Skip to Content

Why This Cultural City In Mexico Is One Of The Fastest Growing Digital Nomad Destinations In The World

Share The Article

Last Updated

Other than being America's go-to country for sunny vacations, Mexico has become one of the world's leading digital nomad havens, highly sought-after for its lower cost of living compared to much of the U.S. and Europe, fascinating culture, welcoming locals, and great weather.

Ironically, a majority of remote workers will settle on the overdeveloped coast, particularly in the Mexican Caribbean, where consumer prices can be substantially higher and gentrification has spiraled out of control, while ignoring the much cheaper, equally-incredibly inland destinations.

Colonial Square In Guadalajara, A Historical City In The State Of Jalisco, Mexico, Latin America

That is the case with Guadalajara, a seriously-underrated cultural center, and a potential nomad hotspot that's been gaining traction in the community lately:

Is Guadalajara Poised To Become Mexico's Next Nomad Hotspot?

According to Nomad List, the leading platform tracking digital nomad trends, Guadalajara is the tenth fastest-rising destination for this community in the Latin America subgroup.

It is still a far cry from the expat-dominated Mexican Caribbean's massive numbers, but interestingly enough, it has a higher approval rate than all of the most traditional nomad hubs: only 20% of Nomad List respondents disliked it, against 44% for Playa Del Carmen, and a staggering 60% for Tulum.

Digital Nomad Working on Laptop

You may be wondering why that is.

Mexico's ‘second' city after CDMX, Guadalajara is not every nomad's number one pick when considering a move South of the border: it often gets dismissed for not straddling the coast, despite serving as the capital of a Pacific state, and for not being a traditional ‘workcation' base.

Guadalajara is what we like to call ‘deep Mexico‘, where ultra-luxurious all-inclusive resorts are not at the front of the tourist offer, and local authorities can't rely on golden sand beaches and American-friendly entertainment districts to attract visitors.

Vallarta Archs Of Guadalajara At Night, Jalisco, Mexico, Latin America

If you're a digital nomad hanging with the beach-loving ‘Tuluminatti' sect, it's unlikely Guadalajara will be your strongest contender for favorite.

On the other hand, if you feel the most productive leading a busier lifestyle, you need the agitation of riotous Friday nights, and you're keen on immersing yourself in a foreign culture, away from an increasingly-Americanized Quintana Roo, this is the perfect place to be.

A Culture Capital To Rival European Cities

It is one of the most important cities in Mexico, as well as one of the oldest, having been established by the Spanish upon their takeover of the land as early as the 1500s.

Hospicio Cabanas, A Historical Landmark In Guadalajara, Mexico, Latin America

Over the centuries, it's amassed cultural riches to rival the imperial power that once had it under its thumb, and it grew into a major modern metropolis home to over five million people.

Picture rows upon rows of towering skyscrapers as far as the eyes can see, crazy traffic, the usual fast-paced hordes going about their daily affairs, and everything you would expect a big city to be, and contrastingly, a colonial gem that has not yet lost its character.

Guadalajara boasts an impressive number of historical landmarks that are set to keep the History buff in you enthralled, including Guadalajara Cathedral, a Spanish-Renaissance religious building raised in the 16th century, the magnificent Teatro Degollado, and of course, Hospicio Cabañas.

Teatro Degollado In Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Latin America

The latter is one of the largest historical orphanages in the Americas, and has been designate da UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

Strolling around the city center of Guadalajara, you will also come upon countless historical buildings dating back to the colonial period, that add some Old World charm to the city's urban sprawl, and several aesthetic internet cafes that just fit the ambiance.

Visiting nomads are particularly fond of the rustic El Terrible Juan and the colonial-inspired Café Conquistador, which is known to serve some of the best coffee and snacks in town.

Male Remote Worker With Coffee

What Does Guadalajara Have To Offer Digital Nomads?

On the ‘teletrabajo' front, there is no shortage of nomad-friendly centers in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, so much so that we are actually a bit surprised it has not exploded in popularity just yet.

If cafes aren't your thing, there are 73 coworking spaces in Guadalajara granting nomads access to fast, reliable 53 Mbps Wifi, and a peaceful environment from only $15 per day.

Based on Guadalajara's ratings on the platform, a big reason why nomads are starting to gather in the area is how affordable living is in the Jalisco capital.

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico-20 April, 2018 Central Landmark Cathedral (Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady) located on the central plaza of Guadalajara

They need on average $2,161 per month to lead a comfortable enough life in Guadalajara, considerably cheaper than living costs in key U.S. locations, and that number could be significantly lower even for budget-conscious nomads.

The local income level is only $704 per month, so those who refuse to pay double the usual Airbnb rate in upscale parts of town simply for being foreigners and find a way to live and spend like locals as opposed to acquiescing to inflated prices will soon realize it's actually a steal of a deal.

The weather is another positive factor: you know by now Guadalajara is not coastal, but it is still warm irrespective of season, registering peaks of 77°F this winter.

colorful umbrellas top a pedestrian street in guadalajara, Mexico

For Nomad List participants, that equals ‘perfect'.

Finally, they seem to love Guadalajara for the ‘fun' it offers, particularly around Avenida Chapultepec, the city's beating heart and a nightlife strip partygoers and sociable youths flock to for some unwinding and cheap drinks at the weekend.

Is Guadalajara Safe For Nomads?

The big hindrance to Guadalajara's growth?

Hospicio Cabanas In Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Latin America

As it is not on the usual tourist path, visitors may find it less safe to explore than other Mexican cities, as shown on Nomad List, where safety levels are perceived as ‘bad', but general safety advice applies.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of State considers the state of Jalisco a Level 3 destination, and urges Americans to ‘reconsider' visiting due to higher rates of crime.

The way we see it, you wouldn't walk around downtown San Francisco brandishing golden jewelry, or leave your bag unattended in an outdoor cafe in Manhattan: exercising caution, and avoiding dangerous zones is key to a stress-free sojourn.

The same goes for Guadalajara or any large city in Mexico.

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

✈️Join Our Travel Off Path Community Forum: Where travelers unite, ask questions, share experiences and even find like-minded travel buddies!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

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.