So let’s continue with the cost of living and discuss some of our bills here in Huarocondo. Our property taxes are about $35 USD a year, our electric is about $55 USD a month, Water is a flat $3.28 USD per month no matter how much we use, and we spend about $100.00 USD per month on food (I like to eat meat). We cook and run our cloths dryer with propane, the propane bottles cost about $15 USD each and last us about 3 months. While there are a few things that cost the same, or close to the same as in US, like gas for a vehicle, internet service or satellite TV, most things here are much cheaper.
While I have listed the lack of North American amenities above as a negative, I actually found at least one to be a positive, the lack of fast food. Since moving to the Cusco region, I have lost about 30 lbs, which I attribute largely to the healthier diet. The lack of easily accessible fast food, as well as the fact that all of the food we eat here is much fresher, and free of preservatives should be a plus for anyone. We get most of our produce from the local markets. Because of our location, not only are our meats and vegetables fresh off the farm but we also get fresh fruits as they are brought up from tropical regions that are only 2 hours away.
Another thing we really enjoy is the region itself. If you enjoy nature and exploring, this is the place to be. Not only does the area provide many archaeological sites to explore, there are also many places to hike and enjoy nature.We are also within a day’s drive (or short flight) of several other interesting towns and locations like the Jungle, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, and Colca Canyon.
There is one other benefit of being a resident of the Cusco region, and that is that residents get free access to the archaeological sites on Sundays, this even includes Machu Picchu. Just imagine spending the day hiking around a site like Pisac or Tipon, and having a nice picnic in the afternoon, looking up at Incan terraces and ruins, it doesn’t get much better than that.
We really love it here and think it is a good location for retirement, or semi-retirement. I would definitely recommend that anyone considering retiring to the Cusco region, take an extended trip of at least a month, rent an apartment and see how you like it. This will allow for acclimation to the altitude, as well as give you time to explore a little and really get the feel for the local culture, cuisine and people.