Top 10 Destinations to Live in Latin America for 2021
Over this past year, we have had to adapt to the “new norm”. With the mass adoption of technology and many companies mainly functioning online, it’s become extremely easy to pick up your life and relocate to a new country. There are many reasons why you should move to Latin America, but the hardest question is: where?
Latin America has an overwhelming amount of places to choose from when deciding where to locate yourself. Select from cosmopolitan cities, Caribbean coastal towns, high up in the mountains, or at the base of a volcano.
In this post, we look at the top destinations in Latin America to live in for 2021. We take into account the most important aspects of relocating. Such as: things to do, food and culture, wifi speeds, and most importantly existing expat communities.
1/10: Medellín, Colombia
Despite its turbulent history and after a huge transformation over the past 15 years, Medellin is now considered to be very safe and has become the tech-hub of Latin America.
Why is Medellín one of the best destinations to live in Latin America?
Medellín is one of the best places to live because of its year-round glorious climate and cosmopolitan feel. Fill your day exploring art galleries, museums, parks and gardens. The effective public transportation makes moving around the city extremely easy and the cable cars lift you up into the mountains whenever you want to escape the hustle and bustle below.
The most popular areas to live and work in Medellín are El Poblado and Laureles. Here you will find a collection of coworking spaces, cafes and trendy bars. Throughout the city you can find fast wifi speeds from between 10 and 20 Mbps, and sometimes up to 100 Mbps.
There is also an array of things to do in Medellín when you are not working. For instance: Comuna 13, an urban project where graffiti artists use the walls as canvases for their colourful, usually politically-charged murals. For a day trip, visit Guatape, a village with vibrant cobbled streets and scale the 700 steep steps of El Peñol for panoramic views of the lake below.
2/10: Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is one of the top destinations in Mexico to move to because of the modern amenities on offer that rival those of other cities like New York or London but at a fraction of the price.
Where to live in Mexico City
Trendy neighborhoods like Roma, Polanco and La Condesa are a hub for young professionals and are definitely the best areas to live in. There is an abundance of coffee shops, world-famous restaurants and rooftop terraces, all within walking distance or an Uber ride, making it an ideal playground.
A benefit of moving to Mexico City is that many apartments in these areas have created a relaxed and stylish environment with smart-home technology and other comforts we enjoy. For those who prefer to work from home, Casai’s apartments are designed especially with you in mind. Located in the hippest areas of Mexico City, each apartment is beautifully styled with local, artisanal designs. They are filled with natural light to inspire those creative juices to flow whilst you work from home.
Things to do in Mexico City
You will never run out of things to do when you live in Mexico City. Once you tick off the main tourist attractions such as: Bellas Artes, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Museo de Frida, and Bosque de Chapultepec, you can then spend weekends exploring what each neighborhood has to offer.
Mexico City is also a great hub to explore other parts of Mexico, with low-cost national flights to the Pacific or Caribbean coast, among other destinations.
3/10: Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua is one of Guatemala’s top destinations for coffee lovers and adventure seekers. It’s also a very quaint place to call home for a month or so, with third-wave coffee shops around every corner and rooftop terraces featuring volcano views. As Antigua is a popular destination for both tourists and long-term travellers – its small size makes it an easy place to become part of the community quickly.
Things to do in Antigua
Antigua is famous for its impressive baroque Spanish architecture and dramatic scenery. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site, wandering into crumbling convents and colonial cathedrals. From the city you can visit the mystical Lake Atitlan, discover the rainbow of textiles at Chichicastenango market (Thursdays and Sundays) or why not hike an active volcano?
4/10: Oaxaca City, Mexico
Food and mezcal capital of Mexico and recently crowned the ‘Best City in the World’ by Travel + Leisure, Oaxaca City is fast becoming a top destination to live. In a relatively small historic centre, and all within walking distance, you are spoiled for choice here with an eclectic mix of coffee shops, libraries, cultural spaces, museums and mezcalerías. In the city there is a huge expat community providing a web of information about moving and living in Oaxaca.
The best cafes in Oaxaca City
Cafe culture is huge here as most people look for somewhere to dip into to avoid the midday heat. Hide away with a cold brew and get some work done or meet up with some new friends. The top cafes in Oaxaca City include the elegant patio at Muss Cafe, aesthetically pleasing Marito&Moglie and the trendy, recently-renamed, Onnno Lonchería.
Which area should you live in Oaxaca City?
Most people would agree that the two main barrios to stay in in Oaxaca City are Xochimilco and Jalatlaco. Both neighborhoods have exquisite food options and most importantly they are tranquil in the evenings.
A new space has opened in the vibrant Barrio de Jalatlaco, which has been created with the nomadic generation in mind. The pastel coloured, mid-century modern walls of ALDEA TUYA recreate a “home” environment. There are plenty of stylish workspaces with a strong internet connection (125Mbps), and its prime location offers access to an array of local experiences. Three private rooms are available or if you’re a group of six you can rent the whole house.
5/10: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a year-round destination, where jungles and beaches collide. It is the perfect city for the ‘bleisure’ traveller. With apartments and cafes offering fast wifi just minutes away from Copacabana Beach, get your work done in the morning so you can spend the rest of the day exploring the iconic sites of Rio. For instance, at the foot of Corcovado, discover the lush Parque Lage — a former residence of Industrialist, Enrique Lage.
The best areas to live in Rio de Janeiro include Botafogo, Lapa, Santa Teresa and Urca. Why not introduce yourself in the foreigners in Rio de Janeiro Facebook group to meet new people. If you have some vacation days spare, plan your stay around Carnival (usually February) when the whole city comes alive. It’s an unmissable experience.
6/10: Puerto Vallarta, México
With a very modern infrastructure, Puerto Vallarta is an excellent destination to live to in Latin America. You can find average internet speeds of 70 Mbps (sometimes Fiber Optic!). Puerto Vallarta provides all that a big city should as well as the buzz of a popular tourist destination. Whilst at the same time it retains much of its charm and tradition.
What is there to do in Puerto Vallarta?
The beauty of living by the ocean is that each day you can decide which beach you want to go to. Luckily for those who live in Puerto Vallarta there is an abundance. A one hour boat ride takes you to the Islas Marietas — uninhabited islands formed thousands of years ago by volcanic activity and only accessed in low tide. Whereas rustic beach towns such as San Pancho in Nayarit make for a peaceful weekend getaway.
7/10: Cusco, Peru
Sitting at 11,152 feet (3,399 meters) above sea level, Inca Capital, Cusco, provides us with an alternative option on this list of top destinations to live in Latin America. Cusco is becoming a travellers’ hotspot mainly because of its culinary scene and locally sourced coffee — two extremely important aspects of a nomadic lifestyle.
Where to find the best coffee in Cusco?
Three Monkeys Cafe, located inside La Casa Cultural Rica Chicha, serves undoubtedly the best coffee in Cusco (and from a coffee bike). They supply coffee for Virgilio Martínez, a celebrated chef of Central in Lima, who has recently opened a Novoandina restaurant in Moray, Cusco, called Mil. Meet local artists and enjoy live music at this lively cultural space.
8/10: Cartagena, Colombia
You may not immediately think of Cartagena as somewhere to live in Colombia, especially when we compare it to the infrastructure Medellín has. But, with an old city full of cafes, bars, artisan shops and museums all tucked away in stone walls, you’ll begin to see why more and more travellers are on their way. Not to mention the Rosario tropical islands only a speedboat away and tangy ceviche being the local dish. Life certainly slows down here, so if you prefer a more relaxed way of life, this is the place for you.
9/10: La Paz, Bolivia
Not everyone loves La Paz the first time they visit. It could be because of the sickeningly high altitude, the disorderly traffic jams or the local buses filled to the driver’s seat that roar passed in el Centro. However, by giving it a chance you’ll see that beneath the chaos, this city is extremely rich in culture and gastronomy and in some parts, quite trendy. The La Paz food scene is soaring to new heights, and high-quality and sustainable restaurants continue to open up across the city.
Claus Meyer, culinary entrepreneur from Denmark and co-founder of the current second-best restaurant in the world (Noma, in Copenhagen), must have seen how special La Paz was when he introduced Gustu (‘flavor’ in local language Quechua) in 2013. This michelin-star worthy restaurant investigates and celebrates the symbolic and cultural value of the natural ingredients available in Bolivia, creating exquisite dishes reflecting the country’s biodiversity and traditions.
Navigate the maze-like streets of downtown La Paz and immerse yourself in the holistic healing culture, framed as witchcraft, but these wild and wonderful natural medicines are believed to have strong curing powers. As La Paz’s infrastructure rapidly grows to accommodate more and more nomadic visitors, it’s definitely a city to add to your ‘where to live’ list.
10/10: São Paulo, Brazil
Last but certainly not least, Brazil’s most populous city, São Paulo, the best destination to live in Latin America. Everything you need is here — from stable wifi connections (average speeds of 40Mbps), fenomenal food, street art, to safe and chic neighborhoods.
In São Paulo, most people speak English and as Brazilians are renowned to be some of the friendliest people, they will break any language barrier with a cachaça. The hipster neighborhood of Vila Madalena is the ideal place to get your creative juices flowing. Mix with local artists, musicians and of course there’s a huge expat community here. Casai has a selection of luxury apartments in Jardim Paulista and Itaim Bibi — the tech-hub of São Paulo. Home to both Google and Facebook, thus making it an exciting and innovative area to live.
Overall, we believe the freedom of being able to live and work from anywhere you want has fantastic benefits for your wellbeing, happiness. It gives you the motivation to thrive so that you can maintain your nomadic lifestyle from anywhere in the world. With life adapting and moving online, why not make the move to a new country and explore new cultures and ways of life, meanwhile enriching your own.