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Live Like a Local: Top 3 Latin American Cities For Digital Nomads In 2024

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Are you a U.S.-based digital nomad considering relocating abroad, preferably somewhere where the weather stays warm year-round, the cost of living is low, and people are friendly to foreigners, so it's easy to settle in and live like a local?

Then these 3 Latin American cities should definitely be on your radar:

Aerial View Of Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America

Not only do they tick all these boxes and then some, ranking as the three of the top destinations for remote workers in the subcontinent, but they're vibrant global metropolises, distinct for their multiculturalism and thriving social life:

Buenos Aires

The capital of Argentina and arguably the most beautiful city in Latin America, Buenos Aires has earned its title of ‘Paris of the South' thanks to a preserved Belle Époque cityscape.

In part, It is an extension of Europe—without the exorbitant prices.

The Casa Rosada Seen From The Adjacent Public Square In Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

Monthly rentals in Downtown BA are available for as cheap as $322 on Airbnb, while outings in mid-range restaurants in lively Palermo, a gastronomy mecca known for its traditional asado restaurants and cobbled streets lined by low houses, will only set you back by $30.

If you're on a shoestring budget, you can still find far cheaper eats in other parts of town for only $6.85, as that is the average bill in local restaurants, and transportation, groceries and leisure activities included, you are unlikely to spend more than $460 per month excluding rent.

Porto Madeira In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Latin America

There's truly nothing stopping you from splurging, even if you're not a wealthy entrepreneur, but if you're keen on blending in and experiencing life in the self-crowned Queen of El Plata, you should know living can be pretty affordable if you're ranking in between $890 and $1,554 a month.

Other than the food, the world-class museums and marvellous architecture, you're sure to love Buenos Aires for how safe it is: while there is still significant crime, like any 3-million-people-strong city, your main concern is fending off pickpockets and watching your surroundings in crowded areas.

How Long Can You Stay In Buenos Aires?

flowers monument in un plaza in buenos aires argentina

Argentina allows non-visa holders to remain in the country for 90 days.

This period can be extended for an additional three months if an application is made in the days before the expiry of the initial leave to enter, usually for a symbolic fee.

There have been reports of nomads who have overstayed the 90-day and even the three-month extensions and were issued a 12,500 pesos fine, or the equivalent of $14, without further action being taken, but that's, of course, not recommended.

woman holding us passport waiting for a flight

Instead, if you intend on residing in Buenos Aires for longer, you may apply for Argentina's Digital Nomad Visa.

Other than presenting a valid passport and undergoing minor checks, the only requirement is demonstrating monthly earnings of over $2,500.

Medellin

Medellin is the capital of Antioquia, a historical region in Colombia famous for its coffee plantations and verdant landscapes.

Needless to say, it is the country's coffee capital, as well as the gateway to the breathtaking Colombian nature.

downtown medellin colombia

Its clusters of skyscrapers sit in the center of Aburrá Valley, meaning you're always a short cable car ride away from beautiful nature trails and forested areas inhabited by exotic species, most notably Arví Park, an ecological preserve and bird-watching hotspot.

The city itself boasts a large number of coworking centers, from the green-filled Noi in the heart of the Antioquia district to the more casual, alfresco Los Patios in the trendy El Poblado, and there's no way you'll struggle to fit in here:

Medellin, Colombia, Latin America

Latin culture is indeed worlds apart from the Anglo-Saxon World, which the United States subscribes to, but it is warmer and more inviting, and unlike in most Western countries, where people are either indifferent or hostile to foreigners, locals won't make you feel unwelcome.

As usual, don't rely too much on the kindness of strangers, especially those who approach you in the streets, but rest assured that, once you befriend a local, you'll have a friend for life, and they'll go out of their way to help you when needed.

Street art in Comuna 13 in Medellin Colombia

Living in a sprawling metropolis such as Medellin, where safety levels are compromised, you'll definitely need local friends who are knowledgeable about the city and its no-go zones: trust us, there are plenty of those.

How To Stay Safe In Medellin, Colombia

As incredible as it may be, Medellin is one of the most dangerous cities in Latin America, and that's definitely something you must take into account if you're planning on relocating there: pickpocketing, as well as violent crime are common, and you must exercise extra precautions to keep safe.

A colorful neighborhood in Medellin Colombia

If you're a typical, pale-looking American who stands out in a latino crowd, you definitely don't want to let your guard down, wear expensive watches, use your shiny new iPhone in public (these are luxury items in Colombia), or carry large quantities of cash with you.

There's a chance you could get mugged, even if it's a touristy district, and in that case, do not put up a fight – simply surrender your belongings – and be extra vigilant of who you meet off of dating apps (spiking of drinks is getting increasingly common).

View Of A Narrow Street In A Slum In Medellin, Colombia, South America

Some would say the benefits of living in Medellin far outweigh the negative aspects, citing the temperate climate, a delectable paisan cuisine, the unrivaled coffee scene, and the riotous nightlife as reasons for staying, not to mention affordability (it can be as cheap as $885 per month).

We'll let you be the judge of that.

How Long Can You Stay In Medellin?

Similarly to Argentina, Colombia allows non-residents to remain in national territory for up to three months.

However, you may apply for an extension to double that time before the expiry date shown on the entry stamp affixed to your passport.

Jesus Nazareno Church In Medellin, Colombia, South AmericaJesus Nazareno Church In Medellin, Colombia, South America

Alternatively, you may apply for a Colombian Digital Nomad Visa if you can prove your income originates from non-Colombian sources and you make roughly $700 per month.

It is undoubtedly the lowest financial threshold that's ever been set for a DNV qualification.

A Colombian DNV will allow you to remain in the country for two years, without having to worry about visa runs or visa renewals, and it should give you plenty of time to explore all that Medellin has to offer.

By the end of it, you'll certainly feel like a local, or in the very know how to banter in Spanish.

Mexico City

palacio de bellas artes in mexico city shot from above

Mexico's largest urban center, its national capital, and its most cosmopolitan offer, Mexico City (commonly shortened to CDMX in its original form) is the number one city break for digital nomads south of the border.

Each neighborhood is unique in character:

Condesa and San Angel offer lush parks and colonial architecture, Polanco and San Rafael have proudly taken up the mantle of CDMX's foodie havens with their award-winning restaurants, and Art Deco-filled Roma and Centro are easily recognized for their centuries-old buildings.

Zocalo In Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America

You could spend years living in Mexico City and still fail to do it justice. Everywhere you go, there's something new and exciting to discover, not to mention CDMX's myriad of coworking hubs and nomad nests scattered around both the Historic Zone and the financial district.

Life here is also much cheaper compared to other parts of Mexico, most notably the Mexican Caribbean: it is definitely pricier than Buenos Aires or Medellin, but you can live comfortably on monthly earnings of $1,364, or $2,109 if you're going for a bigger, better, more centrally located apartment.

aerial view of mexico city

There's a Mexico City for wealthy American and European ex-pats, and then there's Ciudad de México, where meals in inexpensive restaurants cost as cheap as ten bucks, and groceries cap at 2,000 pesos, or $120 a month (once again if you're adapting to the local purchasing power).

Unlike Medellin, Mexico City is not ridden with thugs. It's not as safe as Buenos Aires – definitely keep a close eye on your belongings if you're walking the city center – but you're far, far less likely to get robbed, harassed, or fall victim to violence during your stay compared to Medellin.

How Long Can You Stay In Mexico City?

Traveler Holding USA Passport At Airport

Mexico allows U.S. passport holders to remain in the country for six months at a time. They do not need to apply for a visa in advance nor a residence permit upon landing in Mexico City: they're free to sign a six-month rental contract and live in the capital without further requirements.

It's important to note, however, that they are entering the country as digital nomads: they're issued tourist visas, so visitation rules apply.

You are not allowed to take up work in Mexico, nor exceed your (generous) six-month-long leave to stay.

A Smiling Digital Nomad Working From Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America

Currently, there's no Mexico Digital Nomad Visa that enables you to remain in Mexico for a longer period.

Normally, Americans who wish to reside in Mexico beyond six months resort to visa runs – leaving and re-entering after a while – or regular Residence Permits.

More information on long-term visas for Mexico and eligibility can be found here.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.