The Digital Nomad Surfing Guide

Some of the world’s best surf destinations are also some of the best digital nomad hotspots on the planet. But how do you start working online and earning money while scoring waves in these places? Well, I’m going to show you how…

But don’t worry, I’m not going to sell you a $999 online course to teach you. Because any course that shows you how to become a digital nomad is bullshit, all you need is the willingness to learn new online skills and the right location…. Here’s everything you need to know about scoring waves and becoming a digital nomad in 2023. 

Table of Contents

The Best Digital Nomad Surf Locations

All over the globe, there are hundreds of excellent spots with cooking waves, quirky cafes, and great accommodations that allow you to live comfortably and earn money from your laptop. While all you really need is a good wifi connection and the type of wave you love to surf, you wanna have a great lifestyle as well, right? Here are some of the best digital nomad surf locations on the planet. 

Bali 

Bali has been a digital nomad hotspot for years now and more or less where the term itself came from. The island has also been one of the world’s top surf destinations for decades, and for good reason. 

The island of the gods boasts incredible world-class waves, affordable cost of living, and accommodations for all budgets. It’s as if the place was designed for surfers and those wanting to live a comfortable or luxurious lifestyle while working online. So how do you go to Bali and start working online? 

Visas

A 30-day visa on arrival or a 60-day extendable visa for most countries. Check the Indonesian visa requirements for your country here. Indonesia also offers creative and business visas available to those looking to provide creative services or do business in the country. 

Wave Quality

World-class. The surf spots in Bali are no secret. From the long blue wallas Uluwatu, the fun beach-break wedges of Canggu, to the punchy rights of Keramas, the list goes on. Add in tropical year-round weather and consistency, and you have the recipe for an unbeatable surf destination. 

Where To Stay

Canggu, Seminyak, Uluwatu  

Co-Working Spaces

Co-work spaces are available all over Bali, most of which are located in Canggu’s digital nomad surfing hotspot. You can check out some of the top co-working spaces here. 

Costa Rica

Another one of the world’s best surf destinations, and while not the cheapest country in Central America, The country has some of the best waves and standards of living in the region. Fun beach breaks, tropical sun, bath water ocean, and various other epic activities position Costa Rica as one of the best and most popular digital nomad surf locations on the planet. 

Visas

Costa Rica offers a 3-month visa-on-arrival tourist visa for residents of most countries. However, you can also apply for a digital nomad visa, which allows you to live and work in the country for longer. Check out more details on your Costa Rica digital nomad visa here. 

Wave Quality

Fun tropical beach breaks with world-class setups thrown into the mix. You’ve seen witches Rock and heard whispers of Salsa Brava, but in between those premier spots, there’s an abundance of fun beach breaks and reefs all over the country. 

Where To Stay

Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa, Dominical, Puerto Viejo 

Co-Working Spaces

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica // Digital Nomad Surfing Hotspot

Portugal 

One of Europe’s premier surf destinations, and for good reason. The coast of Portugal provides year-round swells from the active North Atlantic and has a jagged coastline that sculpts those deep ocean swells into a variety of surf setups, from world-class spots like Coxos and Supertubos to the playful beach breaks of the Algarve and uncountable point breaks, slabs and mysto reefs in between, Portugal really does have it in terms of surf… 

The country is also becoming one of the world’s best digital nomad locations, with huge numbers of remote workers flocking to cities like Lisbon and Porto to enjoy a relatively low cost of living, high standard of living, temperate climate, and culture. There is now a specific digital nomad visa for the country, positioning Portugal as one of the best European digital nomad surfing destinations on earth.

 Visas

The recently introduced digital nomad visa allows you to work while nipping out for some vision at Supertubos on your lunch break; not a bad deal, huh? You can find out more about Portugal’s new Digital Nomad Visa here. Otherwise, three-month tourist visas are available on arrival for most countries.  

Wave Quality

World-class. Portugal’s waves are no secret, and with an ever-increasing world surfing attention focused on the country, it seems like waves in Portugal spring up all over the place. There is literally every type of wave you could ever hope to surf. 

Where To Stay

Ericeira, Peniche, Faro, Lisbon 

Co-Working Spaces

Check out the full list of the best co-working spaces in Portugal here. 

El Salvador 

While El Salvador is a well-established surf destination, as well as one of the cheapest surf destinations you’ll ever visit, what you may not know is the country is excellent for a digital nomad. El Tunco, the small but popular beach town, is perfect for getting work done online and surfing dreamy right points on your lunch break… 

Visas

Visa on arrival (3 months) for most countries. Find out more about your El Salvador visa here.

Wave Quality

World-class right points. While the right points are what you come here for, there are also a number of other cobblestone peaks and beach breaks to fill your boots. Check out Sunzal, Punta Roca and El Zonte. For a more detailed breakdown, check out the complete guide to surfing in El Salvador.

Where To Stay 

El Tunco, El Zonte, La Libertad 

Co-Working Spaces

Discover the best El Salvador co-work spaces here. 

Mexico 

Mexico’s abundance of world-class waves is no secret; with perfect right points and thumping beach breaks; you have every type of wave you’ll ever need to surf here. The country has long been on the traveling surfer’s agenda and is a perfect destination to combine surfing and the digital nomad lifestyle. 

The country already has some well-established digital nomad hotspots. Puerto Escondido and Sayulita are two of the most popular and make working online and surfing the best waves of your life less of a dream and more of a reality. 

Visas

3 months visa-on-arrival for most European passport holders and 6-month visas available for US residents. 

Wave Quality

World-class. Perfect right points and thumping beach breaks are the focus of the country’s southern surf spots, while further North hosts some more playful options for loggers and those seeking something more peaceful than 10ft shore break slabs.

Where To Stay

Puerto Escondido, Sayulita 

Co-Working Spaces

Peru

Latin America has excellent digital nomad locations and some of the cheapest surf destinations on the planet. With a coastline thousands of Ks long, Peru showcases a number of world-class waves, most of which are super long left-hand points.  

Throw in a low cost of living, fantastic backpacker infrastructure, unique culture, and other non-surfing things to do; you have a fabulous recipe for a digital nomad surfing hotspot. 

Visas

3-month visa on arrival for most countries, but check your visa rules for Peru here. 

Wave Quality

Peru is famous for Chicama and Mancora, but with such a long coastline exposed to the deep south Pacific swells, there are hundreds of waves in all forms suited for every ability. But I’ll let you find most of them yourself 😉 

Where To Stay

Mancora, Lobitos, Chicama, Lima 

Co-Working Spaces

Find the best co-working spaces for digital nomad surfers in Peru here.

perfect waves breaking in Chicama
Fancy Combining The World's Longest Left With Earining Money From Your Laptop?

South Africa

Famous for J-bay, a table-shaped mountain, and shark attacks, there is actually more to South Africa than meets the surfing eye. With a favorable currency conversion, coming from the US/Europe, South Africa is one of the cheapest surf destinations with a great standard of living and outstanding non-surfing activities to match. 

As a digital nomad, you can utilize this combo to make a living, save money and enjoy some of the numerous ocean and land-based spoils.

Visas

Visa on arrival 3-6 months available for most countries. Check South African visa requirements for your country here. 

Wave Quality

Incredible waves in all different forms. From the pristine J-Bay walls, the thumping beach breaks of the west coast, to the hundreds of reefs, beachies, and points that litter the South African coast. If you’re willing to explore, you can score every type of wave here; just watch out because it’s fricking sharky! 

Where To Stay

Cape Town, J-Bay, Durban 

Co-Working Spaces

Find South Africa’s best workspaces for surfing digital nomads. 

Australia 

Yep, I know. Australia doesn’t spring to mind as a digital nomad hotspot. As you can’t exactly leverage a favorable currency conversion here, and the cost of living is extremely high. But hear me out. 

While the cost of living is incredibly high, the standard of living you’ll get for your dollar is even higher, and the waves, well, the waves speak for themselves… With a massive coastline, Australia has every type of wave you could ever hope to surf in one lifetime. With world-class points, beach breaks, and beautiful natural settings, the country wasn’t nicknamed “The Lucky Country” for no reason.

Visas

Australia offers WHV for many countries, allowing you to live and work in the country for 1 year, more if you complete specific agricultural work. Otherwise, 3-month and 6-month visas are the go.

Wave Quality

Right-hand points, beach breaks, and slabs. Waves of all kinds across the entire country. You ought to break Aus down into each state if you want to properly explore the potential; it’s just that big and that good. 

Where To Stay

Gold Coast, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Margaret River 

Co-Working Spaces

Discover Australia’s best co-working spaces here. 

Honourable Mentions

While this list highlights some of the best digital nomad surfing locations, there are plenty of other excellent locations. Some places to note are Rio De Janeiro, Florianopolis, The Canary Islands, Montanita, Puerto Escondido, and Lima. 

Learning How To Work Online 

While there are hundreds of online courses online claiming to teach you the skills to work online… it’s mostly bullshit! All you need is the ability to learn, stay focused, and a mindset entirely focused on making a living online. So how can you start working online and earning money from anywhere, and surf when and where you want? 

What Skills Should I Learn? 

So what should you invest time into learning? There are numerous skills to learn and give value to the world right now, including:

All these skills are incredibly valuable and sort after by businesses in 2023, and once you build u the skills of one or a handful of these, you’ll be in an incredible position to take the online working world by storm. However, you need to find something you actually like, as even in paradise, you don’t want to spend time doing something you hate… 

Where Can I Learn Them?

While Youtube and Google have all the information you can ever need to learn well… anything nowadays, it’s sometimes nice to have a more targeted, structured process to learning, especially when you’re starting out. I’d highly recommend websites such as Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare, all subscription-based learning platforms with hundreds if not thousands of online courses where you can learn all the above skills and more. All for the price of a meal out. Pretty sick if you ask me! 

Summary

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Dan Harmon

Dan Harmon

Hello! My name's Dan Harmon and I am a full time content creator and copywriter working freelance as I travel and surf my way around the globe. This blog is where I show you how to do the same.

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