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I’m Sherry, a full-time digital nomad traveling with my dog, Shelby. My travel blog, Digital Nomad and a Dog, focuses on the digital nomad life, traveling with a dog, and Mexico.
My day job is freelance copywriting. I’m able to work just enough to pay the bills but still have plenty of time for fun.
I’m from the United States I started my digital nomad life in Mexico and kind of got stuck here because I love it so much.
My travel style is to over-plan and obsess about every detail. I’m not good at winging it. Once I get to a place I immerse myself in it as much as I can. I love finding the hole-in-the-wall restaurants where tourists don’t usually go. I especially love learning about how the locals live.
Digital Nomad Trip Report: Campeche, Mexico
+ Pros for Digital Nomads in Campeche, Mexico
- Campeche is very safe. As a female solo traveler, I never felt unsafe, even walking alone at night.
- There is so much to do in Campeche. The history is fascinating and there are many little museums to explore. Campeche is a walled city and walking on the walls is one of the best things I’ve done.
- Campeche is relatively undiscovered by tourism. This means prices are still low and there aren’t big crowds.
– Cons for Digital Nomads in Campeche, Mexico
- Since Campeche isn’t a huge tourist destination, many of the locals don’t speak English. My Spanish is dreadful so I found this to be a bit challenging.
- I found the locals to not be terribly friendly. They weren’t rude by any means, but I never felt truly welcome there. Maybe it’s because they aren’t focused on tourism. If my Spanish was better I probably would have had a better experience.
- For me the biggest downside of Campeche is the lack of beaches. I realize this isn’t a priority for everyone, but for me, it’s a deal breaker. Campeche is on the Gulf of Mexico and the water is a muddy brown. No beautiful turquoise waters. There is a man-made beach not too far from town, but it’s not up to this beach snob’s standards.
What was your overall impression of this destination? Would you recommend Campeche, Mexico to other nomads?
Campeche is a hidden gem that’s seriously underrated. The infrastructure is top-notch, and the weather couldn’t be better. Everything you’d want to see or do is within walking distance, making it super convenient.
I could see myself spending a good six months there without ever feeling bored. The colonial wall city area, known as Centro, stole my heart. That’s where I stayed and honestly, where I spent the majority of my time. It’s like the city’s pulse, and being there felt like being at the heart of everything good Campeche has to offer.
Absolutely, without a doubt, I’d recommend Campeche to other digital nomads. It’s a wonderful place to stay for a while.
What’s the cost of living in Campeche, Mexico as a Digital Nomad?
I found the cost of living to be on par with much of Mexico.
- Accommodations: My rent was $500 per month for an Airbnb in Centro. I was in a studio with a shared kitchen. You can find larger apartments for between $600 and $800 per month.
- Groceries: I spent around $300/month. I cooked most days and only ate out once a week. Dining Out: A meal in a restaurant is around $5 – 10, not including alcoholic beverages. Of course, you could spend a lot more but this is the average for my meals.
- Transport: I spent less than $20 on transportation because I walked pretty much everywhere. I spent $10 for an ADO bus to Merida. I took the public bus for less than a dollar. A taxi in town costs less than $5.
- Entertainment: Many of the things to do in Campeche are free. The most expensive museum costs 100 pesos to enter. I spent around $150 USD in total on tours and museums.
What can you share about the culture in Campeche?
In Campeche, the culture leans more toward the formal side, especially when compared to other parts of Mexico. A lot of this formality can be attributed to the fact that the majority of the population works for the government, given that Campeche is the capital of the state of Campeche.
This professional environment influences the local culture, making interactions a bit more reserved and formal than you might expect in other Mexican cities.
As for cultural norms that visitors should be aware of, the formality extends to social interactions as well. When meeting someone, it’s common to offer a polite greeting and perhaps avoid overly casual behavior that might be acceptable elsewhere in Mexico.
What languages are primarily spoken in Campeche?
Spanish is the main language spoken in Campeche. While you’ll find many English speakers, it’s not as common as in more tourist-heavy areas of Mexico.
That said, communication wasn’t a problem for me, even with my limited Spanish skills. The locals were incredibly patient and willing to work through any language barriers.
I do recommend learning some basic phrases in Spanish. I found people to be more helpful when they saw I was making an effort to speak Spanish.
What was your experience finding, booking, and staying in accommodation in Campeche?
I used Airbnb exclusively. There are many options for accommodations in Campeche, especially in Centro. This area tends to be more expensive, but you can find a studio apartment for less than $600 a month.
My Airbnb host did not speak English which was challenging. We used a lot of Google Translate to communicate and it worked out fine.
What working spaces are available to digital nomads? Are there co-working spaces or cafes where it is feasible to work?
I saw several cafes with Wi-Fi in the Centro area of Campeche. Since Campeche isn’t a digital nomad hub, options are limited. To my knowledge, there aren’t any formal co-working spaces, but Wi-Fi is plentiful.
What was the food like in Campeche?
The food in Campeche is amazing! You can get a lot of fresh seafood. Of course, tacos are plentiful. I honestly never had a bad meal.
On 59th Street there are several blocks closed to traffic. It’s full of restaurants with outdoor dining. You can find all kinds of food here.
My favorite was Scattola 59, a wonderful Italian restaurant. I also enjoyed Luz de Luna, which is where I had some great empanadas.
There are grocery stores throughout the city, including a Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. In Centro, there are a number of small markets. Just outside the Land Gate is a huge public market selling everything from freshly caught fish to souvenirs.
In the evenings you can find street food in the plaza, just outside the wall, and along the Malecon.
I don’t know how easy it would be to navigate Campeche on a restrictive diet. It would be easy enough to find gluten-free food, but I’m not sure it would be easy to find a variety of vegan options.
Since Campeche isn’t a tourist hub, they don’t cater to diverse diets. At least that was my experience, but to be fair, I wasn’t looking for vegan or specialty food.
What visas or permits are required to enter Mexico, how long can you stay, and what other legal issues might be relevant to nomads here?
In general, visitors from the United States, Canada, and Europe can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days on a tourist visa. It’s important to note that no one is guaranteed 180 days. It’s up to the discretion of the immigration official.
Mexico doesn’t have a digital nomad visa and it is not legal for a foreigner to work in Mexico without a special permit. Of course, many digital nomads are working in Mexico including many Americans working for US companies. They just say they are there for tourism. Whatever you do, don’t tell the immigration officials that you’re working.
While it is a grey area, I feel that we can justify it because we aren’t taking any work from a Mexican.
What’s the connectivity and Wifi Like in Campeche?
Wi-Fi is readily available throughout Campeche. My internet went out once for a couple of hours during a storm. Otherwise, I had great speeds.
My cell phone carrier is T-Mobile and I found cell service to be pretty bad. I wasn’t able to use my phone’s hotspot when my internet was out. However, my backup mobile hotspot uses different cell networks, and that worked well enough to get me through.
SIM cards are readily available at the OXXO stores. I didn’t buy one but I believe you can get a decent amount of data for around $20.
What is there to do for fun in Campeche?
There is so much to do in Campeche. The walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it feels like one big museum.
Walking on the city walls is a must-do in Campeche. You can access these historical walls from two points: the Land Gate and the Sea Gate. Each offers a unique view of the city, so it’s worth doing both.
Museums are abundant here. Near the Sea Gate, the Museo de Arquitectura Maya showcases artifacts from the nearby Calakmul ruins including an amazing jade mask. At the Land Gate, you’ll find a small museum featuring a pirate display and some old cannons.
The City Museum dives deep into the city’s pirate history. You can even go into the dungeons and up onto the roof.
I highly recommend taking a walking tour. Walking tours with locals provide insights into the city’s history and are a great way to make new friends. For a deeper dive into history, consider guided tours to the Edzna and Calakmul ruins.
Playa Bonita is a quick taxi ride away for a beach experience. Plaza de la Independencia offers a shady park, food carts at night, and even a free movie showcasing Campeche’s history.
Other highlights include Centro Cultural Casa No. 6, which gives you a glimpse into how colonists lived. The Malecon is the go-to spot for sunset walks.
What is the social scene like for Digital Nomads in Campeche? Is it easy to meet and connect with locals or ex-pats?
The social scene in Campeche is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, there’s an active ex-pat community that’s pretty welcoming. I attended one of their meetups and met some wonderful people, so if you’re looking to connect with fellow travelers or ex-pats, you’re in luck.
On the other hand, connecting with locals might be a bit challenging. They’re not rude by any means, but they do come off as a bit standoffish. It seemed like they weren’t particularly interested in striking up conversations.
What’s the weather like in Campeche?
Campeche has a tropical climate so it’s warm and humid pretty much all year round. The average temperature usually hovers around 80°F, give or take.
Rainy season is from June to October. It can get pretty wet with some great thunderstorms. But the rain usually comes in short bursts, so it’s not like it’s going to ruin your whole day.
How Does Money Work in Campeche, Mexico?
The currency in Cameche is the Mexican peso. I did see signs that some places would accept U.S. Dollars, but pesos are preferred. Credit cards are widely accepted but there is often a small fee. There are some smaller shops and restaurants that are cash only.
Getting cash is easy. There are ATM machines throughout the city. The only problem I had was that the machines dispense mostly 500 peso bills, which smaller places can’t break. I went into the bank to change to smaller bills and they wouldn’t give me any.
This was one of the few instances where the locals were pretty rude to me. But to be fair, if I spoke better Spanish, I’m sure I would have had a different experience.
Note about withdrawing cash from a Mexican ATM: Decline the conversion rate. First, you’ll be asked to accept the commission. You’ll have to accept that one. Then you’ll be asked if you accept their conversion. Decline it. You’ll instead get your own bank’s conversion rate which is always better.
What else should people know about the Campeche?
Campeche has a small airport with most of the flights connecting through Mexico City. It’s often cheaper to fly into Merida, which is about two and a half hours away. You can hop on an ADO bus from Merida airport.
You can also rent a car from the airport, but parking in Centro is tricky during the day. Also, the streets are crazy narrow.
I took the bus to Merida to rent a car to explore more of the area. It was easy to do until I got back to Campeche. Just driving through the streets in Centro was stressful.
Not only are the streets narrow, but the intersections are pretty much blind. The buildings go right up to the narrow sidewalks. Pedestrians then crowd the corner waiting to cross the street and you can’t see around them.
Luckily, drivers in Campeche are the most courteous I’ve experienced.
I really love Campeche. I love the colorful colonial-style buildings and the atmosphere in Centro. It’s the cleanest city I’ve visited anywhere. If it had the Caribbean Sea, it would be the perfect place for me to live.
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