Digital nomadism has been on the rise in the last few years, especially after national governments began acknowledging the economic contribution of remote workers, lifting restrictive anti-immigration laws that once applied to them.
Many now offer Digital Nomad Visas (DNVs), enabling them to relocate with minimal hassle, including Europe’s top countries, such as Spain, Greece, and Hungary, but no destination has been so popular or as sought-after amid the category as Latin America.
A growing number of American nomads – and other Westerners – are making the move South, and it’s not hard to see why the region is the go-to spot for them:
Latin America Is Open To Digital Nomads
The remote work trend is ‘transforming‘ local labor markets throughout Latin America (commonly shortened to LatAm) as the region succeeds in becoming a digital nomad hub.
Currently, as much as 44% of companies operating in LatAm have employees who work in a different country, as verified in a recent study published by British agency PageGroup. The concept of remote work, once deeply frowned upon, has taken the subcontinent by storm.
Local workers are not the only ones benefiting from LatAm’s new relaxed approach to digital nomadism, as countries in the group have been reporting an increase in long-term tourists.
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The entire Central American isthmus, where Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama are located, is surging in popularity among slow travelers and digital nomads alike, having beaten Europe to become the world’s leading ‘backpacker’ destination for the first time.
Other countries like Colombia are not falling behind, either, as over 58% of companies registered locally are adept at some form of remote working, and it was one of the first in the Global South to launch a DNV, making it easier for non-Colombian nomads to reside in the national territory.
As of now, at least three South American destinations have launched DNV programs, most notably the aforementioned Colombia, the tropical paradise of Brazil, and its seriously underrated, smaller sister nation of Uruguay.
Latin America Has Easy Entry Requirements
On the other hand, Mexico, in mainland North America, has not yet jumped on the DNV trend, but Mexican authorities do allow Americans to remain in the country for up to six months at a time, making it an incredibly easy country to reside in in the short to medium term.
Other Latin American nations where DNVs are not yet available also have easy immigration rules, permitting foreigners to stay between 90 to 180 days in their national territory without a visa.
Most digital nomads prefer not to set up a permanent base in any particular country, which makes Latin America’s open visa policy highly attractive and a better offer when paired with Europe’s restrictive Schengen rules, which only allow Americans to travel across 27 countries for 90 days out of any 180-day period, or Asia, where tourist visas may still be required.
Additionally, Latin America as a whole boasts perhaps the best connectivity with the United States and Canada out of any region globally, with nonstop flights to every single major Mexican, Central, Caribbean, and South American hub available from countless U.S. departure points.
Latin America Is Hugely Affordable
There is more to Latin America than simply its accessibility, though: though prices vary greatly across destinations, it can be incredibly cheap to explore, especially the likes of Colombia, Argentina, and Brazil, where the national currency is a lot weaker than the dollar.
In fact, Colombia was recently named one of the cheapest countries in the world for remote workers, and this reflects on the easy-to-fulfill criteria for DNV applicants.
Essentially, as long as you can prove earnings of only US$655 monthly or above, you’re good to go.
Living in Latin America, digital nomads making dollars, euros, or other powerful currencies are likely to enjoy a greater quality of life, accessing goods, services, and certain luxuries for only a small fraction of the price they would pay in their home countries.
Whether it’s accommodation, utility bills, daily expenses such as groceries, or leisure activities, everything in the Global South is cheaper compared to the United States, Canada, and much of Western Europe.
And Then Of Course, Latin American Culture
Finally, there is the diverse offer and inestimable cultural wealth shared among Latin Americans.
Whether it’s the lush jungles that extend from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, down along the Central American strip, and into the Northernmost part of South America; Caribbean islands, Colombia’s culturally-charged colonial towns, the Incan heartland of Peru, Brazil’s stunning Atlantic coast, and Argentina’s rolling green hills, dotted with wineries, or the glacial Patagonia, Latin America is waiting for you.
Speaking of Mexico, experts believe it is the ‘best country‘ for American expats, including those in the nomadic group, to migrate to, with the Pacific gem of Los Cabos placing first as their top destination.
Latin America may not be the world’s most economically stable region, affected by higher levels of corruption and even rising crime in some countries, but its strengths as a digital nomad-friendly haven far outweigh the negatives.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com