Digital nomad Guatemala…is this the hidden gem you’ve been looking for?
Guatemala has been a top destination for travelers to visit because of its beautiful scenery, rich history and well-preserved colonial architecture.
In recent years, this country has become a great destination for digital nomads, remote workers and online entrepreneurs to work and travel.
There’s a lot to love about being a digital nomad in Guatemala but there are also some downsides. We believe it’s only going to grow in popularity as the digital nomad movement grows and the infrastructure improves.
We spent 4 months living in Guatemala and we created this complete guide about the digital nomad life to help you work online and travel, better.
Guatemala For Digital Nomads – The Pros and Cons
What’s not to love about being a digital nomad in Guatemala? There’s certainly a lot of pros to living here but every country also has its cons. Here’s a quick glance at what makes (or doesn’t make) being a digital nomad in Guatemala great:
|growing digital nomad community||value for money just isn't there|
|endless amount of things to do||increase in the cost of living (it's getting expensive)|
|calm and relaxed lifestyle||internet connection isn't the best|
|relatively safe for foreigners||regular electricity power cuts|
|increasing number of coworking and coliving spaces|
|rich culture and stunning architecture|
|easy to and from other cities|
We see digital nomads beginning to flock to Guatemala because there are so many cool things to do (ie. hike a volcano) but we also see them complain about the value for money. If you’re expecting to get this villa with a pool for less than $700 USD per month like in Bali – don’t.
It’s certainly not ‘cheap’ to live in Guatemala and if you don’t do careful planning, you could end up spending more than you wanted. The internet is also slowly improving which is great because it shows that they may be looking to support digital nomads in the future!
With that said, we were digital nomads in Guatemala for 4 months and we had a blast! We learned a lot, met some awesome people and did cool things we get to tell our parents about. If you’re thinking about becoming a digital nomad in Guatemala, keep reading.
Digital Nomad Guatemala: Everything You Need To Know
Before you make the move to a new digital nomad destination, there are a couple of things you need to consider right?
You might be wondering, “can I afford to stay here for a month?”. Or maybe you’re thinking “Will the wifi be fast enough for me to get my work done?”.
While travelers flock to Guatemala for its beautiful scenery and the numerous UNESCO heritage sights to marvel at…
…Guatemala has quickly become a hidden gem for digital nomads to work and travel. We always said “why isn’t Guatemala mentioned more?!” and since living there ourselves – we can say it’s truly a rising star that has a lot to offer digital nomads.
Here’s everything you need to know about being a digital nomad Guatemala.
Cost of Living in Guatemala For Digital Nomads
- How much is an Airbnb for a month in Guatemala?
- Is my daily coffee going to cost more than usual?
- What’s a meal at a nice restaurant cost?
- Is the cost of living in Guatemala cheap or expensive?
These are all valid questions when thinking about becoming a digital nomad in a new country. We always consider the cost of living before making the move!
We lived in Antigua and Lake Atitlan for 2 months each and we simply took an average from both places to get a total cost for Guatemala. Here’s our monthly average cost of living in Guatemala for 2 people as digital nomads:
|Activities & Entertainment||$65|
It confuses me when people say Guatemala is cheap because it definitely wasn’t cheap to us! But maybe that’s because we were Asia digital nomads before.
I’m going to be honest with you…
Guatemala isn’t expensive but you also won’t get great value for money.
For example, if you want to rent out a modern 1 bedroom apartment in the city center of Antigua – you can expect to pay more like $1,000-$1,300 USD per month. We got an insanely cheap deal on ours (we paid around $520 USD) but we lived in a VERY small studio 20 minutes walking outside of town.
The groceries, coffee, activities and gym are where you can save some money. You can find ways to save money through these categories because it can be relatively cheap in Guatemala. We found eating out especially in Antigua quickly adds up – possibly because we went to nice restaurants. It definitely wasn’t expensive to eat out but it was around $10-$15 USD per meal with a drink so it can add up if you’re not careful!
Overall, Guatemala is still a very affordable digital nomad destination. If you’re budget-savvy, you won’t have any problems keeping your costs low. I have to say – it was pretty hard for us but it’s not impossible.
Best Places To Stay For Digital Nomads in Guatemala
Guatemala is a pretty big country with lots of stunning towns like:
- Lake Atitlan
- El Paredon
and so much more! How do you even choose where to stay as a digital nomad in Guatemala?!
It’s actually very easy because the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet. As a remote worker or digital nomad, you need to think about the internet connection, places to work from and a community to be a part of. That’s why not just any place will do!
Antigua Guatemala For Digital Nomads
The best place to be a digital nomad in Guatemala is Antigua. We spent 2 months living in Antigua and we would go back in a heartbeat! There were numerous cafes and coworking spaces you could work from with fast, reliable wifi and there’s a fast-growing digital nomad community.
Antigua is also a beautiful city to live in with the cobblestone streets and UNESCO heritage sites around every corner. Being an Antigua digital nomad means you have easy access to good infrastructure, plenty of things to do, a vibrant digital nomad scene and so much more!
Lake Atitlan Guatemala For Digital Nomads
If you want to try a different town out in Guatemala – Lake Atitlan is the next best destination for digital nomads. We were living in Lake Atitlan for 2 months which we realized was way too long. If you want to escape and get away from the hustle – it’s a great place to stay for a month.
However, it only has 1 coworking space at Selina Atitlan and the wifi is average at best (you’ll see below). We also experienced several power outages which aren’t fun but it’s a welcoming small-town vibe that’s unlike any other. Being a Lake Atitlan digital nomad means you’ll have a laid-back lifestyle, and mesmerizing lake and volcano views.
Other than Antigua and Lake Atitlan, we can’t really recommend the other cities in Guatemala. The infrastructure just isn’t there yet – we have heard reception problems and wifi issues. There are also barely any coworking spaces or digital nomad communities out there.
Getting Around Guatemala
The transport options in Guatemala are pretty convenient. You usually have these 5 modes of transport depending on where you’re staying:
1. Shared Van Shuttle
We highly recommend using the shared shuttles if you’re getting to and from different cities. They are easy to book, reliable and one of the cheaper options to get around. Most hostels and tour companies offer shared vans – you can go into places like Tropicana Hostel to find out more. You can also use a tour company as we did – Benjy’s Travel Tours which runs from Antigua to Lake Atitlan and more. You can also get to the Guatemala City Airport with a shared shuttle which makes it easy to get in and out of Guatemala as digital nomads.
We paid 100Q ($13 USD) to get from San Pedro, Lake Atitlan to Antigua which is very affordable. If you want to book with the same tour company like us – their WhatsApp number is +
2. Lanchas (boat taxis)
A lancha is like a public boat you can take. It’s available in Lake Atitlan where it’s much quicker to get to other towns by lancha as opposed to driving around.
It’s only around 10-25Q per trip on a lancha depending on how far you travel.
These are like tricycles that can quickly zip around the town. We frequently rode tuk-tuks in Lake Atitlan to get around our town, San Pedro.
We found that you had to bargain more with the drivers than other forms of transport in Guatemala. Our Guatemala friend, Heyner, said the tuk-tuks in Antigua will try and rip you off which is why we always took Uber instead.
Yes – you can take an Uber in Guatemala! It’s super convenient and you won’t need to haggle the prices. You can only order Ubers from Guatemala City and Antigua. It wasn’t available in Lake Atitlan and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t accessible in other towns too.
5. Chicken Buses
The chicken buses are famous Guatemalan! They are basically recycled school buses that have been donated and they are now one of the most popular ways for locals to get around the entire country.
The driving can get pretty scary and there aren’t any seatbelts so we wouldn’t recommend it as your main form of transport – but try riding it at least once!
What’s The Weather in Guatemala Like?
The weather in Guatemala is surprisingly good! It felt like it was spring the whole time – you never felt too cold or too hot. If you struggle with humidity, Guatemala would probably be a great place for you to visit!
Guatemala has 2 seasons:
- Wet Season (June – October)
- Dry Season (November – May)
The best time to visit Guatemala is from November to May. You’ll get plenty of sunshine hours to do outdoor activities but you’ll pay peak season prices.
The worst time to visit Guatemala is from June to October. These months you’ll get better prices but it’s rainy season so it’ll be hard to get out and do things.
If you’re a remote worker or digital nomad looking to stay for a couple of months, we recommend going during the shoulder months of November and May. This way you get better prices before peak season begins and you’ll still get beautiful weather!
Is The Internet Speed Fast Enough For Digital Nomads?
It depends where you are!
If you’re living in Antigua, you will barely have any wifi issues. While it’s still not the fastest we’ve had – it’s not terrible. For example, at our Airbnb, we got speeds of around 20-25 Mbps. It did drop in and out at times which can get pretty annoying especially if you’re on Zoom calls. At the coworking spaces in Antigua, we got steady speeds of 50-120 Mbps which was well worth the membership. The cafes in Antigua Guatemala got good speeds too but if you want the most reliable internet connection, you might want to consider a coworking membership.
If you’re living in Lake Atitlan, you will probably have wifi issues at least a couple of times. When we worked from home, we got speeds of 15-20 Mbps (which we paid to get upgraded) – it still dropped in and out at times. For coworking spaces, you can try Selina Atitlan which I believe has speeds of 30+ Mbps. As for the cafes in Lake Atitlan to work from, you’ll only get 5-10 Mbps.
Overall, the wifi is slowly improving across the country. You can also hotspot but we didn’t have strong reception a lot of the time. If you need a steady wifi connection – live in Antigua Guatemala as a digital nomad.
Is There A Digital Nomad Community in Guatemala?
Again…it depends where you’re living in Guatemala as a digital nomad.
If you’re in Antigua – you won’t have any trouble making friends because there’s a growing digital nomad community. We couldn’t believe how easy it was to make friends with like-minded people in Antigua. At a coworking space, Impact Hub, we made so many friends – Alondo, Adele, Andrea and Daniel who we still stay in touch with to this day! If you value community as we do, you should live in Antigua Guatemala as a digital nomad!
If you’re in Lake Atitlan – you’re going to struggle to make friends with fellow digital nomads. We spent 2 months and barely met anyone. We made friends with a fellow Aussie, Anthony and did the Indian Nose hike with him! Other than that, we really struggled to find fellow digital nomads – there seems to be a bigger expat community instead.
Here are some Facebook Groups to help you get connected with the digital nomad community in Guatemala:
- Guatemala Digital Nomads
- Expats Living in Guatemala
- Lake Atitlan Guatemala Travel
- Girlfriends in Antigua
We can see that as Guatemala’s infrastructure gets better that more digital nomads are going to add Guatemala to their list. That’s why we believe that the digital nomad community is only going to grow from here.
Is Guatemala Good For Digital Nomads?
We think Guatemala is the best destination for digital nomads in Central America. It is far more affordable than Costa Rica and much more developed than Honduras or El Salvador.
As we’ve been digital nomads in Guatemala for 4 months, we can say that it’s a rising star with tons of potential to become a digital nomad hotspot – especially the city of Antigua.
While it isn’t as developed as Bali for digital nomads (yet), we think Guatemala is a great country for digital nomads and remote workers to get work done, discover a new culture, eat Guatemalan food, and explore the vast highlands and active volcanoes. We’re sure you’ll enjoy being a digital nomad in Guatemala!