As digital nomads are pouring into Latin America, prices aren’t quite what they used to be. There are still a lot a incredible places though to live the comfortable digital nomad lifestyle you want, without breaking the bank. Here are the top spots to live and be a digital nomad in Latin America for under $1000 a month.
There is no denying it: Medellin is the official digital nomad hotspot of South America. With great affordability, incredibly friendly people, beautiful surroundings, delicious food, and awesome nightlife, it is hard to find a digital nomad that isn’t satisfied with their experience in Medellin. It is possible to go over budget in this city if you want to live the lavish lifestyle in Medellin’s center, Poblado, but you can easily stay under budget and still enjoy a decent quality of life if you stay in a more modest and local neighborhood. Walking around Poblado, you’ll pass coffee shop after coffee shop, all with sophistication and charm, as well as great internet connection. There are also several co-working spaces in the area. Medellin has a variety of inexpensive local cuisine and affordable international restaurants with great ambiance. As for night life, there are a lot of dance clubs, as well as some dive bars, sophisticated cocktail bars, and of course, salsa clubs.
Antigua is a UNESCO world heritage site that is a very attractive destination for digital nomads. It is a well-preserved colonial village that has many typical casual Guatemalan restaurants and a variety of other internationally acclaimed restaurants, as well as bars and tons of cafes. If you walk around Parque Central, you will find a lot of cafes with free wifi to work in before seeing all else Antigua has to offer. It is a very walkable city, where people are friendly to foreigners, and the cost of living is great for living on a budget.
There are a variety of places with great food, fantastic coffee, and decent free internet all around Cali. Cali is the salsa capital of the world, with extremely friendly Colombians, so if you want to get out there and experience the culture, there are plenty of opportunities to go out and salsa dance. It is a walkable city with great weather, but you still have to be careful around here are there is petty crime. Just be smart and take cabs/ubers when necessary and you’ll be fine. You can easily live a nice modest life here for under $1,000 a month while eating all the unique fruits and vegetables that you could possibly want from the amazing local markets
The bustling capital city of Ecuador is an up and coming hot spot for digital nomads. The city’s beautiful colonial style is based on the foundation of an ancient Incan city. The city is consistently rated one of the most beautiful cities in South America due to its architecture, incredible views of the snow-capped Andes mountains, and incredible weather. The Old Town of Quito is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, and if you’re someone who prefers a cooler summer, Quito’s elevation keeps it in the 70s almost every day. Ecuadorians are also extremely friendly and are always willing to help point you in the right direction for whatever you need. There are plenty of places with good internet, at a cost point right where you want it.
Cordoba is the second largest city in Argentina and has 7 universities. It is always alive with young people sitting at restaurants and cafes. It is a very walkable city with plenty of options for spots to hunker down and get to work. The city has beautiful parks and always has things going on throughout the weekend. You have to get used to the Argentinian schedule though if you want to hang with the locals. Dinner starts late and the party often goes until sunrise. The peso is not doing so great at the moment, which means it’s even cheaper to live there as an expat, so now is the time to go.
Lima is a large city of 10 million and is becoming a bigger digital nomad hotspot as it continues to improve its high-speed internet access. Miraflores is the best neighbourhood to get to know if you are dependent on internet and don’t have a great deal of Spanish, but other neighbourhoods are quickly expanding to accommodate newcomers. Lima has tons of beauty and culture and is easily accessible to all the incredible sites Peru has to offer, such as Machu Pichu and Cusco. If food is your thing, then there is no spot better than Lima. They have a huge variety of insanely delicious dishes that are sought after all over the world, at very affordable prices.
Cusco has this hard to find the combination of being totally taken back in time through its architecture while being reminded you are one of many foreigners spending time there. This is a common stopping point for tourists before hiking one of the many Inca trails, but there are also a lot of volunteer programs in Cusco so there are always people to meet. Cusco has a variety of excellent Peruvian restaurants and nice places to stay. It is also the perfect spot to be able to visit all the other incredible beauties of Peru. Small businesses are used to people coming to the area with certain expectations, and they aim to please, whether it's nice accommodation, great food, or fast internet connection.
As far as affordability goes, Colombia is hard to beat. If cooler temperatures are the thing for you, then Bogota is a great option. Even being so close to the equator, Bogota’s high elevation keeps stays cooler year round. This capital city of 8 million is filled with amazing restaurants of all price ranges, high-end shopping, and endless amounts of cafes to fulfill any digital nomad’s needs. Bogota has an extensive history, which can be seen through its beautiful architecture, as well as its one of a kind graffiti art, which is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. The people of Bogota are friendly and will help with any questions you may have about the big city to make you feel more at home.
Adding another Colombian city to the list, Bucaramanga takes the cake in affordability. It is far more off the beaten path as far as expat go compared to Bogota and Medellin, but has been increasing in popularity in more recent years because nomads are able to have a more authentic experience while still having the luxuries of a real city. More expats are moving here to start businesses here and it is easy to connect with other digital nomads and locals alike, as they welcome newcomers here. The internet is great throughout the city, probably due to the city’s 10 universities, but outside of work, people are very active in Bucaramanga and take full advantage of their beautiful surroundings.
Cuenca is filled with outdoor parks and pretty much the entire city is walkable, and its year-round nice weather lets people take full advantage of this. There are lots of restaurants and cafes with excellent wifi connections where digital nomads can go to work. While it is off the beaten path, there is a strong expat community and with just a little bit of effort you can feel right at home here. In addition to great food, Cuenca has a lot of cultural and artistic events, as well as outdoor activities to keep you busy during off hours.
Cameron Matthews is an international nomad, preferring to stay for extended periods of time in foreign countries, but never having lived anywhere longer than 3 years in her entire life! She loves learning new languages and has learned to embrace feeling awkward in foreign situations. She loves going on shorter vacations, but her passion is connecting with the culture and seeing the world from a different perspective. She is still unsure of what exactly she wants out of this life, but she knows it will always involve travel. Check out her blog at www.sunscreenrecommended.com.