Mexico’s popularity includes favourable visa processes and some of the most beautiful beaches, jungles, and cities in the world.
The country’s digital nomad locations vary from vibrant Mexico City, to tiny towns like Sayulita.
Digital nomad, Andy Stofferis, reveals 6 reasons Mexico is a digital nomad hotspot, and 10 of the most popular towns and cities to work and stay.
You may have noticed the recent trend of digital nomads flocking to Mexico. Its popularity among digital nomads includes its proximity to other North American countries, favourable visa processes, and some of the most beautiful beaches, jungles, and cities in the world.
Alongside a rise in global digital nomadism and remote work, Mexico has become rated as a top destination for first time digital nomads, based on language, affordability, proximity to Europe and the US, and its infrastructure and connectivity. And four of its cities (Cancún, Mexico City, Playa del Carmen and Tulum) rank as the fastest growing remote working hubs, which makes it a great place to engage a community of like-minded people.
Mexico is an affordable living destination, especially if you’re being paid in US dollars or Euros. And its friendly, laid-back atmosphere, great climate, connectivity and growing abundance of coworking and coliving spaces makes it extra appealing to the nomad community.
There are many popular places, some of which we list below, for digital nomads to base themselves while in Mexico. They range from some of the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world, such as Mexico City, to tiny towns like Sayulita that are oozing with a beach-chic atmosphere and natural charm.
Top Reasons Mexico is a Great Place for Digital Nomads to Work Remotely
Below are 6 of the top reasons why Mexico is a great place to live and work remotely as a digital nomad.
1. Mexican temporary resident visas for digital nomads
Holiday visas in Mexico can last up to 180 days, although some reports show that visas are not being granted for this long anymore. It’s unclear whether you’re legally allowed to work as a digital nomad in Mexico on a holiday visa.
Luckily, if you want to work for long periods of time in Mexico, there’s a Temporary Resident Visa which is open to digital nomads as long as you can prove a certain monthly income from a company outside of Mexico and a designated amount in your bank account. You’ll also need to show proof of global health insurance that specifically covers you while in Mexico.
This type of visa prohibits people from being employed anywhere in Mexico. If your application is successful, you get a 1-year visa, you can then renew for an additional 3 years. Thereafter you may be able to apply for permanent residency. Even though it’s not called a digital nomad visa, it effectively caters to digital nomads who are employed overseas.
2. Affordable cost of living
Compared with many places in North America and Europe, Mexico’s cost of living is very affordable, especially if you are earning in US dollars or Euros. That means that living in Mexico should suit most budgets and if you have a bit extra, you’ll be able to afford quite a luxurious and comfortable lifestyle.
3. Abundance of coworking spaces
Many digital nomads, entrepreneurs and remote workers are looking to connect with a community of like-minded people. That’s where it’s really useful to have access to a range of different coworking space options, which Mexico offers.
Whether you’re in a small town or a big city, Mexico has a wide range of flexible workspaces. Some of the most popular are featured below.
4. Good connectivity
Another prerequisite for digital nomads working abroad is good connectivity. Mexico offers reliable and relatively fast internet speeds in most cities, which you can access at most cafes, restaurants, and coworking spaces.
5. Warm climate
The weather in Mexico is warm almost all year round, which is partly why it’s always been a popular holiday destination. It’s also one of the most attractive features for digital nomads who may be looking to escape some cold weather back home.
And in addition to a warm climate, Mexico has an impressive amount of coastline and beautiful beaches, as well as lush jungles and mountainous regions.
6. Friendly culture
Many expats living in Mexico enjoy the rich cultural heritage and warm friendly atmosphere, as well as the relaxed lifestyle and pace of life.
Popular Towns and Cities for Digital Nomads in Mexico
Below are 10 of the most popular towns and cities for digital nomads to live and work in Mexico. These are Mexico City, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Oaxaca City, Guadalajara, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Cancùn, Sayulita, and Puerto Vallarta.
1. Mexico City
Mexico’s capital city is one of the biggest in the world, which makes it an exciting, vibrant and cosmopolitan base for any digital nomad. Mexico City has plenty of coworking spaces, fast internet, and a range of cultural, outdoors and entertainment options.
Some of the most popular neighbourhoods include La Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Roma Norte, and Condesa. There are good public transport options and English is widely spoken here.
Drawbacks of living in this metropolis include the high crime rate, poor air quality, and higher costs for rent compared with other cities in Mexico. And as one of the highest cities in the world (at around 2200 metres above sea level), some people also suffer from altitude sickness while there.
Situated along some of the most beautiful coastline in Mexico, Tulum is a rural and nature-oriented place to escape the hustle and bustle of city-life. It’s known for being a place where you can chill out, enjoy the nightlife, and meet interesting people from around the globe.
It’s located not far from Playa del Carmen and is close to many popular tourist destinations like Xcaret, Chichen Itza, Lake Bacalar and various cenotes.
Because of its Instagrammable destination status, it can be quite expensive to rent a place here and entrance fees to some attractions can also get quite pricey.
Playa del Carmen is a popular holiday destination and is conveniently located near to Cancun International Airport, which makes it a very accessible spot to be based.
This coastal city with a population of around 300,000 is situated along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Mayan Riviera and the Caribbean Sea. It’s a short ferry ride from Mexico’s Caribbean island, Cozumel. With its palm-lined, white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and proximity to the jungle, as well as many tourist destinations, it’s an ocean-lover’s paradise.
Playa del Carmen is a vibrant city that is frequented by foreigners, so most people speak some English and there are many shops, malls, restaurants, hotels and beaches to choose from. However, during peak tourist season it can get quite full and lively, and it can also get quite hot and humid during summer months.
If you’re into gastronomical delights (i.e. you’re a foodie) and you love the arts and culture, then you should feel right at home in Oaxaca. There’s an abundance of eclectic things to do in the city, and it’s also close to some pretty amazing day trip destinations like Hierve el Agua waterfall and the ruins at Monte Alban and Mitla.
Oozing with great architecture, delicious restaurants, distilleries and coworking spaces, Oaxaca is refreshingly not as touristy as some other Mexican cities. It has mild weather and is quite affordable to live in, too.
However, it is somewhat isolated and small, with a population of around 300,000 people. It has fewer digital nomads than other cities which might be a drawback if you’re looking for a vibrant expat or nomad community.
The city of Guadalajara is famous for its charismatic mariachi music and Tequila, and is filled with colonial architecture, a bustling arts and music scene, iconic fashion and a vibrant nightlife. It’s also a financial centre, has some of the best universities in the country, and attracts many young tech entrepreneurs.
While there may not be as many digital nomads as there are in Mexico City, it’s a good place for fast internet and to meet other remote workers. One of the major drawbacks is all the mosquitos during the rainy season!
If you prefer working from a smaller town, as opposed to a large metropolis, then San Miguel de Allende is one of the best known in Mexico on the digital nomad scene. That being said, there aren’t as many coworking spaces available as in other cities and it can get quite touristy at certain times of the year.
It’s known for its beautiful Spanish architecture, cobbled streets, and community of artists. There are many events and festivals throughout the year, and a good range of restaurants, cafes and shops to keep you engaged and connected.
This small cultural city and university town is famous for its two large annual festivals – the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) and the Festival Internacional Cervantino (known as ‘El Cervantino’). Guanajuato is a small and vibrant city that’s very affordable, quaint, and not your typical touristy Mexican holiday destination.
However, it is small and lacks the amenities of other larger centres, like cafes, coworking hubs and accommodation options. Some people may also find the hills quite tiring to navigate and you may struggle to get around if you don’t speak some Spanish. There doesn’t seem to be a big nomad community here, so it may be best to go elsewhere if you’re looking for a bustling expat or nomadic vibe.
Cancùn is one of the most well-known and best visited places in Mexico. Famed for its miles of white sandy beaches and hotels, it’s also close to the international airport and readily accessible. Plus it’s close to many of the best holiday spots in Mexico like Tulum, Isla Mujeres and Playa del Carmen. English is widely spoken here and there are a huge range of cafes, restaurants, bars, night clubs, accommodation options, and coworking spots to choose from.
On the downside, it can get very busy with foreign tourists and it won’t give you that authentic Mexican living experience. Plus it can be quite expensive compared with other nearby places.
If you want to work from a small beach town that looks like paradise, that also happens to be a well-known surfing spot and place for yoga and parties – then Sayulita might be right for you.
Sayulita also happens to be a Mexican digital nomad hotspot, which means there are lots of opportunities to meet fellow remote workers and find a decent coworking space and accommodation. There are also some nearby small villages that are similarly growing in popularity among the digital nomad community.
The idyllic coastal city of Puerto Vallarta along the Pacific Coast is known for its relaxed atmosphere, authentic cultural and architectural sights, and incredible beaches and outdoor lifestyle opportunities.
It’s becoming increasingly popular among digital nomads and can be quite an affordable place to live if you avoid the hotel area. There are many exciting day trips you can do from Puerto Vallarta like visiting the Marietas islands and nature reserve (and the “hidden beach” of Playa del Amor), the small town of Sayulita that’s also popular with remote workers, and Yelapa which is a jungle and beach town that you can only access via boat.
I run a blog about digital nomadism and remote work. I believe digital nomads are the future of remote work. I've been travelling over different parts of the world over the past 6 years while running a full remote digital marketing agency - Sendabee. I'm interested in cultural differences and in the local mentality of each destination I live in. I enjoy hiking in nature and discovering hidden gems all over the world.