Where are the nomad hot spots in Central and South America?

Nice to see more peeps reppin’ CA/SA. I always hear about Asia (hitting up later this year)

I’m just getting started on my journey and have only spent a little bit if of time in the countries below with Guatemala being the longest.

Costa - Expensive (as others have metioned) but if you want some of the first world luxuries without having to travel back to the states, it’s a good spot to kick it for a few weeks. Manuel Antonio is arguablable one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Nica - Very beautiful country. Lakes, volcanos, beaches and extremely affordable. Spent some time in SJDS, Granada, Ometempe, Leon and Maltagalpa. Wifi can be a problem in remote places but I was able to get a decent signal in places I wouldn’t expect - like Altagracia.

Guate - Takes the cake of all three in terms of affrodablity and diversity. I lived in Antigua for a month and was able to find a 1BR/BA apartment on AirBnB for $350US/mo. You can find cheaper accomidations in San Pedro. Food and booze are dirt cheap and there’s plently of cafes in Antigua. A new co-working space just opened as well. Tikal (Mayan Ruins) and Sumac Champey make for kick-ass weekend trips.

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Another vote for Medellin, Colombia. I was there last summer. I have some friends there, and they introduced me to a community of expats/nomads working on start-ups.

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Super useful thread!! Thanks everyone!

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I settled in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico for several years and found it very easy to live and work there. There were tons of expats/nomads settling in for various lengths of time. I used to laugh when I would meet someone and they’d say they were staying for 4-5 days and they’d be there 4-5 months. It’s dead cheap (my entire cost of living was under $600/month), good wifi, easy to meet people, great food, beautiful, tons of stuff to do, not crazy hot in winter, and visas are easy. As an American citizen you automatically get 6 months and can renew with an over night border run to Guate.

My CEO relocated to Medellin about 6 months ago and opened an office there and loves it. He had the entire company down for a retreat in November and it was nice. $$ if you want to live like a gringo but probably less so if you have more modest needs.

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Amazing input from you all! Thanks. Spanish speaking is the key, and my bad. I’m in he Philippines now where English is like water.

It is great to find this thread and some people on it recommending Medellin as a nomad hotspot.

I am from Colombia and I have been working and travelling in the US as Nomad. I currently live in Oslo after I came as a tourist and found a great community in Norway. Now I can say that I am a Nomad from a third world country working remotely from one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Bogota and Medellin have been increasing in popularity at NomadList and I am proud to say that they became safe for all foreigners traveling there. I have travelled with my norwegian girlfriend three times to Colombia and she has never felt insecure.

I encourage all nomads to visit Bogota and Medellin because you will definitely have a great time enjoying everything Colombia and its warm people have to offer. It would be biased to recommend my own country to digital nomads looking for the best spot in CA/SA to work remotely, so I will share this article by Silver Keskküla that will convince you to travel to Colombia right away.

“In general what we all are looking for is happiness. That sort of stuff is contagious, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Colombia also thirds on the Happy Planet Index combining experienced well-being, life expectancy and ecological footprint.” From: http://teleport.org/2015/01/another-kind-exit-silicon-valley/

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Hi Jon,

We currently go through South America in a van, managing our own company from the road. We visit all south american countries and talk about the scene in our videos, you can check them out here: www.startupdiaries.org

Cheers,

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I am currently in Buenos Aires, first time in SA and can manage with Spanish.
Having spent time in SEA and having lived in Europe all my life, these are my findings so far:

  • extending your 90 day visa is a nightmare, so you have to get out of the country to renew, however they have just recently changed the rules so this has become harder to do.
  • I was working at a cafe in an area that was considered safe, and we got held up at gunpoint. Laptop, phones etc stolen. Thank god no one was hurt, but see the next points.
  • most banks won’t send you replacement cards here.
  • as mentioned by others, the money situation is complicated, you have to plan a lot more in advance. I am now, in this hour of need, planning to use Azimo to transfer some money from my overseas account because it gives you a rate that is much closer to the black market one.
  • nothing can be shipped to Argentina. So now I am without computer. Buying a new one here is not an option, they apply 100% duties of imports, and the choice isn’t great. Having it shipped from abroad also is not an option as the customs hold items (if they arrive at all) and then ask you to pay them lots of money under the table on top of duties.
  • people are lovely, and helpful, the Spanish they speak is an easier kind than Spain. Food is inexpensive (for the most part, exclude sushi) but other things are priced at odd levels. a nice cream costs as much as a dish in a restaurant…
  • wifi has been decent enough, both in my apartment and in cafés. But now obviously I would caution you against working from cafés.

I have not seen the rest of the country yet.
I am trying to rent a laptop because the situation here is such that people don’t have a spare computer lying around they can lend you.

So, all in all, this place is not the easiest for DNs.
Add to the mix that it is a big, polluted city… After a while you just want to escape into nature or to a beach…

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Hi Feli, I was intrigued by Caye Caulker. Can you give me an idea of living costs there? How easy is it to work there? I am thinking of spending a month there. Is the wifi in accommodation there good, or is there a coworking hub?
Thanks so much!

Hey Sarab, unfortunately there is no coworking hub at Caye Caulker. It’s definitely a touristy spot (I am used to working on such kind of islands so I don’t mind but its more challenging than other places of course)
The wifi was not brilliant but ok. You cannot buy a local SIM card but a data usb stick. Nearly every accommodation or café has Wifi.
The cheapest option is to look for a 1 month appartment and cook for yourself (restaurants & supermarkets are not too cheap).
I spent something around 1.100 - 1.200 € for a month but could have done better with a longterm apartment. I just stayed in a guesthouse all the time.

P.S. I am at the Carribean Island Curacao right now and here the internet is really good - but also no Coworking Spaces :wink:

Thanks Feli! I am glad to hear of some info on the Caribbean because I was worried the wifi was not reliable… Will give it a try! :slight_smile:

I <3 Guatemala.
Antigua is pretty comfortable for nomading. San Pedro / San Marcos is epic, but wifi is tricky.

This has been so interesting, thank you all for sharing. I’m considering part time Mexico City, was surprised to see it ranked as so expensive. I was just there recently and as a high-on-the-hog tourist didn’t spend more than $600 in a week (and I REALLY didn’t watch my pesos, went to expensive restaurants etc.) If you were cooking at home at all, not taking Ubers everywhere, I think it would be pretty cheap. It’s also a massive city with all kinds of culture and events, good wifi, lots of coworking spaces, and an evolving startup community. Any other thoughts or reflections on Mexico City from the community here are welcome! Medellin sounds great too.

Oh also being nitpicky here about myself, but I guess Mexico is part of North America, not Central America per se. Heh!

I’m new to the digital nomad movement, but Costa Rica is less expensive if you stay away from the “hotspot” (literally, heat is brutal right now) of Guanacaste and opt for the Caribbean side instead. Still not cheap, but you have so many more housing options here, even during the current “high” season. It’s easy to get around to amazing places on bus. And the weather, while humid, is so much cooler. Nice beaches, the jungle is amazing, and Internet is very good.

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@suuzin I guess it depends on the time of year, but the Caribbean side of Costa Rica was the hottest place I’ve been. In Puerto Viejo nowhere has A/C, so it was hard to even get a reprieve from the heat.

It’s beautiful though, for sure.

Highs here right now are low 80s F (high 20s C). I found this chart for year round:

Nights are so cool I need an extra blanket. It’s the jungle though, so it’s definitely humid. Not as humid as Bali, which is the most humid place I’ve ever been… but it’s damp, and there is some rain year around, though now is the driest season.

Any info about Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Traveling these threes the next months and can use some DN vibe during that period.

Patrick,
I’ve spent a bit of time in Peru - mostly on the coast in the north, a little fishing village named Huanchaco. I really loved it there. Very inexpensive, wonderful weather. The downside is that the internet speeds available are less than magnificent.

Lima is a large, sprawling city. I think it has a bad reputation but in my experiences there I found it to be delightful - again with mostly good weather and pretty inexpensive considering it is a major metropolitan area.

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