Mexico City, Medellin or Buenos Aires?

So I’m taking the plunge and will be going nomad in less than 3 months from now!

My situation is that I just started a semi-remote contract with a startup that has a good chance to go fully remote in 3 months time if all goes well.
I will be heading over to Chang Mai at some point, but have decided to do a month or two in South America first, just so that the time difference isn’t so crazy while dealing with the team back home (skype/ hangout meetings in the morning etc)

The current cities on my radar are Mexico City, Medellin and Buenos Ares.
Basically, I am looking for a place that is has a relatively low cost of living, is safe for expats, has good internet and doesn’t have too much of a language barrier.

If anyone has lived in any of those cities ( or other nomad friendly spots in SA/CA), would love to get your thoughts on which place would be ideal for a 1-2 month stay based on my situation.
Thanks!

I’m Argentinian and have lived in Buenos Aires for a year.

Price-wise, Buenos Aires is quite expensive for Argentinian standards, specially rental prices. You won’t have a problem finding a place quickly, though. There is lots of so called “alquileres temporarios” that are basically fully setup flats you can move into without much fuzz.

Here is a Website with short term rentals, as above:
http://www.bairesapartments.com/

In terms of food and other essentials, prices fluctuate greatly based on which part of the city you live in (by as much as a factor of 4!), but you can expect to eat at a decent restaurant for 150-200 ARS and most fruits and vegetables can be bought inexpensively at your local groceries shop. Most other things you’ll want to get on one of the supermarket chains at reasonable (less than the US, more than most of South America) prices.

Anything imported (and I do mean, anything) is generally a lot more expensive than if bought overseas due to very tight import restrictions and high import duties (50%!). So bring all your tech and fancy make-up with you :smile: .

Argentina presently has tight currency exchange controls and the government artificially sets the price of the ARS to suit its needs. There is a parallel black market for the US dollar that prices it quite differently. At the moment, if you were to bring and exchange 1000 USD in cash in the black market, you’d get 14520 ARS versus 9590 ARS if you used an ATM or a brick and mortar forex shop. This essentially makes your trip a good 50% cheaper if you bring cash with you.

As for safety, I wouldn’t say Buenos Aires is the safest of places, but so long as you exercise common sense and don’t walk around laptop in hand at 2 am…

The Internet in public places isn’t the fastest and 3G operators have abysmal service (country-wide). Your best bet is finding a good coffee shop (certain Starbucks locations during off-peak hours, for instance) or one of the co-working spaces in town. I haven’t personally used the latter so I can’t comment on those, but I’ve heard good things.

Transportation is ridiculously cheap. I was there a few months ago with my girlfriend and I think we spent around 6-8 USD each over the course of a week. No taxis.

In terms of entertainment, the city is pretty damn big and culturally diverse and there is always something going on for everyone: football matches, theater (featuring world-class acoustics on one of them), endless bookstores (one of them is a converted theater!), all kinds of random events (randomly bumped into a German/Austrian bratwurst festival last time I was there), second-hand arts and crafts markets on the weekend, etc.

Hope that helps.

2 Likes

mexico gets my vote. so much to see and do. easy transition, safe, and cheap.

1 Like

I lived in Mexico City 4 or 5 times.

Good community around “la roma” and “condesa”, lot’s of cafe’s that are used to “Internet squatters”. Affordable and secure as long as you have a bit of common sense. Tons of expats and travellers.

While I’ve never been to Medellin, this is my third week in Bogotá, from my point of view, it’s cheaper than México City, and people are quite nice. Internet is far worse, and streets are generally more insecure. Sunset is about 6:30 where the entire city is usually insecure. Except for Uptown North part of town, which has prices similar to those of Mexico City.

IMHO, if you want to concentrate on work for a few weeks, Mexico City is a great alternative. Let me know and I’ll hook you up.

If you want to enjoy latin culture, and take it slower, Bogota or Medellin would be a better option.

I’ve never been to BA.

2 Likes

Yup, looking to concentrate on working solidly for a month or 2, while enjoying the city at the same time.

I have narrowed it down to Mexico City and Playa del Carmen. Or maybe both.

@hjbarraza any advice on the best places to stay in Mexico City and what the best way of finding cheap short term rental apts would be ?

Locations…

La Roma, Polanco, and Condesa. (i usually stay in the first two).
Other cheaper but less connected options are: “La Juarez” and “Colonia del Valle”.

As for housing, the classics work well: Airbnb (short-term) and Dadaroom (long-tem). This FB group can serve as last resort.

When arriving to a new country/city I usually rent 1 week on Airbnb, while I look for something more affordable on either dada room or with locals.

PM your dates and I can ask around my local friends.

1 Like

When I figure out my dates, I will for sure. Thanks man!

I know Im digging up a 2 year old question. But I wanted to know what @RayhanV thought of DF and/or PDC after reading the reviews of other posters. Also did you check out other towns and if so what were some highlights?

Thanks, Ryne