Larcomar in Miraflores 2014

5 reasons to live in Lima (April 2021 Update)

5 reasons to live/leave this city, English, Insider Report, Journal, peru

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 a year in Lima and feel eligible to write a useful guide for expats about 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)

Lima flag.png
The official flag of Lima in Peru

“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 of a very rough and maritime city with passionate 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 recent statistics in 2021, Lima has in total 10,861,999 people living in the whole Metropolitan area of Lima. The 5th biggest city in South America! 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:


The guy told me, that the same flight experience ‘somewhere else’ would cost up to three times more than in Lima. Inside 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 504.78$ per month. According to Lima is ranked on number 446 of 602 cities worldwide when it come to living costs. In the South American ranking, Lima is on 8 of 30, 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 life in Lima isn’t that expensive. A good argument for expats to live in Lima.


South America’s Leading Green Destination

South America’s Leading Green Destination

This is an award, that has been given by 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 have 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 indication 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 about how green the city will look.


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 the 29th of May in 2018. It was nothing more than a Tuesday night, maybe 10 pm. 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.

I’d be very happy if you decide to leave a comment below or become a subscriber to my blog. Many other interesting articles are already in preparation. Never miss an update and follow me on social media!

Thanks for reading my article!

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a colorful house in Lima

5 reasons to better not live in Lima (May 2021 Update)

5 reasons to live/leave this city, English, peru, Uncategorized

Lima is the capital of Peru and a popular destination for many tourists and travelers. However, there are as well many expats living in the Peruvian megacity. There are plenty of good reasons to come to that city. But some expats might have doubts when it comes to moving to a city like Lima. Could it be, that you somehow are simply not made for a tumultuous, chaotic, and culturally dull city with a very grey climate? Read in this article more about 5 reasons to better NOT live in Lima.

Approximate reading time: 15 minutes

(Last update: May 15, 2021)


Welcome back! You successfully clicked your way through and came here from the previous article. Or you accessed it by any other means. In any event, you are an expat and curious why it might be a better idea to avoid living in Lima. There are always tons of encouraging articles you want to tell you what you should do, where to move, what to visit, etc. But only a few articles confront the reverse of the medal and show some contra arguments. That’s why you are here – You would like to find out more about possible downsides, disadvantages and reasons to not live in the 5th biggest city of Latin America.

a colorful house in Lima
Here you can see a colorful painting of a flat in Lima.

And here I am. I would like to give interested expats some more insights about Lima. Sharing with you first-hand insights from my perspective might help you. Not everything is shiny and perfect in the capital city of Lima. Please continue reading this article and find out more about 5 reasons why to NOT live in Lima.

Please let me know in the comment section if you liked the article and what you think about it. You can also send me an eMail to and ask your questions in a bit more private manner. I’ll respond to it as quickly as I can.


The labour situation is awful

It doesn’t matter, how hard you try. It doesn’t matter, how well you are qualified. And it doesn’t matter, how much work experience you already have. In Lima, employees have a very hard time finding a job. Although the country has had for many years increasing prosperity and economic recovery, the job situation isn’t good in Peru, even worse in Lima.

The situation in Lima looks terrible to be honest. Finding available jobs for highly qualified foreigners in Peru’s capital continues to be a tricky matter, as 14.5 percent of people in Lima are currently without official employment per the latest figures from February 2021. Covid and its consequences are affecting you as a foreigner as well. Something to consider BEFORE moving to a city like Lima.

Miraflores in Lima
Malecon de Lima en 2014

Especially for a foreigner like me, it was very difficult to find a job. Many Peruvians told me the same as what I was describing before in the first paragraph. No matter how hard you try or how good you are, everything works with connections. And of course, a foreigner like you doesn’t have a lot of good connections to a new city he wants to live in. The few who I have tried to help me, but didn’t succeed with their efforts. There are soooooo many companies who are looking for international employees with work experience and who can speak multiple languages, but no one is willing to help with the working visa or sponsor it.

An absurd situation, that I will never be able to understand!


The traffic situation in Lima is terrible

Wherever you want to go in Lima, which neighborhood or part of the city, be advised that it will take ages to arrive and you should start to go on midday when you are expected for dinner. Yes, Lima is a very big city with a lot of habitants as described in the introduction. But the traffic situation is one of the poorest of the world. Lima grows year by year of population and everyone wants to have a car. Streets are because of that more than congested and during the busy times such as morning and evening rush hours, it is terrible to be in need of going to another point of the city.

Seems like a waste of resources.

Did you know Lima has 15 times more taxis than NYC? I know, that it sounds weird, but during my six months in Lima, I didn’t witness any single accident. This is not because of the good and talented driving style of the drivers. All streets are so congested, that there is almost no movement and with a lower speed, cars make fewer accidents. Sounds crazy, because I saw many damaged and scratched cars during my time in Lima, but still didn’t see an accident with my own eyes.

What you can see on the following video is Ovalo Higuereta, one of the main traffic junctions of Lima. I recorded this video from the low angle shot at 5pm – Hence BEFORE the rush hour in the evening after work.


Now you should imagine, that during the real traffic chaos between 6 pm – 8 pm the situation is even worse. Can you imagine that? There is already a traffic rotary with five lanes, but still, it is completely congested. You can see busses as well in the video. They were sometimes so overfilled with passengers, that the rear axle of the vehicle was abrading the street and damaging it.

Generally, people from Lima don’t obey the traffic laws, that’s why you hear almost everywhere in the streets load roaring sirens. Whether police, firefighters, or ambulances are driving to an operation or not, they are abusing their sirens in the hope of having an advantage in the traffic situation. Unfortunately, the drivers don’t grant additional space for the emergency vehicles to drive through. Drivers in Lima use their horns for every possible situation in traffic: For Turn signals, to cross a street, to insult other car drivers, etc. Pure chaos!

The following video is from 2014. So everything you see there is 100% from Lima, but you should regard, that the situation is now four years later worse than in 2014:

The only alternative to rapidly go to another neighborhood is the Metro system they have. Although it is a double rail, there are currently only two lines that connect different parts of the city. I only could find one semi-good map of the metro system of Lima:


Only the pink and violet lines are active, all others are under construction or just a project. Here, it is very easy to say, that the government overslept to react on time to the growth of the city. Because of this omission, it will take many years to solve the problems of the past. but then they still are not ready for the future, because the city will continue to grow and new challenges will appear.

A usual situation at the metro of Lima looks like the following:


​All Peruvian craziness in one single video. And this is nothing special, but ‘only’ a scene during a Saturday afternoon.



A real balanced equilibrated and progressed society shines because of one important factor: equal opportunities for everyone. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in a lot of examples I encountered in Peru. On one of my first days in January 2018, I have recognized something, that I didn’t see before in my life.

An exhibited corruption of a governmental institution to its civilians. I was ordering an Uber driver to pick me up and drive me home at night. At the red traffic light, he stopped duly. This can be seen already as something special because no one follows the traffic rules in Lima. Regardless, if it is a pedestrian, biker, or car driver. But he stopped the car as wide as a finger beyond the stop bar. One traffic cop who was lurking across the street at the other side saw this and came to the car.

gas station in Lima
A gas station in the middle of the road!

After a few minutes of discussion and threatening the Uber driver with losing his license for his offense, the police cop ‘offered’ to solve this without an official fine, if the driver would pay him 20 Soles (more or less $6.15). All efforts of the driver to avoid payment because of this ridiculous misdemeanor didn’t help: He had only the option to pay this amount to the corrupt cop or to lose his driver’s license. So he had to swallow the bitter pill and paid the cop more than the recent price for his taxi services to me. I felt very bad for him!

Corruptions exist everywhere in the world. In some countries Peru ranks in the Corruption Perception Index 2016 from Transparency International on rank number 94 of 180 which is pretty bad. Only Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay have in South America a higher corruption than Peru. For a country, that wants to be modern, civilized, and progressive it needs more anti-corruption measures. The Peruvian president needed to resign in March as well because of a corruption-related matter. A very interesting article can be read here.


Lima is the least authentic Peruvian city in Peru

Before I came for the first time to Lima in 2014, I didn’t know anything about the country except Machu Picchu and Lamas. Let’s call that the stereotypical and default gringo knowledge. Machu Picchu and Lamas you will find far outside of Lima. Amongst many other things, that are purely Peruvian and you would generally expect a city like Lima to offer you.

One example is a cultural festivity like carnival. I expected from a religious country something like the cultivation of customs and traditions regarding their catholic festivities. And they do, you will find a lot of customs and traditions with authentic suits, dances, and music – Outside of Lima. What I found in Lima during the carnival was the following situation you can see in the video:


Does that have anything to do with the carnival you were expecting from a catholic continent like Latin America? At least I don’t think so, but I lost a good pair of jeans and a shirt in this colorful mayhem.

This is not the only moment when I was missing a distinctive Peruvian spirit in Lima. The same happened during Easter weekend. Or Whitsuntide. Or even the national holiday. Everywhere else the Peruvians in other cities are celebrating these special occasions with their style. In Lima, they do not celebrate it at all.

Callao Monumental
To see these monuments, you need to travel to other provinces like Callao Monumental for example

I’m not sure, why this is the case. Maybe Lima is regarding its population too hybrid of all Peruvian origins to be distinctive? The same happens when you mix all colors: At the end, you will have a hue of grey. Like Lima La Gris.

And making a perfect transition, grey is the typical color of Lima as it will be introduced to you in my last of the five reasons.


Lima la gris

Although it is a coastal city AND located in the desert, the most of the year the weather is really shitty. From May to September, the climate changes for the whole metropolitan area of Lima from good to bad. During the winter months, the whole city will be shrouded in a grey and depressive mood. Dark rainy clouds are coming from the seaside and cover the whole sky. There won’t be any sunlight or a light blue sky for up to five months. ‘Lima la gris’ is nothing more than a nickname for the city that means ‘Lima the grey (one)’.

Traffic chaos in Gamarra
A silky grey shroud girdles Lima for about 6 months.

As a Northern European citizen, I am used to facing hard and relentless winters with a lot of cold and snow. Although you might freeze a lot during the European winter months, you never get depressive, because you see at least sunshine or a blue sky for some hours of the day. And falling snow gives you as well some rare opportunities, like building a snowman or a snowball fight or pissing the name of your girlfriend in the white mass.

Fortunately, it doesn’t get really cold, maybe around 10 – 15 °C (50 – 60 °F). Still, a normal day in Lima during the winter months looks like the following:

Not the happiest place to be. Lima is because of its climate a very challenging place for expats to live. If you are very sensitive to hot temperatures or have allergic reactions or chronic respiratory ailments, you should reconsider moving away from the hot/cold/grey/polluted/congested capital city of Peru. Maybe other cities in Peru or Latin America will suit you better.

That’s all, folks! No more Lima for me. I am heading to another destination. Where? Stay updated and subscribe to my newsletter to never miss an update and be always informed about my latest articles!

I hope, that I could give you support for your decision to live in Lima La Gris. By giving several pros and cons from the insider’s perspective, you should now have a better imagination about the Peruvian megacity.

Did you read the first article about the many good arguments for expat life in Lima? In case you didn’t, please click on the article below to gather some additional information about 5 reasons to live in Lima from the expat’s perspective.

I’d be very happy if you decide to leave a comment below or become a subscriber to my blog. Many other interesting articles are already in preparation. Never miss an update and follow me on social media!

Thanks for reading my article!

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