The tourism industry is slowly opening up again, and digital nomads around the world are itching to hop on a plane and head to the best nomad destinations around the world. Mexico has long been a favorite of digital nomads because of its natural beauty, delicious Mexican food, affordability, opportunities to learn Spanish, and great expat communities.
Mexico offers incredible weather all year round and off-the-beaten-track experiences that are tough to beat. Pair that with dreamy accommodations affordable prices, and you’ll be dying to pack your bags and head for Mexico.
It’s not hard to see why so many digital nomads choose to base themselves in this popular country in Latin America. But if you’re coming for the first time from Canada, the USA, or Europe, you’ll need to know where to go. Here are the best places to live in Mexico for digital nomads and expats alike.
1. Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the biggest digital nomad hubs in the country, and there are reasons why. It’s the largest city in the country so you can expect the same modern amenities you would in any other big city, but at just a fraction of the cost. The international airport is in Mexico City, making this a travel hub for accessing the rest of the country.
Cost of living: The average cost of living in Mexico City for a single person is around $509. This estimate excludes rental costs and accounts for eating out, getting around, and enjoying the city life.
Average rent cost: If you want to stay in a single apartment in the city center, you’re looking at paying around $595 per month. A single apartment outside of the city will be a bit more affordable, coming in around $401 per month. Your rent costs could decrease even more if you stayed with an expat community together with other digital nomads, so if you’re looking for a budget option, that would be the way to go.
Wifi speed and reliability: Mexico City is ranked second in the world for its number of free wifi access spots. If there’s one thing you never have to worry about, it’s wifi. Pop into any cafe or coffee shop, and you’ll find both foreigners and locals working remotely.
Digital nomad community: Mexico City is one of the biggest digital nomad hubs in the country, with plenty of co-working spaces and coffee shops suitable for remote workers.
Safety: Travelers should stick to the main tourist areas when walking around at night because the increased police presence makes it much safer. Exercise caution when traveling by yourself, and keep an eye out for petty crime as this is the most frequent.
Things to do: Many of the best attractions in Mexico City are located around the main square, Zócalo. There you can visit the 13th century Templo Mayor, the baroque Catedral Metropolitana de México, and Palacio Nacional which is home to historic Diego Rivera murals.
Getting around: Mexico City is very walkable if you’re just exploring one neighborhood at a time, but it’s too big to walk the entire thing. Uber or taxis are often the best ways to get around but can get rather expensive. Taking the train is a budget-friendly option, and all the main tourist attractions are accessible. You can expect to pay around $0.25 for a ticket.
2. San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a historic city, located in Mexico’s central highlands. You won’t see the blue waters of Cabo or Baja California here, but the cultural festivals, historic landmarks, and quaint cobblestone streets will more than make up for it. As the UNESCO World Heritage Site describes, “San Miguel de Allende acted as a melting pot where Spaniards, Creoles and Amerindians exchanged cultural influences…” so there are lots of unique architectural styles to see.
Cost of living: The cost of living is estimated to be around $1000 for the month, including rent. You can expect to pay around $250 for meals out and groceries and save on transportation around the city as it’s super walkable.
Average rent cost: A one-bedroom apartment in the city center will set you back around $400 to $500 per month. Of course, venturing out of the city will mean a decrease in rental costs for those on a budget.
Wifi speed and reliability: There is fairly reliable internet, although not quite as reliable as Mexico City. It’s got a good speed, averaging about 10Mbps, and can be found in many public spaces as well as cafes.
Digital nomad community: There is a large expat community in San Miguel de Allende, and many of the younger digital nomads are from Mexico City.
Safety: With relatively low crime rates, San Miguel de Allende is one of the safest Mexican cities.
Things to do: Some of the best things to do in the city include visiting the old neo-Gothic churches, strolling through Jardin Allende, and shopping at the fascinating artisans’ market.
Getting around: The best way to get around San Miguel de Allende is to walk. It’s an easily walkable city that leaves you feeling safe, and you get to take in all the sights properly while on foot. If you get tired, hailing a taxi is another great option. Taxies will often take you anywhere in the city for 50 pesos ($2.50).
3. Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a resort beach town located along one of Mexico’s pristine coastlines in the state of Jalisco. It’s known for its beaches, restaurants, shopping scene, authentic Mexican culture and vibrant nightlife. It is also a top travel destination for LGBTQ+ travel.
Cost of living: The cost of living in Puerto Vallarta for a single person is expected to be around $700 without the cost of rent included.
Average rent cost: You can expect to pay around $375 for your monthly rent in Puerto Vallarta. If you want to stay very close to the beach, your cost might go up slightly to around $500.
Wifi speed and reliability: There is easy access to fast internet. You’ll find free wifi in most places, including restaurants, bars, and cafes so working outside of your apartment will be a popular choice.
Digital nomad community: There is a large digital nomad and expat community in Puerto Vallarta, although many of the expats are there to retire.
Safety: Puerto Vallarta is considered to be quite safe, although it’s always best to exercise caution as tourists are targeted all around the world.
Things to do: While you’re staying in Puerto Vallarta, be sure to visit the famed Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, stroll along the Malecon absorbing the vibrant local culture, and explore various nightclubs to get a taste of the exciting nightlife scene.
Getting around: Puerto Vallarta is easily walkable, especially if you’re staying near the seafront. If you need to travel quite a distance, then taking a bus is your best budget option, although taxis (for a small extra fee) offer a smoother ride.
Cancún is another resort town, but this one is situated along the Caribbean Sea in the Yucatan peninsula. It’s yet another great destination for beach lovers and those who enjoy a generally chilled pace of life with a good fun night out.
Cost of living: The cost of living in Cancún is expected to be around $340 per month, excluding rent. Just a little tip: to keep your expenses to a minimum, consider visiting markets to get your food rather than eating at restaurants.
Average rent cost: For a single person, you can expect to pay around $470 for your monthly rent. If you’re looking for a budget option, then consider a house share with other digital nomads.
Wifi speed and reliability: Despite being a popular vacation spot, Cancún doesn’t have world class wifi. It’s readily accessible, however it’s a little slow with an average speed of 3mbps. Although this is totally fine for browsing, if you need to make video calls expect them to lag a little.
Digital nomad community: Cancún has a relatively small, but still existent digital nomad and expat community in comparison to some of the other cities on this list. No doubt, the main contributing factor to this is the slow wifi speeds.
Safety: Cancún is known for its friendly locals and is one of the safer cities in Mexico. If you are venturing into the outlying areas, make sure you are with someone that knows the area as these are the more dangerous hotspots around the city.
Things to do: The best activities to do in Cancún are based around the beachfront. Go snorkeling, take a catamaran cruise, taste your way through the beachfront restaurants and visit the more traditional downtown area called El Centro.
Getting around: Cancún is easily walkable if you’re sticking to a handful of neighborhoods, but if you plan on traveling a distance, it might be best to take a taxi. You can expect to pay between $10-$25 for a ride anywhere in the city, however, a trip to the airport will be a little more pricy at around $40-$50.
Mérida is an inland city but not too far from the ocean and has a small town feel that’s different from the large cities and beach towns on this list. It has echoes from both the old colonial city and interesting Mayan temples, making it a beautiful and interesting destination waiting to be explored.
Cost of living: The cost of living in Mérida is estimated to be around $500 for a single person excluding rent.
Average rent cost: For a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, you’re looking to spend around $338, while a single bedroom apartment outside of the city will only set you back around $176.
Wifi speed and reliability: Wifi is easily accessible in Merida, however, the average speed is not that great, sitting around 2.9Mbps. That being said, many digital nomads report that they don’t have issues with video chats at all, especially when using the wifi at a cafe or restaurant.
Digital nomad community: While not as big as other cities in Mexico, there is a growing community of expats, retirees and a few digital nomads in Mérida. If you’re after a larger nomad presence, opt for another destination.
Safety: Mérida is one of the safest places in Mexico, in fact, this city is so safe that it often ranks as one of the safest cities on the continent.
Things to do: Mérida has such a rich Mayan history, it would be a crime not to visit the Mayan World Museum. If you’re looking for a little adventure, go swimming in the famed cenotes.
Getting around: The city is easy to walk or bike around, this also allows you to take in the beautiful views. If you’re in a rush or need to go a sizable distance, then taking a taxi is your next best option.
6. Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is another resort town, located in the beautiful Riviera Maya strip. It’s known for its tranquil palm-lined beaches, interesting coral reefs, and vibrant nightlife.
Cost of living: The cost of living in Playa del Carmen for a single person is estimated to be around $440 without the cost of rent included.
Average rent cost: For a single apartment in the city, you’ll spend around $675 per month. If you’re on a budget, you can stay outside of the city center for just $300.
Wifi speed and reliability: Playa del Carmen has reliable internet connections, as well as many cafes and co-working spaces suitable for remote working.
Digital nomad community: Playa del Carmen has a noticeable digital nomad community and a large number of expats too. This is a popular place to stay for a few months at a time, so you’re bound to be surrounded by a group of English speakers while there.
Safety: Playa del Carmen is relatively safe, but it’s still best to keep your wits about you as there is petty theft no matter where you travel to.
Things to do: Stroll along the Quinta Avenida promenade, popping into shops and restaurants at your leisure. If you’re a sea-lover, be sure to go snorkeling at the beautiful coral reef not far from the coast.
Getting around: Playa del Carmen is best discovered on foot, as many of the main attractions are located together along the beachfront. If you are traveling a fair distance, a taxi is your next best bet.
Tulum is located along the Caribbean coastline and is most notable for its Mayan ruins, as it was once a Mayan port city. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches, Tulum is great for a weekend trip, but staying long-term may get costly.
Average rent cost: Tulum is one of the more expensive cities in Mexico. Here, rental prices in popular areas could easily set you back, with rentals beginning at around $1200 per month and easily ranging well over $2000.
Wifi speed and reliability: Tulum is not known for its reliable wifi, however, there are cafes that offer a decent connection as well as co-working spaces that are easily accessible.
Digital nomad community: There is an eclectic expat community in Tulum with growing numbers of digital nomads calling this city home for short periods of time. You’ll certainly grow your network here as more Americans and Canadians flock to this part of Mexico.
Safety: Tulum is rather safe, especially around the center of town and along the beachfront areas. This is where most of the tourists spend their time, and there’s very rarely a problem.
Things to do: The main attraction in Tulum is the ruins of an old castle called El Castillo. The surrounding area is also worth exploring as the coastal region is filled with mangroves and cenotes just waiting to be explored.
Getting around: Tulum isn’t the most walkable city. The beachfront and city center are quite some distance apart, and a bicycle or scooter are often required. Venturing a little further afield means opting for a taxi is your best bet.
Oaxaca City in the state of Oaxaca offers great food, a fabulous quality of life and satisfactory wifi speeds. It is smaller than other cities, and is great for those looking for a slower pace rather than big city living.
Average rent cost: A relatively low cost destination, rental in Oaxaca can range from $300-600 per month.
Wifi speed and reliability: Reliable wifi in Oaxaca can be a challenge at times. Internet speeds can vary, so it’s a good idea to scout out a co-working space if you plan to stay here for a long time.
Digital nomad community: There is a growing expat and digital nomad community in Oaxaca due to foodie scene from street-side tacos to luxurious tasting menus and its affordable costs of living.
Safety: Another great aspect of Oaxaca is that it is a safe destination. Pickpocketing is always a concern so watch your valuables.
Things to do: There are plenty of things to do in Oaxaca City alone. From weekly markets like Tlacolula Market to exploring beautiful churches such as Templo Santo Domingo. There are also popular sites to see just a short drive from the city, including the ruins of the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Alban and the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua.
Getting around: Oaxaca is easily accessed on foot and is a very walkable city. There is also a reliable public transport system available.
9. Puerto Escondido
A beautiful and laid-back surfing destination, Puerto Escondido is a popular choice for remote workers. Sitting on the Pacific coast, you can expect great beaches, perfect sunsets, a healthy lifestyle and growing nomad community.
Average rent cost: Accommodation rental costs in Puerto Escondido can vary, ranging from around $500 to $700 for a basic studio or one-bedroom apartment.
Wifi speed and reliability: Wifi can be problematic in Puerto Escondido. The connection often drops, and you can be stranded without internet for a considerable time. Come prepared with Telecel package and use it as a wifi hotspot.
Digital nomad community: Puerto Escondido has a smaller digital nomad community compared to other cities. But during peak seasons, there are pockets of remote workers chasing summer here.
Safety: Puerto Escondido is another safe city in Mexico. If you exercise caution, you’ll be fine.
Things to do: Puerto Escondido is a surfing hotspot, so if you’re a surfer, you’ll be delighted. Other than surfing, beach days, sunset missions and day trips spent snorkeling are on offer.
Getting around: Taxis are readily available, but if you want total freedom, you could purchase a scooter.
A short drive from Guadalajara, the hidden gem of Sayulita is a small seaside town that’s become a go-to travel hotspot, if not for periods of remote work, then certainly for weekend breaks. Sayulita promises a laid back vibe, affordable lifestyle and large surfing community.
Average rent cost: Accommodation is affordable. You can rent a modest studio apartment with equipped kitchen for roughly $500 per month.
Wifi speed and reliability: As infrastructure in Sayulita is a problem, wifi availability is tricky here. with slow speeds and inconsistent connections being the norm.
Digital nomad community: In Sayulita, you’ll find a thriving digital nomad scene with plenty of community groups to encourage connection
Safety: Generally, Sayulita is a safe destination for digital nomads.
Things to do: Along with surging all year round and escapes to hidden beaches, if you’re in Sayulita, you can enjoy a boat trip to the Marietas Islands, jungle hikes and more.
Become a digital nomad in Mexico
If you’re planning to move to Mexico and explore this amazing Latin American country as a digital nomad, you’re in for a treat. Mexico is one of our favorite countries to work and travel in and we can’t rave about it enough. As well as the cities mentioned on this list, other notable places to live in Mexico include Guadalajara, Huatulco, Ajijic, Lake Chapala and Guanajuato.
If you’d like to explore Mexico with a group of digital nomads, check out the WiFi Tribe community. You’ll make friends for life and won’t have to worry about wifi everywhere you go. You can work uninterrupted, explore a destination, and make some of the best memories of your life.