Peru is known for diverse natural landscapes and its rich history, dating back to the Incan empire. But with a growing economy, it has also earned a top spot for expat relocation and retirement. Learn more about this coastal South American country and whether you should consider it for your next move.
Working in Peru
Peru has many natural resources due to its varied landscapes. So, it’s not surprising that its top industries include mining, agriculture and fishing. Much of the country’s economy is driven by the mining of copper, gold, silver, zinc and lead. Mining is a popular draw for skilled expats. Another thriving job sector for foreigners is tourism. Other top industries in Peru are manufacturing and oil and gas extraction.
Most expats find employment in Peru’s capital and largest city, Lima, and typically work for foreign businesses. Peruvian companies tend to hire locals. However, a lot of expats receive a permit to work in Peru through a corporate relocation.
People are hardworking, but the workplace culture is laid back. Don’t be surprised if a meeting starts a few minutes late. Family commitments will often be prioritized as well. Most locals in large cities like Lima can speak English. But life will be a lot easier if you speak the official language, Spanish. Peru’s economy is consistently on the rise, but expats should note it is still a developing country
Life and Lifestyle in Peru
Peruvians are known to be very welcoming to foreigners. The diverse population inducles Africans, Asians, Europeans and the native Amerindians. Mountain ranges, rainforests and vast desserts make for quite a varied climate. So, you can expect warm beach weather on the coast while there are colder temperatures in higher altitudes. Weather in Lima is more moderate and enjoyable, staying between 53°F and 84°F.
Lima’s population is 8.473 million people. It’s an ocean city that offers nearby beaches and vast ravines. Many expats enjoy living in the Barranco district of Lima. This is a bohemian community home to writers, artists and hipsters. The second biggest city is Arequipa. It lies amongst the mountains of Pichi Pichi, Misti and Chachani and has a historical downtown. It is also quite the college town with over 15 universities. In the Andes Mountains you’ll find the city of Cusco which provides access to many Incan sites including trails to Machu Picchu. Other popular expat destinations include Trujillo which is Peru’s third largest city, and the Sacred Valley – famous for tourist getaways.
In general, the cost of living in Peru is average, with higher costs in cities with a big population like Lima. Most expats live in apartments as houses are difficult to find in large metropolises.
Food is moderately priced, and it is world renowned. For the last five years, (2012-2016), Peru was chosen as the World’s Leading Culinary Destination by the World Travel Awards. The cuisine combines Spanish tastes with the other flavor profiles of the diverse cultures in the country.
Private healthcare is preferred by expats as the public healthcare is low in quality.
Many expats choose to have their own vehicle, so they can explore the different geographic landscapes of the country. However, public transportation is reliable in larger cities.
Moving with Kids
If you’re relocating with your kids, take advantage of Peru’s good quality public schools. It’s free and is for children ages 6-16. However, the main language will be Spanish. You’ll also have the option of high standard private schools that offer English-language instructions. These private institutions may also have a religious focus and can be expensive. International schools are plentiful in the big cities.
Moving to Peru
With a growing economy, welcoming people and beautiful landscapes, Peru is a great destination for relocation. Whether you move for work, retirement or access to amazing natural wonders, you’ll need an experienced moving company to handle the transportation and moving process.