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Why These 4 Underrated Central American Destinations Are Perfect For Digital Nomads 

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As digital nomads find themselves in more and more countries all over the globe, the search to find the most ideal locations becomes increasingly important.

While regions such as Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe have become global hubs for remote workers, some corners of the globe have not seen such a boom yet.

Nomad digital with laptop and running remotely with bright scenic view near poolside on the beach in summer time

One area that is underrated in general for digital nomads is Central America. I recently spent four months exploring some of the fantastic countries of this area, all while I worked remotely full time.

If these past four months as a digital nomad in seven countries across Central America have taught me anything, it’s that this area is very undervalued as a remote working destination.

I worked everywhere, from cities to island huts in the jungle, from cafe desks to tree trunks, and all the while never feeling the inconvenience that I assumed I would encounter in this area of the world.

Beautiful beach in Costa Rica (Caribbean Sea)

While I never faced any particular trouble, there were some places that stood out to me as fantastic choices for digital nomads, from both my own experiences and after meeting others who were in these places working remotely. 

Factoring in considerations such as internet, safety, power outages, community, coworking spaces, ease of finding a quiet area, and other issues, these are places that are the most underrated locations in Central America for digital nomads.

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Street in the San Juan del Sur on the Pacific coast

Why These 4 Underrated Central American Destinations Are Perfect For Digital Nomads 

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Officially a surf town on Nicaragua's southwest Pacific coast, San Juan Del Sur makes a great choice for digital nomads to base themselves for a while. A visit here and you will likely meet many other expats, from gap-year explorers to retirees and everyone in between.

While many come to surf, most get some work done during the non-surf hours. Because of this, there are numerous cafes and restaurants to grab a set and log on, and the price for food and drinks is almost always reasonable.

The internet is solid here, and Nicaraguan sim cards are reliable and cheap. San Juan del Sur is just over the border from Costa Rica, making it easily accessible from Libera airport if you don't want to make the trip up to Managua Airport in Nicaragua.

From a safety perspective, the town does get a bit rowdy with partiers (mostly on Sundays due to the world-famous Sunday Funday parties), so take normal precautions if out later at night. 

Peak point in san juan del sur nicaragua aerial view

Antigua, Guatemala

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Antigua is a great place for digital nomads to base themselves in Guatemala.

Located only about an hour's drive from Guatemala City makes getting there easy and cheap from many other airports, and the location is nearby to the picturesque Guatemalan Highlands and Lake Atitlan for the times you need to get out of the city.

Antigua is extremely safe and easy to navigate, and its popularity with tourists means there is a high level of English and many food choices from cuisines all over the world.

Besides its high safety rating and ease of daily life, Antigua has decent internet, endless cafes, co-working spaces, and restaurants with wifi.

It’s worth mentioning that Antigua can be a bit more expensive than other Central American cities, but it’s basically a living museum, so the increased cost comes with some benefits.

Built in the 16th century and in an extremely earthquake-prone region, much of the original Antigua was destroyed in the large earthquake of 1773, but what remains are some stunning ruins to explore in your downtime.

Santa Catalina Street, The Cobblestone Laden High Street In Antigua Guatemala, A Colonial Era Town In Guatemala, Central America, Latin America

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica 

While Costa Rica itself might not be an underrated destination for travelers, its higher price point seems to deter digital nomads from settling here for anything longer than a quick tour of the more popular attractions.

There is, however, one area that is a bit off the beaten path and perfect for digital nomads, and this is the southeastern beach town of Puerto Viejo, in Limon province.

The location of this area makes it feel much more Caribbean than any other part of Costa Rica, and even the rice and beans are flavored with coconut milk. The internet is good, the beach is laid back, and the small town has a Bali 20 years ago feel to it.

While the town's small size means there are not many co-working or hot desk options, there are more cafes than you can count, almost all with solid wifi. If I had to watch for an up-and-coming destination for digital nomads in Central America, it would be here.

Also, the location is just over the Panama border from the equally fantastic Bocas Del Toro (which was almost the 5th addition to this list) so a getaway to that unique destination is always in the cards as well.

Beautiful aerial view of Puerto Viejo Beach in Costa Ricas Caribbean

Boquete, Panama 

Nestled among the lush green highlands of Panama, you can find the charming mountain town of Boquete. Not far from the Costa Rican border, Boquete has long been popular with retirees from the U.S. and Canada, although now the digital nomads are starting to discover this peaceful area as well.

Easiest to reach via a quick flight from Panama City and then a stunning drive into the highlands, Boquete is remote but not too remote.

With solid wifi and co-working spaces to find here, digital nomads should have no issues staying connected. With a low cost of living and an array of housing options to choose from, Boquete should be considered by digital nomads looking for some clean mountain air yet not too far from the coast. 

Boquete Panama flowers

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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.

William Lester

Monday 29th of May 2023

Granada Nicaragua is superb


Friday 26th of May 2023

I wouldn't recommend Puerto Viejo for female solo travellers. I personally didn't feel safe and there where a few warning signs because of recent rape. (that was beginning 2022)

DB Dodd

Monday 22nd of May 2023

Boquete is expensive and full of rich Republican American expats. I highly discourage travel here.