Ancient-Architecture-Peru

Best Places to Live in Peru | 10 Cool Cities for Nomads + Travelers

Peru is a culturally rich Spanish-speaking country in western South America. The country is known for its ancient history involving the Incas, with lots of landmarks and ancient architecture still present to this day. It is also a place known for its culinary prowess, with two of the world’s best restaurants hailing from the country.

Peru’s landscape is characterized by the most diverse climates and is home to about half of the world’s animal species. With its vast and incredibly diverse landscape, Peru is one of the best places to visit in South America.

Choosing a place to live in a South American country can be a headache since there are so many interesting places to see. We’ve written this guide to shed some light on the best places to live in Peru. Have a look at our list below to see what destination would be best for you.

 Read more: If you are planning on moving to South America, check out the best places to live in Brazil.

Best Places to Live in Peru for…

  1. Foodies: Lima
  2. History lovers: Cusco
  3. Culture seekers: Trujillo
  4. Students: Arequipa
  5. Beach lovers: Mancora
  6. Hikers: Huaraz

Top 10 Places to Live in Peru

1. Lima

 Best Place to Live for Foodies

Huaraz-mountains-Peru

Cost of Living: $$

Lima is the capital of Peru and one of the largest South American cities. The city is a cultural hub with a cosmopolitan society that is known for its culinary scene with two of the top 10 restaurants in the world.
Tip: Visit Central and Maido, two of the top 10 restaurants in the world according to “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants”.
Who Would Like to Live There: Foodies, expats, and digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Some of the best food in the world
  • Great weather
  • Lots of things to see and do for people with different interests

Cons:

  • Most people speak Spanish
  • High pollution levels
  • Traffic can be chaotic

2. Cusco

Best Place to Live for History Lovers

Machu-Pichu-Cusco-Peru

Cost of Living: $$

Cusco is a modern city with mind-blowing historic infrastructure. Walking through the city is an interesting sight, with beautifully preserved architecture from Inca and Spanish colonial influences. It’s a true delight for history-lovers as the architecture stirs a wonder of the civilizations from the past.

Tip: If you ever visit Peru, Machu Picchu should definitely be on your itinerary, no matter where you are. If you visit Cusco, it is a 3,5-hour scenic drive away, which is an experience on its own.

 Who Would Like to Live There: History lovers, archeologists, digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Intriguing architecture that is well preserved
  • Low cost of living
  • Lots of activities and sights to see

Cons:

  • Most people speak Spanish
  • Lots of tourists
  • Wet and humid weather

3. Trujillo

Best Place to Live for Culture Seekers

Puno-Peru

Cost of Living: $

Trujillo is the third largest city in Peru. It is considered the cultural capital of Peru for the origin of the Marinera dance and the location of two traditional festivals, namely the Marinera and Trujillo Spring Festival.

Tip: Look at the calendar and book your trip at the same time as the Marinera or Spring Festival.

 Who Would Like to Live There: Culture seekers, digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Beautiful colonial architecture
  • Known as the “city of eternal spring” for its great weather
  • Rich local culture to experience

Cons:

  • Language barriers for English speakers
  • High crime rates compared to other places.
  • Polluted water

4. Arequipa

Best Place to Live for Students

Arequipa-mountain-view-Peru

 Cost of Living: $

The second largest city in Peru, Arequipa, is known for having the most beautiful architecture, which is the reason some call it the most beautiful city in Peru.
The city has lots of international schools and offers a low cost of living which is perfect for students.

Tip: Visit Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons.

 Who Would Like to Live There: Students, Digital Nomads.

Pros:

  • Lots of things to do and experience
  • Impeccable culinary scene
  • Beautiful architecture

Cons:

  • Earthquake zone
  • Poor healthcare
  • Difficult to reach the city

5. Mancora

Best Place to Live for Beach Lovers

Mancora-beach-peru

Cost of Living: $$

The northern parts of Peru experience the best weather in the country, with mostly sunny days. The best town in the north to indulge in the perfect weather is Mancora, which is known for its beautiful beaches.

The tranquil seaside village offers peace and quiet. The laid-back culture and beautiful weather make it a perfect destination for beach lovers.

Tip: Mancora is a great spot to take kitesurfing lessons.

 Who Would Like to Live There: Beach lovers, groups, surfers, digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Beautiful white, powdery beaches
  • A quiet, laid-back town
  • Great for surfing

Cons:

  • Language barrier for English speakers
  • Poor healthcare
  • Water can be too cold for swimming

6. Huaraz

Best Place to Live for Hikers

Huaraz-mountains-Peru

Cost of Living: $

Huaraz is a high-altitude town in the Cordillera Blanca Range of Peru. The town offers hikers plenty of trails to explore, with some leading to peaks and summits with breathtaking views

The snow-capped mountains are also a beautiful sight in the background, giving the town a picturesque backdrop.

Tip: If you are adventurous and have some time to spare, go on the Huyahuash trek. The 12-day hike in the Peruvian Andes offers breathtaking scenery available only to those up for the challenge.

 Who Would Like to Live There: Hikers, adventure seekers

Pros:

  • The cost of living is cheap
  • Beautiful hiking trails and mountain peaks
  • Very low crime rate

Cons:

  • Cold weather
  • Earthquakes and potential avalanches
  • Little else to do other than hiking

7. Iquitos

 Best Place to Live for Nature Lovers

Huaraz-mountains-Peru

 Cost of Living: $

Known as the largest city in the world that is inaccessible by road, Iquitos can only be accessed by air or boat. Iquitos is the gateway to the Amazon jungle and one of the most unique towns to visit in the world. This is due to its unique landscapes and culture, and it is the host of incredibly diverse wildlife like sloths, jaguars, pumas, pink river dolphins, and more.

Tip: Go on an Amazon river tour, and maybe, if you are lucky, you will see a rare pink dolphin.

 Who Would Like to Live There: Nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Pros:

  • Diverse wildlife
  • low crime rate
  • An incredibly unique experience.

Cons:

  • No roads leading to Iquitos
  • Really slow or no internet
  • Hot and humid weather

8. Huanchaco

Best Place to Live for Surfers

Huanchacho-beach-Peru

Cost of Living: $

Speculated to be one of the birthplaces of surfing, Huanchaco is a surfer’s paradise and a must-visit destination for anyone that loves to catch some waves.

The laid-back seaside town offers visitors a chance to unwind, with many accounts of people extending their stays because they fall in love with the place.

Tip: Want to learn from the best surfers? Take a surfing lesson from a seasoned local.

 Who Would Like to Live There: Surfers, Digital nomads, Expats.

Pros:

  • Great weather and waves for surfing
  • The cost of living is low
  • The town offers a laid-back surfer lifestyle

Cons:

  • Far from most popular tourist sites
  • Beach can sometimes be polluted
  • Not much else to do for non-surfers

9. Ica

Best Place to Live for Wine Lovers

Huaraz-mountains-Peru

Cost of Living: $$

Ica is a small town in southern Peru known for producing some of the best wines in the country. The town is situated near a desert which offers opportunities to explore with dune buggies.

Tip: Visit Huacachina, a desert oasis nearby that offers a unique experience given the huge contrast between the lush oasis and arid desert blending together.  

 Who Would Like to Live There: Wine lovers.

Pros:

  • Low levels of crime
  • Great wine and food
  • Lack of tourists

Cons:

  • Not many tourist attractions
  • Earthquake in 2007 destroyed beautiful architecture
  • Not many available activities

10. Puno

Best Place to Live for Culture Seekers

Puno-Peru

 Cost of Living: $$

Puno is a city near Lake Titicaca, the main tourist attraction. The city is considered a folklore capital of Peru because of the authentic Peruvian society that is still preserved in the city.

Tip: Visit Lake Titicaca, the largest freshwater lake in South America.

 Who Would Like to Live There: Culture Seekers

Pros:

  • Closest to Lake Titicaca
  • Friendly locals
  • Cheap living cost

 Cons:

  • Have to get to Puno by bus as there is no airport
  • Very hot climate in the summers
  • Higher levels of crime.

 

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