Cusco Peru Low Cost of Living

Cusco Peru
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Cusco Peru Cost of Living

[kkstarratings]  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. I have been traveling for 11 years now. I have been to 64 countries so far. I don’t really believe in retirement but I would like to find a place to call home for 6 months per year. Cost of living is important but I also want to love the place I call home for part of the year. I will keep traveling the other 6 months, or so, per year.

Livability Factors: When I visit a new place I think about my livability factors. My livability factors include walkability, internet reliability, quality food choices, weather, social factors (worldly people to hang out with), and political considerations (corruption, respect for fellow citizens, general feeling of community, open minds to foreigners (me)). The last two are more of a feeling than anything you can measure. I add all that up and it leads to a desirability to live somewhere or not.

Walkability: Cusco old town is certainly walkable in the areas that matter around Plaza de Armas. Cusco is one of the most interesting smaller towns in the world. But because of its elevation (3400 meters, 11,200 feet), it is a little hard to breath when walking up some of the step roads or mountain paths. But this is something you would adjust to over time. But each time you return you would need to adjust again.

Internet: The Internet was not an issue at all in Cusco. We had a great connection in our Airbnb apartment and in various coffee shops.

Food: The international food choices were fairly well represented especially given the size of Cusco. They were not as good as Arequipa or Barranco, but for a small town, they were decent. We found a decent Pizza, some decent vegetarian dishes, a few decent Chinese places (Chifa), and a few overpriced ‘international cuisine’ restaurants.

Weather: Cusco is situated at 3400 meters above sea level (12,600 feet), so it is almost never hot. The average daily high-temperature year round is about 70 F/21C. But the temperatures descend rapidly at night to about 45 F/ 7 C in the warm months (September to May) and even lower in the cold months to 35 F / 2 C (June to August). Luckily it doesn’t rain much in the colder months, only about 1 day per month. The rainy season is December through March when it rains about 13 days per month. The cold seems to bother me more than the rain, so if I did live in Cusco, I would be away for the colder months, May through September.

Things to Do: There seems to be something going on culturally in Cusco at least a few times per month. There are also many museums, art galleries, and archeological sites to explore. There is also beautiful nature hikes and lots of beautiful space around to enjoy nature.

Social Considerations: I didn’t really investigate the social opportunities here in Cusco. It was just too cold out in June when we were here. Plus, I had fallen in love with Arequipa a few weeks before meeting Cusco. Cusco seemed a little too cold and a little too small as compared to Arequipa Peru.

Desire to Move Here: I would pick Arequipa if I decided to move to Peru. Cusco is attractive as a place to visit for a week or two, but I don’t see myself living there 6 months of the year.

Best Places to Live in World: Here is my list of the ==>best live-cheap in paradise locations<== in the world.

Here are my estimated costs of living one month in Cusco, Peru as a temporary visitor.

Some of the estimates could be reduced. For example, if you rented a furnished apartment by the month, it could be cheaper. Or, you could get a nicer place for the same amount of money. These expenses are based upon the Old Town area of Cusco. You can rent a furnished 1 bedroom apartment in Old Town Cuzco for about s/1000 to s/2000 per month (300-600 USD) depending on how nice and how close in you want to be.

Monthly Cost of Living, Cusco, Peru, Ecuador ($USD)






Airbnb (Apartment)





Moderate Hotel





Backpacker Hostel





High End Restaurant





Neighborhood Restaurant





Food Cart





















Per Month





Per Day




For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha. The above table does not include alcohol, excursions, or extras, and it is for one person. These costs are based upon eating outside your accommodations twice a day. If you stay in the Airbnb apartment, you might be able to save money cooking more. But that depends on what you cook and whether you would otherwise eat in Food Carts, Neighborhood Restaurants, or High-end restaurants. Some of the expenses remain unchanged when you add another person. I am not guaranteeing anything. These are just my notes from my personal travel.

If you book my recommended flights, tours, or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but I will earn a small commission. This will help me continue to travel and share with you.

Here are the tours available in Cusco. I recommend using either Viator Cusco Tours or Get Your Guide Cusco Tours. These are tour aggregators. That means they just publish tours conducted by third parties. Some tours are better than others. So you need to read the reviews. Look for a tour that has at least 5 reviews that sound good, and 2 of those reviews should be within the last few months.

Here are my recommendations for best places to stay in Cusco.  Here is information about how to get to Cusco.

Free E-Book: If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to and grab a free copy of my Ebook.

Thank you, Dan of Vagabond Buddha

I am not offering you these prices.  These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post.  Your costs will likely be drastically different if significant inflation or deflation occurs or the market changes after this post.  I will not update these numbers until I am on the ground again here, if ever.

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