The term “digital nomad” hasn’t been around for all that long, but it’s certainly made a huge impact on how we view ongoing travel. It’s now more possible than ever to travel for months, even years at a time and never once experience the woes of a depleting bank account.
Working online is a way of the future, and it just so happens that working remotely opens the doors to infinite opportunities for adventure travel, especially in terms of hiking. With the trend of digital nomadism continually growing, you just might be able to visit all of the best hiking spots in the world.
None of the destinations below will deliver the same experiene as tackling the best hikes in Yellowstone or Patagonia. They are chosen due to being friendly to digital nomads and acting as great hubs for connectivity and community. If you love hiking you’re still in for a treat as these destinations will give you the best of both worlds!
There are a lot of requirements for working remotely around the world. The checklist is a long one, and things like cost-effectiveness, fast internet, and like-minded people all need to be considered. In Medellin, Colombia, all of the main requirements for any digital nomad are met, plus it’s a great spot to venture out for a day hike.
Medellin is a mountainous city with an elevation of about 1,500 meters, so it makes sense that hiking is one of the most common activities here. There’s not much in the heart of the city for hiking (it’s mostly hip cafes, fancy hotels, and coworking spaces here), but venture out a bit and you’ll come across some real gems.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai has been ranking as one of the best digital nomad hubs in the world for years. Similar to Medellin, it attracts remote working for its high quality of life, cost-effective living, good food, and coworking scene. It’s not often thought of as a hiker’s paradise since it’s a major Thai city, but it’s surprisingly a great hiking destination.
The Monk’s Trail is a really popular hiking area, known as the Wat Pha Lat hike to the locals. This is an easy one, so it’s suitable for all hiking levels, and the best part is that it leads to a temple. If you’re looking for a waterfall hike on your day off from work, check out Montha Than waterfall.
Budapest isn’t as much of a hiking destination as it is a walking destination. You won’t find sweet mountain views here like you would in Banff National Park, but it’s still a great destination for walking and taking in the sites and sounds of the city.
Budapest is split in two by the Danube River, one side labeled as the “old city” and the other as the new. It has been called the prettiest city in Europe time and time again and it’s possible to walk most places. There are close to 600 walking trails in the area, so if you’re tired of walking through city streets you can easily surround yourself with quiet natural surroundings instead.
While Budapest is considered the digital nomad capital of Eastern Europe, Lisbon is the best place for adventurous online workers in Western Europe. Lisbon is more often thought of like a surfer’s destination, but there’s plenty of hiking in and around the city to keep you busy.
There are a lot of easy hikes around the city, like Praça do Comércio. This one is just under 5 kilometers and takes just over an hour to complete. If you have time to take a day trip to Sintra, this is a great place near Lisbon for amazing views and Portuguese culture.
Tbilisi isn’t as well-known as a digital nomad capital as places like Medellin and Chiang Mai, but it’s getting there. Georgia is bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, so it offers a really interesting blend of Eastern European and Western Asian cultures.
While a lot of travelers see Budapest as being cheap compared to Western European countries like France and Germany, Tbilisi offers a whole new level of affordability. The cost of living falls somewhere between Asian and Eastern European prices. You can easily find a 5-star restaurant and pay no more than $10 USD for a 3-course meal in Tbilisi.
We haven’t even gotten to the best part of visiting this up-and-coming Georgian city. The hiking is fantastic here, and National Geographic has even compiled a list of the 5 most beautiful hiking trails in Georgia. Whether you’re looking for an easy 2-hour nature walk or a more intense climb through rocky terrain, you’ll find it here.
Mexico City, Mexico
Exploring Mexico City is one of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in the country’s culture. It’s a trendy spot where any digital nomad can get comfortable, but it also offers the colorful culture practices that Mexican people are known for.
You won’t find the typical white-sand beaches here since this is a mountainous area that is completely landlocked. If you want and escape from the cultural “coolness” of the city center, there are plenty of chances to escape the city for a day with a day hike to Nevado de Toluca, Desierto de Los Leones, or the Pass of Cortes.