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A Passport Bros' Guide to Living in Cusco, Peru


You're not here by accident. You're here because you've got that itch, that relentless nudge pushing you towards the road less traveled. And guess what? That road might just lead to Cusco, Peru.

Four years ago, if someone had mentioned Cusco to me, I would've offered nothing but a blank stare. Fast forward to 2021, and I was all about jetting off to snag my TEFL certification there. Europe was the dream, Peru was... well, not even on the radar. But then, October rolled around, and Cusco happened to me.

One month. That's all it took for Cusco to get its hooks into me. Post-certification, I was plotting my return before I'd even left. Now, here I am, three months deep into a five-month stint, and let me tell you, this city has its own gravitational pull.

So, what's the big deal? Why should you, the aspiring passport bro, the man with a laptop and a lust for life, consider setting up shop in Cusco? Buckle up, because I'm about to walk you through the ins and outs, the highs and lows, and the twists and turns of living the expat life in a city that's as enigmatic as it is electric.

This isn't just another "move abroad" guide. This is the blueprint for your next big leap. Cusco isn't just a destination; it's a launchpad for the bold, the brave, and the ones who dare to dream out loud. Ready to dive in? Let's get started, and who knows, by the end of this, you might just find yourself browsing for one-way tickets to the heart of the Inca empire. Welcome to the beginning of your Cusco story.

Reasons to Consider Moving to Cusco

Gentlemen, let's talk about leveling up your passport bro game in a place where your currency stretches like the endless horizon—Cusco, Peru. This isn't just a change of scenery; it's an upgrade to your lifestyle without the premium price tag.

A. Low Cost of Living

First off, let's address the elephant in the room—your budget. In Cusco, that elephant shrinks down to a mouse. Imagine renting a two-bedroom pad, a stone's throw from the pulsing heart of the city, for a mere $200 a month. That's not a typo. It's the kind of deal that turns your nomadic dreams into a reality.

And when it comes to dining, you're in for a treat. Picture this: a gourmet meal and a cocktail that won't leave your wallet light. We're talking about 20 bucks for a night out that would cost you an arm and a leg back home. Or how about brunch with a latte for the price of a latte alone in the big city? Yeah, Cusco's got you covered.

Transport? Forget the Uber fees. Hop on a bus for a quarter or flag down a taxi for a buck. And when it's time for a trim or a touch-up, you'll walk out of the salon with a fresh cut and cash to spare. This city isn't just affordable; it's a financial no-brainer.

B. Diverse Attractions

Now, let's paint the picture of your new backyard. Cusco is the gateway to diversity. Want to wake up to a jungle view? You got it. Prefer the serenity of mountain peaks? They're calling your name. Beach bum at heart? The coast is within reach. And if urban exploration is your jam, the city's rhythm will keep you moving. This isn't just a place to live; it's a place to live it up.

C. Kind and Welcoming Locals

But what about the vibe? Here's the scoop: Cusco's locals are the real MVPs. They're the kind of folks who'll make you feel like a long-lost friend. They're the ones who'll share stories over a cup of coffee or help you practice your Spanish until you're rolling 'r's like a local. This city's warmth comes not from its weather but from its people.

D. Safety

And if you've got concerns about safety, let's put those to bed. Cusco is as safe as they come, ranking high among the safest cities in South America. Sure, you'll exercise the usual caution, as you would anywhere, but you'll stroll through these streets with a sense of security that's as solid as the cobblestones under your feet.

So, what's holding you back? Cusco is not just a destination; it's a full-on experience. It's the place where your digital nomad life gets a serious upgrade. It's where you'll find the sweet spot between adventure and affordability, between community and independence. It's where you'll write the next chapter of your story, and trust me, it's going to be epic.

Cost of Living in Cusco: Your Budget's New Best Friend

Gentlemen, as you chart your course to Cusco, let's talk numbers—because even the freest of spirits need to keep one eye on their bank balance. Cusco isn't just a feast for the eyes; it's a haven for your wallet too. Here's the lowdown on living large for less.


A. Dining Out: A Feast for Pennies

Imagine tucking into a hearty meal at a local restaurant for as little as $2.65 or treating yourself and a friend to a three-course meal at a mid-range spot for around $26.52. Even the global staple of a McMeal won't set you back more than $6.36. And for the craft beer enthusiasts? A pint of the local brew in your hand for a mere $2.12.

B. Grocery Game: Shop Like a King

Your culinary skills can shine with local markets offering fresh produce that keeps both your stomach and pocket happy. A gallon of milk runs around $4.50, bread for a buck fifty, and chicken fillets at just under $3 per pound. And let's not forget the fruits of the land—apples and bananas at less than a dollar per pound.

C. Getting Around: On the Move for Less

Cusco's transport system is a dream, with one-way tickets on local transport at a jaw-dropping $0.27. Even if you prefer the comfort of a taxi, starting rates are about $1.33, and a mile's journey? Barely hits $2. It's freedom of movement, without the financial chains.

D. Home Sweet Home: Live Where You Love

Renting in Cusco can feel like you've hit the jackpot. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages around $353.58 per month, while stepping just outside the center can drop your rent to approximately $311.59. And if you're bringing your tribe, a three-bedroom in the heart of it all is about $654.11—space and savings in one.

E. Stay Connected: Tech for a Steal

Stay connected with a mobile plan packed with data for around $13.26 a month, and high-speed internet at $21.21. In Cusco, staying in the loop doesn't mean looping in debt.

F. Dress to Impress: Style on a Budget

Even your wardrobe gets a break here. A pair of quality jeans might cost you about $34.47, and running shoes for the active nomad come in at around $79.55. Dress well, spend less, it's that simple.

In Cusco, your dollars stretch further, your experiences grow richer, and your life gets that much bigger. It's not just about saving money; it's about investing in a lifestyle that gives back in dividends of joy, adventure, and freedom. So, pack your bags and your dreams, but leave the financial worries at home. Cusco's got you covered.

Tips for Moving to Cusco

Alright, gentlemen, it's time to get down to brass tacks. You're not just daydreaming about becoming a passport bro in Cusco—you're planning to make it your reality. Here's the insider playbook to transition smoothly into your new high-altitude, low-expense life.

A. Language: The Key to Unlocking Cusco

You don't need to be Cervantes to thrive in Cusco, but let's be real—knowing your 'hola' from your 'adios' is going to open doors. We're talking about basic Spanish that'll get you by in markets, cafes, and those late-night salsa bars. And if you're keen to polish your skills, Cusco is teeming with language schools that cater to your nomadic schedule and wallet.

B. Weather: Expect the Unexpected

If you're the type to check your weather app daily, here's a pro tip: don't. Cusco's weather is as unpredictable as a plot twist in a telenovela. Pack for rain, shine, and everything in between. Embrace the drizzle and the downpour with a rain jacket that's as ready for adventure as you are. Remember, a little rain never dampened the spirit of a true nomad.

C. Altitude: Rise Above

Let's talk altitude. At 11,152 feet, Cusco's not just high—it's 'on top of the world' high. Altitude sickness can be a real party pooper, but with the right prep, you'll be acclimatizing like a pro. Stay hydrated, take it slow, and maybe pop a pill or two if your doctor gives the nod. It's all about playing the long game.

D. Transportation: Navigate Like a Boss

Forget the fear of hailing taxis or navigating bus routes. Cusco's got a transport system that's as easy on your smarts as it is on your pocket. Buses cost less than the loose change in your couch, and taxis are so affordable, you'll think they missed a zero on the meter. Get to know the routes, and soon you'll be weaving through the city like a local.

E. Currency Exchange: More Bang for Your Buck

You're not just making a move; you're making smart moves. Skip the airport currency exchange and head straight for Cusco's 'casa de cambio' for rates that'll make your wallet do a happy dance. Stay savvy—shop around for the best rate and keep a little cash on hand for those off-the-beaten-path finds.

F. Neighborhoods: Find Your Tribe

Your neighborhood is your kingdom. Whether you're after the historic charm of the city center, the vibrant expat community of San Blas, or the local vibes of Magisterio, Cusco's got a spot with your name on it. Hit the pavement, talk to locals, and trust your gut. This is about finding your home away from home.

Moving to Cusco isn't just about changing your address; it's about changing your life. It's about embracing the new, the unknown, and the thrilling. It's about crafting a lifestyle that's as dynamic as the city you're about to call home. So gear up, future Cusco nomad. Your adventure is just beginning, and it's looking bright.

Legalities of Moving to Peru

Now, let's navigate the less glamorous but absolutely crucial side of your nomadic shift to Cusco—the legal tango. It's not the most thrilling part of the adventure, but get this dance right, and you'll be sipping Pisco Sours without a care in the world.


Post-pandemic, Peru's visa regulations have become as intricate as a fine Inca textile. But don't let that deter you. With a bit of know-how and some strategic planning, you'll be setting up your new life with the confidence of a seasoned expat.

First up, the tourist visa. It's your entry ticket to the land of the Incas, giving you a taste of the high life for up to 183 days. No need to tangle with bureaucracy; this one's as easy as 'please' and 'thank you'. But if you're looking to stay longer and blend work with wanderlust, you'll need to step up your game.

The work visa is the golden fleece of visas, and it's not handed out like flyers on a street corner. You'll need a job offer in hand, and let's be honest, the passport bro lifestyle doesn't always fit neatly into traditional employment boxes. But fear not. There's a world of opportunity for those willing to look and a community of nomads who've navigated these waters before you.

Financial foresight is your ally. Peru is a dream for the cost-conscious, but the government wants to know you can fend for yourself. A nest egg to show you can live without working illegally is your ticket to a hassle-free stay. Think of it as your financial declaration of independence.

And here's a pro tip: network. Connect with expats who've walked the path and can offer up-to-date advice on the ever-changing visa landscape. The right information is as valuable as gold in the city of the Incas.

So there you have it, gents. The legalities of moving to Cusco might seem like a mountain to climb, but remember, you're a nomad. Scaling new heights is what you do. Get your paperwork in order, your finances sorted, and your mind ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Cusco isn't just waiting for you; it's welcoming you with open arms.

Favorite Activities and Places

You've got the logistics down; now it's time to talk play. Cusco isn't just a backdrop for your laptop life; it's a playground for the soul. Here's where you'll write the stories you'll tell for a lifetime.

A. Machu Picchu

No self-respecting nomad comes to Cusco without experiencing the mystique of Machu Picchu. This ancient wonder isn't just a checkbox on your bucket list; it's a pilgrimage to the pinnacle of human ingenuity. Hike the Inca Trail, catch the sunrise over the Watchman's Hut, and let the energy of the lost city fuel your entrepreneurial spirit.

B. Huacachina

Feel the need for speed? Then Huacachina's your oasis. Sandboard down dunes that touch the heavens or roar across the desert in a dune buggy. This isn't just an adrenaline rush; it's a full-on desert storm of excitement that'll leave you breathless and begging for more.

C. Ballestas Islands

Swap the digital waves for the ocean's spray at the Ballestas Islands. Known as the 'Poor Man's Galapagos', here's where you'll come face-to-face with nature's raw beauty. Sea lions, penguins, and a cacophony of seabirds are the real influencers here, showing off without a filter in sight.

D. Amazon Jungle

Dive into the heart of darkness with a trip to the Amazon Jungle. This is where you unplug to recharge, surrounded by a symphony of biodiversity that drowns out the pings of notifications. Canoe down the river, spy on monkeys, and sleep under a canopy of stars. This is where you remember why you chose the nomad life.

E. Sacred Valley

And when you need inspiration, the Sacred Valley is your muse. With landscapes that paint themselves and a history that whispers from the stones, you'll find creativity flowing like the Urubamba River. It's not just a valley; it's a vision.

So, gentlemen, Cusco is calling. It's not just the home office you never knew you needed; it's an adventure that doesn't clock out at five. It's where work meets wonder, and life becomes legendary. Pack your bags, bring your ambition, and let Cusco do the rest. Your digital nomad journey is about to get legendary.

Navigating Romance in Cusco: Traditional Values Meet Modern Love

As you settle into the rhythm of Cusco, you might find that the local charm isn't just in the cobblestone streets and the ancient ruins—it's also in the people, particularly the women you'll meet. In Cusco, traditional values hold a special place, and this extends into the world of romance and dating.


A. The Traditional Charm of Cusco's Women

Cusco's women are known for their traditional values, which often translate into a deep respect for family, relationships, and the roles within them. This doesn't mean they're stuck in the past—far from it. Many are as ambitious and career-oriented as they are family-focused. They balance modern aspirations with time-honored customs, creating a blend that's as intriguing as the city itself.

B. Dating: A Dance of Respect and Romance

When dating in Cusco, you'll find that taking things slowly is not just recommended; it's often expected. Courtship here still has a touch of the old-school, with respect and genuine intentions at its core. It's about building a connection that's as enduring as the city's Incan walls.

C. Starting a Family: A Foundation of Stability

For passport bros considering a more permanent base and perhaps starting a family, Cusco offers a community where such aspirations are nurtured. The emphasis on family values means that discussions about the future, children, and settling down can often be more straightforward than you might find in more fast-paced, individualistic cultures.

D. Cultural Sensitivity: The Key to Connection

It's essential, however, to approach dating with cultural sensitivity. Understanding and respecting local customs and etiquette will not only endear you to your partner but also to her family and community. Remember, in Cusco, family and community are central, and winning her heart often involves embracing her world.

E. Embrace the Adventure of the Heart

As you embark on this personal journey, remember that love, like life, is an adventure—one that requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to learn and grow. In Cusco, you may just find that the traditional ways open up new doors to a fulfilling relationship and a heartfelt home.

In Cusco, the pursuit of love is much like the city itself: rich with history, grounded in tradition, and vibrant with the promise of tomorrow. Whether you're seeking a partner for the moment or for a lifetime, the city's traditional values provide a strong foundation for building a relationship that's as rewarding as your adventurous lifestyle.


As we round off this expedition through the ins and outs of Cusco, let's not just talk about the endgame. Because for you, the intrepid digital nomad, this isn't an ending—it's the start of something monumental.

Cusco isn't just a dot on the map; it's a crossroads where paths converge, where stories unfold, and where life is lived out loud. It's where you'll find the freedom to work with a view of the Andes, the liberty to explore ancient ruins on your lunch break, and the independence to grow your business in the rich soil of a culture that's stood the test of time.

You've heard the call to adventure, the whisper of the mountains, the chatter of the marketplace, the silent majesty of Machu Picchu. Now, it's time to answer. It's time to step out of the familiar and into the extraordinary. It's time to trade the daily grind for daily discoveries, to swap out the routine for the remarkable.

And if you ever find yourself in need of a nudge, a bit of advice, or a hearty pat on the back, remember that you're not alone. Reach out, and you'll find a community of like-minded souls who've traded in their nine-to-fives for a 24/7 adventure. We're here, living the dream, ready to welcome you to the fold.

So, what's next? Will you let the sun set on this opportunity, or will you chase the horizon until Cusco becomes your sunrise? The choice is yours, but remember—fortunes favor the bold, and Cusco is for the bold.

This isn't just a conclusion. It's an invitation. An invitation to step into the life you've always wanted, where work and wanderlust walk hand in hand. So, go ahead, make the leap, and let Cusco be the canvas for your masterpiece of a life.

Q&A: Embracing the Digital Nomad Lifestyle in Cusco

Q1: What makes Cusco an ideal destination for digital nomads?

A1: Cusco is a blend of affordability, adventure, and ancient culture that's hard to beat. With a low cost of living, a rich tapestry of history, and a vibrant expat community, it's a place where your professional ambitions can soar without sacrificing the thrill of exploration.

Q2: How does the cost of living in Cusco compare to other popular digital nomad destinations?

A2: Cusco stands out for its remarkably low cost of living. Whether it's rent, dining out, or transportation, your dollars go further here, giving you the financial freedom to enjoy life without the constant worry about your bank balance.

Q3: Is it easy to find high-speed internet in Cusco?

A3: Absolutely. Cusco has adapted to the digital age, offering high-speed internet in numerous cafes, co-working spaces, and accommodations, ensuring that you stay connected no matter where your adventures take you.

Q4: What are the visa requirements for digital nomads moving to Cusco?

A4: Most digital nomads start with a tourist visa, which allows for a stay of up to 183 days. For longer stays, you'll need to look into a work visa or other residency options, which require more documentation and a solid financial foundation.

Q5: Can you describe the dating scene in Cusco for digital nomads?

A5: Dating in Cusco can be a beautiful journey, as many locals hold traditional values close to their hearts. This means relationships often have a strong foundation of respect and shared goals, particularly around family life.

Q6: What are some tips for digital nomads to integrate into the local community in Cusco?

A6: Learning the language is key. Even basic Spanish can go a long way in showing respect for the local culture. Additionally, participating in community events and being open to local customs can help you weave into the social fabric of Cusco.

Q7: Are there any co-working spaces in Cusco for digital nomads?

A7: Yes, Cusco has embraced the co-working trend, offering spaces that combine modern amenities with the unique charm of the city. These spots provide not just a desk, but a community where ideas and inspiration flow as freely as the local coffee.

Q8: What should digital nomads know about the healthcare system in Cusco?

A8: Cusco has both public and private healthcare facilities. While basic healthcare is accessible, it's advisable for digital nomads to have comprehensive health insurance to cover any eventualities, especially those that may require treatment in private hospitals or clinics.

Q9: How safe is Cusco for expats and digital nomads?

A9: Cusco is considered one of the safer cities in South America for expats and digital nomads. Common sense precautions are advised, as in any city, but the overall atmosphere is welcoming and secure.

Q10: What are the best ways for digital nomads to unwind and relax in Cusco?

A10: From yoga studios to tranquil cafes, and from scenic hikes to vibrant nightlife, Cusco offers countless ways to unwind. The city is a gateway to relaxation and adventure, ensuring that your downtime is as fulfilling as your work time.


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