Thanks to the rise in working from home, coffee shops with free WIFI, and coworking spaces in cities all around the world, there’s never been a better time to become a digital nomad. So if you’ve dreamt of taking the leap, cancelling that plane ticket home, and becoming a remote worker, now is the time to do it! Luckily, there are plenty of digital nomad hubs for divers.

When it comes to where you will base yourself, it’s important to consider the cost of living, access to the internet, availability of coworking spaces, and, of course, the diving! So, we’ve done our research and here are our top 6 picks for digital nomad divers.

koh chang thailand wreck

1. Koh Chang, Thailand

If you want a trip that is off the beaten track, then diving in Koh Chang is a great choice. With stunning coral reefs and epic wreck dives, this rainforest-adorned island boasts gentle currents and a laid-back bohemian vibe.

Wreck diving in Koh Chang is not to be missed – these waters are home to Thailand’s largest vessel. Alongside wreck exploration, there are pinnacles to swim around, pretty reefs to drift over and an astonishing mix of marine life.

Digital nomads can make use of the decent 4G internet and fibre optic internet connections. Coffee shops with free WIFI are aplenty, and as a digital nomad hub, meeting likeminded people couldn’t be easier!

The cost of living on Koh Chang is also extremely reasonable, and there are plenty of small home stays or apartments to choose from. It’s also only a 5-hour (cheap) bus ride from Thailand’s capital, Bangkok.

Bali - Indonesia - Reef - Coral

2. Bali, Indonesia

Bali has long been a holiday destination, but over the last few years, it has made a name for itself as a nearly perfect digital nomad destination. The massive surge in popularity has brought Instagrammable Australian-style cafes, amazing coworking spaces, and a vast and very active digital nomad community. This means that there is no shortage of networking events, free workshops, coworking spots, and cafes with plenty of outlets. The cost of living in areas such as Sanur and Ubud can be extremely cheap, but for those who want more upmarket options, Seminyak and Canggu are not short of luxury villas.

As for the diving in Bali, there are year-round manta rays, seasonal Mola, drift, wreck, muck, and reef dives. The north coast of Bali is great for wall and reef dives and will leave even the most seasoned divers spellbound. The northwest of the island is home to Secret Bay, Menjangan Island and Pemuteran.

On the eastern coast, you’ll find Tulamben, Amed, Candidasa and Padang Bai. Tulamben is home to the spectacular Liberty Wreck. There’s some top muck diving here and at nearby Seraya, too. For big fish sightings and exciting drifts, the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida are just a 30-minute boat ride away.

malta underwater statue

3. Malta

The island of Malta is iconic on the digital-nomad-map-of-the-world. Malta has even created The Nomad Residence Permit, which enables holders to retain their current employment based in another country whilst legally residing in Malta. The Permit is open to individuals who can work remotely and independent of location, using telecommunications technologies.

Malta already hosts and welcomes digital nomads from the EU. This community of entrepreneurial expats make the most of Malta’s island vibes, a nomad lifestyle, business networking opportunities and cultural experiences. The Nomad Residence Permit is open to individuals from third countries, who would normally (but not necessarily) require a visa to travel to Malta.

The Permit will be issued for one year and can be renewed upon application at the discretion of Residency Malta, as long as the applicant still meets the set eligibility criteria. Applicants who are interested in staying for less than a year will be issued with a National Visa for the duration of their stay.

The diving in Malta is among the very best found in Europe. Malta’s caves, reefs and wrecks are reached from either the shore or by boat and are suitable for beginners, advanced and technical divers.

One of Malta’s most popular dive sites is the Blue Hole. The dive begins in a pool at 12m (40 ft.) and leads through a crevice – your window to the ocean’s clear blue waters and the octopus and lobster that live amongst the rock. For advanced divers, there are a number of deeper caves to explore too.

Arches and swim-throughs take you to a Madonna statue where scorpion fish come to pray for forgiveness. Luckier divers may spot triggerfish and due to the site’s topography it is recommended for night dives. If you’re not yet a certified PADI Wreck Diver, Malta could be the place to learn!

4. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town offers warmth, sunshine and a vibrant beach atmosphere. Basically, it has everything you need to live a comfortable, remote working lifestyle. There is no better place in South Africa to be a digital nomad than Cape Town. 

Getting a freelance job in Cape Town is a breeze if you are a techie. Digital nomads who prefer to work in a café can choose a place that perfectly suits the needs of workers from afar. 

Cape Town is also an attractive location for digital nomads because of its proximity to Cape Town International Airport, the Cape of Good Hope National Park and the incredible scuba diving on offer.

The diving in Western Cape is some of the most exciting in the world. The underwater environment offers tremendous sharks and much more.

Western Cape’s diving can generally be divided into three major areas: False Bay, the south coast and the Atlantic seaboard. Here divers will find four distinct habitats, namely rocky shores, reefs, kelp forests and sandy bottoms.

There are also a myriad of wrecks on both sides of the peninsula. You can expect colder waters and heavier currents on the western side, which hosts a relatively small shelf before dropping into extremely deep waters. In False Bay to the east, current is minimal and the waters are warmer, attracting many larger species.

lisbon portugal fish

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is an especially attractive spot for Europeans that work remotely thanks to their status as a member of the E.U. Lisbon is also known for being an extremely safe destination, especially for single female nomads. Internet connections are stable and fast, and there is a host of co-working spaces on offer.

This may be the most expensive destination on our list of the best scuba diving destinations for digital nomads, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t tremendous value to be found in Lisbon. The cost of living here is still relatively low, and the infrastructure is modern. Thanks to the beautiful weather, a large expat community, and amazing food, Lisbon has seen a huge spike in digital nomads flocking to the city in recent years.

The diving around Lisbon is regarded as some of the best in Portugal, and it’s a great place to learn to dive. From wrecks to reefs and drifts to deep dives, Lisbon has a little bit of something for every level of diver. Divers in Lisbon can expect everything from pelagic species interactions to sightings of the smaller marine life species found in the city’s protected marine reserves.

Larger species commonly seen include sting rays, dolphins, white sea bass, and sunfish. While diving in Portugal may be more pelagic-centric, the region also has plenty of macro and reef species. Octopus, squid, crabs, lobsters, sardines and conger eels along with a variety of fish can often be seen.

Yucatan - Mexico - Underwater - Coral Reef

6. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

For scuba diving digital nomads who want to stay in the Americas, Playa del Carmen (and its neighbouring towns) is an excellent choice. Not only does the city’s infrastructure lend itself to remote work thanks to fibre optic internet and a plethora of cafes and coworking spots, but the Mayan culture is also fascinating to explore. It’s also one of the best digital nomad hubs for divers.

And, when it’s time to get underwater, there’s plenty to see as well. Locally, bull sharks arrive during the winter months. The dive site to see the sharks is located just off shore and is accessible to beginners.

In addition, the world-class cenotes are just a short drive away, allowing divers to practice cavern diving in crystal clear water. And, Cozumel is just a half-hour ferry ride from town. Many dive shops even offer dedicated day trips to the reefs off Cozumel, which are widely considered to be some of the best in the Caribbean.

Further afield, you can partake in the summer whale shark season near Isla Mujeres, explore MUSA or head south to the remote reefs of Xcalak.

No matter where you decide to live your digital nomad life, you’ll need to book your dives, and you can do that online now too with the new PADI Adventures App. The app is available to download for both iOS and Android and will make your digital dive bookings a breeze!

Share This

Related Posts