15 Best Places To Live in Mexico - The Complete Guide

28. Feb. 2023

15 Best Places To Live in Mexico

Key Takeaways

  • Merida is the safest city in Mexico. It also has a low cost of living, making it appealing for digital nomads. 

  • If you want to enjoy a community feel, head to San Miguel de Allende, which has an expat population of over 10,000.

  • Mazatlan and Cozumel have some of the best internet speeds in the country. 

  • Most foreigners decide to settle down in Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Merida.

  • Do away with the hassles of planning a detailed itinerary by joining Remote Year programs in Mexico. One of our most popular adventures is our visits to Oaxaca City, where you can join the Day of the Dead festivities. 

Mexico has a warm, welcoming climate, a low cost of living compared to the U.S., a digital nomad-friendly infrastructure, and large expat communities. Factor in wholesome food, friendly locals, and a wealth of opportunities, and it’s easy to see why digital nomads love it. 

If you’re looking to make the land of Frida Kahlo your home for an extended period of time, here are the 15 best places to live in Mexico. They’ll suit your desired lifestyle and make workation a breeze.

15 Best Places To Live in Mexico

Planning to move to Mexico? Here are the best cities to live in Mexico.  

1. Mexico City

Rent: $494.43 in the suburbs to $801.07 in the city center

Mexico has a busy lifestyle, a mesmerizingly vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan culture, deep history, and amazing architecture. The climate here is very agreeable, and there are top-tier public transport and healthcare facilities available. It is, hands down, the best place to live in Mexico.

Centro Histórico, the historical center of the city, sees up to 5 million people a day, making it suitable for digital nomads who prefer the hustle and bustle of city life.

Where to work? According to the Guinness World Records, Mexico City is the most connected city on Earth, so you won’t have any trouble working remotely from here. 

Co-working spaces such as Ayni, PÚBLICO, El 3er Espacio, Homework, MIA Co-Growing, Impact Hub, and The Pool are fully equipped with the furniture and essentials you need to work. Alternatively, you can also operate from laptop-friendly cafes — provided you buy something!

Where to stay? La Condesa, Roma, and Norte are good choices. These bohemian neighborhoods provide several opportunities where you can network with like-minded expats. 

What to do? Feast your eyes on Luis Barragán House and Studio, grab a bite and buy yourself something nice from the Juarez neighborhood, check out the grandiose Palacio Nacional, take day trips from Mexico City to cool off after a busy work week, and explore the waterways at Floating Gardens of Xochimilco.

Is it safe? Mexico City is considered safe as it has a decent police officer-to-resident ratio, but like in any large city, there are areas with high crime rates, so be sure to exercise proper precautions.

2. Mérida

Rent: $341.02 in the suburbs to $454.74 in the city center 

Mérida, the capital of the Yucatan region, has a warm to hot climate with cool nights, tropical greenery, and lots of expats from Canada, the U.S., and Europe. It has an affordable cost of living which can be as much as 20% less than Mexico City, but real estate prices are rising owing to its popularity with tourists. 

The city has walkable, cycling-friendly flat streets and an excellent healthcare system that will help keep you fit and well. However, keep in mind that the locals here speak little English, so brush up on your Spanish if you decide to stay here. 

Where to work? Merida has fast WiFi, although it might not be enough for jobs that require high-speed connectivity. That said, co-working spaces like Conexion60, Terraza60, and Enter_Work certainly make things easier and more efficient. 

Where to stay? Merida has a lot of nice neighborhoods and accommodation options ranging from hostels and hotels to Airbnbs. If you want to live near expats, Centro Historico or North Merida are good choices, but if you want to keep your options open, you’ll find Zona Paseo Montejo, Santiago, and Santa Ana agreeable. 

What to do? Take a walk around Centro Historico, cool off in the El Corchito cenotes (natural sinkholes), learn new things about old times at Casa de Montejo, Passage of the Revolution, and Museum of the City of Merida, visit Chichen Itza – one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, or take a day trip to Pink Lagoons — a biosphere reserve. 

Is it safe? Mérida is considered the safest city in Mexico, the best city to live in Mexico, and one of the best places to work remotely

3. Guadalajara

Rent: $342.23 in the suburbs to $514.24 in the city center

Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, has warm weather, lively culture, adventure hotspots, and an affordable cost of living with rent that’s 25% to 30% less than Mexico City. It also has excellent food and nightlife, reliable transportation, and parks for hiking, making it an enjoyable option for digital nomads. 

The icing on the cake? The city has an excellent healthcare system.  

Where to work? Guadalajara is the self-proclaimed Silicon Valley of Mexico, so expect to enjoy excellent internet and WiFi connectivity. To keep yourself motivated and productive, try booking a space at Nevermind, Metta Coworking, Worklabs, CoLabora, IOS Offices, and other equally awesome co-working spaces. 

Where to stay? Santa Tere, Providencia, Mexicaltzingo, Chapalita, Tlaquepaque Centro, and Zapopan Centro are the ideal neighborhoods for digital nomads. 

What to do? Walk around the historic Colonia Americana, enjoy a specialty drink at Matilde Mi Amor, check out the wonderful Café Benito, explore the city like a local at Via RecreActiva, and tantalize your taste buds with tortas ahogadas. 

Is it safe? Guadalajara has a lower safety rating than Mexico City, but remote workers can get by just fine by taking some basic precautions. 

4. Monterrey

Rent: $421.14 in the suburbs to $636.15 in the city center

Breathtaking mountains surround Monterrey, and the city’s center has a wide array of parks connected to the spectacular Santa Lucia Riverwalk. 

Its striking architecture, rich culture, and well-dressed, friendly, and welcoming residents make it a great place to live. 

Where to work? Monterrey is Mexico’s second most important economic hub, so digital nomads will find a world-class professional setup here. Check out workspaces like Nstro.Lab, Dealcenter, and La Capital Business Center. 

Where to stay? San Pedro Garza Garcia is an ideal location for digital nomads. It has highly walkable streets and some of the finest restaurants and nightclubs in Mexico.   

What to do? Check out a variety of displays at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO), take a walking tour at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey, explore the many attractions at Fundidora Park, browse through boutique shops, and eat yummy food in restaurants and cafes at Barrio Antiguo. 

Is it safe? Monterrey is safe for digital nomads, but drug wars have affected parts of the city. So, we recommend hanging out in areas like San Pedro Garza Garcia, Apodaca and Guadalupe. So, as long as you take the usual precautions and protect your valuables, you should be alright. 

5. San Miguel de Allende

Rent: $505.37 in the suburbs to $860.31 in the city center

San Miguel de Allende, a mecca for artistic folks, has a rich culture, unique traditions, and striking architecture. All this has earned it UNESCO World Heritage site status. It also has a high expat population of approximately 10,000, with whom you can socialize, network, and build connections. 

The town has pleasant spring-like temperatures most of the year. Despite its small size, it has a highly developed remote worker-friendly infrastructure. Additionally, it has a walkable layout, so you can easily stroll along its charming cobbled streets whenever you need a break from your laptop. 

Where to work? Digital nomads can work from Smartspace Hub, Alpha, and other high-ranking co-working spaces. There are also plenty of quiet cafes you can visit to catch up on work as you sip a cup of joe. 

Where to stay? Digital nomads who stay in the Centro, Colonia Independencia, and Balcones neighborhoods will never feel out of place. If you’re looking for an affordable alternative, look for hostels on the city’s outskirts. 

What to do? Try a variety of international and local cuisines, check out mercados (indoor food markets) in Guanajuato, explore the famous central plaza “El Jardin,” go for a hot soak in La Gruta (or any other hot springs), and attend parades, art festivals, and other events to meet fellow expats. 

Is it safe? San Miguel de Allende is free from cartel wars and robberies, making it one of the safest places to live in Mexico.

6. Puerto Vallarta

Rent: $487.74 in the suburbs to $806.97 in the city center

Puerto Vallarta is a charming town with stunning beaches, tropical mountains, and excellent weather year-round. While it was initially a quiet fishing village, it has rapidly developed over the years to offer many comforts and amenities you’d see in your hometown, making it an ideal base for expats and digital nomads.   

Puerto Vallarta is accessible by road, although you can also catch local and international flights to the U.S. and Europe from the main airport.

Where to work? You can get stable internet connectivity in your rented accommodation in Puerto Vallarta. If you’d like to enjoy an office-like set-up, you can work from one of the many co-working spaces like Vallata and Natureza.   

Where to stay? The walkable Zona Romantica, the quiet and safe Marina Vallarta, and the exclusive Conchas Chinas are some of the best places to live for digital nomads. You’ll find a good selection of apartments and houses to choose from. 

What to do? Tantalize your taste buds with Huachinango Zarandeado (fried red snapper), experience a magical evening at the Rhythms of the Night show, discover unique flora and fauna at Vallarta Botanical Gardens and walk along the Malecon. 

Is it safe? Puerto Vallarta has low crime rates and efficient local enforcement bodies, making it a safe choice for digital nomads and remote workers.

7. Puebla

Rent: $196.16 in the suburbs to $336.03 in the city center

Puebla, located just south of Mexico City, is popular with digital nomads, and it’s easy to see why. It has stunning colonial architecture and some pretty amazing sunsets you can feast your eyes on. 

And yes, there are also many American chain stores and restaurants here, which makes it the ideal spot for picky eaters and those with limited palates. 

Where to work? Puebla has 6 Mbps internet speed, so you may have some trouble working here. That said, co-working spaces like IOS OFFICES City Angelópolis, Urban Space, and Centro De Negocios Piso 13 make the job easier with world-class amenities and office-like setups. 

Where to stay? Las Animas and Bosques de Angelopolis neighborhoods are good options, but you can’t go wrong with Downtown Puebla. 

What to do? Take advantage of hiking opportunities, ride the Ferris wheel at Estrella de Puebla, explore different ecosystems and natural habitats at Africam Safari, ride the massive observation wheel at Estrella de Puebla, or visit the peculiar-shaped Museo Internacional del Barroco to be transported through time. 

Is it safe? Although there have been incidences of mugging, Puebla is generally safe for digital nomads if you’re aware of your surroundings. 

8. Tulum

Rent: $578.52 in the suburbs to $590.68 in the city center

Tulum is one of the most beautiful towns in Mexico. It is also filled with ancient Mayan archaeological sites. Plus, the city has gorgeous Caribbean beaches, cenotes, and tropical jungles that make work-life balance so much easier and more fun. Factor in the warm weather, and you’re all set to enjoy the intriguing world of Tulum. 

Additionally, Tulum has a delicious food scene that will help you expand your food palate with items like fresh seafood, classic Mexican fare, etc. 

Remember, Tulum is a touristy place, so prices will increase during the tourist season.

Where to work? In Tulum, internet speeds will vary depending on where you live, but it’s mostly consistent enough to get the job done. Additionally, there are a decent number of co-working spots like Bucko, CoCo Hub, Los Amigos Cowork, Digital Jungle, BABEL Cafe, and Tulum Art Club you can check out.  

Where to stay? Tulum offers many accommodation options, but if you want to socialize with like-minded expats and digital nomads, the Middle Beach Zone or main town (Pueblo/Centro) are top choices. They give you direct access to a wide range of restaurants as well as Tulum’s vibrant nightlife. 

What to do? Get away from the daily routine by trekking through the jungle, exploring the Mayan ruins, visiting the breathtaking cenote for its healing properties, going on fun rides at the Xcaret Amusement Park, picnicking at the beach, and snorkeling off the coast with sea turtles. 

Is it safe? Tulum is a fairly safe town, but there have been some recent cases of petty crime and theft toward foreigners, so take the usual precautions. 

9. Playa del Carmen

Rent: $615.56 in the suburbs to $932.86 in the city center

Playa del Carmen, also known as Playa by the locals, is a small coastal town that offers all the amenities of its larger, more modern counterparts. 

Here, digital nomads can live a relaxed lifestyle among its pure-white beaches, coral reefs, cenotes (natural swimming caves), turquoise waters, and subtropical temperatures year-round. It has a large expat community, and you can participate in community activities like beach clean-ups and poker nights to meet new friends.

The town is located around 30 minutes away from the Cancun Airport, so you can fly to Belize on the weekend and get back to your workweek in no time.

Where to work? Internet connectivity is good in Playa del Carmen. Here, you can book co-working spaces in places like Bunker, Cowork-in, and Nest. Another option is to check out laptop-friendly coffee shops on days when you want a more relaxed atmosphere. 

Where to stay? Playa del Carmen offers a variety of accommodation options. You can rent high-end houses in exclusive neighborhoods like Playacar or opt for something affordable in the quiet residential area of Anemonas Playacar. 

What to do? Enjoy the town’s active scuba diving scene, check out the famous nightlife scene (bars, cafes, and nightclubs), relish traditional Mayan food at La Perla Pixan Cuisine, take a day trip to the secluded Xpu Ha, shop at La Quinta (5th Avenue), and experiment with traditional Mayan food at La Perla Pixan Cuisine.

Is it safe? Playa del Carmen is a safe city, but there have been a few shootings in the Yucatan Peninsula. This has resulted in an increased police force in the streets, so you should still feel relatively safe walking around the area, including downtown. 

10. Cancun

Rent: $346.02 in the suburbs to $591.08 in the city center

Cancun has a beautiful Caribbean coastline as its backdrop. That has easily sealed the deal for its digital nomad population.

Cancun comprises two districts: the zona hotelera, which is around the beachfront strip, and high-rise hotels, as well as centro, which is more traditional and affordable. It also has an excellent (and steadily rising) digital nomad community which makes it a good option for remote workers. 

Where to work? The internet connectivity in Cancun is pretty reliable, but it only has 10 Mbps of speed. So, if possible, book a spot at CoWorking Creativo La Casa del Árbol, beNuk Coworking, NEX Offices AZUNA, or IOS OFFICES for faster WiFi.

Where to stay? Zona Hotelera, Downtown Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Puerto Morelos are the best neighborhoods for a digital nomad in Mexico. That said, Cancun is well-connected, so you’ll have plenty of things to do, irrespective of where you stay. 

What to do? Go snorkeling at the Great Mayan Reef, ride an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) in Xcaret, experience the Temazcal Ceremony, catch breathtaking views at Cancun Scenic Tower, shop at Mercado 28, and join Xoximilco — a Mexican party. 

Is it safe? Cancun has friendly locals and a comparatively low crime rate, making it a safe space for digital nomads.

11. Oaxaca City

Rent: $303.22 in the suburbs to $465.47 in the city center

Oaxaca City is the largest city in the state of Oaxaca. It has colonial buildings which are made from volcanic stone and charming main city squares. You can also get a taste of the sleepy, village-like feel by residing in the Xochimilco district. 

Oaxaca also has an amazing gastronomic experience, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. 

Where to work? Oaxaca city has very good internet connectivity. This makes it easy to work from home or enConjunto, Selina, Convivio, StartUp Mexico campus Oaxaca, Impact Hub Oaxaca, Centro de Imaginación, and other co-working spaces. 

Where to stay? The neighborhood of Barrio de Xochimilco is great if you prefer a quiet atmosphere, or Santo Domingo for its vibrant nightlife and bar scene. 

What to do? Drink Mezcal, check out the famous Cathedral Templo de Santo Domingo, visit the flowers of Ethnobotanic Garden, tour the intricate ruins of Mitla, enjoy exuberant festivals, and see gorgeous views at Hierve el Agua. 

Is it safe? Oaxaca City is generally considered safe for digital nomads. Still, it would be a good idea to base yourself at expat-friendly hotspots like El Centro, Xochimilco, Barrio Jalatlaco, and Reforma to minimize any risks.

12. Mazatlán

Rent: $403.30 in the suburbs to $579.48 in the city center

Mazatlán is a resort town with a wealth of beauty that can be seen in its beaches, cliffs, and historical buildings. It is less humid than places like Puerto Vallarta. When you factor in its slow pace of living, you’ll find that it’s the perfect place to relax.

However, keep in mind that there aren’t that many English-speaking people in the service sector, so learn some Spanish before you head to this beautiful place. 

Where to work? In Mazatlán, you can get as much as 100 Mbps at home. You can also work from laptop-friendly internet cafes, use free wireless hotspots, or book a space at Beehive Coworking Business and IQ. 

Where to stay? The Zona Dorada is the best place to live in Mazatlán for foreigners. 

What to do? Explore Plaza Machado, snorkel at Isla de Venados (Deer Island), climb the El Faro lighthouse, appreciate history at Teatro Angela Peralta, take an organized tour to El Quelite, and surf at Playa Olas Altas. 

Is it safe? Mazatlán is known to be safe for digital nomads and expats. Use the same caution that you would use in any new country.

13. Cabo San Lucas

Rent: $416.71 in the suburbs to $641.43 in the city center

Cabo San Lucas is a top-class resort city situated at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. The city, which used to be a quiet fishing village, has developed over the years to become one of the best nomad hotspots. If you live in Pedregal or Cabo Corridor, you can settle right in with its expat community.  

It has a marina which is the centerpiece of the thriving city. While the weather is agreeable, it has hot spells from July to October; but don’t let that worry you, as there’s a cool ocean breeze to refresh you. 

Where to work? Take advantage of the excellent internet connectivity in Cabo San Lucas. You can work from home or LCI Coworking Space.

Where to stay? Cabo San Lucas has everything from fully-equipped developments, condominiums, and townhouses with stellar amenities to reasonably priced houses. The impressive variety makes it easy to rent a place within your budget. 

What to do? Enjoy a round of golf at one of its fairways, enjoy seafood tacos, swim in Medano Beach, walk up the steep Pedregal, check out Flora Farms, snorkel at Santa Maria Bay, and whale-watch in Cabo San Lucas!

Is it safe? Cabo San Lucas is generally safe.

14. San Cristóbal de las Casas

Rent: $199.49 in the suburbs to $301.45 in the city center

San Cristóbal de las Casas, also known as Jovel, is bustling with indigenous culture. It also has some pretty cool neighborhoods where you can reside: San Ramon if you’re a foodie, Barrio de los Mexicanos if you’re an art and history geek, and Merced if you enjoy festivals. 

San Cristóbal de las Casas is located at a high altitude — 2,200 meters above sea level so the weather here can be colder than in other areas. 

Where to work? San Cristóbal de las Casas has good internet and WiFi connectivity, so you won’t have any issues working in the region. Coworking spaces like Centralita Centro, Centralita Cerrillo, and Nomadas Digitales Cowork-Cafe are also available for your convenience. 

Where to stay? The beautiful Barrio el Cerillo neighborhood is a great place to live if you want to socialize with other like-minded expats. 

What to do? Admire the baroque-style Cathedral, climb the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Church) for insanely impressive architecture and beautiful views of the city, and visit museums like Museum Mesoamericano del Jade. 

Is it safe? San Cristóbal de las Casas is safe compared to other Mexican towns.

15. Cozumel

Rent: $354.65 in the suburbs to $558.57 in the city center

Cozumel, a sacred island to the Mayans, has been a hotspot for expats for some time. It has a fascinating culture, friendly people, delicious food, and an agreeable climate. What’s more? There are many modes of transportation available, so you’ll be spoiled for choice during your weekend trips. 

If you want to enjoy Mexico’s marine life and water spots, Cozumel is the place to be. It is also the best city in Mexico to live in for those with limited budgets. 

Where to work? Cozumel has high-speed internet services, and there are some decent coffee shops that offer reliable WiFi access. 

Where to stay? Cozumel is a delightful place to be if you want to enjoy all that the city has to offer without going over a limited budget. 

What to do? Have a lazy day at Playa Palancar, snorkel at the clear waters of Playa El Cielo, have a quick stopover at Zona Arqueologica San Gervasio, kiteboard at Punta Chiqueros, marvel at fascinating exhibits at Museo de Cozumel, and scuba dive at the stunning Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park (National Marine Park).

Is it safe? Cozumel has a historically low crime rate, making it a very safe spot for digital nomads. 

What Digital Nomads Need To Know About Mexico

Now that you’re familiar with the best places in Mexico to live, here are some important things to consider when planning to visit or live in specific areas. 

  • Visa requirements: Do you need to apply for a visa? If you do, will it allow you to work legally from your host country? 

  • Cost of living: How affordable is it to live and work in Mexico? 

  • Food scene: What kind of cuisine is available here? Are there any street foods worth checking out?

  • Flights: Are there cheap flights available to and from the area? Will you need to take a return ticket with you? 

  • Accommodation: What accommodation options will you have? Will you need to pay extra to enjoy the comforts of your home country?

  • Transportation: Can you rent a car? If yes, from what agency and for how much? 

  • Workspaces: Does it have good internet connectivity? Does it have WiFi spots and co-working spaces where you can indulge in work and play? Do a quick search on Facebook groups, and you might just find one that suits you perfectly. 

  • Safety: Which destination will be best in terms of safety? Locals and online forums can help you decide!

  • Health concerns: Will you require travel medical insurance to protect yourself against medical issues during your stay there? 

  • What to pack: What does Mexico offer? Will you have access to the basic amenities? Are there shops nearby you can purchase essentials from?

Additionally, you must also familiarize yourself with how to become a digital nomad for a top-tier nomad lifestyle in this gorgeous country. If all this seems too much for you, leave it in the hands of our experts at Remote Year. Our programs are a great way to see new cities and meet new people while working remotely. 

Is Mexico Safe for Digital Nomads? 

Yes, Mexico is generally safe for digital nomads and expats.

However, as with any country, some cities in Mexico can be unsafe and risky for foreign digital nomads and expats. 

Mexico's best places to live are Mérida, Playa del Carmen, and San Cristobal de las Casas but feel free to explore other options. 

Additionally, we also recommend taking some precautions to decrease risks: 

  • Think before renting a car. You may get stopped by police demanding bribes. 

  • Register for STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). It enables the state department to locate you in case of an emergency. 

  • Avoid secluded streets or areas. It’s also a good idea to avoid traveling alone when you’re intoxicated to reduce the risk of getting robbed.

Most importantly, trust your gut instinct. If something feels off, it most likely is. So, take heed and prioritize having a safe experience. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you prefer a relaxing lifestyle amid nature or a vibrant nightlife and the buzz of a big city, you’ll find a place in Mexico that caters to your tastes. Just take your pick from these 15 cities that support the nomadic lifestyle so you can immerse yourself in new experiences and adventures! We hope you’ll consider our top picks when it comes to Mexico's best place to live. 

If you want a hassle-free experience, join us at Remote Year for our 1-month programs, including Mexico City. We’ll take care of all the details and connect you with our Community on the ground, so all you have to worry about is work and having fun.