The capital of Peru is also its main hub and financial centre. In fact, Lima generates more than half of the country´s GDP. This means that practically all jobs, opportunities, apartments, houses and goods are readily found in Lima. If you have been offered a job with an international company in Peru, it is most probably based in Lima.
Lima – The Main Hub of Peru
Remember that the city is an agglomeration of several towns which now form the ‘districts’ that make up the main city. If you are an expat, the best place for you to live would probably be in Miraflores. It is not far from the UNESCO-preserved historic centre of Lima, but at the same time it is far enough from the hustle and bustle of the huge city. Miraflores is preferred by expats for one simple reason – it is safe.
Stay Safe in Lima
As most other big, emerging cities, crime levels in Lima are significantly higher than in most Western cities. There are several reasons for this, but mostly because people from all over the country gather here in search of a better life. For some, this quest is a “get rich or die trying”-style of conquest. Seemingly, they leave their morals and standards in their village. There is no reason to be afraid, though, as most parts of Lima are reasonably safe to stay in. However, European-looking people should stay away from the Pueblos Jovenes.
These are shanty-towns that surround the city, and any “gringo” caught walking around would probably find themselves parting company with his or her wallet. Miraflores is the safest place, and most of the apartment blocks in the area have 24/7 security. There is practically no extreme poverty in Lima, so most crimes are just petty thievery. Meaning you could look for apartments in any part of the central city.
What to Avoid When Looking For Apartments in Lima
- Shady agents. Just like practically everywhere in the world, there will always be people who try to scam you for money. Not necessarily scam, but haul you in to their services using techniques that include being a little conservative with the truth. If you see an apartment for rent in Miraflores for $200 somewhere on the internet, then it is probably too good to be true. Once they have your attention the agent will probably tell you that this one is occupied, but there are “other apartments” out there. These, of course, cost much more.
- Stay out of the suburbs. Since it should be possible for you to find a flat for $2-300 in the city centre, there is no reason to look for anything in the suburbs. Lima Sur, or southern Lima in particular is a place you should steer away from. Even though you might be able to find apartments for as little as $40-50 per month.
Retiring in Lima
Lima is one of the best places to retire, especially if you are from North America. Flights to the US and Canada can be found at reasonable prices, and the retirement visa process is straight-forward. You can find a nice apartment for $30-40 000, or a house with a pool in a guarded area for as little as $80-100 000.
Life is cheap, and so are the services. If you buy a place, the monthly expenses would be ridiculously small. Some people pay $10-15 per month in water and electricity charges. And yes, that does include ACs.