The rise of free and reliable WiFi in Cozumel has really revved up in the past several years, and location-independent side-hustlers have followed. If you’re looking to work remotely in Mexico for a little while, Cozumel is now a contender.
Plunk down with your phone or laptop almost anywhere and you’ll be able to request the local wifi network’s password (contraseña), and surf to your heart’s content.
Cozumel is a viable destination for digital nomads now that it has increased cellular coverage and widespread strong and accessible WiFi. Several coffee shops, boutique hotels, and other venues that cater to remote workers and travel-minded entrepreneurs have upped their game, and now there are countless places you can stay connected and get things done while working remotely from Mexico.
Don’t just go to Starbucks and call it a day (though one of our local Starbucks does admittedly have a killer location with a roof deck view of the waterfront…see more on this further down).
Try some of the other winners on this list for a great remote office right at the beach, or at a more traditional coffee house hang with interesting local culture and the warm community feels.
*In case it doesn’t go without saying, all of the places on this list – and basically all the public eateries, bars, hotels, and beach clubs in Cozumel – still have Covid-19 safety protocols in place, so people can feel secure coming out and mingling safely. Plan to enter with a mask, have your temperature taken quickly, and use a(nother) squirt of complimentary hand sanitizer. Most also offer a choice of indoor or outdoor seating areas, as well, though once at your table you can take your mask off if you wish.
New Wave of Remote Work Friendly Cozumel Cafes
Embii Coffee makes the top of the list because it has a large space, plentiful seating in various clusters and configurations, and a great selection of coffees.
Embii was set up with local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and Cozumel’s remote workers in mind. It’s also a great place for meetings and co-working.
Indeed, referring to themselves from the start as a “coworking bistro” in Cozumel, Embii has broadband, courtesy electrical outlets, private meeting rooms you can reserve for very reasonable rates, and air conditioning.
It’s also set up to encourage networking and collaboration, which is admirable and fun to support.
Embii has a great choice of other drinks, like juices, smoothies, and soft drinks, including a lovely list of non-alcoholic mocktails for non-drinkers and the sober curious in Cozumel.
They have some ‘real’ drinks, too. Check out their 2×1 happy hours on Thursdays – Saturdays.
Embii is located behind Chedraui, on Ave. 5, between Xel Ha and Calle 17 Sur.
For Embii’s current hours, check out their social page, here.
Aqui y Ahora Coffee
Open 7 days a week at the time of this post, Aqui y Ahora (here and now) is a new addition to the incredible coffee scene in Cozumel, and it’s become an instant favorite.
Aqui y Ahora is pretty swanky by island standards and has lots of styles of seating, courtesy electrical outlets for your laptop, free wifi, and a large airy space with a nice view of the ocean across the street.
In addition to being a cool new place to get some remote work done in Cozumel, it has a great hip community vibe, hosting cool art shows and board game nights.
It also has a large food menu with popular offerings, and also things you can’t find elsewhere, like poke bowls, smoothie bowls, pad thai, ramen, portobello burgers, and lots more.
Of course, it has lots of coffee drinks, too, but if you’re ready to get your drink on, Aqui y Ahora also has a drinks menu with select cocktails, beer, and wine.
The only drawback I can see is that this place is so popular, it is often very crowded.
Add to that its location right downtown, across from the ferry terminal to the mainland, so parking is close to impossible during busy tourism days.
So? So just go on foot, plug in (an unusual bit of advice in Cozumel!), and enjoy.
Link to Aqui y Ahora here, for up-to-date operating hours and current community events.
Mundaca Coffee Shop
Mundaca is one of several chic villa-style boutique hotels in Cozumel and also has long-term rentals right near the Corpus Christi church and some convenient grocery shopping.
If you’re planning on camping out as a digital nomad in Cozumel for a while, you’ll be in a safe and easy home base.
The rooms have great wifi, and you can probably even get your SEO on by the pool.
Also on-site, though, is the cute Mundaca coffee shop, a petite annex building filled with the warm smells of homemade panini sandwiches, baked goods, and of course freshly brewed coffees.
Find the Mundaca location and hours here on their social media page.
I hate to recommend Starbucks when you’re traveling to the Caribbean, and really if you just want some delicious coffee and a more charming setting, check out this related post on some of the Cozumel’s best coffee shops.
But I can’t deny that the waterfront location is pretty great, and I have heard that their wifi is also strong and reliable.
There are two Starbucks locations in Cozumel, but the one I’d steer you toward is in the heart of downtown, across Melgar Avenue from the ferry terminal.
With a fresh air roof deck upstairs, you can get a great look at the Cozumel waterfront while doing some remote work, or just catching up on emails and social.
My sentimental favorite. When I first moved to Cozumel, I probably ate my dinner at Le Chef (in their first location) 3-5 times a week (to be fair, I was living right down the street…)
Their drool-worthy lobster sandwich attracts repeat diners from near and far, but at that rate, I typically opted for their equally delicious spinach salad with salmon or their caesar salad with freshly grilled chicken.
No matter what I ordered, they welcomed me with open arms, and a nice wifi network, so I could keep in touch with all my news and social feeds, and study for divemaster exams, as well.
Le Chef is now right on the waterfront malecón, just north of the Cozumel museum.
Still serving up the wifi and the lobster sandwich, it’s a great place to do a little work online while having a great meal.
This well-run cafe is great for a lot of things, including excellent service, a great diner-esque menu, huge portions, and a nice waterfront location, just a block or two south of the Punta Langosta cruise port in Centro (a.k.a. Downtown San Miguel).
Rockin Java also has strong wifi and strong coffee, so it is a great place to do some remote work in Mexico.
This is not a strictly vegetarian cafe, per se, but I strongly recommend you try their signature veggie burger – its special recipe is one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had, and I’m not alone.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, this list of some of the best plant-based menus in Cozumel should help (and new veg-friendly spots are opening all the time).
Consult Rockin Java’s website for current hours, menu, etc.
Cozumel Also Helps Remote Workers Take it to the Beach
Sunset is a neat little beach bar about a mile south of town with free Wifi, great mojitos, a pub-grub style menu, and a nice waterfront location that is perfect for…sunsets!
It’s also hardly ever crowded during the day, so it’s a cool spot to get set up and stay a while while you’re optimizing and monetizing.
It’s a great place to work but do mind the wind.
Right on the waterfront is especially breezy, so be careful of having loose papers or anything else that could blow away.
One of the best parts of doing some digital nomad work here is that you can go swimming or snorkeling when you need a break.
Sunset’s social page has daily food specials and current hours.
Paradise Beach Club
Back when I managed a small local business, I spent a few Sunday mornings at Paradise Beach Club for their locals’ rate, and their good WiFi by the pool.
Truth be told, I personally don’t have the discipline for this kind of remote office in Cozumel. When the blue ocean and their large crystal clear pool is staring me in the face, I was too weak to get much done.
I think with practice…someone with willpower could make use of their WiFi and get some writing done for the best of both worlds.
Paradise Beach can get a little crowded on afternoons when cruise ships are in town, and it has music playing, so if you are on a hard deadline I might opt for one of the coffee shops. And some headphones.
But if you just have to update your statuses, outline some content, and check your analytics, it’s a great place to work in…paradise.
For more information about Paradise Beach Club check out their website.
No Shortage of Digital Nomad Offices in Cozumel
This is my shortlist, but honestly, that list keeps going…and growing.
Most small boutique hotels, guest houses, and AirBnBs here have better and more reliable WiFi networks than the huge resorts – and someone to ask if you do need help with it.
And like the world over, wifi service is improving and coverage is growing.
Cozumel is already scheduled to have an upgrade to its underwater power lines in 2022, which will boost the island’s electrical capacity, and provide additional fiber-optic lines to increase our internet capacity.
If you rely on wifi for heavy live-streaming or tons of Zoom calls, you’ll likely want some redundancy in place. I now travel with this GlocalMe mobile 4G hotspot from Amazon that works great, but these days is almost more for peace of mind since the wifi here is now quite good.
Add to this a good quality and fast host for your website or blog (I strongly recommend Cloudways awesome web hosting for fast speeds, no bloat, and great customer services), and you’ll be good to go.
It’s also a good idea when booking your Cozumel rental or hotel to make sure it’s a place with high-speed internet capacity so you have the bandwidth to yourself.
For typical remote work in Mexico, hot-desking it in some awesome Cozumel cafes, coffee shops, and Caribbean beach clubs is very doable.
Cozumel Computer Support Resources
Another aspect of the ease of working remotely in Cozumel these days is that there are now numerous stores that carry everything you might need: recharging cables, memory cards, external hard drives, new laptops, cell phones, speakers, headphones, and so on.
Cozumel also has an Office Max store, tons of local copy centers and electronics shops, and a Sam’s Club with a large computer department (including printers, paper, desk chairs, etc.), and your current U.S. or Canadian membership card will work.
Remote work is no longer all that remote.
The island of Cozumel can definitely support some working vacations or a longer-term location-independent lifestyle.
It certainly does for me, and I just have my local cable company’s fiber-optic internet for $15/month! And I’ve never had a problem with connectivity when I’ve gone out to find a cool perch to work at for a change of scenery.
Give it a try. There are far worse places to set up a home office for a few weeks (give or take).
My most travel-worthy remote working tools:
When I hit one of these spots to work, or hit the road myself to another dive destination or international city – or even just to a similar coffee shop or library in the States – I bring my favorite work-horse remote working tools with me.
- MacBook Pro to keep everything running smoothly, in one place. Great for photo editing, too.
- Olympus TG-6 tough and travel-ready camera to document everything while traveling…especially under water.
- GlocalMe G4 Pro Mobile Hotspot to make sure I can connect whenever and wherever I really need to, as well as use Google Maps and translate without even touching my own phone (or its data plan).
- And a final note: Cloudways web hosting is really SO much better than Siteground and other shared hosting – and it’s still quite inexpensive! Even I (noob) made the switch, and it was fast and easy. Use this link for more information if you’re not happy with your host provider.