Puerto Escondido digital nomad: making it work in the Oaxacan coast
What’s life like in Puerto Escondido as a digital nomad? I had a deep dive and found out about their DN culture during COVID. If you are traveling to Puerto Escondido alone, send me a message and I’ll connect you to some local friends!
Reader Mail: Hola Trisha, I love all your Mexico blogs! Thank you for sharing and giving valuable information. I followed your Oaxaca road trip on Instagram.
I never heard of Puerto Escondido before but I was wondering if you can give some insights on how life is as a digital nomad there? I am looking for a one-month base for June 2020 and seriously considering Puerto.
I just need to know what I need to prepare before my move there. If you can also connect me with your friends there, that would be great as I am traveling alone. Thank you for all your help!
– Marissa Robison, USA
Hey Marissa, thank you for reading the blog!
I am glad you are deciding to take a leap. Puerto Escondido is definitely a great destination for digital nomads but it’s also not for everyone.
I was in Puerto Escondido last August 2020 to check out some new digital nomad base in the state of Oaxaca and I really loved PE because it’s super easy to make friends (especially if you speak Spanish).
In this guide, I will tell you my personal experience of being a digital nomad in PE. If you have any questions that weren’t answered in this post or you’d simply like to connect when you’re already here, please get in touch with me via Instagram!
Good luck and I hope you make it!
Is Mexico open?
Mexico has been open for tourism since July 2021. I actually went to Puerto Escondido to check out the digital nomad scene there in August 2020 and I’ve seen how Puerto Escondido COVID precautions are more enforced than most places I visited in Mexico.
COVID-19 pushed a lot of travelers to do longer stays so the trend in Puerto Escondido right now is to stay longer, hence, digital nomads from all over the world are currently attracted to it.
When choosing a digital nomad base in Mexico, people tend to compare Puerto Escondido to Sayulita’s digital nomad lifestyle but both are very distinct in their own ways. In this post, I will give you a glimpse of the Puerto Escondido digital nomad scene.
Why Puerto Escondido should be your next digital nomad base
Puerto Escondido is definitely not for everyone. Without prior knowledge of the place, it’s hard to determine if that’s the digital nomad base you want for yourself.
I know a lot of people who were enticed by Puerto Escondido because of the pictures they saw on the Internet and ended up not liking it when they were already there.
Puerto Escondido has a surfer and laid-back vibe which makes everyone move slow. Meaning, business transactions are slow too. If you are used to a fast-paced environment (even online), then you have to be patient if you choose Puerto Escondido as your base.
Digital nomads who come here are those who left the rat race and are looking for a change of lifestyle. Personally, too slow is too much for me. I work in a fast-paced environment (online) and I am always itching to get things done.
There also aren’t a lot of things to do in Puerto Escondido. You need to travel out of the area to do activities and attractions. The community is small and very supportive of each other. You’ll probably know everyone after a week of staying here.
Many digital nomad readers of this blog always ask about the “quietness” in Puerto Escondido. It’s not a crazy party town like Sayulita but Mexico is a loud country in general. Mexicans love to party and love to blare loud banda music any time of the day.
If you are into health and wellness (yoga, pilates, etc), Puerto Escondido is very big on this so it’s guaranteed that you will be surrounded by a healthy environment.
This is one of the factors I consider whenever I am basing myself somewhere. I feel like we digital nomads don’t really pay a lot of attention to our health but putting ourselves in that kind of environment somehow pushes us for a lifestyle change.
Puerto Escondido digital nomad guide: costs, Internet connection, and everything you need to know
Personal experience in Puerto Escondido as a digital nomad
While most digital nomads are attracted to Puerto Escondido (PE), my assessment for the Internet connection is just “fair” (slightly decent). Although that was when I was staying in hostels in Puerto Escondido.
Puerto Escondido’s infrastructure development is underway – currently, Mexico is building the Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido highway that is set to be finished in 2022.
Since Puerto Escondido is still one of the most Mexican beach towns that have preserved its Mexicanism, many foreigners are attracted to invest in the area. I can see PE booming in the next 5 years but for now, you can still experience the real Mexico in this town.
As for the Internet speed, it really depends on what you do. For example, I do a lot of blogging [Wordpress] so in the hostel I first stayed in that had 15 MBPS wifi speed, everything worked out well.
However, if you are a Youtuber and uploading lots of videos like me, it doesn’t really work that well or if it does, you have to wait hours for a video to upload. For example, if I upload a 5-minute video on Youtube, it will take about 2 hours.
Thankfully, Zicatela in Puerto Escondido (where I stayed) is a walking town. You can easily go to coworking spaces or cafes for the Internet but not all restaurants have fiber optic.
Puerto Escondido Digital Nomad: quick facts
🌍 Region: North America
🚩 Country: Mexico
📡 Internet speed: 21 MBPS (good)
🔌 Outlet: Types A and B
🚑 Travel medical insurance: Safetywing Digital Nomad coverage
📱 Best wireless carrier: Telcel
🏧 Suggested ATM take out: ATM was a little difficult in the area. I had to go to the airport to take out cash
💳 Cashless society: no, cash only
💻 Best coworking space: Selina
🚰 Safe tap water: No, not drinkable
👨👩👧👦 Population: 45,000 people
🏞 Foreign land ownership allowed: Yes
✈️ Where to find cheap flights: Kiwi.com
Puerto Escondido nomad costs
💵 Cost of living for local: $565 USD per month
🏠 1br studio rent in center: $416 per month
🏢 Coworking: $110 USD per month
🏨 Hotel: $664 per month
🍛 Meals (restaurants): $5.90 USD
🍺 Beer (bars): $1.68
☕️ Coffee: $1.67
Pros and cons
✅ Affordable to live
✅ Few digital nomads – you can be one of the first!
✅ Pretty safe
✅ Fast internet
✅ Lots of fun stuff to do
✅ Warm all year round
✅ Good air quality on average
✅ Spacious and not crowded
✅ Very easy to make friends
✅ Easy to do business
✅ Roads are pretty safe
✅ People can speak basic English
✅ Safe for women
✅ Very friendly to LGBTQ+
❌ Quality of education is low
❌ Hospitals are not that great
❌ Freedom of speech is weak
The digital nomad scene in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido’s digital nomad population is mostly young adults. Since it’s one of the best surf destinations in Mexico, you will see lots of DN surfers staying here long-term.
Actually, those who have stayed in Sayulita go here during the low surf season (and vice-versa). Sayulita and Puerto Escondido seem to be sister destinations when it comes to mixing surf and working remotely.
The most common question I get from digital nomads: “Are there many Americans or white people in Puerto Escondido?” I didn’t see a lot when I was there but please bear in mind that I also hang out with locals.
Most of my friends in Puerto Escondido are Latinos. You will see a big population of Argentines working in bars and restaurants. I’ve never seen that many Argentines in one area (outside of Argentina).
When I went to PE, there is also a big crowd of Mexican nationals but they are not digital nomads but vacationers. Puerto Escondido is very family-friendly so Mexicans like to spend their vacations there.
As I said, PE still has that Mexican culture, unlike other Mexican beach towns.
The good thing about Puerto Escondido is that it has a very inclusive vibe – you will feel like a local right away on your first day! People are very friendly and chatty, whether you are a foreigner or not.
I’ve connected a lot of readers of this blog to my friends there so if you are traveling alone to Puerto Escondido and want to make friends, get in touch with me via Instagram and I’ll introduce you to the best people!!!
Internet speed in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido has a 25 MBPS speed which is very good in Mexican standards. I think it’s one of the beach towns that I visited in Mexico that has a fair Internet connection and if you need fiber optic, it’s always available in coworking spaces.
However, for someone like me who does a lot of Youtube uploads, I always make sure that I have a portable wifi device for backup. I also used this pocket wifi during my Oaxaca road trip.
Mexico’s prime mobile carrier, Telcel costs $200 MXN ($10 USD) per month for unlimited Internet and social media use. There are lots of Telmex packages you can choose from and you can also do a top-up online if you don’t want to go to a Telcel kiosk – they’re not everywhere in Puerto Escondido.
Cost of living in Puerto Escondido
$1 USD = $20 MXN but if you are to exchange dollars in Puerto Escondido, they will give it to $17 MXN. You will see the $ all over Mexico but don’t be fooled – that is not USD. Mexico also uses the dollar sign but the currency is called the Mexican peso (MXN).
I find the cost of living in Puerto Escondido quite fair. You can have accommodation for a month for just $500 USD and that’s already a great one.
Eating out is also quite cheap, however, I didn’t see lots of street food in the Zicatela area, not even the beaches I visited.
For transport, I rented a motorbike that cost $250 MXN ($12 USD) per day but since I rented it long-term, I was able to get a local discount. I only paid $10 USD.
The thing with Puerto Escondido or Mexico, in general, is that cost of living is cheaper if you can speak Spanish. You can haggle prices and if you know what you are saying, locals will never take advantage or increase the prices for you. The key is to be confident when haggling.
Again, if learning Spanish is not your thing, I can definitely hook you up with some of my local friends in Puerto Escondido so you’ll have a support system when you arrive. They can also give you tips on how to rent cheap apartments!
Mexico Digital Nomad Visa
Digital nomads are attracted to Mexico because of the generous 6-months visa. Upon entry into Mexico, you are automatically given 180 days to stay in the country as a tourist.
However, you can’t work on this visa. If you get caught by the police, don’t say you are working online.
Just say you’re on vacation because working online is not legal in Mexico. Otherwise, just keep off the police’s crosshair so you won’t have to discuss this.
If you fall in love with Mexico and decide to stay for an indefinite time, you can definitely apply for a Mexico digital nomad visa which gives you a one-year permit to live in the country.
The process is super easy but if it’s your first time, I recommend hiring a lawyer as that’s what I did. I can definitely connect you to my lawyer if you are serious about this. Just get in touch with me!
Puerto Escondido Wifi Cafes
I tried most of the cafes in the Zicatela area but not all of them have high-speed Internet. Although the food in these cafes is really good! There is a big vegan/healthy eating scene in Puerto Escondido. Below are the best cafes with strong wifi that I found:
Cafe La Fe
It’s a 30-minute walk from where I was staying in Zicatela and a 10-minute drive with my motorbike but I still came here because this cafe has the best Internet speed.
They don’t have a lot of food options but their drinks menu is super extensive! Cafe La Fe has nice seating arrangements and plugs are available everywhere.
They also have a nice outdoor seating area if you are concerned with being cramped with lots of people (COVID).
You might also like: The digital nomad guide to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
This was also not so close to where I stayed but it’s really beautiful as it’s a mix of concept hotel, coworking, and cafe. The Internet speed is super fast and I love that they have lots of food options.
They also have a pool but I believe they are only for guests staying in their hotel. There is an outdoor working area at Cafe Losodeli, you’re going to love it! (see photo above).
If you search for Puerto Escondido Cafes, you will get a big list but please note that not all of these have fast Internet. Some don’t even have WiFi yet!
For example, I went to Cafe Binisa which is the number one recommendation for PE cafes. I saw down, ordered, and when I asked for the wifi password, they said “we do not have Internet.”
So, there I was, wasting money on food when I can’t even work because the cafe did not have wifi. It’s best to call the cafe before deciding to go. They can speak English and can give you information about their WiFi connection.
Puerto Escondido Coworking spaces
The coworking scene in Puerto Escondido is slowly growing, however, I did not do the monthly subscription pass since I stayed in a digital nomad accommodation with fiber optic wifi.
I will discuss that in the last part of this blog post. Here are the best Puerto Escondido coworking spaces:
Selina Puerto Escondido
This is also a hostel and they have free wifi in the cafe. However, their Internet router in the CoWorking space is not the same as the cafe – it is stronger.
I am not a fan of the Selina brand (they are all over Mexico) but I needed to see their space there as it looked attractive from the outside.
The Selina Coworking in Puerto Escondido is so small and what pissed me off was that I purchased a pass online, came to the cowork, and found out that it was full.
It’s best if you visit and pay in person to make sure there will be a space for you. A day pass at Selina PE costs $10 USD per day.
See also: Sayulita’s Internet speed, explained
Cafe Losodeli Coworking
Yes, Losodeli is on this list too! This is my current favorite and I always go here whenever I visit Puerto Escondido. Apart from the cafe’s tables and chairs, they also have standing desks for digital nomads. The day pass costs $10 USD per day.
Best digital nomad accommodations in Puerto Escondido
In search of the best wifi speed in Puerto Escondido, I tried staying in three different accommodation types just to see what works best. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of apartments in Puerto Escondido that have fiber optic wifi but I will update this post once I find one!
Recommended hostel for Puerto Escondido digital nomads: Puerto Dreams
Puerto Dreams Hostel has fiber-optic wifi but it doesn’t work all the time. Not that it’s the hostel’s problem but it’s the PE infrastructure that makes the Internet connection glitch.
They also have a cafeteria and a co-work area. A night at a dorm at Puerto dreams costs $16 USD.
You might also like: The digital nomad guide to Guanajuato, Mexico
Best accommodation for Puerto Escondido digital nomads: Losodeli
I probably mentioned Losodeli a lot of times in this post because it has everything! From the wifi cafe to the coworking space, and the digital nomad accommodation, I highly recommend this hotel during your first week in Puerto Escondido.
You can always move to long-term accommodation once you get a hold of the place. They have different types of accommodations that only range from $39 – $75 USD per night, depending on the room size.
Money-saving tips for Puerto Escondido digital nomads
If you’re staying in Puerto Escondido for a longer time, I recommend volunteering jobs to get free accommodations and breakfast in exchange.
Volunteer work is only 5 hours per day (as per Mexican rule) and the jobs are pretty easy. You have the rest of the day to focus on your digital nomad work.
I use Worldpackers to find the best volunteering jobs. If you ever sign up, you can use my code PSIMONMYWAY10 to get $10 USD off your membership. If you click the link above, the discount is automatically applied.
If you love pets, I also recommend house-sitting! As a digital nomad in Puerto Escondido, you can get house-sitting gigs easily. If you’re new to house-sitting, you basically have to care for animals while the homeowners are away on vacation.
Trip lengths are a minimum of 10 days so imagine how much money you will save if you house sat. The good thing about this is that you will have the house to yourself.
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