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Wondering what it’s like to be a Puerto Vallarta digital nomad? You’re in the right place! I’ve been living in Puerto Vallarta on and off for the last three years, and it is easily my favorite nomad destination.
Navigating the vibrant streets of Puerto Vallarta, you might wonder if this coastal paradise could be your next remote work haven. As a full-time digital nomad for six years and a resident, I’ve got insider knowledge on why Puerto Vallarta is a great destination for digital nomads.
The thought of swapping your cramped office for a beachside café sounds idyllic, yet the leap into the unknown can be daunting. Questions about connectivity, community, and cost of living are just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s face it, the digital nomad life is as much about overcoming challenges as it is about embracing new adventures.
In this article, I’ll walk you through every step of making Puerto Vallarta your remote work base. From the nitty-gritty of visa processes and finding the perfect neighborhood to joining vibrant expat communities and discovering the best spots for a midday break, I’ve covered it all.
So, let’s dive into what makes Puerto Vallarta a top-tier destination for digital nomads like you, eager to blend productivity with tropical bliss.
Why live In Puerto Vallarta?
While it may seem touristy on the surface, Puerto Vallarta has a lot to offer digital nomads in Mexico.
Firstly, Puerto Vallarta strikes a unique balance between a bustling tourist hotspot and a tranquil haven for focused work. The cobblestone charm of El Centro, the historic heart of the city, offers a daily backdrop that fuels creativity and invites exploration.
The city’s location on the Pacific Coast, nestled in the Bay of Banderas, opens up a world of outdoor adventures right at your doorstep. Imagine closing your laptop and, within minutes, diving into the crystal-clear waters for a snorkeling session or hiking the trails of the Sierra Madre mountains as a post-work unwind.
Culinary enthusiasts will find themselves in a gastronomic haven, with local markets offering fresh, exotic ingredients and a restaurant scene that caters to every palate. Whether you’re a pescatarian savoring the catch of the day or a foodie looking for international cuisine, Puerto Vallarta serves up flavors that are as diverse as its landscapes.
The growing community of digital nomads and expats means you’ll never be short of networking opportunities or a friendly face to share a coffee with. Every time I go out here I make a new friend!
And not just with foreigners either. Mexicans are incredibly welcoming, and the longer you stay here, the more they’ll integrate you into the community.
And as one of the top gay destinations in Latin America, Puerto Vallarta is a mecca for LGBTQ+ travelers.
And let’s not overlook the practical perks. With a cost of living that allows for a quality lifestyle without breaking the bank and a visa process that’s friendly to remote workers, Puerto Vallarta isn’t just a dream destination; it’s a realistic option for long-term stays.
My experience In Puerto Vallarta
I wasn’t expecting to live in Puerto Vallarta. Mexico wasn’t even on my radar, yet it ended up being the place I decided to buy my first property abroad.
As soon as I moved here, I felt the magic of Puerto Vallarta (which everyone will tell you about). There’s just something about this place.
I made friends almost instantly, which led to one of my favorite friend groups I’ve ever met traveling.
Every day living in Puerto Vallarta, I have to spend some time thinking about how grateful I am.
Visa for Puerto Vallarta Mexico
It’s easy to come to Mexico as a digital nomad because many nationalities (including Canadians and Americans) are given a six-month tourist visa on arrival.
And if you want to stay longer, you can do a visa run to a neighboring country like Belize or Guatemala and get another six months on arrival when you come back.
Mexican immigration has cracked down on this in recent years, and many travelers flying into Mexico City are reporting getting 90 days or less. However, most people who fly directly into Puerto Vallarta still get 180 days.
If you are interested in living in Mexico for more than six months without worrying about doing visa runs, you can apply for the Mexico Temporary Resident Visa which I now have.
The visa is initially approved for one year and can be renewed for another 1 to 3 years to a maximum of 4.
If you completely fall in love with Mexico, you can apply for a Permanent Residence Visa after four years.
Where to live in Puerto Vallarta
Having lived in almost every neighborhood, I’ve made a list of the best areas for expats to live in Puerto Vallarta.
While Zona Romántica’s vibrant energy and bustling nightlife were thrilling at first, the novelty eventually gave way to a craving for a more laid-back vibe.
Now, I’ve settled in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Versalles. It’s a sweet spot that combines community, convenience, and culinary delights, with many traditional eateries, modern cafes, and a growing number of remote-friendly workspaces.
Plus, its central location means you’re just a short ride away from the city center, the beach, or the airport, allowing for spontaneous adventures or easy travel plans.
If you’re on the hunt for affordability without sacrificing accessibility, neighborhoods like Fluvial Vallarta offer cheaper rent and a more authentic slice of local life.
Generally speaking, kost digital nomads find themselves gravitating towards the neighborhoods of 5 de Diciembre, Versalles, and Zona Romántica to live in.
Getting an apartment in Puerto Vallarta
If you are moving to Puerto Vallarta and don’t have anyone to look at apartments for you, it’s best to book a short-term rental first, so you can become familiar with the neighborhoods before deciding where you want to live long-term.
VRBO or Airbnb is the easiest way to find apartments, but you’ll pay a huge markup from the actual cost.
So instead, book it for a few nights and try to talk with the host directly about renting it longer term. You can also try the many rental Facebook groups. I have more tips in my post about long-term rentals in Puerto Vallarta.
You can find cheaper places by calling numbers posted on apartment buildings. Look for signs on apartments that say “Se Renta” and communicate directly with the landlord.
The only thing to know about this approach is that you’ll need to know Spanish reasonably well, as most landlords don’t speak English.
Internet and coworking spaces in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has fast fibreoptic internet, but it can be hit or miss in rentals. Before getting a place, get the owner to send you a screenshot of a speed test.
Thankfully, there are quite a few co-working spaces and cafes with great Wi-Fi where you can go to work if your apartment doesn’t meet your needs. Some of my favorites are The Green Place, Miscellanea, and Joint Cowork.
This happened to me while living in Puerto Vallarta the first winter, and I actually really enjoyed the separation of home and work.
You can easily get a SIM card in Puerto Vallarta with 4g internet, which can be a good backup by using it as a hotspot to your computer. You can buy them at any Oxxo (convenience store).
I pay $25 for 6g of data with Telcel, which lasts me over a month.
Best Facebook groups for digital nomads in Puerto Vallarta
Facebook groups are one of the easiest ways to integrate into the digital nomad community in Puerto Vallarta.
This group is for digital nomads in Puerto Vallarta. It’s a great place to ask questions and network with other nomads. They also host regular coworking, networking, and happy hour events.
‘Young & Fun Expats of Puerto Vallarta‘ is run by my lovely friend Rachel. It’s a community of young people (aged 20-40) who have moved to Puerto Vallarta. They host regular events, and it’s a great place to meet others if you’re looking for a party.
This group is a general group about Puerto Vallarta. You can ask just about anything here, and someone will point you in the right direction.
There are also some Whatsapp groups, but I don’t recommend joining these until you’re actually here, as they get flooded with messages daily.
Lifestyle and staying active in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta’s lifestyle is a dynamic blend of relaxation and activity, perfectly suited for digital nomads who thrive on staying active and social.
Volleyball, in particular, has become a staple for many nomads here. Three times a week, digital nomads come together here to spike, serve, and share laughs. It’s one of the best ways to integrate into the community.
There are many hiking trails nearby the city, and many nomads walk up to the Mirador (viewpoint) in town as their daily exercise. You can also go swimming, diving, or surfing in nearby beach towns.
If you want to go to a gym, they are affordable. For example, I paid $30 for a one-month gym membership, including daily fitness classes, weights, and equipment.
There are also lots of interesting fitness classes you can try, including pole dancing, kickboxing, and yoga. I LOVE Terra Nuble Yoga Studio. It’s on a hill overlooking Puerto Vallarta, and the view can’t be beaten. They also offer weekly Temazcal ceremonies, which is a quintessential experience to have.
Finally, many digital nomads stay fit in Puerto Vallarta by taking salsa classes or just heading out to a salsa club at night!
Cost of living in Puerto Vallarta as a digital nomad
Navigating the cost of living in Puerto Vallarta as a digital nomad requires a blend of savvy budgeting and local know-how. Here’s a snapshot of my monthly expenses in 2023, which reflects both the lifestyle I enjoy and the current economic climate (all prices in USD):
- Rent: $900 for a 2-bedroom apartment in Zona Romántica. I snagged a great deal; typically, you’d expect to pay around $1,800 for a similar space in this sought-after area.
- Eating Out and Drinking: $400-$500, which lets me indulge in the local dining scene quite frequently.
- Groceries: $200, shopping mostly at local markets for fresh, seasonal produce.
- Tours: $100, because exploring is a non-negotiable part of the nomadic lifestyle.
- Phone Data: $25, enough for a solid mobile plan to stay connected on the go.
- Transportation: $80 on Ubers and buses, though I often opt for the scenic route on foot.
- Travel Insurance: $45, a necessary investment for peace of mind.
- Co-working: $50 for a pack of ten passes, striking a balance between a home office and a collaborative workspace.
- Gym: $30, for staying fit and active without breaking the bank.
- Miscellaneous: $100 for shopping, the occasional dentist visit, and those pesky ATM fees.
It’s worth noting that currency fluctuations have nudged expenses upward; the Mexican peso has gained strength in recent years, making the cost of living for expats and nomads slightly more expensive.
However, with a bit of local insight and deal-hunting, Puerto Vallarta can still be an affordable paradise for those looking to work remotely in a vibrant, culturally rich setting.
Speaking Spanish in Puerto Vallarta
Mastering the local lingo in Puerto Vallarta can transform your stay from a standard expat experience to a rich, immersive adventure. While you’ll find English widely spoken in tourist areas and among the digital nomad community, knowing Spanish opens up a deeper connection with the city and its people.
I can’t recommend enough taking the time to learn Spanish, and I’ve found a fantastic resource right here in Puerto Vallarta that caters specifically to ex-pats..
This online course, created by a fellow expat, stands out from the rest. It’s not your average language class; this course is designed with practicality at its core, teaching you the Spanish you’ll actually use in everyday life here.
From negotiating rent and asking for directions to ordering food and making new friends, the course covers scenarios that you’ll encounter daily. It’s hands-down the most useful Spanish class I’ve taken—and I’ve been through my fair share.
The lessons are engaging, relevant, and tailored to help you navigate the nuances of local culture with confidence. Get 10% off your course using code LORA10!
Is Puerto Vallarta safe?
If you’re moving to Mexico, you’re probably wondering how safe Puerto Vallarta is.
Safety is a paramount concern for anyone considering a move, especially for solo female travelers like myself.
After living in Puerto Vallarta for three years, I can speak from experience when I say that this city has been a safe haven for me. Not once have I encountered any issues that made me question my decision to call this place home.
Puerto Vallarta is a welcoming city that prides itself on its friendly locals and tight-knit expat community. The streets are lively, with families and friends often out until late, which adds to the overall sense of security.
Of course, like any popular destination, it’s wise to exercise common sense, such as avoiding unlit areas at night and being mindful of your belongings in crowded places.
Unfortunately, because of the media (most of which is inaccurate), many people write off Mexico because they think it is too dangerous to visit, let alone live in.
This is just not true, especially in Puerto Vallarta. Overall, it’s a fun, friendly, and safe place to visit that welcomes millions of visitors every year who have a fantastic time.
Since it’s one of the main tourism destinations in the country, crime rates are much lower than in other parts of Mexico, as well as many cities in the U.S.! Like any city, you should take some basic safety precautions to avoid petty theft.
FAQ: Puerto Vallarta digital nomad
Is Puerto Vallarta good for digital nomads?
Puerto Vallarta is a hotspot for digital nomads, offering a great quality of life, affordable living costs, and a supportive community.
Can you work as a digital nomad in Mexico?
Yes, Mexico is a popular destination for digital nomads, with visa options that accommodate long-term stays.
Is there good WIFI in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta has reliable and fast WIFI, with many cafes and co-working spaces catering to digital nomads.
Do I have to pay taxes in Mexico as a digital nomad?
Typically, if you’re there temporarily and earning from abroad, you may not need to pay Mexican taxes.
Where is the safest place for digital nomads in Mexico?
Puerto Vallarta is often cited as one of the safest places for digital nomads in Mexico due to its friendly community and low crime rates.
Why do Americans move to Puerto Vallarta?
Americans move to Puerto Vallarta for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, affordable cost of living, and welcoming expat community.
How long can you stay in Mexico as a digital nomad?
With a tourist visa, you can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days, and there are other visa options for longer stays.
Is Puerto Vallarta a party town?
Puerto Vallarta has a lively nightlife scene, but it also offers tranquil areas for those looking for a quieter experience.
Is English widely spoken in Puerto Vallarta?
English is widely spoken in tourist areas and is generally understood in many parts of the city.
Are there expats in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta has a large and diverse expat community.
Final thoughts: Digital nomad Puerto Vallarta
After wandering through 70 countries, each with its own charm and challenges, it was the magnetic pull of Puerto Vallarta that finally convinced me to unpack my nomadic bags and stay awhile.
This isn’t just another pin on the map; it’s the place where my global journey paused, captivated by the city’s easygoing rhythm and the open arms of its community.
This city, with its seamless blend of natural beauty and urban convenience, offers the kind of easy living that can turn a temporary stay into a permanent residence for any digital nomad.
Puerto Vallarta is more than a destination; it’s a community, a workplace, and a retreat all rolled into one. Give it a try—immerse yourself in its daily rhythms, indulge in the local culture, and let the city work its charm. You, too, might find that Puerto Vallarta is not just a stopover but a place to call home!
Thinking about becoming a digital nomad in Puerto Vallarta? Check out these posts!
- 11 Best Places For Coworking in Puerto Vallarta Mexico
- 7 Best Places To Live in Puerto Vallarta [Expat Guide]
- How to Find Long Term Rentals In Puerto Vallarta Mexico
- Cost of Living In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Pros and Cons of Living in Puerto Vallarta
- 9 Reasons To Move to Puerto Vallarta Mexico
- Expat Guide to Living in Puerto Vallarta in 2023