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Although not as well known as Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, the Merida digital nomad community is vibrant and evergrowing.
More and more digital nomads are being drawn in by the city’s historic charm, colorful colonial architecture, and low cost of living. As the Yucatán’s capital city, Merida is an ideal base for exploring all this beautiful part of Mexico has to offer.
Still wondering how to make this whole digital nomad thing happen? Check out the Laptop Lifestyle Blueprint, your guide to setting up an online business in just 30 days, so you can travel the world full time and build your own freedom lifestyle.
Currency: Mexican peso
Majority Religion: Catholic
Fun Fact: Merida shares its name with three other cities (in Spain, Venezuela, and the Philippines), but Merida Mexico is the largest of the four.
November-April is the dry season, and also brings cooler temperatures. The temperature climbs rapidly from May onward, reaching upwards of 100 degrees Celcius, so it’s best to avoid visiting during the hot season (you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors!).
Wondering how Merida Mexico stacks up to other digital nomad destinations? Check out our other destination guides:
The cost of living in Merida Mexico is very affordable. A single person can live comfortably on less than $850 USD/month, but will vary based on the apartment you choose. Local rentals can cost less than $500, while a luxurious short term rental in the historic center could be upwards of $1000/month.
The Centro Historico and the area around Paseo de Montejo are the best places to stay. The location is central, you’re close to shops and restaurants, and the neighborhood is very safe. Expect to pay between $400-700 (including utilities) for a nice one bedroom apartment.
AirBNB and other short term leases are the most expensive option, but if you plan to stay a while then it’s worth checking out local Facebook groups like this one. If you speak Spanish, wait until you arrive and then ask around–you may find a much better deal.
Merida digital nomads will find no shortage of places to work. Most coworking spaces are located in the north of the city, but if you want to stay in the vibrant downtown area there are lots of cafes to hop between.
Clustar offers high-speed wifi, private offices, and even on-site massages! They have a wide range of plans and working options, whether you want to work in open air or AC, for one day or one month.
Closer to the downtown area, Conexion 60 is a large office space with a few different coworking options. They offer 24/7 access, high-speed internet, and an onsite lunch cafe.
Located in the historic center of Merida, Manifesto is home to some of the best coffee in town, with specialty brews from regions across Mexico. Their two downtown locations are great for getting work done.
Marago is one of the most popular cafes for Merida digital nomads, so if you want to score a table here be sure to come early! Choose from indoor or patio seating, and a wide menu selection of coffee, sweets, and brunch.
Estación 72 is another great spot for Merida digital nomads, with fast wifi, lots of seating, and strong AC to beat the heat. They serve speciality coffee and a full menu of good options, and the staff are super friendly.
Looking for a unique spot to get some work done? El apapacho is an artsy, literature-inspired cafe located between Centro Historico and Paseo 60. The wifi is strong and they serve a full menu of food options, making it a great place to spend your work day.
SIM cards are readily available at the airport and at convenience stores in town, and shouldn’t cost more than $10. The main provider is Telcel.
In general, Mexico has decent but not great wifi. Merida is a large city, so the wifi is better than in smaller towns like Tulum. You shouldn’t have any major issues but if you need a super strong connection (to upload videos, for example), then it’s a good idea to bring a wireless hotspot.
Merida is a very walkable city and is well connected to both in Yucatán and the rest of Mexico. There aren’t a lot of public transportation options within the city itself, but Uber is cheap and widely available. A 30 minute Uber ride shouldn’t cost more than $5.
Merida Mexico is home to a thriving culinary scene, offering both local Mexican cuisine and tons of international options. For an authentic Yucatán meal, head to Manjar Blanco or La Chaya Maya. For tacos, Wayan’e is the local favorite.
And if you’re craving something from home, Flamante has the best burgers in town (with vegan and vegetarian options available).
Want to see everything Merida has to offer? Head to Mercado 60, an outdoor dining hall with 18 different dining options, cocktails, and live music.
Supermarkets are affordable in Merida, and the local mercados (markets) are even cheaper. Head to Mercado Lucas De Galvéz and Mercado Santiago to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies.
Merida’s main square is one of the most impressive in all of Mexico, with manicured gardens, beautiful walking paths, and even free wifi! Don’t miss San Ildefonso Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas.
Take in the city’s Mayan heritage at El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya or the Anthropology and History Museum. The City Museum of Merida traces the city’s roots from Mayan times to the present, and is free to enter.
Merida is surrounded by these beautiful natural swimming pools, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are a few to get you started: Cuzama cenotes, Homun cenotes, and cenote Hacienda Mycuyche.
Visit the world famous Chichén Itzá, located less than two hours away from Merida. Even closer is the lesser known site of Uxmal. Also UNESCO-listed (and far less crowded), Uxmal is just as well preserved as Chichén Itzá and definitely worth a visit.
One of Mexico’s famous “magical towns”, Izamal is another colonial city not from Merida. The town is famous for its striking architecture–every building is bright yellow. It’s well worth a visit for the photos alone!
The walled city of Campeche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also located right on the Gulf of Mexico and boasts spectacular sea views. The downtown area is a maze of colorful streets, colonial architecture, and Instagram-worthy cafes.
One of the reasons Mexico remains so popular with digital nomads is the country’s six month visa exemption: most travelers can remain in Mexico for 180 days visa free (see a full list of qualifying countries here).
Merida is actually known as the safest city in Mexico. Like any large city, though, some areas are safer than others. Centro Historico and Paseo de Montejo are the best neighbourhoods for tourists. No matter where you choose to stay, make sure you always travel with health insuance (we recommend Safety Wing).
If you’re looking for a lesser known destination, head to Merida Mexico! With an affordable cost of living, fantastic food, and ancient ruins nearby, this Yucatán city won’t stay undiscovered for long.
Looking for more digital nomad content? Head over to my Youtube channel for day in the life videos, apartment tours and more.