What’s the cost of living in Lima, Peru?
Yes, we all love neighbouring Chile and Ecuador – and we always have a soft spot for Colombia – but Lima has been an absolute epic time and the tribe has definitely done just about all you can do in this famed city! Aside from our new love for the Alpaca, we’ve taken a closer look at the past few weeks, and have been able to come up with some helpful tips for a future digital nomad traveling to this wonderful country in South America.
Money (ATM Prices)
Around $5-$6 USD per transaction, with a 500 soles max per day (about $150 USD). However, they do have ScotiaBank, so if you’re with one of their partner banks, you won’t be charged any fees (ex: Bank of America is a partner of Scotia, so I was never charged when withdrawing cash this month, woot!). Most places do accept cards though, but it’s always best to have some cash on you just in case. The exchange rate is roughly 3 soles to one US dollar.
Where to Stay
The most prominent places to stay in all of Peru (and highly recommended) are Miraflores and Barranco, which are both located in Lima. These areas of the big city have their own vibe, filled with yummy places to eat, lots of high rated hostel choices, security, nightlife and anything you could need within walking distance. There are plenty of mid-range one and two bedroom apartments available with an average cost well below that in the United States (and not just pricey places like New York).
Not going to lie, overall the wifi wasn’t THE best in the city of Lima. But with so many cute coffee shops and cafe’s nearby, it was easy to pick up and connect to another server in hopes of getting through your daily to-do lists. Additionally, we recently discovered Instabridge, an app that gives you over a million up-to-date WiFi spots & passwords in your phone, so you can keep those bars at maximum level while exploring the city.
Things to Do
There’s so much to do within walking distance in Lima. A nice stroll around the neighborhood of Miraflores and you’ll find several casinos (including the super popular Atlantic City), Kennedy Park, a Chocolate Museum and Indian Markets for some handcrafted goods you can bring home! beyond that, the beach is amazing for a surf lesson or paragliding (if the wind is strong enough), and FREE walking tours available specific to Barranco, Miraflores and downtown Lima. Public transport is good throughout the city, and is so inexpensive it doesn’t even need to be factored into your monthly costs.
La Playa de Miraflores, perfect for surfing
The Chocolate Museum
Famous Atlantic City Casino
Mobile Internet/SIM Card Use
Claro is the main mobile internet/SIM card in Lima, with top off places around every corner. Check out this WIKI page specific to Peru SIM cards for more info.
Huacachina (5 hours south of Lima) is a definite must-do short trip. As if it were in its own world, this oasis is built in the middle of the desert, available for a full weekend of boat tours to see the penguins and sea lions, quads rides through the Paracas National Reserve, as well as dune buggy and sandboarding adventures (perfect around sunset). And don’t forget to indulge in a Pisco Tour before leaving!
Ancient “alien” lines in Ballastas
Sea Lion spotting, just chillin’,
The crazy trek up the sand dunes in these buggy’s racing to the top!
Cusco (a short 1 hour flight from Lima, or a longer bus ride) – There’s Machu Picchu of course, as well as the Rainbow Mountains and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, some of the coolest places to see in all of Latin America. This trip takes a bit more planning, and abit more $$, but totally worth it once you see the views from the top. Reserve your ticket to Machu Picchu in advance (limited access per day), but don’t worry about paying for a tour guide prior to arriving, they have a bunch available at the entrance (and for a bit cheaper than the average price online).
Sacred Valley of the Incas
Co-founder Julia with her friend, the Alpaca
Tribers Julia and Lauren w/ epic scenery
Tribers Nolan and Denis are selfie stick pros
Freely roaming in their natural habitat
Triber Filipa living the nomadic good life
Meeting Other Nomads
We participated in a few meet ups with other nomad groups, often being held at local hostels, so def. take a closer look into some events being held by nearby hostels that are open to non guests as well (or do a bit more research on the hostel you may be staying at, Pariwana offers nightly happy hours and themed mixers!) Additionally, check out these Facebook groups for expats in Peru for your next meetup!
Places to Work
While the WiFi can be a bit flakey in some places, there is always a nearby Starbucks or local cafe to utilize. One of our favorite places this month was Movement Cafe, just a short walk from our apartment. Air conditioning, super nice staff and solid internet connection, and a great cappuccino for a full day of productive work. As far as coworking spaces, Residencia, Acséndio and Zona de Mejora are all top rated with affordable daily/monthly prices + great Peruvian coffee!
Zona de Mejora
When you first arrive, try and book a WiFi bus from the airport to wherever you’re staying. It’s only about $8 USD and hence the name, offers WiFi while you’re riding (normal taxi/Uber pricing from the airport will run you about $20 USD, so save that extra cash for another day!) While Uber is available in this city, most locals take some form of bus (larger metro buses or minivans for super cheap). Check out this site that breaks down pricing so you can get a feel of what would be best for you.
Don’t forget to research what’s required for you, based on your country of origin.