experience in the capital.
For digital nomads who thrive best in the hustle and bustle of a sometimes chaotic city, Bogota makes a great — if not underrated — choice.
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