The era of remote work is upon us. I’ve been unintentionally digital nomad-ing long before the pandemic pushed working remotely as the norm. Even as it’s become more common, the most difficult part remains the same: choosing a place to settle down. As someone who needs a work-life balance while traveling, it’s important to find a good home base that meets all your needs. Working remotely in Latin America can be as frustrating as it is magical. The digital nomad lifestyle is a dream come true for many people, but it is harder than it looks.
Maybe you want to post up by the beach for a week, only to find out that the Wi-Fi cuts out every few hours. Maybe you’ll find a city with great infrastructure, only to get bored after a few days. I’ve traveled extensively throughout Latin America, working remotely as a travel blogger along the way. These are a few of my favorite digital nomad destinations in South America and Central America.
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Oh, and before you go, make sure to have good travel insurance handy whenever you’re out adventuring. I use SafetyWing, which specializes in health and travel insurance for digital nomads, to keep me covered throughout my travels for as low as $40 a month.
As far as cities go, I can’t imagine anywhere that could top Mexico City. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and I truly believe that people who dislike Mexico City just haven’t found the right neighborhood for them. Some popular barrios among digital nomads are the trendy neighborhoods of Roma Norte and Condesa.
Don’t limit yourself, though. Mexico City is huge. You’ll never run out of things to do in the city, and you have no shortage of options for day trips or weekend trips away. It is affordable and has everything you could desire as a digital nomad, from co-working spaces to cozy cafes and gyms. The food and nightlife of Mexico City also easily ranks in the top ten in the world for me. It truly doesn’t get much better than Mexico City.
Related: The Ultimate Mexico City Bucket List
Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico
I’ll admit, the hustle and bustle of Mexico City can often get too much. For a quieter city, Oaxaca de Juarez might be for you. As a traveler, Oaxaca is a dream. You have natural beauty, ancient ruins, and a gorgeous historic city center. Oaxaca is teeming with culture, and has arguably the best cuisine in Mexico. There are no shortages of day trips to stunning natural wonders or charming villages whenever you feel the need to escape the city.
As a remote worker, you can easily get into a good work flow in Oaxaca. There aren’t too many co-working spaces, but you have no shortage of quiet cafes to choose from. Oaxaca is an affordable city where you can treat yourself to the finer things in life. It’s also got a big community of travels and expats, so it’s easy to meet people and make friends.
San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
I know, I know, it seems like I’m just listing off places in Mexico. We’ll get to the other countries in a bit, but I can’t not include San Cristobal. I stayed in this mid-sized city for nearly two months. I got into a great work flow while I was here, and balanced it out with lots of adventuring and lots of nightlife. San Cris is a great home base for exploring the stunning nature of Chiapas.
When you need a spot to grind out some work, there are tons of cafes and co-working spaces to choose from. My favorites cafes are Kinoki, Amor Negro, and Sarajevo Cafe. You’ve also got Centralita Co-working Space. Despite being tucked away in the mountains, the Wi-Fi and cell signal here are reliable and fast.
So I don’t just rattle off more cities in Mexico, I’ve got a separate article for the best places to work remotely in Mexico. I cover spots like Guadalajara, Merida, Playa del Carmen, and tons of others. Now, onto the rest of Latin America.
See? I told you we’d get out of Mexico sooner or later. I first visited Antigua back in 2017, and since then, it’s exploded as a popular remote work destination. Flights to and from Guatemala City to the U.S. are affordable, and from there, it’s just an hour by bus to get to Antigua. The mid-sized town of Antigua reminds me a lot of San Cristobal, except surrounded by volcanoes.
Antigua has great hostels, hotels, cafes, coworking spaces, and a big digital nomad community. If you love nature, Antigua offers a lot of hiking, including the unforgettable trek up Acatenango. If you have a few days off and are looking to get away, then Lake Atitlan isn’t too far away, either. Antigua is a big cultural hub, and offers a great balance of city life and the great outdoors.
A colorful city with hot weather and jungle parties, do you need much more? Nicaragua wasn’t my favorite country, but I can’t deny that Granada was a pretty cool spot. The weather here can get brutally hot, so make sure your crib has air conditioning for that sweltering midday sun. It’s a charming city and a popular travel hub, so it’s easy to make friends and meet fellow travelers.
I can’t get enough of Cusco. Everyone has a first love, and for me, it was Cusco. There are so many adventures in this part of Peru that it is impossible to get bored. I’ve spent months in Cusco and could spend many months more.
There are cafes and coworking spaces to frequent during your work day, and plenty of bars to check out once the evening rolls around. On weekends or days off, you have the world at your fingertips. You want to check out a rainbow mountain? Some ancient Incan ruins? Summit a crazy mountain? Salt mines? Cusco has no shortage of amazing day trips.
You can also post up in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This lush, mountainous region surrounding Cusco is a calmer alternative to Cusco. You’ve got small villages like Ollantaytambo and Urubamba, and one of my personal favorite villages in the world, Pisac. Just outside of Pisac, you’ll find the amazing Wolf Totem Guesthouse, a hostel nestled in the mountains but boasting fiber Wi-Fi. It’s a digital nomad dream.
Arequipa might be the most beautiful city in Peru. The white city sits about halfway between Lima and Cusco, and is well worth the stop. Be warned, though. You might never leave. Arequipa is quieter and less touristy than Cusco, but also has its fair share of adventures. You can cycle down a volcano or hike up one. Choice is yours. Check out a city of salt or see the Nazca Lines, or just roam around the charming city and its many markets.
Most people aren’t fans of Lima, but it’s all about perspective. After spending six weeks in the mountains of Huaraz, Lima was like heaven. It was a much-needed return to civilization where I was thrilled just to walk around a big, air-conditioned supermarket, have some vegan food, and party at a crazy nightclub. It may not be most travelers’ favorite destination in Peru, but as a digital nomad, this coastal city can keep you entertained for quite a while.
The neighborhoods of Miraflores and Barranco are cultural hubs where the action is at. As a traveler, you’ll want to stay in one or the other. Both of them are along the coast, but vastly different. Miraflores is more modern, and feels more like a typical Western city. Barranco is more calm, but a cultural hub filled with art and great cuisine. Actually, Miraflores has a great food scene, too. You can’t go wrong with either.
Medellin was one of the first cities that made me fall in love with traveling. I was on my first solo trip and Medellin absolutely captivated me. It was so vibrant and full of life. It was unlike anywhere else I’d been before, with sprawling barrios nestled on lush, green hillsides, cable cars flying above, and of course, its sizzling nightlife scene.
It’s no surprise that Medellin has become a popular destination for digital nomads and expats. In particular, remote workers have been flocking to the El Poblado neighborhood in droves. Envigado and Laureles are two less-touristy alternatives that still offer all the necessary digital nomad infrastructure. Despite being a modern and trendy city, Medellin remains a very affordable place to live. For people with a work hard, play hard attitude, I can’t imagine anywhere better than Medellin
Bogota often gets overlooked as a travel destination, and I’ll admit, it doesn’t quite have the same charm as Medellin. However, I grew to love Bogota. If you find the right neighborhood for you, it can be a great place to work remotely. After all, it’s home to a few universities and thousands of college students. Some pockets of the city can feel like university towns, and you’ll find dozens of cafes and cozy restaurants to post up at. It may not have the same reputation as Medellin’s, but the nightlife in Bogota is also pretty lively.
For digital nomads, I’d recommend staying in the Chapinero neighborhood. It’s home to a few universities, so it is safer and has more infrastructure for people who want to work remotely. For more suggestions in Colombia, here’s my post on the best places to work remotely in Colombia.
Cuenca was love at first sight. This is my favorite city in Ecuador, and easily one of the most livable destinations I’ve ever visited. It’s no surprise why so many expats have made the move to Cuenca. It’s got a great balance of culture and nature. From its bustling local mercados to the beautiful mountains surrounding it, Cuenca ticked off all my boxes. There are some great cafes to visit by day and some poppin’ bars to check out by night.
Looking back, I sometimes wonder how I spent so much time in Cordoba. I don’t think I did anything noteworthy tourist-wise, but the vibe here is just great. The nightlife is what sucked me in. However, Cordoba has it all if you’re looking to settle down for a bit and work remotely. It’s a big city, but the central part of town is walkable and doesn’t feel too big. Cordoba has great restaurants, amazing nightlife, and some really friendly people.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Whew. Where do I even begin with Buenos Aires? I’m only including it because objectively, it is a great place to work remotely. For me? I don’t think I went to bed before 7 AM once. Buenos Aires is arguably the liveliest city in Latin America, once everyone has had their siestas, that is. Whatever vibe you’re on, Buenos Aires can accommodate. It’s affordable, has great weather, and is one of my favorite big cities in the world. There are dozens of neighborhoods that are worthy of calling home in Buenos Aires.
In contrast to Buenos Aires, we have Bariloche. Buenos Aires is a sprawling metropolis. Bariloche? It’s the place to be if you want to immerse yourself in nature. I feel the most alive and creative when I’m surrounded by nature, and Bariloche has you covered. It’s one of the only places in Patagonia that has enough infrastructure to potentially work remotely from.
Sucre is a far cry from the chaos of La Paz. I was honestly shocked when I arrived in Sucre after spending a lot of time in La Paz. It was peaceful, clean, and had a small town charm to it. Sucre almost felt like Cusco-lite. Don’t get me wrong, I love La Paz, but Sucre sucked me in with its laid back pace of life. As a remote worker, it’s easy to get into a good work flow while you’re here.
I even spent Christmas here one year with some fellow travelers. We all ended up staying for a couple of weeks. Even though Sucre may not be the most exciting place in South America, it’s got a great, laid-back vibe to it. The food here was much better than the food I encountered anywhere else in Bolivia. There are lots of artsy cafes and a surprisingly fun nightlife scene. If you’re looking for a hostel that doubles as a great workspace and triples as a nightclub, then look no further than KulturBerlin.
I’m including Costa Rica because it’s become a hugely popular spot for remote workers. However, I can’t think of a single place off the top of my head that might be a good home base as a digital nomad. San Jose is alright, but you don’t come to Costa Rica for San Jose. You come for the beaches, the jungles, and the hiking. Despite there not being one single city I’d recommend posting up at, I think Costa Rica as a whole can be considered a great remote work destination. You’ll likely have decent infrastructure almost everywhere you go. The quality of life here is amazing, and its much more modern than its neighbors. If you plan your bus travel around your off days, it’s easy to see a lot of the country while sticking to a work schedule.
If you’re interested in working remotely with a dedicated community of digital nomads, whether it’s in Latin America or all over the world, WiFi Artists is an excellent company to check out. I had the pleasure of joining them in Medellin, and loved the community aspect of the program, as well as its affordability and the variety of destinations offered. Whether you want to work from Latin American hotspots like Mexico City or Medellin, or other unique destinations like Tbilisi and Osaka, WiFi Artists is a great company for beginner and experienced nomads alike. Make sure to mention ThePartyingTraveler in your application and you can get $100 off of any program!
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