Is Puerto Escondido Mexico the Next Digital Nomad Hotspot?
My buddy Erik working in the pool at a Selina in Puerto Escondid.
I spent the entire month of June in Mexico City. And while I absolutely adore Mexico City, I needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. So me and five of my Remote Year compadres decided to book a 5-day trip to Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico.
Puerto Escondido is a small Mexican surf town with a population of about 45,000. It's a world class surf destination that ranks in the top 10 on all the lists of best surf spots in the world. Recently, Puerto Escondido made both the NY Times and CNN lists of "must go" travel destinations. Despite all this press, it’s still a pretty low key place. There are no Marriotts, no Hiltons, no big name hotel or resort brands whatsoever. Just small mom and pop style hostels and motels.
As I mentioned, I traveled to Puerto Escondido with 5 friends from Remote Year: one lawyer, two corporate training program developers, one real estate marketer, and two product managers. Since we headed to Puerto Escondido on a Tuesday, we all needed to be able to work remotely while enjoying the beach.
In order to meet our work, play, live lifestyle, we decided to stay at a Selina. Selinas are all over Latin America and the one in Puerto Escondido is right on the beach. Selinas are a cross between a hostel, motel, hotel, resort and co-working space. The Selina we stayed at had rooms at every price level, from a $7 a night bunk bed in a 10 person bungalow to a $100 a night luxury suite with sweeping ocean views, and everything in between. The internet was about 20 mbps up and 20 mbps down. Not the best, but adequate enough for our lawyer to file briefs and my other colleagues to participate in video conference calls from the pool. There are also a bunch of cafes scattered around Puerto Escondido that have wifi at about the same speeds.
Here is the Vlog I Made About Puerto Escondido
Why do I think this a potential Digital Nomad Hotspot?
First, it’s about as cheap as it gets. It’s as cheap as the digital nomad capital of the world, Chiang Mai but you’re on a beach. You can get a very basic studio a block or two from the beach for around $200 a month or an upscale studio or 1-bedroom near the beach for anywhere between $400 to $800, depending how nice you want it. And many of the places have pools! These are Airbnb prices, I'm sure you could find them even cheaper if you shopped locally. You can also stay at a hostel like Selina right on the beach for a monthly rate of $180. Selina is right on the beach, has two pools, free wifi, and free activities like salsa dancing classes every night. No matter what your budget, you can probably afford to stay in a decent place in Puerto Escondido.
Second, the lack of big hotel chains and direct flights from outside of Mexico is a big plus. Digital Nomads generally do not like places with lots of tourists, and not having big hotel chains and direct flights keep the tourist population to a minimum. Even though you can’t get a direct flight to Puerto Escondido from outside of Mexico, you can catch a short hour or so flight from Mexico City or Oaxaca City.
Third, Puerto Escondido hits that work life balance sweet spot. While the internet isn’t the fastest, it’s still good enough to get your work done and then enjoy the low-key, chill vibe of this small, mostly undeveloped Mexican surf town.
Fourth, longer tourist visas. One of the biggest pains for the digital nomad community is visa limits. Most westerners get 180 days in Mexico, so you don't have to constantly think about your visa expiration date. This also means you might be able to book accommodations for a cheaper price since you can commit to longer stays.
And lastly, there are so many cool things to do in Puerto Escondido: Go enjoy some great food, the seafood is top notch; rent a scooter and beach hop all day; learn to surf or hone your surfing skills, there are surf breaks that cater to every level of surfer from beginner to pro; or take a free dance lesson at the Selina or other hostels in the area. There are so many things to do in Puerto Escondido that I’d need a whole video devoted to just that.
Here's another YouTuber's video titled “6 Must Do Things in Puerto Escondido” if you want to learn more about what there is to do in Puerto Escondido.