Do you wonder if digital nomads can really work from the beach? My friends and colleagues have often asked me the question.
To me, the best way to address their doubts has always been to show them the beaches I had the chance to literally work from. What I mean is that I was really getting my work done from these beaches:
- writing emails
- doing video calls
- clearing up my todo list
- managing my team
I hope you will be convinced by the places I’m about to show you below. I tried to cover different continents and types of beaches.
Internet speed and stability have not always been perfect in these spots.
However, they were good enough for me. They were even good enough to do video calls.
1. Koh Rong - Cambodia
Koh Rong is a little paradise. The water is crystal clear, the sand could not be more white than it is, and the internet is not too bad!
I was there in 2019. At the time, there was enough 4g signal to be able to work from my hotel’s restaurant which was 30m from the sea.
Just a few years before that, the island was not that developed. Even electricity was not easy to get.
There are different beaches with different vibes on the island. There is a party beach, two more quiet beaches, and one very long resort beach (called long beach).
Fun fact; Koh Rong was the island where the TV show Survivor was shot in 2015.
2. Siquijor - Philippines
Siquijor is a little island located South of Cebu Island. It is known as the witch island. Some people in the Philippines do not want to go there for that reason.
I loved Siquijor. The beach is astonishing. Indeed, it has white sand and clear water.
What I liked in the Philippines is that the sea is very much alive. You get to see amazing fishes, shells, and other creatures just by snorkelling.
In Siquijor, there is a wonderful protected area where you can do snorkelling and what you will see there will amaze you.
The inner part of the island is also beautiful. You can easily rent a motorbike there to go through the hills and visit some waterfalls.
There are several spots (hotels and restaurants) on the beach from which you could work if you ever go there.
Internet speed was alright when using 4G network. Indeed, as anywhere in the Philippines, the speed was not always great, but it was honestly more than fine for my needs.
See some pictures below:
3. Bantayan – Philippines
Another little island of the Philippines. This one is located in the North of Cebu Island.
It is smaller than Siquijor. It is a very flat island, therefore, do not expect to do much more than swimming, snorkelling, and island hopping.
And Island hopping you must do! For a very cheap price, you can easily jump on a boat (just negotiate the price with a local fisherman), and go to several tiny islands where you will have great snorkelling experiences.
The beach is even more beautiful in Bantayan than it is in Siquijor.
My routine, every morning at sunrise, before starting any work, was to walk on the beach watching the fishermen preparing their boat and searching for the most beautiful shells. There were plenty of them.
See pictures below:
4. Mahahual – Mexico
I do not understand why everyone’s going to Tulum, while just three hours further south, there is this little town called Mahahual waiting for more digital nomads to come.
It is probably better if it stays this way. I even hesitated before writing a full article about Mahahual for digital nomads, as it would be a shame to turn this little town into a digital nomad hub.
Mahahual is a cruise destination, located in Quintana Roo, between Chetumal and Tulum.
While I was there, the cruises were suspended because of Covid. The town is likely less attractive when thousands of cruisers dock in Mahahual.
I haven’t worked much from this beach as my workstation was great at the Airbnb we were staying in with my girlfriend. But, I did it a couple of times, and I enjoyed being able to swim in this crystal clear water, with stingrays, coloured fishes, and scary huge barracudas.
5. Dikwella beach – Sri Lanka
Dikwella is an interesting case. It is the only place I know where there is a coworking space on the beach. The place is called The Verse Collective.
This beach is located in the South of Sri Lanka, between Tangalle and Matara. It is an ideal place to work from as it is very quiet.
It is important to note also that it is a swimmable area. There are lots of beaches on this coast where waves are quite dangerous.
There are affordable beachfront hotels from which you will be able to work. The internet speed was great for me, I never had to face any major issues.
Right next to Dikwella (30-min walk) there is another beach called Hiriketiya Beach (much busier). It is famous for its surf, and its parties.
6. Santa Maria Di Leuca – Italy
I could have picked several beach towns from Puglia in Italy.
I picked Santa Maria Di Leuca because it is located in the very south of the Salento peninsula and because it is a much cheaper place.
I worked from there just for a few hours as I was staying in a tiny town called Guliano Di Lecce.
As written above, there are more iconic towns you could work from such as Otranto or Galipolli.
What laptop to use to work on the beach?
I wrote an article here about the best laptops to work outside. I suggest you go through it as it will give you clearer indications.
In a nutshell, you just need to pay attention to the laptop screen brightness before going to the beach to get your work done.
If the screen brightness is about 300 nits you should be fine. Below that you could make it work, but you will need to find a place quite well protected from the sun.
The other element you should consider is the battery life. The longer it is the better. Even if some of these spots I worked from were equiped with electrical sockets, you will often have to rely on your battery solely.
Recent macbooks are perfect for working on the beach. Dell XPS serie is great as well (this is what I use now). High-end laptops, optimised for remote work will be great in general.