Finding Affordable Internet in Mexico is Easier Than You Might Think
The beauty of being a Wanderer is the ability to work from anywhere, right? The goal of just about every traveler is figuring out a way to travel further and longer—becoming a digital nomad in today's lingo.
I'm Mexican—at heart. I've spent so much time in Mexico that it feels as much like my home country as any. My kids were both born in Mexico, I've cruised both east and west coasts on two boats, and spent years traversing every road in the land via different vintage motorhomes. Point is, I spend a lot of time in Mexico, and that means I spend a lot of time trading stocks from Mexico. From a boat, an RV, at anchor, in a bay, in small towns, and in big cities.
So how the heck does that work?
Surprisingly, it's quite simple.
First, sail to Mexico. That's really the only tricky part of this entire business. Okay, fine, most of you will fly to Mexico, but I choose to make it incredibly difficult on myself and take my own home with me wherever I go.
Second, find a grocery store. Well, that doesn't sound so hard, does it?
Third, and this is a good one, walk up to the lady at the Unefon stand at the store, and ask her for the unlimited (ilimitado) plan. For some reason, AT&T is just breaking into the Mexican market, and are still convinced the best route is to pretend they have terrible service. The flier says that the best plan is 10GB for $1000 pesos, which is basically $55 dollars for 10 gigs of data.
Wouldn't you agree that that's horrendous?
Instead, tell the lady at the counter, "My friend said it was only 300 pesos for unlimited data."
Suddenly the whole mood changes. Now you're a local. You know the deal.
That's right, it's $15 per month for unlimited 4G data. It's insane. No way this should be a legal thing, and yet, it is. Amazing.
I used to think that price of accessing the internet in Mexico wasn't half bad. I'd pay TelCel $500 pesos (about $25) for 15GB and think I was getting a pretty good deal. I mean, the U.S. wasn't any better.
But when I was trading, and browsing the web, I realized that 15gb didn't get me very far. When I complained to a friend he said, "Why are you using Telcel? Unefon is dirt cheap."
For a couple of days I figured he was mistaken. No way could you get unlimited data for $15 per month.
Then I signed up. I grilled the lady at the Unefon stand for ten minutes, trying to convince her that it couldn't really be unlimited data. She assured me repeatedly. She wasn't even phased when confronted with the flier on her desk showing the best deal to be 10 gigabytes for 1000 pesos. No mention anywhere of unlimited data, and certainly not for 300 pesos. Though later on I did eventually find the deal on their website. Like I said, amazing.
So, if you aspire to be a Wanderer or a digital nomad, trading from anywhere in Mexico, uploading videos to your friends back home, researching your next adventure, then Unefon is the deal for you. Frankly, I've never seen anything like it as a world-wandering trader. It's amazing.
One side note, if you plan to use this plan as a "hotspot" you won't have any luck with your iPad. I double checked with Unefon and they assured me that it wouldn't work to kick it over to my laptop. And they were right, it didn't work with my iPad. I made one more try, using an old Verizon jetpack I had onboard, and there it was, internet for all.
Good luck to all of you, I hope you find yourself in Mexico and this is the most pressing issue you have. I've been in Mexico for much of the past decade, and there is nothing that would make me happier than to see you making some killer trades with your 4G unlimited internet, while sitting under a palm tree on the beach. After all, that is the goal of trading in Mexico, isn't it?
UPDATE from 4-2-19
One of our subscribers and fellow wanderers was headed to Mexico recently, and he too needed access to the net while he was there. We've exchanged a few emails about how he could best go about it, and then he sent me this,
Just thought I would let you know the newer Verizon 6620L Jetpack works great with the Unifon chip and plan as a hotspot.
I was able to pick up the Jetpack on Craigslist in the US for not too much before coming to Mexico. Worth doing for a longer stay.
What a great idea!
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In Chichen Itza we packed up early in order to beat the crowds. Right down the road was Cenote Ik kil, and at nine we were the only people there. The Yucatan is absolutely filled with cenotes, from cave types with the ceiling caved in, to total caves, to things that look more like ponds. Ik kil is pretty much what the dream cenote looks like, though.
Deep dark water in the bottom of a cave, but instead of floating on our back’s taking in the beauty of it, we were immediately jumping off the highest point we could find—over, and over, and over again. After an awesome start to the day we headed for the ruins at Ek’ Balam, which promised to be way less crowded than Chichen Itza, and also way more fun for kids.
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