Peru is located in the west central part of South America, and it is the 19th largest country in the world. It shares borders to the north with Ecuador, to the south with Chile and Bolivia, and to the east with Columbia and Brazil. Peru’s geography, climates, and cultures are very diverse due to the natural variation of its geography, which includes the Pacific coast, the Andes, and the Amazon Jungle. Peru’s diverse cultures and civilizations were some of the most advanced in the world, culminating in the well-known Inca Empire. The historical capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco, is the mecca of South America and is one of the most sought-out travel destinations in the world. The Cusco area offers some of the richest collections of architecture, ceramics, and textiles known to man. You can experience the history and culture still alive in the city today. Cusco is the gateway to the sanctuary-city of Machu Picchu and one of the most spectacular highlights of South America.
How to get it all started
The best way is to do a TEFL course in Peru. After applying for a TEFL course, you can start organizing your accommodation and travel.
Visa and other paperwork
Generally most people arrive to take the TEFL and get settled with a 90-day tourist visa. From there, it depends on the job you get whether you receive a work visa or simply step out for a few days every 3 months to renew your tourist visa.
Costs of living versus how much a teacher can make
Average salary for English teachers in Peru varies, but you can generally expect to make enough to live on and do a little traveling. During your resume workshop in the course, you will be taken through some of the differences in teaching English positions throughout the country (peak hiring times, general salary, benefits such as housing, etc).
Getting around Peru
Cusco has very good transportation provided by private “combis” (shared mini buses), and taxis are also readily available and can be flagged down right on the street. That said, Cusco is a small city, and most people walk to wherever they’re going. When using combis, you should pay when you get on and then take a seat or remain standing. Taxi fares are regulated and from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM taxis charge only $0.80 (USD) to go anywhere in the city; and $1.25 (USD) between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM.
Cultural differences (people, language, challenges, etc.)
Peruvian culture is unique, especially in the Cusco area. Traditional customs and indigenous rituals are still present in daily life, and should always be respected. Most Peruvians are Catholic and it is the official government religion. Peruvians are generally conservative and even somewhat formal until they know you, after which they are quite fun loving and very friendly.
Travelling around America from Peru
Travelling to any country in South America is easy, by bus or by plane. Peru is also well connected to North and Central America from the international airport of Jorge Chávez in Lima.