5 Unexpectedly Amazing Places to be a Digital Nomad in Mexico

Viva Mexico! We love digital nomad life here, for all the right reasons; tacos, surf, kind people, interesting culture, and chingón of things to do and places to go.

Of course, Mexico City (one of the biggest cities in the world!) and Guadalajara usually top out the list as a digital nomad hubs, but there are many other wonderful pockets of Mexico to get your grind on as a DN.

Like any country, costs, WiFi speeds and the general standard of living vary from place to place—it all depends on what kind of vibe and access you’re after. We put together a few up-and-coming hotspots for Mexico Digital Nomads to keep an eye on.

Image  Source

Image Source

Santiago de Querétero Recently touted as one of Mexico’s next DN destinations, you might want to head to Querétero before everyone else. Three hours north of Mexico City in the mountains, it offers stunning views, colonial architecture, and a deep sense of Mexican culture. If you don’t want to go get lost in surrounding vineyards and cheese makers, we will…

Pros:

-It’s safe. Known as the safest city in Mexico, crime is not big here, so although you always should be careful when traveling, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

-It’s cheap. Lodging here is VERY cheap—an average Airbnb costs only $20/night, so it’s pretty ideal for someone looking to hole up in colonial-era paradise.

Drawbacks:

-Far away from the sea. No surfing here, folks, but the weather is very mild and enjoyable year-round.

-Not a lot of English speakers. Not a ton of people speak English—your perfect opportunity to practice!

Photo by  Jeremy Bishop

Photo by Jeremy Bishop


Sayulita Ok, we might be a bit biased—one of the UU members is based in Sayulita—but this beach town is a pretty fabulous place to DN, especially if you want to surf. For one, it’s a pretty small with everything you need at your fingertips. Food? Drinks? Beachside margaritas? Check, check, check.  

Pros:

-Highly walkable. You can walk just about anywhere in this town to get groceries, buy coffee, run random errands, etc.

-Surf. If waking up for a surf sesh is your thing, choose from the left or right breaks at Punta Sayulita, Punta Mita, Burros, or La Lancha (all within a 30 min drive!).

-Affordable. Although it’s somewhat more expensive compared to places like Oaxaca, you can still get away with paying less than $200/month for your own room in Sayulita (price varies depending on where you find it, of course). We recommend staying in hostels or Airbnbs for a bit before you nail down a place of your own.

Drawbacks:

-WiFi can be a challenge here. Even at the town coworking space, WiFi can still be spotty. For some reason, Mondays are when the whole town loses Internet at once (and you’ll know—people start acting differently!).

-It’s a bubble. Read: you’ll have to drive or take the bus to Vallarta to get to a Home Depot, or any larger grocery/specialty store.

Merida-town-0045.jpg

Mérida The capital of Yucatan, Mérida is known for its safety, accessibility, and fantastic food and culture. There’s also a strong community of DNs, so making connections is a breeze.

Pros:

-Location. Flights from Miami, Atlanta or Panama City are affordable, and access to nearby cenotes and the beach are a swift drive from Mérida.

-Culture. Brimming with incredible architecture, museums, art, and delicious, DELICIOUS food options, Mérida is an ideal place to experience everything Mexico has to offer.

-Strong DN Community. Since it’s a larger city, you’ll find plenty of places to work, play, and make friends here.

Drawbacks:

-It’s hot. The closer to the equator, the closer to the god or goddess of heat. But seriously, it’s warm here—in the summer it can hit nearly 104 F (40 degrees Celsius).

-Not a lot of English speakers. Shrug. If you don’t know Spanish, here’s your chance to learn!

Todos Santos, Baja California  

Shhh… the pueblo mágico Todos Santos has been hailed as one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets, but not for long. Located about 45 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas, it’s got all the laid-back charm of a hot, beachy surf village, along with plenty of art.

Pros:

Outdoor mecca. Pick your poison: surfing, mountain biking, yoga, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, snorkeling, SUPing… you name it, you can find it here.

Amazing weather. Averaging 70 degrees F in the winter and 85 in the summer, it’s generally always comfortable here—even during rainy season.  

Fresh food. Right next to the sea, you can imagine the amount of delicious seafood at your disposal.

Drawbacks:

-Isolated. With only about 7,000 people, you’ll definitely be living the Mexican beach life, and have to make a drive or journey to Cabo or La Paz for access to more “exotic” grocery and clothing items.

-Not much nightlife. There aren’t that many bumpin’ clubs in Todos Santos, to say the least—you’ll find a brewery and a few bars, but don’t come here to party.

Image Source:  Pocket Gypsy

Image Source: Pocket Gypsy

Oaxaca City  Maybe it’s not so unexpected, but definitely worth touting—Oaxaca City is a fabulous base for digital nomads. Nestled in the desert mountains a few hours from the coastal beaches, there’s tons to do and see here, as well as a strong sense of culture thanks to the 16 different indigenous tribes that call Oaxaca home.  

Pros:

-Cheap, cheap, cheap. Oaxaca City, and Oaxaca, in general, is known for its affordability. A 1br studio in the center of the city, for instance, will run you about $204. Yep.

-Incredible food and culture. Oaxaca is known for its native community, art, and incredible food—you’ll find no shortage of things to do here.

Drawbacks:

-Political instability. There are many demonstrations in Oaxaca City which sometimes makes it difficult to get anything done. And it can be loud.

-Poverty. There’s a lot less opportunity here than other parts of Mexico, which is not necessarily bad in itself, but you’ll see a lot more beggars in the streets and perhaps on your doorstep.

Our CDMX location is coming soon—make it your base as you jump around these fabulous cities! Get first dibs here.

Semana Santa in Sayulita: What You Should Know

Have you ever been “on holiday” during another country’s BIG holiday?

That’s exactly what happened to the UU team in Sayulita, Mexico last weekend. You see, Semana Santa was upon us, and that translates to one thing and one thing only: party.

Semana Santa, aka Spring Break, aka the week before/during/after Easter is a BIG deal here in Mexico, especially on the coast. It sounds sweet and saintly, but be warned—every beach town in this country goes nuts.

Usually a semi-tranquil place (okay, the Sayulita secret’s been out for a while now—tons of tourists come here), as of last week this little town switched into full-blown Mexican party mode. Here’s a bit about our experience and what you should know if you somehow wind up here during one of the biggest party weeks around.

The beaches were packed

The beaches were packed

Where did all these people come from?

It seems that every Mexican family has flocked to the beach for long, beer-filled days filled with similar sentiments: splashing in the waves, kicking off spur-of-the-moment fútbol matches, doting around abuelos (grandparents) fanning themselves under umbrellas, and general family fun time with no end in sight. With hordes of people walking into town from the bus stop, traffic becomes nightmarish and there’s not much in the way of car parking or even places to park your sunburnt self.

The beaches are packed with extended families, couples, kids, and folks from every corner of Mexico. The bustling main beach of Sayulita gets packed to the point there’s nowhere to sit, while the northern part of Sayulita (usually more chill) also gets busy.

If you keep walking north, however, you can still find some basic refuge—particularly at the “hidden” beach between Sayulita and San Pancho. The waves are a bit intimidating there, but the allure of a deserted beach all to yourself makes it worth the trek.

Beach sunset

Beach sunset

Local Strain

Despite the perception that business is booming, it seems a lot of beach vendors and even restaurants/bars shut down during Semana Santa. Why? Most families bring their own supplies for BBQ, beer, etc. The kioskos (general stores), on the other hand, are buzzing—the staff often has to exert crowd control.

There are also those ever-persistent rumors about Sayulita’s water quality. More specifically, there’s a rumor that sewage drains directly into the water where thousands of people are splish-splashing around on the daily.

Supposedly that’s not true anymore—at least none we can see (or smell), but according to some locals there’s simply not enough bathrooms to go around for the influx of people. In some cases, even water is hard to find. Those stacks of beer at the entrance of kioskos make up for it, though.

Staying Safe

Without a doubt, an influx of people comes with an influx of, well, not so great people. Transients come and go as quickly as the waves, and despite the easy comfort of this place, you do need to stay aware of yourself and your surroundings with slightly more vigilance during Semana Santa. We heard a few horror stories about this time of year, so taking extra precaution is recommended.

A few tips:

  • Don’t leave valuables lying around unguarded: ask neighbors to watch your things if you’re going for a swim, or have someone stay on shore to watch

  • Watch your drinks / NEVER accept drinks from strangers

  • Lock your doors and leave lights on so it looks like someone’s home

  • Don’t get wasted to the point you can’t make it back to where you’re staying

  • Don’t hang out in front of kioskos late at night. Stay in well-lit places

  • Don’t reveal too much about your routine/where you’re staying to anyone

  • Keep your credit cards/passport safely locked away

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As always - the food was delicious!

As always - the food was delicious!