Exploring the Digital Nomad Scene in Mexico
The Nomadic Lifestyle
Being a digital nomad is not for everyone, but for those who crave the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, it's an ideal lifestyle. Whether you are traveling alone or as a couple, it’s so nice to escape and use income arbitrage to fuel the lifestyle you want. While Mexico doesn't have the speeds you may used to in America, the internet is generally good. You can read more here on the connectivity in Mexico.
Why Mexico is a Popular Destination for Digital Nomads
Mexico has become an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads over the past few years, thanks to its affordable living costs, warm climate, rich culture, and stunning natural beauty. It offers everything from buzzing cities full of coworking spaces to laid-back beach towns with yoga retreats. Moreover, Mexico offers easy access to North America which makes it convenient for remote workers who need to travel back home occasionally.
Falling in Love with Mexico
I fell in love with Mexico during my first visit there as a digital nomad. I was struck by Guadalajara’s wonderful people and rich history. From that moment on I knew that this was somewhere I wanted to spend more time exploring while also working on my writing projects.
I started by visiting the heart of Jalisco but then quickly realized there was so much more of this beautiful country that needed exploring. So began my journey into becoming a Mexican digital nomad!
Get the inside scoop on the best beaches, attractions, and activities in Mexico by checking out our Mexico country guide.
Top Digital Nomad Hubs in Mexico
Tulum: Beaches, Yoga, and Wellness Culture
Tulum is a popular destination for digital nomads seeking a relaxing and healthy lifestyle. This picturesque town is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere.
But Tulum is more than just a pretty face; it's also home to an array of yoga studios, wellness centers, and vegan cafes that cater to the health-conscious crowd. The combination of natural beauty and wellness culture make Tulum an ideal location for digital nomads who prioritize self-care.
Playa del Carmen: Nightlife, Co-Working Spaces, and Affordable Living
If you're looking for a destination that offers both work and play options in equal measure, Playa del Carmen might be the perfect place for you. This beach town has plenty of co-working spaces where you can buckle down to work during the day, but it also has an excellent nightlife scene with bars and clubs that stay open late. Accommodation options are affordable compared to other popular nomad destinations such as Bali or Chiang Mai.
Mexico City: Cultural Experiences, Vibrant City Life, and Diverse Food Scene
Mexico City is not your typical beachside digital nomad hub; it's a bustling metropolis with plenty of cultural experiences on offer. From visiting museums to exploring ancient Aztec ruins or checking out street art in trendy neighborhoods like Roma or Condesa there's so much to see here.
Foodies will love Mexico City's diverse cuisine scene with everything from gourmet restaurants to street food stalls serving up mouth-watering tacos al pastor or quesadillas. Despite being a large city with traffic congestion issues some digital nomads prefer the energy provided by urban life over quieter beach towns; Mexico City offers something unique that can't be found elsewhere in Mexico.
Accommodation Options for Digital Nomads in Mexico
Airbnb rentals: pros and cons
One of the most popular options for nomads in Mexico is to rent an Airbnb. There are many advantages to this, such as having a fully furnished apartment or house that feels like a home away from home.
It's also convenient to be able to book an Airbnb online from anywhere in the world. However, there are also some downsides to using Airbnb.
The first is that it can be more expensive than other options, especially during peak tourist season. Additionally, there's no guarantee that the amenities listed will match reality or that the WiFi will be reliable.
It’s opened a public debate in Mexico City as more people are being pushed out to make room for Airbnb tenants. The gentrification can be seen in some burros and I think it’s important to keep in mind that we all have a responsibility.
For that reason, I only stick to hotels in Mexico City. I can’t say it’s not happening everywhere else, it’s just very prominent there.
Long-term apartment rentals: cost-effective options
Another option for anyone looking to stay in Mexico for a couple of months is to rent a long-term apartment. This is a great way to save money since you're not paying nightly rates like you would with an Airbnb.
You can usually find apartments available for monthly or yearly leases. However, it may be difficult to get long-term rentals as a foreigner without a visa. The visa helps with liability issues and a lot of landlords shy away from renting to foreigners that have just entered on their passport. You can read more in our guide about renting in Mexico as a foreigner.
If you are lucky enough to find a place and get approved, one thing to keep in mind when renting an apartment long-term is that you'll likely need to sign a lease and put down a deposit. You'll also need to set up utilities and internet service on your own. Which can really be a hassle in and of itself. If you're looking for efficiency, it will be lacking here so just be prepared.
Co-living spaces: community-oriented living arrangements
Co-living spaces are becoming increasingly popular among other nomads in Mexico. These are typically houses or apartments where multiple people live together and often share common spaces like kitchens and living rooms. The benefit of co-living spaces is that they provide built-in community, which can be especially helpful if you're new to the area or traveling alone.
Many co-living spaces also offer amenities like high-speed internet and cleaning services. However, living with others can have its challenges as well. If you’re fine with roomies, I suggest going this route for shorter stays.
There are a couple of hotels/hostels that come to mind when traveling and working. Selina is one of them. They usually always make sure to have a co-working place available at their residences with the option of staying in a dorm or having your own room.
Co-working Spaces in Mexico for Digital Nomads
Overview of Popular Co-working Spaces in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Mexico City
Mexico has a vibrant and growing co-working scene, with numerous options for workspaces. In Tulum, Hub Tulum is a popular option with its jungle-like location and beach proximity. It offers high-speed internet, meeting rooms, coffee/tea, and even an on-site restaurant.
If you are looking for a more laid-back atmosphere with a focus on wellness, Yoga Shala Tulum is a great choice. The space offers daily yoga classes in addition to co-working amenities such as high-speed internet and printing services.
In Playa del Carmen, Nest Coworking is the go-to option for many digital nomads looking for affordable workspace with all the necessary amenities. Its location in the heart of the city makes it easily accessible to shops and restaurants.Selina Coworking is another popular choice, this time offering beachfront offices just steps from turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea!
Mexico City also boasts an impressive collection of co-working spaces like Impact Hub Mexico City located inside a restored colonial building offering members everything from meeting rooms to event spaces or Regus providing stylish private offices with top-notch technology. There are also plenty of WeWork facilities throughout the city.
Each co-working space has their own unique amenities but most include high-speed internet access (guaranteed!), meeting rooms (with projectors or tv displays), printers/scanners/copiers and office supplies (for obvious reasons). Most spaces also offer free coffee/tea/water all day long and many offer additional perks like networking events or even gym memberships.
Some coworking spaces go above and beyond by providing event venues where members can host their own events like workshops or happy hours (looking at you WeWork). Others include mini-kitchens where you can cook your own meals (hello, budget-friendly living!) or even offer community bikes you can use to explore the city.
Overall, Mexico has a variety of co-working spaces suited to different needs. With high-speed internet, a comfortable working space and access to coffee/tea and other amenities means you will easily find a space that suits your style!
Food Scene for Digital Nomads in Mexico
Traditional Mexican Cuisine or International Options
One of the best things about being able to work from Mexico is the food. Traditional Mexican cuisine is rich and diverse, with many regional specialties to explore. There is so much to try, from tacos al pastor to mole poblano, I promise you will not be let down.
But for those who crave variety, there are also plenty of international options available. In the larger cities like Mexico City and Playa del Carmen, you can find everything from sushi to pizza. With plenty of American brands lining the street. I must confess my guilty pleasure is Popeyes. I still love having their chicken abroad.
Best Cafes for Working Remotely
When you're a slip seating desk jockey, finding a good place to work can be a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants throughout Mexico that cater to remote workers.
These spots usually have fast Wi-Fi and comfortable seating arrangements that make it easy to work for hours at a time. In Tulum, La Hoja Verde is a popular spot among nomads thanks to its healthy food options (vegan) and laid-back atmosphere.
In Playa del Carmen, Ah Cacao is known for its delicious coffee and chocolate drinks. And in Mexico City, Cafebrería El Péndulo has several locations around the city that offer great coffee and lots of space to work.
If you're looking for something more upscale, check out Cafe La Habana in Mexico City its known for the meeting point for Che and Castro and features plenty of seating areas where you can set up your laptop.
Of course, you will not be let down by Starbucks if you are looking for something a little more familiar. You will be able to log-in, earn points and work away.
Whether you're looking for traditional Mexican cuisine or international flavors, or just need a place to work remotely while you travel, Mexico really has got it all covered!
Is Mexico safe for Digital Nomads?
This is a common question that many people ask and rightfully so with all the negative media coverage. While Mexico has had a reputation for being dangerous, the situation has improved significantly in recent years. Especially in the major cities and tourist areas.
Despite these precautions, it's worth noting that Mexico is generally a safe country for anyone visiting. I have to say most Mexican people are friendly and welcoming towards foreigners.
Mexico is an increasingly popular destination for nomads from around the world looking for sun, sea, sand, culture, and affordable living costs (though prices are rising). From the beaches of Tulum to the bustling metropolis of Mexico City, there are plenty of places to work remotely while enjoying all that this beautiful country has to offer.
So if you're considering becoming a digital nomad or simply looking for your next adventure abroad - I highly suggest giving Mexico a try!