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

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

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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

Can you retire cheap in Lima, Peru?

Lima, Peru rarely shows up on the retirement cheap websites. There’s a really good reason for it.

It’s not cheap.

After one month here, I can safely say that it’s not going to make my list for best countries to retire cheap.

What was my cost of living here for one month (all prices in CDN)?

  • Average cost of a meal at home with groceries $2.50
  • Average cost of a meal out in a restaurant $6
  • Movie theater $6
  • Cabs $4
  • Rent $300
  • Pisco Sour in fancy place $10
  • Anticucho $5
  • Alcohol $10 for a 26 of rum

It’s possible to survive in Lima for $1000 CDN a month, but it’s not a great life.

The city itself is really large.

It reminds me a lot of Toronto. One of my qualifications for a city is how it feels. I DIDN’T like Lima pretty much instantly.

It’s not it’s fault though. I just realized, I personally like small cities. This place is huge. And because of that it has some benefits. Lots of food choices.

But it also has detractors, lots of costs…..and really really bad Chinese food.

If you want to retire cheap? Stay away from Lima, Peru and check out these other cities.


Can you retire cheap in Lima, Peru?2019-07-29T13:49:32+00:00

Street Food in Lima: Anticucho

One of the greatest things about travelling around the world looking for the best countries to retire cheap, is the food.

Here in Lima, I discovered Anticucho. Not just generic meat on a stick, it’s actually flame grilled cow hearts.

There are a lot of places that sell this, but look for the carts with the massive stands.

If you find a long line up of people, you know you’re in the right spot!

Anticucho is really filling, and one order is generally 2 skewers at $5 CAN per order.

The meat is salty, and has a nice chewy texture. It’s definitely something to be tried at least once.

….also make sure you get one of the giant corn on the cobs to take home! They’re around $1 CAN and totally worth it. It’s hard to see in the picture, but the corn kernels are all much much bigger than we get in Canada.

Hope you liked the article, the YouTube version of it is here


Street Food in Lima: Anticucho2019-01-11T00:49:54+00:00

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.