Hiking Izta-Popo National Park: A One Day Volcano Hike in Mexico City

If you want to hike in Mexico City, Izta-Popo National Park is one of the absolute best options. Daniel and went on a day trip from Mexico City, and it was so easy to get to. Add some fresh air on a hike in Mexico City to your itinerary with this guide to hiking Izta-Popo National Park!

 

 

The Stats: Izta-Popo Hike in Mexico City

Distance from Mexico City: 1.5 hours by bus

Hike Time: 6 – 8 hours

Hiking Distance: 20k / 12.4 miles

Altitude: Start at 11,105 ft and climb to 13,047 ft

 

 

Total Cost

I was going to say this is super cheap hike in Mexico City, but after adding up the expenses I’m kind of surprised. Almost all of our costs were spent on transportation.

We spent 120 pesos round trip on the Uber ride to and from the bus station, 70 pesos each for the round trip bus tickets from Mexico City to Amecameca, 400 pesos round trip for the taxis to and from Paso de Cortez (250 on the way up, and 150 on the way down) and 35 pesos each to enter the National Park. We packed our own food and water for a picnic lunch.

In total, the price for the Izta-Popo National Park hike in Mexico City was 730 pesos for two people ($39 usd). If you have a car, though, you can cut costs almost to zero.

 

 

Getting There

Getting to Izta-Popo National Park from Mexico City is really easy. First, take a taxi, uber, or metro to the TAPO bus station. From here, look for the “Volcanes” bus line sign. It’s easy to spot, and once you do just walk through the room to their ticket station.

We paid 35 pesos each for our ticket, and hopped on the next bus to Amecameca. They leave multiple times an hour, so don’t worry about scheduling.

Try to go as early as you can. There’s a couple reasons I recommend this. First, the ride out only took an hour because there was zero traffic, which was nice because it took about 1.5 hours on the way back to Mexico City.

Also, we were on the 6:40 am bus so we got to see a beautiful sunrise over the mountains as we drove… definitely makes the ride more enjoyable!

Finally, we had super clear skies and amazing views all morning. Then, just like everywhere else in Mexico City, the smog and haze rolled in and majorly obstructed Popo Volcano. Clouds usually gather in the afternoons to hide the peak of Izta too, and she was almost completely out of sight by noon.

Because these two volcanos are the main attractions of Izta-Popo National Park, there’s really no point in planning this as an afternoon trip. If you can’t go early, it’s probably not worth visiting unfortunately. But if you can…. do it! The views are really unforgettable on a clear and crisp morning.

 

 

What to Pack

Definitely DO NOT forget sunscreen! At this high altitude it’s easy to get burned, as Daniel and I unfortunately found out. Also, there’s nowhere to get food and water after Paso de Cortez, (except possibly a small market stall at La Joya) so pack lots of snacks and two bottles of water per person.

Finally, layer up. I started in a fleece jacket, then switched to a light cardigan, and finally completed the hike in just a t-shirt. Temperatures change quickly in the shade and sun on mountains, so be prepared with warm and cool clothes.

 

 

Where to Hike

Once you arrive in Amecameca, turn left out of the bus station and walk down the street to the main square. Here you’ll see a line of taxis, and you can grab the first one.

Negotiate with the driver on a price to Paso de Cortez, the entrance to Izta-Popo National Park. It’s about 30 minutes away from Amecameca, so expect to pay between 150 to 300 pesos. We paid 250 for our ride up.

As you leave the town and start to climb in the mountains, the air gets colder and the landscape changes from houses and businesses to forested roads and mountain views.

Once you arrive at Paso de Cortez you can buy your entrance band at the small park office and start your hike.

 

 

Paso de Cortez Round Trip – 12.5 Miles

You really have two different options for the Izta-Popo hike in Mexico City, depending on how much you want to trek. We did the Paso de Cortez roundtrip hike, and it was long.

It’s mostly on a dirt road, and some cars will pass from time to time. The hike is 6.2 miles from Paso de Cortez to La Joya.  During the hike we had the road almost to ourselves most of the time, watched Popo Volcano erupt (twice!), and had beautiful views of Izta Volcano.

The signs pointing to La Joya are very obvious and easy to follow. There were also side trails to a secluded rest station with picnic tables where we stopped for an early lunch, and others that leave the main road and branch into the prairies on the mountainsides.

We left Paso de Cortez around 8:45am and reached La Joya at 11:15 (with lots of breaks, picture stops, and lunch in between). The whole hike so far had been easy, flat, or just gradually uphill. Once you get to La Joya, that changes.

 

 

At La Joya there is a parking lot where a lot of people opt to start their trek instead. This is where you can finally step foot on the Izta Volcano. The main trail veers upwards, and it’s a steep climb. It does even out eventually, but the high altitude and uphill battle mean it’s definitely not easy. We only climbed on Izta for about short amount of time.

After abut 15 minutes, we saw a small path that left the main one and went right. We climbed it and emerged on the ridge to the most amazing views of Izta behind us, Popo to the left, and the sweeping valley and city laid out to our right. Seriously amazing photo op.

From there, we decided to turn around because we still had a LONG way back to Paso de Cortez. We started the trek down, walked past La Joya, and continued the 6.2 miles back to Paso de Cortez.

With two miles left (we had walked 11.5 in total at this point) a taxi driver passed us. He was headed back to Amecameca from dropping a passenger at La Joya, and we happily flagged him down. It was only 150 pesos to get us back to Paso de Cortez and then all the way down to Amecameca bus station.

If a taxi doesn’t pass you (I wouldn’t count on the good luck) you can wait at Paso de Cortez for one. They come to drop of tourists fairly often and it shouldn’t be a problem finding one for the way back.

 

 

La Joya to Paso de Cortez One Way – 7 Miles

After our experience, I had another idea for a great way to see the Izta-Popo National Park hike in Mexico City. This option gives you a chance to see the awesome landscape without having to hike all 12.5 miles of Paso de Cortez to La Joya and back.

If you want to cut your hike to 7 miles, have your taxi driver take you from Amecameca all the way to La Joya. You can start your hike here and climb up Izta for a bit, and then turn around and hike down to Paso de Cortez. You’ll see all the gorgeous views we did, without having to back track or repeat upon yourself.

The total trek distance would be a mile or two up and down Izta from La Joya, and then 6.2 miles from La Joya to Paso de Cortez. Definitely a good option to consider!

 

 

Hiking Izta-Popo National Park in Mexico City

A trek in Izta-Popo National Park is a great one day hike in Mexico City. It’s easy to access, the trails are extremely well maintained, and the views are truly stunning. You can hike on Izta Volcano herself, and watch Popo erupt multiple times from afar. You can even bring some camping gear and spend a night or two here… I bet the starry nights would be beautiful.

I highly recommend a trip to Izta-Popo National Park the next time you need some fresh air and an escape from the city!

All my love,
Di

PS want to challenge yourself to reach the peak of Izta Volcano? Check out this guide on Summit Post to learn more about the permits, timing, and where to sleep in the park.

 

 

 

 

Check Out Our Latest Posts!

8 Things to Do in Chapultepec Park

Did you know Chapultepec Park in Mexico City is the largest park in Latin America? Spanning over 1,600 acres, it’s an oasis of greenery and an escape from the bustling city outside it. However, Chapultepec isn’t your usual park, and there’s MUCH more to it than just some trees and jogging trails. Here are eight awesome things to do in Chapultepec Park on your next visit.

 

1. Enjoy the View at Castillo de Chapultepec

 

 

This is the best thing to do in Chapultepec Park, and you should definitely prioritize it. Entrance to the castle costs 70 pesos per person and is so worth the money.

We started our day walking up the winding road to the top of “Grasshopper Hill” where the castle sits. Once there, we explored the gardens and took in the beautiful panoramic view of Mexico City. On a sunny day, it’s really stunning.

 

 

There’s also a museum explaining the history of the castle, and lots of totally ornate and over the top bedrooms, bathrooms, and sitting rooms you can check out. We spent about two hours here, but if you’re a huge history buff you’ll definitely want to stay longer.

 

2. See the Giant Pandas!

I looooooove pandas! It’s been my dream for years to see them live, and despite all the traveling I do I’ve actually never gotten to see one. Because of that, I was so excited when I found out there are two at the Chapultepec Zoo, and that the zoo is free! This was second on our list of things to do in Chapultepec Park, and was about a 20-minute walk from the castle.

 

 

Two pandas were gifted to Mexico City from China in the 70’s, and the two living at the park today are their surviving offspring. They were just laying and chilling and doing super cute panda stuff while we were there and I loved it! The zoo also has tons of other animals and exhibits, but it was so crowded when we went that we decided to just see the pandas and call it a day.

 

3. Chill at the Lake

Bring a blanket and a good book to Chapultepec Park, and you’ll be set for the day. After walking all around the castle and the zoo, I was ready to relax. There’s a large lake on one side of the road where you can rent boats to ride around in, and a smaller lake that has green space and trees around it. We plopped down in a shady spot and spent Sunday doing what Sundays are for… nothing 🙂

 

4. Explore the Market

I’m not sure whether or not the market is open all week, but it was definitely poppin’ on the weekend. Tons of vendors had stalls set up selling food, snacks, ice cream, treats, souvenirs, and toys. It honestly felt like the road never ended. Anything you want to buy… it’s here.

 

5. Eat Lunch

I had the best meal at Chapultepec Park, and it was so cheap! Near the zoo entrance and market there is a road with a bunch of small restaurant stands on it.

I ordered chicken milanese, which was a HUGE piece of fried chicken, rice, a salad, french fries, and tortillas for only 75 pesos. Pretty much everyone around us was eating something different, and literally everything looked and smelled amazing. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Mexican food at Chapultepec Park.

 

 

6. Visit a Museum

There’s a museum in Chapultepec Park for every taste. There’s a Museo Tamayo featuring contemporary art, the Museum of Modern Art (free on Sundays), the National Museum of Anthropology (the most visited museum in Mexico City), the National History Museum (located in Castillo de Chapultepec) and others.

We visited the Casa de Lago Cultural Center, located on in a beautiful lake house with an interesting gallery inside. If you’re an art lover, you may need to consider making more than one trip to Chapultepec Park just to see it all.

 

7. Ride a Roller Coaster

This park is so big, there’s an entire theme park in it! We didn’t visit it, but La Feria Chapultepec Magico is a great thing to do in Chapultepec Park if you have kids. Day passes are 200 pesos per person (you can get them for 180 online), and the park has food, drinks, and over 40 different rides and attractions to check out.

 

8. Chill in the Hammock Zone

This is seriously such a good idea, I don’t know why more parks don’t implement it. There’s a hammock zone in Chapultepec Park with poles set up just to hang a hammock on and relax. There are some already there that you can use if they’re not already taken, or you can bring your own to enjoy. Definitely won’t be forgetting mine next time we go!

 

 

Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a million more things to do in Chapultepec Park, like ride a bike, practice yoga, meditate, climb a tree, go for a run, ride the carousel, take a nap, the list goes on and on. If you’re only in Mexico City for a short visit, you should definitely prioritize the park as a must-see while you’re here!

All my love,
Di

 

Check Out Our Latest Posts!

Tepoztlan Day Trip From Mexico City – Ruins, Views, Markets & More!

The Tepoztlan day trip from Mexico City combines hiking, ruins, views, markets, and food all into one perfectly packaged escape just 1.5 hours from the city. If you want to head out to Tepoztlan for the day, here’s how you should do it, what it will cost, and everything you need to see!

 

 

How to Get to Tepoztlan

The best way to start your Tepoztlan day trip from Mexico City is to take a bus from Terminal Tazqueno. Once there, buy your tickets at the OCC counter. They have busses leaving to Tepoztlan multiple times an hour, and a one-way ticket will run you 130 pesos each.

The trip out is supposed to take an hour and 20 minutes. We hit traffic from a few accidents and ours ended up being closer to two hours, but I don’t think it’s very common. Once we arrived in Tepoztlan, we were dropped off at the gas station/ticket office and had to walk a mile to get to the center. It’s on a nice path along the road though and it really wasn’t too bad.

 

Tepoztlan Day Trip: What To Do

We didn’t know it, but we actually arrived in Tepoztlan during their Carnival celebration! The streets were shut down, and everyone (and I mean everyone) had a beer or a mojito in their hands. Music was blasting, bands were playing, and the vibe was super fun.

 

Visit the Market

I know we just got lucky, and you probably won’t be in Tepoztlan for Carnival. However, the town is still really cute with small churches, the main square, and a large artisanal market set up year round. Buy the traditional clay mugs, different handicrafts, and of course my favorite… street food! We ate giant bbq chicken kebabs, strange patty things (I have no idea what was in them), and corn on the cob, but seriously everything looked really good.

 

 

Check out the Convent

This beautiful convent is worth checking out because entrance is free from 11 am to 5 pm. The green space outside is nice, and the inner courtyard had stunning arches painted with intricate designs. Everything was written in Spanish so I don’t know too much about the convent, but it’s still a nice place to stop by for a few minutes.

 

Hike to the Tepozteco Ruins

This is the main reason why people take a day trip to Tepoztlan. The Tepozteco Pyramid sits on top of a mountain, and while the ruins themselves aren’t super impressive, the view definitely is.

To hike to the ruins, all you have to do is walk down the main road of the town and just… keep walking. The road will turn into a staircase which then turns into a trail. The hike is pretty steep and straight uphill. It’s also CROWDED! Obviously, some of that was due to Carnival, but I still recommend going on a weekday or early morning to avoid the masses.

 

 

If you’re looking for a peaceful experience, this is not for you. You won’t be “one with nature” at all (but you’ll definitely be one with the family of eight that you just. can’t. pass.) Honestly, the crowds kind of made the trek up feel more like a chore than something I had willingly chosen to do, but it was worth the climb in the end.

It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the top. I wore leggings and boots, but lots of people were hiking in dresses, sandals, and even high heels, drinking beers as they went. It was not an easy climb at all (remember, even though it may not feel like it you ARE at high altitude in Mexico City) so definitely go slow and take your time… my legs are still sore two days later!

 

 

One we finally reached the summit, the views were absolutely phenomenal. You have to buy a ticket at the top to see the pyramid, but also just to see the view (lame, I know). The tickets cost 55 pesos each and let you go down to the overlook and hike up to (and on to) the Tepozteco Pyramid.

After about 20 minutes, we headed back the way we came. I bought a fresh strawberry popsicle from a vendor on the trail, and the way down was just a little easier and more enjoyable than the trek up 🙂

 

 

Getting Back to Mexico City

We spent about six hours total in Tepoztlan, exploring the market, climbing to the pyramid, and eating lunch.

After our Tepoztlan day trip, getting back to Mexico City was easy. Just walk back to the gas station and you can buy a ticket there for the next bus. The price 130 pesos per person again, and though they do seem to go back to Mexico City less often than they were coming out, we still only had to wait 30 minutes for the next bus.

 

The Tepoztlan day trip from Mexico City is a really great escape. It’s not too far away and the small town feel, vibrant market, and amazing views from the Tepozteca Temple were definitely worth the trip. I hope this guide helps you make the trip, and if you enjoy it or have any suggestions to add to the to-do list, please comment below!

All my love,
Di

Check Out Our Latest Posts!

The Colorful and Crazy World of Wrestling in Mexico City

Wrestling in Mexico City isn’t just an event, it’s a lifestyle. The Lucha Libre (literally “free fight”) shows are a totally unique experience, and the stars are well known around the country. I’ve been living in Mexico for almost six weeks now, and the wrestling in Mexico City is definitely one of my favorite experiences in the country so far.

If you love spandex, screaming, and total disconnect from the real world, I HIGHLY recommend adding Lucha Libre to your Mexico to-do list. Here’s everything you need to know to attend the show!

 

Wrestling Match in Arena Mexico

 

The Essentials

Where: Arena Mexico

When: Friday night shows start at 8:30 pm. You can also go most Sundays at 5 pm, and sometimes on weekdays as well. See the full schedule here.

Length: Two hours

Buying Tickets: You can buy tickets all the way up until the show starts. We opted to go early and buy at the box office to avoid the lines later. Afterwards, we walked to the Zona Rosa district for dinner (about a mile away) and then back for the show. Tickets cost 100 pesos for the cheapest seats and go up to 420 pesos for the front row. We bought seats in row 11 for 220 pesos each.

On top of the entrance cost, we also bought beers at the show. You can get a massive cup with two Coronas in it for 80 pesos, and lots of other snacks like chips, nachos, and even ramen noodles were all cheap.

Also, DON’T FORGET to buy a mask before the show! There are a lot of vendors outside the stadium selling them for anywhere from 40 to 250 pesos each. Daniel and I couldn’t resist and each bought one. I wore it for the whole show, and now have my Halloween costume for this year ready to go 🙂

 

Lucha Libre wrestlers in the ring in Mexico City

 

WTH goes on at a Lucha Libre Show??

Every Friday night show follows this basic outline. The first fight is a 2 vs. 2 match, where one team is “evil” and one team is “good.”

When I was watching the first one, I was like… oh no. Is this something that the internet totally overhyped but actually sucks?? The acting was terrible and no one was really into it.

However, I quickly realized the night starts with the amateurs and new luchadores (wrestlers) who are trying to make it big, so don’t judge the Lucha Libre experience too soon.

Next came the girls. This 3 vs. 3 match was definitely one of my favorites. The Lucha Libre shows should really let the girls do more. They were already way better actors, and they threw each other around, slapped, punched, and pulled hair as we cheered along.

It was really weird because it’s obviously fake, but everyone in Arena Mexico agrees to suspend disbelief and pretend it’s all really happening, which makes for a seriously entertaining atmosphere.

The show continued with seven more matches after the girls. In some, the good guys win, and in others the bad guys do. As the night went on, the audience and the luchadores got crazier and crazier. I promise by the end you will know their names, have your favorites, and be on your feet screaming with the rest of ’em.

One wrestler threw another into the audience, and beat him up in a chair two rows in front of us. Another grabbed a beer from a guy in the front row and threw it all over the other team. A third was held down and unmasked, running from the ring in shame.

Mystico, a major star, came out in an all gold outfit and stole the show, while Marco flaunted his abs in a speedo. Shocker wore a shirt stating he was “1000% Guapo” (agree to disagree there) and another luchador had the audience doing his raise the roof catchphrase after every crazy move.

 

Luchador punching another in the audience

 

Wrestling in Mexico City

Free up your Friday and make plans to go to a Lucha Libre show. One of my favorite things about traveling is experiencing things that you can’t anywhere else, and wrestling in Mexico City is definitely one of them. It’s a cultural staple, and I honestly think it’s right up there with seeing a soccer game in Barcelona or a Broadway show in New York City. The shows are incredibly unique and seriously fun from start to finish.

Have a few beers, relax, and let the colorful and crazy world of wrestling in Mexico City consume you for a few hours. It will definitely be a night you’ll never forget!

All my love,
Di

 

 

Check Out Our Latest Posts!

Long Term Travel FAQ for a Digital Nomad

Thinking about working remote as a digital nomad? If so, this long term travel FAQ is for you. I’ve been traveling full time around the world for 14 months now, and I’ve learned so much along the way. From packing tips to where to buy flights and everything in between, here’s all your questions about long term travel answered!

 

How Long Should I Stay in Each City?

After a lot of trial and error, I’ve found what I think is the best length of time. Unless a place is truly amazing I like to spend 5 weeks in each city. So, what that looks like is:

Weekend one: Arrive on a Saturday night or Sunday
Weekend two, three, four, and five: four full weekends to explore the area
Weekend six: Travel to new city

We tried traveling on weekdays but with work it was just too annoying. Either trying to get stuff done on busses or flights, having to get work done ahead of time to make up for a lost day, or telling clients we’d be unavailable, it just wasn’t worth the hassle. Surprisingly, traveling on weekends hasn’t been any more expensive than on weekdays, and it’s so much more fun to arrive in a new city and hit the bars or have a day to explore instead being stuck inside with work.

We stayed six months in Medellin and that was WAY too long. Then we stayed two months in Cusco, and finally started just doing five week stays. With four full weekends, you can see the two or three most touristy things in an area, but still have time to get off the beaten path as well.

 

van driving on a road by mountiains

 

How Do I Book Accommodation?

Good question! I 100% recommend Airbnb, and it’s all that I use. It’s great because if you stay for one month or more, hosts almost always offer a discount, sometimes up to 50% off. We rented outside of it once in a foreign country, and it ended in disaster.

If you’re DEFINITELY set on staying off Airbnb (admittedly the prices are usually higher, but it’s a worthwhile trade off for security) then check out local Facebook groups to find a place to rent. Just search the city + expats, or rentals, and there are usually plenty of groups. For more info, read How to Rent an Apartment in a Foreign Country.

 

Taxes Seem Complicated… Explain Them.

No. Honestly, I’m definitely not qualified to help anyone with their taxes, so the only thing I’ll do is explain my own. When Daniel and I taught in the UAE, we did not have to pay taxes in the United States because we were out of the country for long enough each year (I think it’s like 330 days?) and because we did not make enough to be “double taxed” (the income amount is something like 90k).

Once we started freelancing, things changed. We filed as an LLC in the state of Ohio and all of our money from work went through one specific bank account that we then paid ourselves out of. Because we were an LLC we had to pay “estimated taxes” four times a year instead of just once.

I’m still freelancing and using this method of tax payment. No matter where I live in the world, I pay taxes to the US just like I’m living there. Daniel has a full time job now, and pays taxes in the US like normal too (despite us mostly being abroad).

Basically, if you are a freelancer, you will probably have to pay taxes in the US even if you never step foot inside it. If you have a full time job abroad, you probably will only pay taxes to the country you’re in, unless you still spend a lot of time in the US or are making mad money. BUT like I said, absolutely every situation is different and definitely research into your own job and finances. DO NOT take my word for it because I do not want to be sued! Thanks!

 

manor house on a lake

 

What Health Insurance Should I Use?

Ugh, health insurance. It’s different for every country, so this info is going to be targeted at Americans. When we first started traveling full time, I was on my parent’s health insurance still and didn’t need to do anything else because it covered me abroad.

Daniel was over age 26, so he purchased travel insurance. This covered him in every country EXCEPT the United States. The cost was around $250 for six months. This plan was great because we spent no time in the US in 2017 until November. (Be careful though, because some travel insurance carriers require you to also be covered with a US health insurance plan… make sure yours isn’t like this.)

When we returned to the US, neither of us were covered by a job because we were both freelancing, so I bought health insurance through Healthcare.gov. It was a crap plan for about $50 each per month and didn’t cover us while traveling. Soon, Daniel got a full-time job and with that came a healthcare plan in the US. We still have to buy travel insurance on top of it to be covered outside of the country though.

Basically your options are to get a US health insurance plan and double up with the travel insurance, OR if you’ll be abroad all year, find a travel insurance plan that does not require a US health insurance plan as well. If you’re planning to be in the US at all, it’s probably easiest to just pay for a cheap plan year round and get it off your plate.

PS This is only based on my own experience and should not be taken as fact, you should research everything before you choose the correct plan for yourself (aka don’t sue me).

 

shopping at an outdoor market

 

What Should I Pack?

The first time I left the US on a digital nomad, I packed wayyyyy too much. Keep it light, and you’ll be so much happier when you’re moving every month.

For clothes, I usually pack two or three dresses, a pair of jeans, a pair of leggings, four or five t-shirts, workout leggings, six to eight nice shirts, bra, sports bra, strapless bra, underwear, jean shorts, and pajama pants.

I also pack a cardigan and super lightweight fleece jacket.

Hiking boots, running shoes, and flip flops generally suffice, if you want “cute” shoes you can also pack a pair of fashionable boots as well.

Outside of this, I usually pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, and face wash (if you’re checking the bag), razors, sunscreen, hair ties, bobby pins, and medicine (call your insurance ahead of time and sometimes you can pick up three, six, or even 12 months of your prescription early).

Finally, throw in a kindle or a couple books, laptop, phone, portable power pack, a speaker, all chargers and cords, a deck of cards, wallet, jewelry, and sunglasses, and you’re good to go.

 

romanian church and old town under fog

 

How Do You Decide Which Countries to Visit?

The AWESOME thing about long term travel as a digital nomad is that pretty much nowhere is off limits. There are sooo many places that I want to explore that I actually sometimes get really overwhelmed when I have to choose just one for our next stop. These are the steps I usually take when deciding which countries to visit, and some things you definitely need to keep in mind.

Flights

First things first, look for the cheap flights. I always compare prices on flights with Skyscanner, and search from the major airports around me to “everywhere.” I live in Ohio, so I always check flights from Cincinnati, Chicago, and Detroit to find the best deals. If you live near major hubs sometimes its worth using them to save money, especially if you’re traveling for a long period of time.

Accommodation

After you’ve narrowed down the countries that are affordable to get to, it’s time to check on the accommodations. Like stated above, I always use Airbnb. So, search the cities you’ll be staying in for the dates you’ll be there. Are there a lot of options that look nice and affordable? If there’s only one or two listed in the area, that will be a risk.

Cost of Living

The next step is to check the cost of living in the options you’re looking at. Just because Norway is $100 cheaper to get to than Romania, it doesn’t mean it makes financial sense to choose it. You should also make sure it’s a good city to live in. Google things to do there, restaurants, nightlife, and day trips to make sure there’s plenty to fill your time.

If flights, cost of living, and accommodation all check out, you need to make sure internet speeds in the city are good before you move there. Finally, check out the visa situation to ensure you can stay long term, and don’t need to take any extra steps to be approved to visit.

Once this is ALL finished I book the flight and accommodation, usually a couple months ahead of time. Everything else like local transport and planning what to do waits until we arrive.

 

blue and yellow houses with bikes outside

 

How Can I Work and Make Money While I Travel?

There are plenty of different ways to do this. If you want to work abroad you can teach in Dubai with very little qualifications, or get a job working on a yacht. If you don’t want to be tied to a location, no matter how exotic it may be, you can become a freelance writer or digital marketer, or teach ESL classes online. Visit the Working Abroad page to learn more and see step by step guides for each one.

 

How Can You Live and Work in Different Timezones?

Timezones are seriously the lamest. They suck, I know. For the first 14 months that we worked remote as digital nomads, we stayed in timezones close to the US in Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. Daniel has a full time job and is tied to the American nine to five.

We’re throwing caution to the wind though, and in the spring we’re heading to Eastern Europe, where our work day will be from 4pm to midnight…. yeah. I’ll report back and let you know how that works out. I actually think it might not be too bad but we’ll see.

As a digital marketer and writer I have had clients in England, Singapore, the Philippines, and Australia, so working outside of your client’s timezone is definitely possible, it just slows down communication a bit. If you really have your heart set on traveling Asia, your best bet is to teach ESL classes online, because you will be working within Chinese timezones.

 

Biltmore Estate

 

Do You Have Any Travel Products You Recommend?

Yes, definitely! Some stuff I really love and use all the time is listed below:

Osprey Backpack

This bad boy is the BEST. It’s pricey for sure, but definitely worth the investment. The Osprey Farpoint 55 is all I use.

Some reasons why it’s amazing are first, it’s carry on sized for most major airlines (not budget ones though) so we can save money on checked bags. Also, it has a second small backpack that you can zip to it! I use the large bag to store all my stuff when moving from one place to the other and for long camping and hiking trips, but I still have the small bag for day to day use.

Did I mention that the entire front opens like a suitcase, so you don’t have to go digging into it every time you need something like a traditional backpack? And finally, Osprey products have a life time warranty, so you can always get it replaced if something goes wrong. If you want to become a digital nomad a rolling suitcase just isn’t gonna cut it. This Osprey bag has everything you need for long term travel.

Vibrant All in One Travel Bottle

I got this for Christmas and am so obsessed. I love the sleek look, and functionally it’s even better. This thermos keeps hot water hot for SO LONG, and cold stuff cold for ages. It also has a strainer at the top to make fruit infused water (my new obsession) or steep tea. For a day to day water bottle, I couldn’t ask for more.

Timberland Boots

The first time I bought hiking boots I was in the UAE. We went from mall, to mall, to mall because all the stores had the tiniest female selections and sold boots almost only for men! So sexist. I finally found a pair of Timberlands. They were expensive and I was on the fence, but I pretty much had no other choice but to buy them.

That was three years ago in Spring 2015 and they’re still going strong. The boots are cute, comfy, and seriously hold up on even the toughest hikes. I wore them on a seven day trek through the Himalayas in Nepal, on the Santa Cruz and Salkantay four and five day treks through the mountains of Peru, scaled a 19,000 f.t volcano in them, and walked through the streets of Europe for miles at a time. They still feel like new even after all that. It’s love.

UE Boom Speaker

Daniel introduced me to the world of quality sound and speakers, and I can’t go back now. We often stay in Airbnb’s with crappy TVs or even no TV, and watch shows on our laptops. Even just for music day to day, this speaker is amazing.

The bluetooth speaker is easy to use and carry around with us, it’s water proof, and the sound quality is amazing. Even after getting chucked in our bags and dragged from country to country over the last year, it still works perfectly.

Sprint International Phone Plan

Nomadic Matt recommends the TMobile plan for international travelers, but I heartily disagree. I vetted TMobile, Verizon, and AT&T before I made my choice, and Sprint has far and away the cheapest plan. I get to keep my US number, have unlimited calls and texts to any country in the world, and 1gb of international data. When I get back to the US, I also have 2gb of domestic data.

Landing in a new country, switching on my phone, and immediately having data is honestly the height of luxury and makes travel SO easy. Just having GPS in our day to day life abroad is invaluable. I definitely recommend the Sprint International plan for all digital nomads and long term travelers.

 

 

How Much Money Will I Spend?

Pretty much as much or as little as you want. It REALLY depends on the country you choose. One month in London is going to cost a lot more than one month in Bolivia.

If you’re trying to keep the budget down, it’s important to find the line between a country with a low cost of living that’s also safe and has fast, or at least usable, internet. If you’d like to know more about what the budget of a digital nomad looks like, check out my breakdowns for six months in Colombia, two months in Cusco, and one month in Mexico.

 

From one digital nomad to another, this long term travel FAQ will answer questions you didn’t even know you had. Understanding health insurance, budgeting, and what to pack while living on the road full time is definitely important to making a successful transition into a full time digital nomad.

Do you travel long term? Comment below with any tips and advice I missed! And if you’re just getting started in this lifestyle, feel free to message me with questions any time!

All my love,
Di

 

Check Out Our Latest Posts!

The Complete Guide to Playa del Carmen Coworking Spaces

The rise of remote working has also lead to a massive rise in coworking spaces in the past few years. I’ve worked from home for the past year and a half, so I know sometimes you can go crazy sitting in your house all day. Daniel and I are living in Playa del Carmen for one month, so we decided to try out the four Playa del Carmen coworking spaces in the area. Here’s my review of each (and how you can get a free day pass to them!)

 

Nest Coworking

Location: Avenida 10 Mza 31 Lote 6, Col. Centro Between 12th and 14th streets
Cost: $15 per day, $75 week, or $250 per month. You can also buy a 4 hour pass for $7
Website: www.coworkingnest.com
Free 1 Day Pass: Click Here!
Wifi:
Fast and no problems. They have a bit of a complicated set up that requires getting a personal login and code to access it, but it only took a couple minutes.
Vibe: I really liked the vibe here. It is open with high ceilings and large spaces. There were about 10 people there when we arrived in the morning, and it felt lively without being too crowded.

 

Nest Coworking outdoor space

 

If you book one day here, you receive free coffee and tea, as well as some small snacks like cereal and milk. You also get 10 copies from their printer and use of lockers.

If you book one week, you get 50 copies as well as 1 hour of use in the boardroom and 20% off classes they offer.

Finally, if you book one month you receive discounts to local events and tours, a local mailing address to receive packages, 100 copies, 5 hours of boardroom use and 20% off conference room costs. The weekly and monthly plans come with 24/7 access to the space.

Most Comfortable Playa del Carmen Coworking Space

This space was cool because it had multiple different areas. The downstairs was the common area that is more relaxed, with tables, couches, and even a counter to use as a standing desk, as well as plenty of outlets.

Second was the outdoor courtyard. It had a table, comfortable chairs, and even a hammock to chill in. It was quiet and nice to be able to write while also enjoying the fresh air.

Finally there was the upstairs area. It was for focused work and it’s a quiet space without talking or phone calls. There were even private cubicles for serious seclusion, as well as private large offices with monitors that you can rent out for $25/hour. For large meetings they also have conference rooms you can rent for the same price.

I give this place 5 stars! We used it for a day and loved it. The location is in the heart of Playa del Carmen’s downtown area, and it’s easy to walk from here to the beach or restaurants after work. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area.

 

Cowork-In

Location: Avenida Aviación, between av 50 and av 10, Calle 7 south, Mza 29, lot
4, Fracc 26, local 1., Playacar phase II
Cost: $13 for a day, $67 for a week, and $241 per month. You can also pay hourly for $2.50/hr.
Website: www.coworkinplaya.com
Free One Day Pass: Click here!
Wifi: Fast, we had zero problems with it.
Vibe: Definitely more serious than Nest. It was quiet and felt like an office more than a community space.

 

Shared space at Cowork In

 

The Cowork-In space was small, but had everything we needed. There are two large tables and counters to work at in the main room, couches, a small patio out front, standing desks, and private offices and a conference room. As long as the offices or conference room aren’t scheduled and taken, you can use them for calls. With the daily rates listed above though, free/guaranteed use of the offices isn’t included and requires a higher payment. The weekly rate includes an hour use of the conference room, and the monthly rate includes five hours of scheduled use. All of them include copies as well.

We also liked the kitchen and free coffee and cookies here. It felt very focused and is definitely designed to bring out the productive part of you (no matter how small that may be haha).

Perfect for Workers Staying in Playacar

Some benefits of the Cowork-In space is that it is close to the popular Playacar Community, and the monthly plan comes with 24/7 access to the space.

Some things I didn’t like were that it is small, so there’s less of a variety of spaces to choose from like we had at Nest, and is also farther away from the downtown area. To get to the shops, restaurants, and beaches of Playa del Carmen, you will need to take a taxi. There were also some loud planes overhead at times because it’s near the airport.

The Cowork-in space was good. Of the four Playa del Carmen coworking spaces, this one is ideal for people staying Playacar, or for those who want a quiet, serious, and focused workplace away from the distractions of downtown Playa del Carmen.

 

Work Zone

Location: Av. Colosio # 459, Mz 1 Lte 46, Santa Fe, Playa del Carmen
Cost: $11/day, $54/week, and $135/month. You can also get a 3 days/week plan for $81/month. This is the most budget friendly option by far.
Website: www.oficinascompartidas.com
Free Day Pass: Click here!
Wifi: The wifi went out a few times in the morning, but then we had no issues for the rest of the day. I’m not sure if it was a one time thing or not.
Vibe: My favorite so far! The owner was extremely welcoming, and I could tell that a lot of the people working there got to know each other and became friends. It was really relaxed.

 

Work Zone Coworking common space

 

Work Zone is built into a house. So, it has a back yard with hammocks and tables, private office and conference room, a big kitchen, some shared spaces, and even a chill room upstairs with a TV and Wii. They also have a closet full of games and a ping pong table to take a break with.

The location is outside of the main downtown area, but easy to take a taxi to. I liked how flexible and friendly the owner was. You can get a 3/day per week pass, you can come in late at night, basically I get the feeling that whatever kind of schedule you’re looking for, he would be happy to help you make it happen.

Most Social Playa del Carmen Coworking Space

My favorite part of Work Zone is the relaxed vibe. If you want to use a coworking space for business, but also to make connections and friends in the area, this is the one for you. There was also a cute little coffee truck just a few steps away from the space.

My least favorite part of Work Zone was the wifi issues we had in the morning, although the place was packed and everyone seemed to be regulars, so I’m inclined to believe thats not a normal occurrence.

All in all, I really liked Work Zone, and out of the four Playa del Carmen coworking spaces, it’s one of my favorites because of the social aspect. The price is good, and the community vibe was nice. Recommended!

 

Altus Business and Coworking

Location: Av. C.T.M 20, Luis Donaldo Colosio, 77728 Playa del Carmen, Q.R.
Cost: $15/day, $150 for two weeks, and $235 per month.
Website: www.altusmx.com
Free Tour (no day passes here): Click here!
Wifi: I didn’t use it, but based on the quality of the space my guess is that the wifi is great too.
Vibe: Without a doubt the nicest and most professional of the four spaces. This one looks like a high end office in the US.

 

office space at altus business and coworking in playa del carmen

 

Altus is pretty cool. It’s definitely the nicest of the four Playa del Carmen coworking spaces. This one is good for people who seriously need to get work DONE, and who want a nice office space to meet clients in. I only took the tour and did not work here, but when I was there it was very quiet. Some people were working in the private offices, but no one was in the shared work space.

I talked to one man who has been renting an office here for nine months and he said he loves it because the location is great (right in downtown Playa del Carmen) but he can also always find a parking spots. That’s something I hadn’t even considered for the others. Another plus is that this space is next door to a super hip vegan restaurant that looks delicious based on the crowds inside.

The cost for Altus Business and Coworking is $15/day, $150 for two weeks, and $235 per month. These prices are just for the shared space though, and come with various amounts of copies, the weekly and monthly come with a few hours in the conference room as well.

For a private office, the cost is $600/month and comes with seven hours in the conference room. This seems to be the most popular choice here at Altus. There are two sizes of offices, with the larger one going for $800/month. Both offices come with a key and 24/7 access to the space.

Most Professional Playa del Carmen Coworking Space

I only toured Altus and didn’t spend a day working here, but my impression is that Altus is for the most serious coworker. There’s no camaraderie or community here, it’s for quiet, focused work in private offices. If I was just getting a day or week pass, I would probably choose a different space with a more relaxed vibe and more people around, but if you’re looking for something long term and have the finances to splurge on a private office, this is definitely the best choice.

 

Are you thinking about coworking on Mexico’s beautiful beaches? If so, these four Playa del Carmen coworking spaces are all great options, and the one you choose just really depends on your budget, work style, and personality. I hope my reviews help make your decision a little easier! If you’ve worked at and love one of the four, please comment below cause I’d love to hear your opinion 🙂

All my love,
Di

 

 

Check Out Our Latest Posts!

Pin It on Pinterest