July 13, 2024
Move Over Buenos Aires! This Vibrant Metropolis Is the New Digital Nomad Hotspot Of Latin America

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Owing to the high affordability, impressive levels of safety, and generous visa policy, Buenos Aires has always been a Mecca of sorts for digital nomads in Latin America, but as of late, it looks as if its crown is about to be snatched by yet another vibrant metropolis.

Aerial View Of Zocalo, Main Colonial Square In Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America

The leading platform for tracking digital nomad trends, Nomad List regularly updates its list of top places to live in the Global South, and though Buenos Aires has previously placed at number one, it’s now been bumped off the top spot in the latest issue of the ranking.

Famous for its diverse neighborhoods, green urban oases and thriving expat community, Mexico City is the new ‘workcation’ hub of the Latin World, and we can’t say we’re surprised:

CDMX Is The New Nomad Capital South Of The Border

Young Woman Working Outside From A Cafe In A Colonial City In Latin America, Digital NomadYoung Woman Working Outside From A Cafe In A Colonial City In Latin America, Digital Nomad

The national capital and largest city in Mexico, Mexico City––or how it is commonly called in its Spanish acronym, CDMX––is a sprawling metropolis over 9 million people call home, a growing number of those remote workers keen on escaping the cost of living crisis in the Western.

Boasting a high concentration of historical landmarks and a number of Mexico’s most iconic sights, including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Opera House, Mexico City has always been a tourism hotspot of the first order, but for nomads, the cultural wealth is not the only draw.

Aerial View Of The Historical Palacio de Bellas Artes In Mexico City, Mexico, Latin AmericaAerial View Of The Historical Palacio de Bellas Artes In Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America

According to Nomad List, over 89% of respondents like CDMX as a digital nomad destination, versus only 11% that don’t, with the city ranking particularly high for ‘Quality of Life’, which most deem to be good, ‘Cost’, with monthly expenses averaging $1,956, and internet speed.

Across Mexico City, the internet is considered ‘super fast’, averaging 63Mbps, and there’s no shortage of coworking spots:

Plenty Of Laptop-Friendly Cafes To Pick From

Young Woman Drinking Coffee As She Works From A CafeYoung Woman Drinking Coffee As She Works From A Cafe

One of the top-rated cafes in town, Cafe Comunidad allows visitors to pick between a sheltered seating area and a large outdoor patio with plenty of plugs around; other than the work-friendly environment, their brunch menu, and particularly their Eggs Benedict toasts are another obvious highlight.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Condesa, one of the trendiest districts in Mexico City for nomads due to its peaceful character, Borel serves delicious coffee and viennoiseries, and it’s perfect if you’re looking for some peace and quiet to get your creative juices flowing.

Young Digital Nomad Working From A Cafe In Latin AmericaYoung Digital Nomad Working From A Cafe In Latin America

Not far from Condesa, on the way to the neighboring Roma, Capricho Blanco is an open, airy cafe where you can both gorge on a sumptuous all-day brunch menu and catch up with work in a less-formal environment (bonus for the English-speaking staff).

Mexico City Is Cheaper Than Most Highly-Developed Capitals

Other than the abundance of coworking centers and the unrivaled cosmopolitan scene, Mexico City’s biggest triumph is the quality of life it offers nomads: if you’re earning in dollars, you’re likely to find life south of the border (somewhat) more affordable.

Angel of Independence, Mexico CityAngel of Independence, Mexico City

Based on estimates provided by Numbeo, it costs roughly 41.3% less to live in CDMX than Paris and other Western European capitals, and as much as 56.1% less compared to living in New York, and other similar U.S. cities.

In New York, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost you up to $30, tips excluded, while in Mexico City you can eat generously-stuffed tacos for as cheap as 165 Mexican pesos in local eateries (in dollars, that’s about $9.11).

Mexican PesosMexican Pesos

As for rent, long gone are days you’d get more bang for your buck renting an apartment in central Mexico City than an equivalent in Manhattan or Downtown Los Angeles: rental prices have definitely gone up, and in some parts of Polanco and Condesa, property is as expensive as in the U.S.

Some Areas Still Have Cheaper Rent

Be that as it may, unless you’re actively looking to rent a four-bedroom apartment in a condominium in a posh area with 24/7 reception, you can get a 46 m² flat in the laid-back residential district of Cuauhtemoc for as cheap as $1,019 per month.

Why Hotels Are Cheaper Than AirBnb In Most Destinations, According To New ReportWhy Hotels Are Cheaper Than AirBnb In Most Destinations, According To New Report

Meanwhile, 33 m² flat in Condesa, an increasingly internationalized part of town, will set you back by $1,229 per month: fully-furnished, with a fully-equipped kitchen, and a decently-sized living room with privileged balcony views.

As mentioned, monthly expenses in Mexico City typically round out at $1,956, with a large percentage of that sum going towards accommodation: rising rent aside, food, groceries, and monthly utilities continue to be markedly cheaper than in the United States.

Higher Quality Of Life For Nomads

Young Happy Female Digital Nomad Working From A Cafe As She Smiles, Unspecified LocationYoung Happy Female Digital Nomad Working From A Cafe As She Smiles, Unspecified Location

Quality of life is just as important a factor for nomads relocating to Mexico City, be it temporarily or permanently:

Yes, this is a big urban mess where the sound of traffic is incessant and bumping shoulders with strangers in crowded places is unavoidable, but there’s always a lush green park to escape to when the fast-paced city life gets a tad too overwhelming:

The Bosque de Chapultepec, where the fairytale-like palace is located, is one such option, with pedestrianized avenues flanked by leafy trees, well-maintained gardens, and a central lagoon where visitors can go kayaking.

Boaters boat in Chapultepec Park in Mexico CityBoaters boat in Chapultepec Park in Mexico City

The Mexican equivalent to Central Park, except it’s much smaller in size, Alameda Central faces the stunning Palacio de Bellas Artes, and as it is located in the heart of it all, it provides some relief from the capital’s hustle and bustle.

That being said, our favorite verdant area has to be Xochimilco, mainly because of its ancient character––it comprises a UNESCO-protected system of navigable canals dating back to the pre-Columbian period––and traditional character:

It’s still mostly frequented by actual locals.

Colorful Gondolas In The Canals Of Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico, Latin AmericaColorful Gondolas In The Canals Of Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America

It’s Relatively Safe For Foreigners

Buenos Aires is one of the safest cities in the Western Hemisphere, with very low rates of crime compared to its Latin counterparts, and that’s undoubtedly one of the reasons some nomads have typically preferred it over Rio de Janeiro, Medellin and the like.

If we’re to take crime rates into account, Mexico City is not safer than Buenos Aires, with a crime index of 67.75 versus its Argentinian rival’s 63.49, but that’s not a huge difference, either: CDMX is a big city, and like any other conurbation of its size, moderately higher levels of crime are all but expected.

A Tourist Carrying A Camera And Backpack Having His Wallet Stolen Unbeknownst To Him, Pickpocketing In EuropeA Tourist Carrying A Camera And Backpack Having His Wallet Stolen Unbeknownst To Him, Pickpocketing In Europe

The reality on the ground is, as long as you keep a low profile in busy central zones, you leave valuables at home, like jewelry you don’t need to wear going out for a casual lunch off Zocalo and stay vigilant in touristy spots, where pickpockets are known to operate, chances are you’ll be fine.

Essentially, maintain the same level of precaution you would in any capital; this is corroborated by the U.S. State Department, which classes Mexico City as a Level 2 destination, meaning American citizens must simply exercise ‘greater caution’ when visiting.

Six-Months Stay Visa-Free

Close Up Of A US Passport On The Front Pocket Of A Male American Traveler As He Reaches Out For It, International TravelClose Up Of A US Passport On The Front Pocket Of A Male American Traveler As He Reaches Out For It, International Travel

Last but not least, Buenos Aires has developed a reputation for being a nomad haven South of the tropics thanks to Argentina’s open-visa policies: American nomads can stay 90 days visa-free, and before the period is up, they may renew it for another 90 days.

Additionally, they are eligible to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa so long as they are able to demonstrate earnings of at least $2,500 per month: this shouldn’t be a problem for any middle-income remote worker based in Latin America.

Immigration And Passport Control At The Airport. Woman Border Control Officer Stamps A US PassportImmigration And Passport Control At The Airport. Woman Border Control Officer Stamps A US Passport

Mexico is no different: though it (surprisingly) has no Digital Nomad Visa in place, it issues 180 day-visas on the spot for a number of foreign nationals, including Americans, Canadians, and most Europeans, meaning you can live and work remotely from Mexico for half a year.

Those wishing to stay longer in Mexico City are required to apply for a residence permit on the basis of economic or family ties to Mexico––most nomads are not keen on kickstarting the often-bureaucracy process and will stay 180 days at a time.

If you’ve been wondering how Mexico City has surpassed Buenos Aires on Nomad List, now you have it:

  • It’s moderately affordable to live in
  • It’s got great infrastructure
  • It’s foreigner-friendly, with lots of nomads having settled here in recent years
  • It’s relatively safe

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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