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

 

by @jb510 | 6yr  | 106 comments

The last few years I’ve spent mostly in Asia (Thailand/Indonesia) and Europe (Spain/Italy), but I run a company in the US and need to coordinate with 10 US based employees and business partners. The time zone issues between EU/US and SEA/US are exhausting even if I love the locales.

I’d really like to try romping around the Americas for a while, but I’ve never been south of Baja California and really can’t find much positive having been said about remotely working from CA/SA as a DN.

I know some hippy, surfer, artist, musician, yoga teacher types calling various locals home, but no one making a living online… more than a few people have told me it’s fabulous down there until you go to Thailand/Bali and then you wonder why all those ExPats are suffering in CA/SA. Of course you only really know when you go yourself.

I’d love to see nomadlist.io get filled out with more details on Central and South American cities. It seems really sparse coverage at the moment, but maybe that’s simply because it’s not good and no one stays there for long.

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@rosina | 5yr

You should come to Uruguay and visit: Punta del Este, Montevideo, Colonia, Salto.
More info about the country:

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@borowis | 5yr

We’ve been in Panama and Costa Rica for 4 weeks. Panama city – noisy big city, some parts are sketchy but you will probably not go there, internet was good. Bocas del Toro – you get good 3g coverage on the main island and nearby, lots of tourists and a good vibe, internet was pretty good too. Boquete – lots of expats, many people speak English here. Some pretty awesome jungle hikes. Then we moved to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Good internet as well, 3g coverage exists but Kolbe ICE was quite slow for us (never more than 2Mbps). City is very touristy and the most expensive on our whole trip. Beatiful beaches and very good national park though. Also, you can surf on Playa Espadilla which is cool. Now we’re in La Fortuna / Volcan Arenal area. A bit like Boquete, but more expensive, less expats more tourists. Kolbe is even more slow here than in Manuel Antonio, hotel WiFi not more than 2Mbps down / 1 Mbps up.

To summarize, Costa Rica more green and touristy and expensive than Panama. Internet speeds outside of big cities generally leave much to be desired (well, I guess you can find 10 Mpbs channel in La Fortuna but it will be hard), but you can get ~2 Mbps on 3g in most places you’d like to stay at. And rainy season is actually good time to visit – it rains just a little not the whole day and there are much much less tourists and it’s not so awfully hot.

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@planetjeffy | 5yr

In Medellin now. Apparently this did not worry me. Staying in Envigado - so it is pretty tame.

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@pfaff90 | 5yr

Time to share my experiences, hope its gonna help a nomad one day :slight_smile:

Cusco / Cuzco Peru:
Beautiful City but very, very touristy. I had to leave after two weeks because I couldnt stand the “massage, massage” anymore. Otherwise very nice, cheap, good restaurants and some hotels (eg. Chakana House) offer rooms with good Wifi and work desk too. At the same time the wifi in Cafes isnt reliable. A big plus: It’s the base for Maccu Picchu visits, a once in a life time experience. Oh, and there is a healthy Gringo-Nightlife with unhealthy cheap drinks.

La Paz, Bolivia:
Very cheap, very exhausting, very interesting. There’s no city like La Paz, the view is really bizarre. But Internet is bad, its loud and busy and the high and cold is exhausting. I had no energy left for hard working there.

Coroico, Bolivia:
Laidback, calm village near La Paz with some touristy infrastructure and a beautiful, cheap “resort” with apartements (Hostal Sol y Luna). Best for some inspirational brainstorming and creative planning at nearly no living costs. Internet sucks, bring your own dongle (go for Tigo 4g LTE). And a lot of bug repellent.

Sucre, Bolivia:
I love this city. It’s not only incredible cheap, the city is relaxed and beautiful, there are excellent restaurants and hotels, the weather is fine and you even can find some cafes with OK internet (e.g. Condor Cafe). Maybe no hardcore gaming, but well enough to work with SAAS-stuff. Best is to get a dongle (Tigo, 4G LTE). For longer stays: Some really nice apartements are avaible too. Somebody just needs to open a coworkingspace with fast internet and this is gonna be the place to be :smile:

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@oskar | 5yr

Just from Medellin, American tourist killed when his cab was intercepted by thieves
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/27/american-tourist-shot-dead-during-botched-robbery-attempt-in-colombia

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@kalitherapy | 5yr

I know it is not CA or SA but since a few people have mentioned it and I am here right now, the pacific coast of Mexico has some great destinations. I’m in Puerto Vallarta right now, great beach city destination, it is low season now so it is easy to find inexpensive housing (I’m in Gringo Gulch at the moment) and since I eat a lot of street food and buy from the local central market (PV has a great produce and meat market in the Centro downtown area near where I am staying) feeding myself is pretty cheap. Some great little cafes near Los Muertos Playa (one of the better beaches in PV).

Since the city is a tourist town, there is a lot to do, depending on how much money you want to spend, also English is spoke widely which is a bonus for me since my Spanish is very basic. I’m surprised the DN isn’t larger here, internet seems decent (where I am staying anyway) and if you get tired of a large city, many smaller beach towns are nearby, such as Sayulita (as mentioned in previous posts) to the north and Yelapa (only accessible by water taxi) to the south. My only other experience with Mexico has been the Mayan Riviera and although it is beautiful, I did not enjoy my time there, since it was expensive (in comparison to the Pacific coastal region anyway), over run by drunken foreign tourists and very aggressive local hawkers.

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@rxs | 5yr

Hey @allyBlue - I just spent 5 months in Colombia, with 2,5 months working just in Medellin. I also travel and worked on the north coast.
So obviously, as most people, I had a great time in Medellin, I met many digital type of people, but not so many digital nomads (in comparaison to what you could find in SEAsia for example). We all agree that the media & bloggers out there are slightly exagerating when they talk about a “community” of digital nomads. This said, in comparaison to Cartagena, it was huuuge :slight_smile: There was just nothing going on in Cartagena, the closest thing to a co-working space is the local Starbucks (i.e.: Juan Valdez). The city is also extremely touristy, so you if you’re alergic to mass tourism, it probably won’t be a good place for you. It’s also quite expensive, if you stay in the historical center, which isn’t ideal. Getting back to Medellin, from what I know, it is also really big into “textile” and retail, which sounds interesting for you.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
If anyone has other questions about Medellin, I’d be very happy to try and answer it.
Raph

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@bastianernst | 5yr

I would like to go to South/Central America for 3 months starting in March 2016.
I am looking for a place where I can do the following:

I would like to surf in the morning, work during the day (good internet) and dance salsa at night.

Do you have any recommendations/advice/tips where I should go? :smile:

Thanks a lot,
Bastian

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@rxs | 5yr

Hey @bastianernst,
Not sure if you did but you should check out this thread: Any good coworking + surfing locations?.
About your question, you could check out the area of Cartagena / Barranquilla / Puerto Colombia in Colombia as it seems like it could fit your criteria of Salsa and Wifi. The surf spots will be a little hard to find though, and the surfing conditions aren’t good throughout the year so that’s not a great point.
This said, the surf is good in Montanita and on that coast in Ecuador.
Hope this helps,
Raph

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@kylebenson | 5yr

@bastianernst

I am currently checking out Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for the same thing minus surfing (I wanted to free dive). I had an opportunity to help out a business for a few months and flew out to check it out. I booked a place for 9 days and wanted to leave by the third day. The internet is crappy. The water has no sea animals since the coral reef is dead (dead seaweed washes up on the beach every morning) and they only have bachata.

I didn’t do much research and am now looking at another place to fly to right now. I am using https://nomadlist.com/ as a base for research.

I am thinking of checking out:
Caye Caulker a small island of Belize - supposedly has 30 mbps
Playa Del Carmen - might be too touristy for me
& Sayulita, Mexico

My internet is crappy so I can’t do much research. :frowning:

I’ll let you know which one I checked out.

Let me know where you are thinking of moving to in March 2016. I am moving April 2016.

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@jb510 | 5yr

We were in Punta Cana for a few weeks in December. We weren’t thrilled with it either. I suppose it’s fun if you stay in one of the all inclusive resorts on vacation, but outside of that bleh.

The beaches are dirty/private/over loaded with touts and boats.

The internet sucks everywhere…

The food is awful. Everyone around kept raving about Outback Steak House for gods sake… The one exception just north was Delicias de Bavaro, local place super cheap and super tasty.

Ping me in Slack if you want some more info before you leave PC.

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@allyblue | 5yr

Thank you for the tip! I am not oblivious to Medellin’s rep but what would you say the safety level is? I am an blonde american girl, with decent spanish (that i am studying rigorously until my departure in a few months). Also, as a photographer- I often have my camera on me. I have also lived in big cities and would consider myself very aware of my surroundings. Can you give me an insight onto any experiences you may have witnessed like this?

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@rxs | 5yr

Hey @allyBlue -
Overall, I think that if you pay attention to the type of neighbourhood that you go to, you’ll be fine. The camera in the streets, I wouldn’t do it everywhere. Same with your phone… The neighbourhood I was in (Poblado, Sabaneta, Envigado) were overall quite safe. But that’s just a feeling, if you want to assess security, you should look at the data on crime, not what people “feel like”.
You will certainly not be the first blond american girl walking around Medellin… As you might know there’s quite a few americans that went there already (leaving unfortunately not such a great impression of foreigners). Guys will just stare at you, especially if you are to their taste, but that’s a cultural thing, they just do that a lot more explicitly than we do :wink:

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@patrick_stiles | 5yr

Everyone - including locals - get robbed in Medellin. Just plan on it. Be smart. But some huge camera… Will be an easy target.

My assistant there wouldn’t let me use my phone in her car, if we hitting lights in the city. ESPECIALLY if my window was down.

She would dart into stores to call me when we were meeting.

But I never really heard of anyone getting hurt.

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@planetjeffy | 5yr

A 60 yr old American tourist was murdered here recently. But he was followed from his expensive hotel in the Poblado and set up - so it wan’t guy walking down the street stuff. Oh…also he wouldn’t give them his wallet, so they shot him. That is just dumb. Carry a few bucks in your wallet and stash everything somewhere else.

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@oskar | 5yr

@seojeff Nobody has to kill you, either if you go to your mansion in el poblado or to the slum. If you travel to latin america you have to be aware of the risks. This is not europe or SEA. Sh*t really happens in this region.

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@oskar | 5yr

I felt the same in Medellin. To be honest if you travel to latin america you are looking for trouble. And i was born there :slight_smile:

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@oskar | 5yr

I dont want to be harsh but are you aware that Latin america is one of the most dangerous regions in the world?? Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, are dangerous countries if you dont use your common sense. If you want to be safe go to Chile or Uruguay ( and even there pickpocketing is common). Colombia even if they say is safer now is a very dangerous country with a lot of poverty. Be careful

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Raphael,

The reasons I am leaving the US are to:

  1. Make my money go further
  2. Surround myself with location independent entrepreneurs
  3. Experience new cultures

Right now, the 3 main cities I am considering are Medelln, Ho Chi Minh, and Chiang Mai. It seems like you have lived in both Medellin and SE Asia, so I was wondering if you have any advice for me?

My monthly income will be around $800-1300, and I have a bit saved up as well…

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@allyblue | 5yr

WOW such a rad thread, i just learned a ton!

I have traveled a bit in CA and agree that Costa and Panama are quite expensive but NICARAGUA is much cheaper, more spanish, less touristy, and more off the beaten path. I would reccomend San Juan Del Sur for anyone who needs good cafes to post up at and a hub of chill creative travelers.

Question! I am planning on traveling and working through South America next year starting in Colombia, but am more inclined to stay near the coastal Cartagena instead of the mountains of Medillin, which seems to be many peoples #1 spot. Can anyone speak to this? Is Cartagena a lost cause for digital working nomads? I am a photographer and videographer so my mail target market is small businesses, clothing brands, weddings, venues. Any info would be AMAZING!

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@oskar | 5yr

I’m surprised that nobody has talked about Uruguay. It’s quiet and relax country with laid back people between Argentina and Brazil. It has the best cheap internet connectivity in all Latin America, comparable to First world countries like Sweden or England. It has decent beaches in the summer, people are literate although they mostly speak spanish, english is not that common, like in spain or italy. Along with Chile is the safest country in Latin America, although insecurity has been on the rise in the last years (but nowhere near the levels of insecurity like in Colombia, Brazil or Argentina). And for those who want to mingle with the population and not being perceived as too foreigner, most of uruguayans are descendant from europeans. The only drawbacks i could see is that the country itself is not cheap, food and imported goods are expensive and there is no much varierty in options and stuff. For those with related IT careers the country is trying to improve that sector, and jobs could be find easily, but wages are not that high. Little in known that Uruguay is the leading software exporter in south america per capita. Best time of the year to come here and relax is between October and April.
Cheers!

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@schoolofjuan | 5yr

Uruguay is great, my father grew up there and I’ve been a few times. It’s definitely quieter, which is good to get some work done.

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@patrick_stiles | 5yr

This thread is a bit long to read @ 2:47 AM, so sorry for any redundancy.

A vote for Medellin if you’re looking for other expats (I typically don’t and go for experience instead). I was there for all of last month.

NOTE - I found it very polluted. On the level of Seoul. Maybe worse, given its size. This is why I left. I had sinus infections and sore throats… But I’m a bit sensitive at the moment.

Also, it dangerous. Not bad. I wouldn’t have left because of this, but you shouldn’t whip out our cell phone while in public. I knew a few people to get robbed while I was there… And this is during just a month. Only Rio seemed worse in my experience.

I also spent 5 months in Buenos Aires late last year / earlier this year. It was great. I really enjoyed my time there. Definitely travel around to see Valparaiso and Patagonia if you’re already that far south.

BA is rather safe if you’re in Palermo (I’d walk around at 2AM with headphones in), but note it is getting worse by the day. I have a full time employee still there.

Because of the currency situation, you need to bring in cash. You can always hop over to Uruguay to get more cash from the ATM. But bring in Dollars or otherwise, makes your money go literally 50% farther. It is easy and safe to exchange on the Dolar Azul market.

My Venezuelan friends say that it is going the way of their country. So now may be a good time to go. Before it is crazy dangerous, if their predictions come true.

Otherwise, I spent 6 months in Mexico, mostly last year. I would suggest Sayulita over Playa Del Carmen & Puerto Vallarta.

PV is very old. And I didn’t have much fun there.
PDC is young and awesome. But the internet is bad. If making calls is really important, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Sayulita, should have decent internet. And great surf. Plus you can get organics delivered from PV (it is 45 min north). And there are lots of young backpacker types always coming through.

If you go to Mexico, get some Tacos Pastor for me… Mmmmmmm.

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@schoolofjuan | 5yr

I stayed in a hostel in the Pelourinho, @kroger. That’s probably why.

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@schoolofjuan | 5yr

Hey @Tim_Blackburn, I spent 3.5 years in Brazil, mostly in SP (I wasn’t remote yet, and that’s where the jobs are), but am planning a short return to visit clients. You may struggle with internet in Recife/Natal (and the whole Northeast, really), but if you don’t need fast speeds, it may be alright. The R$ is nearing 4-to-1 with the USD, already over 4 with the EUR, so it’s a great time to go. Brazil is very welcoming to foreigners, too. Keep in mind though, SP and Floripa (local’s nickname for Florianopolis) get cold in the Northern Hemisphere’s spring (their fall).

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@tim.blackburn | 5yr

Awesome Juan, thanks for the low down! 4 to 1 is insane - just a few years ago it was 2 to 1. Definitely a great time to go.

Where are you now, and where are you headed next?

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@schoolofjuan | 5yr

@Tim_Blackburn I’m in Budapest right now and won’t be in Brazil until December. Next 1-month stop is Lisbon, then Miami to see family/attend a wedding/eat some turkey.

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@kroger | 5yr

Not really. I live in Bahia (Northeast) and my Internet is 35Mbps (and there are faster plans). Also, there’s free Internet in shopping malls and cafes.

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@schoolofjuan | 5yr

I stand corrected, then. What city are you in, @kroger? I’ve only been in Salvador, Morro de São Paulo, Fortaleza and Cumbuco and never managed anything over 5 Mbps, but I guess that was 2 years ago and for shorter stays where I left it up to chance.

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@kroger | 5yr

@juan I’m in Salvador. Where did you stay here?

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@tim.blackburn | 5yr

This is an awesome thread!

I’m currently living in Santa Monica, CA, and looking to sell all my things and move out next spring.

I’m figuring out where the best place to start is, so I’m following this thread closely!

Brazil seems really great for Nomads from the US right now, because the dollar is strong to the BR (Brazilian Real).

Florionopolis, Natal, Rio, and Recife are all on my list.

Has anyone here been to Brazil?

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@jb510 | 5yr

You’d mentioned living in Spain, what about Gran Canary (Surf Office co working)? Too touristy?

I’m looking for the same thing you are, essentially Bali or Southern Thailand in the Western Hemisphere. Listening to what others tell you :slight_smile:

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@jd991 | 5yr

Sorry this is going to be a bit of a long post. I’ve been telecommuting full time more or less since January (with a few month long stops to the physical office in DC) and right now I’m trying to find a good location to spend a month or so working remotely in the October-November timeframe. I have to more or less keep East Coast US hours (10-4 availability) and I have to be fully connected, internet and phone, M-F, 40 hours a week.

Right now my ideal location would be something with very reliable internet, in a city with good night life and a beach, where I can find a 1 br apartment on airbnb for under $1500 for a single month(less is better, but that would be my DC rent so that’s my cap).

In the last 6 months I’ve tried a lot of cities but haven’t found any that really fit. I’ve tried: Medellin (I did like the city, the weather, and the people but i’d like something with a beach), Cartagena (seems to meet my criteria but locals there seemed really jaded by tourists and seemed to just be trying to rip everyone off), Bogota (fun for a bit but doesn’t hit any of what i’m looking for), Quito (felt really unsafe), Puerto Vallarta (Beautiful place and met a lot of the criteria but I found it hard to make friends with locals and the tourists were mostly retirees), Buenos Aires (really liked the city and would spend more time there but I’d like something with a beach), Madrid (I used to live there so I used it as a test run for trying to work with a large time difference and it didn’t go super well), also did brief visits to Santa Marta, and Montevideo, and I’ve been to Santiago and Vina del mar before.

I have flight benefits through my family, so it would be awesome if anyone had recommendations for the following cities or places nearby: Aruba, Belize City, Bogotá, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cancún, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Guadalajara, Guatemala City, Liberia, Lima, Managua, Mérida, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Nassau, Panama City, Port of Spain, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Quito, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Roatán, San José de Costa Rica, San José del Cabo, San Juan, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Tegucigalpa.

From those locations I felt like most of the Caribbean is probably mostly expensive resorts and the internet may not be great, so I’ve mostly been looking at Central/South America or Mexico. I speak conversational spanish more or less so my preference would be somewhere Spanish or a place where its easy to get by with English.

I’d really appreciate any advice people can give.

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@purplespatula | 5yr

I wouldn’t recommend Cancún or Cozumel as both are geared towards short-term tourists. I think Playa del Carmen is a better fit for what you’re looking for in that same area. We rented a big, sweet penthouse for about $1200USD/month in Nov of last year. You might also like Puerto Escondido on the Pacific side of Mexico.

Of the big cities you’ve listed that I’ve been to, I wouldn’t recommend Guatemala City or San José, Costa Rica for a longer stay but really enjoyed Panamá City (though it’s expensive). Mexico City is fantastic but doesn’t meet your beach criteria. Portland seems odd within the context of the rest of your list and it certainly won’t bring you close to swimmable beaches but it’s a lovely city.

There’s more in my earlier post.

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@jd991 | 5yr

Thanks for the response, I’ll do some more research and Playa del Carmen. I did see your post earlier and it does sound like it may hit a lot of what I’m looking for.

Also removed portland from the list, including it was a copy and paste slip up.

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@opt | 5yr

How about something on the (US) East Coast, which should meet your budget and keep you in touch with DC? Miami’s got beaches, nightlife, and Spanish speakers, no? :wink:

That’s also winter season for beach rentals, all up and down the coast, and October/November should still be comfortable, weather-wise (minus the nightlife and español).

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@nemrut_dagi | 5yr

Isn’t Medillian a major hub for drug cartels?

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@lisainmexico | 5yr

Your information is seriously out of date. Colombia has done a great job kicking out the cartels, especially from places like Medellin. @wanderingdev lives there right now.

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@hmur | 5yr

Another vote for Mexico City (even though it’s in North America).
I lived there on-and-off for a few years and really loved it. As long as you avoid the bad areas, it’s safe enough. Internet access is plentiful and decent, though not terribly fast. I had a 3G stick for a few years. It was $30 a month for 5 gigs, iirc.

The city has great energy, amazing nightlife, some of the best food in the world, and affordable accommodation. You could get your foothold in a hotel then search for an apartment. I highly recommend the Coyoacan neighbourhood (Coyoacan centro, not the delegacion Coyacan in general). I had a 1 bedroom apartment there for about $500 per month, in a historic building.

The only caveat is knowledge of Spanish. I picked it up over the course of my first year there, and it changed everything. Seeing as one language unlocks most of the Americas south of the US border, it’s worth putting in the time to learn it. The way people treat you will be different, and you’ll have many more options for living / socializing / eating / working. Mexicans are proud and since the economy in Mexico City isn’t based on tourism, fewer people will be interested in accommodating you by speaking English.

Anyway, I recommend at least trying it. You could spend years in Mexico City without knowing it completely. Lots to see and do.

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@gigigriffis | 6yr

Absolutely love this thread.

I don’t know how it is for work and Wi-Fi, but I really liked Cuzco, Peru when I visited years ago on vacation. Macchu Picchu was great, but even the city itself was really adorable. I was pleasantly surprised.

Wasn’t a big fan of Lima, but I’m generally not a city person.

And I know it’s technically north America, but Sayulita, Mexico would be my top Latin America pick so far. It’s a surf town with tons of long-term and mid-term international folks (I met people staying for eight months, three months, etc.). Internet was decent. Lots of juice bars and cheap taco spots. Surfing. Yoga. And just 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta if you want a bigger city day.

Also in Mexico, I know a lot of nomads seem to like Playa del Carmen, but I found it to be pretty charmless, overly touristy, and not that interesting. It was also more expensive than Sayulita (though that makes sense with all the tourism) and the only affordable rental I found was a complete dump.

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@claudi | 6yr

We are new digital nomads and we are currently in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Although it is supposed to be rainy season we so far have had one sunny day after the other…but it is hot and humid…Because of the low season we had no problem to find a nice house for a month and the internet connection here is very good. Working has been going well…if you are a surfer dude then this place will suit you…nature and beaches are stunning…people are friendly…Bob Marley rules (seriously–they don’t just play reggae everywhere–it has to be the man or a cover version of one of his songs :))…food is expensive but good quality…

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@purplespatula | 6yr

My husband and I have been working remotely as software developers in Latin America for the past seven months and have had a wonderful experience. Caveat: we’re developers who mostly deal with email and code files so our bandwidth needs are relatively low. Here are the places we’ve been to:

  • Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - I don’t think Playa has been mentioned in this thread and I’m not sure whether that’s because Mexico isn’t Central America or because it’s not liked. We spent two months here and loved it. There are tons of great things to do nearby, the weather was fantastic in November-December, the wifi was generally very good and we met lots of other travelers.
  • Mexico DF, Mexico - We only spent two weeks in the capital but wished we had stayed longer! As others have mentioned, accommodations can be expensive but it’s an amazing city with lots of entrepreneurs and an infectious energy.
  • Puerto Escondido, Mexico - Quiet beach town with lots of Mexicans who were sick of city life and quite a few expats. We made some really good friends here and stayed in two very different parts of town.
  • San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico - @wanderingdev describes it well. It’s a beautiful town with great culture, lots of coffee shops and incredibly friendly people. We didn’t get a chance to stay in nearby Oaxaca this time around but we heard it’s a great digital nomad destination.
  • Antigua, Guatemala - As others have mentioned, Antigua is similar to San Cristobal but a little better maintained and a little warmer. We really enjoyed working at Impact Hub, a really cool co-working space with a focus on social good.
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala - We were launching a product when we were there and it was the perfect setting for high-intensity work. Our little house about a 15 minute walk from town had fantastic, fast and reliable Internet. We didn’t socialize much while there but we saw a lot of travelers.
  • San José, Costa Rica - We were just here for a week but we liked the city. Good weather, good Internet. We stayed in the tallest building in the country which was cool.
  • Quepos, Costa Rica - Small town just down the street from Manuel Antonio. We found a pretty cheap monthly rental and although eating out is about as expensive as in the states, we cooked most of our food from amazing, inexpensive local produce. There are also delicious local restaurants called sodas that are not expensive. It was pretty hot in June.
  • Boquete, Panamá - This is where we are now. As @will described, it’s gorgeous, the Internet is great and there isn’t much to do. Great for high-intensity work and cooling down after Quepos!

Happy to pass on lodging recommendations for any of these. We’ve got a month in Medellín coming up and after reading all the nice things you all have to say about it, we’re even more excited!

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@kyleschutter | 2yr

Couldn’t have said it better. I’d add Canoa, Cali, Medellin, Cuenca to the list.

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@wanderingdev | 6yr

I strongly prefer San Cristobal to Antigua. Antigua, being a destination for language studying, is just overrun with gringos and pricing and entertainment reflect that. I was stranded there for a month during rainy season because every road leading out of the city was covered by landslides, it sucked. I was so glad to get back to Mexico. San Cris is cheaper, fewer gringos there, bigger so more to do, and better infrastructure so you can move around more.

BTW, just to go against the grain, I’m currently living in Medellin and I don’t particularly like it. It’s beautiful but I find it expensive (I don’t want 3 roommates), crowded, too many creepy gringos there for sex tourism, etc. I would not be here if I had other viable options. But I am definitely in the minority. I’ve met only 1-2 other people who don’t like it (for generally the same reasons).

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@rudiments | 6yr

Great info, guys.

My wife and I are in the middle of a bicycling trip to South America and are looking for places to stop for a month or two at a time to work. We’re in Guanajuato, Mexico right now and love it, but I don’t think there are too many digital nomads here. I’d really like to spend more time in places where I can connect with others who can help inspire and motivate.

It’s looking like a good plan of action would be: Oaxaca, Antigua, maybe Nicaragua, Medellin…

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@yago1 | 6yr

Hey JB
I have been in Costa Rica early 2014 for 4 weeks exploring the country and there have been a few nice spots where working as digital nomad would be possible and nice. Costa Rica is not far from the US with the plane. Depends on what you are looking for exactly but if you have time you should consider staying a few weeks in Costa Rica. It’s not a cheap country but worth visiting!
Best
Yago

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@patrick | 6yr

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

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@surfcoderepeat | 6yr

I came back from Peru 3 months ago, I highly recommend it , the food is amazing and people are really warm and cool, in terms of work I bought a Claro 3g Sim Card and had internet everywhere to tether it to my computer and work even in the deep Amazon rainforest lol which I used to work from there about 30 minutes per day (since didn’t have electricity so had to save the little battery I had in the laptop)

In Lima you have internet everywhere and there is a free wifi network to the city too.

In lima I went a few times to Comunal that is the co-working space recommended in NomadList and is very cool and you can meet there nomads/internet workers ////but just went there like 2 times because it was expensive (I think they wanted $25-$30 a day)

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@will | 6yr

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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@mikevallano | 6yr

@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.

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@lightmotif | 6yr

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.

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@lightmotif | 6yr

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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@lisainmexico | 6yr

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.

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@inannavega | 5yr

I lived in DF for a couple of years on about 800 a month, when the peso was at 12 to the dollar (now it’s about 18) staying in a month to month hotel room in a hotel with lots of expats, ten minutes walk from the Zocalo. Public transport was great, and about 25 cents a journey. My room was 450-500 (I upgraded). You can eat really well for 8-10 bucks a day. Internet was often slow, but I managed to work online. It cuts out during the rainy season, especially around May. If you want to live in the most expensive areas and shop at their Whole Foods equivalent or eat at trendy cafs every meal and buy clothes and computers, it would cost roughly what a city like Dallas costs. But living simple doesn’t cost much. The people are great. Nightlife is incredible. Hundreds of parks. Tons of culture. I highly recommend it for a spell, but it is dirty and crowded and goes on for miles.

My visa process was expensive though. I had to get an attorney who charged 800 bucks to do my visa and still messed it up. That being said, lots of people just left the country every 90 days, but I can’t speak to how effective that is now.

For a smaller Mexican City, I prefer Guanajauto to San Miguel. Loads of expats there too.

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@lisainmexico | 6yr

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

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@dylanized | 6yr

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

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@rumurphy | 6yr

I second Antigua. Pretty great walkable town. Temperate weather. Lots of cafes to work from. Wifi is pretty decent in most places. If it’s not, just go next door. :slight_smile: You can find healthy food there too. Meals are in the $3 to $9 range. $10 will get you a very high quality restaurant meal. I was there for a week and I had a great rotation worked out. I’m going to back for 6 to 8 weeks and take Spanish lessons 4 hours a day for a reasonable rate.

I tried to work from Lago Atitlan but the internet is extremely sketchy from public wifi. I met an expat there and he said you need to rent a private house that has dedicated internet and can then be tolerable.

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@feli | 6yr

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

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@sarab | 6yr

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:

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@feli | 6yr

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.

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@sarab | 6yr

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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@startupdiaries | 6yr

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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@ericvan | 6yr

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.

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@danielfae | 6yr

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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@wanderingdev | 6yr

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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@namehra | 6yr

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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@rxs | 6yr

Super useful thread!! Thanks everyone!

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@vernonfoster | 6yr

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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I’ve spent more time in Latin America than Asia (largely because the time difference makes it easy to work with clients, plus my Spanish is better than my Thai). I’m in Buenos Aires right now and love it. Have also spent time in Mexico: Mexico City (not cheap) and San Miguel de Allende (awesome). Costa Rica is great but definitely not cheap as another poster mentioned. I loved Caye Caulker in Belize, the Bay Islands in Honduras, and everything outside of the capital in El Salvador, but can’t speak to the wifi situation. The Dominican Republic was ok for a little while, especially in the capital; wifi was challenging in some more rural spots. Hope this helps…

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@jb510 | 6yr

@jessicasusan76 Thank you for ALL that! How was San Miguel de Allende to work from? I’ve know a few artists types to live there for a while and it’s long been on my financés radar for that reason. Just never been sure about cost of living and easy of working on wifi and cost of living.

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I thought it was great. I had a place (thru Air Bnb) with wicked fast wifi. BUT I met someone who was in a place where the wifi didn’t reach her room (cement walls), and I also found it slow or non-existent every time I tried to work in a cafe. What’s your work?

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@jb510 | 6yr

@jessicasusan76 I am a web dev and I run a small web development agency http://9seeds.com

Side note for “wifi won’t reach” issues I’ve fallen in love with the HooToo Tripmate (battery powered wifi repeater). I talk about it here: http://wanderingjon.com/2014/06/11/finding-worklife-balance-remote-worker/

However… Chinese airport security confiscated the one I mention on that post for not having the battery capacity labeled on it (HooToo says they’ve since added that label). I replaced it with a newer smaller one HooToo TM-03 which I like just as much if not more. Blog posts about arguing with Chinese airport security and my new wifi repeater may be published someday…

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Thanks for that! I’ve heard good things about reach extenders and have definitely been in places where I could have used one!!!

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@hmur | 5yr

San Miguel de Allende is beautiful. I visited often, but never encountered (or looked for) other tech people. It’s mostly known as a tourist destination, as well as a retirement spot for artsy Americans. The cultural focus of the town is on the colonial charm and the arts. It has some of the most beautiful and well-preserved colonial architecture in central Mexico.

Costs are a bit higher than Mexico City but still manageable. Cafés with wifi are everywhere. The surrounding mountains are beautiful, of course. If you go, do check out some of the thermal baths a short distance from the town. I like Las Escondidas.

Depending on your tastes, you might find the town to be a bit too agringado, that is, Americanized. The upside of that is that many people probably speak English, though I didn’t test that theory.

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@caravogl | 5yr

Can anyone make me feel better about my plan to spend next February working (or trying to ) from Nicaragua?

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@hmur | 5yr

There there, everything will be fine. Feel better? :wink:

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@flyonthewall | 6yr

+1 for Santiago, Chile. It is definitely a great city to live in. Fairly expensive though. To be honest, there’s no place like SEA for being a digital nomad. The prices vs. quality of life just make it so tempting!

Santiago has great internet, fabulous co-working spaces, and is a pretty cosmopolitan city. The local food isn’t all that great but because it’s a huge international city, there are decent foreign restaurants available.

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@eugn23 | 6yr

I’ll second (or third or fourth?) Medellin for you in SA. I’ve just come back from 6 months there and I’ve lived in Thailand twice, so have a pretty good base for comparison

Pros -

  • Amazing weather, especially if you come between June-Sept or Dec- March
  • Lots of coffee shops, with great internet speeds. Especially if you stay in the main bigger areas like poblado or laureles. I found the speeds in the cafes here even faster than back home in NYC/NJ.
  • A pretty sizable digital nomad scene. You can’t compare it to thailand or SEA, but they have several FB groups and meetups, and it’s growing more and more by the year
  • Prices are pretty good. You can get by here pretty easily on $1000 / month, for $1500 you can pretty much do whatever you want.
  • They don’t have scooters here, but the transportation options are good. Taxi’s are literally everywhere and pretty cheap, good metro station that takes you wherever you want (nice and clean), buses, etc.
  • The city itself is very clean, and especially in the richer areas everything is very modern. You forget sometimes you’re even in Colombia other than people speaking spanish.
  • If you’re a guy, then obviously the women here will be a factor for you.
  • Pretty fast internet overall in apartments, etc.

Cons

  • Spanish. If you don’t speak any spanish, things will be a bit harder. Unless all you do is stay in the main tourist area like Poblado - you’ll need at least some basic spanish to get around. There are many tourists in Medellin, but I wouldn’t call it a tourist “hub” like other places in CA/SA…so don’t expect menu’s to always have english translations, etc.
  • No beach. If you’re used to the beaches down in phuket, bali, etc…there’s no beaches for you in Medellin (but you do have mountains)

Honestly I’m having a hard time thinking of any other major cons to the place. If you’re looking for a good place to stay in SA that’s pretty stable, modern and on the upswing, learn some spanish, and not spend a ton (like say Brazil), then I think it’s a pretty good good option.

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Eugn,

Would you recommend Thailand (Chiang Mai) or Medellin for a first time DN?

I’m looking for:

  1. Community of DN entrepreneurs
  2. Quality of life (on approximately 1000 USD/month)
  3. Cool experiences

… in that order.

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@eugn23 | 5yr

Hey…sorry for the late reply. I missed this.

I actually haven’t been to chiang mai (lived in Phuket), but still have an idea of how it’ll likely be.

Here’s my answer :slightly_smiling:

  1. Community of DN entrepreneurs - that hands down goes to Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is arguably the biggest, or at least most populated DN spot in the world.

  2. Quality of Life - I think prices in Chiang Mai have gone up recently, while Medellin prices seem to keep falling. Are you using the dollar? If so there’s never been a better time to get to Medellin, price wise. Your money will go really far.

That said, it’s still Thailand and Chiang Mai we’re talking about. So I would still say your money in terms of rent/food will probably go a bit further there, but Medellin isn’t far off

  1. Cool experiences - I guess that depends. You’re a guy…and if women are important to you, Medellin has some of the most beautiful women in the world, hands down. In terms of other experiences, I know there are a lot of cool things to do in Chiang Mai, but Medellin has some fun stuff too.

So factor that in. I think you can’t go wrong with either personally but…as a first time DN, if you want a lot of cafes / coworking spots to work out of, interact and easily meet lots of DN’s, and save more $, I’d say Chiang Mai would be good as a first stop. Then once you’re up and running you can always check out Medellin after for a better perspective.

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I missed your reply until now. Thank you very much!!!

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@rxs | 5yr

If it is the community that matters most to you, and the bank for your buck - I’d do for Chiang Mai, as people say it is the “capital of the world for digital nomads”. I haven’t really seen any “Community” in Medellin, even after having searched for 2-3 months, there are people though, but not that many. Chiang Mai will be a lot cheaper too.
Just use Nomadlist data and it’ll confirm what I’m telling you…
I haven’t lived in Chiang Mai yet (I’m in HCM at the moment), but I can tell you that both will probably have a very distinct vibes. Medellin was incredible - that’s for sure!

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Thank you very much Raphael!

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@egrant97 | 6yr

SA/CA definitely has it perks. If you can get even basic Spanish, you’re opening a lot of doors for yourself.

I’ve got some timezone-sensitivty with my nomad life so South America has been my spot for the last 3 years (here for North American winters, NA for summer).

I’m in Quito right now. Great city. Cheap. My 1br/2ba AirBnb in the heart of town is $40/nt and even cheaper because I’m staying 2 weeks. I plan on checking out Cuenca, Montanita and Banos before I leave Ecuador, so I can give updates later on that.

Last year, I did Costa Rica & Colombia. @TProphet is absolutely right about Costa Rica. Same $$ of living as most places in anymore, more than some spots even.

Chile is good. Cost of living is a bit higher but it’s very, very stable. Great internet everyone. I found Santiago to be a bit boring, but Valpariso on the coast is one of the cooler places you’ll find.

Buenos Aires — yes, not the best internet. Definitely work-able though. But amazing, sprawling city. Lots to do. Lots to see. Beautiful people. Steak & wine for dinner. You NEED to bring American $$ down there for the exchange though, the black market is almost 2x the value. A little shady, but worth it no matter what.

Medellin — probably my top recommendation for any Nomad looking to get to SA. Beautiful, beautiful place right in teh mountains. The drive from the airport into the city alone is worth a trip down there. Yes, it has a violent past, and some problems, but there are nice neighborhoods that really don’t see that. You can always cab places and it’s super cheap. But the city is a renaissance, lots of nomads, coffee shops, juice bars, organic spots, etc… Absolutely recommended in my book.

Hope that helps!

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@will | 6yr

I’m currently living in Boquete, Panamá. Been here just under a year. I don’t know if this would be considered a haven, but it ticks all the boxes for me. Low cost of living, decent internet speeds, 180 days on a tourist permit (at least for U.S. passports holders) and fantastic weather (never above 30, rarely below 15 degrees, lots of rain). Most of the expats who live here are retired so there aren’t a great deal of networking opportunities related to online work - there aren’t currently any meetups or anything like that. No co-working spaces.

I’ve lived in a small village in the north of Peru as well. That was a very pleasant experience, again with great weather and low cost of living. Internet speeds there and at the time were a bit lacking but perhaps that’s changed.

I’ve spent some time in Montevideo. The city itself is a bit drab (I was there in winter, perhaps summer is better?). Uruguay is probably worth some consideration if you’re thinking about being somewhere long term as their immigration/taxation policies are very favorable to people whose income is sourced from outside the country. Montevideo has inexpensive and fast internet, lots of networking opportunities - it’s surprisingly techie.

I like Lima. It has a pretty bad reputation but I found that Lima’s reputation was far different to my experience there. The city is generally very lively. Summers are beautiful, winters are grey and gloomy but not too cold. The costs are pretty low considering it is a major city.

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city with great transportation, lots of open space and a very vibrant nightlife. The economy there has a history of instability so it can be difficult to gauge how much things cost.

Next stop for me is Tulum, Mexico. I’ll let you know how that goes :smile:

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@vitael | 6yr

Tulum would be great, write post then … :+1:

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@ryanchampion | 6yr

Went to Tulum pre-nomad days and it was amazing. Would love to know how it is now- it’s definitely on my list for a re-visit!

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@jb510 | 6yr

Glad I asked this, hope this thread continues to grow.

One place I’ve long dreamed going to is Cuba/Havana, but all the reports I’ve seen are that Internet is crap…

Being an American I’m also not sure I could stay long enough to settle in there. Obviously most visitors seem to go for a week or two and have no concept of digital nomadism.

I imagine there must be good towns in Panama, Argentina, Chile… But hear almost nothing about those… maybe Brazil?

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@tprophet | 6yr

Panama City is a banking hub. Not particularly cheap, hot and humid, but good prices for shopping since they have a good port and no value added tax. You can buy anything there. It’s relatively easy to get a residence permit in Panama, which is one key advantage. Internet service is fine.

Argentina: Not my favorite place. Internet service is OK in Buenos Aires, not great in many other parts of the country (total disaster in Ushuaia for example). Bureaucracy is thick, it’s a hassle to get a residence permit, and it’s basically a constant struggle with banking. You can’t easily get money in and out of the country due to exchange controls and high taxes on remittances and foreign bank wires. If you use an ATM you’re buying currency at a rate 30%-50% worse than the black market rate. Basically you end up dealing with a lot of overhead and as your reward, you’re in a place with high crime, where your money can lose 20% of its value in a week and consumer goods can suddenly become scarce. Overall I personally find Argentina a combination of annoying and depressing.

Chile: Beautiful and well run. They had a massive earthquake right after Haiti did, it was equally devastating and they just got to work and rebuilt. You’d barely know it happened now. Very civilized. Everything works. Great wine. You might think for a moment you’re in a better functioning version of Italy. Santiago does have relatively high crime. It’s a surprisingly expensive country, with–for the most part–costs higher than the US. This is why it’s not a very popular nomad destination. However, Startup Chile periodically offers a $40,000 no-strings-attached grant in a competition. So, if you enter and win this, it’s a no-brainer to go there.

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@tprophet | 6yr

No, didn’t go to Guayaquil because of its reputation: a dirty and dangerous port city with hot, humid weather. Ecuadorians I know say it’s very different than the rest of Ecuador. Cuenca is very nice, well worth starting there unless you really want to be near the coast.

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@patrick | 6yr

I did some reading and you mention it as a reputation. Isn’t it nowadays a lot better?
Medellin, Colombia, also had this reputation because of the drugs violence, but that is becoming better and better due the investing of the government.
There are also good stories about Guayaquil.

What do you think @TProphet?

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@tprophet | 6yr

I’d suggest that if you’re attracted to Guayaquil, you visit and see for yourself before committing to a long term stay. After all, there is an airport there, you can fly in easily and Ecuador isn’t a big country. If it turns out Guayaquil isn’t to your liking, it’s easy to get on a bus and go somewhere else! :smile:

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@patrick | 6yr

That is the best shot indeed.

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@patrick | 6yr

Aj, that sounds not positive.
Will look further into this.

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I have been in Canoa, Ecuador while backpacking in 2013 … I Highly recommend it if you want peace, the place is very nice and very lonely (When I was there, we was only 2 ppl in the hostel, one remote worker / DN and me), food very cheap.

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@feli | 6yr

You are right. There are so many people that prefer SEA. Life as a Digital Nomad is a bit easier over there.

In Central America you do not really have “Digital Nomad Hotspots” where you easily meet others, in South America there are more like Medellin, Buenos Aires and Rio / Santiago.

In CA/SA it’s harder to get around (not so much scooter like in SEA / not so much low cost airlines…), some people feel more unsafe, don’t speak Spanish…and most of the people think that the food is much better in South East Asia :wink:

However I think it’s great to work remotely from here (I am right now in Medellin). I also loved Caye Caulker a small island of Belize (I love islands) to work or Antigua in Guatemala. Costa Rica is a nice country, too. Meanwhile there are a lot of expats.

@marcusmeurer and me always have a local SIM card with a data package to be independent of WiFi. The first time ever we had a problem to buy one was recently in Brasil. There, you need a local tax number to get it. In the other countries you have good providers like “Claro”.

Plus in CA/SA: Better music and temperament of the locals, learning Spanish…

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@tprophet | 6yr

Nicaragua is cheap and beautiful. Definitely a good option. But I think the best kept secret in South America is Ecuador. Friendly, beautiful, cheap, safe, and they use the US dollar as their currency. The roads are better than California. Internet service is cheap and reliable. If you visit, you may never want to leave.

I like Costa Rica a lot, but it’s super expensive. You might as well be in the US for as high as your costs will be there. Sure, it’s like living in Hawaii for the price of somewhere north of California, but you can live in equally beautiful places for a lot less.

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@patrick | 6yr

That sounds great. I am looking for a good place to settle in South Amerca for next year.
The shortlist was Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
Bolivia is dirt cheap, but the internet sucks. No I am looking at Ecuador. Guayaquil to be precise.

Have you been there yourself?

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@davidfchang | 5yr

I’m from Guayaquil, Ecuador and can confirm this.
I’ve visited the Galapagos archipelago, the jungle, the many natural reserves, and driven through most of the Andes volcanoes and towns, as well as the coastal beaches.
It’s really beautiful and way above many south american countries. I lived in Chile for a year, and have been to various countries in Latin America and Ecuador is among the most beautiful. If you like ecotourism and wifi, most lodges in TripAdvisor/AirBnb will accommodate.
Using dollars makes things way easier, and I think Cuenca came out as #1 for expats to live in.
I can definitely help out with tips for anyone willing to visit.

Some links:

  1. http://internationalliving.com/why-cuenca-is-the-best-city-in-the-world-to-retire-to/
  2. http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150214-living-in-the-worlds-best-cities-for-expats
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@livefencefree | 4yr

What spots did you all like in ecuador? we’re currently in medellin and looking at ecuador next (costal towns of olon & puerto cayo are top on the list). i’m not interested in cuenca. i was here 7 years ago but just traveling- now i am nomading with my kids (age 2 and 4) and husband.

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@whereskristin | 5yr

How is your internet in Nicaragua? I lived there in 2008 and my internet went out all the time (satellite only) and the power went out for hours every day. This was north of León.

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@podviaznikov | 6yr

I felt the same Ecuador. It’s just a hidden gem that can exceed all expectations.

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@simonl | 4yr

Hi Feli,

Was the internet coverage using a local SIM in Belize and Guatemala good throughout the country? We’re looking for peaceful but beautiful places to work from but need decent internet. Also, what did data cost?

The Nomad living cost versus the local living cost on this site is a big difference. Is it possible to live more like a local to keep costs low like you can in Asia?

tx, sime

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@dwillington | 6yr

I can vouch for Medellin. Beautiful city in a valley, known as the spring forever city, in terms of weather. Medellinliving.com is an excellent blog to get you started on things to do. Spanish is a must, and Colombia is a great country to learn Spanish that is useable across South America. I say this because I discovered that Spanish variations learned in other countries are more specific to their locations.

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@sarab | 6yr

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!

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@pejman | 5yr

Caye Caulker is amazing but crappy internet. I have a flight to Belize in January so I will let you gusy know if the internet situation is any different these days.

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Read and participate in 14,067 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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Any nomads in Arizona, US?


in Netherlands by @info132 | 1mo 1 month ago | 0 comments

Hi guys,

After the Netherlands, the Bay Area, Colorado and being on the van life for 8 months, I am now in Sedona, AZ with a few other digital nomads. We are sharing a home here and are wondering if there are more like minded people in the area.

We do a bunch of hikes and campouts in the northern of Arizona. If you would like to connect with us, please do so :)

Val

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Best place in Portugal near cool nomads, good surf, and a great cowork spot


in Portugal by @joelnicholson | 1mo 1 month ago | 10 comments

Hi there, title says it all. Canadian nomad hoping to find the city/town in Portugal with great, consistent surfing, a solid coworking spot, and a fun group of young nomads. Please recommend!

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Are there any digital nomads in the Islands e.g Bermuda, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis?


in Antigua, Guatemala by @momo11 | 1mo 1 month ago | 0 comments

Does anyone ever travel to any Islands like Bermuda, Barbados, Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis?

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Tax advisor for permanent nomads?


by @eljaques | 2mo 1 month ago | 1 comment

I'm in need of a tax advisor who understands "our" typical situation. I'm all good on being legal on taxes at this point, but as I'm doing more investing and there's more compliance and KYC and such, it's getting more complicated to deal with this topic. Not living in my country of citizenship, company in another country, resident in yet another country, banking in a different country ... you know how it is, a pile of red flags.

Would be great to find a good tax advisor to sort things in a way that makes my situation as "explainable" and easily dealt with as possible. Any leads?

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How to get into the digital nomad lifestyle?


in Switzerland by @filiptk | 2mo 1 month ago | 1 comment

Hi, I've got a question to anyone who had experience with the digital nomad lifestyle. I'm 24, I'm in my last year of university doing computer science, got 3 years of experience mostly doing web development.

I never liked the idea of staying in one place, getting a job and growing roots - hence the will to take the opportunity and travel the world. My main question is – how do I go about it? Are there any useful resources I could look into?

How do I go about insurance and such once I decide to move. I currently live in Switzerland and do freelance work for one company. It's not a lot, since my studies don't allow me to pick up a full time job, but it allows me to cover simple expenses.

I'd be happy to get some insight into how things work and also happy to network with anyone interested.

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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 4mo 3 months ago | 4 comments

Hi guys ! hope you are doing well.

I would love to get your feedback regarding the best insurance for digital nomads. i'm traveling around Asia since 1 year and for next 4 or 5 years. Would love to buy an insurance to cover especially :

- health

- laptop, phone ...

- Flights

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Any nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 7mo 7 months ago | 33 comments

Hoping to see all the cool stuff people are working on while they live an extraordinary life.

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 8mo 8 months ago | 5 comments

Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 8mo 8 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

I’m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (it’s ok if it’s not accepted in the US as I’m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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What is the gender split on NomadList?


by @iamhopeless | 8mo 8 months ago | 1 comment

Just curious. What percentage of men vs women are on here.

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How do you invest internationally as a nomad?


by @mateuszwieloch | 9mo 9 months ago | 17 comments

I have finally saved enough money to start investing. What company gives good, diversified access to stock, ETFs and mutual funds? Does it make sense to use company like Vanguard or Fidelity for that? I’m a EU/Poland citizen, how would I transfer my money back and forth without incurring significant fees?

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 10mo 9 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. That’s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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Are there any nomad meetups in Osaka?


in Osaka, Japan by @freddychanut | 10mo 9 months ago | 1 comment

Will be in Osaka this April/May and was curious to discover interesting groups/events.
I had a look at FB + Meetup but there doesn’t seem to be much. Any advice on where to look?

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 10mo 10 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! I’m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesn’t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if you’re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your “original country” and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Are there nomad families here and how do you choose your next destination?


by @martinratinaud | 10mo 10 months ago | 4 comments

All members of my family has different needs and hobbies so how do you pick the perfect places?

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My first time nomad-ing... Spain or Portugal?


in Portugal by @jasraj | 10mo 10 months ago | 6 comments

Hey everyone,

I’m a freelance + nomad newbie, off for my 1st proper trip in May. I’m wanting to spend a month somewhere and go from there.

I just came back from Slovenia/Ljubljana and loved it there (just a week). I don’t mind “sleepier” places par-say, as long as they’re close to a beach or nature of some kind. In fact, I kinda like places less-busy and a bit smaller/cosier.

I’m been swaying towards Porto, but have been impressed by the rave reviews I’ve seen for Valencia.

-> Have you every nomad-ed in a Spanish/Portuguese city? I’d love to know where and what you liked/disliked :slight_smile:

Thanks! :slight_smile:

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Central America - Where and what's next?


by @as11 | 11mo 10 months ago | 11 comments

Currently in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and heading to Santa Teressa, Costa Rica next week.
Then Aruba in the Caribbean Sea for Christmas and New Year.

However I feel I want to head back to Central America to bring living costs down, rather than staying in the Caribbean Sea among the expensive Islands.

This means I have around 2 - 2,5 month of unplanned travelling.
Any digital nomads who have ideas about where to head in that timeframe?

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How to save filter settings on Nomad List?


by @krzemian | 11mo 10 months ago | 3 comments

Hey, is there currently a way to save filter settings? I feel like it would be helpful for planning the trip as I have several ideas on what to target and would like to cycle between them

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Anyone know an accountant for Canadian nomads/expats?


by @noam_lightstone | 11mo 10 months ago | 16 comments

Hey guys, this was my first year as a Canadian nomad.

As far as I know of, Canadians don’t pay taxes if they do not live in the country for 6 months.

But I’d like to talk to an accountant or someone who does Canadian taxes specifically for expats and nomads to get clear on the rules and for help on my return coming up.

Does anyone know someone who specializes in Canada who can help? I’ve seen plenty of US recommendations but none for us canucks.

Thanks guys!

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 1yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

Hi!

I am planning to move to Latin America for 3-4 months (Oct-January). I’ve narrowed down 6 different places that I want to visit before committing to settling down, but I’d love to get some community input.

Here are the cities I’m considering:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Medellin, Columbia
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

The most important things I’m looking for:

  • Fast/easily accessible internet
  • Easy to meet other nomads/make friends in general
  • Safe for women
  • Some sort of spiritual community (I’m also a yoga teacher)
  • Easily walkable city

Anyone have any experience with these places and can give some insight? I’m also completely open to other recommendations.

Thanks!
Rose

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