11 BEST Places to Live in Peru (Updated 2023)
Peru is undoubtedly one the coolest travel destinations in the world with dramatic mountain peaks, gorgeous beachside towns, along with vast desert landscapes. Despite this, it is often overlooked as an epic place to live by digital nomads and those looking to relocate. However, it is jam-packed full of amazing cities and small towns that are perfect places to call home, whether that be for a few weeks or several months, there is a little something for everyone.
However, a question we often get asked is how can you pick the best place to live in Peru with so many options available? That’s why we at Nomad Nations have created this list of the 11 best places to live in the country where we delve into the pros and cons of each place, the monthly cost of living, along with an overall overlook of what it’s like in the city to help you guys out.
So, is moving to Peru a possibility in the near future? Carry on scrolling to find out more about living in the country.
Staying Safe in Peru
Like everywhere in the world, staying safe in the Peru consists of being aware of your surroundings and using your common sense to get around.
Cautious behavior – however – does not prevent you entirely from emergencies, for example breaking your ankle on a run, getting food poisoning, or being involved in an accident.
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#1 - Arequipa
“A gorgeous city in the South of Peru, Arequipa has a European feel to it with a distinctly Spanish flavour to the city along with a thriving coffee culture and incredible natural hotspots.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Arequipa
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Arequipa is known for its beautiful colonial architecture, with its gorgeous white chalky buildings shimmering in the sun. This makes spending your days wandering down the stunning streets a treat that never gets old. Arequipa also has a high inflow of tourists and digital nomads visiting the city which is great for those who want to meet other expats.
Arequipa is Peru’s second-largest city with just over 1 million residents, meaning there are plenty of areas to choose from in the city. The most popular place to live amongst expats is the bustling historic center, however this is one of the pricier areas, so if you’re looking to save some cash then moving to a suburb slightly out of the center may be a better idea.
There are also plenty of outdoor attractions to enjoy in Arequipa, including the famous Colca Canyon which is the world’s second-deepest canyon, making it great for nature lovers.
Pros of living in Arequipa
Plenty of nature hotspots and hiking opportunities to explore
Amazing foodie scene
Beautiful colonial architecture
Cons of living in Arequipa
Internet speeds are sketchy
Reasonably poor air quality
#2 – Miraflores, Lima
“A trendy and ultra-safe neighborhood in Peru’s capital city of Lima! The area is home to stunning coastal walkways, plenty of green spaces, along with modern cafes and restaurants.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Miraflores
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Miraflores is located in the capital city of Lima and has gained itself a reputation for being one of the nicest places to live in the city. The neighborhood is packed full of trendy cafes, gorgeous restaurants, and fancy offices creating a modern and boujee atmosphere. It is also the tourist hub for people heading to Lima with hundreds of hostels and hotels to choose from, along with many digital nomads. However, the modern and fancy atmosphere does come at a price, with Miraflores being the most expensive place to live in Lima and arguably Peru. You can expect to find western prices for most things similar to many European cities such as Barcelona.
One of the main perks of living in Miraflores is its coastal location with the neighborhood sitting on the doorstep of the Pacific Ocean. Here you will find several nice beaches along with a coastal walkway that has incredible views of the waters. It also has a good selection of green spaces to chill out and read a book, including Kennedy Park.
If feeling safe is a top priority on your list of places to live in Peru, then you’ll be happy to know Miraflores is one of Lima’s safest neighborhoods and has incredibly low crime rates along with excellent police security.
Pros of living in Miraflores
One of the safest areas in Lima - very low crimes rates
Modern and fancy feel to the neighborhood
Plenty of nice co-working spaces and cafes with great wifi speeds
Cons of living in Miraflores
One of the most expensive places to live in Peru
Weather is often cloudy and dull
#3 - Cusco
“A bustling city that is the gateway to some of Peru’s most spectacular outdoor activities including the famous Inca and Salkantay trails and of course one of the 7 wonders of the world: Machu Picchu.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Cusco
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Cusco is one of the most famous cities in Peru with it being primarily known as the gateway to exploring some of Peru’s best outdoor activities, including Machu Picchu. So if you’re looking for a place to live that has plenty of things to do then this is one of your best options. From white water rafting, hiking, RV tours, and hot springs you certainly won’t be bored living in Cusco.
Due to Cusco being a popular hub for tourists, many people in the city speak great English, so if your Spanish skills aren’t quite up to scratch then you should still be able to navigate your way around the city. However, we do recommend you at least learn some of the basics, and Cusco is actually home to plenty of well-regarded Spanish schools that can help you improve your linguistic skills.
Cusco also has one of the largest populations of Digital Nomads in Peru, so it’s a great place to base yourself if you’re looking to meet others working on the go. Oh, and let’s not forget that it has an incredible range of cafes, restaurants, and shops with a variable number of cuisines. However, these are on the pricier side due to the tourist demand, so bear that in mind.
Pros of living in Cusco
So many great outdoor activities to explore
Very friendly locals
One of the safest cities in South America
Cons of living in Cusco
High altitude, which creates a risk of altitude sickness
#4 - Mancora
“A sleepy coastal town known for its all-year-round amazing weather and gorgeous sandy beaches, Mancora is the ultimate place to live if you want a laid-back lifestyle of surfing, yoga, and meditation.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Mancora
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Situated right in the north of Peru nearby the Ecuadorian border, Mancora has marked itself on the map as being an idyllic location to kick back and relax by the beach. Day to day in Mancora you can expect to find people surfing in the mornings, working at a beachfront cafe in the afternoon, before watching the sunset over the sea during the evening.
Mancora is also known for having a laid-back but great nightlife scene with plenty of beachfront bars which are also very budget-friendly, so if you fancy a good party location to work in then Mancora may well be the place for you!
There isn’t an awful lot going on in Mancora and it is quite far away from other popular travel destinations in Peru such as Cusco, Arequipa, and Lima so if you’re looking to base yourself somewhere to explore the country it may not be the place for you. However, if you’re just looking for a chilled-out place to live for a while with plenty of yoga hotspots, hipster cafes, and good weather then you should definitely check out this beachside resort town.
Pros of living in Mancora
Laid back and friendly atmosphere
Cheap and good quality food & drink options
Cons of living in Mancora
Far from good quality hospitals and healthcare
Poor wifi speeds
#5 - Barranco, Lima
“An up-and-coming district in Peru’s capital of Lima, Barranco is known for its trendy cafes and bars along with vibrant and colorful buildings.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Barranco
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Barranco is an up-and-coming neighborhood in the capital city of Lima and the area has a beaming and vibrant feel to it. The whole of the neighborhood is scattered with bright and colorful buildings and incredible artwork from some of Latin America’s best artists. It also has a beautiful selection of cozy cafes to work in and tasty restaurants to dine at.
Barranco is also renowned for having a lively nightlife scene, so if you fancy letting your hair down after a week of work then it’s a great place to be! One of the most unique places to do this is in one of the area’s colonial mansions that have been turned into boutique bars.
Barranco is slightly cheaper than Miraflores (the other district in Lima we have included on this list) but is still on the pricier end of places to live in Lima and Peru and you may well find yourself spending $1000+ a month living here.
Pros of living in Barranco
Great healthcare services
Awesome selection of trendy restaurants and bars
It has a central location to explore Lima and other areas of Peru
Cons of living in Barranco
On the pricier side of places to live in Peru
Occasionally there is bad traffic
#6 - Sacred Valley
“One of the most picturesque regions in all of Peru, the Sacred Valley is a nature-lover’s haven with so many quaint towns to choose from.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Sacred Valley
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in Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley is one of Peru’s most stunning nature-based destinations and there are so many incredible activities to explore, including the Inca and Pisac ruins, Sea Salt Pans, and Huaypo Lake. There are also many small towns you can choose to live in including Pisac, Calca, Yucay, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo — all of which have a similar, but unique flare to them.
The Sacred Valley is perfect for those who want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the big city life and provides a tranquil atmosphere for people to live in. However, despite being close enough to the bustling city of Cusco you may find yourself a little isolated in the Sacred Valley with poor wi-fi speeds in some locations and not that many nomads to mix with.
Pros of living in Sacred Valley
Incredible outdoor activities and natural hotspots to explore
Laid-back and friendly atmosphere
Mild and warm climate
Cons of living in Sacred Valley
It's remote location means you may struggle to find some services
Not that many nomads to mix with
#7 - Trujillo
“One of the biggest cities in Northern Peru, Trujillo is a hub for those looking to explore Peru’s rich colonial sites and has a traditional and authentic Peruvian atmosphere.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Trujillo
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Trujillo is arguably the hub for culture and art in Northern Peru and has so many fascinating colonial hotspots to explore in and around the city. This includes the Plaza de Armas of Trujillo, La Huaca del Sol Trujillo Cathedral Basilica, and Chan Chan Site Museum, all of which are highly regarded as excellent sites amongst visitors.
Trujillo is also relatively inexpensive in comparison to other cities such as Miraflores and Barranco in Lima and you arguably get a lot more for your money in the city. It is also said that Trujilo provides a more authentic Peruvian experience than some of the other cities which is a bonus if you want to experience more of the ‘true Peru’.
However, a few visitors do say there is not much to do in Trujillo and its surroundings other than see its historical sites, and it is renowned for being one of the quieter big cities in Peru. So if you’re looking to jam-pack your days with exploring Peru’s top sites or want a bustling atmosphere, then it may be a little more difficult to do this in Trujillo.
Pros of living in Trujillo
Coastal location for those who like living the near the sea
Relatively inexpensive compared to other big cities in Peru
Beautiful colonial architecture across the city
Cons of living in Trujillo
Not that much to do and places to explore nearby
Could be too quiet for your liking for a city
#8 - Huaraz
“Known as the adventure and hiking capital of Peru, Huaraz is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise! The city is full of glacier treks, mountain biking trails, and some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Peru!”
Monthly Cost of Living in Huaraz
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Huaraz is the adventure capital of Peru with so many hiking and biking trails within close distance, including the famous Huascarán National Park which is home to so many breathtaking spots! You will also find one of Peru’s most sought-after and arguably most spectacular spots in the national park — Laguna 69 which is a magical spot home to Gatorade color waters. Laguna 69 will quite literally take your breath away with it being home to mind-blowing views, but also an altitude level of 4500m!
Huaraz really is an epic place to live for those adventure lovers and those who like hiking so if you want a prime opportunity to explore the Peruvian Andres this is the ultimate place to do so. However, if hiking isn’t your thing, then Huaraz may not be the best location for you because other than that there isn’t really that much to do!
Huaraz is also super affordable to live in and you can find plenty of local food vendors where you can get an entire meal for less than $2!
Pros of living in Huaraz
Very affordable living costs
It is the adventure capital of Peru so there is plenty of outdoor activities
Super friendly locals
Cons of living in Huaraz
Some areas are little bit sketchy at night
Not much to do in the town itself
#9 - Chachapoyas
“A quiet but lovable town in rural Peru known for being the hub for exploring some of Peru’s richest ancient culture, Chachapoyas has one of the smallest but friendliest expat communities in the country.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Chachapoyas
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Chachapoyas is one of the most remote towns nomads choose to live in Peru and has a beautifully laid-back and peaceful atmosphere. The main reason people choose to live here is to get a great insight into an ancient culture unlike anywhere else in Peru! The town is a gateway to explore unusual and pristine ruins and learn about the Cloud People called the Peru Cloud Warriors. Living in Chachapoyas is an experience like no other and despite not being for everyone it certainly is a bucket-list opportunity.
However, there isn’t too much to do in the town itself despite a few restaurants and a market, so if you’re a big city person you should probably stay clear. Despite Chachapotas not having a huge expat and digital nomad scene in comparison to other locations on our list, those that are there are super friendly and seem to have all come to Chachapoyas for the same reason which creates a homely atmosphere.
Pros of living in Chachapoyas
Home to many natural and archaeological wonders to explore
Friendly and relaxed atmosphere
One of the most stunning Playa de Armas in Peru
Cons of living in Chachapoyas
Not an awful lot going on
Wi-fi speeds are weak
#10 - Iquitos
“The gateway to the Peruvian Amazon, Iquitos is one of the coolest places to live in Peru! The city provides visitors with the opportunity to work at a number of establishments in one of the most bio-diverse places in the world.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Iquitos
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Iquitos is most famous for being the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest and River and sees thousands of visitors heading to the city so they can set foot in one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet.
The city itself is known for its magnificent open-air street market and rustic stilt houses and has a great selection of authentic Peruvian restaurants and cafes serving up traditional foods such as ceviche!
One of the coolest facts about Iquitos is that it is the largest city in the world that can’t be reached by road with visitors only being able to access the city either by boat or plane. However, this does mean that you can’t visit other places in Peru very easily from Iquitos, so if that was your plan when living in Peru you should probably opt for somewhere else.
As you can probably tell from the fact above, Iquitos is very rural! This means that wifi speeds aren’t the fastest which also means there are few co-working spaces and offices. However, there is the unique opportunity to work or volunteer at one of the city’s nearby nature lodges, which is an unbelievable experience and certainly something you can tell home about!
Pros of living in Iquitos
You get to live in the gateway to Amazon Rainforest!
Super welcoming people
Surrounded by amazing wildlife
Cons of living in Iquitos
Extremely remote not accessible by road
Slow wifi and little co-working spaces
#11 - Huanchaco
“Bold, bright, buzzing, San Juan is the place to be for party people.”A sleepy coastal town known for its epic surfing spots, stripped-back beachfront cafes, and world-class seafood, Huanchaco is perfect for those who want to live a relaxed and chilled out few months.”
Monthly Cost of Living in Huanchaco
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The final destination on our list of the top 11 places to live in Peru is the sleepy surfer town of Huanchaco which is situated just a short drive from the city of Trujillo! Huanchaco is known for its amazing surfing spots and the locals are wild about the waves. This has meant there are several surf schools along with epic competitions in the town that creates an exciting atmosphere. This has also meant that there is a number of opportunities to work at a surf camp which has become a popular thing to do amongst visitors to Peru!
Huanchaco also has several cool beachfront cafes with fast wifi speeds, which is great for digital nomads. Picture typing away at your laptop with a stunning coastal backdrop and you’ll get an idea of how epic working at one of these places is.
The town is also known for its incredible restaurants which specialise in seafood, and in particular ceviche, an authentic Peruvian delicacy.
It is important to note that Huanchaco isn’t the most developed and the roads don’t have the best infrastructure, so if you’re planning on driving or renting a scooter be careful. However, the dusty roads add to its stripped-back and lovable feel!
Pros of living in Huanchaco
Good nightlife scene
Amazing surfing spots
Top quality restaurants (especially seafood!)
Cons of living in Huanchaco
Some roads are poorly built
Not a ton of culture going on
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to live in all of Peru
So there you have it! That is our ultimate guide to the 11 best places to live in Peru! Like its landscapes, its places to live vary dramatically, meaning there is a little something for everyone. Whether you want to be in a bustling city such as Lima or Arequipa, want to be near plenty of outdoor activities in Huaraz or Cusco, or perhaps you just want a laid-back beachside town like Mancora.
If you were undecided if you should move to Peru, we hope this guide has helped make that decision a little bit easier. It really is an incredible place to be and we’ve heard so many great things about living in the country,
Now, all we have to say is good luck and travel on Nomads!
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