As the digital age continues to evolve, more and more people are realizing the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle. With the ability to work remotely and the freedom to travel the world, this lifestyle has become increasingly popular among tech-savvy individuals. One continent that has seen a surge in popularity among digital nomads is South America, thanks to its affordable cost of living, thriving tech scenes, and beautiful landscapes. Let’s tell you why we think the growing digital nomad scene in South America is right for you!

From backpackers to digital nomads

For the most adventurous travellers, the allure of the backpacker lifestyle is strong. The freedom to explore new places, the thrill of the unknown, and the chance to meet new people are just a few of the reasons some people choose to travel this way. But as the world has become increasingly connected, a new type of traveller has emerged: the digital nomad.

Digital nomads are individuals, sometimes couples, who are able to use technology to their advantage to travel the world while they work. This lifestyle has become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are realizing its benefits, both professionally and personally, and more and more companies are letting them do so.

Read further: The different types of travellers you might encounter

Valparaiso Chile
Valparaiso in Chile is a popular destination for backpackers and digital nomads alike.

South America is on the rise for digital nomads

One region that has seen a surge in popularity among digital nomads is South America. The continent, which includes attractive countries with good infrastructure (such as Argentina, Chile, and Brazil), has a lot to offer to those who are looking for a new and exciting place to call home.

One of the reasons why South America has become so popular among digital nomads is because it offers a unique combination of vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and a low cost of living. This makes it an ideal place for a digital nomad who wants to experience a new culture and way of life, without breaking the bank.

In addition to its low cost of living, South America is also home to a number of growing tech hubs, which are attracting more and more remote workers. For example, cities like Medellín in Colombia and São Paulo in Brazil have become popular digital nomad hubs, thanks to their thriving tech scenes and vibrant communities.

Medellin street art
Colourful Medellin has become the favourite digital nomad hotspot in South America for people working in tech.

Why choose South America as a digital nomad

There are many reasons why digital nomads may want to consider choosing South America as their base. Here are just a few:

  • Affordable living: One of the biggest attractions of South America is that it offers a very affordable cost of living. In many cities, it’s possible to live very comfortably on a budget of just a few hundred dollars per month. This means that digital nomads can save money while they work, and use it to travel and explore the region, as they should.

Read here about the top digital nomad destinations in South America

  • Thriving tech scenes: As mentioned earlier, many cities in South America are home to thriving tech scenes. This means that digital nomads can find plenty of opportunities and coworking spaces to network and collaborate with other tech-minded individuals. One of the hot spots for digital nomads working in tech is Medellín, in Colombia.

Check out what’s so special about Medellín that captures many travellers’ heart

  • Beautiful landscapes: Another reason to choose South America is the continent’s beautiful landscapes. From the beaches of Brazil, along the Andes mountains to the fjords of Chile, there are endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration.

Our Backpacker’s Guide for South America tells you the best places to discover

Why to choose South America as a digital nomad
Beach in Rio de Janeiro
  • Vibrant culture: Finally, the continent is home to many vibrant and different cultures. Staying a while here as a digital nomad means you can immerse yourself, and learn about the history and traditions of South America.

Get inspired by some tips on becoming a digital nomad in Brazil, one of South America’s most popular destination among the digital nomad community.

What to consider when choosing your destination

When choosing a digital nomad destination in South America, there are a few key factors to consider. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Safety: Safety is always a concern when travelling, and it’s important to do your research before choosing a destination. Some cities in South America have a higher crime rate than others, so it’s important to consider this when making your decision.

Generally speaking, Uruguay and Ecuador are the safest countries in South America. But even countries with high crime rate have their safe bubbles, for example the city of Curitiba in Brazil.

Teatro Solis Montevideo Uruguay
Uruguay is one of the safest countries in South America, and it offers the fastest internet connection.
  • Finding accommodation: Finding affordable and comfortable accommodation can be a challenge in the most popular cities in South America. It’s important to research the different options available, and to make sure that you choose a location that is both convenient and comfortable.

Airbnb is widely available, and some hostels cater especially for digital nomads. Also check out the recently-established digital nomad villages – like  the one which opened in Brazil in November 2022.

  • Internet connectivity: As a digital nomad, it’s essential to have a reliable internet connection. Before choosing a destination, make sure to research the internet connectivity in the area, and to choose a location that offers good connectivity.

It’s acknowledged that Uruguay has the fastest country-wide internet in South America, thanks to its fibre infrastructure. But it’s worth inquiring for each particular city, or even neighbourhood.

  • Time zones: Finally, it’s important to consider the time zones in the region. If you will be working with clients or colleagues in other parts of the world, you’ll need to choose a destination where the time zone is convenient for communication.

For example, New York is in the same time zone as Lima, Peru, but two hours behind Rio (Brazil) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Quito Ecuador
Quito, the capital of underrated Ecuador, offers a thriving arts scene and affordable accommodation.

What holds you off from becoming a digital nomad in South America?
Share your thoughts with our readers in the comments below!

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Who am I?

Anna is a world citizen, an avid traveller, a passionate environmentalist and a digital nomad. Writing about her year backpacking through South America, she tries to encourage everyone to discover this beautiful continent as a traveller or a digital nomad and pass on her love for responsible travel.

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