Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by Janine
Curious about living in Mexico as a digital nomad? Here we’ll break down some awesome digital nomad destinations in Mexico to help you decide which one might be right for you.
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With an affordable cost of living, proximity to the United States, and generous 6-month tourist visa, it’s no surprise that Mexico is an alluring destination for digital nomads.
And when you factor in that there are many established expat and digital nomad communities, a lively and welcoming culture, and a vast range of bucket-list-worthy experiences to be had, Mexico starts to feel like a no-brainer.
So, if you’re trying to decide if Mexico is the right digital nomad destination for you, this guide will surely help.
I collaborated with a group of fellow travelers and digital nomads to bring you this post highlighting some of the best digital nomad destinations. We’ve covered some popular spots such as Tulum and Puerto Vallarta, along with some hidden gems like Monterrey and San Cristobal de las Casas.
Read on to determine which of Mexico’s cities could be right for the next stop on your digital nomad journey.
Traveling soon? Don’t forget to buy travel insurance for Mexico. Insurance gives you peace of mind knowing you can get the help you need if anything goes wrong. SafetyWing is the provider that I recommend.
1. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
By Vicky of Buddy The Traveling Monkey
Puerto Vallarta is one of the best places in Mexico for digital nomads! We’ve stayed in Puerto Vallarta multiple times and have plans to return because we love it there so much. Luckily, Puerto Vallarta has an international airport, so it’s easy to get there.
Cheap accommodation is also easy to find. We recommend staying in the area known as the Romantic Zone. Here you can find many hotels that have rooms with small kitchenettes, so you can cook your own meals and save some money.
If you go during the off-season (between May and October), you can find hotels near the beach for a relatively low price.
If you’re on a budget, you’ll appreciate that there are so many free things to do in Puerto Vallarta. There are also a lot of budget-friendly restaurants. One tip we have is to avoid restaurants on the beach; they are wildly overpriced, and the food quality isn’t that good.
Because working remotely is essential, we will add that Puerto Vallarta is a well-established city with reliable internet. If you enjoy working from cafes, Puerto Vallarta also has plenty of great options.
Additionally, there is a thriving community of digital nomads in Puerto Vallarta, so you’ll have no problem connecting with others and making friends.
Because Puerto Vallarta has such a large expat population, you may be able to use Trusted Housesitters to find free accommodation for extended stays when expats travel home to visit their loved ones. Many US and Canadian expats leave Puerto Vallarta during the rainy summer season because the weather is nicer back home and a little less ideal in PVR– this might be a good season to find a stay!
2. Guadalajara, Jalisco
By Daphna of A Tiny Trip
Guadalajara is one of the best destinations for digital nomads! The city boasts some of the best weather in the world with year-round sunny weather!
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second-largest city. As such, it has everything a digital nomad could want in terms of products and services. Also, there are many entertainment venues, restaurants, and outdoor cafes that are perfect for co-working.
The cost of living in Guadalajara is comparable to other cities in Mexico, meaning it’s definitely lower than in the United States. Best of all, much of the city is outfitted with fiber optic internet!
Guadalajara has its own international airport with many direct flights to the United States.
The nearby area of Lake Chapala has been a retirement destination for many years, so it is easy to find many North American expats as companions.
Additionally, it is not hard to find imported products and many shopping options from outdoor markets to high-end boutiques and everything in between. If you are considering moving to Guadalajara, don’t hesitate!
3. Monterrey, Nuevo León
By Venaugh of Venaugh.com
There are so many locations in Mexico that make great working places for digital nomads. One spot that is not very typical is the city of Monterrey, in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, which is surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and parks.
Although the cost of living is considered high compared to the rest of Mexico, it is still very affordable for foreigners. There are also international cafes like Starbucks and Tim Hortons in every neighborhood.
In terms of temperature, the highs are 36°C in July and August. So, Monterey is a great location for those who love the warmth as it is only chilly for about three months of the year.
However, one challenge of living in Monterrey is the pollution levels. If this is an issue, a good place to live would be away from the city center in the south of Santiago.
In Monterrey, the best way to get around is by car, and although people say there is a lot of traffic, this is relative; 40 minutes in traffic is not bad for some but terrible for others.
With its incredible natural setting, proximity to the United States, and modern amenities, Monterrey is absolutely worth considering as a base for any digital nomad.
4. Mexico City, Estado de Mexico
Mexico’s capital city makes an incredible digital nomad destination. First you have the obvious draws: an international airport, a central location within the country, and all kinds of culture and activities to soak up in your free time. But beyond that, Mexico City just has a unique energy that is captivating.
There are many expats and digital nomads in the city from all over the world, so you’ll have no problem meeting interesting people to swap travel stories with.
Many expats opt to base in the trendy neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa. These adjoining neighborhoods are centrally located and offer a mix of parks, cafes, restaurants, and lively nightlife.
The cost of living in Mexico City can be much higher than you would experience in other parts of the country, especially if you do choose to live in Roma or Condesa.
In these areas, rent could cost you anywhere from $1000 to $2000 USD per month. But, even though rent is relatively high, all of your other expenses will be much lower than in the US.
Mexico City has many neighborhoods that boast strong cafe culture, and you’re sure to delight in trying out different establishments throughout the city. And, if you are drawn to co-working, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of co-working spaces to be found throughout Mexico City.
If you’re a fan of city life, Mexico City is a truly spectacular place to base. The abundance of activities and the central location within Mexico makes it easy to explore other parts of the country during days off.
However, one thing that can be a bummer about Mexico City is the pollution. The air quality can be pretty bad, and if you have asthma or allergies, you might suffer.
5. Puebla, Puebla
By Daniel of Layer Culture
When looking for digital nomad spots in Mexico, Puebla is worth considering. With a decent selection of coffee shops, it’s easy for you to get connected and have a familiar place with which you can meet like-minded individuals.
Puebla can be quite hectic during the day, and working from your hotel room or even some coffee shops isn’t always practical.
If you’re looking for a quiet area with plenty of space, Workósfera Coworking is one of the best spaces to work. Not only is it a friendly and welcoming place to be, but you can get 24-hour access.
So you can enjoy things to do in Puebla or even take day trips. To learn more about local Mexican traditions and culture, you can take day trips to places like Cholula and discover one of the most important religious centers of ancient Mexico.
With places like Workósfera Coworking, you can attend to your work duties in the evening if your work permits.
All in all, if you find yourself anywhere near Mexico City, Puebla is only 2 hours from the airport and makes a great place to get some productive work done.
6. San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
By Isabella of Let’s Travel to Mexico
With the recent improvement in the WIFI service, San Cristobal de las Casas has become one of Mexico’s best digital nomad destinations.
The connection is still crappy in some places but you can now find homes to rent with fiber optic and co-working spaces or cafes with high-speed internet to make it easy to work online.
My favorite go-to places were Centralita, and Amor Negro. Centralita is a new spacious coworking space with separate rooms for those who need absolute silence.
They also offer coffee and water for free. It’s only 5 USD per day with the option to purchase a monthly or weekly membership.
Amor Negro is a spacious coffee shop located on the second floor of a lovely food court on the Andador del Carmen. The food is tasty, the WiFi works well, and you can stay as long as you like. If you feel bad, order food or drinks now and then, but they won’t bother you at all.
San Cristobal de las Casas is also a great base from which to experience all of the incredible things to do in Chiapas, with daily trips to the surrounding areas either on your own or with local tours.
The city is a gem with its colorful houses and baroque-style churches. San Cristobal has always been admired by travelers for its unique colonial feel and the prominence of indigenous culture.
One iconic attraction of the city is the local market, showcasing colorful textiles made by the communities in the surrounding valleys, which you can also visit.
The city has 3 “andadores” pedestrian roads, lined with cute little cafes and bakeries, local clothing and crafts shops, and art galleries.
Scattered around the city’s historical center, you can find exquisite boutique hotels and cozy hostels for every budget and style, along with a wide range of homes to rent. Just make sure you ask how the WiFi is before booking to avoid surprises.
The only issue with living in San Cristobal de las Casas is that you might not want to leave.
7. Merida, Yucatan
By Shelley of Travel Mexico Solo
Merida, known as the safest city in Mexico, is fast becoming a top destination for expats and digital nomads.
Besides being safe, Merida has excellent infrastructure and hospitals, good WiFi, and a low cost of living. As it’s just a medium-sized city, networking is easy, both online and in-person, and you’d meet fellow DNs in no time.
The city is very walkable, and you can rent an apartment via Airbnb in Centro Historico (historic downtown) for about $650USD per month. From there, you’re not far from several great cafe options and the best co-working space in Merida, Conexión60, which is $100USD per month for a hot desk.
Not only is Merida one of the most beautiful colonial cities in the country, but its central location in the Yucatan Peninsula also makes it the perfect home base to explore the region. Within just 2-3 hours of the city, there are many great Merida day trips accessible by car and bus.
There’s also an airport in the city. Merida International Airport offers direct flights to Mexico City and a few places in the U.S. As the city grows, so too is the airport, which is currently undergoing an expansion, so more flights will be added in the coming year.
Though on paper Merida might sound like a dream, one of the big things that may not work for some is the hot (and often humid) climate. Located in the tropics, Merida is hot year-round, with very humid summers — however, winters are pleasant, and you can go to the beach all year long.
8. Valladolid, Yucatan State
By Nate of Travel Lemming
It may not be packed with co-working spaces or smoothie shops, but if you are looking for a spot to experience authentic Mexico, the small town of Valladolid is a massively underrated hidden gem.
Surrounded by cenotes, Mayan ruins, and lush jungle, Valladolid’s brilliantly colorful walls practically look like they were made for Instagram.
Best yet, the cost of living in Valladolid is less than half of what you’d pay in the Mayan Riviera.
There are many stylish boutique hotels for shorter stays, and you can find apartments to rent on Airbnb or VRBO for as little as $200 USD/month. And, despite its size, Valladolid is remarkably well connected in terms of WiFi speed.
If you get the urge to visit the beach, Valladolid is conveniently located just a 90-minute bus ride away from Tulum.
Or, if you’re looking for adventure on your days off, other nearby destinations include the famous pink lakes at Las Coloradas, the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam and Chichen Itza, and some of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico.
Bottom line: if you’re looking for a peaceful town to experience Mexico’s authentic side, try something different and give Valladolid a chance.
9. Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo
By Victoria of Guide Your Travel
Holbox might not be the first place you think of when you’re looking for a digital nomad spot in Mexico. However, this tiny island is a paradise for remote workers and has largely been spared by the crowds of tourists that visit more well-known places like Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
Holbox has a lot of uninhabited land, so the actual liveable area is not as large as you might think. With very few cars on the island, the main way of getting around is by golf cart.
Holbox is a hotspot for seeing native wildlife such as manta rays, whale sharks, flamingos, and bioluminescent plankton. Living here as a digital nomad feels more like a permanent vacation than a workspace.
The Internet connection can be patchy on the island, so it’s advisable to stay somewhere close to the harbor where you’ll find some guest houses as well as a good selection of Airbnbs.
This is not the place to come for wild nightlife. Holbox is quiet, although there is a great community of expats around.
Come here to experience the real Mexico and get away for a while. Holbox is the perfect spot to escape the 9 to 5.
10. Tulum, Quintana Roo
By Isabella of Boundless Roads
Tulum has become one of the most popular upscale digital nomad destinations with its spectacular beach and a growing boho-chic and healthy-living culture.
Of course, you will find relatively cheap hostels as well. However, most digital nomads coming to Tulum are renting the luxury homes in Aldea Zama or La Veleta, the most popular wealthy neighborhoods, preferably with rooftop swimming pools for gathering and parties.
Usually, WIFI is strong enough for the online remote workers, but it’s always best to double-check with the homeowner before booking.
Digital nomads love the popular Selina hostel and co-working space on the beach, where you are sure to enjoy a lively social environment with like-minded people and great WiFi.
In downtown, the newly born Coati cafe and hostel offer a small but cozy co-working space with both outdoor seating and in an air-conditioned room.
Tulum is also an excellent destination for health-conscious travelers, with many vegan restaurants, healthy food shops, gyms, and yoga centers.
The reckless adventurers will find a gazillion things to do in Tulum and its surroundings and unique places to explore. From archeological sites to the refreshing cenotes, lagoons, and colonial towns, the entire region is a paradise for any traveler.
So, all in all, if you are a digital nomad, in Tulum, you will find a great community of remote workers of all ages, excellent facilities, delicious restaurants, one of the best beaches in Mexico, basically, all you need for a great lifestyle!
Wondering how to spend your downtime in Tulum? Check out my guide to the best Tulum activities!
11. Cozumel, Quintana Roo
By Maartje & Sebastiaan of Tidy Minds
The island of Cozumel is an excellent destination in Mexico to explore for a few days. But it works even better to stay here for longer and base yourself as a digital nomad.
Cozumel is connected to mainland Mexico by multiple ferries. The main ones, which depart from Playa del Carmen, are Ultramar and Winjet. These are pedestrian ferries. If you have a vehicle to bring to Cozumel, you can take an Ultramar ferry or a Transcaribe ferry from Calica, which is just south of Playa del Carmen.
The pedestrian ferries are the easiest way to get to Cozumel if you don’t have a vehicle, as they leave from downtown Playa del Carmen. If you decide you want a rental car to explore Cozumel, you can always rent one once you get to the island.
Cozumel also has an international airport that welcomes flights from Houston, Dallas, Mexico City, and other destinations throughout North America.
The island has one town, San Miguel de Cozumel, where all facilities and supermarkets are located. Most tourists base themselves close to the promenade west of the town, as that’s where the big cruise ships and both ferries dock, all restaurants are located, and you’ll have stunning sunsets.
If you base yourself at San Miguel as a digital nomad, you should look for a condo or apartment in the suburbs more to the east. There are plenty of options with great wifi, private kitchens, and shared swimming pools.
If you’re looking for some cafes with wifi to work, San Miguel has quite some options for an island town, like Amparo’s close to the promenade. Great places to have some food or drinks are Coz Coffee Roasting for the very best coffee, Maple Bakehouse for breakfast, and Cerveceria Punta Sur for a local beer and great pizza.
Have any of these digital nomad destinations in Mexico piqued your interest? What else would you like to know about living in Mexico? Drop your questions in the comments!
Continue Planning Your Trip!
Mexico Guide Books
This Mexico phrasebook will help you communicate, even if your Spanish skills are lacking.
This Mexico travel guide is packed with all the info you could ever need.
I use a combination of Booking, Airbnb, and VRBO to find accommodation throughout Mexico.
Booking.com is awesome for booking hotels and resorts, while Airbnb and VRBO specialize in apartments and villa rentals, making it a great place to find long-term stays.
Some cities in Mexico have more listings on VRBO than Airbnb (or vice versa), so it’s best to check both to find the perfect place!
Rental cars add tons of flexibility to your travel plans. If you opt to rent one, I recommend using Discover Cars to find the best rates!
Skyscanner is my favorite tool for finding the best deals on airfare.
Never leave home without travel insurance.
SafetyWing offers super-affordable policies that cover things like medical expenses, trip interruption, and lost luggage. They even offer coverage for some expenses related to COVID-19. Their policies are particularly great for long-term travelers, making them a great option for Mexico.
There’s no question that knowing basic Spanish is wildly beneficial in Mexico. It helps you stay aware of your surroundings, solve problems, and make friends!
RocketSpanish has a well-structured program that will take you from bumbling to conversational in just a few modules. Start your free trial today!
Still have questions?
Join my Female Travelers in Mexico Facebook group, a supportive community of fellow Mexico travel enthusiasts, where you can find answers to all your travel questions!
Hi and thanks for this info! Have you visited Tulum personally? Curious as to about how many oil painters there are there…is there a real community?
Hi Thomas! I have visited Tulum personally. Unfortunately I don’t have a good sense of the expat community there as I only spent time there on vacation. I would suggest checking out some Facebook groups for expats in Mexico (you might be able to find one for Tulum specifically) so you can get info directly from current or past residents. Sorry I don’t have more concrete information for you!