View of Machu Picchu, Peru.


Inca trails

Imagine a country so generously endowed with relics of a bygone world that even the disinterested observer, armed with nothing more than a smartphone and a proclivity for Instagramming avocados, might find themselves wholly entranced. Peru is that kind of place. An oddball paradise with a foot planted firmly in two separate eras: one that longs for the mystical age of the Incas, and another that sips cappuccinos while scrolling through Twitter.

Peru is increasingly becoming a hotspot—pun half-intended—for this very demographic. Picture this: you’re perched on a stool in a Lima café, the hum of Spanish blending with the tapping of keyboards. In front of you sits your trusty laptop, the portal to your livelihood. And just out of sight but not out of mind, a short day trip away, lie the ruins of ancient civilizations, like Machu Picchu, still defying full explanation but ever so obliging for a selfie.

The Internet is decent enough. It won’t exactly make you feel like you’ve tapped into the neural network of the future, but it suffices for Skype calls that mostly lack the pixelated artistry you’d expect from a 90s video game. Coffee shops are abundant, serving locally sourced beans that will delight your palate and potentially make you forget Starbucks ever existed. And when the sun dips behind the Andes, painting the sky in shades you didn’t know existed, you’ll realize that your MacBook screen, Retina display and all, can’t quite capture the nuance.

If you’re a digital nomad with a sense of adventure that’s broader than your bandwidth, give Peru a whirl. Work a little, travel a lot, and indulge in cultural curiosity. And if you suddenly find yourself contemplating alpaca-themed home office decor, well, consider it part of the allure. Peru has a way of making even the mundane feel like an adventure.

I. The basics

Cost of living

Peru offers a relatively affordable cost of living, especially when compared to North American or Western European standards. Here’s a snapshot of some primary expenses:

1. Accommodation

  • Hostels: $10 – $20 per night for a dormitory bed
  • Airbnb: $20 – $50 per night for a private room; $50 – $100+ for an entire apartment
  • Apartments: $300 – $600 per month for a basic one-bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood, higher in upscale areas

2. Food and dining

  • Groceries: $150 – $300 per month for basic grocery items
  • Eating out: $3 – $5 for a meal at a local eatery; $10 – $20+ for dining at mid-range restaurants
  • Coffee: $1 – $3 for a cup of coffee

3. Internet and mobile

  • Internet: $40 – $60 per month for a decent home internet package
  • Mobile plans: $10 – $30 per month for a prepaid plan, which usually includes some data

4. Coworking spaces

  • Coworking spaces: $100 – $200 per month for a flexible desk

5. Transportation

  • Public transport: $0.50 – $1 per journey on buses and local trains
  • Taxis: Starting at $2 for short distances, can go higher depending on traffic and distance

6. Entertainment and leisure

  • Movies: $5 – $10 per ticket
  • Drinks: $1 – $3 for a local beer, $5 – $10 for cocktails
  • Outdoor activities: Varies widely, from free hikes to $50+ for guided tours

7. Health insurance

  • Local health plans: Starting at $50 – $100 per month for basic coverage
  • International plans: $100 – $300 per month, depending on coverage and deductible

Remember that these are rough estimates and actual costs may vary. Many digital nomads find that they can live comfortably in Peru for $1,000 to $2,000 per month, but your mileage may vary depending on your needs and preferences.

Connectivity and infrastructure

If there’s one thing you’ll appreciate in the bustling metropolis of Lima or the historic air of Cusco, it’s that Peru has come a long way in terms of connectivity. Both cities boast a decent selection of coworking spaces tailored to meet the digital nomad’s needs—from the hipster-ish industrial designs to the more quiet, library-like atmospheres. Internet speeds in these hubs generally range between 20 to 100 Mbps, which makes video conferencing and file sharing more of a breeze than a burden.

Now, if you venture into the more rural areas, perhaps lured by the Amazon Rainforest or the Sacred Valley, you’ll find the WiFi to be a bit more… let’s say, ‘meditative.’ It’s there but in no hurry, offering you the time to ponder life’s mysteries as you wait for a page to load.

Transportation too is a tale of two Perus. In cities, you’re well-connected, whether it’s the cost-effective metro system in Lima or the myriad of buses and taxis that crisscross urban landscapes. Domestic flights are frequent and relatively affordable, making weekend getaways to places like Arequipa or Iquitos very doable. On the flip side, be prepared for bumpy, winding roads if you’re planning on exploring the more remote regions. Still, that’s all part of the adventure, isn’t it?


Healthcare in Peru is like a set of Russian dolls; it ranges from the broad and basic public system to the specialized and more refined private clinics. The public healthcare system is accessible and can manage basic medical issues. However, it often comes with longer wait times and, sometimes, limited facilities. If you’re in Lima or another major city, the private healthcare system offers speedier service and a broader range of specialties.

Expats and those with proper health insurance often opt for these private clinics to avoid queues and benefit from a higher standard of care. Pharmacies are plentiful, and you can expect to find most common medicines with ease. It’s a good idea to secure health insurance; you’ll find that policies can vary in cost but expect to pay between $50 and $150 per month for something reasonably comprehensive.


The safety landscape in Peru is similar to a mosaic—mostly harmonious but with patches that require caution. Larger cities like Lima and Cusco are generally safe, especially in areas frequented by tourists or affluent locals. However, no urban space is completely free of crime. Petty offenses like pickpocketing are more common in crowded markets or touristy areas, so a good rule of thumb is to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables close. In rural areas, safety concerns shift. While violent crime is rare, it’s wise to heed local advice, especially when venturing out after dark.

Political stability in Peru is generally good, but it’s not unheard of to encounter localized protests or strikes. These are usually peaceful, but they can disrupt local transportation and services. A quick check for local news updates during your stay is advisable.

II. Living in Peru as a digital nomad


Peru’s climate is as diverse as its geography, a patchwork quilt stitched together with threads of equatorial warmth, mountain chill, and coastal moderation. Along the coastline in cities like Lima, the climate is arid and temperate, with temperatures ranging from 59°F to 82°F (15°C to 28°C). It’s a gentle invitation for the digital nomad to set up shop on a café terrace without worrying too much about extreme weather. But remember, Lima is often covered in a gray mist called “garúa” during the winter months (May to October).

If you’re up for a change of scenery, the Andean regions present a different ballgame. Here, cities like Cusco experience a range of 32°F to 66°F (0°C to 19°C) over the year, and if you’re venturing to higher altitudes, layering will be your best friend. Meanwhile, the Amazon Basin invites you with tropical conditions—warm and humid with temperatures often soaring above 86°F (30°C).


In Peru, the grandeur of nature is as diverse as it is awe-inspiring, offering something for every type of outdoor enthusiast. From the iconic Machu Picchu and its surrounding cloud forests in the Andes to the less-traveled but equally stunning trails in the Sacred Valley, the mountainous regions are a hiker’s dream. The high-altitude Colca Canyon and the vibrant hues of Rainbow Mountain provide contrasting landscapes that both challenge and delight the senses.

Yet the country’s natural beauty doesn’t stop at mountain ranges. Along the coast, you’ll encounter the mysterious Nazca Lines and the surreal desert-meets-ocean landscape of Paracas National Reserve. For a different kind of aquatic setting, Lake Titicaca sits at a dizzying altitude, surrounded by traditional communities and offering tranquil views that defy description.

If dense jungles and rich biodiversity are more your scene, nearly 60% of Peru is covered by the Amazon Rainforest. Here, the world comes alive in a vibrant tapestry of color and sound, from the rare pink dolphins navigating its rivers to an orchestra of exotic birds and insects that compose the Amazon’s daily soundtrack. In summary, whether it’s the high peaks, coastal wonders, or lush rainforest, Peru offers a breathtaking natural backdrop for any digital nomad willing to venture beyond the usual confines.


Living in Peru is like dancing to a rhythm that combines ancestral beats with modern tunes. The lifestyle here is a blend of tradition and contemporaneity, served on a platter of warm hospitality. Local markets brim with produce so colorful it looks photoshopped, while modern supermarkets offer the familiarity of brands from home.

As for cuisine, get ready for a gastronomic roller coaster. From ceviche, fresh fish marinated in citrus juices, to lomo saltado, a stir-fry that marries Peruvian ingredients with Asian cooking techniques, your taste buds are in for a treat. And let’s not forget the famed Pisco Sour, a cocktail that will make you question why you ever settled for a simple gin and tonic.

When the sun dips below the horizon, Peru’s nightlife comes alive. In larger cities like Lima and Cusco, you’ll find a variety of options to unwind or turn up the volume. Sophisticated bars, lively clubs, and a burgeoning craft beer scene offer a setting for every mood. For a more subdued evening, try a peña, a venue dedicated to traditional Andean music.


Peru is a living museum of cultural richness and historical significance. The legacy of the Inca Empire looms large, with monumental sites like the ancient city of Cusco serving as testament to their engineering ingenuity and spiritual depth. Yet Peru’s cultural narrative is multi-layered, featuring contributions from pre-Incan civilizations like the Moche and Nazca, each with their unique artistic and architectural styles. Fast forward to the colonial period, and Spanish influence is palpable in the baroque cathedrals and ornate mansions that populate cities like Lima and Arequipa.

But history isn’t just something you read about in Peru; it’s something you experience in daily life. Whether it’s walking down the preserved colonial streets of Trujillo, visiting the ancient pyramids of Túcume, or exploring the Larco Museum in Lima, which hosts a fascinating collection spanning 5,000 years of Peruvian history, the past feels very much alive here. Not to be outdone, contemporary culture flourishes in the form of vibrant festivals like Cusco’s Inti Raymi, celebrating the Incan Sun God, or the Fiesta de la Candelaria in Puno, which combines indigenous and Catholic traditions in a colorful display of music and dance.


Spanish reigns as the primary language in Peru, offering a rhythmic backdrop to daily interactions. While English is spoken in tourist-centric locales and among the younger population, it’s not universally understood. However, the genuine warmth of the Peruvian people often fills in the gaps where language falls short. A little Spanish can go a long way, and the effort is usually met with appreciative smiles. In more isolated regions, indigenous languages like Quechua and Aymara are prevalent, adding an extra dimension to Peru’s linguistic scene.

For the linguistically inclined digital nomad, Peru provides a golden opportunity to refine your Spanish skills. If language isn’t your strong suit, the experience still offers valuable life lessons. Attempting to communicate across linguistic barriers provides not just a work backdrop, but also a broader, enriching life experience in a captivating and diverse country.

III. Cities to consider


Aerial view of Miraflores in Lima, Peru.
Photo by Creators Brand

As the capital and largest city, Lima is a hub of activity and offers the best of both worlds: the amenities of a modern metropolis and a deep-rooted cultural scene. Miraflores, one of Lima’s neighborhoods, is particularly popular among digital nomads for its safety, modern infrastructure, and proximity to the ocean. With a myriad of coworking spaces, international cuisine, and a vibrant arts scene, Lima makes for an excellent base for digital nomads interested in a cosmopolitan experience.


View overlooking the old centre of Cusco, Peru.
Photo by Adrian Dascal

If you’re looking for a city that combines work-life balance with rich historical ambiance, Cusco is hard to beat. Once the capital of the Inca Empire, today’s Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring narrow cobblestone streets, ancient ruins, and beautiful colonial architecture. It’s also the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, giving you plenty of options for weekend excursions. Keep in mind the city’s high altitude, which may require an adjustment period.


View of El Misti and Arequipa in Peru.
Photo by Megan Kotlus

Known as the “White City” for its buildings made from sillar, a white volcanic stone, Arequipa offers a unique blend of colonial charm and natural beauty. Surrounded by three dramatic volcanoes, the city itself is home to a stunning 16th-century cathedral and the Santa Catalina Monastery, a city within a city. Arequipa provides a more laid-back atmosphere compared to Lima, yet still offers all the amenities a digital nomad might need, including coworking spaces.


View of town square in Trujillo, Peru.
Photo by Omri D. Cohen

If you’re interested in diving deeper into Peru’s pre-Columbian history, Trujillo is an excellent choice. The city is close to various archeological sites, including Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the ancient world, and the temples of the Sun and Moon. Trujillo is also known for its beautiful colonial architecture and vibrant local festivals. The city offers a reasonable cost of living and less hustle and bustle compared to Lima.


Aerial view of Mancora Beach, Peru.
Photo by Creators Brand

For those looking to combine work with a beachside lifestyle, Máncora offers an idyllic setting. This small town on the northern coast of Peru is a popular spot for surfing, kite surfing, and other water sports. While it might not offer as many amenities as larger cities, the laid-back atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it an appealing choice for those looking to escape urban life.

Each of these cities offers its own unique set of opportunities and experiences, allowing you to tailor your digital nomad lifestyle to your specific interests and needs. Whether you want the hustle of a large city, the historical ambiance of an ancient capital, or the tranquility of a beach town, Peru has a locale to suit you.

IV. Off the beaten track


Mountains being reflected in a lake on the Huayhuash Trek in Huaraz, Peru.
Photo by Urip Dunker

Situated in the Callejón de Huaylas Valley in the Ancash Region, Huaraz offers a different kind of Andean experience. Less frequented by tourists than Cusco, it’s a haven for trekkers and climbers, surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. While it might lack some amenities for digital nomads, the inspiring views and local hospitality more than make up for it. Just ensure you’re prepared for the high altitude.


Street view of Iquitos, Peru.
Photo by Julien Gaud

Accessible only by plane or boat, Iquitos is the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road. As the gateway to the Amazon, it offers a unique jungle experience without having to compromise too much on city life. While internet connectivity might not be as robust as in the major cities, the opportunity to work remotely from the heart of the Amazon Rainforest is enticing for those looking for a real adventure.


View overlooking Puno, Peru.
Photo by Persnickety Prints

While Lake Titicaca is a well-known destination, the city of Puno itself often gets overlooked. Offering a rich blend of Aymara and Quechua cultures, Puno is not just a stopping point but a destination in itself. Its local festivals, particularly the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria, are an explosion of color and tradition. Plus, being by the lake gives you ample opportunities for short getaways.


Aerial view of Ayacucho, Peru.
Photo by Pirata Studio Film

With its 33 churches — one for each year of Jesus’s life — Ayacucho is a city steeped in religious tradition and history. It’s less frequented by tourists but offers a plethora of colonial architecture, artisan crafts, and a relaxed pace of life. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in a more authentic Peruvian experience while still having access to essential amenities.


Sunset view of the ocean at Huanchaco, Peru.
Photo by IQ Comunicación Integral

Just a short distance from Trujillo, Huanchaco offers a more tranquil atmosphere. It’s known for its reed boats, called “caballitos de totora,” and its long, sweeping beach makes it a popular spot for surfing. With a growing expat community and several cozy cafes, it’s becoming increasingly appealing to digital nomads looking for a more laid-back environment.

While Peru’s more prominent cities offer a balance of modern amenities and cultural richness, venturing off the beaten track can offer unique experiences that few get to enjoy. Whether it’s the isolated allure of the Amazon, the untamed natural beauty of the Andean heights, or the quiet charm of a lesser-known coastal town, these locations offer something beyond the typical remote work backdrop: an opportunity to truly disconnect, in the best way possible.

Types of visas available for remote workers 

Peru currently does not have a specific visa category solely designated for digital nomads or remote workers. The most commonly used visa types for short-term stays are the Tourist Visa and the Business Visa.

1. Tourist Visa

The Tourist Visa is typically valid for up to 183 days per 365-day period and does not allow for extensions. While it’s generally not intended for work purposes, many digital nomads use this visa for short-term stays. Note that working on a tourist visa might be considered a gray area legally.

2. Business Visa

If your work requires you to be in Peru for meetings or other professional activities, a Business Visa might be more appropriate. This visa generally has a shorter validity period and might require a letter from your employer or the company you’ll be working with in Peru.

Application process and necessary documentation

1. Tourist Visa

Many nationalities, including citizens from the United States, Canada, and the European Union, do not need to apply for a Tourist Visa in advance and can receive a visa upon arrival. However, it’s crucial to check the most up-to-date information based on your nationality. Required documents usually include a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and proof of sufficient funds.

2. Business Visa

Application for a Business Visa typically requires you to apply in advance at a Peruvian consulate. Necessary documents often include a valid passport, completed application forms, a letter of invitation or employment verification, and sometimes proof of sufficient funds.

It’s essential to keep in mind that visa rules and requirements can change, so always check the most current information from official sources. Also, overstaying your visa can result in fines and potential complications for future travel to Peru.

Regardless of the visa you choose, it’s crucial to ensure you adhere to Peru’s immigration laws and regulations to enjoy a hassle-free stay. Consulting with a legal advisor familiar with Peruvian immigration laws can also provide valuable insights into your best options.

VI. Tips for a smooth landing in Peru 

Finding accommodation

Finding a place to stay in Peru can range from straightforward to a bit tricky, depending on your destination. In larger cities like Lima and Cusco, numerous options are available through websites like Airbnb,, or local real estate agencies. For long-term stays, consider reaching out to local expat groups on social media platforms, where you might find insider recommendations. Hostels often offer private rooms at a fraction of the cost of hotels and can be a good option for short-term accommodation while you find your feet.

Setting up local bank accounts and financial considerations

Opening a bank account in Peru can be somewhat bureaucratic and may require various documents, including your passport, proof of local address, and sometimes even a fiscal guarantor. For most digital nomads, it might be easier to continue using an international account with low foreign transaction fees. Mobile banking apps and international money transfer services can help manage your finances remotely. Always be mindful of the currency exchange rates and associated fees.

Peru’s transportation network is relatively well-developed in major cities and tourist areas. In cities like Lima, you can rely on a mix of public buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services like Uber. For inter-city travel, long-distance buses and domestic flights are the most common options. It’s advisable to book with reputable companies and always be aware of your belongings, as petty theft can be an issue on public transportation.

Adapting to local customs and cultural nuances

Understanding the local customs can go a long way in making your stay in Peru more enjoyable. Punctuality, for instance, is often more relaxed in Peru than in some Western countries. Personal space can also be closer than you might be accustomed to, and direct eye contact is generally considered a sign of honesty and interest. Learning a few basic phrases in Spanish can open doors and make daily interactions smoother. Lastly, Peru is a diverse country, and customs can vary between regions, so take some time to observe and adapt to the local culture wherever you are.

VII. In summary


  1. Cultural richness: From Inca ruins to vibrant local festivals, Peru offers an enriching cultural experience that can deepen your global perspective.
  2. Diverse landscapes: Whether you prefer the beach, mountains, or jungle, Peru has a variety of natural settings to suit every taste.
  3. Affordable living: Compared to Western countries, the cost of living in Peru is generally lower, making it easier to maintain a good quality of life on a modest budget.
  4. Culinary scene: Peruvian cuisine is gaining international acclaim. From high-end restaurants to local street food, there’s something for every palate.
  5. Community: With a growing expat and digital nomad community, especially in cities like Lima and Cusco, finding like-minded individuals is fairly easy.
  6. Internet connectivity: Major cities offer good internet speed and numerous coworking spaces.
  7. Local experiences: Less frequented spots like Huaraz and Iquitos offer unique local experiences, making for a more adventurous remote work lifestyle.
  8. Accessibility: Many countries have visa-free entry or can obtain a visa on arrival for short-term stays, making it relatively hassle-free to get into the country.


  1. Language barrier: While English is spoken in tourist areas and among younger people, the primary language is Spanish. Not knowing it can be a disadvantage in more rural areas.
  2. Safety concerns: Petty crime like pickpocketing can be an issue, especially in crowded or touristy areas.
  3. Altitude: Cities like Cusco are at high elevations, which can be a health concern for some individuals.
  4. Inconsistent infrastructure: While major cities offer good amenities, more remote areas can lack reliable internet and healthcare facilities.
  5. Limited work-specific visas: As of my last update in September 2021, Peru doesn’t offer a specific digital nomad visa, meaning you’ll likely have to rely on tourist visas for short-term stays.
  6. Cultural differences: While enriching, the cultural differences can also be a challenge in terms of social norms and daily practices.
  7. Transport challenges: While large cities have reliable transportation, getting around can be less straightforward in smaller towns or rural areas.
  8. Seasonal variations: Depending on the region, weather conditions can be extreme, from the rainy season in the Amazon to the dry, chilly conditions in the Andes, which might not be suitable for everyone.

Peru is an exhibition of natural and historical wonders laid out on a grand scale. Think of it as an open-air gallery where each landscape—be it Andean peaks, coastal beaches, or Amazonian jungle—is a masterpiece in its own right. Your palate too is in for a journey, with flavors as vibrant as the local festivals that bring communities alive with color and rhythm. Let’s not overlook the practicalities—generally dependable Wi-Fi in major cities, a burgeoning expat community, and a cost of living that won’t have you living on instant ramen.

Yet, the landscape isn’t all sunsets and selfies. The hustle and bustle of negotiating fares, coupled with occasional internet droughts, can fray even the most resilient of nerves. And the language barrier—unless you’ve got a good handle on Spanish, you might find yourself in situations where pantomime is the communication mode du jour. Altitude too is a unique challenge; Cusco offers awe-inspiring vistas but might leave you breathless in more ways than one.

So, there you have it. Peru serves up an intoxicating blend of culture, adventure, and work-life balance that’s hard to resist. Yet it’s also a place that requires flexibility, a willingness to adapt, and maybe a sturdy pair of hiking boots. It’s a nation that can enchant and exasperate in the same breath, and that’s precisely what makes it a compelling backdrop for the remote worker.

Sri Lanka
Man walking along the beach in Tangalle, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka

Nomad nirvana

Aerial view of Luxor, Egypt.


Land of the Pharaohs

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