A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many are still working from home, and some workplaces have decided to forgo returning to the office entirely. If you’re thinking of moving temporarily to continue working remotely, totally adapting to the digital nomad lifestyle, or planning a family vacation where you might need to fit in some work, it can be hard to decide what city or country is best. You want somewhere with good WiFi, of course, but also a location with plenty of activities to fill your off-hours.
Whether you’re looking for something short or long term, Travel + Leisure’s A-List, a group of the world’s top travel advisors, have plenty of suggestions for the best places around the world to get some work done—then log off and enjoy your surroundings.
With a year-round mild climate, reasonable cost of living, good infrastructure, and a great dining and shopping scene in El Poblado, Medellin is a natural fit for working abroad. The city has the best public transit system in Colombia (and arguably anywhere in South America), two airports (the international is now just 20 minutes from downtown thanks to a new tunnel), and an enviable setting in a green valley surrounded by mountains. The city itself has numerous green spaces like Arvi Park, but you can also get out for a weekend hike in the surrounding mountains, visit coffee or flower farms, explore amazing colonial era villages, or even catch a short (1 hour or less) nonstop flight to get away to Cartagena, Bogota, the Coffee Region or Santa Marta. Click Clack Hotel, which opened late in 2019, is one of our favorite options in town; it’s located in the heart of El Poblado and a short walk to the city’s best restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. — Joe Sandillo, Almaz Journeys
The island, a perennial T+L reader favorite, has done an incredible job keeping Covid cases low and ensuring the health and safety of residents and visitors with testing and the ‘bubble’ concept. I recommend one of the freestanding villas at the Four Seasons Anguilla. The property has an extended-stay offer for a month or more and includes complimentary high-speed WiFi, a private fitness trainer twice a week and a private consultation to tailor work, school and culinary needs. — Michelle Murré, Azurine Travel
Franschhoek, South Africa
An hour and half inland from Cape Town, the beautiful little town of Franschhoek is tucked away in a valley in South Africa’s stunning winelands. The town is quaint and charming, yet well-equipped to help you respond to any work-related request sent your way. Besides some of South Africa’s finest vineyards and greatest restaurants, there are a myriad of activities like mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, gallery tours, hot air ballooning or a day at the spa. It’s easy to rent a car, so you can base yourself in one of Franschhoek’s beautiful luxury hotels or well-priced guest houses and make day excursions to the coast or the busy streets of Cape Town. It’s a simple drive to the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean, with a stop at the point where the two oceans meet. Cape Town International Airport is an hour away and has daily direct flights to most of South Africa’s celebrated wildlife reserves and is an easy hop to other great destinations from Botswana to Namibia or Madagascar. — Cherri Briggs, Explore Inc
Cusco has all the infrastructure one needs, as well as small hotel and boutique lodging options that are spacious and include kitchenettes. Within a matter of minutes you have lesser-explored pre-Incan and Incan ruins that are mind blowing. Not terribly farther afield you have day or single night hikes like Huchuy Qosqo where you can channel your inner Indiana Jones, camping under infinite night skies. Long weekend adventures hiking to Choquequirao (which is larger than Machu Picchu but sees only a handful of visitors daily) will revive the soul and have you energized to crush a week’s worth of work during a shortened week. Throw in an abundance of growth opportunities within town such as yoga, language, and cooking classes, and you’ve got a recipe for an enriching long-term stay. — Jordan Harvey, Knowmad Adventures
This is a great option for those wanting a working vacation, away from the crowds and in a unique destination that is still very easy to access from the United States. Turtle Inn, owned by Francis Ford Coppola and his wife, is a great spot. They have given it a lot of love and attention and made this 25-room seaside retreat a great hidden gem. If you are traveling with kids, they also offer immersive, locally inspired experiences as part of their “Coppola Curriculums” offering.—Kemi Wells, Wells Luxury Travel
Bali has long been a hot spot for those looking to escape while still having access to a reliable infrastructure. Many of the coastal communities, such as Canggu, or inland in the heart of the island around Ubud, have long been home to expats looking to work abroad remotely. Bali is a great hopping off point to explore the neighboring islands of Java, Lombok, Flores and Kalimantan when it is time to take a well-earned vacation. —Jack Tydeman, Audley Travel
Just a two-hour drive from Quito, Otavalo is popular spot for expats who are able to live there comfortably with low living expenses. There are a number of homey upscale haciendas like Zuleta or Cusin that offer fairly reliable wifi service for guests if they’d like to stay for an extended period of time. Both are staffed with service-oriented managers who can assist with business needs. As a plus, their location means you have access to some of Ecuador’s terrific must-do activities, such as visiting the legendary Otavalo Indian market, chockablock with great handicrafts, textiles and jewelry; terrific birding (look for the Andean condor with its giant wing span); great hiking around volcanic lakes; and even horseback riding or downhill mountain biking. — Allie Almario, Premier Tours