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If you’ve ever dreamed of packing your laptop and heading south to Mexico, this is your guide. Though there are many fantastic places to live and work in, this post narrows it down to three best cities in Mexico for digital nomads: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, and Mérida.

Under each city, there’s information about the cost of living, safety considerations, and how to meet others to help you decide which city in Mexico is the best digital nomad destination for you.

Best Places In Mexico For Digital Nomads

Puerto Vallarta

puerto vallarta coastline

As one of the most-visited beach towns in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a destination many visit and dream of living in. There are so many great reasons to move here!

Why not make the dream a reality and move to this city with its historic colonial center, restaurants, and seaside promenade?

Below is the cost of living, safety considerations, and how to work and meet others in Puerto Vallarta as a digital nomad.

Cost of Living in Puerto Vallarta

The cost of living in Puerto Vallarta is relatively low, especially compared with major cities in North America.

Puerto Vallarta is approximately 44% cheaper than San Antonio and 45% cheaper than Calgary. For instance, a restaurant meal that may cost US$15 in San Antonio or Calgary would cost US$5 in Puerto Vallarta.

You’d also pay US$550 to rent a one-bedroom apartment in central Puerto Vallarta, which is 45-58% cheaper than you’d pay to live in downtown San Antonio or Calgary, respectively. While living in Puerto Vallarta, I paid $280 for a room in a 3-bedroom apartment, which included a pool and twice weekly cleaning.

apartment in puerto vallarta
My apartment building in Puerto Vallarta

And you won’t need a car either; Puerto Vallarta is an extremely walkable city with many of the best neighborhoods within walking distance of each other. The bus costs 50 cents to take most places, and Ubers are just a few dollars across town.

Below are some more everyday expenses.

ExpenseMXNUSDCAD
Unlimited Internet (monthly)518 pesos$25$32
Coworking space (monthly)2,236 pesos$109$138
Gym membership (monthly)520 pesos$25$32
One cinema ticket80 pesos$4$5
One cappuccino50 pesos$2$3
Sources: Numbeo.com, Coworker.com.

Meeting and Working with Others in Puerto Vallarta

cafe for digital nomads in puerto vallarta mexico
There are so many beautiful cafes to work from in Puerto Vallarta!

You’ll quickly fall in love with how easy it is to work in Puerto Vallarta as a digital nomad. The city has several coworking spaces and cafes to work from.

Vallarta Cowork and Cowork Natureza are two of the most popular. Each includes WiFi, air conditioning, printers, and free coffee. Buy a day pass for around US$11 or a monthly pass for approximately US$109, the most affordable rates of the three cities listed in this article.

And if you’re keen to meet others, coworking spaces, hostels, and Facebook groups are great places to do so. With an estimated tenth of the city filled with U.S. and Canadian citizens, you’ll find just as many foreigners as you will locals. 

digital nomads in tequila mexico
It’s easy to meet other digital nomads in Puerto Vallarta!

Safety in Puerto Vallarta

Many visitors consider Puerto Vallarta safe, with most Numbeo.com reviewers reporting low crimes and feeling safe walking at night. As always, you can refer to the U.S. and Canadian governments’ travel advisories for Mexico.

According to the U.S. government, there are “no restrictions” for Puerto Vallarta itself, though they discourage travel to other parts of Jalisco state. Similarly, the Canadian government does not restrict travel to Puerto Vallarta. Both governments operate consular offices in Puerto Vallarta.

Mexico City

mexico city

Mexico City is a global city filled with residents from around the world, making it one of the best places for digital nomads in Mexico.

If you’re looking to live in a central location in Latin America, you’ll want to move to this incredible capital city, also known as “CDMX.” Below is the cost of living, safety considerations, and how to work and meet others in Mexico City.

Cost of Living in Mexico City

As the capital city of Mexico, average salaries are about 30% higher than in Mérida or Puerto Vallarta. However, you pay more for amenities like gym memberships (US$42 monthly), restaurant meals (US$7 at an inexpensive place), and rent (US$655 for a one-bedroom apartment in central Mexico City).

girl in mexico city

Regardless, compared to U.S. and Canadian cities, you’ll still pay much less. For instance, Mexico City is about 42% cheaper than San Antonio and 45% cheaper than Calgary. And there’s no need to buy a car as downtown Mexico City is considered a “walker’s paradise.” Below ar some everyday expenses below.

ExpenseMXNUSDCAD
Unlimited Internet (monthly)558 pesos$27$35
Coworking space (monthly)2,938 pesos$143$182
Gym membership (monthly)868 pesos$42$54
One cinema ticket80 pesos$4$5
One cappuccino46 pesos$2$3
sources: Numbeo.com, Coworker.com.

Meeting and Working with Others in Mexico City

Mexico City is a sprawling international city with neighborhoods filled with digital nomad amenities. Your challenge won’t be finding a place to work.

You can work at places like Público Muzquiz 15 (Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec), where you can rent an office or hotdesk for US$200 or less per month.

And with the largest U.S. population outside of the U.S. (nearly a million!), you won’t be as homesick as you would in other cities abroad. As always, InterNations is an excellent resource for foreigners living in Mexico City. This Facebook group is also great, with regularly hosted meetups.

nomads in mexico city
Nomad meetup in Mexico City

Safety in Mexico City

Like most world cities, Mexico City is large and considered unsafe to walk alone at night.

The U.S. government recommends that travelers “exercise increased caution” due to crime in the capital city. For this reason, many people recommend staying in Condesa or Roma, two upper-class neighborhoods.

roma norte mexico city
Roma Norte, Mexico City

The U.S. and Canadian governments both have their embassies in these areas, and you may wish to reside here until you are more familiar with the city.

Mérida

If you’re looking for a peaceful, affordable, and safe city on the Caribbean coast, look no further than the capital of Yucatán state.

merida mexico city

Cost of Living in Mérida

Mérida is the cheapest city in Mexico for digital nomads listed, with the most affordable rent and coworking spaces. In addition, it is approximately 50% cheaper than San Antonio or Calgary.

For example, a restaurant meal may only cost US$6 in Mérida, and you’d pay about US$270 to rent a one-bedroom apartment in central Mérida, half the price of a similar apartment in Puerto Vallarta and over 70% cheaper than renting in downtown San Antonio or Calgary.

And with almost-perfect WalkScores, Mérida is a “walker’s paradise,” saving you money on a car. Below are other everyday expenses.

ExpenseMXNUSDCAD
Unlimited Internet (monthly)514 pesos$25$32
Coworking space (monthly)2,710 pesos$132$168
Gym membership (monthly)475 pesos$23$30
One cinema ticket80 pesos$4$5
One cappuccino50 pesos$2$3
Sources: Numbeo.com, Coworker.com.

Meeting and Working with Others in Mérida

While Mérida has fewer foreigners than Puerto Vallarta or Mexico City, thousands of paisanos live in this relaxed Yucatán capital. And there are multiple affordable coworking spaces like Clustar, which offers free coffee, childcare, and a swimming pool. Finally, consider joining a Facebook group like Mérida, Mexico Expat Community for expat events.

merida mexico city

Safety in Mérida

If you’re looking for a crime-free city, you will want to live in Mérida, the safest city in Mexico. The U.S. government encourages only the “normal precautions” for the entire state of Yucatán and Mérida, where there is a U.S. consulate (Canada’s closest consulate is in Cancún). As if that doesn’t convince you, nearly 80% of Numbeo.com reviewers report feeling safe walking alone at night in Mérida.

Before Moving to Mexico: Visas, Taxes, and Health Insurance

mexico

Finally, before relocating to Mexico, you should look into three things: a visa, should you need it, your tax obligations in Mexico and your passport country, and health insurance coverage.

Legal Residency in Mexico

Many non-Mexican citizens move to Mexico without applying for a temporary visa, but we do not recommend this. If you’re planning to stay in the country for more than three months, you should consider a temporary resident visa, which costs approximately $50.

After a few years, you can apply for a permanent resident visa. No matter what path you choose, visit a local Mexican consulate or embassy for more information. Remember that if you’re claiming residency in Mexico, you may also owe Mexican income tax on your income outside Mexico.

Taxes in Mexico

Before moving abroad, consult a professional about your taxes (e.g., U.S. citizens are still required to file taxes while working abroad).

If you’re a U.S. citizen, read more about taxes on IRS.gov. Canadian citizens can read more about tax and residency requirements at Travel.GC.CA.

And if you are earning an income in Mexico, like working part-time as a teacher, you’ll owe income tax in Mexico. No matter your situation, living abroad is tricky and requires the consultation of a tax professional.

Health Insurance in Mexico

Finally, even with low medical costs in Mexico, you’ll still want to be prepared for events like extended hospital stays.

I recommend SafetyWing, insurance built for digital nomads using a subscription-based service. For less than $40/month, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re covered should anything happen.

Looking for more information about visiting Mexico? Check out these posts!

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 Lora Pope is a travel content creator who’s been wandering solo for over a decade. She lives a nomadic lifestyle and is on a quest to visit every country in the world - always on the lookout for new adventures, hidden gems, and dogs to pet. You can follow her adventures on Explore with Lora and Instagram

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