Mexico is a popular travel destination for so many reasons. The culture is vibrant, the geography is beautifully diverse, and the cost of living is relatively affordable compared to most Western countries. It’s also a massive country with many cities and regions to explore – but which one is safest for digital nomads?
6 Safest Cities in Mexico for Digital Nomads
These are the six safest cities for digital nomads; based on my experience of spending time in Mexico for months at a time, talking with fellow online workers, and multiple crime and safety reviews. As a bonus, Mexico offers many cities that are great destinations if you’re looking for a warm winter base!
Located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Sayulita is a charming beach town with a relaxed, laidback vibe. Expect a slower pace of life with a vibrant arts culture.
The number one draw to Sayulita is the white sand beaches and pristine turquoise waters. Who doesn’t want to start their day with a morning dip in the ocean before opening up the laptop?
You’ll find a community of artists, musicians, surfers, and travelers, making it an ideal place for meeting other digital nomads and opportunities to network with people from around the world. The city is lined with colorful buildings, unique art galleries, and lots of delicious food.
Popular amongst digital nomads, the city’s crime rate is low, there are plenty of cafes and workspaces with fast WiFi, and the cost of living is lower than in bigger cities in Mexico, like neighboring Puerto Vallarta. For example, the cost of living in Sayulita per month (with rent) is around $1,000 versus $1215 in Puerto Vallarta.
Merida is one of the most underrated cities in Mexico, in my opinion, it’s one of the best places to visit in Mexico. I posted up here for a few months and was completely blown away by its beauty and charm. It’s the capital city of the Yucatan and a quick 30-minute drive to the beach.
Make no mistake, this is a bustling city with fresh markets, gorgeous architecture, and tons of history, so it’s not quite as “chill” as other Mexican coastal towns. However, it offers infrastructure, amazing museums, and incredible food. Plus named the 2nd safest city in all of North America, it’s particularly safe.
It’s a prime location for digital nomads thanks to the reliable WiFi that can be found throughout the city (for example, coworking spaces like Conexion60 claim to have lightning-fast internet), and accommodations are very affordable, with rent averaging around $500 per month with utilities.
There are plenty of stunning cenotes and beaches to explore during your days off work that are easy to reach. Progreso is the closest beach, just half an hour away, and the Ik Kil Cenotes and Xkeken Cenote are just over an hour’s drive from Merida.
3. Mexico City
Known as one of the biggest cultural epicenters in the world, Mexico City has so much to offer. If you’re a digital nomad who likes to jet set a lot, you might find Mexico City to be the perfect place for you to set up a home base because it’s a huge international transit hub.
It’s also a great base for online workers because it’s extremely well-connected. Cafes, coworking spaces, and other WiFi-connected spots are everywhere throughout the city. You’ll also find plenty of workshops, events, and networking meet-ups as well.
Mexico City’s population is a whopping 8.8 million, and as with any major city of this size, there is always a risk of crime. Generally speaking, however, Mexico City is safe for digital nomads. Do your research and find out which area of the city most appeals to you, with the safest being: La Condesa, Roma, Polanco, and Reforma.
4. San Cristobal de las Casas
If you’re more of a small-town, mountain person, you’ll fall in love with San Cristobal de las Casas. Situated in the mountains of Chiapas, the quaint colonial town is lined with cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and a thriving arts culture.
One thing to keep in mind about living in San Cristobal de las Casas is that it can get quite chilly during the winter, so unlike many other popular Mexican destinations, you’ll want to pack a winter coat. But the culture is warm and inviting, wherever and whenever you go.
Chiapas is ranked the third safest state in Mexico according to the Peace Index by Vision of Humanity. So, you can let your guard down while roaming around the city. Of course, wherever you travel, it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and practice common sense.
5. Playa del Carmen
Also located on the Yucatan Peninsula, is the popular tourist destination of Playa del Carmen. I called Playa del Carmen home for nearly five months and never once felt unsafe – and I lived in a very locals-only type neighborhood called Colosio. Everyone was warm, friendly, and always welcoming.
This rapidly growing beach town is fantastic for digital nomads. The cost of living is low, there are cafes and coworking spaces everywhere, and it’s home to incredible beaches since it hugs the Caribbean Sea.
Playa del Carmen can become very crowded and busy during Christmas break and Semana Santa (Easter week). During these times, it’s important to be ultra-aware of tourist-targeted crimes such as pickpocketing, price scams, and druggings.
6. Oaxaca City
Located in southern Mexico, Oaxaca City (or simply Oaxaca), is an enchanting city that entices digital nomads from across the globe. Known for ancient ruins, delectable cuisine, and gorgeous architecture, there’s a lot to love about Oaxaca – including its safety factor.
The town of 300,000 people has a low crime rate overall, and people express very little worry about discrimination or harassment. This isn’t the only thing that’s appealing to online workers, however. In addition to being safe, digital nomads in Oaxaca can find apartments for rent for as low as $430 with utilities.
When you’re not working, you’ll love exploring this UNESCO Heritage Site. The zocalo, or “public square,” is at the heart of the city, where you can buy local goods and produce and admire the historic architecture. You’ll also want to make your way to Hierve El Agua, a mesmerizing rock and mineral feature that looks like a frozen waterfall. There are also natural mineral infinity pools where you can relax and swim.
Mexico is a gorgeous and unique country with so much to offer – and, overall, it’s generally safe for digital nomads. From beach towns to mountain towns, bustling metropolises, and up-and-coming cities, Mexico has something for everyone.
I’ve always loved any time I’ve spent in Mexico and have personally never experienced a situation in which I felt unsafe. Be vigilant, stay up-to-date on travel alerts, and always be aware of your surroundings. Safe travels!