Autumn marks a shift in temperature here in the UK, and naturally thoughts turn to what life could be like working in a warmer climate, and the personal satisfaction of merging tourism and work as a ‘digital nomad’.
Central America and the Dominican Republic are well-positioned to embrace this emerging trend. They have already initiated a promotional campaign in the target markets of Europe, and they aim for 2024 to be the year to embrace digital nomads from the United Kingdom. Digital nomads tend to stay for extended periods and contribute positively to the local economy.
The Central America region has the advantage of possessing extensive tourism infrastructure and a quality telecommunications network to ensure digital connectivity in all countries, allowing it to meet accommodation and technical requirements. Central American and Dominican Republic also boast quite the natural assets – tropical climate, magnificent nature, enchanting cultures, and paradisiacal and sustainable beaches that exceed visitors’ expectations.
A year ago, the Central American Tourism Promotion Agency (CATA) launched a specific campaign, ‘Live, Travel, and Connect’, which it reinforced at FITUR 2023 in Spain. Currently, the countries of the region are developing policies to enable individuals to select these destinations as their new workplaces, including the introduction of a specific visa for this profile. This visa is already offered by Belize, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, and CATA aims to extend it to all member countries in Central America and the Dominican Republic.
Corn Island, Nicaragua
Digital nomads represent one of the many future career options and capture the attention of those who wish to work, yet do not want to forego the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures. According to data from the Inter-American Development Bank, there are more than 100 million digital nomads in the world, equivalent to 2% of the working population, and this figure is projected to reach 1 billion by 2050.
According to various sources, digital nomads residing in Central America and the Dominican Republic predominantly engage in telework within industries such as e-commerce, virtual assistance, consulting, social media management, online teaching, content creation, and other similar roles. However, it is evident that anyone capable of teleworking, regardless of their profession, has a place in the region’s idyllic ‘offices’.
Cities for digital nomads
In this regard, CATA considers all destinations in Central America and the Dominican Republic as suitable for digital nomads. However, to assist individuals contemplating this option, CATA has compiled a list that can be expanded, depending on the profile of each traveler.
In Belize, the Caribbean lifestyle blends with work, making destinations such as Placencia and San Pedro ideal for enjoying sun, sand, cuisine, sea, and diving.
San Pedro, Belice
In Guatemala, you can stay in La Antigua Guatemala, a colonial city surrounded by the majestic experience of volcanoes, or take advantage of the accommodation facilities in Sololá, located on the shores of Lake Atitlán
La Antigua Guatemala
El Salvador offers an escape to the Pacific with world-class waves at Surf City. If you prefer a city rich in culture and history, Suchitlán, located on the shores of a lake bearing the same name, is another excellent option.
Suchitoto, El Salvador
Honduras is home to the Bay Islands, boasting a wealth of coral reefs and dive sites, which can be enjoyed before or after a day’s work. If you’re seeking proximity to the country’s main cities, Tegucigalpa is the optimal choice.
Nicaragua, the land of lakes and volcanoes, boasts two tourist centers offering easy access to a variety of adventure and community tourism options: San Juan del Sur, a stunning bay surrounded by tropical mountains, and Granada, situated on the shores of Lake Cocibolca.
In Panama, the capital city of Panama City provides access to major tourist sites such as Panama Viejo, the old town, the Panama Canal, and various museums. Away from the hustle and bustle, Bocas del Toro offers the opportunity to alternate telecommuting days while enjoying its impressive biodiversity.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Punta Cana, a highly sought-after destination in the Dominican Republic, boasting kilometres of white sandy beaches, blends its local rhythms and gastronomy to offer unparalleled experiences. If you are seeking less crowded destinations, Samaná is an excellent choice, providing access to Cayo Levantado, a locale surrounded by lush vegetation and freshwater rivers.