There are numerous destinations around the world emerging to be the best places for freelancers and nomads. But if surfing in between client calls and sipping fresh coconut juice during lunch sounds dreamy to you then this list rounds up the best beach destinations for nomads who want to fulfill their tropical and island paradise dreams.
Bali has become one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia not just for tourists but also for expats and mobile freelancers. The island is magical and mystical, dotted with countless intricate ancient temples as you wind through breathtaking rice terraces or drive to bask under the sun to the sound of rolling waves in its many spectacular beaches.
Many come here for the wonderful surfing spots like Bukit, Uluwatu, and Padang Padang and the laid-back island life but expect occasional heavy tourist traffic and some drunken dudes during high season.
Housing and cost of living is very affordable with rooms (or sometimes a villa with an swimming pool if you are lucky) for about $300 a month and meals that can go as cheap as $2-3 per person. Internet speed is up to 15mbps and there is good enough free WiFi in the city. Blend in a rich culture and heritage despite mass tourism, a booming co-working environment that is very friendly to foreigners, and stunning seascapes, Bali is definitely hard to beat as a top beach destination for digital nomads.
Hoi An, Vietnam
It may not be as popular as its counterparts Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh when it comes to being a digital nomad haven but Hoi An is definitely getting a slice of the freelancers cake, especially those are looking for peace and quiet --- and beautiful beaches.
The name itself means a “peaceful meeting place” and is now considered by many digital nomads and expats as their base because of its tranquil atmosphere, lush mountains and rice fields, and beaches that are only a 10-min drive away from town. White sand beaches, cerulean waters, and gentle waves greet you over at An Bang Beach and Cua Dai.
Cost of living here is very affordable which can go as low as $600 for a month for a nomad. Meals, especially in the Central Market and other old markets, are also as cheap as $1 but still taste amazing. Digital nomads have been very happy with the WiFi connection as well!
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Could be steep price-wise but Palma de Mallorca is nothing short of a stunner. This old Spanish city boasts of historic sites, medieval churches, and boho neighborhoods against breathtaking playas.
Being based as a digital nomad here means endless views of stunning beaches and dramatic coastlines all day such as the Playa de Palma, except for when you are taking calls or doing some presentations inside its many craft studios or neighborhood restaurants. The vibrancy of the town definitely makes you want to stay longer.
It ranks very high in terms of quality of life, safety, and internet connection. But compared to Asian cities frequented by digital nomads, Palma de Mallorca can cost twice as much with meals taking up the larger part of expenses ($11 for a meal). Maybe whip up something at home and get a craft beer by the beach, instead?
Many people have spoken --- Mexico is surprisingly very affordable to live in. Particularly for North American digital nomads who are looking for a change of scenery, look no further than your vibrant neighbor. Bask under the sun in the company of gentle waves and a few tequila shots in between, welcome to Mexico!
Head over to Cancun and turn your tropical dreams into reality! A trip to Playa del Carmen is only a $5 van ride away. Add another $5 and find yourself in aquamarine-colored Caribbean paradise that is Tulum.
Room rental can go as low as $175 up to $250 and co-working space will only cost you $90 a month. The best part? Beer is only less than $2 a pint!
Cape Town, South Africa
How can you say no to rolling beaches, jaw-dropping landscapes, and a vibrant metropolis all in one place? How can you say no to nine months of beautiful summer days? Oh, Cape Town!
South Africa’s “Mother City” is a booming entrepreneurial and technology haven earning it a title of Silicon Cape, reminiscent of Silicon Valley’s tech startup scene. Enjoy dramatic coastlines as you step outside from one its neighborhood co-working spaces or sip wine by Clifton or Boulders Beach.
Cost of living in South Africa is almost half that of U.S. with room rentals ranging between $500-700. Cape Town boasts of very good infrastructure and transportation system thus going around is easy and affordable.
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Lush jungles, majestic volcanoes, and exotic black sand beaches. Yes we’re talking about a tropical paradise right here. And because of these natural wonders in Puerto Viejo, you won’t run out of activities this side of Costa Rica.
Walking around is easy, there are numerous quirky cafes and neighborhood restaurants, and there seems to be no problem with WiFi --- all these make Puerto Viejo a new-found paradise and homebase for many digital nomads. If you’re bored or just want to take a break from coding, then you can go kitesurfing, rafting, or just relax on a hammock by the beach as you sip homemade Costa Rican ginger ale.
Accommodation is affordable at around $300-400 per month, meals for $3-4, and the fun out here is priceless. Costa Rica is, after all, voted as one of the world’s happiest countries.
Koh Pangan, Thailand
No, this isn’t a full guide on how to enjoy the famous Full Moon Parties. Despite the mass tourism and nights of debauchery, Koh Pangan is quickly becoming a digital nomad hotspot.
There is no doubt it is blessed with numerous white-sand beaches such as Haad Yao, Bottle Beach, and Mae Haad. Add to that active communities dedicated to meditation, tantra, and yoga. In the recent years, co-working spaces like BeacHub has also risen to the numbers giving Koh Pangan a refreshed, entrepreneurial, and creative face.
Living in Koh Pangan would cost around $500-700 per month but the thriving freelance community against a blissful, idyllic backdrop (especially in the quieter Western side) is reason enough to come, work, and live here.
Probably one of the most chaotic, complicated, and hectic places you will ever set foot in, India is a place beyond words. But there is also truth to it being spell-binding, magical, and unforgettable.
India is way too big so let’s focus on Goa, a state down South known for its breathtaking beaches, laid-back lifestyle, and a world-renowned hippie paradise. Goa casts a spell that make you want to stay longer and longer. The sunsets down Mandrem Beach are out of this world.
Living in India is pretty affordable with being able to live by with $400 a month! While internet is still an issue in Goa, more and more digital nomads think it’s improving by the years. But better try it out for a month or two and see if the fascinating culture and gorgeous beaches are enough to make you stay.
One of the most exotic destinations on earth where you can sleep under a billion stars in the desert, get lost in wildly colorful medinas, and soak in stimulating smells of spices.
While Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Chefchaouen remain to be the most popular tourist destinations, a growing number of expats and digital nomads have found home in Taghazout, a sleepy fishing village but widely known for its beaches perfect for surfing. Killer Point and Anchor Point are popular surf breaks boasting of barrel waves.
Morocco is affordable to live in considering how close it is already to Europe. In Taghazout, you can rent a villa and get strong internet connection and live for around $500-900. It scores high on friendliness to foreigners, too!
What’s a list of stunning beach destinations without Brazil right? But we’re zooming in to a less popular town than Rio but definitely as big in culture, beauty, and vibrancy: Florianopolis.
Known locally as Floripa, this town has attracted a lot of digital nomads and expats in the recent years because of a booming start-up scene. So imagine a thriving technology hub, an growing entrepreneurial spirit, a rise in co-working spaces, and a quality of life higher than the bigger Brazilian cities all within a town with abundant gorgeous beaches, chances are you’re booking your flight right now.
Florianopolis is very livable but accommodations can run up to $300-400 a month. Explore the town Trindade as it is said to be cheaper to live there.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grayson Yañez is an Integrated Marketing Communications graduate and brand strategy consultant from the Philippines but mostly likes to be known as (Gray)son of the beach. He is also a content developer, cat lover, and marine conservation advocate. He shares his images, experiences, and realizations through Graysonofthebeach and @graysonofthebeach