A Digital Nomad’s Guide to Lima, Peru
Lima, Peru certainly isn't a digital nomad hotspot as of writing. In fact, I didn't meet many location independent workers while in the city. You'll find tons of travelers, backpackers, and people visiting Machu Picchu in Lima.
You just won't find a bevvy of digital nomads. There are a few expats and some online poker players, but that's about it. It just isn't a nomad hub city like Playa del Carmen or Medellin.
Yet, Lima very well could be. Miraflores is tailor-made for life as a digital nomad. You have solid Internet, good infrastructure, safety, and more in this world-class neighborhood in Peru.
A Digital Nomad's Guide to Lima, Peru
So, without further ado, let's dive in and see why Miraflores could be an ideal spot for digital nomads. Here's my digital nomad's guide to Lima, Peru:
Getting to Lima, Peru
It's pretty easy to get to Lima, Peru from the United States. Jorge Chavez International Airport offers dozens of direct routes. You can get to Lima direct from:
- Ft. Lauderdale
- Washington D.C.
- Los Angeles
The airport is also well connected throughout South America, too. You can find cheap flights to Colombia, Chile, and more from Lima.
I prefer to fly JetBlue to Lima. They have direct flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Lima. These flights are comfortable and cheap. Highly recommended!
Once you arrive, a taxi from the airport to Miraflores or Barranco should cost between 60-80 Soles. I always use the “Green” taxi company at the airport. Their cheap, safe, and reliable.
United States passport holders won't need to pay for a visa before or upon arrival in Peru. Just make sure you have two free pages in your passport before you arrive.
Peru allows your to stay 183 days a year on a tourist visa (Source). However, most immigration officials won't give you the full 183 days upon entry unless you ask for it.
The country issues tourist visas in 30, 60, 90, and 183-day increments. Unless you ask for 183 days, they'll generally issue your visa until your return ticket. For example, if you plan to stay 45 days in Peru, they'll issue you a 60-day tourist visa.
If you plan to stay 183 days, then make sure to ask for the full amount of days. You cannot extend your tourist visa while in Peru, so this is important!
Where to Stay
I've said it before and I'll say it again – stay in Miraflores or Barranco. There's really no reason to stay anywhere else while in Lima, Peru.
Personally, I believe digital nomads will find Miraflores far preferable. the infrastructure is just better in the neighborhood than anywhere else in the whole country.
Ideally, you'd stay somewhere within this map while in Lima:
Above is the absolute best location in all of Lima. You'e within walking distance to Parque Kennedy and the Malecon if you live anywhere on this map.
Barranco is great, too. It's damn cheap. However, there's just less going on in Barranco than there is in Miraflores. Unless you're really trying to save money, Miraflores is better.
Cost of Living in Lima, Peru
While Peru is a fairly cheap country, the cost of living in Miraflores just isn't that cheap. Miraflores is a great neighborhood and one of the safest in all of Latin America.
You can walk around with you iPhone here without any worries, but it'll cost you. Lima is the most expensive city in Peru, and one of the more expensive cities in South America not located in Brazil.
Expect to spend at least $1,500 USD a month living in Miraflores and around $1300+ in Barranco. Monthly Airbnb apartments will run you at least $600-800 a month at minimum.
I wrote a whole post about cost of living in Lima, Peru here. In general, it's cheaper to live here than the United States, but more costly than places like Colombia, Ecuador, or Mexico.
Internet and Infrastructure
Internet in Peru isn't spectacular, but it's not horrible. In northern Peru and near Cusco, you'll struggle to find a consistently fast connection.
In Miraflores, you shouldn't have much issue with Internet. All cafes and coworking spaces in Lima, Peru should have solid WiFi.
In Airbnb apartments, you'll need to ask the owner if the place you're renting has a dedicated router. Many hosts will try to throw 2-4 apartments onto one router and things will seem slower than they should.
If you have a dedicated router in your apartment in Miraflores, you should have good enough Internet to upload YouTube videos, trade shitcoins, and publish blog articles with ease.
Is Peruvian Food Good?
One of the best things about living and working in Lima? The absolutely fantastic Peruvian food.
If you're a foodie, you'll absolutely love living in Miraflores. There's dozens of world-class restaurants and tons of interesting dishes to try.
Outside of Mexico, you're unlikely to find better cuisine anywhere in Latin America. Hell, if you've visited places like Colombia or the Dominican Republic, you're sure to think Peruvian food is a gift from God!
While in Lima, make sure to try these dishes:
- Lomo Saltado
- Aji de Gallina
English Levels in Lima, Peru
Being able to speak Spanish in Peru is pretty important. Outside of Lima, you'll struggle to get by only speaking English. However, in and around Lima, things are a little different.
There are tons of English speakers in Miraflores. As tourism is huge in Lima and throughout Peru, there are many people who speak English because they work in the industry.
In Miraflores, you won't have to speak much Spanish to enjoy your couple of weeks in the city. That doesn't mean being able to hold a conversation in Spanish won't be beneficial.
If you can speak a little Spanish before you get to Lima, your time living or visiting the city will be so much better.
In my first trip to Peru, I couldn't speak much Spanish. Life was a little harder, but I still had a great time. My second trip in Lima I could hold conversations in Spanish.
The trip was so much better and I was able to connect and build relationships with local Peruvians.
Weather, Scenery, and Nature
Lima, Peru is located on the Pacific Ocean. The stunning views from Miraflores are damn near impossible to beat.
While there isn't a lot of nature in the city, you're sure to find the ocean and malecon a nice retreat from big city living.
Weather in Lima, Peru is a whole different ballgame. From November to May, the city offers almost perfect weather. I'm talking sunny skies and warm, springtime temperatures.
From June through October, it's a little bit cooler in Lima – but that's not my issue with the weather during this time. The problem? During these months, you won't find much sun in Lima.
The skies are grey and clouds cover the sun nearly everyday. It's kind of miserable. If you have a choice, try to visit Lima during November through May. Outside these months, the sun just doesn't shine and there's not as much energy in the city.
How Safe is Lima, Peru?
Peru is much safer than other Latin American countries. Violent crime in Lima is nearly non-existent when compared with Bogota, Colombia or anywhere in Brazil.
You can walk around Miraflores in the middle of the night, stumbling drunk – and you shouldn't have any issues. The neighborhood is completely safe and even petty crime is pretty rare in the areas foreigners stay.
While I wouldn't roll around the center of Lima alone at night, Miraflores and even Barranco are safe. Learn more about safety in Peru here.
Dating in Lima
Lima can be a great place for digital nomads looking to date. Girls in Lima are exceptionally friendly and English levels around Miraflores and Barranco are good.
Some have said Peruvian girls aren't that attractive, and there may be some truth to that. You won't see the amount of stunning women in Lima that you would in Colombia.
The guys who say these things also spend most of their vacations swiping Tinder and going on online dates.
My take? There's plenty of pretty Peruvian girls in Lima, especially around Miraflores. It's a city of nearly 10 million people! There's bound to be some cuties.
If you're looking to date in Lima, get off Tinder and meet girls in person. Peruvians are friendly and always willing to chat with a traveler, especially if you make an effort speaking some Spanish.
Things to Do in Lima, Peru
For active digital nomads, Lima offers a lot of things to do. While sightseeing isn't great in Lima, the city is located on the ocean and has enough to keep you busy.
You have the beach (although not great ones), surfing, outdoor workouts on the malecon, paragliding, and so much more in Lima. For a big city, there's some fun things to do outdoors in Lima.
While the best tourism in Peru tends to be south of Lima, you shouldn't get bored here. Read this post about things to do in Lima for more information.
Transportation, Uber, and More
I found it easy to move around Lima, Peru. Uber works incredibly well. The Uber drivers in Lima don't have any battle going on with taxi drivers in the city and prices are incredibly cheap.
Many of my Uber rides in Lima only cost $2-4 USD. Even 30+ minutes rides in traffic only cost me $5-6 USD – unless going to the airport.
I didn't test out much public transport, as Uber was so cheap. However, you can take buses between Miraflores and Barranco for 1 Sole – like $0.30 USD. You'll spot these buses all over the neighborhoods and they're pretty quick and safe.
If you want to take bus trips from Lima, I highly recommend using Peru Hop. The service is professional, prompt, and makes tourism from Lima so damn easy. Plus, it's safe – which is huge when traveling by bus in Peru.
A Digital Nomad's Guide to Lima, Peru – My Verdict
Overall, I've found Lima, Peru an ideal digital nomad spot in Latin America. While places like Medellin and Playa del Carmen tend to be popular, there's no reason nomads can't base up in Miraflores for 3-6 months a year.
Pro-Tip: The absolute best months to live and work in Lima, Peru are December through April.
If you come at the right time, the weather will be amazing and the infrastructure is good enough. Enjoy some delicious Peruvian food and make plans to check out Machu Picchu during your stay!