With more companies opening up to the idea of remote work, there’s been a steep rise in the number of digital nomads globetrotting the planet. And while most of them have the freedom to work anywhere with Wi-Fi, there are certain destinations around the world that remote workers flock to. So whether you’re new to the digital nomad world, a seasoned member, or just curious about the lifestyle, here are five of the best places for digital nomads around the globe.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
With year-round sunny weather, a thriving expat community, and easy access to spectacular nature, Playa del Carmen is a popular spot for digital nomads.
A traveler’s favorite in the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa del Carmen sits in between the tourist hotspot city of Cancun and the bohemian, beachy town of Tulum. Moreover, Wi-Fi is everywhere in Playa del Carmen and many co-working spots offer high speeds for remote workers who require a strong connection.
While Playa del Carmen offers many creature comforts that digital nomads love, like strong infrastructure, plenty of international restaurants, and a welcoming community, this buzzy beach town is touristy in itself; so if you’re seeking an authentic Mexican experience you may be slightly disappointed. The plus side however, is you’re never far away from an adventurous Mexican getaway.
There are many longterm Airbnbs available, but there are also plenty of rooms and apartments to choose from for those that fall in love with the town and want to stay even longer. Most restaurants are geared toward tourists around La Quinta Avenida, but you’ll also find a host of off-the-wall local spots and yummy street food options like hearty tacos and empanadas for cheap eats.
The access to adventure opportunities is one of the main draws to Playa del Carmen. Especially if you enjoy spending time wading in the ocean, snorkeling, or diving. Not only are the local beaches breathtaking, but the crystal blue waters, full with marine wildlife, off the island of Cozumel, are just a 40-minute ferry ride away. And that’s not even counting the incredible cenotes (natural, swimmable sinkholes) that dot the surrounding area.
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
A far toss from its mainland of Spain, Gran Canaria is one of the seven Canary Islands that sits off the northwest coast of Africa. The island has been growing as a digital nomad favorite, thanks to its distinct Spanish islander culture, year-round sunny weather, and booming remote worker community.
While the rest of Europe starts to get chilly come autumn, Gran Canaria remains warm and pleasant, even through the cooler months. Aside from the weather, other much-loved perks of this subtropical haven include high-speed Wi-Fi across the island, plenty of cafes and coworking spaces, delicious restaurants, and affordable living costs. Another huge plus is safety. The main city and expat hub of Las Palmas boasts a much higher level of safety compared to its Barcelona or Madrid counterparts.
When you’re not working, make the most of the island’s dramatic nature by embarking on a hike, discovering hidden black-sand beaches, and adventuring through dust and rocks in off-road buggies.
But if chill time is more your vibe, don’t worry, there’s plenty of that too. Just lounge around at any of the postcard perfect beaches for some r&r between work calls.
Medellin is renowned as one of South America’s most up and coming digital nomad spots with many remote workers migrating south from North America looking to indulge in the city’s low cost of living, year-round pleasant weather, and impressive infrastructure. It’s shared time zones with many major US cities are also part of the appeal for many, especially those with stateside clients.
With strong Wi-Fi connections virtually everywhere and an ever-growing coffee-shop culture slap-bang in the middle of the jungle-bordered city, it’s no wonder Medellin is a remote worker’s dream. And thanks to the already thriving network of digital nomads in the city, and wide variety of shared-interest expat meetups, making friends and work connections is a breeze.
As well as the remote worker community, Medellin is home to friendly locals, a tasty, international food scene, and a buzzy nightlife. All of which can be enjoyed even further by embracing the local culture and committing to learning a decent level of Spanish.
When it comes to areas to stay in, many digital nomads make a beeline for El Poblado. This trendy district has everything a remote worker could dream of, including snazzy apartments, motivating coworking spaces, high-quality restaurants, cute cafes, and more.
If you’re not sure where to start, head to Selina in the middle of the district. This artsy hostel is marketed for remote workers, so meeting new, like-minded people is easy if you book a stay there or at least pop by the bar for a drink or two.
When you’re not working, make the most of Colombia’s spectacular scenery and head to the nearby Guatape, a colorful town sitting on a glimmering blue reservoir. Or head further afield and hike among the world’s tallest palm trees in Salento.
Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
Canggu on the exotic island of Bali in Indonesia is by and large one of the most popular digital nomad locations in the world. It thrives with surfers, remote workers, and tourists drawn to its lively bars, beachy accommodations, and peaceful yoga studios.
If you’re a fan of surfing, then Canggu is an excellent spot to stay in. The resort village boasts plenty of surf spots to catch a wave. However, it’s essential to know that as Canggu becomes more popular, so do its beaches – many of these surf spots are a tad crowded.
If you’re interested in fitness and mindfulness, then you’re in for definitely a treat. The area is filled with gyms, yoga studios, and swimming pools, where you can decide to pay-as-you-go or invest in monthly memberships if you aim to stay for a little while. The nightlife isn’t too shabby either – after a hard day’s grafting, hit one of Canggu’s many bars and beach clubs.
There’s plenty of adventuring opportunities away from Canggu, too. Kayak with dolphins in Lovina at sunrise in the north of the island, visit the monkey forest in the lush area of Ubud, or sprawl on one of Bali’s many gorgeous beaches. There’s plenty to do.
Read more: A Bali for Every Type of Traveler
Austin, Texas, United States
If you want to remain stateside, Austin in Texas is one of the best spots to get lost in work, quality conversation, and scrumptious food and drink. The lively city is home to many coworking spaces, coffee shops, and restaurants that make the area highly liveable.
Most establishments draw in friendly people and offer a motivating atmosphere, which is ideal for remote work. Like the other destinations on this list, Austin also offers a warm year-round climate compared to most places in the United States, making it an excellent spot for sun-chasers. And if you love an outdoorsy lifestyle, then you’ll adore Austin with its miles of running tracks, green parks, glistening lakes, and natural pools to explore.