After deciding you want to become a digital nomad, the next step is deciding where to live.
For me, Mexico is one of the best countries for globetrotting nomads in need of sunshine, decent wifi, and an affordable cost of living (not to mention tacos).
To prove it, we’ve lived in Mexico on and off for three years, in five different states and cities!
So, where should you live IN Mexico as a digital nomad?
When you aren’t familiar with a country (or even if you are), it can be challenging to know where to move to!
As a nomad, you get to choose where you’d like to live. Would you rather work remotely in a local Mexican beach town or a bustling city?
From sultry coastal towns like Sayulita and Tulum to more of the “expat-central” cities like Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca City, or San Cristóbal de las Casas, there are so many incredible places to live in Mexico as a digital nomad, expat (read: immigrant), or retiree.
Discover the top cities and towns to live in as a nomad in México below!
13 Best Places to Live in Mexico as a Digital Nomad
1. San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas)
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Love colorful indigenous cultures, mountains, and COFFEE? Then you should consider living as a digital nomad in San Cristóbal de Las Casas — a charming Pueblo Mágico in the highlands of Chiapas in southern Mexico.
San Cristóbal Overview
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs and the lifestyle in San Cris from a digital nomad’s point of view.
- Rent: $300-500 | $600-800
- Wifi speed: 10-40+mbps
- Activities: Hiking, markets, day trips, cultural tours
- Weather: Mild year-round, chilly winters with wet/dry season
- Airport: Ángel Albino Corzo International Airport (TGZ) | Book flights & rent a car here
Why San Cris Is a Great Mexico Digital Nomad Destination
San Cris is surrounded by rolling mountains, caves, and eco-parks (like El Arcotete).
During the week, escape in an inspiring café like La Frontera or Sarajevo Garden Café, or go work all day in a cute coworking space with other nomads at Centralita or Co.404’s.
On weekends (or even during the week because, ya know — nomad life), you can go hiking to the sacred mountain of Cerro Don Lauro, spend the day cruising La Grijalva River in Sumidero Canyon or go on an epic Chiapas road trip!
The State of Chiapas
Chiapas is such an underrated state in Mexico! It is one of the poorest, but also the richest in natural and cultural diversity. It really is not on the tourist trail, yet, but it’s growing in popularity!
Some of the best things to do in Chiapas include chasing insane waterfalls (like to El Chiflón or El Aguacero), visiting ancient Maya ruins in the jungle (Palenque), and exploring and learning about different indigenous cultures in local towns like Zinacantán and Chamula.
2. Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco)
Want to trade the mountains for the ocean? Although Puerto Vallarta is within the state of Jalisco, it acts as the gateway to the insanely gorgeous Riviera Nayarit!
Puerto Vallarta is one of my all-time favorite digital nomad cities — not just in Mexico, but the world.
It has just about everything a nomad could ask for — tropical vibes, cafés, fun outdoor activities, safe neighborhoods, great restaurants, beaches, and more!
Puerto Vallarta At a Glance
Here’s an overview of the digital nomad lifestyle in Puerto Vallarta!
- Rent: $500-900
- Wifi speed: 10-30mbps
- Activities: Beaches, snorkeling/diving, nightlife, salsa dancing, water sports, shopping
- Weather: Humid, tropical (best between Nov-April)
- Airport: Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) | Book flights & rent a car here
Puerto Vallarta for Digital Nomads
Puerto Vallarta is a sizeable coastal resort town, brimming with nightlife, expats, and an old-world charm. It lies practically on the border between Jalisco-Nayarit, which is separated by the Ameca River.
Its Zona Romantica, or Romantic Zone, features cobblestone lanes, a waterside boardwalk, and lively bars, clubs, and restaurants!
Spend the day at one of its white-sand beaches or take the opportunity to explore the warm Bahía de Banderas (Bandera’s Bay) — go whale watching, scuba diving, or snorkeling around the famous Islas Marietas (Marieta Islands).
The State of Jalisco
You might’ve never heard of Jalisco, but you’ve definitely heard of two things that have made Mexico famous worldwide — mariachi music and tequila.
That’s right — Jalisco is home to the blue agave plant which makes most of the globe’s tequila!
Despite common belief, the state capital isn’t Puerto Vallarta, but the underrated capital city in the center of the state called Guadalajara (which is another great city to live in Mexico for nomads).
If you enjoy culture, spirits, and folklore, you’ll love soaking up the traditions (and tequila) of Jalisco!
3. Sayulita (Nayarit)
Sand, surf, and salsa dancing — that’s Sayulita, a colorful and endearing Pueblo Mágico on the coast of Nayarit, summed up pretty well in 3-4 words.
We lived on and off for two years just up the road from Sayulita, so we visited frequently on weekends or during holidays (like Day of the Dead), or whenever we wanted to dance the night away!
One could say Sayulita is overrun with tourists during the peak season, and there’s certainly no denying it’s one of the most popular places to visit in Nayarit.
However, once the tourists go home, Sayulita turns back into its sleepy former self.
Digital nomads can have the surf break —and the beaches — mostly to themselves during the off-season or before/after the holidays.
Sayulita for Nomads
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs to live in Sayulita Mexico as a digital nomad.
- Rent: $500-1000
- Wifi speed: 5-15mbps (higher in coworking spaces)
- Activities: Surfing, hiking, beaches, nightlife, water sports, festivals
- Weather: Tropical and humid, wet/dry season
- Airport: PVR | Book flights & rent a car here
Digital Nomad Life in Sayulita Mexico
Sayulita’s streets are strung with papel picado — colorful Mexican flags — and filled with street vendors, artisan craft stalls, boho-chic shops, boutique hotels, and more.
It’s a VERY cute town with plenty of coffee shops and aesthetic spaces where a digital nomad can easily slip out their laptop and work for the day.
Actually, one of the best brunch spots and cafes in Sayulita is Miscellanea. We loved working here, and you’ll always see a fellow nomad in there!
Other than coffee shops and brunch spots, what is there to do in Sayulita?
There are plenty of things to do in Sayulita that will keep you busy for several weeks or months! Surfing, of course, is one of them — seeing as the gentle surf break here is what initially drew throngs of backpackers and surf lovers to Sayulita’s shores.
Also Read: 10 Best Boutique & Beach Hotels in Sayulita
The State of Nayarit
As I’ve mentioned before, both the state of Nayarit and the Riviera Nayarit is one of Mexico’s true gems.
The Riviera is a 120-something-mile stretch of pristine coastline speckled with fishing villages and beach towns and where the jungle meets the ocean in harmony. Any digital nomad who has a true appreciation for nature and wildlife would be mesmerized by all that the state of Nayarit has to offer!
Volunteer to rescue baby turtles, go bird-watching in San Blas, play golf in Punta Mita, surf in Sayulita, go horseback riding (among many other things to do in San Pancho), take a weekend trip up to the capital of Tepic, and more!
4. Tulum (Quintana Roo)
It exploded in popularity in recent years, in large part thanks to aesthetic and vibey Instagram photo spots. It has — and attracts — a luxurious, chic style (especially in the Hotel Zone), but offers much more below the surface.
Tulum At a Glance
Here’s what you can expect living in Tulum as a nomad:
- Rent: $500-600 local, $1000-2200 expat
- Wifi speed: 2-10mbps up to 30-40 (more in cowork spaces)
- Activities: Beaches, Maya ruins, cenotes, day trips, nightlife, biking
- Weather: Tropical, wet/dry season
- Airport: Cancun International Airport (CUN) | Book flights & rent a car here
Is Tulum Really Good for Digital Nomads?
We spent 3 months in Tulum as digital nomads and had a great experience! Tulum has three things that make life here postcard-worthy: cenotes, beaches, and ruins. But that’s not all!
Digital nomads can also benefit from Tulum’s best cafes and restaurants and myriad activities — visit the Tulum Ruins overlooking the Caribbean sea, rent a bike or scooter and go on a fun day trip from Tulum, explore Tulum Town’s art scene, and moreee!
On that note, one of the things that confuse people about Tulum is the differences between its town and hotel zone (beach strip).
Most nomads live in the town while the tourists visit and stay in hotels on the beach. Tulum, while safe, has attracted more petty crime due to the enormous spike in (irresponsible) tourists.
⚠️ Keep in mind that Tulum, like any other town or city in Mexico, has a local population that deserves our respect. Many locals can no longer afford housing in Tulum and have relocated to Muyil near the Sian Ka’an Lagoon. Nomads should take mindful care to try to integrate into the culture and communities they temporarily reside in without leaving a trace or negative footprint. You can read more in my guide to ethical and responsible tourism.
The State of Quintana Roo
Quintana Roo is Mexico’s most well-known state! It’s home to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and many more coastal resort towns in between.
Each year, it receives between 6-9 million foreign visitors. That said, you can expect A LOT of tourists, which will inevitably make the cost of living as digital nomads in those destinations go up!
5. Playa del Carmen (Quintana Roo)
Playa del Carmen, just north of Tulum, was, for the longest time, the prime real estate for digital nomads looking for a place to live in Mexico.
Rent was cheap, the lifestyle was fun and free, and you had just about everything you could ask for — cafés, beachfront rentals, nightclubs, and the fastest wifi outside of Mexico City.
Is that still the case? Does PDC still live up to the hype?
Playa del Carmen, despite being overrun and overshadowed by its chic southern neighbor of Tulum, still remains one of the best cities in Mexico for digital nomads to live.
It’s got great healthcare, dental care, and pretty much any other health, service, or convenience one could need (if you don’t mind the crowds). Lots of Americans and Canadians live there for those reasons.
Playa Del Carmen at a Glance
Here’s what to expect the cost and lifestyle to be like living in Playa del Carmen.
- Rent: $1000-2000/month
- Wifi speed: 10-30mbps
- Activities: Beaches, nightlife, day trips
- Weather: Tropical, wet/dry season
- Airport: CUN | Book flights & rent a car here
Playa Del Carmen for Digital Nomads
I always say that Playa del Carmen is the in-between baby of Tulum and Cancún — if those locations were to have a metaphorical baby, that is. PDC is both developed and touristy, but laid-back with an influential boho vibe.
Its main strip — Quinta Avenida — is a near-beachfront pedestrian avenue lined with eclectic restaurants, clubs, souvenir shops, bars, museums and galleries while its port ferry access is ideal for fun weekend trips to the Island of Cozumel.
Not to forget, its proximity to Cancún is ideal for traveling and adventuring to even more gorgeous islands like Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox. Sounds like a pretty decent digital nomad lifestyle to me!
6. Mérida (Yucatán)
Mérida — also known as the White City of Mexico — is a great city to live in Mexico whether you are a digital nomad, retiree, or expat in search of a new temporary or permanent home.
Its central location in the state of Yucatán is ideal for day trips to small beach towns perched along the northern coast, or inland to marvel at one of the Wonders of the World at Chichén Itzá.
What draws visitors each year to visit or live in Mérida, however, is its rich colonial and Mayan history.
Mérida for Nomads
Here’s what to expect as a digital nomad living in Mérida in the state of Yucatán.
- Rent: $450–750+
- Wifi speed: 10-40mbps
- Activities: Museums, cenotes, Ruta Puuc, colonial cities, Mayan ruins
- Weather: Hot & humid year-round
- Airport: Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID) | Book flights & rent a car here
Why Mérida Is Good for Digital Nomads
Large and spread out, Mérida is not your typical skyrise city.
Everything is flat and typically one or two stories tall, at most, with cute pastel-colored colonial homes, galleries, and hidden restaurants lining the streets. Mérida is considered one of the safest cities to live in Mexico for expats or digital nomads.
Wifi is fast, housing is cheap (compared to elsewhere), and you’ve got a number of things to do and see in Mérida that will keep you busy for weeks and months to come!
Nearby towns and cities, like Izamal (“the Yellow City”) or Valladolid, offer additional activities, cenotes, and Maya ruins to explore.
The State of Yucatán
The Yucatán state is perhaps one of the most well-known and popular states to live in Mexico. But it’s not to be confused with the Yucatán Peninsula, which includes the three states — Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo — that make up the southeastern tip of Mexico.
There are approximately 6000 documented cenotes throughout this region (here are some of my favorite cenotes), plus nearly 200 hundred ancient ruins and structures from the Maya civilization.
7. La Paz (Baja California Sur)
La Paz is a great digital nomad destination in Mexico if you enjoy the sunshine, nearby pristine beaches and islands, dry desert heat, and big city vibes!
La Paz at a Glance
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs of living for digital nomads in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
- Rent: $600–900+
- Wifi speed: 10-30mbps
- Activities: Nightlife, beaches, whale watching
- Weather: Hot, dry desert with cool evenings and mornings
- Airport: Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP) | Book flights & rent a car here
Is La Paz, Mexico Digital Nomad Friendly?
La Paz is a great hub for nomads because the beach is just a stone’s throw away, and there are a handful of cafes offering decent wifi speeds. What more could you need?
Safety is always a concern for nomads, too, but La Paz is generally peaceful, although petty crime does occur (just like any other city).
When not behind your laptop, you can enjoy La Paz’s downtown with its seaside boardwalk (malécon) and plazas or take a ferry and go on a snorkeling or diving adventure at Espiritu Santo Island in the gorgeous Sea of Cortez.
View all day trips and tours in La Paz, Mexico on Viator here!
Baja California Sur is one of the most visited states in Mexico, other than Quintana Roo, thanks to the flashy, all-inclusive resorts in Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo is one of Mexico’s popular spring break destinations, but there’s more to the state than resorts and nightclubs.
Go wine tasting in the Valle de Guadalupe, go diving, and visit small towns. Todos Santos, a small Pueblo Mágico, is an up-and-coming destination characterized by its charming colonial architecture, whale watching, beaches, and desert-oasis vibes.
8. Mexico City (Mexico)
Mexico City, also known as CDMX (previously DF), is one of the top digital nomad cities in Mexico thanks to its world-class food scene, affordable cost of living, and endless activities.
It also acts as an ideal “home base” for traveling to other parts of the country on the cheap, or for snagging up the best-priced return tickets home.
Mexico City for Nomads at a Glance
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs and the lifestyle in Mexico from a digital nomad’s point of view.
- Rent: $600–1100
- Wifi speed: 20–40mpbs
- Activities: Museums, food tours, castles, parks, nightlife
- Weather: Mild days, cool nights | High altitude (7,349′)
- Airport: Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez (MEX) | Book flights & rent a car here
Why Digital Nomads Love Mexico City
When you think of Mexico City, you may think about pollution, skyrises, and an enormous concrete jungle. While it is all that, it’s much, much more.
There is definitely an underbelly, but if you stick to Mexico City’s eclectic and safe neighborhoods, you’ll find myriad museums (like the Frida Kahlo Museum), exceptional cafes and restaurants of any type and budget, grassy parks and bustling plazas, and more.
Digital nomads are comfortable here (even if they don’t have a beach to chill on in the evenings!).
The State of Mexico
Mexico City is in the state of Mexico. Yep — the capital of the country of Mexico also resides in the state of Mexico (slightly confusing, right?!).
The State of Mexico is the densest and most populated of all the 32 states and is centrally located, with Hidalgo and Querétaro to the north, Michoacán to the west, Puebla and Tlaxcala to the east, and Morelos and Guerrero to the south (thus making it ideal for traveling around central Mexico and beyond!).
9. Puerto Escondido (Oaxaca)
One could say that Puerto Escondido is unofficially the digital nomad-backpacker destination of the Mexican Pacific coast.
However, after living in Oaxaca City as a digital nomad, I can attest to the city’s awesomeness as a nomad destination in the state.
Puerto Escondido at a Glance
Here’s a quick glance at the digital nomad lifestyle in Puerto Escondido, Mexico:
- Rent: $600-800
- Wifi speed: 25mbps+
- Activities: Beaches, surfing, nightlife, water sports, wildlife
- Weather: Tropical, humid & hot
- Airport: Puerto Escondido International Airport (PXM) | Book flights & rent a car here
Is Puerto Escondido Good for Digital Nomads?
Puerto Escondido was, for the longest time, a relatively unknown surfer’s destination off the coast of Oaxaca. Now, however, it’s become a backpacker’s mecca.
There are countless hostels, cafes, and bars where digital nomads, hippies, and backpackers meet up and party.
Beyond the buzzing nightlife, Puerto Escondido has a laid-back vibe, with three principal beaches (Principal, Marinero, Zicatela), in addition to small-medium-sized beaches lined with palm trees ideal for surfing and kicking back.
The State of Oaxaca
Oaxaca is essentially Mexico’s cultural and artistic hub.
Nomads can immerse themselves in all the historic sites, activities and things to do near Oaxaca City. Here, you can try traditional food from mole sauce to mezcal and get lost in the colorful craze of the local artisanal markets!
Everyone I’ve met in Mexico has a special place for Oaxaca in their hearts.
10. Guanajuato City (Guanajuato)
Guanajuato City, in the state with the same name (Guanajuato), is a breathtaking city in Mexico to live in.
There are also lots of fun activities that will fill up any short or extended Guanajuato itinerary.
Imagine the colors of Mexico combined with the architectural style and charm of European plazas and cathedrals — that’s basically what you can expect from Guanajuato City.
Guanajuato City at a Glance
Here’s an overview of the digital nomad lifestyle in Guanajuato City.
- Rent: $500-800
- Wifi speed: 5-15mbps
- Activities: Museums, cultural tours, food, day trips
- Weather: Temperate, hot and dry during the day with cool nights
- Airport: Bajío International Airport (BJX) | Book flights & rent a car here
Is Guanajuato City Good for Digital Nomad Life?
Guanajuato City is an incredible city to discover in Mexico. It’s not yet on the beaten tourist trail, yet it has all that you could need as a digital nomad.
Think cute cafes with great coffee, affordable housing, a pleasant climate, and plenty of activities and weekend adventures. Not sure if it’s right for you? Get a sneak peek of the top things to do in Guanajuato City.
The State of Guanajuato
The hilly, rocky state of Guanajuato is a Mexican state bathed in history and riches. It is home to some of the first mining towns and the nation’s archaeological gems.
Several cities, including Guanajuato City and San Miguel de Allende, are classed UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their rich history, culture, and colonial jewels.
If you love culture, you’d enjoy being a digital nomad in Guanajuato, Mexico!
11. San Miguel de Allende (Guanajuato)
San Miguel de Allende (SMA) is one of Mexico’s top cities for American and Canadian immigrants/expats.
You’ll find a heavy amount of American and Canadian expats and retirees who’ve flocked south for the winter, as well as an impressive amount of international tourists from all around the world.
San Miguel Allende at a Glance
Quick overview of SMA from a digital nomad point of view.
- Rent: $600-1300
- Wifi speed: 20-50mbps
- Activities: Historic tours, art galleries, botanical gardens, museums
- Weather: Temperate, hot and dry during the day with cool nights
- Airport: Bajío International Airport (BJX) | Book flights & rent a car here
Is San Miguel de Allende Good for Digital Nomads?
If you don’t mind a predominately “gringo” city, then you may enjoy San Miguel de Allende as your digital nomad home base in Mexico.
It has architectural jewels, such as the famous pink-spired Parroquia de San Miguel, ornate botanical gardens, museums, plus art galleries and Spanish schools. It has lots of little coffee shops where you can work from your laptop for the day.
If you’re not looking for wild adventures or nature escapes, SMA is a good option for where to live in Mexico.
12. Guadalajara (Jalisco)
Guadalajara is often overlooked as a digital nomad place to live in Mexico. But I’m about to tell you why it shouldn’t be!
Guadalajara at a Glance
What to expect from the digital nomad lifestyle in Guadalajara, Mexico:
- Rent: $200–500
- Wifi speed: 10–30mbps in cafes/cowork spaces, 100-200mbps w/internet providers
- Activities: Tequila tours, colonial plazas, museums, nightlife
- Weather: Warm & temperate
- Airport: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) | Book flights & rent a car here
Why Guadalajara Is Good for Digital Nomads
Guadalajara is one of those cities that just reels you in. It has everything a digital nomad needs in his or her arsenal — decent wifi, things to do, and an affordable cost of living.
That said, Guadalajara is one of the cheapest places for digital nomads to live in Mexico with studio and one-bedroom apartment rentals costing as little as $200!
If you love a good time and a good quality of life on a budget, then consider Guadalajara as your digital nomad home base.
13. Santiago de Querétaro (Querétaro)
Santiago de Querétaro is a historically important city in Mexico, once acting as the nation’s capital.
Here, you can get lost in the maze of the historic city center or journey beyond and explore more of the Colonial Highlands.
Querétaro at a Glance
A quick breakdown of the digital nomad lifestyle and associated costs to live in Querétaro, Mexico.
- Rent: $450–750+
- Wifi speed: 10–20mbps up to 150mbps for $24 USD/mo
- Activities: Cultural tours, archeological discoveries, pueblo mágicos, day trips, nature
- Weather: Warm & temperate, rainy in the wet season (summers)
- Airport: Querétaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO) | Book flights & rent a car here
Is Querétaro City Good for Nomads?
Querétaro has everything you need to thrive as a digital nomad — community, coworking spaces and cafes, budget-friendly rentals, good weather, cultural activities, and more!
The city is also well-connected to other must-see towns and Pueblo Mágicos (like Santiago de Bernal) across the state, as well as to/from major airports in the U.S.
The State of Querétaro
Mexico has done it again — another state with the same name as the city. Querétaro has an amazingly diverse state, despite being one of the smallest in Mexico.
It has one of the largest monoliths in the world—Peña de Bernal—and other incredible landscapes from volcanic rocks to mountains and fertile valleys.
Its rich history also precedes itself; the Spaniards conquered the indigenous Otomí in 1531, but archaeological wonders can still be found from pre-colonization.
Final Word — Best Destinations in Mexico for Digital Nomads
As you can see, Mexico’s digital nomad scene is growing at lightning speed. This list wouldn’t have included so many destinations, had it been written a couple of years ago!
Not only is the digital nomad movement increasing due to the rise in remote work and the new #laptoplifestyle era, but Mexico is also becoming a top bucket list destination.
Living in Mexico as a digital nomad is easier than in other countries, too.
You get 6 months “visa-free” during which you can work online and travel the country as much as you’d like. (However, that’s changing and not as “guaranteed” anymore.)
You can learn more about digital nomad life in Mexico here.
Mexico has played a huge role in our journey of becoming slomads.
Simply said, Mexico is a country we can’t get enough of and yearn to get back to whenever we’re away!
Have you ever wanted to live in Mexico, but just didn’t know where?? Let me know in the comments where you’d like to go next!
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