arequipa vs. lima

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hoyce
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arequipa vs. lima

Postby hoyce » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:23 am

hey,

im heading back to peru for a year or so. previously i lived in san borja lima and thought it was ok, except that lima kind of sucks for me, so since the grass is always greener on the other side - i was thinking arequipa. i would like to ask experienced folks the major differences between arequipa and lima. specifically with cost of housing; i would be hoping to get a nice 2 bedroom apartment for $350.00 (u.s. dollars). is this do-able?

also, is the quality of air better in arequipa, and will i have near death experiences when i cross the street and be forced to listen to honking every minute.

also, will i have truble finding english speaking peruvians (to hire) in arequipa? i found some excellent english speaking peruvans in lima, i'm just not sure i want to go back there, even though it might be dumb seeing that i've never been to arequipa.

thanks expats!


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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby MartitaAQP » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:49 pm

I LOLed at your subject. THere is not Arequipa V Lima in my mind...Arequipa wins hands down in every aspect. But I'm not unbiased :)

You asked about rent: yes, $350 for a two-bedroom nice apt. is doable in a safe area in Arequipa. Doubt it in Lima.


Arequipa is NOT pollution-free but it is much less polluted than Lima. Mostly because it's a smaller population and growth is much newer.

THere are MANY English-Speaking Arequipenos and I doubt finding to-hire would be a problem, especially if you are open to a lower-age bracket.

Martita
hoyce
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby hoyce » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:04 pm

thanks, I appreciate the response. Yeah, I suppose I will go there. I think I sent a friend request to your group, I think it was the right one. Yeah, I've never been there but Lima is just too much for me even though I like the busses.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby Polaron » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:43 am

Let us know how Arequipa works out for you. The only drawbacks for me there would be the occasional bone-breaking cold nights and the fact that arequipeños are way conservative.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby Icachico » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:55 pm

I really liked Arequipa when I visited (granted it was only for a few days) I prefer a cooler climate so that was a nice benefit.
Polaron, could you elaborate on the conservatism comment you made about the people of Arequipa.

How are they more conservative, fiscally or socially?
Thanks.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby briloop » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:44 am

My wife and I are considering Arequipa and Lima for a retirement destination. I have many, many questions, but I will keep this brief.

1. Are the streets dirty?

2. Crime and overall personal safety?

3. Stray dogs (perros vagos)?

Thanks
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby Polaron » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:44 pm

Icachico wrote:I really liked Arequipa when I visited (granted it was only for a few days) I prefer a cooler climate so that was a nice benefit.
Polaron, could you elaborate on the conservatism comment you made about the people of Arequipa.

How are they more conservative, fiscally or socially?
Thanks.


Hi. I was referring to socially and politically conservative. Overall, Peru is a pretty conservative country socially; Arequipa is even moreso.

Briloop, wherever you go in Latin America, you're going to find cities that have dirty streets, high crime and stray dogs. The rule of thumb is, the larger the city, the more prevalent those situations. You'll also find similar conditions in Watts, Lynwood and Compton in the Los Angeles area; San Francisco's Tenderloin district; South Phoenix, west Phoenix, Guadalupe and Sunnyslope, and the list goes on and on. Those metro areas also have some beautiful locales, just as Latin American cities do.

I can't speak for the streets of Arequipa, not having been there, but I would wager that it has a less frequent incidence of the types of problems you have outlined than Lima due to its having one-fourth of the population of the Peruvian capital.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby briloop » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:36 pm

Polaron, I suspected what you said is true. I've been to Mexico once and Colombia six times. You're right, one can find clean and dirty streets, stray dogs or no stray dogs, safe areas and crime wherever you go. I just want to get an idea of how things are in Lima and Arequipa.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby tomasb » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:54 am

I was in Arequipa a few years ago. One thing that stood out for me from the time I left the airport to downtown was how clean everything seemed. The central tourist area as to be expected is very clean. In fact, there was an article in the front page of the newspaper about poor trash pick-up issues in a certain part of town and a lot of complaints from residents about poor service in this one area of town. It is, in my opinion, much cleaner than Lima. And when does trash pickup issues merit front page reporting.

I don't recall seeing any stray dogs like you would encounter in other SA cities of this size; not that they don't exist but they appear to have a low profile here.

As far as crime, you have to be careful. As a gringo you will stand out and people do notice you. I met this Canadian fellow who was teaching in APQ for several years at a local bar called Las Brujas. He told me that he was kidnapped several years previously and the ladrons drained his bank account using his ATM card. They held him several days. Unfortunately, his Canadian bank did not notice all the unusual withdrawals on his account. Of course, I believe he was drunk when this occurred so if you act prudently, do not get drunk in public, and ask about for safe neighborhoods to live then I think you will be ok. I walked about freely and felt fine about my safety and was there for several days. Also, watch out for taxi's there as well. It's no different from Lima in that respect.

As a footnote, I should add that one day I went to a local tienda in central APQ to use their ATM. The machine shorted me $100 so I called my bank in the US to notify them. After doing that, I went to a restaurant and they would not accept the remaining cash and said it was counterfeit. I promptly went to the National Bank of Peru in APQ and they immediately gave me cash for the counterfeit money. Several days later, I walked by this tienda and noticed that the ATM was still operational. Pretty amazing!
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby windsportinperu » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:42 am

tomasb wrote:....Several days later, I walked by this tienda and noticed that the ATM was still operational. Pretty amazing!


Probably it is because the ATM machine is working fine. The problem is as you say the counterfeit money inside the machine, not the machine itself..

Anyway or another, it is pretty amazing to get counterfeit money from an ATM machine
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby tomasb » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:40 pm

ATM's in the US are most of the time owned by entrepreneurs who put their own money in the machine and earn part of the fee that you are charged upon withdrawal. They have contractual relationships with the bank and the bank pays part of the fee to them and reimburses the withdrawn amount. However, the money in the ATM belongs to the owner of the machine. If it is within a bank and it is your bank, then you generally don't have to pay the fee.

I am not certain how it works in Peru. It would be interesting to know if entrepreneurs can operate ATM's there in a similar fashion as in the US. Maybe it is a cottage industry to put funny money in the machine and unsuspecting tourists or locals find their money rejected somewhere else, perhaps after they left town. In any event, someone is turning a blind eye and the owner of the machine is doing quite well earning his fees with no capital investment and being reimbursed for the withdrawn cash.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby Polaron » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:25 pm

I have had ATM problems only twice in my life. The first time occurred in 1996, at a Wells Fargo ATM in National City, California (suburb of San Diego). One of the twenties the ATM gave me was a one-dollar bill that had the corners from $20 bills grafted onto its surface (so that people receiving the bill stacked with several others would glance at the corner and assume it was a real twenty). As I was not a Wells Fargo customer - just someone who paid a fee to use their ATM - the bank refused to honor the note until I pointed out that I had held up the note to the ATM camera (I always count the money the ATM dispenses) and threatened to contact both the Secret Service and the Comptroller of the Currency. Suddenly, they were only too happy to exchange it for legal tender.

The second time was in Madrid in 1997. I went inside a branch of Banco Argentaria (now the "A" in BBVA) to make a $300 dollar withdrawal from my U.S. bank account. The machine cycled and cycled, then flashed a message on the screen stating that the transaction could not be processed because the machine did not have sufficient funds. However, my account was debited anyway. I had to contact my U.S. bank and request a special form be mailed to me, and then I had to fill out that form and fax (and then mail) it back to get a provisional $300 credit. I talked to the Argentaria branch manager who refused even to contact my bank to confirm that his ATM had not dispensed any money to me.

Here's the real kicker: the ATM was INSIDE the branch, with Argentaria's label prominently displayed. Immediately when I had the problem, I went to the customer service counter, where I received the bone-headed reply, "That's not our ATM. It belongs to a different bank." Talk about your stupid answers, lol.

Surprisingly, I have not had any problems with non-bank ATMs, though I never use them any more.

Back to Arequipa, I would be interested to know how much housing and transportation cost there, in relation to Lima.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby DJSirMatthew » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:20 am

Having lived one year in Lima (in Villa Maria, Miraflores, San Juan de Lurigancho and several weeks in La Molina) and close to 2 years in Arequipa (Yanahuara-Cayma) I can safely say that Arequipa wins hands down. Where until last year Arequipa did lack some shopping possibilities and good gyms that has been changed with the building of 3 shopping malls.

Bone breaking cold nights I have never experienced in Arequipa. Generally speaking the climate is 100000x healthier than Lima, 365/365 sunny days (rainy season gets shorter each year).

If there is 1 thing I missed in Arequipa was a Thai/Japanese restaurant (the one we frequented shut shop somewhere in March-May 2010). Generally speaking the restaurants in Lima are of a better quality than in Arequipa, but there are still some good places to find to enjoy a good meal.

350$ for an unfurbished 2-bedroom appartment should indeed not be a problem as we lived in Cayma in a furnished 2-bedroom appartment for 400$. Transportation: taxi's run from Cayma to f.e. Lambramani shopping mall (other side of the hystoric center) for 6 soles. In the time I lived there I used to walk, never used buses f.e.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby tomasb » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:00 pm

What is the best way to find a furnished apt in APQ? I have looked online but not much there. I am moving to Cusco and have an apartment leased from October to December but not sure I want to deal with their Bolivian summer. I visited APQ once and liked the climate and town. I especially enjoyed Yanahuara area but did not see any for rent signs there.

Thanks...
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby el conquistador » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:37 pm

windsportinperu wrote:
Anyway or another, it is pretty amazing to get counterfeit money from an ATM machine


I once got a fake 100 note from a Scotiabank ATM. At Avenida Larco. But went inside the bank with the ATM receipt and they changed it.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby el conquistador » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:06 pm

tomasb wrote:What is the best way to find a furnished apt in APQ? I have looked online but not much there. I am moving to Cusco and have an apartment leased from October to December but not sure I want to deal with their Bolivian summer. I visited APQ once and liked the climate and town. I especially enjoyed Yanahuara area but did not see any for rent signs there.

Thanks...


Often appartments are advertised by mouth. Talk to people who run a 'tienda' in the area you are interested in.
They generally know everyone in their neigbourhood and know what's going and who's renting out appartments or rooms.

In March, I was helping out a friend who was looking for a flat in La Punta De Callao. Nothing was advertised in Elcomercio for that area. We went to a cornershop (tienda) in La Punta and asked the owner if you knew about places that were up for rent. He referred us instantly to 4 people who had a place for rent in the area.

In the beginning of this year, I was considering selling my home but later on decided not to. The for sale sign has been longtime removed from my wall but I still get people knocking my door to ask if I am selling my home.
When I ask them who gave them information then the answer is mostly 'La señora de la tienda mas arriba' or 'La señora a l esquina que vende menu'.

Advertising online is rarely done and most landlords don't want to pay for advertising in papers either. (especially outside Lima)
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby whitlocm » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:01 am

Hola.

I have just come back from 6 months in Arequipa (Feb-July 2011). Working for 3 months in a school in the outer/poorer suburbs and 3 months working in a bar.

Absolutely fell in love with Arequipa and intent to return in 2012 to open a restaurant. I was only in Lima for 4 days when first landing in Peru. Loved Lima, but was staying in Miraflores, so maybe an unfair to view of Lima through Miroflores glasses. But Lima was everything I expected of Peru, busy, bustling, dirty and full of life.

Arequipa is a very clean city. Never looked around me an though what a dump. Having returned to Sydney, I would certainly say I prefer Arequipa. Never though unsafe there even though we were in the middle of a football riot, but they weren't interested in gringoes. And was really more puffing chests than violence.

Stray dogs. Well they aren't really strays. Most dogs live on the roof (or wroof as they call them), and the in owners let them out during the day to do dog stuff. Was really surprised that there was no mongrels wandering the streets. Even in the poorer areas wasn't any dogs around that worried me. Never was worried about any of the dogs.

Yes you will take you life own hands when you cross the streets. They aren't pedestrian crossing on the road, they just use white paint to over the blood stains of the last person that crossed the road. The driving is the same throughout Peru.

Air quality in Arequipa is perfectly fine. Pretty cool at night during "winter", but really not that bad, just a good jacket is fine.

Plenty of people speak good English.

Food great, prices great, people fantastic.

Hope this helps

PS. Never had a counterfeit note either from ATM (which was free to withdrawal from my Australian bank account there rather than $2 in Australia) or working in the bar. Saw a couple of shocking attempts though. Could never work out what the big carry-on about counterfeit notes was.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby Mad Hatter » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:34 am

I'm interested in visiting Arquipa as a possible early retirement destination based on what I've read in several forums. I believe my investments will allow me to live well in AQP. I have some questions that would help me if someone knows about this:

1) AQP only receives about 96 mm rain per year. Do they have sufficient water there and how dusty/windy is it?
2) Is good quality health care available in AQP?
3) Is good quality of housing available for about $1200-1500 usd/mo?
4) Is it safer or less safe than an American city of similar size....say compared to Fresno, Ca?
5) Is there facilities such as nice gym, lap swimming, yoga available?

Thanks in advance for any information.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby stuart » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:59 pm

Mad Hatter wrote:I'm interested in visiting Arquipa as a possible early retirement destination based on what I've read in several forums. I believe my investments will allow me to live well in AQP. I have some questions that would help me if someone knows about this:

1) AQP only receives about 96 mm rain per year. Do they have sufficient water there and how dusty/windy is it?
2) Is good quality health care available in AQP?
3) Is good quality of housing available for about $1200-1500 usd/mo?
4) Is it safer or less safe than an American city of similar size....say compared to Fresno, Ca?
5) Is there facilities such as nice gym, lap swimming, yoga available?

Thanks in advance for any information.


Your only problem is the water, you're covered on the rest. If you can live happily in AQP, then in my opinion, you'd be nuts not to.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby Mad Hatter » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:08 am

Thanks Stuart. I really was interested in Lima but the thing that turned me off about Lima was the overcast weather all winter. I see they highlight Chaclacayo as a short distance (27 KM) away but with sunnier climate at an altitude of 650M. Anyone have the actual climate data for Chaclacayo such as average monthly hi/lo, rain by month and especialy the average monthly hours of sunshine?
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby micatjl » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:33 am

1) Ive lived here for 2 years and the only water problem ive experienced is when they shut it off to do maintenence.....the frequency often depends on where you live. It can be windy around July/August but nothing crazy, and it is dry so there's a bit of dust but it has never bothered me.
2)There is good health care if you can pay for it.
3)Most expats I know pay a maximum of $500 for 2-3 bedroom apartments that are nice and often furnished, so I imagine $1200 would get you something pretty fantastic.
4) I was just 'kidnapped' in a taxi cab, but they didnt hurt me. I had become pretty careless about the taxis I was taking, before this I had never felt in danger living here. There are robberies for sure though.
5) nice gyms are popping up around the city, there is a wonderful french lady who teaches yoga daily. There is an exclusive 'club' you can join for $5000 that has pools, tennis courts, volleyball, tracks, bbq's dance classes etc.

I love generally love Arequipa, especially the 10ish months of sunshine.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby stuart » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:20 pm

Mad Hatter wrote:Thanks Stuart. I really was interested in Lima but the thing that turned me off about Lima was the overcast weather all winter. I see they highlight Chaclacayo as a short distance (27 KM) away but with sunnier climate at an altitude of 650M. Anyone have the actual climate data for Chaclacayo such as average monthly hi/lo, rain by month and especialy the average monthly hours of sunshine?


I like Chaclacayo and Choisica areas. Both have gated communities that you could easily afford on your budget. The only problem is the distance. 27km is considered a lot in Lima, where people try to live within 2 minutes of family and commercial areas. There's traffic between south Lima and Chaclacayo is horrible, and there's a lot of run down areas in between.

If you're after somewhere sunny outside a big city and for some reason can't choose AQP and want something like Chaclacayo, consider Cieneguilla instead. It's easier to get to and your budget will get you a nice country house. Not as much sunshine as AQP but still a lot, much more dust, and little infrastructure nearby.

Still sounds like AQP is your best bet. Clean, nice weather AND city infrastructure. Water is going to be more of a problem in the next 10 years though.
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby briloop » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:49 am

stuart wrote:Water is going to be more of a problem in the next 10 years though.


Stuart, just curious, could you expand on that a little bit more? Is it growth that driving a water shortage?

With only an average of 96mm of rain per year, where does Arequipa get its water?
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Re: arequipa vs. lima

Postby chante » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:37 am

The water comes from the mountains - snow melt - at times I've seen it cascading down through open troughs or irrigation ditches Also, although on average Arequipa doesn't get much rain this past year there was intense rainfall - the river was overflowing, some bridges weren't passable and the streets were flooded.

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