Practical Life in Lima

Mobile Phone in Lima

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Cost of Living in Lima

Average consumer prices in Perú are significantly different from prices in neighbouring countries. Due to the use of the US Dollar, Ecuador is noticeably more expensive, and Bolivia is much cheaper.

Nevertheless, Lima tends to be more expensive than any other Peruvian town, particularly in regard to the price of rent and services. Here you can find the average cost of basic goods and services in Perú.

  • Groceries (on average): Bread costs 1.40$/kg, milk 1.25$/litre, cheese around 6.60$/kg, potatoes 0.77$/kg
  • Eating Out: A meal in a cheap restaurant costs around $2.60, and around $13.00 in a mid-range restaurant. A pint of local beer costs $1.50
  • Leisure: A cinema ticket costs approx. $4.50; and a Fitness Club Monthly fee is about $35 (usually attended by high class society)
  • Clothing: Compared to average consumer prices, buying branded clothes in Perú is significantly more expensive compared to local shops where to buy less high-quality clothes.

In Perú, the price of a chain store pair of jeans is about $25, increasing to $43 for a branded sport trousers. A mid-range pair of running shoes is $75 (Nike, Addidas, etc.)

  • Transportation & Gas: In Lima, a one-way public transport ticket costs around $0.45 and a monthly ticket costs around $28.25. A litre of 95-grade fuel costs around $1.09

Gift Items from Perú

If you are headed to Peru you'll want to leave extra space in your bag for souvenirs. As you tour the country you will find markets filled with beautifully crafted goods in eye-catching colours and motifs.

Below is a list of top gifts and souvenirs from Peru.

  • Alpaca clothing like a chullo hat: Andean-style hat with earflaps that can be tied under the chin. Made of brightly coloured wool.
  • Musical instruments: A panpipe of eleven reed tubes known as a zampona or a bombo drum, are traditional.
  • Pisco: This alcohol is Peru's national drink.
  • Coca Candy: Coca is a popular natural remedy for altitude sickness and can found in tea, leaves, and candies. However, it is illegal to bring coca tea and leaves outside Perú, but candies are permitted.
  • Inca Cross: Necklaces and other goods display the beautiful geometric design of the Inca cross.
  • Ekeko, the Smoking God of Prosperity: Ekoko is the God of abundance, prosperity and good fortune and is a perfect gift for someone you wish good fortune upon. 
  • Passport Stamps: At Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu you can get this tourist stamp places in your passport for a small fee.

Shopping Areas in Lima

Lima offers a wide range of options where to go shopping, from globally renowned fashion brands to the city cheapest, local options.

Those looking for alternative clothing shopping, fairs as "Feria Cachinera" and "Feria Marciana" are the place to be. They are both organized in the Barranco district once a month, the most bohemian neighbourhood in Lima. They offer local young designers' products, as well as shops that resell vintage clothes. These fairs are hugely popular among young Peruvians because of their clothing style and its price range, which is usually lower than in the retail stores.

If your style is more conventional, Miraflores and San Isidro districts, the trendiest neighbourhoods in Lima, are your districts. There, you will be able to find several shops that gather the best Peruvian designers. One of them is Lima Bonita, located in Miraflores, in which you can shop for a more casual, urban and bohemian style. Several exclusive handicraft shops are also located around Avenida La Paz.

On the other side, "Gamarra clothing and textile market" is by far the largest place for clothes shopping in the city. It spreads out across more than 24 blocks, with thousands of textile shops, designers and retailers selling a complete range of clothing of various qualities and styles. Most of the clothes you find in Gamarra are created by the entrepreneurs and designers that work in the district itself.

If you are looking for souvenirs or traditional Peruvian handicrafts; "Mercado Indio" in Pueblo Libre is the best option.

Markets in Lima

The traditional way of shopping for fresh fruits, veggies, meat and groceries in Lima is going to the Mercado local (local market). However, in the last 10 years the capital of Perú was plastered with numerous modern big supermarkets and hypermarkets, so many people changed their behaviour to this modern, globalized way of shopping. Nevertheless, prices and quality are still best at local street markets.

Those looking to purchase something different should try the weekend markets around Lima such as:

Surquillo Market No. 1: Located in block 53 in Av. Paseo de la República (junction with Calle Colina). This market is, nowadays, a mandatory place to visit for chefs from all over Lima and tourists. Cevichano (position 191) is one of its most famous places thanks to its combinations of ceviche with squid cracklings or shellfish.

Surquillo Market No. 2: This market located on Lizardo Montero Street was modernized in 2009. One of its most visited places is Chinen, a tradictional food stall (comida criolla). Every day you can find local specialities as "carapulcra" or "chanfainita". On weekends you can find other regional dishes such as "rocoto relleno" or "arroz con pato".

Groove market: Another place that homes a great variety of food stands is Groove Market, located in block 7 of Av. Jorge Chávez. Here you will find the local Tía Mary, where they sell the best traditional soups, "patascas" and an impeccable "chanfainita".

Jesus Maria Market: One of the most popular stalls in this market, which is located in block 3 of Av. República Dominicana, is Cevichería Andrea, which offers hard portions at affordable prices. Go safe and try his mixed ceviche.

Mercado Modelo de Chorrillos: In this place located in block 6 of Av. Alejandro Iglesias you can find "Julián's Stall", who became famous for his fabulous "parihuela" that combines bass and croaker with shrimp, squid, choros, cilantro and other secret ingredients.

Magdalena Market: In this varied market you will find a place called "El Caserito", which specializes in offering delicious, stuffed potatoes.

Supermarkets in Lima

Most of the big supermarkets in Lima accept cash payments in Soles or Dollar. Visa Credit Cards are also a common method of payment (as foreigner take your Passport with you, and as a national carry your ID with you).

Some supermarkets even offer online shopping including the service of bringing your purchases to your doorstep. The biggest supermarket chains in Lima are open from Monday to Sunday and almost all public holidays. While the actual opening hours vary from location to location, most open between 08am and 10.00 pm.

There is quite a lot of big supermarket chains in Lima. The most important ones are:

Related article: Landline phone in Peru

Update 7/05/2019


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