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Best places to retire cheap in 2018

Where’s the best place to retire cheap in 2018? Here’s my definite list for the year!

Here you go, in order:

#8 Cebu, Philipines: Beautiful forts, old architecture, mountains and beaches…..what’s not to love about Cebu? Also Cebu speaks English. They have great food, a mix of traditional and western can be found here no problems. The biggest problem with Cebu and why it only ranked #8 on this years list? Heat. It’s hottttttt, hot, hot here. Also spotty wifi, and roosters. Why are roosters a big con? They still have cock fighting here. So you are going to hear roosters all the time. One of the best things about Cebu though? The beaches, this will rank high for you if you love beaches!

Cebu Summary

#7 Bali, Indonesia: Tranquil beaches, and a very diverse culture is why it’s #7 on this years list. You’ll find everything from Australian backpackers, to yoga pant wearing hippies residing here. I’ve been all around the world and this is one of the most diverse places I have found in the way of culture. The people of Bali, are all great though. Regardless if you like yoga or all you can drink night clubs, there’s a place in the city for you. You’ll be able to get fresh fruit shakes for $1 CDN and big beers are $3. The biggest problem with Bali, is that it’s full of bugs. I don’t think I saw one traveller that was not covered in bug bites. I’d vacation here, but I don’t think I’d like to retire here. But I love the banana pancakes on the beach…..so good and definitely worth going for!

LINK: One Month Bali Review

#6 Quito, Ecuador: Quito is one of the cities you’ll definitely visit in Ecuador. The reason you’ll visit is that it’s an airport hub and it’s close to the Amazon. Would I retire there? Yes, but it’s not as good as it’s sister city Cuenca. While Quito has several things going for it like Uber and more buses going to different parts of the country, it’s not quite perfect. Giant hills make walking around difficult, and while I’d recommend coming here, (It’s still in the top 10 in the world.) It’s neighbor Cuenca is just better for retirees. Another problem with Quito is like most of South America, people don’t really speak English. Great healthcare in Ecuador though keeps Quito in the mix! Also as a bonus if you’re staying in Quito, go check out the Blue Door Housing…fantastic place to stay.

LINK: One month in Quito

#5 Chiang Mai, Thailand: Founded in 1296, this northern town in Thailand is a quiet place compared to Bangkok. The old town here is amazing, picturesque with temples and a feeling of peace. It doesn’t feel like a big tourist trap like Bangkok does. Saying that there are some reasons it’s ranked #5. No transit. The city has no good bus/transit/taxi. You’ll be taking Jeepneys everywhere. Recently it got GRAB, but cars are still relatively rare.

LINK: Great things about retiring in Chiang Mai

#4 Saigon, Vietnam: Saigon is a great place to retire cheap, because of the combination of great food and culture. LINK In detail review of Saigon

FOOD! Banh Mi is my go to food in Vietnam. Even if I never retire in Saigon, I’ll need to fly back at least once a year to eat some Banh Mi.

The costs here are great:

  • Coffee 17,600 Dong ($1 CDN
  • I’ve tried to give up smoking, but it’s been hard so I’ll usually have a smoke with my morning coffee. Cigarettes are 25,500 Dong ($1.50 CDN) a pack.
  • Gym 260,000 Dong ($15 CDN) a month.
  • Vietnamese Sub, AKA Banh Mi, AKA delicious 15,000 Dong ($1 CDN). The funny thing about Banh Mi’s is that there are several stands all around my apartment. All of the Banh Mi’s are slightly different but they are all uniformly 15,000 Dong!
  • My apartment was 4.4 million Dong ($250 CDN ) a month. This included high speed internet (43 Mbps), a maid once a week, power, water etc. (Shared with 2 other people).
  • A bowl of Pho 40,000 Dong ($2 CDN)

Why did it not rate higher on my best countries to retire cheap list? Heat mainly, and the fact that GRAB is really bad there. Also the visa situation kind of sucks. You have to do paperwork ahead of time to get your Visa, and Visa runs are necessary every 3 months.

#3 Medellin, Colombia: Ranked #3 this is my #1 to place to visit. Especially if I were just to judge it by it’s vibrancy and culture. I loved Medellin as soon as I stepped off the plane. The sounds, the sights (the women are beautiful) and the fact that everyone seems pretty darn nice. Medellin is somewhere you definitely want to visit at least once in your life. Saying that it only ranked #3 for a reason. It’s lively culture also includes, drugs, thieves and assaults. Every person I knew had either been mugged, robbed or pickpocketed (or personally knew somebody who had been). I personally had somebody try to pickpocket me, and my roommate was robbed at knife point. The safety factor drops this amazing city in Colombia to #3.

LINK: Medellin is dangerous!

#2 Siem Reap, Cambodia: The city of temples! It’s got all the charm of Vietnam, and it has 50 cent beers! Food will cost more than Vietnam, but it balances itself out with cheaper beer/cigarettes. In Siem Reap you’ll find a great combination of international food, and $3 lunches. This is the only place where I found imported liquor cheaper than it is back home in Canada! That’s right if you’ve travelled around you know the price of international booze is always more expensive. In Siem Reap, Jack Daniels is actually 40% cheaper than it is at home in Canada. The only caveat to this is wine. Wine is double the price for no known reason.

Siem Reap is small enough to walk around, but if you get sick of walking there’s an abundance of Tuk Tuks. Safe, and with great English, this is a great place to retire cheap. Visa on arrival is no problem, and it’s super easy to get 6 month extensions. The only reason it didn’t make the top spot on my list? Hot! It’s hot, hot hot! If you like hot weather this place should actually move itself up to number one.

LINK TO SIEM REAP MONTHLY REVIEW

#1 Cuenca, Ecuador: Oh Cuenca, I love you. Cuenca contains all the beautiful architecture you would find in Quito, but not filled with giant hills. I’ve found this is a sleepy town, but it is big enough to have malls, movie theaters and gyms.

I love the fact that you can pretty much walk everywhere here. A lot of expats lose weight just because of the constant walking.

You’ll wake up go for a walk to the market, get some fresh eggs and vegetables all for a $1 CDN. Big beers are $1.75 CDN, and meals out are roughy $2.50.

There is a wide assortment of culture to be found here, but it’s not really a party place. Cuenca isn’t a place you want to go for a vacation. There’s really not much to do here. It’s a place you’ll want to go to retire. A strong expat community also makes it an easy place to make friends.

Why is it rated so highly then? Just the fact that while it’s a sleepy town it is also peaceful and easy to get to know.

The only thing about Cuenca that I’d love to see change? It needs a better cab system. In Quito there was Cabify and Uber. Nothing like that exists in Cuenca. But when you can get a cab they are friendly and cheap.

Cuenca wins 2018 with its perfect spring like weather though out the year, great people and good sized population. Cuenca was #1 in 2017, and I am keeping it here for 2018.

LINK: One month in Cuenca

I hope this list has been useful to you. It was a lot of fun to make! It’s been a big year for me in 2018 and I love travel blogging. Thank you so much for your support! If you have any questions about which countries to retire cheap in, just message me!

Best places to retire cheap in 20182019-01-24T22:53:55+00:00

Can you retire cheap in Mendoza, Argentina?

Mendoza is known for it’s great meat and wine but can you retire cheap here?

The short answer is no you cannot retire cheap here.

If you retire cheap it won’t be in Mendoza, Argentina.

You will however think you’ve died and gone to heaven if you like beef, wine and bicycles.

Getting here from Valparaíso, Chile is easy.

LINK TO WHY RETIRE IN VALPO

You just have to get a comfy bus from CATA. They sell the tickets online, and at Terminal Sol.

TIP: The CATA bus you can buy the CAMA levels, which is a 160 degree reclining seat. They don’t have a full recline bed seat, but it’s pretty comfy.

On the bus you’ll get a meal box, so you don’t have to bring food …. maybe a few snacks

Then the dreaded border crossing occurs.

Not too bad, more of a boredom crossing.

You’ll wait about 5 hours, behind all the other busses as you exit the Chile crossing. Then you’ll drive a bit, and get to the Argentina entry point.

They’ll unload the bus, and check random passenger bags.

TIP: The people who are unloading all the bags will expect some small change as a tip. Have some pesos readily available.

Then after a few more hours you’ll be in Mendoza!

Mendoza has one of the most beautiful bus terminals I’ve ever seen.

I cannot think of a better one. Unlike most of the bus terminals I’ve seen, this one is super safe and clean with lots of stores. (Unlike the one in Arequipa, Peru which looks like you’ll be murdered getting in.) It looks like a modern airport terminal, rather than a decrepit bus terminal from the 80’s.

TIP: Get a phone card here. There’s a kiosk that will sell you a prepaid phone card. About $12 should do it.

TIP: Change money here. Argentina even though it’s super developed is oddly not that credit card friendly. Chile is much more so. In Chile we could use credit cards 50% of the time. Here it’s 20% of the time. You can change money at the Turbus kiosk. You’ll have people asking to change your money inside the terminal, go with one you trust, with the best interest rate.

TIP: They offered the same rate as the real cambio downtown, it was 43:1 USD:Peso if you gave them big bills.

If you are giving them small bills 20’s and under they give you 40:1. Obviously don’t do that.

You’re going to want to change money because the ATMS are brutal. Huge fee’s and low withdrawal limits.

The banks are even worse.

We tried twice to get money exchanged. It’s awful. Long lines, and all in bad. They close at 1pm, and don’t do money exchange.

(We tried HSBC and Bank of Argentina.)

Eventually we found a Cambio house to exchange our cash.

FOOD IN MENDOZA:

The food here is wonderful, but it’s not cheap. The price of a cheese pizza is $8 (all prices in Canadian).

The cost of this meal was $30 for 2 ribeyes and a bottle of wine. (Don’t forget the tip here is expected at 10%.)

I know this is super cheap compared to Canada.

And the beef and wine are really really good.

I’m from Alberta and know my beef. The Argentinian beef is great. And if you love wine? The $7 bottle was the equivalent of $20 bottle back home.

Saying that though, my budget for daily living is $15 a day, so I can’t afford steak and wine every day.

(Here’s how to order your doneness level in Spanish)

I found a brand of cheap wine I loved, that I bought at VEA (like a Walmart), it was under $3 for a 1.2 liter bottle.

Cooking meat at home also was much cheaper.

You can see that it averages out at about $5 for one of these packages.

Vegetables are pricier, almost the same price as back home.

There are lots of vegetarian restaurants and gluten friendly choices in Mendoza.

There aren’t cheap menu del Dias meals though, unlike in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru.

On average I’d say the food here is 50% more expensive than those countries.

TOTAL COST? (THE PRICES BELOW ARE IN ARGENTINIAN PESOS)

These were the itemized costs. One thing to note, taxis, I used Cabify, versus the normal taxis. Also all meals and things should be divided by 2 because I was traveling with my travel buddy.

SAFETY

Mendoza is super safe. I don’t see any problems here. Obviously, take common sense precautions, but it’s just like back home.

ENGLISH

Non existent, just like the rest of South America. They also speak a strange dialect of Spanish, so even though I can speak a basic travel Spanish, it was really difficult here.

GYMS

This is another area where Mendoza stands out. I signed up for the Mendoza tennis club. It allows access to a great gym and tennis for $40 a month.

As I’ve travelled the world looking for the best countries to retire cheap, I’ve noticed that I’ve been in 3rd world countries a lot.

(I know it’s not really politically correct to use that term anymore, vs developing nations.)

Mendoza is a 2nd world vs 1st world or 3rd world. And is priced accordingly.

I’d say it would be a great transition city versus Medellin, Colombia if you are coming to South America for the first time.

LINK TO CURRENT BEST COUNTRIES TO RETIRE CHEAP RANKINGS

WHO SHOULD RETIRE HERE?

  • You love BBQ
  • You love safety
  • You love bicycles (lots of bike lanes here), and lots of parks.
  • You love wine
  • Great bus system
  • Cabify exists here
  • Great gyms
  • Red clay tennis courts
  • You can order food delivery

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT RETIRE HERE

  • Cost of living is more that $1000 a month. $1500 is a better budget
  • You don’t want to learn Argentinian Spanish. It’s annoying.
  • Not that walkable, the city is big. If you’re in one area, near the center, it will still be about 10 000 steps a day to get around.

I loved Mendoza, and will 100% recommend staying here for a visit, but it’s too expensive for this budget traveler. (Also, if you come to Mendoza, stay far away from Casa del Park Hostel, worst place I’ve stayed in the world.)

All in all I hope you enjoyed this summary and if you want to read more

LINK TO ALL THE BEST ARTICLES

Can you retire cheap in Mendoza, Argentina?2019-08-06T21:47:53+00:00

Why you should retire cheap in Valparaíso, Chile!

Valparaíso is a small city, two hours away from Santiago, Chile and it’s a great place to retire cheap.

I’ve been traveling looking for the best country to retire cheap for the last 4 years, exploring everywhere from the countrysides of Thailand, to the party city of Medellin, Colombia, and I can tell you that Chile is by far one of the the best places to retire cheap.

When you are looking for the best city to retire cheap in the world, there are some cities that will immediately say “Yes! This is the place!” And some cities like Phnom Penh, Cambodia where you’ll say “Hell, No! Hard pass on dog bbq and pollution.”

Valpo (as all the cool locals call it) is a place that I fell in love with as soon as I got off the plane from Peru.

The Santiago customs was efficient and friendly, with buses, taxis and shuttles that take you directly to Valpo. For the article on how to get here, click here

HOW TO GET TO VALPO BY BUS

When you get here, the first things you’ll probably notice is how clean, and safe it is.

Unlike some other cities in South America, there isn’t a huge amount of crime or danger.

Every city in the world has bad areas, but some places definitely have more.

For example check out Medellin in this article

MEDELLIN IS GREAT, BUT NOT SO SAFE

Valpo, is super safe unless you stray into bad areas at night. You can definitely tell if you wander into those areas, because the level of sketchiness increases dramatically. (Hint: Large groups of guys drinking and peeing on the street is a sign you’re not in the best area.)

ENGLISH

English levels, like the rest of South America is pretty much non existent, with the need to be able to speak Spanish to survive.

The people here don’t really try, unlike Asia, where all the locals speak a smattering of English.

I ran into a cute family at a restaurant where the little girl, had been going to an English speaking school, who was so happy to practice her English with real people who spoke native English

Hospitals, and pharmacies are everywhere here. The hospitals are private/public. You’ll definitely want to go to the private hospitals.

COST OF LIVING

My budget is $1000 Canadian, and Valpo is a little bit out of this range. I’d say maybe $1100.

My room in a house that I’m sharing costs roughly $280 a month, my gym $40 a month and the price of a cheap meal is about $4.

This is more expensive than Arequipa, Peru by about 30%.

Here’s an article on Arequipa, if you want a more in depth review

AREQUIPA, PERU IS CHEAP AND AWESOME ARTICLE

That being said, while it’s not the cheapest city I’ve been to in South America, there’s a really good reason for it.

It’s got a light rail system, big sidewalks, and lots of police.

This city has the perfect mix of tiny street stands, and massive malls. I love being able to get fresh produce, and then go see a movie in a comfy cinema.

CLIMATE

I arrived in the winter, and it’s about 12-14 degrees Celsius. Not super cold, but brrrrrrr……bring a jacket.

You can see what people wear, in my photo above. As a Canadian, you’ll be running around in a T-shirt …. hehhehehehe.

TRANSPORTATION

The oddest thing I’ve noticed is that there isn’t really public taxis! That’s right. Crazy.

It’s got collectivo taxis, aka shared taxis. You wait in a line and the taxis go to a destination and people share it. So odd.

It does have Uber, Cabify and othe ridesharing apps though.

A private taxi is about $2 one way to pretty much any part of town. I’ve been doing about 10 000 steps a day. But, if I was lazier? I’d be cabbing everywhere.

GYMS

There are gyms everywhere here, but not quite as good as a North American gym. And relatively expensive . Roughly $35 a month.

One huge pro though is that it has protein milk, and protein yogurt available to be bought in the stores.

Other cities I’ve traveled to in the world, don’t really have this.

Protein powder is super expensive (double the cost of what we pay in North America), but the protein milk and yogurt is delicious and a good price. $1 a serving

FOOD

The food in Chile, kicks the crap out of Peru, and Ecuador.

It’s empanadas, burgers, hot dogs, and seafood

And the steak and meat are good here. Unlike Asia, you can get great beef here.

And unlike Peru/Ecuador, the local food is much much tastier for our North American palate. In Ecuador I like the Menu del Dia, of beans, rice, chicken and a banana. And it’s only $2. But after a few months of this…..it can be boring.

Chile, the Menu of the day is $6 roughly.

A big giant 300g burger with bacon and cheese is about $8. Yikes! Worth every penny!

(If you’ve been to Asia, you’ll know what I mean…..after a year there, I’d kill for a good hamburger).

McDonald’s exists here, as well as Pizza Hut where a giant family sized pepperoni pizza is $10!

If you like to cook, and eat at home, the prices are much cheaper.

The produce stands are cheap.

Here’s an article on prices of fresh fruit

PRODUCE PRICES IN VALPO

But the great thing is that, if you want North American food, like Southern biscuits, or sour cream? You can do it here.

The prices of North American food ingredients are a bit more than at home, but not insanely priced. Like a bottle of KRAFT mayo is 25% more, vs 100% more in Asia.

If you stick with local ingredients, you can do your grocery shopping for about 35% less than at home.

Beer is cheap. $1 a 1 liter bottle is standard.

Rum and vodka are also about half of what you’d pay at home.

The big big big drink here is wine. If you like wine, you’ll love it here.

A $20 bottle from home, is about $5 here.

CULTURE

What’s not to love?

  • The people are super friendly, they might not speak English but really don’t mind my broken ass ghetto Spanish.
  • It’s safe, I don’t have to worry about motorcycle thieves.
  • There are sidewalks. Yes. You might think it’s crazy to mention this, but some places in the world I’ve gone to don’t really have them. Well technically they have them, but the sidewalks have been overtaken by motorcycle parking and street stands. (I’m talking to you Vietnam!)
  • Warning though, Valpo has a a million dogs. And they all poop on the sidewalks. So much so, that in my head I call this place ValPoop.
  • Shopping is easy. No haggling needed. And no tourist/gringo double charging. Prices are clearly labeled.
  • Banks! Get a Scotiabank account before you leave Canada. Scotiabank is HUGE here, and everywhere.
  • Beaches, mountains and exploration are only a 30 minute taxi away.
  • Lots of hills though, sooooo sick of hills.
  • Super fast wifi! No need to worry and a phone data plan with 6 gigs of data $12 a month

CONCLUSION

If you’re looking for the best place to retire cheap? Valpo is definitely worth checking out.

I’m 100% coming back and you should come visit.

Want more articles?

Check out my main archive here.

ALL THE ARTICLES

Why you should retire cheap in Valparaíso, Chile!2019-07-19T15:46:17+00:00

How Much is Produce in Valparaiso, Chile? Tips within…..

If you’re reading this in North America, you’ll probably be dead from envy after this article.

Fresh fruit and vegetable is everywhere here in Valpo. And it’s good and cheap…..

There are 3 types of places that you can get produce here.

1. Walmart! That’s right there are Walmart’s here. Real ones. It’s called Lider, but it’s the same chain, colors, etc. The produce here is the most expensive, and least fresh. The only reason you buy produce at Walmart or other big grocery stores, is because you want to only stop one place to go shopping. So if you’re a cheap ass, this is NOT the place to go for produce.

2. The local farmers market! (Mercado Cardanal) This is where you’re going to get the best deals for both quality, and price. Coming from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, it’s kind of counter intuitive for me. I’m used to seeing farmer’s markets having fresh produce, but expensive. The mercado is dozens of little stalls, all with prices clearly labeled, hawkers yelling out what they got, and yes all in Spanish.

3.The third place to buy produce little sidewalk stands. These are again everywhere. They are inside liquor stores, outside of churches, in front of Walmart, on the way to the farmers market. These places buy their product from the large market and sell them to people who don’t want to go to the market. Think of it as 7-11 for veggies.

For example tomatoes at the farmer’s market was 500 pesos ($1 CAN) for 2 kilos. At Walmart it was 1000 pesos for 1 kilo, and at the local street stands 750 pesos for 1 kilo.

Here’s the breakdown of what 9000 pesos worth of various product at the farmer’s market is.

  • Red peppers are 100 pesos each. They charge the same price for any of the colored peppers, like green, orange, yellow.
  • Onions are 10 for 1000 pesos
  • Banana peppers 10 for 1000
  • Lemons are various prices…but super cheap like they sell them by the 2 kilo
  • Scallions, 2 huge bunches 500 pesos (I put my kindle beside scallions for size)
  • Broccoli 2 huge heads for 1000.
  • Mushrooms are expensive at 1000 for half of what you’d pay for at Save On at home
  • Apples are 1000 kilo
  • Banana are 500 a bunch
  • Eggs 1600 for 15 eggs (see how they are right in front of a giant grocery store)

A couple things, to remember before you go to the market here.

  • Bring small bills. 1000 peso bills ($2 CAN) are the best
  • There is no haggling
  • They don’t try to rip you off as a tourist
  • They do, let you try the produce before you buy it
  • They will give you the stink eye if you examine the produce for too long. As a farmer market type of shopper, I’m used to examining each piece of fruit carefully. Here they think I’m insane.

I’m loving it here in Valpo, and if you love tasty fruit and fresh vegetables, it’s a great place to add to your destinations for best places to retire cheap.

If you’re in Lima, Peru and thinking about coming here, here’s a link on how to get here

LINK TO ALL ARTICLES

How Much is Produce in Valparaiso, Chile? Tips within…..2019-07-29T13:45:31+00:00

How to get from Lima, Peru to Valparaíso, Chile.

I love taking the buses here in South America. They are awesome. They are either lie down 180 degree seats, or semi lie down at 140 degree seats. Super comfortable.

And if you’re retiring cheap, then you have a ton of time on your hands and not that much money.

When I looked into heading to Chile, I thought of definitely using the bus.

Till I looked at the price!

The price was the same for the bus as the plane!

And the plane was 4 hours versus 24 hours by bus.

Ok. Plane it is.

After a quick flight on Viva Air (which was surprising good….) I was in Santiago,
Chile.

There they have various options on how to get to downtown. Metered cab, Tourist taxi, buses, shared shuttles.

But, I wasn’t going to Santiago downtown. I wanted to head to the nearby town of Valparaíso.

Surprising there is a bus that leaves DIRECTLY from the airport to this town. No need to go into Santiago proper at all! Hurray!

Here’s how to get there.

1. Collect your luggage. The Santiago airport is reallllllly reallllly big, it’ll take you a while to get from the plane to the luggage. Also you’re going to have to go through customs, and security.

2. After collecting your luggage. Head to exit 6. This is called Salida 6.

3. Go to the Turbus office, it’s right there at exit 6.

4. Buy your ticket. It costs so little, that I thought they didn’t understand me.

6000 pesos is the equivalent of about $12 Canadian. They take credit card, and yes that includes American Express.

5. After getting your ticket, head outside. There are all these different areas for different types of transportation. Turbus has it’s own spot. Look for the sign.

6. Get on the bus, and enjoy an awesome ride to Valparaíso …. it’s about 2 hours and the highways are smooth and not bumpy

Hope this helps you on your goal to finding the best country to retire cheap. Stay on this blog to see if Valparaiso, Chile makes the list!

How to get from Lima, Peru to Valparaíso, Chile.2019-06-28T15:54:23+00:00

Cusco, Aguas Calientes and Ollytantambo: 5 quick tipsk

The big three towns on your way to see Machu Picchu!

How do they stack up? Could you retire there?

First of all, out of the three towns I personally liked Aguas Calientes the best.

It’s surprisingly cheaper that’s Cusco.

I liked the very touristy feel of it. Cusco has just as many tourists, or even more, but it was more spread out, and less walkable.

Ollytantambo is the most expensive of the 3, and has the least to do. It’s literally just a central square.

Main tips for the region.

1. Using Cabify is easy, and Uber, but there are tons of illegal street taxis. A street taxi was always cheaper. You don’t really even have to negotiate that much.A Cabify was 3 bucks versus 2 bucks for a street taxi.

2. There weren’t really gyms at any of these cities. Some scattered here and there, but not many

3. Don’t expect quick wifi in this region. Digital nomads, and people who need quick wifi may not be able to survive here.

4. This region was about 30% more expensive than Arequipa.

5.Money. Make sure you bring Peruvian, not Canadian or American because the exchange rate is brutal.

All in all, if you’re looking for the best countries to retire cheap, Peru is still right up there.

I’d say, head to Arequipa if you are looking for retirement though, not these 3 towns.

These towns are a great place for a visit, but not to retire cheap

https://www.bestcountriestoretirecheap.com/travel-blog/

Cusco, Aguas Calientes and Ollytantambo: 5 quick tipsk2019-07-29T13:45:56+00:00

Machu Picchu tips 2019

Machu Piccu is one of those must see’s in the world, and while you might never retire cheap there, here is a guide on one of the world wonders.

1. Getting there can be tricky. You have to get to Aguas Calientes and take a bus from there. To get to Aguas Calientes you have to take a train from a different city. To get to that city you have to get to Cusco. It’s multi step, and I recommend doing it over several days not one day. It’s possible to do it in one day, but that’s 7 hours of travel.

2. When you get to Machu Picchu, bring a ton of water. My friends got super dehydrated. The official online site says, that you can’t bring a water bottle. That is a lie.

Bring a couple big 1 liter bottles.

3. Don’t buy food at Machu Picchu, It’s super expensive, buy it all in Aguas Caliente.

And bring it in with you.

The views are beautiful, and there are no time limits.

4. You can buy a ticket to Machu Picchu anytime, but there are several mountains in the area that you can’t get into without pre buying. They limit the visitors to 400 a day.

5. You don’t need a guide. Again the site says, a guide is mandatory. This is a lie.

Also the guide says, no selfie sticks. Not true.

6. Total cost of a trip to Machu Picchu will cost about $300 not including housing Canadian.

7. Food in Aguas Calientes is actually not too bad. A tourist menu is about $10 a day, and beers are $3 each. To get this price you have to get out of the main square though.

8. Machu Picchu is definitely worth seeing! If you get altitude sickness grab some coca leaves, they have them everywhere. And if you are prone to motion sickness pack Dramamine, the roads there are bumpy.

Machu Picchu tips 20192019-06-27T21:09:03+00:00

I’m staying in a Sh*thole Hostel and I love it!

When you’re looking for the best places to retire cheap you have 3 choices of where to stay.

1. A fancy hotel.

2. A private apartment

3. A hostel

(Funny thing is a hostel is the MOST expensive option)

Here’s what you got to do!

The smart thing to do when you arrive in a new in city is to ONLY book a couple of nights.

You don’t what to find yourself in a crime ridden ghetto. And even worse than a crime ridden ghetto? Somewhere with no transit, crappy cabs and no way to get out easily.

This month my crazy adventure was to live in the physically grossest place I’ve ever lived in the world. Think flies everywhere, and no soap in the bathroom.

Here’s what my day looks like…..

I wake up (in my private room which I paid $180 CAN a month for) to hear the people downstairs lighting their morning marijuana joint. In Peru, marijuana isn’t a big deal. (Unless you are dealing, it’s still illegal).

For me, the weed smoke isn’t a huge problem. I’ve been around weed smokers my whole life. The hostel dogs know I’m awake, and are scritch scratching at my door.

“Why hello Farty and Hyper!” I have never had dogs growing up. I can see why people love them.

They are just soooooo happy to see you!

I head out to the bathroom. I bring my own toilet paper! (I’ve been here for a month. I know the chances of TP are rare)

I’m looking forward to breakfast, which is going to be at the mall. There’s a tasty Sausage McMuffin waiting for me!

The kitchen here is disgusting

I don’t know how they cook in it.

So, yeah that’s a downside.

But let’s skip forward to the best part of my day! After the gym…..this is what I found happening…

Random BBQ!

Some of the guys who work here, have grabbed some wood, and feed it to our slow cooker.

5 hours later, I’m drinking $1 rum and eating some of the tastiest bbq I’ve ever had.

This is the #1 reason I love staying in a Sh*thole hostel. The chaos and randomness is always so fun!

If I lived in a fancy hotel? This would never happen. They might have BBQ on the menu, but the spirit of randomness would never be there.

I’ll tell you mor but I’ve got to get back to my random game of Peru Monopoly.

I’m staying in a Sh*thole Hostel and I love it!2019-04-19T22:43:49+00:00

Why you should retire cheap in Arequipa, Peru! One month review.

My search for the best countries to retire cheap has led me to Arequipa, Peru.

Known as the white city, or the city of eternal spring, Arequipa is also a paradise for volcano lovers.

With about 800,000 people it’s not huge. It’s also not tiny.

I came here because of the promise of beautiful climates. And was not disappointed. After the sweltering heat of Asia, I was like….must get cooled down.

Temperature in Arequipa

Arequipa is cheapah than Lima (Like my rhyme?).

It’s also much friendlier.

I lived in the Yanahuara district.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS LIKE?

  • My rent for a hotel for a month was 700 Soles ($300 CDN)
  • Cheap meal 6 Soles ($2.25 CDN)
  • Expensive meal with a beer 45 Sol ($20 CDN)
  • Gym 36 Soles ($15 CDN)
  • Cellphone w/3G data 30 Sol ($12 CDN)

After a month here, I can tell you Arequipa is now one of my favourite cities in the world to retire cheap.

WHY RETIRE CHEAP IN AREQUIPA, PERU

  • It’s small enough to walk around
  • Has lots of cabs
  • Takes credit cards at most places
  • Has Scotiabank
  • Peru has a 6 month Visa on Arrival for free for Canadians
  • Fantastic local food
  • Safe
  • Good availability of fast food and imports at cheap prices
  • Great spring like temperature all year
  • Fast wifi 7mbps is standard
  • Sidewalks (yes this is a thing, in Vietnam there are none. Just places called sidewalks, where people park their motorcycles)
  • Crosswalks (Again, if you go to Vietnam you’ll see what I’m talking about, when you realize just how great crosswalks are. And even though Vietnam has no sidewalks and killer crosswalks there are some great things about it. LINK TO RETIRING CHEAP IN VIETNAM
  • Close to volcanoes
  • Not too many tourists

LINK TO YOUTUBE VIDEO if you’d like to see more

I hope this helps you with your decision to retire cheap in Arequipa, Peru! And remember if you like this blog to share it.

Why you should retire cheap in Arequipa, Peru! One month review.2019-02-28T21:29:28+00:00

Gyms in Arequipa, Peru! One Fitness Review

Hiya friends, as you know gyms are a big part of why I love or hate a city. And for me the best places to retire cheap will always have a good gym.

Here’s a link to my review of gyms in Medellin LINK TO GYM REVIEW IN MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

My second stop after I land is always to find the best place to get my workouts in.

(My first stop of course is to grab a couple of beers.)

I found One Fitness in Arequipa, Peru.

It’s kind of a weird gym.

Big, but cheap.

Good, but kinda crappy.

There’s a lot of machines here. Everything from a squat rack, to smith machines. Lots of free weights.

It has group classes included in the price as well.

1 month = 60 S ($25 CAN)

2 month = 90 S ($37.50 CAN)

3 month = 120 S ($50 CAN)

6 month = 210 S ($87.50 CAN)

12 month = 360 S ($150 CAN)

The oddest thing about this gym is while it has all this great equipment\

It doesn’t have toilet paper

It doesn’t have a scale

It doesn’t have a water fountain,

It’s like, they were like, what’s the cheapest way to run a big gym? And said, No need for toilet paper.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s that bad. It’s just odd.

If you want the full video review, plus pics of the gym go to this link.

LINK TO YOUTUBE VIDEO REVIEW

All in all, I love One Fitness, and would recommend this odd little gym in Arequipa, Peru!

Gyms in Arequipa, Peru! One Fitness Review2019-02-11T21:14:17+00:00

Cruz del Sur CONFORT SUITE review

So, as you know I love the bus in Peru!

I got a chance to try the new Cruz Del Sur CONFORT suite bus, and it was pretty sweet.

Here’s the YOUTUBE LINK TO REVIEW

BUT …

If you hate watching videos, like I do at times here’s the key points.

  • It’s worth it
  • Bring a jacket/poncho
  • Bring a sleep mask
  • Bring noise cancelling headphones
  • Pick a seat ahead of time
  • Do not pick a seat in the back
  • Bring food. It’s not first class food.

LINK TO CRUZ DEL SUR WEBSITE

Cruz del Sur CONFORT SUITE review2019-02-03T17:42:38+00:00

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