Almost every traveler you meet in Cusco, Peru is merely “passing through” on their way to Machu Picchu. I really think if you don’t stay and live here for a while, you’re missing out! The cost of living in Peru is pretty low, the people are friendly, Cusco is rich with Quechuan/Incan history and influences, and the food is amazing. Below I’ve outlined some typical expenses in Cusco. Whether you’re passing through or staying for a while, I hope this helps you budget for your trip.
- Rent = $70/week, $300/month
I’m living in a shared house with an expat family. It’s two stories and within walking distance to the Plaza de Armas (main square of Cusco). I have a private bedroom and bathroom. I pay $10/night and my hosts let me pay by the week, so $70/week. Rent includes full use of the kitchen, plus utilities and Wi-Fi. Great deal! I will add photos as soon as I clean my room…(Yes, in the short amount of time I’ve been here, I’ve already wrecked it.)
- Food. This one’s tough because I didn’t do a good job of budgeting for this, but it looks like I spent around $150 on food last week. That’s way expensive for this area. I can do much better than that…The typical lunch in Cusco is between $1.80 and $3.59, and this includes hot tea, soup, a main course, AND dessert. Unfortunately, I’ve been sticking to really touristy places that offer the comforts of home…but are more expensive. Someone please slap my wrist!
- Taxis = $1.43-$3.59 will get you pretty much anywhere in town
Taxis here do not use a meter. You tell the driver where you want to go, and you agree on a set price before getting into the car. Cusco also has buses, but I have yet to work up the courage to attempt to navigate the bus system.
- Laundry = $1.50/kilo of clothes (1 kilo is about 2.2 pounds)
Laundry is super convenient here! You just drop off your bag of clothes, and they will weigh it, tell you how much it will cost you and tell you what time to pick it up. Then they wash, dry, and fold your clothes, and place them neatly in a bag for you to pick up. So far I haven’t seen any laundromats like in the States, where you do your own laundry, and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t use them anyway…because I’m lazy.
- 8 hours of private Spanish lessons at a Spanish school = $83.23/week, $332.92/month
This is my biggest expense! More expensive than my housing. I really hope I see a huge return on investment on this one…I pay by the week for this as well. If you know anyone in Cusco with cheaper rates, PLEASE let me know.
My Daily Expenses in Cusco, Peru in Real Time
Curious about what I’m spending in my day-to-day? Just pop into my Cusco Daily Expenses Google Spreadsheet anytime. Anyone and everyone can access my real-time daily spending log. I will be updating this as I go, so you can see exactly what items I’m buying and how much I’m spending each day.