By Carlos Mamani - Lima Local
Interested in retiring in Lima, Peru? Well, that may just be the right choice. Lima is the capital city of Peru and was called the “Ciudad de los Reyes” (City of Kings) when it was founded by the Spanish empire. Lima is a modern city in Peru (South America) and is situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It has a growing economy, good weather, great beaches, best dishes on earth and a rich culture.
You should know that Lima is divided into districts. Some of them are very beautiful and a good option when thinking of retiring in Lima.
In my view, the Miraflores district is the perfect zone for retirees to live. You will find banks, restaurants, shops, schools, clubs, universities, supermarkets, hotels, stadiums and other fun attractions with direct access to the sea. Parks are a meeting point for neighbors, especially retirees because you will not have to travel long distances for basic services.
San Isidro District
San Isidro district is the richest district in the country, but this is mainly for business people. If you would like to live among the tallest of buildings, this is the district for you.
Costa Verde District
The Costa Verde district is another great option for you to live. If you are very active and athletic, go here to do activities that cannot be done in other places. This is also a great district for surfers. If you enjoy surfing or just watching, you will love living in the Costa Verde district. You can just walk for just a few minutes and you will have the beach in front of you.
Pros of Retiring in Lima, Peru
Cons of Retiring in Lima, Peru
Inca Kola beats out Coke as the most popular drink. It's a neon-yellow, bubble gum flavored soda that's found anywhere in Lima. It's one of 3 places in the world where Coke doesn't dominate.
What is the Culture Like in Lima?
The culture is a combination from different parts of the world like Europe, Asia, and Africa. It can be seen in its gastronomy, art and education. Peruvians are mostly Catholics. In October, miles of believers take part of a parade along some avenues. There are descendants of Japanese, Chinese and Europeans who are also part of the native culture. Peruvian culture is also known for:
- Friendly people that will be happy to help anyone in need
- Being well identified with the land where they were born
- Peruvians are proud to be descendants of the Incas (pre-Hispanic culture).
What Languages are Spoken? Can You Get By with English Only?
Most residents in Lima speak Spanish. In Peru there are other languages like Quechua and Aimara but they are mainly spoken in other provinces. Unfortunately, speaking English is just not that common here.
People who want to live in Lima will need to learn Spanish. Even though there are tourist places where employees speak English, it’s recommendable to speak Spanish.
Something positive is that native people are very friendly and will do everything possible to understand you if you have difficulties speaking Spanish. Also, new generations are more conscious about the importance of English and they are studying this language on their own.
What is the Weather Like in Lima?
A great thing about Lima is that there aren’t extreme climates (extreme hot or extreme cold). In some countries, the climate can be very dangerous because of storms or even hurricanes. That is a thing you do not have to worry about here.
The average temperature is 19°C (66°F). Winter (June - September) is not so cold. This means that any day is a good day to go for a walk or go to the cinema. It is not like some countries where people have to stay at home because of storms. There are only light rain or drizzles. People do not use umbrellas and the summer (December - March) reaches temperatures up to 34°C (93°F) approximately.
Is it Safe to Live in the City?
To be honest, that is a negative side of the city. Robberies are common in some parts. Crime is more common in poor districts, but it's not a big problem in higher-end districts. They have a low crime rate. To give some examples, Miraflores and San Isidro are two districts where you can walk around with few worries.
When you're in Lima, be sure to try the Pisco Sour. It's Peru's national cocktail. Pisco is made from Peruvian grape brandy and is mixed with lemons, sugar water, egg whites, ice and finished with bitters.
Getting Around Lima...Do You Need a Car?
There are many ways how to get around the city. Almost every kind of transportation can be used: bicycles, motorcycles, buses and vans. Having your own car would be very good, but it is not really necessary. There are public buses that cover almost all of Lima. You just need to wait for a bus at a bus stop. If you do not have patience, you can take a taxi. Taxis can take you everywhere.
What are Popular Activities in Lima?
The city offers a wide range of activities for people retiring in Lima. The list below are some of the activities enjoyed by all kinds of people.
Going to the cinema is very common here because there are many of them. It can be alone or with family.
Malls are a pastime for all ages. It is really a good entertainment because sometimes there are concerts and events for free. You can walk around or just go to a specific places (cinema, restaurant, supermarket).
People love going to the beach in the summer. To prevent a skin disease you should buy a good sunscreen. If people do not go to the beach, they go to the swimming pool.
A vast majority of the native people are Catholic. Thanks to that, it is a custom to go to church.
Outdoor sports are a popular activity even among the elderly. Sports such as running, aerobics, and stretching can be seen in city parks.
What are popular local food dishes?
This is what foreigners love the most about Peru. It is always wonderful to discover new food and flavors. In Peru, there are excellent restaurants for all tastes. You can find Peruvian, Japanese, Italian, French or Spanish cuisine restaurants. If you want to try local Peruvian food, here are a few examples:
It is essentially prepared with raw fish, which is cooked thanks to the acidity of the lemon, accompanied with hot peppers, onion and aromatic herbs. It can be prepared within a few minutes. The result is a delicious and fresh dish.
Pollo a la brasa
Most natives consider it as the most Peruvian dish or our national dish. There is no Peruvian who can say he has never tasted this dish. It even has its own national day every 3rd Sunday in July. It is prepared with a whole chicken baked in embers. It is consumed as a main dish accompanied with fries and salad. In my opinion, it is tastier than a common fried chicken.
It is a traditional dish in Peru and it is more common in October. It has its national day on October 17. According to the original recipe, it is prepared with beef heart and it is seasoned with red pepper and other spices.
Lomo saltado is of the many mixtures in Peruvian cuisine, thanks to the mix of Peruvian and oriental cuisine. It is commonly prepared with beef, even though some people use chicken or pork instead. It is quickly stir-fried beef and red onions mixed with potatoes and often served with fries.
Does Peru Offer a Retirement Visa?
Yes! Here are some of the requirements:
- You must be able to prove a $1000 per month income that is not a salary (i.e., a pension, social security, regular company dividends or other passive income)
- For every dependent, you must add $500 per month
- You'll need a passport, apostilled proof of income and apostilled marriage certificate or birth certificates if you're bringing your kids.
With this type of visa, you won't be able to hold a job in Peru, but you also won't be responsible for any Peruvian taxes, either.
If you're interested in getting a Peruvian Rentista Visa, you should get some help by contacting a legal professional.
Retiring in Lima Cost of Living Chart
1 Bdr Apartment in City
$515 per month
1 Bdr Apartment Outside City
$310 per month
Average Utilities: 1 Bdr Apt
$62 per month
Inexpensive Meal for One
3-Course Meal for Two, Mid-Range
Bottom Line of a Lima, Peru Retirement
Lima is a beautiful country with a temperate climate, a rich culture and amazing food. It can be an affordable option but if you don't already speak Spanish, make sure you're willing to learn. It will not only make it easier to live in this lovely city but it will enrich your life by opening up friendships with the local Peruvians.
If you're interested in a different Latin American city because Lima is too far south, check out Panama City!
Quick Facts about Lima, Peru
Warm, muggy summers with little rain with long, cool winters that are mostly clear. It can get windy in the winter. 57°F and 93°F (13.8°C and 34°C)
Flight time to U.S.
7.5 hours hours by plane to New York; 17 hours to London
Peruvian Sol (PEN)
Yes - More Info
Available but not needed