13 Best Cities in Mexico for Digital Nomads (Pros & Cons)
Mexico is one of the best countries in the world to be a digital nomad. The 6-month tourist visa and fairly low cost of living make it an ideal place to work online. But which place to choose? My list of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads will help make that decision easier for you.
Mexico is a surprisingly huge country with a diverse range of landscapes, weather, and cultures. We have spent over 2 years (!) as digital nomads in Mexico and absolutely loved it.
We would often spend at least one month in each city. This gave us a good amount of time to get to know the place and helped us save money. That’s also the time we started this travel blog together. So let’s dive straight in and let us find the best city for digital nomads for you!
1. Playa del Carmen (Best digital nomad beach city in Mexico)
Playa del Carmen is probably the ‘capital for digital nomads‘ in Mexico and for many years has been a real hub for people working online. It is a beachside holiday town that is located just 1h South of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula.
It is right in the middle of one of the most touristy parts of Mexico. So do not expect an authentic Mexican experience here. To be honest, it’s a city in Mexico that I didn’t really like the first time I visited it. It felt way too touristy and crowded for my liking.
However, when I returned a few years later as a digital nomad and stayed for 1 month I really liked it. One of the advantages of it being very touristy is that there is decent infrastructure. The internet is fast and there are great cafes and restaurants.
Playa del Carmen is also very conveniently located just one hour south of Cancun Airport. This is great if you are a nomad as Cancun Airport is really well connected with destinations all over the world.
Overall I think Playa del Carmen is one of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads with a beach and vegan food. So it should be at the top of your list of places to check out.
Choosing Tulum or Playa del Carmen as a digital nomad?
Tulum is another popular location for digital nomads that is one hour away from Playa del Carmen. But in my opinion, Playa is better for digital nomads.
The beach in Playa de Carmen is much more accessible as the main town of Tulum is a 15-minute drive from the beach. Also, most of the beach is blocked off by hotels that do not allow access to the beach. Which I am not a fan of!
Tulum is also starting to become over-developed in recent years and losing the small-town charm it used to have. So I suggest staying in Playa and doing some day or weekend trips to Tulum from there.
- Fast wifi
- A lot of accommodation for digital nomads
- Many nice cafes and restaurants allow laptops
- Established network of digital nomads so easy to meet people
- Endless affordable activities close by
- Easy access to Cancun Airport
- Can be quite touristy & tacky
- Seaweed season makes beaches unusable in summer months
- Hot and humid all year round
- Not an authentic Mexican town
2. Mexico City (One of the best big cities in Mexico for digital nomads)
Mexico City is another of my favorite cities in Mexico. It is a mega city of over 20 million people that has so much to offer and has recently become very popular with digital nomads.
For good reason: Mexico City has pleasant weather, endless food options, crazy markets, and quiet tree-lined avenues. There is also great nightlife, museums, concerts, and festivals. Whatever you are looking for, you are likely to find it in Mexico City.
Mexico City is also a great option if you want to avoid the humid coasts of Mexico. In my experience, many people get sick of the heat in beach towns after a while because they are always stuck in air conditioning.
But because Mexico City is at altitude it always has cool evenings and warm days for the majority of the year. It is also a safe city so as long as you stay in the right areas and use common sense you usually do not have to worry about your safety.
So if you are looking for big city life then it is for sure one of the best cities for digital nomads in Mexico. We absolutely love it there!
- Diverse huge city
- Endless food options
- Popular with digital nomads
- Great public transport
- Great weather
- Lots of cultural events
- Can be a crowded loud city
- Poor air quality
- Accommodation is starting to get more expensive
Why Visit Mexico City? 12 Reasons For First Timers
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Condesa: A Guide to Mexico City’s Best Neighborhood
10 Food And Craft Markets In Mexico City You Have To Visit
3. Puerto Vallarta (Best coastal city in Mexico for digital nomads)
Puerto Vallarta is a coastal resort town on the west coast of Mexico that is not well known to many travelers. But it is a beautiful place with green hills rising up behind the golden beaches. Because it is located on the west coast of Mexico there are beautiful sunsets nearly every night.
As Puerto Vallarta is a touristy town it has fairly fast wifi and a good range of cafes and restaurants. The beaches in Puerto Vallarta are often crowded with tourists but the surrounding areas are full of beautiful beaches with far fewer people. There are also great hikes so it is great for nature lovers.
I really liked Puerto Vallarta because it is a fairly large town that has everything you need. There are large supermarkets and shopping malls with all the conveniences of a modern city. Which is nice when staying somewhere for an extended period.
Also considering Puerto Vallarta is a touristy beach town it is much less tacky than other towns such as Playa del Carmen or Cancun. There is a really nice atmosphere in town and it feels like a real city. It also has an old town which the beach towns on the Yucatan do not have.
Many long-term travelers in Mexico end up basing themselves in Puerto Vallarta. It is a beautiful place that has everything you need and is one of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads off the beaten path.
- A well-developed town with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops
- Great day trips
- Awesome waterfront and sunsets
- Good nightlife
- May be too touristy for some people
- Very hot summers
- Solid Wifi but needs to be tested
4. Puerto Escondido (Best city in Mexico for digital nomad surfers)
Puerto Escondido is a surfing town that is a real backpacker hub and a favorite for younger digital nomads. It is much less developed than other beach towns such as Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta.
It is an excellent place if you want to go surfing and stay away from super touristy towns. You will not find any huge resorts in Puerto Escondido.
A huge advantage of Puerto Escondido is that you can generally find very cheap accommodation here. Which is why it is so popular with backpackers. Especially if you book long-term or for multiple weeks in advance prices can be very low.
Puerto Escondido is great if you are looking for a town with a chilled surfer vibe. Many people come here to learn how to surf. But it also attracts professional surfers as one of the most powerful waves in Mexico can be found at Zicatela Beach.
Because of the backpacker scene, it is an easy place to meet people and we connected easily with other digital nomads there. But the crowds here tend to be a bit on the younger side.
Just be warned that it is a really hot humid place so only come here if you like the heat. Otherwise, you will be spending a lot of time inside with the AC on.
- Great surf beaches
- Digital nomad hotspot
- Easy to meet travelers
- Cheap accommodation
- Hot and humid for most of the year
- A smaller selection of cafes and restaurants
- Wifi strength can vary depending on your accommodation
- Fairly isolated so fewer shops
5. Oaxaca City (Best city in Mexico for digital nomad foodies)
Oaxaca City is located in the state of Oaxaca and is a beautiful old colonial town full of culture and great food. If you do not like the extreme heat of the coastal beach towns in Mexico then Oaxaca may be a good option for you.
Because Oaxaca is located in the mountains it is much less humid and the temperature drops at night.
Oaxaca state has a unique culture that is reflected in the food. Many areas of the state have not been influenced as much by the westernization of the rest of Mexico. This means there are many amazing and unique foods to try here.
One negative of Oaxaca for some people may be that it is a bit isolated from other towns and cities. It is a 6-hour bus ride from Mexico City.
But it is an amazing city and definitely worth spending some time working online in Oaxaca. Some people even claim it as the ‘real Mexico’!
- Amazing culture
- Unique food culture
- Beautiful colonial architecture
- Easy to meet travelers
- Great weather, not too hot not too cold
- Not close to a major airport
- A long way from the coast/beach
6. Guadalajara (Best city in Mexico for cultural digital nomads)
Guadalajara is the third-largest city in Mexico and is one of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads if you are looking to immerse yourself in Mexican culture.
Tequila and mariachis originate in the state of Jalisco which Guadalajara is the capital of. You can even take a day trip to the town of Tequila which is located just over an hour from Guadalajara.
It is a huge city but there is not that much of an expat community. So if you are looking to really learn Spanish it is a great place to come.
Because it is a big city, with around 5 million people, there is a wide range of places to eat out, gyms, and nightlife. So it is a good place to come if you are looking for a big-city experience.
It is also a very affordable place to stay as there has not been an explosion of interest compared to places like Mexico City. Guadalajara is also at altitude so you get nice cool nights and warm or hot days.
Just one warning is that parts of Guadalajara can be quite a bit more dangerous than other parts of Mexico. So make sure you stay in a safe area and check with locals which areas to stay away from.
- A large city with great nightlife
- Low cost of living
- Great range of restaurants, supermarkets & gyms
- Has some dangerous areas
- Not the prettiest city
- Not a lot of day trips or a beach in the region
7. La Paz (One of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomad beach lovers)
La Paz is a beautiful city located in Baja California Sur. It is off the beaten path so you will not find a tonne of other tourists here. But it is the best place for digital nomads on the Baja California peninsula.
Baja California feels totally different from the rest of Mexico. You can drive for hours and there will just be cacti and mountains as far as the eye can see. It is a very barren landscape but also very beautiful.
Baja California is also full of beautiful beaches with sparkling blue water so it is great if you love chilling at the beach.
One of the best things about La Paz is the beautiful beaches nearby. Playa Balandra and Playa Tecolote are two of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico and some of my favorite in the whole world. They are just a 30-minute drive from La Paz and an amazing place to visit.
Because the Baja Peninsula is a desert if you visit it over winter you will have perfect clear blue skies for months on end.
La Paz is not the cheapest city in Mexico but if you book in advance for a month you should be able to find accommodation for a decent price.
- Beautiful waterfront
- Amazing beaches nearby
- Great weather for most of the year
- Isolated from the rest of Mexico
- Super hot in Summer
- Not the cheapest
Read Also: La Paz Mexico – The Complete Guide
8. San Cristobal de las Casas (Best mountain city in Mexico for digital nomads)
San Cristobal is a magical city in the mountains of Chiapas that is a favorite among backpackers, artists, and long-term travelers.
The indigenous culture is still quite strong in Chiapas and you will see women everywhere in town dressed in traditional clothing. This is something that draws people to San Cristobal as it is culturally quite distinct from the rest of Mexico.
The city itself is also beautiful as it is an old colonial town with mountain peaks visible all around. There are many awesome day trips to do around San Cristobal and it is also a cheap place to stay.
You will also find it easy to meet people as it is popular with travelers. The one negative for some people is that it can be quite cold here at some times of the year, especially at night. But if you like colder climates this may be a positive for you!
- Lots of travelers, easy to meet people
- Unique culture
- Amazing nature nearby
- A beautiful old colonial town
- Cheap accommodation
- Colder than the rest of Mexico
- Rains quite a lot
9. Guanajuato (Best digital nomad city in Mexico off the beaten path)
Guanajuato is slightly off the beaten path in Mexico as you will not see many foreign tourists. But it is an amazing city and I think one of the most interesting places to visit in the whole country.
Situated in a valley surrounded by rocky mountains Guanajuato is an old silver mining town. Its narrow winding streets and colorful colonial architecture will make you feel like you are in Europe.
But Guanajuato has a very youthful vibe as there is a large university in town that attracts students from all over the world. So it is kind of a student town which means there are a lot of great cheap bars and cafes in town.
It is also a great place to get outdoors as there are really good hikes in the mountains around town.
There is not a large ex-pat community here as it has not become popular to move to yet. Because of this, there are not too many co-works or cafes to work at. But the wifi has always been good in all the accommodations when we have stayed here.
I recommend Guanajuato if you are looking to work on your Spanish, connect with locals and expats while living in a beautiful unique city.
- Beautiful colonial architecture
- Great hikes close to town
- A young city with lots going on
- Great cafes and restaurants
- Not a big expat scene yet so may be harder to connect
10. Merida (One of the safest cities in Mexico for digital nomads)
Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan and is one of the safest cities in North America. So it is one of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads if safety is important to you.
It is a great city if you want to experience a true Mexican city on the Yucatan away from the touristy towns of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Most digital nomads do not move to Merida as they all tend to stay in Tulum or Playa del Carmen. But expats are starting to move to Merida attracted by the low crime rate, beautiful architecture, and low property prices.
The big downside to Merida is that it is a one-hour drive to the coast and it gets really hot. So if you move here you will have to put up super hot conditions without access to a beautiful beach.
But is a beautiful town with a large colonial center, many activities, musea and language exchanges. It is a great place to move if you want to experience an authentic Mexican town on the Yucatan peninsula.
- Beautiful colonial city
- On the Yucatan but not too touristy
- Great cantinas
- Accommodation is quite cheap
- Can be very hot with no beautiful beach nearby
- May be harder to meet people
11. San Miguel de Allende (Best city in Mexico for digital nomad petsitters)
San Miguel de Allende is not your typical destination for digital nomads. It is a perfectly restored colonial town that is arguably the prettiest town in Mexico. Some of the streets are so pretty that it does not seem real when you are walking down them.
But it is not popular with young travelers and is actually a very popular place for Americans to retire to. So the expat community is quite old and there are not a lot of young digital nomads.
San Miguel is definitely not a cheap place to stay in. This is why I recommend looking for pet sits here. Because there are a lot of American retirees here many of them go back to the United States regularly. They then want reliable people to look after their pets while they are away.
If you think you would like to pet sit I recommend looking at Trusted House Sitters. There are always quite a few pet sits in San Miguel listed and usually in amazing houses with great pets!
- Super pretty architecture
- Lots of great restaurants
- Great weather all year round
- Lots of culture and events
- Expensive to stay if you are not petsitting
- Mainly retirees, not many young expats
- Kind of ‘posh’ so may not be the vibe many people are looking for
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12. Sayulita (Best digital nomad beach town with great surfer vibes)
Sayulita is a surf town north of Puerto Vallarta that is very popular with expats and holidaymakers. It used to be a quiet beach town but now has a bit of a reputation as a party town and can get quite rowdy on the weekends. It is one of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads who want to surf.
We spent 5 weeks volunteering in Sayulita and loved it there. It has a really laid-back surfer vibe and is full of travelers so it is an easy place to get to know people.
The one big problem with being a digital nomad in Sayulita is that it can be tough to find a good internet connection here. There are a couple of co-works with Aircon in town so you can always visit them if your accommodation’s wifi is not fast enough.
If you move to Sayulita I recommend looking for accommodation a bit outside of the center of town. It can be really loud there on the weekends. But it is kind of a rural town so on the outskirts you may be woken up by roosters! So try your best to find a quiet spot.
- Laid back surfer vibe
- Lots of expats so easy to meet people
- Fun bars and nightlife
- Good cafes and restaurants for a small town
- Really nice beaches in the surrounding area
- Very hot and humid in summer
- Can be very crowded in peak season
- Good wifi can be hard to find (except co-works)
- Accommodation can be quite expensive in the peak season
- Surf break in town is really crowded
Neighboring San Pancho is the next beach town over and is probably my favorite beach town in Mexico. It is super chill, much more relaxed than Sayulita and just always seems to have a really nice atmosphere.
But the internet there is even worse than in Sayulita and there are no coworking places! So I highly recommend visiting and if you find somewhere with good wifi then San Pancho is an awesome place to stay.
13. Querétaro (One of the safest & clean cities in Mexico for digital nomads)
Querétaro is a beautiful city with a huge colorful colonial center. It is one of the cleanest and well developed big cities I have visited in Mexico. This is largely because the economy in Querétaro state is one of the best in Mexico.
Because the economy is doing so well, Querétaro is full of really nice cafes and restaurants. The climate is fantastic as it is at a slightly lower altitude than Mexico City. No matter when you visit there will be warm to hot days and cooler evenings.
Querétaro is a bit off the beaten path so you may find it a bit harder to meet other travelers. It is becoming a bit popular with retirees and expats but at the moment there are not a lot of digital nomads. But I really think that Querétaro may start to become more popular.
So it is one of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads who want to live in a hidden gem.
- A big city that is safe, beautiful, and clean
- Excellent climate
- Close to Mexico City
- Lots of cool day trips around
- May find it hard to meet travelers
- Not a digital nomad hotspot
- May find it hard to find cafes that welcome workers
Read Also: 20 Awesome Things To Do In Querétaro
Best Ways to Book Accommodation in Mexico for Digital Nomads
When booking accommodation as digital nomads in Mexico we found that Airbnb and Facebook groups work wonders. Also if you love pets then you should check out Trustehousesitters where you could get some awesome house sits.
Airbnb obviously needs no introduction but there are some tips that will help you save a lot of money.
The first is to try and book for a month at a time. This way you can get really big monthly discounts (think of 30-50%!). When we traveled around Mexico we always tried to stay a month in each location. This meant that we really got to know the city well and also saved money.
You could also try booking a night or two to see if you like a place then contact the owner outside of Airbnb to extend your stay. A lot of owners are willing to do this as they make more money by avoiding Airbnb fees.
Facebook groups are one of the best ways to find accommodation in Mexico. Especially if you are looking to stay for a few months in a specific location you can often find the best deals in Facebook groups.
But they are not useful just for accommodation. You can find all kinds of useful information such as doctors, things for sale, meet-ups, and more. If you are staying in Playa del Carmen I recommend joining Friendly Ex-Pats Playa Del Carmen.
But to whatever new town you move to I recommend looking for the local digital nomad or expat Facebook groups as they can be full of great information and we joined every we could find on the way.
Trusted House Sitters
Trusted House Sitters is a petsitting site that we have used all around the world. So if you are a pet lover it is a great way to look after some cute pets while also getting free accommodation.
In Mexico, we did pet sits in La Paz, San Miguel, and Guanajuato and had an awesome time. So if you love pets we can highly recommend joining the platform.
While traveling solo in Mexico I think that hostels are always one of the best options. They are an awesome place to meet new people and they are quite popular with digital nomads as well.
A newer trend and more available in bigger cities in Mexico are co-living and co-working spaces. They look and feel a bit like (fancy) hostels but are made for travelers who work online.
You can find them also on Hostelworld and Booking.com or by simply googling. A really good one to check out is this co-living in Oaxaca City for example. And a digital nomad hostel/hotel chain that is always a good bet is Selina.
Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads in Mexico
If you are looking for travel insurance in Mexico then I can highly recommend SafetyWing. It is the travel insurance that we use for years and we have had good experiences with them while in Mexico.
The great thing about SafetyWing is that it is specifically designed for digital nomads. This means that the plans are super flexible and provide worldwide coverage. You simply pay by the month and can cancel anytime you like.
Read more: Best travel & health insurance for digital nomads 🩺
Now you know all the Best Cities in Mexico for Digital Nomads
There are so many great cities in Mexico to work online and meet like-minded people that it easily could be one of the best places in the world to be a digital nomad. We love being in Mexico and will definitely return one day to keep exploring. 2,5 years have not been enough 🙂
So which place are you going to choose? Let me know in the comments below!
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