With a similar time zone to the US, digital nomad visas and a low cost of living, more and more people are being drawn to working remotely in Central America. For a relatively small region there is a huge diversity in cultures, landscapes and wildlife to explore in between office hours. With vibrant cities, small surf towns and even Caribbean islands, check out what we think are the top places to work remotely in Central America.
Benefits to working remotely in Central America
The low cost of living, sunny weather and ability to explore fascinating countries are all big pluses to working remotely in Central America. As it is becoming increasingly popular there are easy ways to meet fellow travelers, fast wifi in most places and cafes that are set up for co-working. Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Belize all have established digital nomad visas.
Downsides to working remotely in Central America
Working remotely in Central America looks like the dream, but like any adventure in life it can be hard and frustrating. Access to reliable to wifi can get stressful if you are moving between accommodation. Life on the road can be lonely at times too. As remote work becomes more common, the most popular places to live and work are becoming more expensive.
Where to go?
A charming, slightly crumbling, old colonial town with volcanoes on the horizon, colorful markets and local coffee ground in corner cafes sounds like a pretty ideal working environment to us. Antigua perhaps isn’t on everyone’s radar but that’s what gives it the added cham. There are enough cafes, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained when work finishes and the surrounding area is full of volcanoes to be hiked and ruins to be visited. There are four co-working spaces, dozens of cafes to work in and reliable internet speed in most places. And with a wealth of language schools you can learn Spanish too! Definitely a plus to working remotely in central America.
Granada is a beautiful city of cobble stone streets, colonial churches and a vibrant nightlife. Not to mention a chocolate museum. Nicaragua’s oldest town is often used as a base by travelers as there is so much to do in the surrounding area. Volcán Mombacho has walking trails and hot springs, and you can relax in nature at Laguna de Apoyo, or chill on the beach at the Peninsula de Asese. A community of digital nomads exists making it easy to connect with others and there are plenty of co-works and cafes.
Caye Caulker, Belize
With a six-month digital nomad visa available in Belize, you could take your office to this 5-mile stretch of white sand in the Caribbean Sea. The waters are warm and full of wildlife, the pace is slow and the locals are incredibly friendly. It is obviously not as well set up for working life as some cities but there are a few cafes to work from, the wifi speed is good and you can snorkel with manatees on your lunch break and dine on local lobster for dinner. It’s hard to argue with that.
Playa Venao, Panama
If you want to surf whilst working remotely, this sleepy town on the south coast of Panama could be your ideal spot for working remotely in Central America. The cost of living is affordable, the surf is still not too crowded and the black sand beaches are perfect for after work beers. The hostel/co-working brand Selina began here and they know how to look after remote workers. Co-working space, fast wifi and events mean there is a community of like-minded people to connect with.
San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
San Cristobal de las Casas is a city rich with indigenous Mexican culture and surrounded by rainforest. It’s a change of vibe from sunny beaches, with old colonial architecture, jungle excursions, and one of the lowest costs of living in Mexico. Working remotely can be lonely but here there are lots of co-working and co-living options in case you’re missing community.
Jaco, Costa Rica
Jaco is one of the most developed beach towns in Costa Rica, so it comes with a bustling atmosphere and great infrastructure. Surfers, tourists and remote workers all mix in the cafes and restaurants around town. It's a convenient 1.5 hours from the airport and a good base to explore the beaches and jungles around the country. Bear in mind Costa Rica is the most expensive of the Central American countries but Jaco is fast becoming one of the most popular places to work in the region.
Long story short….
If you are looking for more adventure, to open your eyes to other cultures but still have access to community and spaces set up for work, consider these places in Central America to set up your next office.
Written by Laura Sedlak