The 6 Best Cities In Mexico For Digital Nomads: LGBTQ+ Edition (2024 Update)

With its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and growing digital nomad scene, Mexico offers a compelling destination for remote workers seeking an LGBTQ+-friendly adventure.

But with so many vibrant cities to choose from, deciding where to base yourself can be overwhelming. Fear not, intrepid explorers! This list highlights the six best cities in Mexico for digital nomads. Our LGBTQ+ edition considers important factors such as: thriving LGBTQ+ communities, reliable internet access, and unique experiences to enrich your digital nomad journey.

Remember, this is just a starting point; further research is crucial to ensure the best fit for your needs and preferences.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Best Cities in Mexico For Digital Nomads

Methodology of City Selection for Best Cities in Mexico For Digital Nomads

This blog highlighted six Mexican cities that offer a friendly and enriching experience for LGBTQ+ digital nomads in 2024. The selection process considered several key factors:

Inclusivity and Safety:

  • LGBTQ+ Scene: The presence of established LGBTQ+ communities, bars, cafes, and social groups indicates a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Acceptance and Visibility: Level of social acceptance and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community, based on reports and cultural understanding.
  • Safety: Overall safety of the city, considering potential risks and areas to be cautious in.

Digital Nomad Suitability:

  • Internet Access: Availability of reliable and affordable internet connections, including co-working spaces if applicable.
  • Cost of Living: Affordability of basic living expenses, considering accommodation, food, transportation, and other necessities.
  • Infrastructure: Presence of amenities and infrastructure relevant to digital nomads, such as cafes, co-working spaces, and visa options for extended stays.

Unique Experiences and Culture:

  • Cultural Offerings: Richness and diversity of cultural attractions, historical landmarks, traditional experiences, and local cuisine.
  • Natural Beauty: Access to stunning natural landscapes, beaches, cenotes, mountains, or other unique geographical features.
  • Events and Festivals: Presence of vibrant cultural events, festivals, and celebrations that enhance the overall experience.
Mexico City, Mexico

Data Sources and Research:

  • Tourism Board Websites: Information on city attractions, infrastructure, and cultural offerings.
  • LGBTQ+ Travel Resources: Websites and organizations focused on LGBTQ+ travel in Mexico, providing insights on safety, communities, and friendly establishments.
  • Digital Nomad Blogs and Websites: Reviews and experiences shared by other digital nomads, offering practical information and cost estimates.
  • News Articles and Reports: Recent news or reports on the LGBTQ+ scene, safety, and digital nomad trends in each city.

Selection Process:

Based on the gathered information, each city was evaluated across the aforementioned factors. Cities demonstrating a strong combination of LGBTQ+ inclusivity, digital nomad suitability, and unique cultural offerings received higher consideration. Personal insights and discussions within the research team also helped refine the final selection.

1. Puerto Vallarta: The Gay Capital of Latin America

Puerto Vallarta Mexico beach

LGBTQ+ Safety and Communities:

  • Pros:
    • Renowned Zona Romántica is known for its vibrant gay bars, restaurants, shops, and events.
    • Generally high acceptance and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.
    • Active LGBTQ+ organizations like Vallarta Pride and Diversidad Vallarta offer support and community connection.
  • Cons:
  • Occasional reports of discrimination, particularly outside tourist areas.
  • Be mindful of scams and harassment, especially in nightlife settings.

Affordability:

  • Moderate: Costs vary depending on lifestyle and location. Zona Romántica is generally more expensive.
  • Budget-friendly options: Consider renting apartments outside tourist areas, utilizing local markets, and opting for street food.
  • Average monthly cost: $1,500-$3,000 USD for basic living expenses.

Interesting Facts:

  • Puerto Vallarta was the first Mexican city to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015.
  • Home to the International Vallarta Film Festival, showcasing LGBTQ+ cinema.
  • Diverse marine life makes it a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. I used to see dolphins and whales from my balcony, and you can often see whales on day trips by boat.
  • Birthplace of raicilla, a traditional agave spirit gaining popularity.

Food:

  • Must-try local dishes: Pescado Zarandeado (grilled fish), Pozole (soup), Camarones a la Diabla (spicy shrimp), Tostadas.
  • LGBTQ+-friendly restaurants: La Leche, The Indigo Kitchen, The Cabana Restaurant & Bar. Click here to discover a complete guide to the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and the best breakfasts in Puerto Vallarta.
  • Budget-friendly eats: Local markets, street food stalls, taquerias.

Places to Visit:

  • Zona Romántica: Explore the lively gay scene, beautiful beaches, and charming cobblestone streets.
  • Malecón Boardwalk: Enjoy stunning ocean views, street performers, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Vallarta Botanical Gardens: Immerse yourself in lush greenery and diverse plant life.
  • Las Marietas Islands: Hike hidden beaches, snorkel in crystalline waters, and encounter unique wildlife.
Puerto Vallarta Mexico beach

Average Download Speed:

  • Varies depending on provider and location, but generally ranges from 35-50 Mbps.
  • Co-working spaces offer reliable internet connections, with some catering specifically to digital nomads.

Editors Note: I’ve collectively spent more than a year living in Puerto Vallarta during two different winters, and I loved my time there so much. I would gladly consider returning there. There’s a large gay community to the point that it’s sometimes referred to as a “straight-friendly” city. The businesses (especially in Zona Romantica) not only welcome but cater to gay visitors.

There’s a ton of great hiking nearby (including some gorgeous waterfall hikes), and a decent nomad community. Prices are on the rise (especially in Zona Romantica) but there are still deals to be found, especially if you look off of Airbnb.

Be sure to join the local LGBTQ+ and digital nomad Facebook groups, as they have a lot of great information.

Sources:

Additional Tips:

  • Learn basic Spanish phrases to enhance your experience and cultural immersion.
  • Purchase a local SIM card for affordable internet access on the go.
  • Respect local customs and dress modestly when venturing outside tourist areas.

2. Oaxaca City:

Oaxaca, Mexico

LGBTQ+ Safety and Communities:

  • Pros:
    • Growing and supportive LGBTQ+ community, particularly among younger generations.
    • Several LGBTQ+ bars, restaurants, and social groups exist, though not as concentrated as in other cities.
    • Relatively open-minded and progressive atmosphere compared to other parts of Mexico.
  • Cons:
  • Limited visibility and resources compared to larger, more tourist-oriented cities.
  • A deeper understanding of local customs and cultural nuances is crucial for respectful interactions.

Affordability:

  • Very affordable: Oaxaca City boasts one of the lowest living costs in Mexico.
  • Budget-friendly options: Explore local markets, stay in guesthouses or shared accommodations, and utilize public transportation.
  • Average monthly cost: $800-$1,500 USD for basic living expenses.

Interesting Facts:

  • Celebrated for its rich Zapotec culture and indigenous traditions.
  • UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning colonial architecture and archaeological ruins.
  • Foodie paradise, known for its diverse and flavorful Oaxacan cuisine (moles, tlayudas, mezcal) Click here to discover the best places to eat in Oaxaca.
  • Home to the Guelaguetza festival, a vibrant cultural celebration with dance, music, and indigenous costumes.
Oaxaca, Mexico

Food:

  • Must-try Oaxacan dishes: Mole (various types), Tlayudas (large tortillas with toppings), Chapulines (grasshoppers), Tamales Oaxaqueños, Memelas (similar to tlayudas, but smaller).
  • LGBTQ+-friendly restaurants: Casa Oaxaca, Hierbabuena, Casa Taviche.
  • Budget-friendly eats: Local markets and street food stalls are where you’ll find the best food in Oaxaca!

Places to Visit:

  • Historic Center: Explore the UNESCO-listed city center with its colorful streets, charming plazas, and magnificent churches.
  • Hierve el Agua: Natural rock formations with petrified waterfalls, perfect for swimming and relaxation.
  • Monte Albán: Explore the archaeological ruins of an ancient Zapotec city with breathtaking views.
  • Santo Domingo: Visit the stunning Santo Domingo Church and admire its baroque architecture and gold-leafed interior.
  • Day trips: Explore nearby villages like Teotitlán del Valle (known for its carpets) and Mitla (an archaeological site with unique mosaics).
Oaxaca, Mexico

Average Download Speed:

  • Varies depending on provider and location, but generally ranges from 25-45 Mbps.
  • Coffee shops and co-working spaces often offer stronger and more reliable Wi-Fi connections.
  • Consider investing in a local SIM card for mobile data usage, especially when traveling outside the city center.

Sources:

Additional Tips:

  • Learn a few basic Zapotec phrases to show respect and connect with locals.
  • Be mindful of local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting churches or traditional villages.
  • Support local businesses and artisans by shopping at markets and attending cultural events.

Editors Note: I absolutely love Oaxaca- I’ve been a half dozen times and I have plans to go back. The city itself is gorgeous, the locals are friendly, the food is maybe the best in all of Mexico and there’s a growing digita nomad scene.

If you go, try to time you visit during Dia de Los Muertos (technically the first few days of November but it’s started to merge with Halloween and becomes a week long event). Easily one fo the best festivals I’ve ever been to and I’m planning a return visit this year.

Pro-tip: Don’t miss visiting Oaxaca’s beaches while you’re in Oaxaca. Puerto Escondido is growing in popularity with digital nomads (as they improve their wifi) and Zipolite (the only authorized gay beach in Mexico) is incredibly gay friendly.

3. Playa del Carmen:

LGBTQ+ Safety and Communities:

  • Pros:
    • A Thriving LGBTQ+ scene centered around Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) with numerous gay bars, clubs, and restaurants.
    • Generally welcoming and accepting atmosphere, especially in tourist areas.
    • Annual Pride events and festivals celebrate diversity and inclusion.
  • Cons:
  • Occasional reports of discrimination, particularly in less tourist-oriented areas.
  • Be aware of scams and harassment, especially in nightlife settings.

Affordability:

  • Moderate: Costs vary depending on lifestyle and location, with the beachside area being more expensive.
  • Budget-friendly options: Consider renting apartments outside tourist areas, utilizing local markets, and eating at street food stalls.
  • Average monthly cost: $1,500-$3,000 USD for basic living expenses.

Interesting Facts:

  • Once a sleepy fishing village, Playa del Carmen is now a bustling beach town attracting tourists and digital nomads alike.
  • Renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Proximity to Mayan ruins and cenotes (natural swimming holes) offers exciting day trip opportunities.
  • Home to the Xcaret eco-park, showcasing Mexico’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Food:

  • Must-try local dishes: Cochinita Pibil (slow-cooked pork), Pescado Tikin Xic (fish in sour orange sauce), Chimole (Yucatecan stew), Panuchos (tortillas filled with beans and topped with meat).
  • LGBTQ+-friendly restaurants: La Cueva del Chango, Casa Rolandi, Los Aguachiles. Click here for a complete guide to the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
  • Budget-friendly eats: Local markets, street food stalls, taquerias.

Places to Visit:

  • Fifth Avenue: Explore the bustling pedestrian-only avenue lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.
  • Xcaret eco-park: Experience underground rivers, cenotes, and cultural shows showcasing Mexican traditions.
  • Cenotes: Swim in natural swimming holes surrounded by lush vegetation and stunning rock formations.
  • Day trips: Explore nearby Mayan ruins like Tulum and Chichen Itza, or visit the Isla Mujeres island.
Chichén Itzá

Average Download Speed:

  • Varies depending on provider and location, but generally ranges from 35-50 Mbps.
  • Co-working spaces offer reliable internet connections, with some catering specifically to digital nomads.

Sources:

Additional Tips:

  • Learn basic Spanish phrases to enhance your experience and cultural immersion.
  • Purchase a local SIM card for affordable internet access on the go.
  • Respect local customs and dress modestly when venturing outside tourist areas.

Editors Note: I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Playa del Carmen and while I can’t say it’s my favorite city in Mexico, it does have one of the largest, most active digital nomad communites in the entire country.

Year round, you can find digital nomads in Playa and they are always organizing some kind of event or get together.

4. Guadalajara:

LGBTQ+ Safety and Communities:

  • Pros:
    • Vibrant and growing LGBTQ+ scene, particularly in the Americana districts, with numerous gay bars, cafes, and events.
    • Relatively open-minded and progressive atmosphere compared to other parts of Mexico.
    • Active LGBTQ+ organizations like Somos Diversidad Guadalajara offer support and community connection.
  • Cons:
  • Occasional reports of discrimination, particularly in less progressive neighborhoods.
  • Be mindful of personal safety, especially in nightlife settings.

Affordability:

  • Moderate to affordable: Costs vary depending on lifestyle and location, with Zona Rosa being more expensive.
  • Budget-friendly options: Explore local markets, utilize public transportation, and opt for street food or smaller restaurants.
  • Average monthly cost: $1,200-$2,500 USD for basic living expenses.

Interesting Facts:

  • Mexico’s second-largest city with a blend of historical charm and modern urban life.
  • Home to renowned museums like the Guadalajara Museum of Art and the Templo Expiatorio.
  • Renowned for its mariachi music scene and vibrant local festivals like the Fiestas de Octubre.
  • Tequila capital of Mexico, offering unique distillery tours and tastings.

Food:

  • Must-try local dishes: Birria (spicy stewed meat), Torta Ahogada (drowned sandwich), Carne en su Jugo (beef in its own juices), Pozole (soup), Tlaquepaque cakes.
  • LGBTQ+-friendly restaurants: La Fábrica, Santo Coyote, La Buena Torta.
  • Budget-friendly eats: Local markets, street food stalls, taquerias.

Places to Visit:

  • Zona Rosa: Explore the lively LGBTQ+ district with bars, cafes, shops, and cultural events.
  • Guadalajara Cathedral: Admire the grand architecture and religious significance of this iconic landmark.
  • Guadalajara Zoo: Encounter diverse animal species and botanical gardens.
  • Tlaquepaque: Wander through a charming artisan village known for its pottery and tequila distilleries.
  • Day trips: Explore nearby towns like Tequila and Chapala, or visit ancient pyramids like Guachimontones.

Average Download Speed:

  • Varies depending on provider and location, but generally ranges from 15-50 Mbps.
  • Co-working spaces offer reliable internet connections, with some catering specifically to digital nomads.

Sources:

Additional Tips:

  • Learn basic Spanish phrases to enhance your experience and cultural immersion.
  • Purchase a local SIM card for affordable internet access on the go.
  • Respect local customs and dress modestly when venturing outside tourist areas.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions, especially in crowded areas.

Editor’s Note: I’ve briefly visited Guadalajara and would love to go back and spend more time there. It’s known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico. The area that we stayed in was very hipster and incredibly welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community. Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco, the same state of Mexico where Puerto Vallarta is located. The entire state seems to be progressive.

5. Mérida:

Merida, Mexico

LGBTQ+ Safety and Communities:

  • Pros:
    • Growing and welcoming LGBTQ+ community, though visibility is not as high as in other cities.
    • Several LGBTQ+-friendly bars, cafes, and social groups exist.
    • Generally safe and accepting atmosphere, especially in the city center.
  • Cons:
  • Limited resources and support networks compared to larger cities.

Affordability:

  • Very affordable: Mérida boasts one of the lowest living costs in Mexico, but costs are quickly rising, especially in the Centro area where most nomads and expats live.
  • Budget-friendly options: Explore local markets, stay in guesthouses or shared accommodations, and utilize public transportation.
  • Average monthly cost: $800-$1,500 USD for basic living expenses.

Interesting Facts:

  • Renowned for its colonial architecture and rich Mayan heritage.
  • UNESCO World Heritage site with impressive historical landmarks like the Catedral de San Ildefonso.
  • Celebrated for its vibrant cultural scene, including traditional music, dance, and handicrafts.
  • Home to the Yucatecan cuisine, known for its unique flavors and ingredients (cochinita pibil, panuchos, salbutes).
Merida, Mexico

Food:

  • Must-try Yucatecan dishes: Cochinita Pibil (slow-cooked pork), Panuchos (tortillas filled with beans and topped with meat), Salbutes (tortillas topped with meat, lettuce, and tomato), Huevos Motuleños (eggs in a tomato sauce with beans and tortillas).
  • LGBTQ+-friendly restaurants: SOCO, Manjar Blanco, Micaela.
  • Budget-friendly eats: Local markets, street food stalls, and cocina economicas.

Places to Visit:

  • Historic Center: Explore the UNESCO-listed city center with its colorful streets, charming plazas, and magnificent churches.
  • Cenotes: Swim in natural swimming holes surrounded by lush vegetation and stunning rock formations.
  • Uxmal: Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Uxmal, known for its impressive architecture and Pyramid of the Magician.
  • Chichen Itza: Witness the grandeur of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza, with its iconic Kukulkan Pyramid.
  • Day trips: Explore nearby colonial towns like Izamal and Valladolid, or visit the Celestún Biosphere Reserve.
Merida, Mexico

Average Download Speed:

  • Varies depending on provider and location, but generally ranges from 35-50 Mbps.
  • Coffee shops and co-working spaces often offer stronger and more reliable Wi-Fi connections.
  • Consider investing in a local SIM card for mobile data usage, especially when traveling outside the city center.

Sources:

Editor’s Note: I’ve spent more time in Merida than any other city in Mexico and it has a special place in my heart. Yes, it’s hot as hell during part of the year (like, ubearably hot) but it’s widely known as the safest city in Mexico, the people are so friendly, the food is unique to that part of Mexico (and some of the best in the country) and Merida is a great base to explore the Yucatan Peninsula.

I love Merida so much that I brought my mom there for her birthday and she decided to retire there!

6. Mexico City: Bustling Metropolis with Vibrant LGBTQ+ Culture for Digital Nomads

Mexico City, Mexico

LGBTQ+ Scene:

Pros:

  • Large and active LGBTQ+ community: Numerous organizations, businesses, and events cater to diverse identities and interests.
  • Pride celebration: Annual Mexico City Pride draws large crowds, showcasing the community’s vibrancy.
  • Visibility and acceptance: Mexico City boasts many LGBTQ+-owned establishments offering safe and inclusive spaces.
  • Legal protections: Same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws provide some legal protections.

Cons:

  • Mixed landscape: Acceptance varies depending on neighborhood and individual attitudes. Discretion might be advised outside specific areas.
  • Limited resources in some areas: Support networks and community centers might be concentrated in certain neighborhoods.

Affordability:

  • Moderate cost of living: Compared to major coastal cities, Mexico City offers a more affordable option, especially for housing.
  • Budget options: To optimize costs, explore local markets, shared accommodations, and public transportation.
  • Average monthly cost: MXN $15,000-MXN $25,000 for basic living expenses.

Interesting Facts:

  • Thriving cultural scene: From world-class museums to traditional markets and street performers, the city pulsates with cultural energy.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Explore Teotihuacan pyramids, Chapultepec Castle, and historic downtown.
  • Diverse neighborhoods: Each barrio offers unique character, from hipster Roma Norte to bohemian Coyoacán.
  • Foodie paradise: Savor authentic Mexican cuisine with tacos, mole, and regional specialties.
Mexico City, Mexico

Food:

  • Must-try Mexican dishes: Tacos al pastor, carnitas, mole poblano, chilaquiles, churros.
  • LGBTQ+-friendly restaurants: El Cardenal, La Rosa Bistro, El 77.
  • Budget-friendly eats: Street food stalls, local markets, traditional “fondas” (restaurants).

Places to Visit:

  • Teotihuacan: Explore the ancient pyramids and temples of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Museo Nacional de Antropología: Immerse yourself in Mexican history and culture at this world-renowned museum.
  • Zocalo: Witness the heart of Mexico City’s historical center with its grand cathedral and surrounding Palacio Nacional.
  • Roma Norte and Condesa: Trendy neighborhoods with art galleries, cafes, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Day trips: Explore Xochimilco canals, Teotihuacan pyramids, or nearby colonial towns like Puebla and Cuernavaca.
Nathan Aguilera Mexico City

Average Download Speed:

  • Varies depending on provider and location, but generally ranges from 10-50 Mbps.
  • Coffee shops and co-working spaces often offer stronger and more reliable Wi-Fi connections.
  • Consider a local SIM card for mobile data usage, especially when traveling outside the city center.

Sources:

Additional Tips:

  • Learn a few basic Spanish phrases to show respect and connect with locals.
  • Be mindful of cultural differences and dress modestly in religious sites and conservative areas.
  • Support local businesses and artisans by shopping at markets and attending cultural events.
  • Use public transportation – it’s extensive and affordable.

Remember, this is just a starting point. Conduct further research and connect with the local LGBTQ+ community for a personalized and enriching experience in Mexico City.

More Blogs to Read:
5 Gay-Friendly Cities in Europe for LGBTQ Digital Nomads in 2024
Most Affordable Countries in Central America for Digital Nomads: LGBTQ+ Edition
Top 6 Travel Destinations Digital Nomads: LGBTQ+ Edition

Additional Tips:

  • Learn a few basic phrases to show respect and connect with locals.
  • Be mindful of local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting churches or traditional villages.
  • Support local businesses and artisans by shopping at markets and attending cultural events.

So there you have it! Our exploration of six vibrant Mexican cities for LGBTQ+ digital nomads. Whether you crave the bustling beaches of Puerto Vallarta, the rich cultural tapestry of Oaxaca City, the trendy Zona Rosa in Guadalajara, or the tranquil charm of Mérida, you’re sure to find a place that resonates with your unique needs and desires.

Remember, this is just the beginning of your adventure. Further research, community connection, and open-mindedness will unlock deeper experiences and enrich your Mexican journey. Pack your bags, embrace the unknown, and get ready to write your own digital nomad story in one of these incredible destinations. ¡Buen viaje!

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