Top 10 Cities in Latin America for Digital Nomads - Part 2 [2023]

edited August 2023 in Lifestyle

Latin America is a rising star for digital nomads in a world that's becoming more remote-friendly. Its combination of low living costs, high life quality, and thriving coworking scene makes it a magnet for digital nomads.

Once caught in political turbulence, this vast and diverse region is now seen as a vibrant hotspot. Here are our ten best alternative cities in Latin America for digital nomads. Also, catch our first list.

Safety is a must, especially in such a vast and diverse region as Latin America. Always check the U.S. Government Travel Advisories website for updates before you fly. Dodge these common digital nomad mistakes to ensure your journey is both adventurous and hassle-free. So, grab your backpack and your top laptop - let's discover the Latin American cities making digital nomads feel right at home.

1) San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua: A Surfer's Paradise for Digital Nomads 

San Juan Del Sur, nestled on Nicaragua's sun-drenched Pacific coast, is a vibrant hub for adventurous digital nomads who love surf and sand. Once a sleepy fishing village, this coastal gem has become a hotspot for adventurers, attracting sun-worshipers and surf enthusiasts alike. Affordable living and a warm, tropical climate make it an enticing choice for those seeking to work remotely.

The town's colorful, fun-loving beach scene is a playground for day and night activities. Surf clubs dot the landscape, welcoming newbies to ride the world-class waves. As the sun sets, beachfront bars and nightclubs ensure the fun continues, offering a taste of the lively local nightlife.

San Juan Del Sur offers breathtaking natural beauty. A hike to the towering Cristo de la Misericordia statue of Jesus provides panoramic views of the stunning coastline.

Wildlife enthusiasts can visit the nearby La Flor Beach Natural Reserve to observe turtles in their natural habitat. San Juan Del Sur's idyllic beach life and work blend seamlessly, creating a captivating locale for digital nomads. 

Fast facts about San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: 

  • Population: 14,700 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,864 
  • Internet speed: Slow (5 mbps mobile, 10 mbps fixed line)

2) Antigua, Guatemala: UNESCO World Heritage City 

Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site amidst southern Guatemala's forested hills. Once a prominent Spanish colonial city, it served as Guatemala's capital for over 300 years. Now, it flourishes as a digital nomad hotspot. This city, with its grid-pattern streets lined with farm-to-table restaurants, art galleries, design studios, and aromatic coffee shops, offers remote workers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities. 

As you navigate the city, the masterpiece of famed architect Diego de Porres, the Las Capuchinas convent, greets you. Erected in 1736, this former convent, like many of Antigua's sites, is a testament to the city's colonial past.

The best time to visit is during the dry months from November through April. The city is compact, making it easy to explore. A leisurely 20-minute stroll takes you across the entire center, immersing you in a vibrant, fascinating culture.

For the adventurous, the Volcano Pacaya hike, a moderate challenge of a little over 3 miles, rewards you with awe-inspiring sunset views and unique experiences like roasting marshmallows over geothermal hotspots.

With world-class coffee, Wi-Fi, and a rich tapestry of history and culture, Antigua offers a unique digital nomad experience. 

 Fast facts about Antigua, Guatemala: 

  • Population: 40,000 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,300 
  • Internet speed: Good (25 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line)

3) Bogotá, Colombia: Urban Cool for Digital Nomads 

Bogotá, Colombia's capital and largest city is an enthralling melting pot of people creating a vibrant, multicultural scene. It's a city where the past and present seamlessly blend, and with a population of 11 million, you'll never be short of new experiences.

Living in Bogotá is more affordable than other South American destinations, making it a magnet for digital nomads. The city is cradled by the chilly peaks of the Andes, offering a captivating cool urban vibe.

Known for its world-class coffee shops, you can start your day with the finest Colombian coffee before hiking trails that cross the cerros orientales - emerald-green mountains that loom over the city. Popular routes like Quebrada La Vieja, a three-mile hike, take you through cloud forests with stunning city views. Don't forget to explore the vibrant weekend markets in Usaquén for a local shopping experience.

As the sun sets, the nightlife comes alive with bars and clubs pulsating to the beat of salsa, vallenato, and rock en español. You won't want to miss the weekly Sunday Ciclovía (Cycleway), where the city's main avenues become a car-free haven for cyclists and pedestrians.

In Bogotá, you'll find an exciting blend of culture, adventure, and urban sophistication, making it an enticing spot for digital nomads. 

 Fast facts about Bogotá, Colombia: 

  • Population: 8 million 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,200 
  • Internet speed: Good (20 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line) 

4) Playa del Carmen, Mexico: A Laid-Back Paradise for Digital Nomads 

Between bustling Cancún and boho-chic Tulum, Playa del Carmen is a jewel of Mexico's Riviera Maya. Its palm-lined beaches, coral reefs, and easy access to Mayan ruins offer a unique blend of cultural richness and natural beauty. The city's walkability and US-friendly time zone make it an appealing choice for digital nomads.

Whether it's wellness retreats, gourmet dining, or raves, there's something for everyone. Adventure enthusiasts can explore the 75-mile sandy shoreline with birdwatching, ATV tours, or zipline rides through the Mayan jungle. Cozumel, a diving paradise, and the Cenote Chaak Tun, a breathtaking natural sinkhole, are just a short journey away.

Playa del Carmen retains a laid-back, small-town charm despite being a tourist hotspot. It's less commercialized than Cancun, offering tranquility amidst the buzz. Visit during the peak season (December to April) for perfect weather but be prepared for higher prices. This balance of relaxation and adventure makes Playa del Carmen a top pick for digital nomads. 

 Fast facts about Playa del Carmen, Mexico: 

  • Population: 200,000 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,500 
  • Internet speed: Good (25 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line)

5) Quito, Ecuador: A High-Altitude Retreat for Digital Nomads

Perched at an altitude of 2,850m in the Andes, Quito, Ecuador's capital city, is cloaked in an ethereal mist, nestled between lush, mountainous peaks. The city's center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, teeming with beautifully preserved colonial architecture, plazas, and cathedrals dating back to the 16th century. Famous landmarks include the:

  • Ornate La Compañía de Jesús church 
  • Bustling Plaza Grande 
  • Majestic Presidential Palace

Quito's culture is as rich as its history - a thriving arts scene that fills galleries, museums, and even pizza places that double as indie concert venues. Museo del Banco Central is a testament to this artistic landscape, housing a diverse collection of pre-Columbian art. The city's culinary ethos echoes its creative flair, as traditional street food vendors share the spotlight with burgeoning food truck 'plazas.'

Digital nomads are drawn to Quito for its low cost of living, alignment with the Eastern U.S. time zone, and flexible digital nomad visa offering up to two years of stay, renewable at will. Natural beauty surrounds the city, offering adventure sports and world-class trekking, with weekend trips away to places like: 

  • Mindo cloud forest 
  • Quilotoa Lagoon 
  • Baños 
  • Cotopaxi National Park 

 Fast facts about Quito, Ecuador: 

  • Population: 2.7 million 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,100 
  • Internet speed: Good (20 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line)

6) San Juan, Puerto Rico: Historic Hub for Digital Nomads 

San Juan, the most populous city in Puerto Rico, is where the Old World meets the new - a rich tapestry of colonial heritage and cosmopolitan energy. The capital city, founded in 1521, sparkles with cobblestoned streets, dynamic neighborhoods, and idyllic silk-sand beaches. Old San Juan enchants with rainbow-colored buildings, impressive fortresses, and farm-to-table restaurants that honor Puerto Rico's rich cultural heritage.

The city is a paradise for digital nomads due to its low cost of living, fiber-optic internet, and tax incentives, including a flat corporate tax rate of 4% with no state or federal taxes.

Alongside historic sites and art museums, San Juan is famous for its tropical beaches, offering an array of watersports. The Blue Flag Beach, El Escambrón, known for its protected coral reefs, is an ideal spot for snorkeling with turtles and marine exploration.

Whether your interests lie in historical sites, art museums, salsa music, tropical beaches, or culinary delights, you'll find it in San Juan. 

 Fast facts about San Juan, Puerto Rico: 

  • Population: 395,000 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,500 
  • Internet speed: Good (25 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line) 

7) Panama City, Panama: Tropical Metropolis for Digital Nomads

Panama City, the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America, seamlessly blends modern urban energy with tropical allure. Known as the only capital with a tropical rainforest within its borders, it offers diverse landscapes, from pirate-era ruins to contemporary skyscrapers. This vibrant hub, connecting North and South America, is home to the iconic Panama Canal - one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

The city's historic heart, Casco Viejo, radiates with restored glory from 1673 and is worth visiting to learn about the area's buildings, cathedrals, and history. A visit to the Biomuseo, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, reveals Panama's significant influence on global biodiversity and its commitment to environmental preservation. As a UNESCO creative city for gastronomy, Panama City hosts a lively food scene championed by world-class chefs.

Panama City, equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi and abundant co-working spaces, is a sanctuary for digital nomads. U.S. tourists can enjoy visa-free stays for up to 180 days. A Short Term Remote Worker Visa allows you to work and live in the country for 9 months, renewable for another term. 

 Fast facts about Panama City, Panama: 

  • Population: 1.8 million 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,400 
  • Internet speed: Good (25 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line) 

8) La Paz, Bolivia: Andean High-Altitude Haven 

La Paz, deemed one of the 7 urban wonders of the world, stands majestically as the world's highest capital city at an altitude of 11,975 feet. Perched within a canyon running through the Andes' Altiplano mountains, contrasting modern high-rises set against an awe-inspiring mountain backdrop.

Founded over an Incan settlement in 1548 by Spanish colonists, now La Paz houses significant landmarks like the Presidential Palace, Plurinational Legislative Assembly, and the intriguing Witches' Market. The city brims with energy, featuring a chaotic yet captivating blend of bustling pedestrians, honking minivans, vibrant street marches, and omnipresent vendors.

La Paz's topographical extremes manifest as steep, winding streets. They are home to the world's highest and longest cable car system, the "subway in the sky," linking the crowded metropolis of La Paz with the neighboring El Alto. La Paz offers a rich cultural experience in an unusual high-altitude setting and presents digital nomads with a truly unique workspace. 

 Fast facts about La Paz, Bolivia: 

  • Population: 2.3 million 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,000 
  • Internet speed: Slow (5 mbps mobile, 10 mbps fixed line) 

9) Valparaíso, Chile: Artistic Bohemian City 

Known as the 'Jewel of the Pacific,' Valparaíso is a vibrant, bohemian port city on Chile's coast. As Chile's second-largest city, it boasts a rich historical quarter filled with colonial buildings that earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2003.

Navigating Valparaíso's winding hills reveals neighborhoods alive with creativity, featuring a remarkable array of murals, graffiti, and street art. Its iconic funiculars, or outdoor street elevators, provide an innovative solution to traversing the city's hilly landscape. The Maritime and Naval Museum offers a deep dive into the city's port and navy past. 

Valparaíso's bohemian allure extends to its welcoming community. Renowned for their congeniality, the Chilean locals are ready to assist newcomers, further enhancing the city's appeal. With sightseeing opportunities and a vibrant cultural scene, Valparaíso presents an extraordinary destination for digital nomads seeking history, beauty, and inspiration. 

 Fast facts about Valparaíso, Chile: 

  • Population: 300,000 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,300 
  • Internet speed: Good (25 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line)

10) Florianopolis, Brazil: Sun-Kissed Paradise 

Referred to as 'Floripa' by locals, Florianopolis, situated on an island in Southern Brazil, is a captivating blend of sun-soaked beaches, picturesque mountains, and vibrant nightlife. A favored spot among surfers and digital nomads, it offers an ideal escape, especially during winter, with its weather and summer vibes.

This paradise-like locale, with its sprawling rainforests perfect for hiking and a rich culture laden with intriguing tales, is home to over 40 magnificent beaches. Among these is Praia Mole, renowned for hosting the ASP World Tour of the Association of Surfing Professionals, where golden sands extend into rocky capes, offering some of Brazil's best surfing experiences.

Floripa has burgeoned into Latin America's most sought-after party destination, offering an array of caipirinha-infused lounges, chic beach bars, and enormous megaclubs across the island. While it's a favored vacation spot in Brazil, Floripa's slow-paced lifestyle is also a magnet for digital nomads. You get around with English more than in the rest of Brazil.

It's an idyllic destination for nature-loving remote workers seeking fun, sun, and surf. 

 Fast facts about Florianópolis, Brazil: 

  • Population: 500,000 
  • Cost of living per month: USD $1,200 
  • Internet speed: Good (25 mbps mobile, 50 mbps fixed line)

With its lively cities, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes, Latin America offers a refreshing canvas for digital nomads. Each place, from Medellín's eternal spring to the high-altitude workspace of La Paz, provides unique opportunities for work and exploration.

Remember, protecting your devices and data is critical no matter where your nomadic journey takes you. This ensures your work is safe, allowing you to fully embrace the joys and challenges of your digital nomadic lifestyle. Enjoy the trip, and let these vibrant Latin American cities inspire your work and feed your wanderlust. 

Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech.


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