Working Remotely From Mexico For Digital Nomads

All you need to know about working remotely from Mexico

Table of Contents

The good

  • Warm and welcoming people
  • Diverse and beautiful natural environments (beaches, forests, ruins)
  • The cost of living is fairly low
  • Public transports
  • Lastly the food

The bad

  • The language barrier for people that do not know Spanish
  • A stable internet connection can be hard to find in some places
  • 4G data can end up being quite expensive

Internet speed in Mexico

High-speed internet access in Mexico is available in most of the major cities, through different options (ADSL, cable and 4G).

Mexico CitiesAvg download speed (Mbps)Avg upload speed (Mbps)
San Cristóbal de las Casas36.110.2
Mexico City33.5812.09
Monterrey21.39.8
San Miguel de Allende18.23.1
Toluca16.25.3
Hermosillo15.95.1
Puerto Vallarta15.913.53
Torreon9.7312.09
Cozumel9.31.9
Cabo San Lucas8.384.68
Sayulita7.951.43
Juarez6.118.14
Tijuana5.892.81
Tulum5.81.2
Playa del Carmen4.881.05
Guadalajara4.551.71
San Luis Potosí4.315.25
Puerto Escondido4.30.9
Mexicali4.242.8
Aguascalientes3.644.29
Isla Mujeres3.61.2
Puebla3.422.81
Queretaro3.252.16
Cancun3.161.93
Merida2.971.59
Guanajuato2.781.99
Oaxaca2.060.61

However, rural parts of Mexico are still struggling to have a steady internet connection. The most popular internet services providers are TelMex and TelCel. They are the go-to option for maximum 4G coverage across the country.

I suggest you get a prepaid plan from both providers (you better have a phone that can take two sims), this way, when the signal will be a bit weak from one provider, you will be able to switch to another one.

Mexico Cities4G Coverage
Aguascalientes4G covered
Cabo San Lucas4G covered
Cancun4G covered
Cozumel4G covered
Guadalajara4G covered
Guanajuato4G partially covered
Hermosillo4G covered
Isla Mujeres4G covered
Juarez4G covered
Merida4G covered
Mexicali4G covered
Mexico City4G covered
Monterrey4G covered
Oaxaca4G covered
Playa del Carmen4G covered
Puebla4G covered
Puerto Escondido4G partially covered
Puerto Vallarta4G covered
Queretaro4G covered
San Cristóbal de las Casas4G covered
San Luis Potosí4G covered
San Miguel de Allende4G partially covered
Sayulita4G slightly covered
Tijuana4G covered
Toluca4G covered
Torreon4G covered
Tulum4G partially covered

I have been working from quite remote places, such as Mahahual, Akumal Jungle, or Holbox, and I managed to get my work done. However, I would not recommend any of these places for people who really need high-speed internet.

In this article I’m sharing a few tips on how to get the best Internet speed in Mexico.

Visas and documentation

All the information needed can be found in this Wikipedia page we linked to just below:

Visa policy of Mexico

If you live in any of the green countries on the map below, you won’t need any Visa to visit Mexico, and you will be able to stay 180 days.

You will have the possibility, after the 180 days, to leave Mexico and visit a nearby country for a few days to then come to Mexico back for another 180-days period.

However, if you wish to work in Mexico, and to stays longer than 180 days we recommend you apply for a temporary resident Visa. It will cost you about 40 USD and will allow you to stay between 180 days and four years in Mexico.

It will cost you more if you decide to hire a lawyer to take care of your application. Trisha from Psimonmyway.com has written a great article that explains everything about this Visa.

Please note that you are not allowed to work from Mexico without a work permit, as per most of the countries in this world.

Where to work

As Mexico became more open to tourists, expats from around the world and also local entrepreneurs and freelancers, co-working spots have grown considerably as this article from Mexico City Streets shows.

Coworking spaces

Here’s a list of our favourites coworking spaces:

Tech stuff

Power plug types

Like most countries in North and Central America, you will find type A and type B electrical sockets:

Laptop & phone repair

If you are in a remote place and you are having issues with your Macbook, then you will probably need to go to the nearest big city.

For phones (including iPhones) and windows laptops, things will be much easier. There are lots of repair shops in middle-size cities.

This happened to my girlfriend and me, while we were in Bacalar. Her Macbook started to have screen issues.

From Bacalar, our first choice was to go to Chetumal to diagnose the issue, and hopefully to repair the laptop.

We managed to find a repair shop, but we were only able to diagnose the issue. The repair would have taken too long (due to the fact that the broken pieces needed to be ordered), so we decided to go to the neared Apple Store in Playa Del Carmen.

We just bought a new Macbook for my girlfriend, thinking that we will get the old one repaired before selling it.

It took several days to do all that, as at the same time, we still needed to get some work done.

I suggest you travel with an extra laptop, just in case something goes wrong. It can be a very cheap one, as long as it allows you to respond to your emails and to do conference calls.

Otherwise, even if it is obvious, just make sure you have enough money to replace your laptop when it breaks.

Language

The most spoken language is, of course, Spanish or more precisely Mexican Spanish, followed by Nahuatl which you’ll hear in central parts of Mexico and lastly English (spoken by approximatively 2 millions people)

Here is a table showing how English Friendly the main Mexican cities are:

Mexico CitiesEnglish? 
AguascalientesEnglish friendly
Cabo San LucasEnglish friendly
CancunEnglish friendly
CozumelEnglish friendly
GuadalajaraEnglish friendly
GuanajuatoA little bit of English
HermosilloEnglish friendly
Isla MujeresA little bit of English
JuarezEnglish friendly
MeridaA little bit of climate
MexicaliEnglish friendly
Mexico CityEnglish friendly
MonterreyEnglish friendly
OaxacaA little bit of English
Playa del CarmenEnglish friendly
PueblaEnglish friendly
Puerto EscondidoEnglish friendly
Puerto VallartaEnglish friendly
QueretaroA little bit of English
San Cristóbal de las CasasEnglish friendly
San Luis PotosíEnglish friendly
San Miguel de AllendeEnglish friendly
SayulitaEnglish friendly
TijuanaEnglish friendly
TolucaEnglish friendly
TorreonEnglish friendly
TulumEnglish friendly

When to visit

The time of visit is going to depend a lot on the region you’re visiting. Overall, from December to April is the dry season, where the crowd is at its peak. The rainy season starts roughly from June and goes till mid-October. Technically, up to this point and through November is a great time to visit the country.

Food

Widely known around the world for their succulent appetizers like tacos, and their usage of corn, bean, avocados and tomatoes, Mexican food is even richer than you would imagine.

Make sure during your trip, to test some of these dishes.

Accommodation

Coliving, Airbnb & Hotels

There are all sorts of solutions to find a place to stay a couple of nights or to stay one month or two. There are Coliving spaces or digital nomad hotels in all the main cities.

There are lots of apartments available on Airbnb for monthly contracts. It is usually not too expensive.

Even better, there are hotels offering discounts on Booking.com for 30-days stays.

For long term stays:

I haven’t used it myself. But I have been advised to use Segundomano.mx to search for apartments. Just use your browser translator if you can’t read Spanish.

The other method, which is the best to find cheap places, is to visit the city you’re in and look for signs where it says “Se Renta”, and then just pick your phone to start negotiating.

Costs of living:

Here is another table with the average costs of living for one person, based on our research.

Mexico CitiesCost of living
Aguascalientes~$1,000 per month
Cabo San Lucas~$2,223 per month
Cancun~$639 per month
Cozumel~$1,123 per month
Guadalajara~$567 per month
Guanajuato~$1,154 per month
Hermosillo~$854 per month
Isla Mujeres~$1,736 per month
Juarez~$1,165 per month
Merida~$938 per month
Mexicali~$742 per month
Mexico City~$824 per month
Monterrey~$1,175 per month
Oaxaca~$559 per month
Playa del Carmen~$965 per month
Puebla~$632 per month
Puerto Escondido~$1,255 per month
Puerto Vallarta~$989 per month
Queretaro~$918 per month
San Cristóbal de las Casas~$1,219 per month
San Luis Potosí~$575 per month
San Miguel de Allende~$900 per month
Sayulita~$1,280 per month
Tijuana~$2,031 per month
Toluca~$828 per month
Torreon~$1,518 per month
Tulum~$1,775 per month
Sofiann

Sofiann

I am a digital nomad. Not the kind of nomad that keeps travelling all the time though.

I tend to live for 6 months at home in France and 6 months abroad. In the last seven years, I have been living in 13 countries.

I created this blog so I can share some insights about the places I have been and how did I manage to work and travel at the same time. I hope you will enjoy it :)