Turning the beach into an office sounds like a dream – but for many digital nomads the dream has become a reality, working a stones throw from the best surf breaks in the world.
And lets face it if you can work from anywhere why wouldn’t you want to fill your days with waves, cocktails, palm trees and low cost living?
So if you’re a digital nomad on the hunt for the best surf destinations which offer fast wifi, good vibes and sunny skies here are some of the best places to head….
The Best Surf Destinations For Digital Nomads
1. Cape Town, South Africa
With a 3 month visa on arrival for a lot of nationalities it’s also the perfect place for those who want to sit tight for a bit.
It’s a surfers playground too with plenty of waves on both sides of the Cape so no matter where the wind is blowing you’ll be able to find something.
For those wanting a laid back based Muizenberg is a solid choice, outside of the main part of the city but with plenty of cafes and restaurants as well as one of the best surf beaches for beginners and longboarders.
For more advanced surfers you’re spoilt for choice with punchy reefs and barreling beach breaks so get out there and explore.
When you’re not working or playing in the ocean there’s so much going on in Cape Town to keep you busy. Whether you’re hitting up gigs, or a whole host of events year round to ticking off the tourist stuff like Table Mountain or shark cage diving – Cape Town certainly wont bore you!
The only issue with Cape Town is that out of all the destinations on the list, this feels the most unsafe. I didn’t have any issues when I stayed in Cape Town – but you’re always hearing dodgy stories and you’re certainly a bit restricted on where you and wander or going out after dark.
Stay sensible and despite this Cape Town still makes the list!
ALSO READ: Top Things To Do In Cape Town
Cost = $$$
2. Byron Bay, Australia
Byron is my personal favourite on the list as I’ve spent heaps of time living, working and surfing in this beautiful part of Australia.
Sure it’s not the cheapest spot to be based, but if you have a good online income there are plenty of awesome cafes to work out of, co working spaces and of course you could always go the van life route and work overlooking the waves, which is what I ended up doing for the last few years!
Wifi is good, mobile data is reliable and most importantly there are heaps of waves to choose from for all levels of surfer.
These include The Pass, The Wreck, Wategos and Cosy Corner – check out my Byron Bay Surf Spots Guide for more info.
When it comes to visas you can go the legit route with a working holiday visa (if you’re under 31) or the 3 month tourist visa is easily done online and free for most nationalities. You can also apply for 6 or 12 month tourist visa too if you did want to sit tight for a while longer.
ALSO READ: The Ultimate Guide To Byron Bay
Cost = $$$$
3. Montanita, Ecuador
Sun, surf and salsa – three things that are in abundance in Montanita, Ecuador!
This awesome surf town is bustling with good vibes and South American culture with a huge range of accommodation options to suit all styles and budgets.
When it comes to the waves the beach offer up some fun peaks, but La Punta (The Point) will be the main focus for serious surfers, a long reeling right hand point break.
there are plenty of other surf spots just a short trip North or South of Montanita too, so it’s not hard to find an empty lineup along the coast!
Work wise it’s not the fastest internet on the list, but there are plenty of awesome cafes to work form or hotel wifi to lock into. Again tethering is also a solid option for true flexibility.
When it comes to living costs this is also one of the cheapest options out there and although flights into Guayaquil (the nearest airport to Montanita) aren’t the cheapest, most nationalities will enjoy a free 3 months visa on arrival which is also extendable to 6 months once in the country. Making it a great base for those trying to avoid visa runs!
Cost = $$
4. Taghazout, Morocco
Personally I have a love hate relationship with Morocco having spent some prolonged periods surf coaching in the country.
It’s a pretty intense place to be based, but there’s no denying that Taghazout is slap bang in the middle of one of the most wave rich spots on the planet!
Within a short distance of the town you have the full spectrum of beach breaks, points and reefs. Spots like Panoramas, Banana Point and Hash Point are all super fun – but it’s spots like the world famous Anchor Point or Boilers that will be drawing in the advanced surfers.
When it comes to accommodation again whether you want upmarket hotels, sociable surf camps or long term apartment rentals you’ve got a huge range to choose from.
Wifi is pretty solid across all the options and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to work out of if that’s the way you want to go.
When it comes to living expenses it’s pretty cheap as well (especially if you go the apartment rental route) and the proximity to Europe makes this a great option for Europeans not wanting to stray to far from home.
Cost = $$$
5. Canggu, Indonesia
Canggu has quickly become the new Chiang Mai of Asia – attracting digital nomads from all over the globe.
The mixture of cheap living costs, epic weather and pumping surf breaks mixed with an abundance of hipster cafes, acacia bowls and beach bars ticks all the boxes for most digital nomads! There’s also some solid co working spaces to choose from which also offer up free talks and workshops too so it’s greta for networking.
Kick back in a lush guest-house or go all out and rent a room in a pimp villa full of other digital nomads – whatever your budget you’ll be sitting pretty in Canggu.
When it comes to waves it’s admittedly quite crowded in the lineup at close by spots like Old Mans, Echo Beach and Berawa – but it’s Bali and the amount of world class waves within a short moped ride of Canggu is insane!
Visa wise Indonesia is 30 days on arrival for most nationalities, but if you get the paid option you can extend to 60 days. Not ideal for those wanting a more long term base, but visa runs to spots like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur work out relatively inexpensive. Check out this guide to Bali visa extensions for a full rundown of the process.
I just admit, out of all the options on this list it’s one of my favourites!
ALSO READ: The Canggu Guide
Cost = $$
6. Siargao, The Philippines
If you can get away without blisteringly fast internet Siargao is also another spot that’s becoming popular with digital nomads.
This stunning tropical island in the Philippines is quickly gaining traction though so it won’t be long until either it’s equipped with awesome wifi or it just becomes too busy to remain attractive, especially now there are multiple direct flights from the capital of Manila each day – making it much easier to access than every before.
That being said if you’re hunting for waves the island has something for all winds and swells – with spots like Clouds 9, Daku and Stimpys serving up lefts and right all over the place.
All the spots here are reefs though, so this isn’t the place to head if you’re an inexperienced surfer.
When it comes to accommodation and living costs it’s starting to get more expensive out there, but you still wont be breaking the bank by any means.
It’s worth pointing out that most people will only be entering on a 30 day visa on arrival and visa runs from here aren’t going to be the cheapest. Still it’s a solid option for those bouncing around Asia who don’t necessarily want a long term base.
…also worth considering this spots as a visa run from Bali which is what I’ve done a few times!
ALSO READ: The Ultimate Siargao Guide
Cost = $$
7. Ericeira, Portugal
For those wanting to be based in Europe you’ll find Ericeira is the perfect surfing digital nomad base. Packed full of the quaint alleyways and roads of a more quiet pace of life (and super Instagrammable!) Ericeira is also part of a huge surfing reserve – so you can rest assured there are plenty of waves to explore in the area!
It’s probably the most built up area on the list (a surf city rather than surf town) but alongside this comes the advantage of amenities and options that the urban sprawl provide – including fast internet, which is obviously a major plus for those working online!
With a couple of co working spaces in the area it’s also ideal for meeting other Digital nomads too.
Obviously if you hold a European passport Ericeira also has the advantages of avoiding the visa issues you might encounter elsewhere in the world too. Another huge plus.
When it comes to the surf there are a few breaks within walking distance, but grab yourself some transport if you want to escape the crowds (admittedly not crazily busy) and make the most of the variety of breaks on offer in the area.
For beginners spots like Foz do Lizandro offer are mellow and forgiving as well as Sao Juliao, the most consistent wave in the area.
The more intermediate and advanced surfers will be heading to the likes of Ribeira D’Ilhas, Coxos (one of the best waves in the whole of Portugal) or Pedra Branca
Cost = $$$
Any surf destinations you’d add to the list?