Top 8 Digital Nomad Destinations In Latin America
When looking for one of the top digital nomad destinations in Latin America, we're talking about…
Travel experiences + business opportunities.
Stunning landscapes, unique cultures, and fast freaking WiFi.
Maybe mix in a little party. La Rumba.
Ya tu sabes.
I'll never forget my first time playing digital nomad for more than a month or so in a foreign country.
I was in the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo to be specific.
My apartment was located in the tourist area, Zona Colonial.
The area was quintessential old-school Spanish colonial conquistador style. And conquistar'ing I certainly was.
But I still had some work to get done.
I was still a fledgling digital nomad trying to pay my rent, so I continue living my life of abject degeneracy in the Caribbean.
A life I truly loved.
So one day…
I'm hungover. A date went from a couple hours to an all-night affair. When in Rome and shit.
But I have work to get done. I need to crush out a full client project in a single day. Like 8,000 words.
Then pay my rent.
All in one day. Things weren't looking up – even if I was living in a technologically capable society.
So I drag my arse out of bed, get some greasy food, slam some coffee, and start to type.
My fingers are flowing.
Even with a hangover from hell and a lack of sleep, I had the most needed variable in a digital nomad's life…
I'm crushing it.
Then disaster strikes.
Three hours into a 9-10 hour workday, my Internet quacks out. Well, more like the electricity in my neighborhood goes down.
So I'm WiFi-less and sitting in a Caribbean apartment without any air conditioning. Not cool.
To make matters worse, not a single coffee shop in my neighborhood had WiFi because power was screwed up throughout the whole area.
Coworking wasn't common in the Caribbean back then.
My only choice was to wait or sit in rush-hour traffic to find a coffee shop with WiFi that was working.
I waited and waited.
Four hours later my WiFi was back on and I got back to it. But it was too late at that point.
Suffice to say…
I didn't make the deadline.
Luckily, infrastructure has vastly improved in Santo Domingo, and throughout Latin America over the last couple years.
Which is why I'm crafting this killer list for all my adventuresome nomads looking to head south of the border and make some cold hard cash.
Top 8 Digital Nomad Destinations In Latin America
But enough with all my fluff and solid storytelling.
It's time to dig into the rice and beans of this bad boy.
Let's talk about the top 8 digital nomad destinations in Latin America.
Let's take a look at why they're the best of the rest:
– Medellin, Colombia –
Many a budding digital nomad heads straight to Medellin for their first time abroad. And I certainly cannot blame people for heading down to the city of eternal spring.
Medellin offers ya:
- Amazing spring-like weather year around
- Low prices
- Fast Internet, coworking culture, and modern amenities
- Expat community
- Attractive women
- Relatively safe in the nice areas
Suffice to say, there's a reason Medellin, Colombia has become the digital nomad hub of Latin America.
The nomad infrastructure is exceptional in this city. You'll find outfits like LIFEAFAR offering apartments, coworking spaces, and more throughout Medellin.
For newbies to the working while traveling scene, there's not a better place to start in Latin America.
Is it my favorite city in Latin America?
Claro que no.
There's almost too many gringos here because Medellin is too good. Oh, and don't get me started on the sex tourists screwing things up for the normal bros like myself.
But for those looking to start their journey working down south, I couldn't recommend Medellin enough. The fantastic weather every damn day doesn't hurt, either.
– Mexico City, Mexico –
While not as hot of a spot as Medellin, Mexico City might have more digital nomads and expats than anywhere else in Latin America.
The city is sprawling and the expat/nomad scene is exceptionally developed.
- Decent weather year around
- Spectacular cuisine
- Bumping nightlife scene every single evening
- World-class neighborhoods like Condesa and Roma Norte
- Great Internet and more cafes than anywhere else I've been
- Great safety in nicer neighborhoods
- An endless stream of things to do
- Great international airport with flights all over
Plus, Mexico City is by far the easiest city to get to on this list. The majority of cities in the United States offer direct flights to Mexico City.
However, the city may be too big for some. If you're not used to mega-cities the place might not be your steeze.
For big-city nomads looking to base up in Latin America, CDMX won't disappoint.
The amenities and infrastructure here are world-class. Safety is a non-issue. Plus, the biggest city in Latin America is often just an easy flight from your hometown.
– Lima, Peru –
Oh, lovely Lima.
A place I'll forever go back and forth on. In some ways, Lima, Peru is my favorite city in Latin America.
Other things make me want to never, ever go back.
For the intrepid digital nomad, Lima offers:
- Pacific ocean views
- World-class neighborhoods
- Solid nightlife
- Unique travel experiences
- Decent coworking spaces and cafes
- Peruvian food is amazing
- Awesome weather half the year
- Solid safety in nicer neighborhoods
Yet while Lima has a lot to love, the place certainly isn't perfect. In fact, I often get annoyed with the place for a plethora of reasons.
The weather in Lima, Peru is awful from June through November. I wouldn't ever go back in these months. The sky is grey and the sun rarely shines.
While you can find solid Internet in coworking spaces in Lima and a few cafes, the digital nomad and expat community certainly isn't as developed as other cities on this list.
Oh, and once you get outside of Miraflores and Barranco…
Well, the city leaves a lot to be desired outside the absolute best neighborhoods and areas.
That being said…
From mid-November through late-May, Lima is one hell of a city. The sun shines bright, the Pacific ocean looks lovely, and the nightlife is some of the best in Latin America.
Plus, you can head down to a nice beach just 45 minutes south of the city.
- Read More: A Digital Nomad's Guide to Lima, Peru
– Panama City, Panama –
Now, the first three recommendations on this list…
Well, those cities are definitely my top 3 – and for a damn good reason. They have so much to offer budding digital nomads.
From here on out, the cities are good to great. However, they're not absolutely fooking ideal.
Take Panama City, Panama for example.
This was one of the first cities I ever stepped foot into outside the USA. And it's a damn good one for digital nomads.
PTY offers digital nomads:
- Stunning ocean views
- World-class infrastructure and amenities
- Panama City is safe
- International vibe
- Good nightlife
- Easy to adapt to, less culture shock than other places
- Great weather, albeit hot
If you're looking for a safe digital nomad destination in Latin America with modern amenities galore and a thriving international community, then Panama City certainly fits the bill.
Plus, there's tons of tourism just an hour or two outside the city. Beaches, islands, the Panama Canal and much more.
PTY is expensive. Like one of the most expensive cities in all of Latin America. While the place offers a lot, you'll pretty much pay similar prices to back home.
Plus, I'm not sure Panama City does anything better than Medellin – outside of the ocean views and safety.
It's a solid city, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you think Colombia is too dangerous and you have a solid budget.
- Read More: PTY.LIfe
– Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic –
Ok, so this city isn't exactly a digital nomad hotspot.
In fact, it can be damn difficult to live the digital nomad life throughout the Dominican Republic.
But I just love Santo Domingo so much that I had to include the city.
Still, you can definitely make money online while living in the Dominican Republic. The infrastructure is continually improving and fiber optic Internet has been in the country since 2015/16 – from my understanding.
Santo Domingo offers:
- A wild, wild west feel
- Great nightlife
- Unique Latin culture
- Caribbean views
- Lots of tourism opportunities
- Average amenities at best
Overall, Santo Domingo is probably the least developed city on this list. There are only 4-5+ coworking spaces in the whole city of 3+ million people.
Plus, the Internet is prone to going out due to electric outages in certain neighborhoods and calling the Dominican Republic 100% safe is simply an outright lie.
Still, I love the place.
I'd only recommend the place to nomads and expats who are looking for a serious adventure and have a good enough budget to pay for a high-end apartment and solid coworking space – both in a great neighborhood.
– Guadalajara, Mexico –
I spent less than a week in Guadalajara, Mexico. But I was impressed, to say the least. This city is developed, the people are friendly, and the amenities are solid.
For nomads who don't need a mega-city like Lima or CDMX to be happy, Guadalajara seemed exceptionally relaxed and modern.
I found Guadalajara to be:
- Bigger than I thought
- Pretty cheap
- Offering enough tourism to keep things interesting
- Modern with solid infrastructure
- Great neighborhoods
- Solid safety
- Great food
- Ok nightlife
- Good looking girls
Overall, this seems to be a solid city to live a laidback life, get work done, and enjoy a little nightlife on the weekends.
I wouldn't recommend this spot to people who need excitement every damn day.
But for guys focused on business who want a modern city in Latin America that isn't overrun with gringos and offers great amenities, GDL definitely fits the bill.
– Cali, Colombia –
Cali, Colombia is growing and improving each year. While the city isn't perfect for digital nomads just yet, it soon will be.
And nowadays, you can definitely make it work.
I'm a big fan of Cali, Colombia – for travelers, digital nomads, and expats alike.
- Stunning nature surroundings the city
- Improving amenities, infrastructure, and safety
- Unique Latin culture and vibe
- Cheap as can be
- Friendly locals and attractive gals
- Interesting nightlife filled w/ salsa vibes
If you're looking for an adventure in a smaller city, than Cali might be the ideal spot for you.
Many a gringo skips the city in favor of Medellin, Bogota, or the coast of Colombia. But I'd say Cali can compete with them all.
Still, Cali is a bit dangerous and the amenities and infrastructure don't match what Medellin offers.
Overall, you'll love Cali, Colombia if you don't want to be around hordes of gringos, but still want to experience something uniquely Colombian.
– Playa del Carmen, Mexico –
Last, but not least…
We've got Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Located on the beach in the Mayan Rivera, this city has some major upsides and huge downsides.
Basically, if you want to live by the beach for dirt cheap, then Playa del Carmen might be right for you.
But if tourists and hustlers annoy the living hell out of you, like they do me, then I'd avoid PDC like the plague.
Playa del Carmen offers digital nomads:
- Amazing beaches
- More tourism than anywhere else
- Crazy nightlife every single day of the week
- Decent infrastructure for a beach city
- Low prices
- Decent safety
Living the digital nomad life is more than possible in PDC. There's solid coworking spaces, yoga studios, gyms, and so much more.
The issue is…
The tourists. They're never-ending and you'll eventually get annoyed with all the hustlers trying to scam you while you're walking around gringo.
It's easy to get to PDC, the beaches are solid, and it's more than cheap.
But I won't be going back due to the overwhelming amount of tourists and hustlers in the area.
Still, for budding digital nomads who love nightlife, enjoy the beach, and want something cheap – this is a great option in Latin America.
P.S: No matter where you go, speaking Spanish will make life a lot easier. Click here to start learning!
Other Potential Spots
Now, I just hit you with some of the best digital nomad destinations in all of Latin America.
Did I cover them all?
Because I haven't been to every single city in Latin America, and I only wanted to talk about what I know in this article.
There are a few cities I have my eye on, though. Other potential digital nomads hubs in Latin America that have caught my eye include:
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Rio de Janiero, Brazil
- Florianopolis, Brazil
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
Digital Nomad Cities in Latin America
That about covers it, y'all.
Over 2,200+ words on where to live the digital nomad life south of the border.
But, what did I miss? What hotspots should I check out in the coming years?
Oh, but make sure you don't do one thing…
Never share your secret spots, fam 😉
Don't let the pack of thirsty gringos ruin your Atlantis. Instead, keep that stuff tucked tight to the belt.
Or shoot me your secret spots privately and we can chop it up through email discussing the off-the-beaten-path places we don't want too many to know about.