Nicaragua is an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads and remote workers. The country offers a unique blend of tropical beaches, colonial cities, and vibrant culture that is difficult to find anywhere else. Nicaragua has a relatively low cost of living, making it an attractive option for those who want to stretch their budget further. In this post, we’ll explore the best places to visit, the state of the internet and the average cost of living in Nicaragua for those looking to work remotely in this beautiful country.
Best Places to Visit:
Beautiful colonial architecture and street life
A vibrant tourism industry with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars
A central location with easy access to other parts of Nicaragua
Crowded during the high tourist season
Limited internet access in some areas
San Juan del Sur:
Beautiful beaches and surf spots
A laid-back atmosphere
A thriving tourism industry with plenty of activities and excursions.
Limited internet access in rural areas
Crowded during the high tourist season
Higher cost of living compared to other parts of Nicaragua
A vibrant cultural heritage with beautiful colonial architecture and street art
A thriving tourism industry with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars
A central location with easy access to other parts of Nicaragua
Limited internet access in some areas
Crowded during the high tourist season
Higher cost of living compared to other parts of Nicaragua
When choosing a location in Nicaragua, remote workers should consider their needs and preferences, including internet access, cost of living, and proximity to tourist attractions. Each area offers unique advantages and challenges, so it’s essential to research and choose the location that best suits your needs.
State of the Internet:
Nicaragua’s internet infrastructure is improving, but it is still not on par with developed countries. In larger cities, such as Managua, the internet is reliable, but it can be slow and spotty in more rural areas. That being said, there are plenty of coffee shops and coworking spaces with fast, reliable Wi-Fi where remote workers can get work done.
Mobile data is cheap and works well in a pinch. Find out how to get a SIM card in Nicaragua here.
Cost of Living:
A basic room in a hostel or Airbnb starts at around $10 per night, while a mid-range hotel can cost upwards of $50 per night.
Note: we found Booking.com has the most options for accommodation in Nicaragua. The AirBnb’s were limited.
Nicaragua’s food cost is relatively low, with a meal in a local restaurant costing between $3 and $ 7. Groceries can be purchased for much less.
Hiking, surfing, and exploring the local culture are all affordable activities in Nicaragua, with many tours and excursions costing less than $50.
Language and Culture:
The official language in Nicaragua is Spanish, but many indigenous languages are spoken in rural areas. English is not widely spoken outside of tourist centres. Hence, it’s helpful for remote workers to have a basic understanding of Spanish to navigate daily life in the country better.
Nicaragua is a culturally rich country with a deep history that can be seen in its colonial architecture, vibrant street art, and traditional festivals and dances. The locals are known for their hospitality and friendliness, making it easy for remote workers to feel welcomed and integrated into the community. Nicaragua is also home to a thriving artistic community, with many local artists and craftspeople selling their wares at markets and festivals.
In conclusion, Nicaragua offers remote workers a unique blend of tropical beauty, colonial charm, and affordability. With a low cost of living and a wealth of exciting activities, Nicaragua is the perfect place to live and work remotely. While the internet may need improvement, there are plenty of options for reliable Wi-Fi in cities and towns.
Central America is a region of incredible diversity, from its white-sand beaches and lush rainforests to its rich cultural heritage and adventure opportunities. And now, with the CA-4 Agreement, travelling to and within Central America has become even easier for tourists. In this post, we’ll explore what the CA-4 Agreement is, what it means for travellers to Central America, and how it affects your ability to move freely within the region.
Here is a summary of each country included in the CA-4 Agreement:
Known for its vibrant culture, colonial cities, and stunning landscapes, El Salvador is an excellent destination for those looking to experience Central American culture and history.
Home to ancient Mayan ruins and traditional villages, Guatemala offers a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage. It is also known for its beautiful landscapes, including volcanoes and lakes.
Honduras is a paradise for beach lovers with its white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. The Bay Islands are particularly popular and offer a wide range of water activities, such as diving and snorkelling.
Nicaragua is a country of contrasts, from its colonial cities and stunning lakes to its active volcanoes.
What is the CA-4 Agreement?
Now, let’s define what the CA-4 Agreement is. This Agreement, also known as the CA-4 Border Control Agreement, allows El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua citizens to travel freely within the borders of these four countries without needing a visa. Suppose you’re a citizen of one of these countries. In that case, you can travel to the other three countries without going through the visa application process.
This Agreement is a significant development for travellers to Central America, as it dramatically simplifies moving between countries in the region. Before the CA-4 Agreement, travellers must go through the visa application process for each country they intend to visit. This could be time-consuming and costly, and it often deterred people from travelling to multiple countries in Central America.
The CA-4 Agreement also increases the length of stay for travellers within the region. Citizens of these four countries can now stay in any of the other three countries for up to 90 days without needing a visa. It’s important to note that the 90-day stay applies to your time across all four countries. It means you have less than 90 days in each. It’s essential to plan your trip accordingly and always have your passport and immigration documents with you.
You’re about to dive into one of the world’s tastiest, most traditional, and spiciest culinary: Mexican.
Enjoy the wide variety of food in Mexico City, surrender to new flavours, and understand why Mexicans experience the pleasures of life through food.
Taco al pastor
The taco you mustn’t miss! It is easy to find because you will see, outside the taquerias, a vertical rotisserie slowly cooking the pork meat. Trust me when I say it has been marinated in a delicious mix of chillies, spices, and axiote seed, which gives it a distinctive colour.
Watch the taquero master the knife; he will wisely choose perfect crispy slices, place them on the tortilla, cut a pineapple piece, and finish with onion and cilantro. It is mouth-watering choreography.
Tacos de Canasta
You can take a bike and turn it into a taqueria in Mexico; this is part of the charm of these tacos! Spot the bike-riding taqueros – during lunchtime – theygo around the city carrying them in a big wicker basket (canasta) strapped to the back of the bike. Salsa inside buckets is tied to the cycle – if you’re looking for a spicy kick.
Once a hungry customer hails the driver, many more will follow like flies to honey!
You will find some typical taco flavours: potato with chorizo, green mole, mashed beans, or chicharron en salsa (pork skin stewed in salsa).
Expect them to be moist because of the steam inside the basket, and a bit greasy. However, you won’t believe such a cheap meal (one taco is .75 USD) can be that tasty!
The so-called “Mexican sandwich” is a feast of ingredients. Let’s start with its foundation: telera or bolillo is the traditional bread used for this food. Then comes the fixins; a layer of mayo, refried beans, slices of avocado, tomato, onion, and serrano or chipotle chilli. And that’s just the beginning of more ingredients to come.
Start with ham & cheese – the tried and true combination. However, that’s for the newbies!
Step up your game with the combination of cheese and milanesa de pollo o res (breaded chicken breast or beef, then pan-fried).
And when you feel ready – for a ticking taste bomb – go big with the Cubana: ham, two types of cheese, sausage, chorizo, and milanesa de res o pollo.
Tamales are one of the most common dishes made out of corn in CDMX because they are the go-to breakfast for citizens who need a full belly to start the day off right.
In the morning, bikes with a tamalera, analuminium designed to steam and carry tamales (tuh+mah+les), offer salty or sweet flavoured tamales.
Salty: mole, red or green salsa with chicken
Sweet: pineapple or raisins
Other less common and regional flavours, like cochinita pibil, zucchini with cheese, chocolate, or Nutella, are sold in restaurants.
For a super fulfilling breakfast, I advise having it with a cup of atole (Uh+toll+A), a thick sweet beverage made from corn and milk (or water).
Elotes and esquites
This must be one of the most cherished antojitos (snacks) for Mexicans, and they are found at street stalls in parks and squares.
Elotes (Corn Cobs) are boiled in water with epazote herb. When the grain is soft, it’s time to spread every inch of it with mayo, shredded cheese, drops of lime, salt, and chilli powder.
Esquites would be the version in a cup – if that seems a bit messy for your tastes – the vendor can provide generous spoonfuls of corn kernels prepared with the above ingredients. Don’t worry; they’ll make sure you get plenty of them!
Barbacoa is a method of slowly cooking different types of meat; sheep barbacoa is the most popular in CDMX.
The prehispanic technique, preserved to this day, consists of slowly cooking the parts of the sheep inside a hole in the ground that’s heated with wood embers and hot stones. The meat is covered with maguey leaves and left there for long hours.
This gives the meat a very juicy texture that is ready to be served as tacos. Exceptional barbacoa must have an extremely spicy salsa borracha, fresh onion, and cilantro.
This antojo (snack) is simple yet so tasty. Imagine a thick tortilla pinched upwards at the edges. And on top, a guisado (A Mexican-style-ragout or stewed meat). Some options for your sope are shredded chicken with a non-spicy tomato sauce, chorizo with potatoes, ground beef with potatoes, or the most traditional one: refried beans (frijoles) with cream and shredded cheese on top.
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably noticed that the ‘digital nomad’ is at its peak.
Thanks to the attractive and endless travel content that is as abundant as the opportunities to work these days remotely. More and more people are starting to join the digital nomad trend, or should we say lifestyle. The desire to see the world beyond 4 walls and a boring desk have been increasing among the general public, making people interested in joining this movement.
Getting started on digital nomadism might sound easy, and we’re not saying that it’s not, but at times it can be a little more challenging than what you expect, which you don’t usually see online. No matter what job position allows you to be a digital nomad, you need to be committed, organised and disciplined to succeed and enjoy this journey.
As with everything in life, mistakes can happen when starting out in digital nomadism; believe us, we know! So to prevent you from some complications and bad experiences, we created this guide with the top 6 mistakes that most new digital nomads make and how to avoid them.
Being misled by what you see on the internet about life as a digital nomad
Don’t get us wrong, being a digital nomad is a great thing, but it’s essential to know the reality of what being one entails.
As we mentioned before, you’ve probably seen amazing travel photos and videos from people worldwide living their best lives in dreamy travel destinations. While this is true, it’s often not as simple as it seems. Digital nomadism is often painted as an easy and movie-like journey.
Being a digital nomad means that while you’ll be able to explore different parts of the world, at times, you’ll also have to be okay with things like loneliness. Having to solve simple problems can become complicated while travelling, missing out on events back home, and the fact you won’t have a stable location.
Not making plans
Although being a digital nomad means having the freedom to travel whenever you want and live at your own pace by your own schedule, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make plans.
We’re not saying you should have a detailed life plan to start as a digital nomad. Still, it’s essential to take a moment to think about goals and milestones and consider where you would like to go and what you are trying to achieve and/or experience by doing this.
At first, travelling to as many places as possible in a short period may sound like a good idea, but this common mistake will ruin your digital nomad experience in the long term.
What makes the difference between a backpacker and a digital nomad? The length of stay and the pace of the trip. Backpackers are known for visiting several destinations quickly, and digital nomads give themselves the chance to experience life in one spot for a month or more. This gives them enough time to explore the area, get things done without feeling stressed, learn new things, and see life from a unique perspective.
Travelling slowly is the best way to start your journey as a digital nomad and prevent travel burnout.
Overspending and not budgeting
If you’re travelling to a country where your money is maximized, you may become overconfident and spend more than you should.
Budgeting in advance is essential as a digital nomad, from getting cheap flights to choosing your following location wisely and carefully. Choosing the right destination and handling your expenses responsibly will make a big difference. Finding an affordable spot where you can have a quality travel experience based on your budget is the key to enjoying a long and pleasant trip.
Not doing enough research.
Luckily these days, it’s easy to find information about literally anything. With just a couple of clicks, you can find out all about the topic of your interest. Despite this, exhaustive research on the destination you’re interested in is always a must and one of the best digital nomad tips you’ll receive.
You might’ve seen an aesthetic and cool photo of a guy somewhere in Thailand working on his laptop, holding a piña colada right next to a pool, and thinking, “That looks like a great place to work remotely” you start looking for flights, accommodation, etc. But have you looked up how good the wifi signal is there? Or is it actually a safe place to visit?
Before you start creating an entire scenario in your head, it’s crucial to learn every detail about the place you’re interested in. By checking different articles and videos, you’ll be able to see the different points of view of other travellers and analyse whether the destination is actually suitable for you or not.
Not making new connections as a Digital Nomad.
Although being a digital nomad implies that you won’t be in one place for long, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make new friends and connections.
Many digital nomads often complain about loneliness as one of the downsides of digital nomadism. But travelling this way doesn’t mean you can’t meet new friends. Whether you’re staying at a coliving and coworking space or a digital nomad area, you’ll always be able to meet new people and build meaningful friendships and relationships. You might encounter your next travel buddy or even the love of your life. Who knows? You won’t know unless you try it!
You Are Now Ready To Start Life As a Digital Nomad
These 6 digital nomad mistakes are some of the most popular among newbies, and starting life as a nomad without knowing digital nomad best practices can cost you money, time, and even your well-being.
Learning from other people’s mistakes is a great way to make the most out of your experience and be prepared to embark on a fun and enjoyable trip, understanding what you should and shouldn’t do. We hope you find these digital nomad tips helpful. Thanks for reading!
Planning a trip? Get our ultimate planning guide here.
Thinking about starting your journey as a digital nomad in Mexico? Sounds like a great plan! Picking a City in Mexico for Digital Nomads can be difficult – you’re spoilt for choice. Mexico is a very large and diverse country rich in culture, tasty food, amazing landscapes, friendly people, and good weather. In addition, it’s a very affordable destination that allows travellers to visit for 180 days (6 months) to experience all this and more.
In recent years, especially since the pandemic began, Mexico has been on the rise to become one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads all around the world. Due to this increasing popularity, Mexico is expected to start welcoming more and more travelers and digital nomads from all around the world, especially from the U.S, Canada, and other nearby countries. If you’re a digital nomad looking for the top Mexican cities to live in, keep reading to find your next remote workspace!
This massive metropolis in the center of the country is home to over 9 million inhabitants and is one of the most famous cities in the world. Mexico City is a contemporary destination where travelers can find all the amenities that other cities such as LA, New York City, or Austin offer but at a much lower price.
CDMX is probably the country’s major digital nomad city, and there’s no doubt why, the myriad of activities and places to go to make this a very fun and entertaining destination, plus it’s also one of the Mexican cities with the best internet. If you want to choose CDMX as your next destination feel free to check out our article about the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, where you’ll get to know all about them to choose the right one for you.
Good wifi everywhere
There are many English speakers
There are multiple things to do and places to go
Poor air quality
Heavy traffic at all times and big city issues
It’s a very crowded city
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a great option for those who want to live near the beach without losing comfort and the things the city has to offer. This beautiful town is located in Quintana Roo about an hour away from Cancun, where there’s an international airport. PDC is a small location, so it is easy to get around in it.
Although it is not a destination that many people talk about, Playa del Carmen is a site quite visited by a variety of foreigners and digital nomads, this makes it a spot where many restaurants, shops, cafés, and bars have English-speaking staff.
Its privileged location between Cancun and Tulum makes it an excellent spot for those who want to have more than one popular destination within reach without spending a lot of money.
Its proximity to the beach
There’s a large community of digital nomads and international travelers
Hurricanes may hit the area
American culture overshadows the Mexican culture
The weather reaches very high temperatures
Oaxaca de Juárez, the capital of the state of Oaxaca located in the south of Mexico is famous for its textiles, mezcal, mole, chocolate, archaeological sites, natural diversity, and art scene. Oaxaca usually goes unnoticed by international tourism compared to other places such as Mexico City or Tulum, but it’s a must-visit location for everyone in search of a slower, more sustainable lifestyle surrounded by culture, unique meals, and rich traditions.
Oaxaca has a lot to offer, it’s truly a place like no other, and a paradise for digital nomads. You won’t need to worry about WiFi because accommodations, coffee shops, and coworking centers usually have good internet speed and signal to get anything and everything done.
Stunning wildlife and culture
Not too touristy
Not many digital nomads
To fly somewhere else you’ll probably have to connect through Mexico City
Guanajuato City, is a town full of art, color, and outstanding views in the state of Guanajuato. This beautiful destination is probably one of the most picturesque cities you’ll ever visit. Its youthful and bohemian vibe makes it a great fit for art lovers.
Just like Oaxaca City, Guanajuato City is an under-the-radar location, and a hidden gem slowly growing into a city for digital nomads and remote workers. One awesome perk of Guanajuato is that you can walk to many places since most of the city’s traffic travels through subway tunnels. Because Guanajuato is a university town you’ll be able to enjoy an incredible nightlife and bar atmosphere.
It’s a unique and colorful destination
The cultural experience is unmatched
You’ll find art everywhere
Its hilly streets
There aren’t many English speakers
Despite being a very touristy spot, Puerto Vallarta (also known as PV) is one of a kind among the beach cities of Mexico thanks to its amazing weather, stunning beaches, and wildlife. Being a tourist city aimed mainly at wealthy visitors, living here is a bit more expensive compared to other beach towns but still affordable for digital nomads on a budget.
Puerto Vallarta offers a fusion of local culture with resort amenities. Coworking spaces and cafes are not as numerous here, however WiFi at Airbnbs and other accommodations is usually good. Unlike PDC, the digital nomad community is not yet that large, many of the people here are retirees or tourists.
It’s one of the best beaches in Mexico
Genuine Mexican culture
Great nightlife scene
Very hot weather during the summer
Limited number of cafes and coworking spaces
Why Are These Mexico Cities Excellent Options for Digital Nomads?
Affordable cost of living
These 5 cities (and Mexico in general) are very inexpensive, even for travelers who have a slightly tight budget. The wide variety of food, housing and activity options will allow you to choose what best suits your needs and preferences.
No matter which one you pick you’ll always have good weather. If you’re trying to escape the freezing winters or deadly hot temperatures, Mexico’s weather will welcome you with open arms.
Internet will always be available for you to work at your accommodation, a coworking space or a coffee shop.
Society and Culture
There’s nothing better than living in a new location to get to know its culture, lifestyle and traditions. After spending some time experiencing life in one or all of these Mexican cities you’ll be immersed in a new way of living and thinking. Mexico is a unique country.
If you’re looking for an exceptional country to work from, stop your quest because as you’ve already read, Mexico cities are the perfect spots for digital nomads and remote workers. We’ve fallen in love with them and we are sure you will too.
Feel free to follow our journey across this gorgeous country on Instagram @brazilsontours Thanks for reading!
The Ultimate Cell Phone and Internet Data Guide for Digital Nomads to Get a SIM Card in Mexico
If traveling to Mexico is something you’d like to cross off your bucket list and wonder if you need to get a Mexican SIM card, the answer is yes! Getting one while visiting will ensure that you have cell phone data and phone reception in Mexico at all times.
In this ultimate guide, you’ll discover the best Mexican phone carrier, where to get a SIM card, and other helpful information for travelers and digital nomads.
The Best Mobile Carrier in Mexico
If you want to have good reception and cell phone data in Mexico, Telcel is the phone company you’ll want to use. Telcel is the largest cell phone provider in Mexico, so getting a SIM card from them will allow you to have the most coverage all over the country.
What Are Other Mobile Carrier Options?
AT&T and Movistar are the other cell phone companies available in Mexico. However, the terrible customer service of Movistar and the poor reception of both make them unattractive options.
NOTE: You may already have international cell phone service in Mexico. We recommend calling your current phone company to consult this before traveling and/or buying a local SIM card.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a SIM Card in Mexico?
SIM cards in Mexico range from $1 to $10 USD; this is only for the card without data, though you’ll need to fill the card with credit to have cell phone data in Mexico. Without credit, it’ll be obsolete.
How to Get a SIM Card in Mexico
If you decide to follow our recommendation and buy a Telcel SIM card, you can quickly get it at multiple sales points: Oxxo, Walmart, corner shops, tech kiosks, Telcel customer service centers, or verified Telcel resale centers, and at some airports. You’ll also be able to top-up your SIM card at most of these locations. SIM cards from other companies can also be purchased at these sales points (except Telcel centers).
Telcel SIM cards come in 4 and 8 GB sizes; this is the amount of data included with the card that you can use until it runs out. Once this happens, you’ll have to refill it at one of the sales points mentioned before or online on Telcel’s website.
Telcel also offers prepaid cell phone plans in Mexico that you can purchase online or at the sales points; these plans range from $1 to $25 USD. These plans provide unlimited SMS and phone calls in Mexico. Also, it has options for the USA and Canada, data, and endless social media browsing depending on the plan you purchase.
Before buying a local SIM Card in Mexico:
Check if your current phone carrier has free international phone service.
Make sure your phone is unlocked (If your phone is tied to a specific carrier or contract, it is considered locked).
Pro Tip: Download Whatsapp
Planning to be in Mexico for a long time? We recommend downloading WhatsApp on your phone. WhatsApp is the king of instant messaging in Mexico; therefore, it’ll be a great tool to communicate with everyone you meet on the road, and reach out to restaurants or entertainment centers.
It is the best means of contacting anyone, no matter the location or people using other service providers. It’s a free app for both Android and iPhone phones. Telcel often includes unlimited Whatsapp use with its prepaid plans.
We hope that this ultimate Mexico cell phone guide provides all the information you need. Thanks for reading!
Travelling further south to Central America? Check out The Ultimate Central America Phone Guide here
Central Americais a paradise that offers incredible beaches, attractions, and weather. If you’re a digital nomad planning to visit this side of the world, you must know all about getting the correct SIM Card, which is why we gathered all the details about the topic in this ultimate Central America phone guide. Let’s check it out!
Getting a SIM Card in Guatemala
Cell phone data is essential in Guatemala to share all your photos and stay in touch.
Where to buy a SIM Card in Guatemala
You can purchase a SIM card in Claro and Tigo shops and at the Guatemala City-La Aurora International Airport (GUA).
Prices in Guatemala
Claro (this includes Movistar & Tuenti Guatemala): 10 GTQ ($1.30 USD) and 199 QTG ($26 USD)
Tigo: 10 GTQ ($1.30 USD)
Recharging and Checking Your Balance
You’ll be able to recharge your phone credit in grocery stores, corner shops, and electronic shops throughout Guatemala, either by buying vouchers or recharging with your credit at a sales point.
Claro offers the option to recharge your phone credit by calling *333 or online. Dial *5 or use the Mi Claro app to check your balance.
To top up your Tigo SIM card with a voucher, dial *333VoucherCode. To know your balance, dial *256# or text SALDO to 256
Getting a SIM Card in Honduras
Having cell phone data in Honduras will allow you to stay connected 24/7.
Where to buy a SIM Card in Honduras:
You can obtain a SIM card in Tigo and Claro stores. They can also be bought at the Toncontín International Airport (TGU).
Prices in Honduras
Tigo: 50 NHL ($2.04 USD)
Claro: 25 NHL ($1.02 USD)
Recharging and Checking Your Balance
You can buy Tigo and Claro top-up vouchers at their respective outlets, grocery shops, kiosks, and many other stores, or recharge your balance at sales points or online.
To top up your Tigo SIM card with a voucher, you only need to dial *777*TheVoucherCode#. To check your balance, call *123#
To top up your Claro SIM card with a voucher, dial *100#TheVoucherCode#. Call *120# to check your balance.
Getting a SIM Card in Nicaragua
Getting cell phone data in Nicaragua is as easy as in any other country in Central America.
Where to Buy a SIM Card in Nicaragua
Both Claro and Tigo (formerly Movistar) SIM cards can be bought in their stores or at resale points like grocery stores, newsstands, and post offices. They may be sold at the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) in Managua.
You can get Tigo and Claro top-up vouchers at their respective stores, grocery shop kiosks, and many other outlets. Recharging your balance at sales points or online is also an option.
To top up your Claro balance, dial *555# and follow the instructions. Call *55# or text SALDO to 8100 to check your balance.
To top up your Tigo SIM card, dial *123# and follow the instructions. Dial *72536# or text SALDO to 611 to check your balance.
Getting a SIM Card in El Salvador
Sharing photos of volcanoes and nature sounds fantastic, so here’s how you can get cell phone data in El Salvador.
Where to Buy a SIM Card in El Salvador
SIM cards from Claro, Movistar, Tigo, and Digicel are available at their stores, authorized dealers, and at the San Salvador International Airport (SAL).
Prices in El Salvador
Claro El Salvador: $1 USD
Movistar El Salvador: $ 1 USD
Tigo El Salvador: $1 – 5 USD
Recharging and Checking your Balance
Claro, Movistar, and Tigo top-up vouchers are available at their respective stores and grocery, corner, and electronic shops throughout El Salvador. It’s also possible to recharge your balance at sales points or online.
To top up your ClaroSIM card with a voucher, dial *106*VoucherCode#. To check your balance, text SALDO to 72536
To recharge your Movistar SIM card with a voucher, dial *701*VoucherCode*1#. To check your balance, call *555 or text SALDO to 700.
Tigotop-up vouchers can be redeemed by texting the voucher code to 4040. To check your balance, dial *725#
Getting a SIM Card in Costa Rica
Having cell phone data in Costa Rica to share your adventures and stay in touch is essential.
Where To Buy a SIM Card in Costa Rica
Kölbi, Movistar, and Claro SIM cards are available in their stores and sold at the Normal Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).
Kölbi, Movistar and Claro top-up vouchers are sold in their respective stores and grocery, electronic, and corner shops. You can also top up your SIM card online and at the grocery, convenience, or electronic stores.
To check your Kölbi balance or top up your line, dial *888# or use the Mi Kölbi app.
For Movistar, dial *650*VoucherCode# to redeem your voucher and text SALDO to 606 to check your balance or use the Mi Movistar app.
Claro SIM cards can also be recharged by dialling *10 and following the instructions. If you dial *30, you’ll be able to check your balance.
Getting a SIM Card in Panama
If you want to avoid a bad experience with international roaming, we suggest the following mobile carriers for cell phone data in Panama.
Where To Buy a SIM Card in Panama
+móvil, Claro, and Tigo SIM cards can be acquired in their stores and at newsstands, grocery, electronic, and convenience stores, and at the Panama City-Tocumen Intl.
Prices in Panama
+móvil: 5 PAB ($5 USD) & 15 PAB ($15 USD)
Claro: free when purchased with a plan; or up to 3 PAB (USD 3)
Tigo: free when purchased with a plan; or up to 3 PAB (USD 3)
+móvil, Claro, and Tigo vouchers are sold at their respective stores and retail shops such as gas stations, grocery stores, and corner shops. You can also recharge your balance at sales points and online.
Recharging and Checking your Balance
To top up your SIM card with a voucher, dial *166VoucherCode#. To check your balance, dial *165#
As with móvil+, you can redeem your voucher by calling *166VoucherCode#. To get your balance, dial *103# or *123#
You may need to dial *312 to activate your Tigo SIM card. To use your voucher, dial *312 and enter the Voucher Code. To check your balance, dial *312 and select option 1.
To purchase a SIM Card in Central America, your passport is the only document you’ll need to present.
All mobile carriers in Central America offer prepaid cell phone plans that you can check and get online or at their respective stores or points of sale.
Getting local SIM cards in Central America is super easy and cheaper than getting an international cell phone plan. We hope that this Central America phone helps you out on future trips. Thanks for reading!
Ready to plan a trip to Cartagena, Colombia? Read on for the perfect Cartagena One-week itinerary in this Caribbean gem.
Cartagena, Colombia’s gateway to the Caribbean Sea, is home to an international airport, beautiful islands, and extraordinary history. Oh, did we mention the food!
Best areas to stay in Cartagena to kick off your one-week itinerary
The Historic Walled City
Cartagena’s historic downtown, known as Centro, enclosed by its iconic city wall, is probably the image that enticed you to visit in the first place. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, after all. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Centro is the top choice for what area to stay in Cartagena. It has many of the best hotels in Cartagena as well as lots of things to do
Tons of restaurants, nightlife, and the historic charm that embodies Cartagena.
Close to many of the major attractions.
Very safe, even late at night.
It can get crowded during peak seasons.
Though not far away, it is not on the beach.
On the higher end price-wise.
Lots of vendors.
During the colonial era, Getsemaní was a working-class neighbourhood with a large population of free black artisans. They were the carpenters, masons, and shipbuilders that quite literally built Cartagena. The community also played a leading role in the independence movement and is considered the birthplace of Cartagena’s unique Afro-Caribbean culture.
The last decade has seen the expansion of tourism in this area – with the Plaza de la Trinidad becoming a popular hangout place – and the proliferation of hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, and clubs in the area.
Prices that are generally considerably lower than in Centro.
You’ll find some of the city’s best cultural activities and nightlife.
You might want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for peace and quiet
A few areas can still be a bit sketchy late, so stick to major, lit up streets late at night.
Days one to three in Cartagena: exploring the city
Where to stay
Below, you’ll find a brief description of each of the best hostels to stay in in Cartagena. One high range hostel/hotel pick, one mid-range choice, and one budget pick, so you can decide what’s best for you.
Casa del Puerto Hostel & Suites is a new, totally rebuilt Mansion. It will be your oasis of peace during your stay in Cartagena. This place includes a delicious breakfast with your reservation. It’s an ideal place to soak yourself in the pool under the Colombian sun, have a fresh cocktail, have a bite in their restaurant, or just chill. Private double bed ensuite around $64 USD.
Shared dorms for around $22 USD. Selina is one of the perfect places to relax and soak up the sun in their two on-site rooftop swimming pools or meditate and stretch with their daily yoga classes. You’ll enjoy plenty of games and activities suitable for everyone, so you can while away your time at the hostel before wandering through the beautiful streets nearby.
Shared dorms for around $11 USD. Casa Mama Waldy offers you free WiFi and coffee all day, a well-equipped shared kitchen, lounge, patio, and a cozy terrace with a bar and a jacuzzi. The location is fantastic, and the staff is very friendly and helpful! The hostel itself has a lot of charm and has a quaint-homey feeling. Quite the oasis to relax within when coming back from your adventures.
Below, you’ll find a brief description of each of the best restaurants to take lunch in Cartagena, including the average prices of each. One high-range, one mid-range, and one budget pick, so you can decide what’s best for you.
This restaurant is located in the heart of Getsemaní. Described by locals as “a magical and surreal place, where reality feels like fantasy and fantasy-like reality”. It has an exclusive atmosphere with Mediterranean fusion cuisine and Caribbean flavours. Average main dishes prices are between $13-$40 USD.
located in Getsemaní, Sabor Mulato is a little restaurant but very welcoming, managed by a lovely local couple. You’ll find local and exquisite food like local fried fish, ceviche, seafood creams, and some other delightful dishes in this restaurant. Prices are reasonably between $10-$15 USD.
Budget pick: Local restaurant in front of Hostal Jet Set
This local restaurant is perfect if you’re looking for a good amount of food and cheaper prices in Cartagena. The flavour, the attention and the dishes feel like you’re at the home eating the food of a Cartagena grandma. You’ll find the famous “menu del día”, which is a dish with 3 protein options (beef, pork or chicken), 2-grain options (beans or lentils), rice, salad and fried bananas. It also includes chicken soup and 2 cups of panela lemonade for just $3 USD. Otherwise, you can also ask for other local dishes. Prices are between $5-$7 USD.
Stroll through the city
Below, you’ll find a brief description of the top 5 budget and cultural activities to do in Cartagena.
Fantastic experience by walking the historic Cartagena and cultural traditions such as Graffiti, Salsa, African champeta, and distinctive architecture resulted from the mixture of natives, Africans and Spaniards, and Lebanese migrants.
Explore the typical street food of Cartagena. Experience the history, colours, flavours and smells that speak to the culinary synchronism between the African, Lebanese, indigenous and Spanish cultures.
Cartagena bike tour
The tours begin with a guide, in either Getsemaní or Plaza de San Diego, to get a closer look at the city. Stops occur at the most pivotal places in Cartagena de Indias (parks, streets, monuments and churches). The exciting points to discover its history and take some photos would allow time to cool down!
Get lost in the walled city by yourself
The architectural structure of the walled city is based initially on a maze to mislead and delay the pirates, so basically, you’ll be walking in a labyrinth. This is the perfect opportunity to get lost in the magical streets and find some hidden jewels of this gorgeous city.
For the sunset lovers
If you’re a sunset lover, Cartagena is one such destination in which you’ll be able to witness a jaw-dropping sunset. Below are two of the best options for the breathtaking experience.
Cafe del mar is one of the trendy resto-bars in the city located over the wall. Its perfect location makes the place a fantastic spot to watch the sunset. Also, if you want to start your night, you’ll be able to drink some beers, cocktails or even have some snacks. Average prices of cocktails are between $4-$7 USD, for beers $2-$4 USD, for snacks for two $5-$10 USD.
Cultural sunset with the fishermen over the bay
If you love having conversations with locals, talking with the fishermen over the bay will be the best choice. These guys love to go with their fishing rods and try to catch some fish just for fun. But watch them while the sun goes down. It’s simply a surreal experience.
Sunset at the wall
Don’t want to spend a lot of money or just don’t like to drink? You can also chillax on the wall to witness one of the best sunsets in the country. You can decide whether you want to walk along the wall or sit right next to Cafe del Mar.
Days four to five: Caribbean beach time
Where to stay
As with days three to four, below, you’ll find a brief description of each of the best hostels to stay in Cartagena. One high range hostel/hotel pick, one mid-range choice, and one budget pick, so you can decide what’s best for you.
Located in Isla de San Bernardo, Casa en el Agua is a Party Eco-Hostel ideal for having fun, meeting travel buddies, and having incredible experiences while relaxing on the Caribbean waters. Hammocks are roughly $40 USD, shared dorms are about $55 USD, and Standard double beds are approximately $90 USD. You’ll also have to pay $40 USD for a Cartagena-Isla de San Bernardo-Cartagena round boat trip.
Bungalows for three people cost around $80 USD. You’ll also have to pay approximately $40 USD for a round Boat trip Cartagena-Islas Del Rosario-Cartagena. Located in Islas Del Rosario, with 12 bungalows built near the sea, Isla del Pirata offers its guests a chill and straightforward process. Although it is rustic with some things to improve, it’s an ideal place to share time with friends and enjoy a cocktail – looking out over the turquoise water of the Caribbean.
Double bed in a cozy room for around $15 USD. Located in Isla Baru, Paraiso Azul, is a simplistic hostel. It also offers a complimentary breakfast, and the owners are kind. You’re going to feel this place is just like home, but in paradise.
What to do?
Roughly $12 USD from the Islands. The plankton tour could be easily one of the most magical experiences you could ever have – supposing you’re not afraid to swim in the dark. People often describe it as swimming in fairy dust.
We recommend that you bring your own equipment. If you’re just an amateur snorkeler, you can find cheap snorkel equipment in the walled city or Getsemaní for $3 USD. However, if you prefer to have a Guided 3 hours experience, you could find tours from $7 USD
On this tour, you’ll typically visit the most essential Islands near Cartagena (i.e. Cholon, San Bernardo, Mucura and Tintipan). You’ll find prices averaging from $15 USD when leaving from one of the islands.
Scuba-diving into the magical and warm Caribbean waters is a must-do if you’re an experienced scuba diver! You’ll find prices from $70 USD per two immersions.
Meal prices and advice
Although prices on islands and beaches used to be more expensive than in the city, you need to know that sometimes locals and vendors will take advantage of you – being a tourist.
Average prices for a lunch (e.g. fried fish, coconut rice, salad, smash fried bananas and lemonade) are between $7-$10 USD. Don’t pay more than this.
If you want Premium food like lobster, it should be around $20-$30 USD maximum.
Cocktails would be about $5-$7 USD.
Beers and beverages are about $3-$5 USD, depending on the brand you choose.
Ceviches ought to be about $5-$7 USD.
You’ll come across the famous ¨massage ladies¨, they’re going to offer a free trial massage. Don’t accept it unless you really want a massage. Also, always determine the price before the massage! The average price for 30 minutes full-body massage is between $10-$15 USD.
Day six: Cultural immersion in San Basilio de Palenque
How to get there?
Palenque is located in the department of Bolívar, a little more than an hour south of Cartagena. San Basilio de Palenque was founded by Benkos Biohó, who was brought to current-day Colombia by the Spaniards during the 16th century. After escaping, he and other enslaved people fled and began setting up the community that we know today as San Basilio de Palenque. These enslaved people tried to help free others that were arriving in Cartagena. They had great success, helping many enslaved people reach their community – a safe haven.
Do not expect to find the architectural gems found in Cartagena; this town’s essence is in its roots and that immaterial legacy they strive to preserve.
To get to Palenque, you’re going to have three options
The most expensive way: rent a tour. The prices are between $85-$90 USD, including lunch, guided tour and transportation.
The mid-range way: take an Uber or a moto-taxi. The cost of going from Cartagena to the bus terminal (by uber or taxi) will be around $5-$7 USD. After that, you’ll have to take a bus from the bus terminal to Palenque. The price of the bus is around $3 USD
The budget way: Take the Trans-Caribe to the bus terminal and then take the bus to Palenque. The Trans-Caribe ticket price is $1 USD. You’ll need to take the X104 bus to Centro station which is close to Getsemaní and the walled city.
* Reminder: If you want to make the trip yourself, keep in mind that you’ll need to take the bus early in the morning because the last bus back from Palenque to Cartagena leaves at 3 PM. Also, you can stay over there, but it’s going to be expensive because there are no hostels, you’ll have to stay at some local house. The average nightly price is $30 USD for a single bed
What to do?
Walking into Palenque by yourself would be a missed opportunity because, as we said before, the essence of this town is in its roots and the immaterial legacy. So, we recommend finding a local guide who can give you the information (We will leave a trusted guide’s number on the “Trip and cultural advice” section)
A guided tour into the town to learn all of Palenque´s history (Benkos Bioho statue, Drums and Dance Show)
Famous Musicians house tour (Sexteto Tabala and Combiles Ami)
Have a friendly conversation with locals
Witness the Lumbalu ritual (honours those that have passed away). Although it is an occasional opportunity. it’s pretty interesting to see
If you’re lucky, you’ll find parties around town, so you’ll be able to join them and dance with locals
Palenque does the Drums festival or “festival de tamboras”, which is usually celebrated in October. This year the celebration will be from October 14th till October 16th. If you’re able to travel on these dates it will be a surreal and unique opportunity to participate in
Palenque´s cuisine, flavour and tradition are legit because of its mixture of African, Spanish and Caribbean cultures. You’ll find Tropical fruits and ‘Arroz con bleo’ (a dish made of bean and rice, a unique fish from the region called ‘stove bleo’, and a tropical salad).
Also, a part of the varied gastronomic-loaded exotic flavours of this town is ‘Pescado en cabrito’ (a particular stove fish), ‘Gallina Criolla (hen stewed in coconut milk), or ‘Mazamorra de coco’.
Average price for a typical lunch is between $10-$15 USD.
Average price for typical candies is between $1-$3 USD.
Trip and cultural advice
To have the most comfortable experience on your tour to San Basilio de Palenque, make sure to:
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Bring lots of sunscreen and a fan or umbrella (there isn’t a lot of shade, and the sun is intense)
Make sure to bring your camera to take many photos of this historical and exciting town.
Don’t forget to try the unique and special candies prepared by gorgeous Palenqueras: Cocada (coconut candy), Bola de maní (peanut and caramel ball), alegrías de milo (milo chocolate biscuits)
Ñeque is the typical alcoholic beverage from Palenque. Locals say, “if you didn’t try ñeque, did you really visit Palenque?” so don’t leave this historical place without a sip of it.
Remember, most people’s livelihood in Palenque is based on tourism. So, if you can support them by purchasing souvenirs, leaving tips or getting lunch there – they’d appreciate it!
You can contact “Don” Wilman Torres if you need a guide. A kind human being, who is passionate about music. Furthermore, he is the perfect person to explain all the culture of Palenque (history, music, rituals, traditions). He’s going to take you to all the iconic places within the town. You can call him if you need his guidance at +57 3004334906
Day seven: Adventure beyond the walls
Where to go
Although Cartagena is not one of the most adventurous cities in Colombia, below, you’ll find a brief description of two of the best adventure activities to do beyond the walls of Cartagena.
Colombia National Aviary: The cost of Admission is about $12 USD. Aviario Nacional in Cartagena, Colombia, is a conservation organization that promotes knowledge about Colombian biodiversity, its sustainable use and responsible management.
The Aviary resides on seven hectares of wilderness that allow visitors to observe a unique and wonderful collection of birds from Colombia and Latin America. The birds are exhibited in their natural habitat or in environments very similar to those from which they originate.
How to get there?
High range option: go on a tour, which will cost around $45 USD, (entrance fee included).
Mid Range option: take a taxi from Cartagena to the Aviary. This option is best with a group of friends (4 persons) because it will cost around $45 USD round trip, which means $10 USD per person. Otherwise, you can also take the Aviary bus, which will cost approximately $16 USD round trip.
Budget option: A bus and taxi combo is a bit more complicated but a good adventure for those looking to do the Aviary inexpensively. Start by taking a bus from Cartagena to Pascaballos from the intersection of Calle 30 and Carrera 17, which is at the base of the San Felipe Castle. The ride is about 30mins and should cost less than $1USD. From Pascaballos you can take a mototaxi aprox $3-$4 USD. Make sure you negotiate the price before taking the moto-taxi and always be careful with your belongings. I suggest you have some basic Spanish language skills for this option.
Totumo mud volcano: Entrance to “El Totumo” is about $5-$7 USD depending on the season
The Totumo Volcano (El Totumo) is one of Cartagena’s most popular day trips. It is a small volcanic caldera that has become the main attraction. Take a bath in naturally heated grey-brown silt. After soaking in the thick mixture, head to the lagoon next door to wash off the mineral-rich mud, which is believed to have therapeutic properties.
How to get there?
High range option: rent a tour, which will cost around $30-$40 USD, (includes entrance fee and an English guide). This tour does not include lunch. However, you can find typical dishes for about $6 USD.
Budget option: From Cartagena, you have to take a bus via Barranquilla (Via al Mar). This bus will cost around $3-$4 USD. Get off after the Galerazamba sign. From there, you can take a motorcycle taxi to El Totumo, which will cost about $3-$4 USD. So, a round trip will be about $12-$16 USD.
Day eight: Historical Cartagena immersion
Finish your Cartagena One-week Itinerary with Historical Cartagena immersion
San Felipe de Barajas Castle: one of Cartagena’s most iconic landmarks; a must-visit for all tourists who travel to the city. It has a remarkable history spanning 480 years; the castle has been invaded by pirates, admirals, and barons in its long history, yet it continues to stand proudly. Tickets cost about $7 USD.
Gold Museum: The Gold Museum in Cartagena displays examples of Colombia’s indigenous peoples’ lovely and intricate goldsmith work. Visiting the Gold Museum in Cartagena will give you a glimpse of these ancient gold artifacts and a chance to learn a bit about the indigenous cultures that crafted them. Best of all, the museum is free.
Inquisition palace: The Spanish Inquisition conjures visions of witches, torture, and religious persecution. As an essential seat of Spanish colonial power, Cartagena housed an office of the Inquisition. Today the Palacio de la Inquisición in Cartagena doubles as a museum of the Inquisition as well as the Cartagena Historical Museum. You can see some examples of torture devices and learn about the city’s history during a visit to Cartagena’s Inquisition Museum. Cost of Admission is about $6 USD
Naval Museum: The walls and fortifications of Cartagena speak to its importance as a coastal trading port during the Spanish colonial era. A visit to the Naval Museum of the Caribbean in Cartagena will give you great insight into those fortifications and their role in defending the city from numerous pirate attacks. The museum is the most complete in the town. It has a wealth of information about Cartagena’s history, the pirate attacks on the city, and the history of Colombia’s navy. The cost of admission to the museum is about $4 USD.
Slow travel brings back the original essence of travelling: intentionally enjoying and embracing the experiences and places we visit. See below how you can adopt this philosophy and go back to being fully present on all your future trips.
Travel is one of life’s most nourishing activities. The variety and diversity all around the world offer many unique places to visit and live new and exciting experiences. The goal of travelling is to enjoy and immerse yourself on a new journey. But, many travellers have drifted away from this purpose thanks to the fast-paced society we live in. Nowadays, we forget to enjoy the moment because we’re too caught up in capturing the best photos and videos or feeling overwhelmed that we’ll return home soon. If you relate to this but want to change it, here’s where slow travel comes in.
What is Slow Travel?
You are probably wondering, what exactly is slow travel? The definition is quite simple. It means connecting in-depth with the culture, local people, food, music, traditions, and scene of the place you’re visiting. Travelling slowly is taking your time to experience all that for a more extended period without the rush of a short vacation and other tensions.
This mindset encourages travellers to interact personally with the people who live at the destination, support the local economy and become part of the place instead of just a visitor. Since a slow travel experience is usually done independently or in small groups away from very touristic zones, the experience is entirely different and in our opinion, way better than going on a travel tour.
The History Behind Slow Travel
This trend, or should we say movement, is a branch of the Slow Food Movement, which originated back in the 1980s in Italy to protest against fast food; it intended to preserve regional traditions, local farming and artisans, traditional cooking, a slow life pace. The movement’s expansion led the travel industry to develop its own way of slow enjoyment. How interesting, right?
Benefits of Slow Travel
Leaning towards slow travel is a great idea if you intend to have a meaningful experience instead of a hasty touristy one. By travelling this way, without the hassle of getting the perfect Instagram photo . Or with limited time to visit all the spots on your bucket list, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the moment and everything around you. Here are a few other reasons why you should consider a slow travel experience:
You’ll Save Money
Slow travel may be a more affordable option than the typical hotel experience. Nowadays, it’s straightforward to find reasonable prices on long-term stays at platforms such as Airbnb. Or, if you want to live like a true local, there are also homestay options available that you can find online; if you go for the last option, be sure to stay with someone trustworthy and with good references. Renting an Airbnb or staying with someone can also help you save money on food since you won’t have to eat out all the time.
No More Tourist Burnout
Visiting and doing as many things as possible with a limited amount of time can be exhausting and turn into a bad memory instead of a good one. Getting back from a trip more tired than when you left is what travellers call “tourist burnout”.
By switching from the traditional hectic tour mindset where you are only focused on checking off places from your bucket list to a slow and mindful one. You’ll be able to enjoy, grow, learn, and expand your way of thinking. There’s no need to be under pressure during a trip. You can always return another time to see the spots you missed.
Stepping out of the hotel and high-speed travel dynamic will allow you to get to know the local world from a first-person perspective and therefore connect with local citizens and learn about the culture, history and traditions. It could even turn into new opportunities to experience regional day-to-day life more in-depth.
How to Enjoy Slow Travel the Most?
Now that you are familiar with the slow travel movement and its benefits, let’s see how you can make the most out of it.
Make a budget
If you plan in advance and save the money you need for the trip, you’ll have the freedom to do and try everything you want without stressing out about not having enough funds during or after the expedition.
Live like a local
Interacting with the people you meet at your destination, getting to know them and discovering more about the site from a different perspective will open doors to unparalleled experiences. The more you adapt, the deeper the slow travel experience will be. By living like a local, you’ll have the chance to get to know hidden gems that often go unnoticed by tourists.
Go with the flow
Being flexible can turn unexpected events and stressful situations into opportunities. Setbacks such as missing the bus, taking the wrong route, etc., can be easily handled and overcome when you’re going with the flow.
Be open and ready to grow
In addition to visiting new places, travelling can be an opportunity to discover unique aspects of yourself, gain confidence in problem-solving skills, and learn valuable lessons. The experiences one acquires by travelling like this will give you knowledge, wisdom, and a whole new outlook.
Take home the slow travel mindset
Travelling slow doesn’t have to be a philosophy you use exclusively when out of town. Being more mindful while travelling and on regular days can improve your life. You can integrate the slow travel practices into your daily life by enjoying the little things, stopping to smell the flowers, trying new things and interacting more with people around you.
What do you think?
Travelling slow sounds like a relaxing and enjoyable experience, doesn’t it? Slow travel might not be for everyone, but if you want to give it a try on your next trip, we are sure you’ll enjoy it. You can find more about this movement on our other slow travel and digital nomad blog posts or slow travel forums.
Mexico City, also known as CDMX, is the capital of Mexico and a trendy destination among international and local travellers. The energy, culture, colours, food, people, and tremendous variety of activities and attractions make it a destination you can’t miss. For these and many other aspects, Mexico City is an ideal location for all types of travellers you just have to pick the best neighbourhood in Mexico City
So, you decided Mexico City will be your location for the next couple of months. However, adapting to a 21 million people city may be intimidating.
When choosing the best neighbourhood in a city as big as Mexico City, you want to consider essential aspects such as proximity to shops and sites of your interest, access to public transport, touristy spots, and safety and budget. Next, you’ll find all the details about the best areas to stay in in Mexico City.
Questions arise as you land and check from above this massive Latin American capital. “Where should I live? Am I going to get lost in this concrete jungle?”.
If you are a digital nomad or just someone who wants to plan a long-term trip here, you’re in the right place because we’re about to answer these questions.
We came up with this guide to the best neighbourhoods in Mexico City to make it easier to choose not only the coolest but also the most practical, and safe neighbourhood for your stay.
If you’re visiting CDMX for the first time, you’ll love La Condesa. This western side of town is an excellent choice if you want to surround yourself with an old-fashioned yet modern atmosphere. Here you’ll be able to enjoy many exquisite restaurants, vintage markets, unique shops, and a great nightlife scene. La Condesa is the perfect neighbourhood for artists, writers, students, and other creatives.
Its prime location near the Chapultepec Forest, where you’ll find a magnificent historic castle, a zoo, garden, lake, and more, makes it an excellent area for families and digital nomads who love to walk around. And if you love dogs or travel with one, then you’ll feel right at home because La Condesa is a dog lover neighbourhood.
Everything you need is within walking distance: convenience stores, coffee shops with high-speed internet, laundry services, yoga studios, parks… You name it! There are many reasons why foreigners choose this neighbourhood.
It is also very well connected with Metrobús, Bus, Metro, and EcoBici stations available just a few blocks away.
Pros and Cons of La Condesa:
Excellent nightlife and wide restaurant selection
Cozy and attractive accommodations
You can peacefully walk around the neighbourhood
It’s known to be a safe area
If you’re not a party person, the nightlife can be a drawback rather than something enjoyable
It’s a little bit pricey
If you don’t book in advance, it can be hard to find an accommodation
Local tip:If possible, check if your accommodation has been well maintained since some buildings have been severely damaged from past earthquakes.
Roma is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Mexico City. It’s divided into two districts: Roma Norte and Roma Sur.
Roma Norte is a slightly more modern and touristy spot, while Roma Sur echoes the local and traditional life of the area. Roma is one of Mexico City’s best neighbourhoods for young tourists looking for a fun time, but it can also be a good option for couples, families, and older travellers who want to stay in a nice neighbourhood with a unique vibe.
This hip and vibrant neighbourhood has (almost) the same features as La Condesa. However, here you can feel a more cultural and artistic vibe.
This historical district is mapped by main roads such as Insurgentes Ave., Medellín, Monterrey, and Cuauhtémoc Ave., which connect the city’s south with the centre. However, this neighbourhood’s core is Álvaro Obregón Ave., where you find a buzzing commercial activity. The area also provides affordable and handy services like laundries, tailors, shoe repairers, and stationaries.
Want to get fresh veggies? Then hit one of the many farmers’ markets that take over the streets.
Pros and Cons of Roma Norte:
The landscapes, architecture, and streets are unique
You’ll find good food everywhere
You can walk around the area and even to other neighbourhoods
The nightlife and bars are first-class
Compared to other neighbourhoods, Roma can get a little expensive
It’s a slightly more touristy destination
It’s not close to museums or other popular attractions
Local tip:It is full of digital nomads and ex-pats, so search for coworking places and meet-ups.
La Escandón is located just across Revolución Avenue. This neighbourhood has a lot to offer to anyone who wants to build a new life without spending much. Compared to its surrounding areas, La Escandón’s real estate prices are more affordable, the buildings are more modern, and it has a local family vibe.
Its activity comes from schools, tienditas (convenience stores), late-night street antojitos, markets, and coffee shops sitting on every street. Some offices operate Monday-Friday when the neighbourhood is busier, but after 6pm, the roads get peaceful.
Pros and Cons of La Escandón:
Metro and Metrobus stops are within walking distance.
The roads can be hectic during the day
Local tip:Make some benchmarking in La Condesa and Roma. Prices in La Escandón should be around 30% less.
Located next to the city’s most iconic monument, El Ángel de la Independencia, la Cuauhtémoc (do not confuse it with the Cuauhtémoc municipality) is having its second boom after the 60s, when most of its buildings were constructed.
Some of them are being improved, but you also find huge original with affordable rental prices. Facilities might be outdated, but they are charming.
In addition to having restaurants, nightclubs, coffee shops, 24/7 convenience stores, and hotels, the location is one of the best in the cities. Walking distance to el Centro, Polanco, Roma, Condesa and Chapultepec Park, and few blocks away from el Metrobús, and Metro.
Pros and Cons of La Cuauhtémoc:
Cuauhtémoc has a lively international dining scene
It is within walking distance to key attractions and neighbourhoods
It is an older area so facilities might be outdated
Local tip: Walk through every street because you will find delicious ramen restaurants to second-hand shops.
For artsy streets, bohemian stores and coffee shops, art galleries, and museums, Coyoacán is the spot. Here you’ll feel like nowhere else in the city, and it’s genuinely one of the freshest neighbourhoods in CDMX. Coyoacán also offers plenty of splendid restaurants, stores, and public amenities like the Jardín Centenario and the Mercado de Coyoacán; in this last one, you’ll find an incredible variety of crafts and other curiosities.
Coyoacán, where Frida Kahlo lived, is a charming, bohemian, and full of jacaranda trees district. Although modern skyscrapers changed the landscape, the centre and surrounding streets keep a historical atmosphere with the colonial architecture and cobbled streets.
Some properties used to be haciendas that now are divided into smaller accommodation like duplex houses or two-bedroom apartments.
Despite being one of the most touristic places in the city, and attended by locals over the weekends, you will be drawn to a slower pace that reminds you of Mexican villages.
Pros and Cons of Coyoacán:
It’s a very safe and family-friendly neighbourhood
The restaurants have exquisite food
There are many art galleries, museums, and creative spaces
It’s very far from the downtown area and its surroundings
You’ll need public transport or Uber to be able to move around
Local tip:Traditional Mexican-style architecture is easy to find here. Prices are much lower than in other neighbourhoods.
In Mexico, they say something is BBB when it is Bueno: good, Bonito: pretty, and Barato: cheap, and this is Narvarte’s accurate description. This is your place to be! If you’re looking for a more local atmosphere that offers absolutely everything you need at affordable prices…
Middle-class Mexican families mix with the busy commercial activity while enjoying one of the many parks in this square.
Being away from the tourist spots has its perks in terms of prices, but this place is surrounded by every means of transportation.
Pros and Cons of La Narvarte:
Easy access to multiple transportation options. You can quickly move to the city’s centre, Coyoacán and Roma, using Metrobus, subway, trolleybus, truck, bicycle or even walking.
Its praise as the “cradle of the taco” is not in vain; in Narvarte, you can find these places on every corner, but gourmet options are also for all tastes.
The main tourist attractions are a little far
Local tip: Look for accommodation in smaller streets than can be quieter during the daytime.
Are you looking for something extravagant and fancy? This is the neighbourhood for you! Polanco is the place for luxury hotels, upscale stores, fine dining, and fun attractions. The Museo Soumaya, Museo Jumex, Chapultepec, and Gandhi Park are nearby attractions you need to visit if you decide to stay here. Other sites you might enjoy are the Avenida Masaryk (Masaryk Avenue) and the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. The beauty and appealing qualities of Polanco sound impressive, but this charm comes with a high price because it’s one of the most expensive areas to stay in CDMX.
Pros and Cons of Polanco:
Luxury and comfort are all you’ll find here
It’s close to several attractions
There are many options for shopping
It’s a very safe area
The main tourist attractions are a little far
There aren’t many public transport options available
Local tip: Make sure you walk to the Bosque de Chapultepec and its stellar Museo Arqueológico
Centro Histórico (Historical Downtown)
The Centro Histórico is one of the most popular areas, and it’s also the heart of the city. You’ll find attractions like the National Palace, the Torre Latinoamericana (Latin-American Tower), Templo Mayor Museum, the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
The Centro Histórico Area is one of the best to stay in, especially if it’s your first visit and your budget is tight.
Pros and Cons of Centro Histórico:
Has easy access to public transport
You’ll be able to find many different attractions within walking distance
Accommodation prices are very affordable, and there’s a lot of variety to choose from
Perfect for first-time visitors
It’s a very crowded area, and if you like quieter and calmer neighbourhoods, the Centro Histórico can get a little noisy depending on the accommodation’s location and window/balcony setup.
Unfortunately, pickpocketing and petty theft often occur on this side of the city.
Local tip: Visit Miralto the Restaurant and Level 40 of Latin American Tower. The Bar is located on the 40th and 41st floors, a high experience dining destination. This iconic culinary hotspot uses traditional Mexican finishes to reinforce its location and present visitors with breathtaking views.
Ready For Your Trip to Mexico City?
Now that you’ve read ALL the details about Mexico City’s best areas for extended stays and digital nomads, you’ll be able to choose the perfect fit for you. Whatever neighbourhood you decide to stay in, in Mexico City we hope you have a great time visiting this magnificent city.
If you need help finding the perfect Airbnb – check out our post here.