Lima! Capital of Peru! What a megacity with more than 10 million people living there! I was blessed to have had twice in my life the opportunity to live in Lima. 2014 as a student during a semester abroad and 2018 as the regular expat traveler. In total, I lived for more than year in Lima and feel eligible to write a useful guide for expats about the life in Lima. Are you a foreigner and are interested to live in Lima as well? There are some things to consider, but plenty of reasons to make the move. In this article, I would like to exemplify 5 reasons to live in Lima.
Approximate reading time: 18 minutes
(Last update: April 10, 2021)
“Hoc signum vere regum est”, means loosely translated from Latin to English “This is the sign of the truth of the king”. Lima appeared for me less than a royal city. It showed me more a very rough and maritime city with passioned and hardworking people. Many hardworking people in a real megacity.
Lima is the biggest city I lived in so far in my life. According to census of 2019, in total 10.479.899 habitants live in the whole Metropolitan area of Lima. A lot of hungry mouths have to be fed in this huge city, don’t you think?
Every gourmet will live out his wet dreams
And exactly here Lima is the right place to get a hungry mouth fed gracefully. Lima is the best city for ambitious expats with predilections for foodies. The Peruvian kitchen is always ranked in the Top Notch positions when it comes to the joy of eating. Three of the Top 50 restaurants worldwide are based in Lima and the Peruvians capital was even called the World’s Best Food City. The World Travel Awards have named Peru the World’s Leading Culinary Destination. Besides that, Peru has the best chef in the world.
I already dedicated in a former blog article my gushing praise for the Peruvian kitchen. Every visitor will be more than happy to be able to expect the best kitchen in the world. You should read this article and agree with me. If not, I hope, that the few pictures I will show give an indication about the quality of the Peruvian kitchen.
Lima is the best city for ambitious expats with predilections for foodies. I lived and traveled through various Latin American cities for years and did not enjoy a better cuisine than the Peruvian one. Peruvians are very gastronomic and hospitable people. And in a big city like Lima, you’ll find a lot of people who are proud to introduce their kitchen to you. Be sure to be gustatorily pampered.
Living costs are relatively cheap
I remember the conversation with the operators of the short flight I did in March:
The guy told me, that the same flight experience ‘somewhere else’ would cost up to three times more than in Lima. Innerly I laughed, because I thought that this was a feeble argument of his selling tactic. But then I realized, that he meant with ‘somewhere else’ other countries. And of course this guy was right with what he said. Somewhere else life is definitely more expensive than in Lima!
A life in Lima costs – Of course depending here on the level of consumption and the private lifestyle – in average only 513.42$ per month. According to numeo.com Lima is ranked on number 441 of 602 cities worldwide when it come to living costs. In the South American ranking, Lima is on 9 of 27, after many other Latin American capitals. But of course a comparison amongst 27 cities isn’t very expressive and more data would be needed to have clear imagination here.
But this indication should be proof enough to say, that a life in Lima isn’t that expensive. A good argument for expats to live in Lima.
South America’s Leading Green Destination
This is an award, that has been given from the World Tourism Awards for 2020. It’s now the second time after 2017, that Peru got this award. Quite a success, if you ask me!
And yes, I know that the whole country was awarded for being a green destination, not the city of Lima itself. But in 2018, there are already many parks and green spaces spread over the whole city. They better should get over the awful traffic situation, that I will describe in another article. Why having a beautiful and green park, if you can’t enjoy sitting there because of the awful traffic noises 😉 At least the parks are all maintained very well.
Another indiction is the news from 2015, that Lima wants to invest $110 Million in Green Infrastructure And Climate Adaptation. This sounds reasonable for Lima, which is the world’s second-largest desert city after Cairo. In another very interesting source I read, that Lima is returning to nature by diverting one percent of water fees to restore Andean forests, grasslands and wetlands that provide critical ‘ecosystem services’ such as regulation of water flows. If I will ever return to Lima, I will be very curious how green the city will look like.
Lima has a royal nightlife
Do you remember the flag of Lima? That Lima is the city of kings as I introduced earlier? Good! I would like to enhance, that you can also live the nightlife of a king in Lima. In no other city than Lima, I had so much fun and different activities to do. New York might be the city, that never sleeps. But Life should be awarded then as the city, that always celebrates parties. You can go out every night, there is always something to do.
But it’s supposed to be at least a semi-serious article with the approach of quality insight reports. Whenever there is something to celebrate like concerts, festivals, football, or national holidays, you can be sure that hell will break loose in Lima and everywhere around. One good example to give an indication about the party mood in Lima are the following videos:
What you can see here was what happened on 29th of May in 2018. It was nothing more than a Tuesday night, maybe 10pm. The national football team of Peru defeated Scotland with 2:0 in a FRIENDLY MATCH. It wasn’t an official tournament match or anything comparable. But still reason enough for the people to make party after the match for hours in the city.
And that was ‘only’ football. What anarchistic parties will happen during the Peruvian national day? I can only imagine…
There are beaches everywhere in Lima
Lima is a coastal city. If Coastal cities don’t have cliffs, they usually have beaches. Lima has maaaaany beaches as well. Lima’s beaches, located along the northern and southern ends of the city, are heavily visited during the summer. No wonder in a city of almost 11,000,000 people. Eventually, you have to share your space on a summer Sunday with someone from the city.
In Lima city and near to the metropolitan city, you will find numerous resorts and beaches on the banks of the Pacific Ocean. Although a perfect holiday doesn’t symbolize for me the beach itself, it can’t harm to visit each month for a day or two the local beaches and swallow some sunshine. And you should cherish the good weather in Lima during the summer months of November till April because starting from mid of May until October the climate will change the whole city to a grey and gloomy area.
The Peruvian coastline is equipped with challenging Pacific waves all year long. On the coast of Lima, great surf beaches are Punta Rocas, the site of one World Qualifying Series surfing tournament, and the beach of Pico Alto, whose waves are compared to those in Hawaii. The coast area is characterized to be rather desertic, some of them with sand, and others with stones.
I wrote one article about Playa Herradura…
and another one about Playa El Silencio…
…which should give you a great impression about a lovely and funny day at the beaches in Lima. You should not expect the best beaches of the whole country in Lima. To see them, you need to travel to the northern or southern coasts of Peru. But living in a city with direct access to a beach is always a big plus. As an expat, you should consider that. I am not the biggest beach person, but don’t reject a nice day at the beach with friends either.
Enjoying beaches in Lima generally difficult in this city with its grey season. Almost half a year, you’ll miss sunshine in the capital city of Peru. You don’t believe me? Please read my following article and find out more about the 5 reasons to NOT live in Lima. This will be the consequent article that shows you as an expat the reverse of the medal.
I hope, that I could give you support for your decision to live in Lima. By giving several arguments from the insider’s perspective, you should now have a better imagination about the fifth biggest city of Latin America.
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