Last Updated on 3 October 2023 by Jack
When you think of living as a digital nomad, you may picture traveling through Latin American countries and settling down in some of the best cities for digital nomads in Central America.
With an affordable cost of living, vibrant culture, gorgeous cities, and ideal weather, Central America is one of the top destinations for digital nomads traveling the world and working remotely.
For digital nomads who are adventurous and love to explore nature, especially rainforests, beaches, and waterfalls, then Central America may just be the perfect region in the world for you. (It’s also a fantastic destination if you speak Spanish!)
Central America is a bit less traveled than, say, European cities, but that doesn’t make it any less comfortable and excellent for the digital nomad lifestyle.
We’re diving into the best cities for digital nomads in Central America to help you plan your travels. We also share a secret for how you can stay in your favorite countries for a year or more with digital nomad visas in Central America!
Why Digital Nomads Love Traveling in Central America
Aside from the low cost of living and ideal weather, Central America is an excellent destination for traveling remote workers. There are tons of countries to travel through and experience different cultures. Let’s also not forget about the tasty food you’ll find in this part of the world.
There is a large digital nomad community in many Central American countries, making it easy to meet people, make friends, and feel at home in a foreign country.
Many traveling remote workers also choose to settle in some of the best cities for digital nomads in Central America for the pure adventure of it. Central America has a reputation for operating differently than cities in North America and Europe.
From the bus systems to how the infrastructure is organized, Central America offers a unique opportunity to experience a new way of living. You can almost always expect a great story to come from your time in this part of the world.
There are also many coworking spaces popping up in the major cities in Central America. This is excellent news for digital nomads who appreciate always having reliable wifi wherever they go, as it can be a bit spotty sometimes.
Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Central America
Now that you’re excited and ready to pack your bags, it’s time to review the best cities for digital nomads in Central America.
Antigua, Guatemala, is a charming colonial city perfect for digital nomads looking for a unique and affordable destination.
The city boasts a rich history and a vibrant culture, with cobblestone streets, colorful architecture, and stunning volcanoes that provide a breathtaking backdrop. The WiFi is reliable, and there are plenty of cafes and coworking spaces to choose from, making it easy to stay connected and productive.
Beyond work, Antigua offers a wealth of activities to keep you entertained, from exploring ancient ruins to hiking in the surrounding mountains. The city also has a strong digital nomad community, with regular meetups and events that make it easy to connect with like-minded individuals. Getting around is a breeze, with a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses and tuk-tuks.
When it’s time to unwind, there are plenty of great restaurants and bars to choose from, serving up delicious local cuisine and craft cocktails. Antigua is a gem of a city that offers everything a digital nomad could want – a unique and affordable destination with plenty of work and play opportunities.
Caye Caulker, Belize
Caye Caulker, Belize, is a hidden gem for digital nomads looking for a laid-back, tropical destination.
The island has a vibrant Caribbean culture with a relaxed pace of life that makes it easy to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty around you. With crystal clear waters and abundant marine life, the island is a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.
The WiFi is reliable, and there are a few great cafes to work from right by the beach too. The island is small and walkable, making it easy to get around, and there are plenty of water taxis can take you to other parts of Belize.
When it’s time to relax, the island has a laid-back vibe with plenty of beach bars and restaurants serving up delicious seafood and tropical drinks. For adventure seekers, there are also opportunities to go kayaking, paddle-boarding, or even take a day trip to nearby Maya ruins.
Caye Caulker is a fantastic destination for digital nomads looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a unique island culture while staying productive.
If you fall in love with the island, you can stay for six months with the Belize digital nomad visa, too!
Granada, Nicaragua, is a colorful colonial city with a vibrant atmosphere and affordable cost of living.
The city boasts a rich history and architecture, with plenty of cultural sites to explore. The WiFi is generally reliable, and there are a few great cafes and coworking spaces, like Casa Bloom, to work from.
Granada offers plenty of activities, including hiking nearby volcanoes, taking a boat tour of Lake Nicaragua, or exploring the nearby islands. The city has a lively nightlife and restaurant scene, with plenty of local and international cuisine options.
There are many transportation options for both getting around the city and exploring further afield. The city itself is relatively small and walkable, with many streets closed to vehicular traffic, making it easy to get around on foot.
Taxis and tuk-tuks are also readily available for longer trips around the city. For those looking to explore further afield, buses run regularly to nearby towns and cities, including the capital, Managua.
Jaco, Costa Rica
Jaco, Costa Rica, is a popular destination for digital nomads seeking a laid-back lifestyle by the beach.
The city has a vibrant atmosphere and offers a range of activities, from surfing and hiking to yoga and wellness retreats. For those seeking adventure, Jaco is ideally situated for exploring nearby national parks and reserves, where you can spot a variety of wildlife and take in breathtaking views.
The WiFi is reliable, and there are several excellent cafes and coworking spaces, like Selina, to choose from, making it easy to stay productive while enjoying the tropical surroundings.
Jaco has a solid digital nomad community with plenty of opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. The city also boasts a lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and restaurants serving up delicious food and drinks.
The cost of living in Jaco is affordable, particularly if you’re willing to rent a little further from the beach. While the city can get busy during peak tourist season, it has a relaxed vibe year-round that’s perfect for digital nomads looking to slow down and enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle.
If you truly fall in love with the country and Jaco, you can apply for the Costa Rica digital nomad visa and live there tax-free for up to two years!
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, is a breathtakingly beautiful destination that’s perfect for digital nomads seeking a tranquil and inspiring environment.
The lake is surrounded by several small towns, each with its unique culture and vibe. The natural scenery is stunning, with mountains, volcanoes, and crystal-clear waters that provide a dramatic backdrop for work and play.
There are plenty of opportunities for adventure, from hiking in the mountains to kayaking and swimming in the lake.
The town of San Marcos, in particular, has become a hub for digital nomads, with a range of wellness activities and workshops on offer. The lake has a strong digital nomad community, with regular meetups and events that make it easy to connect with others. The WiFi is reasonably reliable, and some great cafes offer stunning lake views.
Life in Lake Atitlan is affordable, with a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. The pace of life is slow and relaxed, making it easy to focus on work and unwind in nature.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is a vibrant and dynamic destination offering many opportunities for digital nomads. The city is large and diverse, with a range of neighborhoods to explore, each with its unique culture and vibe. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, from exploring world-class museums and galleries to trying out delicious street food, like tacos and quesadillas, and taking in the city’s lively street art scene.
The WiFi is reliable, and there are many great coworking spaces to choose from, catering to different budgets and work styles. The city also has a strong digital nomad community, with regular meetups and events that make it easy to connect with like-minded individuals.
Getting around Mexico City is easy, with a well-developed public transportation system that includes a metro, buses, and taxis. The city also has a bike-sharing system and is actively working to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transportation.
Life in Mexico City can be affordable, particularly if you’re willing to explore some of the city’s more local neighborhoods. The city is vibrant, colorful, and full of energy, making it an exciting destination for digital nomads seeking a mix of work and play opportunities.
For those remote workers who want to call this city home, they can apply for the Mexico digital nomad visa and get up to four years of residency.
Panama City, Panama
Panama City, Panama, is a bustling and cosmopolitan destination that offers a range of opportunities for digital nomads.
The city boasts a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene, with a range of museums, galleries, and performance spaces to explore. It’s also home to several parks and green spaces, including the famous Panama Canal, which offers respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Getting around Panama City is easy, with a well-developed public transportation system that includes a metro, buses, and taxis. The city also has a bike-sharing system and is actively working to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transportation.
The weather in Panama City is warm and humid year-round, with the rainy season typically lasting from May to November. Despite the rain, temperatures remain warm, and there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy during this time.
Remote workers who want to spend more time in the country can apply for the Panama digital nomad visa and live there for nine months.
Playa Venao, Panama
Playa Venao, Panama, is a laid-back beach destination that’s one of the best cities for digital nomads in Central America looking to slow down and enjoy a tropical lifestyle.
The town has a relaxed atmosphere, with stunning beaches and clear waters that offer plenty of opportunities for surfing, swimming, and other water-based activities. The town is also home to several yoga studios and wellness centers, making it a great destination for those interested in health and wellness.
The WiFi is generally reliable, and there are several cafes and coworking spaces to choose from, catering to different work styles and budgets. The town also has a small but friendly digital nomad community, with regular meetups and events that make it easy to connect with others.
Getting around Playa Venao is easy, as the town is relatively small and walkable. Taxis and buses are also available for longer trips or visits to nearby towns and attractions.
The weather in Playa Venao is warm and sunny year-round, with occasional rain showers. The town is less humid than other coastal destinations in Panama, making it a comfortable place to live and work.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is a great hub for digital nomads, especially those who work remotely for companies based on the east coast of the United States. With warm weather year-round, beautiful Caribbean waters, and delicious foods, you’ll quickly find yourself at home here.
Cafes with free wifi that are perfect for working from are all over Playa del Carmen. Some favorites include Aha Cacao and Mi Doggo Cafe. There are also plenty of restaurants and stores along 5th Avenue and beach bars where you can sink your toes in the sand.
Taxis are readily available to take you anywhere in the city and beyond, such as Tulum or Cancun.
When you think of the best cities for digital nomads in Central America, you’re probably picturing a beach or rainforest setting. However, Puebla, Mexico, is in the center of Mexico and ready to welcome traveling remote workers.
Known for its art ad music culture, digital nomads will find colorful beauty around this gorgeous city. Plenty of cafes are ready to welcome remote workers and their laptops with a hot cup of coffee or Mexican hot chocolate.
Puebla is a quiet alternative to Mexico City and has arguably better food. You just have to sit down and try a cemita sandwich one of these days!
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Most digital nomads prioritize their comfort when seeking a place to live and work. They look for trendy restaurants, cafes, guesthouses, and, of course, reliable WiFi.
Fortunately, Puerto Viejo offers all of these amenities and more. It’s truly one of the best cities for digital nomads in Central America that you will undoubtedly fall in love with.
Puerto Viejo strikes the perfect balance between work and play. Explore the beautiful Caribbean coast of the country and enjoy easy access to the Cahuita National Park and the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, where you can witness a wealth of incredible wildlife.
While many digital nomads visit the Caribbean coast during the rainy season, Puerto Viejo is one of the driest parts of the country, making it a highly sought-after destination. Although getting there may be a bit challenging compared to other hubs, once you arrive, you’ll be glad you made the effort.
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, is a bustling and dynamic city that offers a range of opportunities for digital nomads.
The city boasts a rich cultural heritage, with several museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. The city also has a vibrant food and coffee culture, with plenty of excellent cafes and restaurants serving up delicious local and international cuisine.
You can easily find cafes with free wifi and coworking spaces full of other digital nomads throughout San Jose. There is no lack of remote working in this busy city.
Getting around San Jose is easy, with a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses and taxis. The city also has a bike-sharing system and is actively working to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transportation.
The weather in San Jose is generally pleasant, with warm and sunny days and cool evenings. The city experiences a rainy season from May to November, but this does not deter many digital nomads from visiting during this time.
Umaya Village, Belize
Umaya Village, Belize, is a hidden gem for digital nomads seeking a peaceful and tranquil environment.
The village is located on the beautiful Placencia Peninsula and offers a unique blend of Maya culture and modern amenities. The community is small and tight-knit, with a strong sense of connection and belonging.
Getting around Umaya Village is easy, as the village is relatively small and walkable. Taxis and buses are also available for longer trips or visits to nearby towns and attractions.
The weather in Umaya Village is warm and sunny year-round, with occasional rain showers. The village is located on the Caribbean coast and offers easy access to stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.
Umaya Village offers a unique and inspiring destination for digital nomads seeking a peaceful and tranquil environment while staying productive. The village is perfect for those who enjoy a slower pace of life and a strong sense of community.
How is the Wifi in Central America for Digital Nomads?
Unfortunately, a reliable wifi connection can be a hit or miss in Central America.
However, the country with the fastest wifi in the area is Panama. So, if you can’t afford to connect to slow or average wifi, then Panama may be the best destination for you.
Other countries with surprisingly reliable wifi in Central America include Costa Rica, Belize, and Nicaragua.
You can always purchase a global hotspot to ensure you have some wifi connection no matter where you are in the world.
Is Central America Safe for Digital Nomads?
Contrary to popular belief, Central America is fairly safe for tourists and digital nomads. While there may have been issues in the past, the region has become much safer over the years.
While there are still scams and situations that you must be aware of, Central American countries definitely do not deserve to be labeled as dangerous.
As always, digital nomads must be aware of their belongings and safety while traveling in unfamiliar countries and cities.
How to Relocate to Central America as a Digital Nomad with Nomads Embassy
It’s never been easier to relocate to one of the best cities for digital nomads in Central America. A handful of countries have introduced digital nomad visas, allowing remote workers to relocate temporarily for a year or more.
You can view an updated list of the countries in Central America with digital nomad visas here.
Nomads Embassy makes applying for a digital nomad visa even easier, thanks to our hand-selected immigration lawyer partners and secure, innovative platform!
To get in touch with our partners and discuss your relocation to a new country, simply fill out the contact form in the individual visa articles found in the menu at the top of our website.